Category Archives: Lesson of the Day

Lesson of the Day: If You’re Going to Send a Child to School…

Today’s Lesson: If you’re going to send a child to school after a week of being sick, at least make sure there is school.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but after a summer of giving the boys some slack, I look forward to September to get them all back into a routine. We’d just finished up the first full week of school and Liam’s first week of preschool (an hour on Friday just doesn’t really count as preschool starting in my books) and I was planning to have this past week go even better since it takes a little time to get back in the groove. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans…

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Lesson of the Day: If You’re Going to Forget an Appointment…

Today’s Lesson: If you’re going to forget an appointment, then at least live within walking distance.

I seem to be racking up a few “not the first time” experiences. The most recent one is the forgotten dentist appointment. Last year, when Callan was still tiny, we got a call from the dentist asking if we were going to show up for the boys’ appointment. We were already late! Thankfully, we live about a seven minute walk from the dentist. We dragged the boys out the door and got them there before our time was up.

Yesterday, I remembered the dentist appointment and I didn’t remember it. I knew that Liam had an appointment. In fact it was written on the calendar. Every time I walked by, I reminded myself that I had to get him there. I planned the day around it and made sure the boys had plenty of time for lunch before we had to leave. When Aiden asked if he had to go too, I said, “No, you can stay home. It’s just Liam’s appointment.”

I got the two little boys out the door and to the dentist with time to spare. When I got there, I found out that their usual dentist was no longer with them (she had found a full time position at another office and no longer had the time to pick up extra shifts). We waited for a little while and then someone came over to tell us it would be another five minutes before they’d be ready for us. When the hygienist came out for us, they asked which boy was going first: Liam or Aiden…

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Lesson of the Day: If You’re Going to Put Something In the Oven…

Today’s Lesson: If you’re going to put something in the oven, then you should at least turn it on first.

This was not the first time – nor will it be the last – that I’ve tried to put food in a cold oven. When I was still at my parent’s house, I got used to only having to turn one dial to turn the oven on. I can’t recall if my mother’s oven was permanently set to bake and we changed the temperature or if it was always at 350 and we turned the other dial to bake. Either way, I only turned one. That stuck in my head.

Now that I have my own oven, I know darn well that I have to turn both dials simply because I keep turning both off when I’m done. Yet every now and then, I find myself forgetting and lapsing back to what I grew up with. Today was one of those days. I started out well: I had taken chicken out of the freezer to thaw early in the day and figured I’d have the kids eating at a decent time. I followed up by cleaning the bathroom when I should have been prepping dinner. It was okay though; I was just going to throw s o me stuff in a Ziplock bag, add the chicken, shake and then stuff it in the oven.

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Filed under In the Kitchen, Lesson of the Day

Lesson of the Day: If You Really Wanted to Help…

Today’s lesson: If you really wanted to help, then you would have offered to get up with the crying baby instead of offering to stay in bed with him.

It’s summer and school just let out last week. That means that Grandma is back in town – or more specifically back in the guest room. I guess here is where I make a couple confessions: 1) I co-sleep with the baby. This comes from not wanting to spend hours sleeping in the rocking chair like I did with Liam. 2) We kicked Ian out of bed (and into the guest room) so that all three of us could get more sleep. We’ve had the occasional guest since Grandma left last year, but they all stayed for only one (weekend) night and we suffered through it. Grandma’s visit is different: it lasts about a month.

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Lesson of the Day: Birthday Parties Are Not For the Weak

Today’s Lesson: Birthday parties are not for the weak or next year they’re going bowling.

We now have two kids in the house who were born in January. This is unfortunate. Why? I’m sorry you thought that, now I’ll have to tell you.

For starters, our children are spoiled. Between us, my parents, Ian’s mother, his father, his Aunt and Uncle, and Aiden’s grandfather, the three of them come out of Christmas looking like bandits with all the presents and cash that they get. This leaves us with the problem of trying to figure out what to get for them immediately after they got everything they wanted and some things they didn’t realize that they wanted (I swear next year they get clothes…but then they’re spoiled and they don’t need clothes either).

