Conflict Resolution

Sooooo – Blair had her second “semester” parent/teacher conference last week. Overall, she is right on track and her teachers DEFINITELY love the heck out of her. Here are a few of their comments:

  • Blair is such a sweet little girl.
  • We enjoy her daily hugs and giggles.
  • She is able to express her feelings (roger that).
  • Blair loves to dress up every day!
  • She has been a delight to have in our classroom!

Awwwweee, sweet Blair. Got them fooled, eh?

Or, maybe not so much. Because then there’s this:

  • She is still learning how to settle conflict with her girlfriends.

Whaaaa … um, huh?

Yep, ladies and gentlemen – our little 3-year-old darling is having girl drama. With her 3-year-old girlfriends.

Now, her teachers and I had a good laugh about it, mostly because we were shocked that girls this age have issues already. Apparently there is a “triangle” of girls who tend to pair up and leave another one out. And it switches from minute to minute. So, basically there’s three little girls arguing about who gets to wear the dress and who gets to be the daddy. Or, who gets to be the boss in the sandbox. Or, gets to sit on the teacher’s lap.

Math skills – check

Writing skills – check

Speaking/Listening skills – check

Little a-hole skills – check

Promise me you’ll keep letting your kids come over to play. Blair CLEARLY needs to learn how to play nicely with others. Either that, or she’s well on her way to a one-way ticket to military school.

Lord help us.

Trouble at Home

Listen – I think we all know by now that the Feldmann girls’ sleeping habits leave MUCH to be desired. Need reminding? Check in here. And here. And also here.

Don’t worry. I’ll wait.


Okay, now that you’ve reminded yourself and probably rendered your brain sleep-deprived by association, I shall fill you in on our past few weeks. Blair had her tonsils out almost 2 weeks ago. While it wasn’t the best 2 weeks of our lives, it was certainly a whole heck of a lot better than I expected. Let’s face it: Paige set that bar pretty low.

But, aside from spending most nights in our bed and spreading the “post-tonsillectomy dragon breath” love, Blair really was quite the rock star. She was eating solid food on day 2 (granted, she did the typical “day 5 backslide,” but was still eating ice cream, yogurt and popsicles). She snubbed her nose at any and all pain medication from day 5 on (yes, there was one incident of us holding her down to give her Norco so she would finally sleep. Derrick and I both decided we actually ended up breaking her spirit. She has proven us right by bringing up said incident multiple times a day since it happened.).

Anyhoo – Blair’s 13+ days of not sleeping well have made me a little, how you say … less patient with the behavioral shenanigans of late.

In response, Paige has ramped up her fit-throwing and whining, and both girls seem to have decided that their go-to method of playing together is really just torturing, name-calling and fighting. It’s been awesome. Let’s just say the time-out chair has yet to get cold, even as local temperatures dip below freezing. Catch my drift?

And I’ll admit it: I’m a yeller. I’m not proud of it, but sometimes it really is the only thing that gets the job done. I’m also a little convinced that moms who say they don’t yell are either a) bit, fat liars or b) residents in a state where marajuana is now legal. As I am neither of those things, I become a huge grouch when my “mommy patience threshold” is surpassed, and I get angry. I yell. I say things like “This is ridiculous!!!! Why are you throwing a fit like a baby?!?! Are we going to have to pull you from Kindergarten and put you back into preschool?!?!”

I don’t need you to tell me is neither nice nor mature, but the threat seems to stop the situation for long enough for me to pour a glass of wine and turn on the television for them calmly explain to the girls why their behavior was inappropriate and how we can all improve ourselves in the future.


Just kidding!!! Have we met? I toss their asses in timeout and threaten to remove all toys and technology from their possession if things don’t drastically improve STAT. And, you know what? It works for a while, and I’m a whole hell of a lot less frustrated than if I’d tried to spend 20 minutes rationalizing with a terrorist, only to have them immediately disobey me again.

I DO actually have a point here. 

So, I e-mailed Paige’s teacher earlier this week just to see if she had noticed anything specific about Paige’s behavior over the past few weeks. Here was my message:

Hi Sarah,

I just wanted to touch base about Paige’s behavior in class, and make sure you feel like it’s been okay lately. I ask because her behavior at home as been absolutely terrible – she is constantly throwing fits, yelling “not fair!,” being difficult to get along with (especially with her sister) and over all being pretty defiant. All of these behaviors rear their ugly heads occasionally, but lately it seems to be pretty regular.

