Kid Peeves: 5 Perfectly Innocent Things My Toddlers Do That Drive Me F*%#in’ Nuts

Play-Doh, Play-Doh cans

Like anybody’s kids, mine do things that drive me nuts, but most of the time, that’s exactly what they’re trying to do. They’re hoping that the 5,000th time they ask me for ice cream will be the one where I finally give in because I’m going to have a nervous breakdown if I have to keep saying no. The same goes for when they’re rubbing mashed potatoes in their hair at dinner or belting out “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” when they’re supposed to be napping. Even at 3 1/2, they are virtuosos at pushing Daddy’s buttons.

Sometimes, though, they can fill me with unbridled rage without even trying. Kids can drive you nuts just by being kids, doing things that are perfectly developmentally appropriate, even beneficial for them.

What really frustrates me about these things is that I can’t punish the kids for them. All I can do is quietly seethe, ride the behavior out and then write blog posts in the hope that other parents out there might relate. Please, please tell me you do.

These are 5 of my Kid Peeves:

1. Mixing Play-Doh colors.

Cinderella, Play-Doh, Spin & Style Cinderella

(l-r) our Cinderella, the Cinderella on the box

See all those cool things the kids on the box of the Play-Doh Fun Factory are making? The bright yellow bananas and pretty pink ribbons? Well, we can make those in my house for about two minutes. After that, my kids have mushed all the colors together into one messy swirl, which never looks like it’s supposed to when pressed into the molds or wrapped around the ball gown of the Spin and Style Cinderella.

I know, it’s their toy, and I shouldn’t tell them how to play with it. It’s probably good for them to experiment and make a mess with it. But eventually, they get frustrated that all their Play-Doh is the color of puke. “Daddy, where’s orange?” they’ll whimper.

“Where’s orange? Where’s orange?! It’s mushed in with green and purple and that glittery blue so it’s all just one turd-brown mess. Good luck making something out of that!”

Then I sigh and open another can of orange… which stays orange for about 5 seconds before being pressed into the turd with all the other colors.

No wonder our Play-Doh budget is killing us.

2. Questioning my knowledge.

One Direction, The WantedI thought my kids would be teenagers before they decided I was full of crap. But at three years old, they already doubt 90% of what comes out of my mouth, which is really frustrating because their other dad and I are their sources for roughly 100% of the information they seek. It burns the most when it’s something I’m clearly an expert on, like the alphabet (“I swear, kangaroo starts with ‘K’, not ‘C’!”) or One Direction songs.

“Daddy, who sings this song?”

“One Direction.”

“No, it’s the Wanted.”

“No, it’s One Direction!”

“It’s the Wanted!”

“It’s One Direction! It says it right here on my iPod. ‘Last First Kiss’ by One Direction. You can’t read it but I can, and that’s what it says. Hear that? Those are Niall’s harmonies! It’s One Direction! Admit it! Admit it!”

3. Reading the same books over and over.

Little Engine That Could, Watty PiperA few years ago, I read the book “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon, and it was so good that I read it a second time. Then, I moved on with my life. My kids do not understand this concept. We’ll get to the end of one of their favorite books, and they’ll instantly want to read it again. And again.

And again.

I know repetition is good for kids, and so are familiarity and routine. Plus, when you like something a lot, you don’t want it to end. But Daddy’s not getting quite as much enjoyment out of our 1,000th reading of “The Little Engine That Could.” We know he’s getting up the hill, dammit. Do we really need to read ten pages of “I think I can!”?

Sure, for the first few dozen times, I’m sharpening my dramatic reading of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” I’m rehearsing the best way to hit all the punchlines in “Don’t Let Pigeon Drive The Bus” and just where to pause for laughs. (Attention children’s theater companies: if you need someone to play the bus driver, I’ve got the part down cold.)

We don’t even bother to hold the book of “Goodnight Moon” anymore, because we all know it by heart. The pictures are permanently ingrained in our minds, like haunting memories of misspent youth or that chilling napalm photo from the Vietnam War.

4. “Forgetting” how to do things.