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Lesson of the Day: Children and Refrigerators Don’t Mix

Today’s Lesson: Children and refrigerators don’t mix or why breaking your child of the bottle habit is a good idea.

The air balance turned way down

Almost a year ago, Liam got into the habit of opening the fridge just to see what was in there. I learned afterward, that he had also been playing with the temperature control dials. Who the heck places them in an easy to reach place in the first place – I recall many fridges where they were on the side near the back not right up at the front where any almost 3-year-old can touch them. I found it odd that everything in the fridge seemed overly cold so I had been adjusting the fridge temperature up. What I didn’t notice until I went to get something out of the freezer was that he had also increased the freezer temperature up causing all of the ice cream to melt and the frozen vegetables to thaw. I believe there was some meat in there too, which I ended up cooking over the next couple days.

After I fixed the settings for both the fridge and the freezer, I made extra sure to make sure that Liam wasn’t touching anything when he opened the fridge to get something out. I eventually got all of the caramel cleaned out of the freezer but I still haven’t replaced the ice cream…that can wait.

Control instructions

Now, Liam is three and a half. Liam is a huge three who looks like he’s five…but he’s not, he’s still just three. Despite our efforts, he still loves his bottle. We’ve been told for nearly two years now that he should not be using it any longer but we can’t break him of the habit. In fact, in September, when a doctor told us to take it away from him, he stopped drinking altogether and I had to give it back. This bottle is pretty much the bane of my days. Every time I get settled down nursing Callan, Liam wants more milk. I get him tucked into bed and he wants more milk. He refuses to drink milk from a glass because he wants it from his bottle.

Usually, we take his bottle away after he falls asleep (he wasn’t actually drinking from it anyway) and he’s none the wiser. Sometimes, he wakes up and cries because he can’t find it. Then he makes one of us get him a fresh bottle. Last night, I took the bottle away shortly after he fell asleep and put it in the fridge for morning (as opposed to wasting perfectly good milk…heh). I finally got Callan and I settled in bed around two and by that point he hadn’t woken up. This morning, when Ian woke up for work, he found the fridge door open about 6 inches…enough to keep the light on. The bottle was not in the fridge. It was, in fact, on Liam’s bed next to him with the lid still on it.

Our spoiled milk collection

There was a full 4L jug of 2% milk in there, a full 1L carton of 3.25% milk, about half a 2L carton of 1% and another 4L jug of 2% with less than a liter left. How fridge has this strange ability to freeze the items at the back while keeping at the front cool. I figured I’d try that full 4L jug since it had been at the back. If any of the milk was still good, that would be it. Sadly, Aiden informed me that it tasted a little funny (all milk tastes funny to me). So here I am with approximately 7L of sour milk all for the sake of a few ounces.

When he got up this morning, I informed him that he may no longer (not that he was allowed to in the first place) get his bottle out of the fridge during the night. He must get a parent to get it for him.

I hope we’re not in for another round of refrigerator wars. I also hope that Callan won’t cause as many problems with the fridge as Liam has. It’s not even a full day after I declared my intent to make sure that we’re not wasting very much food and now I’ve got to figure out a way to use all that milk so that it doesn’t go to waste.

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Filed under In the Kitchen, Lesson of the Day

Lesson of the Day: Lying Just May Be a Bad Idea

Today’s lesson: Lying just may be a bad idea or if you’re going to lie don’t be obvious.

Our oldest (soon to be 10) has developed a little habit of lying. Last year, he told me that he had eaten almost all of his lunch in about 15 minutes – the same child who (at the time) took over an hour to eat a meal. He had given his sandwich to another child (and after he had been caught lying had tried telling me that he was going to get it back…except it turns out that he’d been giving his sandwiches away for over a week). He also, at one point had told me that peanut butter was no longer allowed in his school instead of telling me he didn’t want peanut butter sandwiches anymore (hence the reason he was giving them away). What he didn’t realize is that the school would have to send a note home with the kids to make a change like that. I had checked with the school in September since at the time, all he wanted was PB&J.

