Dear Kindergarten Dads

Dear Kindergarten Dads –

With back to school time approaching all of us, I want to make a plea to dads of kindergartners everywhere – please give us moms a break this week. I don’t know what it is about our babies starting school (after all, I have had my kids in daycare, preschool, and have no problem leaving them with a babysitter on Saturday night), but something about this right of passage makes us all emotional – unreasonably emotional. I am generally a pretty calm parent, but even I found myself tearing up tonight thinking about my little buddy getting on the school bus.  I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is that makes us upset…

Maybe it’s that we know that we just lost some of the best quality time with our son/daughter.  That reoccurring mom guilt rears its ugly head once again, and we think about the time that we spent working when we could have been hanging out on the playground.

Maybe it’s the fact that we know that they are going to meet new friends and while they have been wanting to spend every painstaking waking minute with us for the last 5 years, those days may be nearing the end as they find ‘cooler’ people to hang out with.

Maybe it’s that we know that this is the beginning of a long road of structure, schedules and expectations for our little guys.  Their completely carefree days/nights are now on hold while we have earlier bedtimes on school nights and have pre-planned days ahead of us.

Maybe it’s because we will miss them, their silly faces, questions and stories.  We will miss their craziness and the piece of our lives they have been every day for the last 5 or 6 years.

Maybe it’s the fact that we are losing a little bit of control.  Up until now, most of what our kids have learned, we have been a part of.  We are always there to help pick them up, reassure them, and make sure they were ok.  What will happen if our kids are bullied or have a bad day without us?  Will they be ok?

Of course they will be ok. I know that.  I am not scared for them.  I know that they are going to have the greatest time meeting new friends, learning, and exploring the world around them.  I know they are ready for this big day – I just hope I am.

So, back to you Dads – help us out this week.  Bear with us as we are a little extra emotional.  Don’t make fun of us when we cry while making our little one’s first lunch.  Give us an extra hug.  Save the Valentine’s flowers and send us flowers for the first day our house is a little quieter.  Understand that while we may not have logical reasons on why we are emotional, it is just a hard week for us moms out there.

And moms – hang in there.  Your kids will do great – and so will you.  MOM ON!

Who Knew?

Today, as I drove through the drive-thru for my daily dose of caffeine, I began to think about how I completely and totally underestimated the beauty of drive-thrus before children.  After all, without a drive-thru, I would have to drag my crazies into a restaurant, fight with them about what they can’t have and then wrangle them back into their car seat.  No thank you.  I think I’ll starve.

As I went through my day, I noticed many other things that I appreciate much more now that I am a parent. Here is a short list of some of things that just don’t compare in value BC (before children):

  1. Spray on butt cream – are you kidding me?  Why did it take us so long to come up diaper-rash-spray5
    with this fabulous idea?  After all, who wants to smear butt paste on their baby’s bottom?  The kid screams, it gets in your fingernails, it’s just nasty.  This awesome new method is long overdue and makes me smile every time I spray my little one’s tush.
  2. EZ Pass – just like drive-thrus, this allows me to keep my children ezpassconstrained while traveling.  As anyone who travels with children knows, it only takes one quick stop to wake a perfectly sleeping baby.  Being able to fly through toll plazas without having to stop means many more hours of sleeping children which means many more children will survive the trip.
  3.  Squeezey Pouches – Pureed food that my little one can feed them self – perfect! gerber While I didn’t completely get it with my first kid (after all, why not just sit down and feed your kid), by kid #3, I completely got the convenience of it.  They are perfect for an in between meal snack, a meal on the go, or whenever I feel guilty for all of the crap my youngest has eaten through the day (they are vegetables, after all.) Thank you to the genius that invented this brilliant packaging.
  4. Fixed temperature facets – I never gave two thoughts about these before kids, but facetthese are great for little ones that want to shower themselves (otherwise known as getting wet, but not clean in my house).  I don’t have to worry about them scalding their skin, because the kid bathroom is always set on the right temperature.
  5. The stroller strap on your diaper bag – this beauty made it so much easier to shop.  Sometimes I had the baby in a bjorn, while shopping, so the last thing I needed was to be carry something else.  It also meant that I didn’t ever have to lose space in the cart for my bag, since it sat outside.  With baby #2 I thought I would be trendy and just carry a big designer bag instead of diaper bag.  That was very short lived once I realized there was no stroller strap.  Game over.  Back to ugly mommy world.
  6. Rock and Play – as a mom of kids that all had horrible reflux, the invention of a sleeping contraption that that kept the boys on an incline was incredible.  I’ll admit I didn’t think I needed one originally.  After all, I had a swing, a bouncy seat, and so much other stuff.  Why would I need another baby item?  Well, I was wrong, dead wrong.  My babies all felt so snug in them and each and every one of the kids loved them.  It didn’t hurt that they are couch-height, so I could lay down next to baby when I was exhausted and rock them.  I would not have another baby without one.
  7. Fruit snacks – otherwise known as ‘when all else fails’ in my house.  If we are desperate to have a well-behaved child in church, the Dr. office, or anywhere that requires them to sit quietly for long periods of time, we bring out the heavy artillery.

What mom essentials could you not live without?