Everyone’s heard the old saying, “It’s like riding a bicycle. You never forget.” Well, my kids could forget how to ride a bicycle. They forget everything. They forget how to put their coats on, how to get GoGurt out of the tube, how many daddies they have. They forget the dance moves we choreographed to that Ke$ha song, which we’ve practiced like A HUNDRED TIMES. When they’re counting to 20, they sometimes forget the number 17. Or 12. It varies.

They forget how knock-knock jokes are supposed to go. I can’t stand that the most childish form of humor has such a rigid structure that actual children can’t possibly get it right. “Say ‘Boo who?’!” I find myself shouting half the time. “C’mon, the joke only works if you say ‘Boo who?’! Say it!”

And speaking of humor…

5. Not laughing at my hilarious jokes.

"Is this thing on?"

“Is this thing on?”

Like a struggling stand-up, I’m all too used to my punchlines being met with blank stares and the sound of crickets. I bomb daily in front of my kids. Try as I might, I just can’t get them to appreciate my subtle comedy stylings.Β  Talk about a tough room. What sucks the most is that 90% of the time, they’re the only room I have.

Forget sarcasm, deadpan, word play, insults, Borscht Belt, dirty limericks or references to supporting actors from obscure 80s sitcoms. It all goes right over their head.

Just about the only humor my kids appreciate right now are toot (i.e., “fart”) jokes and physical comedy. Sure, they love when daddy falls down. Only daddy wasn’t trying to be funny. He really fell, and he’s hurt. Stop laughing and get him an ice pack, you monsters!

*****

Have your own kid peeves? I’d love to hear them in the comments section. And if you like mine, please share this post on Facebook, Twitter or whatever. (“whatever” btw is the name of a new social network. All the cool kids are on it.) It also makes me very happy when people like me on Facebook, so if you haven’t already, hey, won’t you please, because my kids would totally never do that for me.

117 comments on “Kid Peeves: 5 Perfectly Innocent Things My Toddlers Do That Drive Me F*%#in’ Nuts

    • why don’t you make your own at home? it is cheap,simple, fun to make for kids and ready in few minutes… any colour you wish by adding food colouring, safe and even edible… but not tasting that good though, so they would taste in only once πŸ˜€

  1. For me, it has to be little kids’ unawareness of their own voice levels. Inside voice? Outside voice? Pretendwe’reinthelibraryvoice? None of those analogies work for the littles. My youngest is 7 and still half-yells everything that comes out of her mouth. I’M SITTING. RIGHT. HERE, Kaelyn. I can hear you. I promise I can. And by the way, Kaelyn, you’ve already asked me five times what we were having for dinner. I said, “Chicken.” Asking with different inflections and at different volumes will not change my answer.

    • Good one! We went out to lunch today, and they were SHOUTING everything they said, just because they were excited. They had no idea the whole restaurant could hear them. I had to keep trying to quiet them down. πŸ™‚

  2. For me, it has to be little kids’ unawareness of their own voice levels. Inside voice? Outside voice? Pretendwe’reinthelibraryvoice? None of those analogies work for the littles. My youngest is 7 and still half-yells everything that comes out of her mouth. I’M SITTING. RIGHT. HERE, Kaelyn. I can hear you. I promise I can. And by the way, Kaelyn, you’ve already asked me five times what we were having for dinner. I said, β€œChicken.” Asking with different inflections and at different volumes will not change my answer.

  3. We do ok with play doh, but I have a similar problem when we get out the paints. What starts as a beautiful, colorful painting ends up looking like poop smeared all over paper by the end as my daughter mixes all the colors together! And then I’m supposed to keep the painting and hang it somewhere!

    • Yes! I’m reminded of a line from Six Degrees of Separation (which I only remember because my college acting teacher had the role). When Donald Sutherland praises the grade school teacher for what beautiful artwork her students make, she said, “There’s no secret, really. I just know when to take their paintings away from them.”

  4. Oh the play-doh! The Play-doh! I still have nightmares.

    Ex-preschool teacher here, on a pretty low wage, without a school budget for more play-doh. Oh the agony.

