Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Truth About Gammy

Gammy-Made Sweater
Amy and I often talk about mistakes - point being that everyone makes mistakes. Gammy (my mother) teases Amy and says that "everyone makes makes except for Gammy."

I made a mistake this morning and left Oreo cookies that Amy needed for a school project at home. I pointed out my mistake and Amy said, "It's okay. Everyone makes mistakes, even Gammy."

The discussion of Gammy continued.

Amy: Gammy is good at a lot of things but she does make mistakes. Did you know that?

Me: Yes. You are right.

Amy: Gammy is good at making sweaters.

Me: Yes, she is. That's nice of you to say.

Amy: Gammy is also good at helping me learn. She is a teacher, that is her job.

Me: Yes, and she is good at it, right?

Amy: Yes. Gammy is good at taking care of me. She is also good at giving me hugs and making me laugh.

Me: You have an awesome Gammy.

Amy: Yes, I love my Gammy.

Gammy, there are times when you think that Amy doesn't love you because she wants to be with her Mommy or she says that she doesn't want to stay over at your house. Your granddaughter loves you very much and appreciates what you do.

You are an awesome Gammy. Thank you!

@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Tattoos are Pretty

I have been remiss in posting this story about Amy and a conversation we had a few weeks ago in the car on the way to school. Somehow we got into a discussion about tattoos.

Me: Amy, are you going to get a tattoo when you are older?

Amy: A permanent one? One that lasts forever?

Me: Yes.

Amy: YES! Definitely. I love tattoos.

Me: Really? Who do you know that has a permanent tattoo?

Amy: Stella's daddy. He has tattoos all over his arms. They are pretty. They are black and white. I like them.

Me: Did you know that JoJo is allergic to tattoos?

Amy: She is? Well then she should not go near Stella's daddy. She will get sick.

Pause in conversation so that I could take this in and process it.

Me: Laughing. JoJo is not allergic to tattoos in the same way that Daddy is allergic to dogs and cats. Do you know how permanent tattoos get onto someone's arm?

Amy: No.

Me: Well, the artist uses a needle and ink and presses it into your arm in the design that you want. It hurts and it bleeds. JoJo is allergic to the ink.

Amy: So she can go near Stella's daddy?

Me: Yes.

Amy: Do you want me to get a tattoo?

Me: Mommy isn't a big fan of tattoos and they are forever. What you put on your body when you are young might not be what you like when you are Gammy's age.

Amy: Oh.

Pause. Silence for about 30 seconds.

Amy: Can I get a tattoo that washes off with water?

Me: Laugh. Yes. In fact, there are tattoos called henna that are part of some cultural practices. Would you like that?

Amy: Yes.

We relayed the "pretty tattoo" story to Stella's parents. Her dad pointed out the gun and woman's face on his arm and said, "Yeah, really pretty."

@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

If You Don't Know What To Do ...

Amy has something called "learned helplessness." That means that when she does not know how to do something, she panics and becomes absolutely helpless. There are often tears associated.

We have been working with her school and teachers to motivate her to take control and get it together during these challenging moments.

Amy is getting much better except in two specific situations.

1. In reading and math classes, the teacher provides instructions on assignments to the whole group of kids.
2. When she does not get to finish her work / doesn't have enough time to finish

Sidebar: Yes, we need to put aside the fact that the work she is doing in reading and math is at a first grade level and she is age 4. And that the kids are rushed and get reprimanded when they do not finish their work.

Back to the story. The other night, I caught beautifully Amy singing a song, "If you don't know what to do ask for help. If you don't know what to do ask for help." When she tells me what to do in a certain circumstance, it typically means that she is internalizing it. Fingers crossed.

I have also read a whole lot about learned helplessness. One contributing symptom is that parents do too much for their kids - so much that kids can't do for themselves.

Chad and I have been urging Amy to be more independent. She now dresses herself, goes to the bathroom entirely by herself which includes closing the door and washing her hands, brushing her teeth, getting her own "cold water with a lot of ice," putting on her own jacket, cleaning up her toys and room, making her bed, among others.

For a few days, Amy said, "Why do I have to do all the work all the time?"  She got over it quickly and now we only hear a few, "Oh mans."

Help her help herself. "If you don't know what to do ask for help! Words to live by.

@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Dancing to the Credits

Does your child refer to television shows by their episode name? Or appreciate the musical motage of credits in a movie or television show?

