Monday, September 8, 2014

Grocery outing rant from a month ago

Okay. I know everyone has a different take on kids crying in public places. I am mostly of the notion that if your child misbehaves then they should be removed from the environment. I usually adhere to this. I've left restaurants with overtired kids and Lucas stays back to pick up the check. I've walked out of the grocery store as quickly as I've walked in. I've cut other outings short. My children are still learning their limits and their emotions and it is my job to help them with those. I don't take my kids out at nap time because I would be setting us all up for failure and it would be my own fault for knowing my children would be tired but forcing them to adhere to adult standards.

All this to say that my kids had meltdowns today. I walked out of the grocery store carrying two crying girls and wrangling a 4 year old who wanted to "help" me push the cart.

But here's what happened. I already cut my trip short because Averie was wanting to be held and didn't want to ride in the cart. I was already carrying Lily in the ergo and then I had Averie on my hip. Her time ran out faster than I expected so we started making our way to the checkout line. On the way up there Hudson decided he didn't want to ride in the car part, he wanted to walk/help steer the cart with me. Time's up. Time to go. Good thing we were already on our way out. So far so good but the clock is ticking.

We made it to the checkout lane and one of the employees helped usher us into the lane. I had to set Averie down in the seat of the cart long enough to finish unloading the groceries onto the belt because doing so one-handed was taking too long AND Lily was starting to fuss. Averie started crying because she wanted to be held so I told her as soon as I was done unloading the cart I would pick her back up. Still crying. But it would've taken me 42 seconds to unload the remainder of the groceries in my cart, I would've picked her back up, and all would've been well.

So the well-meaning (I'm sure) employee asked Averie if she could hold her. Averie CLEARLY yelled no and her crying escalated and this woman PICKED HER UP ANYWAY and Averie went hysterical. It took everything I had to just grab my child back out of her arms instead of any number of choices I would have preferred to do to someone who touched my child against her will, least of all being a tongue lashing. But Lily was still fussing and Averie was hysterical and Hudson was super fidgety and we needed to hurry up and get out of the store. I took Averie and the employee finished unloading my cart (which she should've done the first time instead of picking up my child in the first place. Or just leaving us alone for a minute and letting me get through the checkout lane and leave as quickly as possible). 

So that's my story. We made it all the way to the checkout but then I ended up walking out with two crying girls and a hyperactive 4 year old boy.

I'm sure there are parents who say they would've handled this differently and that what I had done was "wrong" and that's okay. We can agree to disagree on this. The reason I'm sharing this experience is because I want to say that I know that woman was trying to help. I'm sure she recognized the impending meltdowns and was trying to streamline my way out of there. She was very nice and I think she mentioned something about her kids so I'm sure mother-to-mother she was trying to help with my kids instead of employee-to-customer helping with my groceries. 

But here's the thing. She asked my daughter if she could hold her (I will give her credit for asking) and Averie told her no. Screamed it, actually. The second she reached for her I awkwardly angled myself back around the cart to grab my daughter back but it wasn't fast enough. And then when she put her hands on her anyway and removed her from the cart my daughter's hysterics worsened. I was right there to take her out of that woman's arms and try to comfort her but the damage was done. Averie was a mess. She clung to my neck and cried hysterically all the way out the door.

She asked my daughter if she could hold her and Averie told her no. She picked her up anyway. Even I don't touch my daughter without her consent. Please stop hugging/kissing/holding children against their wills. Let's stop teaching our kids that they have no control over their own bodies. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Kings Island

Amazon had an employee appreciation day and sent everyone to Kings Island for the day. We loaded up all the kids and our brand new tandem stroller and tackled the day. Averie's too short to ride anything. Hudson rode one ride with Lucas in Snoopy world and then we spend several hours in the water park before we went to see the dinosaurs. 

Averie hates getting wet. She takes her time to ease into the water and might have a little fun eventually but she doesn't spend a lot of time in pools or anything. I had her on my hip in one of the pools when a couple kids jumped into the water in front of us and splashed us. She. Was. Pissed. Hudson on the other hand is quite the water baby and the only way we got him to leave the water park was by letting him see the dinosaurs.

I wore Lily most of the trip. Averie fell asleep in the stroller leaving the water park and slept off a couple hours that way - just in time to wake up in the car and want to hold my hand for the entire duration of the two hour drive back.

It was a great day, but we were happy to get back home. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Hatfields take Cincinnati

We're in Cincinnati for the night so we can go to Kings Island in the morning. We just checked into our hotel suite. Lucas is unloading gear from the car and I'm feeding Lily. The conversation I'm overhearing:

Averie: HUD-SON!!!!
Hudson: [giggles] YOU WANT ME TO CATCH YOU??!
Averie: [giggles]
Hudson: Jump!!! 
[both laughing]

Have mercy. 

Wish us luck!  

Monday, July 7, 2014

"You've sure got your hands full!"

Well, yeah, I do.

My kids are home this week because it's shutdown week at daycare. I love having them home, but they really thrive at daycare. They really need that socialization and structure and so I have no problem taking them during the week. Lily stays home, but the "big" kids go. It helps that a very dear friend/relative of mine runs the place, admittedly. But this week they're home and I'm enjoying it. But it's only Monday. 