    But we had kitchen supplies! So we made our own! And I let them chose the coloring and mix it in themselves. Then I told them if they mixed it together it would be ugly and they wouldn’t be able to make cool looking snakes anymore so they had to keep it separate.

    It worked…for a couple weeks.

  5. How about when they beg for the impossible, but they are only two, so they don’t understand your response. This was today:

    Wanna go Ryan’s house.
    Ryan’s not home.
    Pwease pwease pwease pwease
    Ryan’s not home. If we go there, the house will be empty.
    Pwease pwease pwease pwease
    HE’S NOT THERE
    Pwease go to Ryan’s house, pwease pwease pwease

    And you can’t get angry, because they really aren’t doing anything wrong, but inside, the boiling…and toddlers are AMAZING for how long they can keep it up…

  6. You are sooooo entertaining. I don’t know whether this will be of help to you but I strongly suggest that you get your Mom a fabulous present for Easter and Mother’s Day. Now you know for sure she earned it. I also got the feeling – its probably time for nursery school or is it kindergarten time already!? I’m sure you relish your weekends when their other Daddy can entertain them for a change. lol

    Keep it up – you’re doing great!

    I do have a suggestion – have them take turns reading the same book you just read to them – and have them read it out loud into a recorder. Then play it back for them – that will keep them entertained while you relax a bit.

  7. When I was a kid it made me FURIOUS when the other kids mixed all the Play-Doh colors. I can understand the mistake the first time. But after that? Not cool.

  8. All of the above. Absolutely. Their stamina for things insane is amazing, I’m enjoying the relative quiet that comes with older and teenager kids. Their stamina then consists of other things that drive you nuts.

  9. Oh the play-doh! I remember those days. These days however, my daughter likes to make me crazy with obnoxious questions like “How many things are we getting at the store?” and she wants an exact count. Whatever you do don’t guess, she’s keeping track. I thought the problem could be solved by handing her the list but that only causes her ask “Is that on the list?” every time I throw anything into the cart. Arrrggg! This is how kids get left in cars!

    • Oh my, Julie Ann – both of my sons started doing that (6&4) DOING MY HEAD IN!!! But I got them back by leaving ‘their’ things off the list…oh, no, sorry, we can’t get those little lunch milks you like, they are not on the list. Flavoured yoghurt? Oh sorry, the list just says plain.

      And back on topic, my biggest peeve with play doh is those pictures they have on the box and the ‘make spaghetti hair’ etc machines that MASH ALL THE COLOURS TOGETHER!! My kids inherited a huge dose of anal retentiveness and hate the colours getting mashed…but they want their creation to look like the box…soooo mummy is stuck separating tiny little bits of play doh back into their separate colours… It got so bad one day that my then 4 1/2 year old (extremely sweet natured little boy) gently took the ball of doh from my shaking hands and said in a perfect imitation of my don’t-have-melt-down-calm voice: It’s ok mummy, it’s ok, here, let’s just put in the bin. There we go. It’s ok now.

      We have moved on to paper craft now.

  10. Mhhhh, yeah, now that you mention kid peeves… The repeated questions without even bothering to listen to my answer(s). The singing. I mean, I know it’s good that he sings and all, but does it have to be the same senseless line for 4 hours straight?! Oh, and the latest: mirrors! He is standing on a stool in front of the wash basin in the bathroom and I am trying to wash him head to toe (1st he hates showering and 2nd water is expensive here in the desert). It drives me dilly when he then grimaces at himself, touches the reflection of his finger and even grins over his shoulder when I make him turn around, grrrrr! It’s his favourite game at the moment and I am sure half of its appeal is that it makes me crazy!
    Great post, Jerry, as always. Who with kids could not relate!

    • Thanks, Sandra. Love those examples. I went up to order my kids’ sandwiches at Subway today and heard them belting out in unison “Don’t you worry, don’t you worry child!” as that song played over the radio. It was cute, but I’m sure it was only cute to me, not the other people there.