Well, my actress of a child is destined to work behind the scenes on a television show or movie set - she appreciates the credits and the naming nomenclature of shows. It's actually kind of funny.

Nonetheless, at the end of each television show and movie where there are credits or a musical montage, she gets up and dances. The longer, the better for her.

Last night, Amy watched the end of a movie (she was watching in parts) and put on an entire contemporary dance performance in our family room.

She was so graceful that Chad leaned over to me and said, "Should we look into a better dance class for her?" The answer is "of course, after the recital. And she starts musical theater classes on Wednesday."

@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Chinese Restaurant

Amy and I went to dinner on Wednesday night and it was such a pleasure.

I love the version of my kid who is kind, pleasant, mature and has great manners. We went for Chinese food - her choice at her restaurant.

We each enjoyed soup and then shared steamed chicken with broccoli. Amy and I then made letters with the toothpicks from the pineapple and fortune cookies. We laughed hysterically while doing it.

Amy said "please and thank you" throughout the meal to the waiter and to me, and was charming as all hell.

She then enjoyed the chicken and broccoli for lunch on Thursday, the only day of the week that she brings lunch to school. Smart me, sending left overs.

Amy ate the whole thing. Usually I don't make a big deal over food but I was impressed that she ate at least 5 sprigs of broccoli. I guess her palate is changing.

My lovie!

@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Potty Mouth, No Polish

Yesterday, I was home from work because Amy woke up with a fever.

Typically, when she is sick, I take the day off so that my colleagues do not have to hear the "daughter of a communicator" add value during calls. In general, I was off the phone yesterday unless Amy was sleeping.

In the late afternoon, I took a work-related call. Thankfully, with a friend-aleague. I sat at the kitchen table with Amy while on the phone. She was coloring. I was talking.

After about 5 minutes, Amy said, "Mommy, I am sick of hearing your voice."

I looked at her with my most shocked face. "Excuse me. That wasn't very nice."

"You have been talking for a long time and you need to go away."

In the spirit of avoiding a conflict with work friend-aleague on the phone, I got up and moved to the living room. As soon as I put my butt on the couch, I heard, "I can still hear you."

I ignored her and kept talking. "I can still here you, Mommy. You need to be quiet."

I was shocked and appalled and did not find this behavior in the least bit cute. "We will talk about this when I get off the phone."

"Mommy, I want you to get off the phone but I don't want to talk about it."

It hit me that Amy wasn't actually sick of my voice nor did she want me to disappear - she wanted my attention. I explained to my friend-aleague, excused myself and ended the call.

"Amy, what you said about me going away and telling me to be quiet was not very nice. It hurt my feelings."

"But I wanted you to get off the phone."

"Then, the next time, you can tell me how you feel and say it nicely. You can say 'Mommy, I want your attention. Can you please get off the phone?'"

"Okay. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

Not cute. Not cute.

@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)  

Must Be Really Sick

As you know, Amy woke up with a fever yesterday. I ran her to the doctor because there were no symptoms other than fever.

Amy danced around the office and played the entire time. I told the doctor that Amy walks around that office like her name is on the letterhead. She does!

She took a long nap yesterday afternoon and woke up with vigor. Except that her behavior was quite unusual.

We put on "Frozen" and we started singing along. Fun, right?

We made it through about 20 minutes of the movie before Amy said, "I don't want to watch anymore. I want to do homework."

Amy sat down and did five worksheets of homework. One friend said that if this scenario happened in  her house, that the world would come to an end!


I joke about her behavior but really, I'm a little nervous. She woke up today without any fever and with a higher level of energy than she had yesterday.

Why would she spike a fever one day and then the next day, no fever and no symptoms. The doctor said that we should see symptoms in a day or so. I find this whole thing really strange.

@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Little Lady with Manners

I love the version of Ms. Amy who acts like a little lady and shows her good manners.

On Monday night, I went out with some colleagues for dinner and Amy joined along with us. She acted pretty silly. Baby talk. Babble. Twisting and turning in her chair. I pulled out the iPad to keep her occupied. It was embarrassing restaurant manners.

Last night, we went to our friend's house / neighbor. Amy asked if I could drop her off and come back later because "I feel like a big girl when you do that."

I rang the doorbell and explained Amy's desires to my friend. I said, "I will be back in f-i-v-e minutes." Amy now knows how to spell. "Mommy, I want you to stay away longer than 5 minutes! Come back later."

