Tag Archives: Toys

Bedtime Books I Wish I Could Read to My Kids

When my kids are at their worst, it’s hard to take the high road. But I do my job, doling out punishments like a lunch lady serving stale bread. Sometimes doing the right thing doesn’t seem to get the point across. A teensy part of me would like to say what I’m really thinking, like “I told you so” or “Duh.” Sometimes I just want to tell my kids how their silly fears are driving me nuts, to just put some stupid clothes on already—any clothes—to end the tears, or that I’m going to throw all of their toys away if they can’t clean them up. Would I be a bad mother if I told my kids that burping at the table causes warts on their tongue? Wouldn’t that put an end to naughty behavior, make my kids finally listen? What if I read them books about it instead?

Bedtime books I wish I could read to my kids:

• A boy who always pulls the shower curtain back before he’ll use the bathroom one day really does find a bad guy hiding there.

• The girl who throws a fit over what to wear is sentenced to a month of wearing her brother’s stinky socks and underwear that he has worn for an entire week. Pee-ew!

• The child who never sleeps is given chores to do all night while the rest of his family snoozes soundly in their beds. Even when he finally tries to lie down, he finds he can no longer sleep. His hands turn to sponges and his feet into mops.

• The kid who picks his nose all the time gets his finger stuck in his nostril. His mom has to sew special clothes for him. He can’t play baseball. And he always fears he will get his other finger stuck. Yes, little Timmy cannot learn his lesson.

• The girl who throws fits suddenly starts talking in that high-pitched squeal all the time and can no longer walk but only stomp and thrash her fists. The only thing that will cure it is a thick, bubbling, stinking concoction of frog’s guts and squid tentacles taken in huge gulps.

• Kids who don’t clean their rooms wake up tied down and taken hostage by their own toys. Barbies build Lego racks to torture their owners. Minifigure armies pull and twist hair. Robots shoot Nerf darts at the kids’ noses. Dolls scribble on walls and the kids will be blamed.

• Kids who talk back to their parents are rewarded with pet birds that never shut up and whisper creepy things that no one else can hear, like, “Don’t go to sleep, Mildred.”

Think it will work?


Get ready, kids. The toys take over when left out too long.



Filed under Parenting

Sometimes the Kids Win the Battles

It has been weeks now since she’s seen it, asked for it, given me big blue eyes swelling up with tears. I try to stand my ground, be firm and strong. But those kids know how to break me sometimes. And sometimes, they win.

With my kids being 8 and 6, I felt like the days of noisy toys were behind us. On a shopping trip this month, my daughter fell in love with one of those annoying toys that barks and moves when you walk down the aisle. No, I said. A firm NO.

She has asked for that dog several times since, batting her eyelashes at me. Giving me puppy dog eyes so sweet that I have to turn away and think about how horrid she becomes when she screams about her homework and how mean I am for making her do it. “Please, Momma,” she whimpers for the little brown dog.

She already has something similar…that I hate, that she doesn’t play with. The answer is and always will be no. I won’t buy it, and even she can’t buy it. She cannot put it on her Christmas list.

But kids have a way of chiseling through a mom’s tough outer exterior. They chip and chip away. They wear down that enamel, tear through the layers. They beg and plead so much that I am sick to death of hearing about it. They break me down like a prisoner about to sign a confession to a crime I was nowhere near just to stop the harassment. Yep, those kids know what they are doing all right. And I had taken all the batted eyelashes and puppy dog eyes that I could until I found myself saying, “Put it on your Christmas list.”

What was that about? Ugh. She got me. She broke through and now I’m going to have to live with that annoying puppy dog yip and squeak for weeks until it breaks or she grows tired of that stupid toy and it ends up at the bottom of her closet.

I broke down. I gave in. Just get the stupid thing. I can’t take it anymore. Sometimes my kids wear me so completely down, it’s just not worth the fight at all. Parents are supposed to pick their battles, and I do. But it’s rough when you realize that after putting up what you think is a good fight, you realize you were outwitted all along and you just never really had a fighting chance. I should have saved all that energy for a battle that really mattered.


Filed under Can't Get a Break