  11. Markers and socks. Why can’t anyone put the cap back on the marker so that it won’t dry out the day after you get a new pack? Socks…where do they go and the f@*k decided it was a good idea to not match the shoe size to the sock size. It is hard enought to remember the shoe size of 5 kids but now I have to remember their sock size too or spend hours and hours doing conversions from one to the other because again they lose one of every sock….

    • Oh boy… putting caps back on markers — yes! And when they do it, they’re never snapped all the way on, or the cap color doesn’t match the marker color, which frustrates them the next time they go to use it. I guess I’m lucky re: socks only having one boy and one girl. It’s pretty clear whose socks are whose, and even if I mix them up, they’re still the same size. I feel for you!

    • I buy my kids different socks just to avoid that. My girl gets pink, one son gets ankle socks with color trim, and the other gets colored toes.

  12. This post made me laugh out loud. My little one isn’t quite as old as yours, but he can drive me nuts too. Particularly every time he rams his elbow into my pregnant boobs in order to then knee me in the pregnant belly to get out of sitting with me. Best part of my day.

  13. I am so with you on most of these! I also hate it when the Barbie shoes get separated, when she rearranges the way I had the dollhouse furniture, and the face that she wastes every sticker she gets by either plastering them on her shirt (which only lasts one day until I peel them off before washing it) or taking them off of the front of the sticker sheet, only to place them all on the back!

    • Yes on stickers! The worst is when a storybook comes with stickers in it. The stickers only last for one read-through of the book, then every other time we read it, they’re upset because there are no stickers left! And we have a lot of barefoot dolls in my house. I can’t even try putting Belle’s shoes on Cinderella, even if those are the only ones I can find. She will NOT have any of that!

  14. Wiping their peanut butter covered hands on their pants. Ugh!! Also, right now my 2 year old has asked me to “No sing mom y” so I stop singing and maybe start dancing and I hear “No dancing mommy”. Whatever, “Cover your ears if you don’t want to hear me sing”.

    You are so funny, so full of truth and honesty. Love it.

  15. I don’t mind too much. Many parents complain about loud toys and I just say I ignore them and they aren’t a bother. I think the thing that bothers me most is when he touches things in public bathrooms.
    Oh my goodness I will have a mini heart attack.
    We were out yesterday and he picked up “potty paper” off the floor and I was like NO, NO, NO!!! I freaked out, I did.. I felt bad. I scrubbed his hands and put sanitizer on them while trying to explain to him (he’s two) that there could be germs on that! I hate germs.
    Am I going to turn my kid into a germaphobe?
    Maybe. But I freak out over them, I don’t even know if I can control it sometimes. He’s curious he’s going to touch and look but oh my gosh if he is within 2 feet from a toilet seat I am like, you back up now!
    Also, I hate others peoples kids germs. From them attempting to use my child’s sippy cup to their snot, & them licking me..yes that has happened!
    I’ve actually been the parent to look at a child who is thinking about grabbing my child’s cup and say, Don’t do it!! Then snatch it from them. I’m horrible but anything else I don’t really mind too much.

      • Hehehee. I laughed OUT LOUD!!!

        This is totally me all the time in any public bathroom, clean or not..because you can’t see germs. I wasn’t always like this..it is actually something that is getting worse and I didn’t notice it until about 4 years ago.. before I ever thought I’d have a kid..actually the first moment I realized I hated germs was when I thought I don’t want kids.

        A three year old licked me… licked my freaking hand!! I was a cashier at menards, where the customers are on the same side of the register as the cashier. I don’t know why but she licked me and I swear I felt the germs scatter all over my hand. Oh it was horrible. I freaked out and ran to the restroom as soon as they left.
        As a child I had little things like not sitting on toilet seats but now it’s anything. Lol

      • I wonder what the right amount of germophobia is to instill in kids. I get grossed out when placing my kids on public toilet seats without covers on them – something I would never do myself. But I wonder if it’s better that they can deal with that, since, well, sometimes you have to.