I’d love any thoughts or input you might have!

Thanks, and good to see you today!


Here was her response:


That is very interesting. She did tell Gwen that “me and my mom aren’t getting along at home”! Paige seems to be just fine here…very helpful, kind and sweet. The only problem she has is talking when she isn’t supposed to or following me around asking questions instead of raising her hand. She seems to get tired after lunch and starts sucking her thumb, and she did fall asleep at rest time the other day. I would make sure that she is getting enough sleep at night…even if she has to go to bed at 7:30/8:00. That would be my first guess. I will keep an eye on her though and let you know if anything changes.


So, um … okay.

Basically, she’s being good at school, but seems sleepy in the afternoon (all good to know, but also fairly standard behavior for Miss P). However, she also didn’t hesitate to sell me up the river to the teacher’s assistant (Gwen)! I mean, we “aren’t getting along at home”?!?!? What, are we an old married couple?

Good lord, Paige.

I saw Miss DuBois at pickup yesterday and assured her that Paige does, in fact, still get plenty of hugs, praise, food and sleep at home. We actually had a good laugh, and she said she and Gwen enjoyed replaying the conversation several times throughout the day.

So, I guess my next step is for Paige and I to find a good marriage counselor to work through our differences and make home life better for everyone.

Or, perhaps just move up bedtime for both of us and see if that works.


A Snapshot

Just to expand on how totally glamorous our life is, I thought I’d provide you with a brief snapshot of what a morning in the Feldmann household is like. In particular, this very morning.

5:15 am

Blair enters our room and claims she had a “bad dream” (further investigation into this “bad dream” later this morning led to a discovery that she is a little liar. Her “bad dream” was that we didn’t have any more pink gum. Which, actually, is true now that I think about it). Since her daddy is traveling, all willpower I have to get her back into her own bed is out the window. And, by that, I mean that since Derrick is gone, there is literally no one here that is willing to get out of bed and take her back to her own room. The coffeemaker isn’t set to start for another hour. Climb on in, Blair.

5:16 – 5:45 am

Blair asks me when she can have her milk. Not incessantly – only every 3 seconds or so. And not annoyingly, only in the whiniest (and yet somehow aggressive) voice ever. When I tell her we will go down in a little bit, she says, “no, Mama. YOU will go down in a little bit. I will stay warm in you bed.” Let’s be honest – she’s probably not wrong*.

(*See: Derrick is traveling and my spirit is broken, rendering willpower obsolete.)

5:46 am

Paige enters the room, asking when exactly it will be time for her clock to turn yellow. Thereby letting her know it’s okay to come into our room. The irony of this question seems to be lost only on the little people in this house. I send her back to her room with the threat of no technology when she “wakes up.” She scampers out yelling pondering about how unfair life is because she has to go back to her own room and Blair gets to stay in bed with me. I agree – it’s not at all fair. I also feel that if Paige used her head and didn’t obey quite so easily, she too could reap the rewards of being a defiant child in a house with a mother who hates mornings … especially cold ones. I’m just sayin’.

5:47-5:48 am

Shhhhh … I’m trying to sleep. It’s blissfully quiet.

5:49 am

The cat begins to puke in the corner, and the dog gets up to investigate (aka, probably eat the puke. It’s gross, I know – but it’s one less thing I’ll have to clean up. I may or may not encourage this behavior.).

Blair demands milk loudly, I put on my slippers to go downstairs to escape to get the calcium-rich milk that will fortify my sweet daughter. And to start the coffee. I swear, I don’t even know why we have an Auto-Program mode on that thing. We never make it to 6:15 am.

5:50 – 7:45 am

The rest of the morning is a blur of trying to get Paige ready for school and finish her homework (that I discovered this morning while emptying her backpack. Don’t judge – I’m not the one in school! How the hell am I supposed to remember to empty a backpack every day?!? It’s not MY backpack!).

I break up 3 fights, and remind Blair twice that Paige actually is still her sister, and that saying she’s not doesn’t simply make it true.

