Crayon on the Wall (a right of passage)?

Just in case I was running out of topics to blog about, JP came to the rescue. It was a suspiciously quiet moment when I decided to unload the dishwasher in peace while JP was downstairs “playing.” It wasn’t just that I didn’t hear him throwing trains and cars across the room, I didn’t hear anything.

I figured JP didn’t decide to poop in his pants since he had already done that a few Jp crayonwallhours earlier. So I was truly surprised when I walked downstairs and found JP on the floor, staring at me, with the weapon in hand – a green crayon. I did act mad and told JP he was not supposed to crayon the wall and floor, only paper. But in my head I was thinking, “of course he did this, every kid does this one time.” Right?

After quickly googling how to get crayon off the wall I realized that I had two Mr. Clean Magic Eraser * pads in my cleaning supply cabinet. Whoa did that clean up the crayon fast! My memory of magic eraser was that it didn’t work. I had bought the product when it first came out and maybe the formula has changed since then (about 12 years ago). Or maybe it was because I used it on stucco walls MrCleanspongethe first time. But this time around I was so successful I ran around my whole house with the eraser. The large black lines on my stairwell walls left from moving furniture, gone! I even used the eraser on my greasy painted wall behind the MrCleanspongeafterstove. Now it looks like new. What an easy and fast completely satisfying experience.

Days later I’m still enjoying my spot free walls. Now I just need to find a way to get the nail polish off the fabric shower curtain (that’s another toddler story). Anyone?

* Procter & Gamble has not asked me to review their products nor have they given me anything.

Doggie Poopy

I’ve cleaned dog sh*t from the bottom of my toddler’s shoes way too many times. Is this just the way of life in the city or can we start to expect our neighbors to clean up after their dogs? It’s hard to believe that so many people take on the responsibility of caring for a dog yet neglect to clean up after them. Imagine not cleaning up after your toddler – no one would stand for that!

doggie poopy

It’s definitely not just one person ruining it for the whole bunch of dog owners. And my block isn’t the only one. Check out what these residents of a Ft. Greene block are doing to help eradicate dog poop.

dog poop

So what to do? Other than hanging a sign my husband made (which was promptly torn down) I’ve had to educate JP to watch his step. This has resulted in him naming anything in nature that is brown “doggie poopy.” Mulch, soil, wood chips, yep it’s all doggie poopy to us. That’s my city boy.

Me, I’m stuck saving my newspaper bags to clean up after all those entitled dog owners. When will it end?

Three Tips for Toddler Street Safety

Here are some tips to get your toddler in the habit of being a proactive pedestrian. walking manhand crosswalk







1. Stop and take an adult’s hand at all corners.

2. Wait for the ‘Walking Man*’ before entering the crosswalk. Always look for cars/trucks turning into the crosswalk.

3. Walk bikes, scooters or other toys across the street instead of riding them.

* “Walking Man’ is the name we gave the walk sign so it’s easy to explain. We don’t walk until we see the ‘walking man’ and we wait at the curb when we see ‘the hand’.



Happy birthday (no gifts please)!

Today is JP’s 3rd birthday! It seems like he has been around forever, but its only been 3 short years. I’m hoping this is not the last year we get away with having a very small party for him with no gifts. old car toys

Ok, of course his grandparents got him gifts and his aunts and uncles too. But we didn’t buy him anything and we told party guests not to as well. As a result, JP isn’t excited about opening gifts. He didn’t even get it when I handed him the gifts from his grandparents today. In fact, after playing with his new toys for a little bit he turned to his dad’s old car toys from the 1960s and said “daddy bought these” and zoomed the cars around the house.

So I feel justified in not buying new toys for JP. I’m pretty sure by next year he’ll figure it all out and request something special for his birthday. But until then, less is more!

Sign-up Now: Dr. Marcie’s Behavioral Basics Class

I recently attended one of Dr. Marcie’s classes. I recommend her class for anyone who has questions or concerns about their child’s behaviors.


Behavioral Basics for Parent: In person
August 7th
6:30pm – 8:00 pm EST
Two Moon Cafe – 315 4th Ave, Brooklyn NY
click here for more information and to register


Behavioral Boost: 7 Day Challenge
September 15th – 21st
Start the school year off right with behavioral foundation from Dr. Marcie.
click here for more information and to register

Terrible 2′s (and 3′s and 4′S ?)

toddler tantrumOf course I love every little bit of JP. He’s so yummy, I love to cuddle up with him and cover him in kisses. I love when he says “thank you mommy” in his sweet babyish voice. He’s a super sleeper and we are so thankful and well rested because of it.

Now here’s the but…JP can be a real handful at home. He screams, yells and swats at my husband and me instead of using his words. He likes to throw things across the room and then laugh.

At school, camp, with grandparents and at friends’ houses, JP is a shy perfectly compliant toddler. He smiles a lot and participates in group activities. He has amazing self control and is a good friend.

Sounds like the problem is me not JP, right? I’ve done a lot of reading and continue to learn ways to understand this toddler stage. The scary thing is that toddler behaviors can last until age 5 (and longer if they aren’t addressed). I’m frustrated and sometimes embarrassed when JP acts out in public. I have tried a few different tactics as well as ignoring the behaviors but I have not found anything that works. I’m worried that if these negative behaviors are not eliminated now, they will haunt me forever!