      • When it cones to that stuff i think its ok, i learnt about germs on toilet seats very young but then again I’ve always squatted, coveted it in tons of toilet paper or carry lysol in my purse flr the really bad situations. i feel crazy now, saying that.
        was kind of taking a lady working at bath & body works about this. My child loves hand sanitizer .. I just gave him some then he asked for hers. I said I hope I’m not creating an intense germaphobe she said kids come in all the time to buy their 5 for $5 sanitizer and they collect and trade them so u felt more normal.
        I think for kids these days it’s more if a norm to be germ conscious. Or at least it seems like it in my mind..a mind that hates germs.
        Now I was just eating lunch and this lady freaked out bc her kids touched the tables and chairs after washing hands lol… That’s too far!

  16. A pet peeve… Answering my explanation with another ‘why’… ”please don’t rub your hands all over that, your hands are dirty, go wash them please” ”why”… Bahhhhhh!

  17. Oh how I agree! Because the mother of the girls I nanny for is a bit Type A, shall we say, she lets loose on me if the play-doh colors are mixed (I don’t like it either, but I don’t yell at HER!) I have since implemented the 1-color-at-a-time rule, it’s all I can do.

    The books, oh lord. I once read Green Eggs and Ham so many times in a row my throat got sore, when I finally plead vocal fatigue and said I needed a break, it did not go over well- even though started “reading” it together and clearly didn’t need me. (“You like green eggs ham?” “NO!” -giggle- “Fox, box, mouse, house?” “NO!” -giggle-)

    As far as forgetting things, how about forgetting how to put on a shoe? Or forgetting how to open your mouth and put food in it? Is it fun to cram a spoon full of black beans into your closed mouth? What is with that???

    My big one lately is the need to say everything 500million times. Since we’re potty training, the rule is that you can only go on the furniture after peeing in the potty, so now when they go in the potty, they jump on the couch like it’s the gateway to Nirvana, then run back to me and ask, “On the couch? Can I go on the couch?” Somewhere around the 400th time they ask, I start to crack and have to school myself against screaming, “No! No couch for you!” because I know they’re just proud that they did their thing and got a reward for it.

    The final one is that they have finally figured out that they don’t have to listen to me if mom’s around. Mom is a nice lady, but she’s told me that she needs a nanny because she “doesn’t have it in her” to control her kids, she lets them get away with everything. With me, they don’t whine, they sleep at nap time instead of playing, they pick up after themselves and listen very well. If she’s there, they cling to her whining, “Mommy!” and forget that they know more than 20 words. All kids act different depending on who’s around, it’s part of their development because they’re searching out limits and pushing their boundaries, but when they’re clinging, whining and staring at me with a little toddler look that says, “Hahaha, and you have to sit there and take it like a b****.” it makes me twitch like I can’t even tell you!

    • Oh boy, that is rough. I can’t imagine as a caregiver what it’s like not being on the same page discipline-wise as the mom. But as I’ve learned with my partner, who gets to be Fun Dad when he comes home from work, sometimes it’s fun to play bad cop. I suggest when they give you that look, you glare back with a look that says, “Enjoy it now, kid. As soon as Mommy leaves, you are IN FOR IT!” πŸ™‚

  18. Legos. Chess pieces. Checker Pieces. Where the heck do they all go? I found some the other day. . . YEARS later, in a little plastic container in the closet. Chess pieces from a set I bought in Mexico when my oldest was 12. . . a decade ago.

    As for the books, you might try what we did. I started changing the story of the books by substituting really funny (to me) phrases while I read their favorites to them. Sometime arguments ensued, but usually just giggles.

    I can really relate to the person who mentioned how they wipe their hands on their pants. What’s crazy is that they look at me while they are doing it, saying, “I’m not wiping my hands on my pants.” Um. Also, I totally relate to the play dough thing.

    • Yes, I totally agree on the not keeping toy pieces together. The worst is when they “play” with puzzle pieces throughout the house, because once one piece is lost, the puzzle is pretty much worthless, and then I’ll keep finding pieces everywhere for weeks.