I curse the dog for having to go out TWICE (it’s 6 degrees outside! You’re almost 9 years old! Can’t you get it all out at once?!?).

I switch the laundry. Two times. And silently vow to find whoever it is that comes into our house every day, removes all the clean clothes from our closets, and puts them back into our hampers. Seriously. Who the HELL is wearing all these clothes???

I beg, plead and bribe kids into coats and boots, and then the car. I realize on the way to school that I have no purse or phone, and pray something doesn’t happen because Blair and I are still in our pajamas. And I’m not wearing a bra.

I answer questions about swear words on the radio (damn you, Sirius XM!), and after switching the channel answer questions about how Taylor Swift will “make a good boy bad for the weekend.”

8:05 am

I pour myself another large mug of coffee, and make Blair her second breakfast of the day. Ugh – I swear I feel like I’m feeding these kids at least every day.

I switch the laundry.

8:05 – 10:45 am

I remind Blair that our cat is old, and that she does NOT like to be “squished.”

I remind Blair that our dog has epilepsy, does NOT like to have a flashlight shined in his eyes, and is most definitely NOT a stepstool.

I switch the laundry.

I continue a ridiculous project of ironing the slip covers to our couch. Yes, we have a white couch. And yes, it usually works well for us because I occasionally have to pull off a cushion cover and wash it. However, said couch needed a complete washing after: 1) Christmas time; 2) a birthday party for a 6-year-old; 3) a brief moment of “unsupervised (and unapproved) coloring” for Blair; 4) an a-hole, 80 pound dog who thinks the couch is his cozy bed. When his paws are muddy. And I’m still in the freaking room. (Jerk. I swear, if this happens again there will be a golden doodle-shaped rug in our living room instead of a dog.). I started this project on Monday. Today is Thursday.

I amuse Blair with her new toothbrush, toothpaste and floss from the dentist yesterday. Which lasts for about 3 minutes.

I finally turn on the TV for her – RELAX, y’all! It’s PBS Kids! I mean, how else am I supposed to be able to hear ‘The Bachelor’ while I iron these blasted slip covers? She’s LEARNING!

10:47 am

I switch the laundry.

11:09 am

I snap this picture.


I realized I need to actively engage as a parent for a few minutes.

I decide this means I need to put on a bra.

G. L. A. M. O. R. O. U. S.




Little Divas

Huh. Who knew?

All this time, we’ve been stressed out about traveling with the World’s Worst Travelers (seriously – they are terrible). I’ve been breaking out in hives before and during air travel. Yelling during and drinking heavily following car travel (hand to God, there were two years in a row when Blair puked in her carseat. Have you ever tried to get puke out of a carseat in a hotel laundry room. Because I have. Twice.).

And then. And. Then.

We’ve been lucky enough to hitch a ride on a … how do you say … smaller airplane the past few times we’ve been to Longboat Key. And, um … the girls were perfect. Like, legitimate angels. Like, to the point where their Nani went out on a limb and complimented them MULTIPLE times on how they were acting. Which, in normal cases, would guarantee they would start acting like assholes immediately following any sort of nice comment about their behavior. But in this case, it just seemed to make them reach for the stars – and fall asleep. IN THE MORNING! And then sleep almost the entire flight.

Maybe it’s the access to unlimited snacks. Maybe it’s the fact that they can sit facing me and know my eyes are constantly on them. Or maybe they are just messing with me.

Probably that last one.

Either way, it just seems to make sense that this would be the answer to all our prayers.


Proof. See? I’m not lying.

Watch, next they’ll start requesting drivers and servants. Oh wait – they have one already, and they treat her terribly and tell her how to drive.


Am I Being Good?

Oh, Blair. Blair, Blair, Blair. Why do you do it?

For the past, um … forever, Blair has been able to go from happy to full-on tantrum in an impressively short amount of time. Like, literally in the blink of an eye. I’m not exaggerating – ask someone who has been around her longer than a few minutes.

Now, I can deal with tantrums. As a seasoned veteran of throwing them myself, having a twin brother who was an AMAZING tantrum thrower, and obviously being Paige’s mom … well, I’m no stranger to trying to diffuse a situation. But with Blair? Things are a little (a LOT) different.