This morning we managed a trip to the grocery...barely...but we made it. Hudson and Averie took their turns "driving" in the car and I wore Lily. They only screamed a handful of times (in cheery laughter, though!) and I had to alert someone to a clean-up in aisle 5 when they dumped about half a bottle of water in the floor. Lily slept almost the entire time, woke up at the end of our trip and looked around for a bit before going back to sleep on my chest. The girl at the checkout didn't give me a choice and helped us out to the car - so thankful for that! I usually turn down the help but I was able to wrangle everyone in their seats this time and it was super helpful.

By the time we pulled out of the parking lot I was ready to swing through McDonald's for lunch because the exhaustion of the grocery trip left me with zero energy to go home and fix lunch. I figured I couldn't be the first mom who spent $100 in the grocery on healthy foods just to run through a drive-thru on the way out, right? I resisted, though, and we had sloppy joes when we got home. 

Then it was nap time. Averie was exhausted and went right to sleep. Hudson, of course, finally fell asleep after three hours of "I'm not tired," and "I'll just play quietly in my room," just in time for Averie to wake up. Lily slept the whole time save a feeding break somewhere in the middle of that nonsense. She is the perfect last baby. She's so easy. I never knew a baby could be so easy. If she had been our first baby we never would've been prepared to deal with the other two.

Anyway, I was just sitting here watching Hudson and Averie play nicely together in the living room while Lily slept peacefully in the mamaroo near them while I started dinner. I realized that the woman in the grocery store who told me I've "sure got [my] hands full" probably didn't mean it as a compliment, but I think it is. My hands are definitely full, but then so is my heart. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Explaining breastfeeding to a preschooler

When I was feeding the baby today while the kids were playing (as I always do) Hudson asked me, "Mommy, why does Lily always eat your nipple?"

So I told him. 

"Because that's how babies eat. That's how babies get their milk."


"When mommies have babies, their breasts make milk so the babies can eat."

"Oh. Well that's pretty cool, huh?"

And he went right back to playing. Such a simple explanation. "That's how babies eat."  That's it. 

So there. I'm doing my part to normalize breastfeeding for the next generation. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Preschoolers are hilarious.

It has been so much fun watching Hudson grow and learn. He's just this miniature human now with his own boisterous personality. He makes me laugh every single day. 

He's learning more with numbers and letters lately. Counting to higher numbers, spelling his name, recognizing written letters. He's doing pretty well, I think, but a couple numbers and letters still confuse him. Seven and eleven rhyme so I suppose that's why they're interchangeable to him but eleventeen is most definitely my favorite number. 

We've started practicing some math with his switch n go dinos. He has 6 of them so I started asking him how many he would have if he added/subtracted X amount. He loves it. Now he asks me to play the math game. So he starts with 6 Dinos on the table and I ask what 6 minus 3 is. He says "take away 3" and moves 3 Dinos to the couch. Then he counts the remaining 3 Dinos on the table and says, "six minus three is THREE!" Fantastic, Hudson. 

The other day he told me Lily is his favorite sister because - and I quote - "she busted out of your belly like POW! Like...Catalina wine mixer POW POW!"

He doesn't give Averie enough credit. She is clearly his best friend right now. She's in the biggest copy phase right now and loves doing whatever he does. It's so adorable and fun to watch! It's hysterical when she beats him at his own games though. The kids have been learning to buckle themselves into their car seats and the other day Averie beat him to it. Hudson is pretty competitive and loves saying "I win! I beat Averie!" after various feats throughout the day (first to undress for bath, first to make it up the stairs, first to finish dinner -- who are we kidding, Averie always wins that one) so when Averie buckled in faster than him I said, "Averie wins!" and he was livid. He spent the next 10 minutes screaming "IT WASN'T A RACE, AVERIE!"

Oh, what a joy motherhood is. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014


You're welcome. 

This dad's tumblr turned into the trending #reasonsmykidiscrying. Check out the social media outlets for more hilarity. 

My kids have these meltdowns regularly. We try to teach them to own their feelings and that it's okay to be sad/mad/hurt whatever and ways to deal with those emotions. When you're mad just take a deep breath and close your eyes. Walk away from what you're mad at if you have to. It's okay to be mad or angry but it's not okay to hit/pinch/bite/push. When you're sad it's okay to cry if that's what makes you feel better.

I think it's going pretty well. I've seen Hudson get mad at Averie and just stand there with eyes closed for a minute taking heavy breaths. Sometimes he still acts on impulse and pushes her away but I think he's doing pretty well for a 3-almost-4 year old. When he's sad he gets into these fits and crying and he screams, "I just can't help ittttt!!" and we tell him it's okay. But it's really hard as an adult to stay understanding of his emotions. It is so easy to say BUT IT'S JUST TOOTHPASTE! But that's not helpful. Their emotions are real to them regardless of how silly it might seem to us. But it's still pretty hilarious when they're distraught over some of these things. 

Averie had one of these meltdowns today:

She tried to be so independent. Today she was trying to get her swimsuit on. She couldn't get the top on....but she didn't want any help with it either. 

And that's why the hashtag was created.