  19. My friend’s little girl, Catie, used to make a noise like this “mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm” for DAYS on end. On the fourth day, my friend warned me I might be attending a funeral. Luckily for both friend and Catie, she finally stopped, but my friend was just about going bonkers with it. Btw, home made play dough rocks!

  20. Leaving small pieces of Lego on the floor and, I swear, waiting around the corner to see if this time they manage to kill me. What really makes me hit parental overdrive is leaving the lids off my koki pens. Not theirs. Mine.

      • I wish you luck… I am pleased to say that of the words they have learnt, they’re not from me… Lol

    • I’m actually pleased that when they do curse which I don’t appreciate that they use it in the right context! LOL! My husband and I always know by the word which one of us they learnt it from! πŸ™‚

  21. Agreed with the pet peeves above-especially Play Doh and reading the same books a hundred times in a row. I’ll add a pet peeve that should be perfect for their age that I am thankfully over at this point-the question “Why?” It can be never ending!

  22. HAAAAAAAAAA….you brought back such memories. Stop sweating the small stuff..not worth it. Come ten years from now you will be begging for those F#*!ing nuts incidents to reoccur.
    Wanna hear what drives me Nucking Futs from my college kids?….it’s the main cause of the fifty shades of grey on my hairline..

  23. Mixing up play-dough bothers me too, even though I know I did it when I was little. It looks so beautiful when it is brand new, and then they WRECK IT! It also bothers me when kids play with toys the wrong way. Like you try to play Candy Land with them and they just want to dance the little gingerbread guys all over the board. THIS IS NOT HOW YOU PLAY!

    • Ugh, my kids do NOT understand games. I’ve had your Candyland problem with Chutes and Ladders. We have the Sesame Street version, so the game tokens are little mini Elmo, Cookie Monster, etc. Not a CHANCE they’re going to play with them the right way.

  24. Oh yes! Very familiar for me! I had 4 children in 4.5 years! So lots of mess and lots and lots and lots of the same story. Good thing is knowing Goodnight Moon off by heart because I have used reciting that story in the vehicle to calm some child down by saying it over and over! Lucky for us kids are distracted easily and move on to another story! You should check out the Dino books, Dino Hockey, Baseball, Soccer, Basketball, Football. All rhyming and repitious but a bit different storyline! And the best is to read it like the sports announcer!

    • I should add for my children anyways, the older 3 have taken to putting their dirty clothes under their bed instead of the laundry hamper and then they are upset with me because they have no clothes!! They are 9 & 8 & 6 they should know where dirty clothes go!

    • Ooh, I’ll have to check into that. I, too, used Goodnight Moon to calm them when they would wake up crying at night. It doesn’t quite do the trick anymore, but I can’t stop, for tradition’s sake.

  25. My 4 year old talks all the freaking time. He HATES silences. Sure, it’s great that he is working on his verbal skills, and helping his 2 year old brother in the process, but seriously. He even talks to himself when he’s going to the bathroom. I want to say: Take a breath. Sit still for a minute. Just STOP TALKING!! But I grin and bear it since, like you mention, there is really nothing inherently wrong with his actions.

    Also, I’ve given up with Play-doh and accept that everything we make will be puke brown.

    Love your blog!

  26. My little ones have managed to lose like three remotes now. I have rearranged the living room, cleaned the whole thing out, cleaned the rest of the house and still have not found the damn dvd remote. The tv remote I found a month after I bought a new one in the box of Christmas ornaments. They also have to huff and puff and yell and stomp their feet all the time which makes me want to scream. Asking me “why” every time I tell the big one not to do something. I didn’t ask for a question and answer period, I just want you to stop!! Mostly though, I have nothing to complain about. My girls are pretty freaking cool. Most of the time anyway. πŸ™‚

    • Luckily, I’ve been able to keep them from holding the remotes so far. I keep them on top of the TV so they can’t reach them. They’re starting to figure them out, though, so I’m sure they’ll start asking for them soon.

  27. My children’s innate ability to use my own words against me….like the time it was my son’s turn to press the remote control for the garage (yup, everything had to be even and fair…) and I asked him for it back without saying please. “Gimme gimme never gets”. Seriously. Or when I raised my voice and my daughter said, Mom when you do that I still love you, but I’m disappointed in you.