You see, mid-fit (mid-EVERY. SINGLE. FIT.), Blair will turn to me and say in a relatively calm and sweet voice, “Am I being good, Mommy?”

What the what?

(The first time Nani heard her say that, she literally laughed out loud and may have spit out her water. The first time her Aunt EJ heard her say it, she said “Is that a joke?” The first time I heard her say it, I knew that homegirl was messing with my head. Per usual.)

I generally begin by ignoring the question. You know, turning up the radio if we’re in the car, walking out of the room if we’re at home (grabbing her grubby little paws and dragging her out of the store if we’re in public…). However, in her typical Honey Badger style, the question only gets louder and MUCH more aggressive. “MAMA!!!! AM! I! BEING! GOOD?!?!?!?”

At some point  (typically 2-3 minutes into said fit), I snap my patience runs out and I turn to her and ask, “Blair, do YOU think you’re being good?” That question used to quiet her for a second or two, and she would respond with a “No. But I WANT to be good!” Now, after months of this dog and pony show, I usually end up just saying, “Nope. No, Blair. You are not being good. You are not being good even one little tiny bit.” (Other moms, I hope you’re taking notes here – because there’s no way you’re going to win any mothering awards unless you parent just like me. Wait. The opposite of that.)

This quickly devolves into her crying loudly, and following me around yelling “I WANT TO BE GOOD, MAMA! I WANT TO BE GOOD!” To which I inevitably end up saying (in an above-normal-volume), “THEN. JUST. BE. GOOD!!!!”

And thus begins what sometimes can be 40+ minute tantrum (her record is 59 minutes – yep, I time them for evidence to be used against her at an unspecified future time). It’s pretty ridiculous, and at some point I usually end up laughing out loud at the insanity of the situation.

Then I usually cry into my coffee or wine, depending on the time of day (or, let’s be honest – depending on what I have on hand).

Living the dream here, people.

Living. The. Dream.

See how sweet she looks. Nope. Just worn out from "wanting to be good."

See how sweet she looks. Nope. Just worn out from “wanting to be good.”

Driving Lessons

As you know, Paige started school almost exactly a month ago. Blair, on the other hand, didn’t start until more than 2 weeks later. So, little girl and I had A LOT of time together. (Not that we were lacking on together-time. The only time we aren’t together is when we sleep…and even then, she’s finds a way to be with me most of the time.)

But over the summer, it was usually the three Feldmann ladies. And, if you know my girls at all, you know that it was basically just a constant power struggle for who got to speak. (Okay, I might also be included in that struggle. But, I’m the mommy! What I have to say is the mostest importantest!!) Once Paige went to school, Blair quickly realized there was A LOT of quiets time for her to fill.

How did she decide to fill said time, you ask?

By critiquing my driving. From the backseat.

Yes, quite possibly the youngest backseat driver ever (My company excluded, obviously. What can I say? She gets it honestly.)

You’re probably wondering what that might sound like, and what advice a 3 year-old might have to offer.

Believe it or not, she’s surprisingly astute:

Mommy, you need to SLOW DOWN! You are going to go to jail!

Mommy, that light is red! Stop. STOP!! STOP!!!! NO! Now go!!! It is GREEN! GREEN MEANS GO!!!!!!

(In the turn lane, where my arrow is red): Mommy! Go! Why are you sitting here?!?!? The light is green! Go, go, go!!! We are berry, berry, late!! (That part is probably true, FYI.)

Mommy, you need to do something at that yellow light. (Crying) I do not know what yellow means! What do we do?!?!?

A few things here:

1) She is very, very aggressive with the delivery of her “advice.” Which means I’m basically constantly being yelled at from the backseat. It’s more than a little stressful, and I sort of feel like I’m driving with The. Meanest. Driver’s Ed Instructor. Ever.

2) I believe my caffeine intake has quadrupled since my “instructor” started. I feel like I need to be on my A game. In actuality, I end up just being over-caffinated. And on-edge from all the shoutiness. It’s not pretty.

3) I have begun to question my driving decisions. AM I driving too fast (maybe)? ARE we late (most likely)? CAN I turn on red here…wait. Remember when I said she’s only 3 years old? Why am I questioning myself when I’ve been driving for almost 10 years (or maybe a few more than that. Zip it.)