I said out loud, "Okay. I will come back later." And then mouthed and gave the 5 minute hand signal to my friend so that she knew that I wasn't dumping Amy off at her house.

Amy was a little lady. She hung her jacket rather than throw it on the floor like she does at home. She took off her shoes and moved them over to where the shoes go. She asked my friend and her husband how their days were. She said "please" and "thank you" when she wanted or needed something.

I want this Amy all of the time!

@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Fever Without Symptoms

Amy woke up at 4:30 AM today and crawled into bed with Chad and me. When I snuggled her a little bit after 5 AM, she felt really warm to me.

Chad took her temperature and it was nearing 102. Ugh. "Are you feeling okay, Amy?"

"Yes. I feel fine."

We invited Amy to go downstairs with the promise of a "fun bowl" and television, and then waited the standard 20 minutes to take her temperature again. It was 99. "Oh good, your temperature is down."

We took it again another 10 minutes to be sure and it was over 101. "No school today, sweets. Are you sure nothing hurts?"

"No. Nothing hurts. I feel fine." She was also fine last night and went on a play date (oops, I need to call my friend and let her know that Amy has a fever). Thank goodness, she is laid back and not a panicky mom.

The first thing that popped into my mind was "oh my goodness, the kid has meningitis or a bacterial infection." So I did the wrong thing for a parent and jumped onto the internet. I searched "fever without symptoms in kids."

The first few entries suggested everything from cancer to AIDS virus. A big thank you to the Cleveland Clinic for posting something about "infections in kids" and the fact that many infections show no symptoms initially other than fever.

I then rationally remembered that Amy was sick last year around Chad's birthday. I stayed home from Aunt Karen's school benefit last year because Amy had a fever. Chad's birthday 2014 is in 3 days.

Nonetheless, I plan to run Amy over to the doctor this morning -- and will call as soon as I finish this post (and they open).

@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)   

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pretty Piglet

Amy's dance recital is in a few months. Her costume was ordered and the girls are already practicing their routine which is Piglet. Amy takes her ballet very seriously because "I need dance to be a cheerleader."

On Saturday, Amy tried on her costume and loved it. Of course, it's pretty, pink and ruffly. It's adorable and very special. Amy did not want to take it off and asked her teacher if she could wear it at home. "Not until after the recital. You don't want to spill anything on it, do you?"

I snapped a few photos of Amy in her costume. She posed sweetly.

My mother said that "Amy needs a pair of pearl earrings to make the outfit." I agree though I don't think Amy is ready for pierced ears. I want her to want and ask for it so that she doesn't hate or resent me for the 2 minutes of pain.

Also notice that Amy has developed her own "standard pose." She tilts over a bit and turns her head to the side. It's become "the pose" for every photo that she knows I am taking.

@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Little Stylist

Much to my dismay, Amy is starting to pick out her own clothes and express her preference for certain outfits and accessories.

Thankfully, we have not had any arguments. She isn't picky about how clothes feel and she isn't too bad on the matching front, "Ooh, Mommy, everything I'm wearing today is pink except for my pants which are jeans."

I was a terror about the feeling of clothes - and honestly, I still am. I have always dressed Amy in comfort clothes rather than the starchy and adorably cute ruffles because I am sensitive to feeling. She isn't picky.

As always, I snap lots of photos of Amy ... and there have been some recent looks that I fear she is going to regret later on in life when she looks back at some of the photos. "Oh Mommy, why did you let me wear that headband?" Today's outfit and photo to the left is a good example.

Amy has been really into headbands. Especially this hot pink glittery stretchy one that she likes to wear with a ponytail. Unfortunately, she wears it against her forehead and will not push it back to move any hair away from her face.

"Stayin' Alive" Headband
She wore it today with her "cheerleader t-shirt" that she picked out, and on Sunday to a birthday party.

Many of the moms at the party complimented the "high pony and headband" look and said that she looked adorable. "I fear that she is going to regret the look later on. It feels very 'Stayin' Alive' to me."

It was difficult to find photos from the movie especially a good headband shot of Cynthia Rhodes so please forgive this weird dance contemporary dance shot. It was the best I could find.

So Ms. Amy - this blog post pardons me from any styling decisions you made at age 4.5. I tried and just decided to let you express yourself.

@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)