  28. when my kids ask questions, somehow it feels more like an interrogation. I am all for them asking, but I get tired of feeling like the presidential press secretary.

  29. Pingback: 5 Perfectly Innocent Things My Toddlers Do That Drive Me Nuts

  30. My 4 year old also talks non stop. For hours and hours, sometimes I wonder if he breathes.

    But what really gets me are the lies, obvious one. For ex- before dinner, i know he didn’t wash his hands and I”ll ask, “did you wash your hands?”

    And he replies, “I already did.”

    NO YOU DID NOT!!

    perhaps I need to drink more wine….

    • Oh yes, I can never trust when they say they washed their hands. I have to check to see if they’re still wet, because they’re terrible at drying them off afterward. πŸ™‚

  31. kid-peave: Our four year old loves to play games on our tablet or on our phones or anything with a screen. Except he doesn’t actually want to play. He wants to sit in our laps while he watches us play. We can’t ever play what mommy or daddy wants to play. It is always angry birds and heaven forbid you get less than three stars. I can’t tell you how sick and tired I am of Angry Birds 😦

    The playdough solution: Our kids have tons of ‘mixed up’ playdough tubs, and each time we play they are allowed to have a few new mini tubs of fresh colors. You know those cute little miniature playdough tubs they make for every holiday? the ones that come in packs of 18 and you are supposed to give out as halloween treats, or christmas stocking stuffers, or school valentines, or easter egg prizes… well they all go on the clearance rack the day after those holidays! I stock up!!!!

  32. Ah, the repeated kids’ books. I have suffered that fate as well. Why do they always seem to choose the books we don’t like?!

    I actually wrote a blog post on this and collected a huge list of suggestions from other parents on what books we can stand reading repeatedly: Original post soliciting responses here – http://clifonline.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/inspire-me-childrens-books-that-only-get-better/
    and a concise list of the suggested books here – http://clifonline.org/lyrically-alluring-reads/
    Maybe you’ll enjoy some of those and you can forget “Goodnight Moon” for a while.

    What gets me: peeing in the fresh bath. I can’t really get mad at the kid, ’cause he’s not even potty-trained yet. But, seriously, I just filled that tub with clean water and now I have to choose between the guilt of bathing my child in pee-filled water or the guilt of wasting a whole tub-worth of water!

    I’m really enjoying reading your blog. If you’re half as funny in person as you are in your writing, I don’t see why you hear crickets when you crack jokes at home.

    • Awesome. Here I am griping about having to read books over and over, and you actually did something about it. I love your list. Just tweeted it out. And I couldn’t agree more about peeing in the tub. I’ll warn you: they still do that after they’re potty trained, too!

      • Thanks for sharing the blog post. Maybe we’ll get some more great suggestions to add to the list. And don’t sweat it – the post was born of much griping!

        Guess I have to get used to the bathtub pee…

  33. The like button is not a strong enough response. I love this! The playdough thing drives me insanse and why should I care, its their playdoh. I also have to organize all their figures, like disney guys go in one bin, star wars in another, marvel superheros in yet another. they just have to mess it up. And my oldest, who is 9 1/2, has to challenge my knowledge all of the time. from song lyrics to state capitals to languages. Right now my favorite is my 15 month old daughter, only because she can’t speak

  34. I love this! This is the first of your posts I have come across and I am going to have to go find some more! As the mom of a 1 and 2 year old, I definitely get the play doh thing. And painting. But I think the thing that drives me the most nuts is when I put the one year old down for his nap, and lie down in my bed with my two year old to let him watch a movie while I nap (I’m also 31 weeks pregnant so napping is essential to me, even if it’s not to him) and I constantly get pat pat pat ‘mom… mom wake up… mom look Thomas is on tv’ Garg. I know. I put it on. For you. So I could sleep. Sigh. Love having kids πŸ˜€

  35. Coloring things the wrong color. I know… its creativity and its great… but its really not… might be my OCD but it absolutely drives me insane when kids color the monkey orange and the tree blue. Ok when they are tiny but as they get older…nutzo. I have to grit my teeth. Honey, Monkeys are brown….remember at the zoo?