Now, thanks to a couple instances where he had lied about pushing his little brother, we’ve run into a little problem. The middle boy (months away from 4 years old) has taken to calling wolf by accusing his brother of hitting him, kicking him, or pushing him. Alas, if we didn’t witness it, we can never be too sure who to believe: the child who would deny it whether he did it or not or the child who would just as soon blame his brother as his own clumsiness. I do not at all encourage lying, but this is an excellent example of when to lie. When it comes down to he-said-she-said (or in our house he-said-he-said) you can’t prove anything either way and either everyone gets punished or everyone’s off the hook  (unless it’s a criminal case…then it’s different…don’t break the law).

This weekend, though, the oldest managed to give us a couple examples of when and how not to lie in the same day. The boys generally get up before me because, thanks to the baby, I don’t really get much sleep until the world starts to wake up (I swear I get my  best sleep between 8AM & 10AM). As a result, I require them to have a small breakfast as soon as they get up to tide them over until one of us is up and ready to make a big breakfast (bacon & eggs, pancakes, french toast…). Saturday was a miss, but Sunday, at least one of them actually ate something. I ask every morning on the weekend so I know how long quickly I have to get food on the table.

In response to my query as to what he ate, I was told, “Toast…a banana and toast.” The kitchen didn’t look any different from when I went to bed, so I asked him what he did with his plate. After a lot of pausing and false starts, he told me that he put the plate in the dishwasher…the same dishwasher that I had run Saturday night and not emptied. Oops. So I checked the dishwasher for the dirty plate (and noticed that there was indeed a banana missing). There was no dirty plate. The dishwasher had exactly the same dishes in it as when I ran it and there were no used knives or plates anywhere in the kitchen, dining room, or living room. Then it hit me…the toast is a lie. So I confronted him, presented him with the evidence and reminded him that a piece of fruit was an acceptable small breakfast for the weekend and he hadn’t needed the toast anyway and he admitted the lie. At which point, I informed him that it would be in his father’s hands after breakfast.

The second case came within an hour of the first. Sunday was Ian’s day to deal with the kids in the morning, so when the middle one came to me for assistance with getting his controller started to join his older brother’s game, I sent him to his father (horrible, yes, but I was half asleep and Ian had agreed to be the go-to parent for the morning). When I got up and saw them both frantically mashing buttons, I thought nothing of it. I figured that he had gotten his father (which he didn’t do) or that his brother had helped him. We had added a second controller the previous day so both of the boys and I knew it could be done, and the older one knew how. He also knew that in a single player game, you could switch the character you were using – which you had to do to get through all of the levels. In the two player game, you each control one of the characters and have to cooperate to get through the levels.

At one point, around the time their father came upstairs, they asked for help with something. I took the middle boy’s controller and tried to do something with it. It was at that point that I noticed that it wasn’t connected to the game. No one had helped him connect it after all! I immediately felt horrible, but it turned out that he hadn’t known the difference. His brother had though, and hadn’t done a thing about it. It made the game easier for him if his little brother wasn’t ‘helping’ and since the second character is controlled by the game in single player mode. Sadly, he hasn’t learned the concept of plausible deniability and therefore tried denying knowing that his brother wasn’t actually playing. There is no way his father would believe that he didn’t know that it wasn’t a two player game (he even admitted to switching characters which can’t be done in a two player game).

I went back to frying bacon (mmm…bacon) and left Ian to deal with the boys…which he did…after breakfast.

Now that he’s proven that he can and will lie rather easily, I find it difficult to trust him when it matters. I know that this will pass, it may not be a phase that he’ll grow out of but we will break him of lying. At least, if he ever wants to be allowed to stay home alone, he’s going to have to build that trust back up. At the same time, though, I have to laugh at how obvious his lies were and how he’s lying over small things that he wouldn’t get in trouble for. I mean, if I were going to lie about something, I’d at least make sure that it was worth it if I got caught.

So what glaringly obvious lies have your children told?

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