She’s persuasive, that’s for sure.

So, if you see me driving and I look stressed, now you know why.

I’m just trying to pass the world’s longest and most difficult (yet simple – it really only focuses on speed and stoplight color) driving test.

Wish me luck.


That sucker may or may not have been an effort to stop the current lesson. And it may or may not have been her third of the day.

First Day of Preschool … and a Traveling Show

On Wednesday, Blair had her first day of Preschool. Yes, she’s actually been attending the school for a year now (well, two, if you count the year she went against our wishes and quit). But, this will be her first official year of preschool – aka, learning things other than how not to pick your nose and push other kids around.

IMG_3362 IMG_3363

It was a little surreal. Drop off went well. The teachers said no one cried the entire day, fun was had by all, and Blair was all smiles at pickup. In other words, another child of mine is trying to prove that I am becoming obsolete. I was going to be really sad about it, but then I realized that Blair and I haven’t actually had a break from one another since May, and that during the past few months she has been making me carry her everywhere we go, and is basically trying to climb back inside the womb.

So I ran gracefully walked out of the school. Then I blinked a few times. Aaaaaand, it was time to go back and get her. What. The. Hell. I’m not sure where those 4 hours went, but the only things I accomplished were a trip to Trader Joe’s for weekly groceries, a trip home to drop off said groceries and … um… e-mails? Maybe a “workout”? A few texts/Facebook/Instagram glances?

Let’s just say I was not quite as  productive as I would have hoped. Let’s hope tomorrow fares better on the “getting things done while I’m alone and it’s blessedly quiet” front.

We came home, and Blair reminded me just how hard preschool is (either that, or “The Magic Schoolbus” is super boring”):


Once again, she will remind you that she is NOT grouchy, she is NOT tired, and she does NOT need a nap.

Yep. Got it.

Fast forward. Enter the “Witching Hour.”

Blair asked me if I would paint her nails. This happens multiple times a week (nay, a day). I said “yes, but tomorrow.”


And thus began what I like to refer to as “the traveling fit.” Actually, in my head I like to call it “The Traveling Shit Show.” But when I say that out loud, it all of a sudden sounds circus-y and happy.

And it is not that, my friends. It is NOT that.

For the next forty-nine minutes, homegirl cried (what appeared to be real tears) and screamed “I. WANT. YOU. A. PAINT. ME. NAIIIIIILLLLLS!!!!”

I moved to the living room. She moved to the living room.

I moved back to the kitchen. She moved to the kitchen.

(It bears pointing out that the “moving” here happens either on her bottom or on her tummy – ALWAYS whilst on the ground. Thank God she hasn’t figured out that getting up and walking to me would just make the torture that much worse.)

I moved to the bathroom off the kitchen (and shut the door). She moved to the bathroom door, and proceeded to kick it repeatedly.

At one point, she and I were back in the kitchen, and Paige came in to ask me a question. Paige, who is notoriously sensitive to loud noises (especially of the ‘Blair complaining’ variety) is so used to this behavior that she simply raised her voice, literally  stepped over her fit-throwing sister, and proceeded to ask me her question. That’s how often this happens, people.

Having had enough, I headed up to shower – figuring it would take her at least 10 minutes to bottom-scoot her way up the stairs and into my bathroom. Nope. She made it in 5.

After ignoring her through the end of the shower, the drying off, and the lotion portion of getting ready, I couldn’t take it anymore. I headed to the bedroom door (she was sitting just on the threshold). I calmly said “Bear, I’d love to help you, but I can’t understand a word you’re saying. If you would like to stop crying, that would be great.”

Yeah. That went about as well as you thought it would.

Finally, after about 15 more minutes of this, I couldn’t take it any more. She had already thrown/kicked the door open, and had worked her way into the hallway right outside the bathroom door.

I decided confusion might be my best option.

I popped my head out of the bathroom and sweetly said, “Oh, hi Blair! Is there something you needed? What’s up?”

Cue: utter confusion. She immediately stopped crying and looked at me. Stunned, it seemed. After a few seconds she said, “Um, I guess (pronounced “duess”) I want my Bunbun???”

Mission. Accomplished.

Until the next Traveling Fit. Also known as the Traveling Shit Show.

Either way? I’m screwed.