    • I totally get it, but that doesn’t bug me. When I hand them crayons or markers, it’s usually just to keep them occupied for 5-10 minutes. My reaction is always the same, “Ooh, I love that!” (though I fail to add “… because it gave me time to empty the dishwasher”.)

  36. This post was hilarious! I hate play doh with the fury of a thousand suns! Also, we’ve memorized goodnight moon too… maybe we should get together and do a skit, I’ll be the bowlful of mush.

  37. Oh my, the Play D’Oh! I cringe when my daughter gets any – from Granny, loot bags, dollar store. Anywhere. Then of course it gets mashed into the carpet never to be removed again! On the same note as your repeated books – do your kids watch the same movies over and over again?? My five year old can nearly recite Tangled from memory. πŸ™‚

  38. OMG, I about died laughing! For #2: My kindergartner once asked me what comes after V, when I said W she said, “Wait…” then went through the whole alphabet herself before saying, “Yep, you’re right.” Thanks.

    And then the knock-knock jokes! I tried to tell her the banana, banana, orange you glad I didn’t say banana knock-knock joke once and after 2 bananas, she refused to “go to the door”! After I finally got her to give me one more “who’s there” and finished the joke, she said, “That’s not even funny, Mommy.” I mean, I know it’s not *really* funny, but she’s in Kindergarten – she should find it hilarious!

    Thanks for the laugh, and know you are so not alone. (I’m also sending this to my sister because she’s with you 100% on the Play-Doh!)

  39. This post had me on the floor dying. I have a soon-to-be 14 year old and one that is going to be one this month. Both boys. I haven’t had too much trouble with the baby yet, but my oldest is a little smartass, genius. He questions everything. Now normally, I don’t consider that a bad thing, however, here’s an example. When he was TWO, we were at the park. I told him to go over to the jungle gym so I could take a picture of him. His response: “Why? Mommy, are you a tourist?” I about died.

    • That’s awesome. I happen to love smartasses, and it’s nice to hear he kept his attitude as he got older. Of course, my opinion of smartasses may change a bit when I have a 14 year old smartass of my own. πŸ™‚

  40. Love the way you’re handling your kids with openness and flexibility needed in these times. In our time, moms were like dictators, you can’t complain because they’re always right and your opinion doesn’t count. An old school of thought, yet I sometimes catch myself being MY mom at times.

    My worry about my 3-year smart aleck is that she’s a parrot, so we have to be careful about what we say within hearing range or she’ll broadcast it at her own punchline moments with impeccable timing. We also need to tell kids CORRECTLY what the stuff we use in the house are. One time, at a grocery store, she shouted in the aisle, “We’re going to buy Mommy’s DIAPER!”, referring to my sanitary napkin.

    I usually talk to her in an adult manner, when I explain things calmly (why she can’t go out in the rain, or visit her cousin, etc.), as if I am talking to someone of my level. One time, she asked me to play with my Ipad, and I said I was using it. She crossed her arms, put her face close to mine, and quietly said, “Do you want me to spank you?”

    Lastly, because she’s a product of two photographers, she’s got to be the most photographed kid in the world since before she was born (I have dark images of my tummy being sliced open, my innards as she was taken out of my womb, and I was sewn back like a cast in the Walking Dead…I call it fine art photography, she calls them scary). So she’s used to the gears and photography discussions around the house, plus I take photos of her every single day. She has her own Barbie camera and we have to pose and smile when she says so.

    Lately, she’s becoming a critique as well (I do photo workshops). After I took her picture, she rushed to my side to view the image on my cellphone. Without blinking, my 3-year old declared: “It’s blurred.”

    Keep on blogging, Jerry. Beyond our woes, nitpicking and frustrations, we all know that parenting needs superhuman skills, extraordinary love and a little bit of magic. That is why we’re superheroes to our children.

    Guess you have to prepare for “Where do babies come from?” πŸ˜€

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