Anyone else here with me?

The Elimination of “Good job”

I’m sure you’ve heard the latest buzz, we shouldn’t be telling our kids “Good job” all the time. Actually Alfie Kohn has been saying this for at least the past 14 years. He says, “In short, “Good job!” doesn’t reassure children; ultimately, it makes them feel less secure. It may even create a vicious circle such that the more we slather on the praise, the more kids seem to need it, so we praise them some more. Sadly, some of these kids will grow into adults who continue to need someone else to pat them on the head and tell them whether what they did was OK.” JP climbing no praise

I get it. JP is so used to hearing us say “Good job” when he completes a task that he praises himself. He will put his spoon in the sink and then say “Good job.” Maybe he thinks it means “task complete?” That’s not good. I know I need to work on phasing this phrase out. Here are some suggested alternatives to saying “Good job.”

Say nothing.

Say what you saw. “You put on your shoes.” “You’re drawing circles.”

Talk less, ask more. “What colors did you use?” “How did you make that?”

Now that I’m aware of trying not to say “Good job” I realize how many other adults in JP’s world say it; teachers, camp counselors, other parents, grandparents. This is going to be a hard phrase to erase!

What do you think? Do you say “Good job” a lot?

Unsolicited Advice

I don’t appreciate unsolicited advice, especially regarding parenting. I doubt I’m alone on this. I’m all for constructive criticism, taking advice from other parents who’ve been there or have practical ideas. But calling out with your own personal parenting style is rude. Mittens

This past winter I was standing on my stoop with my toddler JP who refused to wear his mittens. I finally gave up after hearing the little voice in my head say “pick and choose your battles.” If JP was really cold, he would wear his mittens, right? Just as I made that decision I noticed a mom walking by with two school age girls. She called out to me and said JP should have mittens on. I told her he wouldn’t wear them (giving her a knowing look). Then she said “you better show him who’s boss.” Really? This stranger in front of my house thought she should tell me to choose this battle and make my toddler wear his mittens to show him I’m the one in charge. JP knows I’m in charge. His whole life is revolved around me being in charge. I resisted the urge to tell her what I thought of how her children were dressed.

Maybe a better way the stranger could have handled the situation (other than not saying anything at all) would have been to offer help instead of unsolicited advice. I’m all for community parenting and looking out for each other, but please keep your parenting style to yourself.

Has something like this ever happened to you? Leave a comment about it!

Home Depot: City Vs. Suburb

Ideally I’d like to do all of my shopping at locally owned businesses. But that isn’t always possible. Recently I wanted to buy a few hostas for our shade back garden. My local hardware store didn’t have any hostas and the next closest place didn’t have a parking spot nearby. So I drove down the street to my local Home Depot.

Why are city Home Depots so gross? The parking lot is a mess, there is no customer Hosta BK Home Depotservice at all and the cashier always seems like I’m inconveniencing her by buying something. I searched for the hostas hoping to run in and out with 4 new hostas plants. But all the plants were grown in Florida and then shipped up to NY and looked like this (see photo)!

So I added a trip to Home Depot onto my suburb errand list for the following week. Around the corner from the Tanger Outlets in Deer Park, Long Island, I found a clean well run Home Depot where the customer service was excellent and the employees were happy to sell me 4 hosta plants. I was happy too because not only were the hostas healthy looking, they were grown at a greenhouse right there on Long Island. Look at the difference! Hosta Deer Park Home Depot

Anyone have any ideas on why these two big box stores would be so different?


5 Tips for Smooth Family Living

1. Amazon diaper delivery- Subscribe and Save through Amazon Prime is super convenient. I’ve been using this service for almost three years now (maybe for the last time now that JP is pretty much potty trained). The service was originally free but now there is an annual charge; it’s still worth it. I have Earth’s Best diapers delivered to my door every month and Earth’s Best wipes every 3 months. You set the amount and the delivery frequencies. Amazon sends you reminders before shipping just in case you need to change the diaper size or suspend your order. With the discounts you get for using Subscribe and Save it’s much cheaper than buying at a big box store. Plus you don’t have to carry the diapers home!

2. Flycleaners- This app has changed my life. Ok, in a small way. Instead of walking to icon2my local dry cleaner, I can simply tap the app and a delivery van picks up my dry cleaning within the hour. Delivery is anytime between 6am-midnight so pick a time that works for you. I usually hit the app right after I put JP to bed. Bonus-the prices are cheaper than my local dry cleaner and delivery is free!

3. Meal planning- We don’t do this consistently. But the summer we did it was amazing! No stress on the way home from work thinking about what’s for dinner or what needs to be picked up. All the meals are planned and shopped for before the week starts.

4. Weekends free- Ok this may be really hard, but try to do as much household stuff as you can during the week. If you work full time and have a nanny, outsource some errands to her. If you don’t have a nanny, do some errands on your lunch hour or go grocery shopping solo one weeknight after the kids go to sleep and your partner is home (there is something so satisfying about a date with myself on a Friday night at TJs or Fairway). Trust me, it’s worth it to have the weekends free to do what you really want to do.

5. Take a breather- get a babysitter or join a babysitting co-op and go out for a date Dave Chapelle date nightnight. If you can’t swing that, at least have each partner take a night off to do something for herself /himself (movie, massage, exercise, drink with a friend, book reading, etc)