Tag - Miss Skye

The House Hunt

Miss Skye will go to kindergarten next year (say WHA–?!), which means I have been obsessively researching schools and options in the Los Angeles area.  And by “obsessively,” I mean spending pretty much every waking second on it.  I no longer have time for mundane tasks such as feeding my children and acknowledging my family’s presence — LEAVE MOMMY ALONE, SHE HAS TO GOOGLE “WHAT THE HELL IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MAGNET AND A CHARTER SCHOOL AND WHY IS THIS ALL SO FREAKING HARD WHEN ALL I HAD TO DO AS A KID WAS WALK TO THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DOWN THE STREET?!?!?!”  To which Google responds, “Lay off the Caps Lock, woman.  You’re giving me a headache.”

Yeah, well, I’ll tell you what a headache is — navigating the L.A. school system.  We’re not fortunate enough to be assigned to one of the better elementary schools, so I’ve been wading through private school brochures, dozens of sites explaining the district’s point system (you need a Ph.D in Mathematics to understand it, true story), inter-district applications, intra-district applications, and charter and magnet school reviews.  After my endless research and hand-wringing, Mr. Candy and I arrived at a very thoughtful conclusion:

Screw it.  We’re moving to a good school district.

So we’re movin’ on down…to the beach side.  We’ve been in the process of looking at houses down there — a process that means very little to a two-year-old (Drew is just irritated that it takes precious time away from playing outside) and getting your hopes repeatedly raised and crushed to a four-year-old.  Every time we go to an open house, it goes like this:

Every.  Single.  Time.  It also raises the hopes of the realtors showing the houses, who can’t help but notice Skye’s excitement and coo:  “Awww.  I think SHE’S ready to move in right now!”  I’m sure this tactic is in the Selling Houses for Dummies book — “If your potential buyers are parents, note that their weak spot is their children:  POUNCE!” — but when the child declares she wants to buy every house she steps foot in, said parents become decidedly less moved by the child’s enthusiasm.

“Yeah, she acts that way at all the open houses,” I say and roll my eyes, much to the realtor’s chagrin.  But it’s true.  Even if we went to, say, a trash dump, I’m confident it would go like this:

(Actually, we have seen places like this that have sold for seven figures.  Welcome to L.A.!)  And when I explained to Skye that it was a DUMP…?  A literal dump?  Her answer invariably would be:

*Sigh*  Poor kid.

 

Wherein I Explain to My Four-Year-Old Daughter Why Rihanna Wears a Loincloth as a Shirt

I put our four-year-old daughter to bed every night.  Miss Skye is a shameless Mommy’s Girl who requests — nay, DEMANDS — my daily bedtime services, namely giving her a piggyback ride up the TWO FLIGHTS to her bedroom (with kids like her, who need StairMasters?), making sure she brushes her teeth for more than a nano-second, crushing her dreams of wearing a princess dress to bed, reading her a book, watching a music video on the iPad, telling her a made-up story and, sometimes, also singing a song to her — then trying to make an escape as she desperately searches for more excuses to make me linger in her room.  Quite the bedtime extravaganza, eh?  It is exhausting.  Ridiculously time-consuming.  Yet I wouldn’t have it any other way.  She wants to spend time with me!  She showers me with hugs and kisses!   Okay, yes, I may even let her wear a princess dress to bed from time to time. Because I’m easy like that.  Also because I’m too weak to argue after hoisting 40 pounds of preschooler up TWO FLIGHTS OF STAIRS.  Which I’m sure is all part of her master bedtime plan.

Well-played, Miss Skye.  Well-played, indeed.

The trickiest part of our routine — beyond how to get out of Skye’s room before she asks for her 155th cup of water — is deciding on a music video to watch.  Not to get all Old Lady on you, but they don’t make videos like they did way back in my day before electricity and running water and Google Plus.  Heck, Robin Thicke’s not-so-Blurred topless models and Miley Cyrus’… well, Miley Cyrus-ness… make me long for more innocent music scandals, like Madonna’s cone bra.  Remember the outrage about that thing?  MADONNA’S BRA!  SO SHINY!  SO POINTY!  My god, at least she was wearing a bra.  Which is more than we can ever say for Miley.

Okay, so I went all Old Lady on you.  I actually think I’m pretty laid-back when it comes to this stuff — I’ve been known to let my kids dance around to the Jimmy Fallon version of Blurred Lines and I may or may not have giggled when my four-year-old daughter belted out, “I KISSED A GIRL AND I LIKED IT!” at my mother-in-law’s house — but I still have to scan my mental checklist when considering options for our nightly music video viewing:

This requires a knowledge of music videos I previously did not possess (I mean, does anybody watch videos except for curious four-year-olds and concerned parents assessing them for unexpected nipple appearances* and oral sex references?).  Now, however, I have a pretty good handle on the contents of any video featuring Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber (or “Justin Beaver,” as Skye calls him… and I do not correct her), Beyonce, Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera and other performers of that ilk.  Although I usually try to persuade Skye to go the safer route, with fare such as illegally uploaded YouTube princess videos (you have to be careful with those, too — some really creepy dudes with unsavory princess fantasies out there), old Hannah Montana videos or anything involving Taylor Swift (*YAWN*  *BUT-OH-SO-CATCHY*), she will sometimes want to push the envelope with, say, Selena Gomez. Even a generally harmless Selena Gomez video can lead to, um, less-than-desirable conversation.

I, being a cool mom and all, am of course as honest as possible with my daughter.

In my defense, they never specify that it’s not a Curious George book.

And even when you are certain you’re in safe territory?  Like, you’re watching a scene from Annie or Sesame Street?  YouTube will find a way to totally screw you over.

Yup, there she appears:  Half-naked in a thumbnail in the sidebar during an otherwise innocent performance of It’s the Hard-Knock Life.  So I use the opportunity to tsk-tsk Rihanna’s loincloth-as-a-shirt and suggest she may want to stop shopping in the children’s department.  Skye nods in vehement agreement and I am happy to have imparted that lesson to my impressionable daughter.  Then the next night, as we’re watching a Maroon 5 video:

ipad-chats-with-skye3

Not to be outshone by the ladies, Adam Levine is, not surprisingly, also half-naked.  I recognize this as my opportunity to underscore that I am not sexist, that men should display a certain sense of decency, too — and, more to the point, that both Skye and her brother should remain fully clothed from head-to-toe until they are 50 or I am dead, whichever comes first.  With this responsibility weighing heavily on my prudish shoulders, I respond by shrugging, “I don’t know.  Maybe he got hot.  But he should probably cover up with a shirt, don’t you think?”

Skye ponders this for a good moment before a big smile crosses her face.

ipad-chats-with-skye5

Oh, boy.  We are in SO much trouble.

*Mr. Candy has offered to be the family’s official Unexpected Nipple Appearance Monitor.  So generous of him!

With thanks to Martin at How to Draw Funny Cartoons for creating these (actually animated) characters based on our family that I can manipulate and use to help relate my silly stories!

Top 10 Things I’ve Learned in My First Three Years of Life (AKA Pearls of Wisdom from Miss Skye)

Miss Skye reflects on life lessons learned, having recently turned the big THREE:

Top 10 Things I’ve Learned in My First Three Years of Life

by Ms. Skye (I am 3 now, after all.)

10.  If you’re playing Hide-and-Seek with your mom, it’s best to jump out of your hiding spot and yell “HERE I AM!” before she counts to 10.   Saves her time and frustration.  (Even if I’m hiding in the most obvious place, my mom doesn’t see me.  She really sucks at the game!)

9.  If there is an awkward pause in a conversation, I find a good way to smoothly transition is to yell “BUTT!”  In fact, you can never go wrong with interjecting “BUTT!” into a conversation.  Or yelling it at the top of your lungs at Target.

8.  There is nothing more satisfying than buttoning my own shirt.  And it only takes me eight years to do it.

7.  Baby brothers are actually pretty cool.  Especially when they “share” all of their toys with you without you even having to ask first!

6.  If your head declares war on the corner of a toy kitchen, the corner is going to win.  Every time.

5.  Moms are often hard-of-hearing.  For example, whenever my mom asks me to do something I don’t want to do, she keeps asking me to do it even after I say, “No!”  I find the best way to handle her dismal hearing is to yell “NO!” over and over again, until she finally understands what I’m saying.  Or I get a time-out.  Either/or.

Read More

The “Gift” of a Toddler’s Gab

Few things make a parent more proud than hearing their child’s first words.  And few things make a parent more embarrassed than hearing their child yelling certain words at the top of their lungs in public.  Always — in public.  Always — at the top of their lungs.

Our two-and-a-half-year-old daughter is normally shy and quiet around other people, mumbling hellos and preferring to stare at the ground as if it holds the key to a lifetime supply of M&Ms.  Unless, that is, she is struck with a thought sure to mortify me, in which case she sheds her shyness and grabs her imaginary bullhorn to bellow:

“I WANT TO EAT MOMMY’S BUTT!

This, out of the blue, in the middle of Target.  It’s not only embarrassing, but it’s also quite weird.  People turn and stare, obviously appalled to find out we’re a butt-eating kind of family.  I put on my best “Where do kids GET these things, anyway?” smile and gently shake my head at Skylar.

WHAT I SAY:  “Oh, silly, you know you don’t eat butts!”

WHAT I THINK:  “Don’t you?”

Skylar laughs, encouraged by my smile.

Read More

An Open Letter to My Two-Year-Old Daughter About Men

Dear Miss Skye,

Your love affair with Weston is over, as done as the box of Oreo knock-offs I just devoured.  You never said a word to me about why you parted ways with your first love and I never pried, hoping you would come to me whenever you felt comfortable talking about it.

That day never came.

Instead, I had to pick up clues here and there, like the morning Weston approached us on his tricycle and said, “HI, SKYLAR!” and you stared at him as if he had threatened to glue construction paper on your head.  Or when I would ask, “Did you play with Weston today?” and you’d scowl, “No, Weston not my friend.”

A subtle clue that things had gone sour between the two of you, but one that made your almost freakishly perceptive mother think, “Huh.  I guess Skye isn’t so crazy about Weston anymore.”

Perhaps you tired of him walking up the slide as you were trying to go down.  Or had a blow-out about his unwillingness to help clean up in the toy kitchen.  I guess I’ll never know for sure.  That’s okay; to be honest, I was happy about your newly single status.  I had hoped you simply realized that, unlike Jennifer Lopez, you didn’t have to have a man in your life to be happy.  That there were more important things to dedicate your young life to, such as preparing for your future career as a neurosurgeon or Supreme Court Justice.  And learning to use the potty.

Then I saw it:  the way you look at Max.  Of course.  I should have known another man was involved.

Did I say “look at” Max?  No, more like run after Max.  You light up when you see him on the playground, immediately following him wherever he goes.  He, from what I can tell, pays virtually no attention to you.

Oh, Skye, I thought to myself.  I’ve chased after those boys, myself — the aloof ones, the indifferent ones who read Elmo books in the corner with nary a glance at you.  The thrill of the chase is exciting, I know, but I can tell you from experience:  trying to ensnare boys like Max only leads to disappointment.  Not to mention wasting too much time reading Elmo books in the corner when you could be doing something so much more exciting, like doing your first poo-poo on the potty.

So I did what any concerned mother would do — and fished for more information about this young man.

“Do you like playing with Max?” I asked carefully, searching your face.

“Yes!  I like Baby Max!” you replied, putting your Curious George doll in Drew’s Jumperoo.

“‘Baby Max?’  But… he’s not a baby.  He’s about the same age as you.”

“Max my baby.  I pat Max back… put Max to sleep…comb Max hair…”

Let me get this straight:  Max is a “baby” who likes to be taken care of?   Huh.  On second thought, this relationship should prepare you well for any time your future husband gets sick.  Carry on.

With love and hope you will show interest in the potty again someday soon,

Mommy

The Diva Gene

Fun fact:  All girls born in Los Angeles come out of the womb wearing these sunglasses.  Makes for a slightly uncomfortable delivery, sure, but also very stylish hospital photographs.