Game On.

It’s time for a fun game I like to call spot the rookie mommy mistakes! Read the story below, and see how many rookie mistakes you can find. Bonus points for finding the biggest one.

Today at the grocery store, Buzzy was perched in the shopping cart seat, giving me a running commentary on her shopping list (bunny noodles, peanut butter and purple food for the cat--in case you were wondering). We talked about colors and numbers and said hi to the dead fish over ice. I expertly steered my cart just out of reach of the canned pumpkin display, and headed to reward my angelic daughter with a cheese sample.

After I skewered the fontina, I glanced over at the cart and gasped in horror. In my two-second absence, Buzzy had reached behind her seat and grabbed the carton of eggs. [Hint!] She had one egg in her grubby little paw, and four more had fallen onto her lap.

I dashed over and rescued the eggs in the nick of time, thanking my lucky stars that I reached her in time to avert disaster. [Big hint!]

Back at the ranch, I unloaded groceries as Buzzy amused herself in the playroom adjacent to the kitchen. Then the phone rang. I stepped away from the pantry [hint] to answer it. Two fateful seconds later, Buzzy dashed to the pantry and dumped a box full of baby cereal. [A full and open box of baby cereal on the bottom shelf?! Hint!] The stuff is as fine as talc, and drifts of it still cover my potatoes and onions and bin of formerly clean towels and bibs.

I yelped. Buzzy met my gaze. "I go right to time out," she said. Yep.

Now, can you spot the biggest rookie mommy mistake? If you selected “thanking my lucky stars that I reached her in time to avert disaster” you are right!

Your prize: a nice time out. Way out. Perhaps to a hotel with high count sheets... without any (preparation of) supper.

I Can't See My Toes, But. . .

My playgroup meets every Wednesday morning. (Ostensibly, it's Buzzy's playgroup, but that's semantics. From my limited observation, apart from the inevitable tussle over toys, two year olds are blissfully unaware that children their own age exist.) We met at a local park today. The moms chased after the kids, conversations starting by the swings and ending in the sandbox.

I was distracted because Buzzy kept stumbling. "I okay!" she'd announce, and trip off to another fall. I finally got her settled with a shovel and tried to remember what we'd been discussing when my friend looked down at Buzzy's sneakers.

"Oh, look at that! Are her shoes on the wrong feet?"

I looked down. Sure enough, Buzzy's purple Stride Rites were reversed.

My friend laughed, "I bet she put those on herself, didn't she."

I laughed. Nope. That proud parenting moment was all mine. Wonder what else I'm missing?

Mommy Dilemma

Today at pre-pre school pick up, I arrived a few minutes early and found myself chatting with a Chic Momma. (There are some moms who manage tasteful lip color and trendy-but-appropriate clothes. There are others of us who may or may not have brushed their hair.) This particular Chic Momma said she was waiting to pick up her twins in the one-year-old class. (Apparently, some mommas can handle the lip color and baby twins, too.) Our differences went deeper than fashion, however. Our polite chitchat threw me into a parenting philosophical dilemma.

I usually pick Buzzy up a few minutes early because she used to have a rough time at the end of the school day. For the first few weeks, she'd cry for the last 10 or 15 minutes of class. It killed me to pick her up sobbing. I figured she was just tired and hungry, but those two things were within my power to fix, and I wanted to fix them. She's better now, but I still like to be one of the first moms there.

Chic Momma said that her twins were having a tough time with the separation, too. In fact, the school called her to pick them up early once before because they were so upset. "Oh, that's good," I said, thinking that if Buzzy were ever miserable enough to warrant a call, I'd darn well want to pick her up early. "I don't know," said Chic Momma. "I think they just have to cry it out. How else are they going to learn?"

Chic Momma had a cute haircut and valid point. I'm a softie. I know it--and if I had to deal with twins, I probably wouldn't have that luxury. But Buzzy's barely two, still so very young and tender despite her occasional sassiness and her amazingly absorbent mind. I don't want her to have to navigate the world without her mommy quite yet, although I'm trying to give her some room by letting her go two mornings a week. Am I nurturing, or too over-protective? How can you know? As Buzzy races towards the next big adventure, New Mommy is still taking baby steps, accompanied by a lot of self-doubt.

O Brave New World!

We are two! Baby C can't really be called a baby any more, not even by her mama. Much as I'd like to deny it, all the signs are there. Babycenter's weekly developmental email title switched from "Your baby this week" to "Your toddler this week." When I tried to purchase a sweet little outfit for her at H&M, I realized that she'd outgrown the baby clothes and was now grouped in with the girls' sizes. . . where the styles are a little, shall we say, less sweet. All of a sudden, it's my kid who yells "Hey, Mom, watch this!" at the playground. I find some relief when she grasps my finger with her still-soft hand as we walk. And, of course, when I comment on what a big girl she is, she sorrowfully reminds me that she can't yet reach the monkey bars, which is the arbitor of big-girl status in her world.

Given all the evidence, I have no choice but to update her name on this occasional blog... Of course, I'm also 7.5 months pregnant and have no real names in mind for Baby No. 2, so I'm not going to agonize too much over Baby No. 1's new nom de plume. I present to you: Buzzy. She's a busy little bee, always humming with chatter and activity, so that's what we're going with. Stay tuned for more of Buzzy's adventures as I try to update more regularly. (Mommy bloggers much busier than I farming and sewing and such seem to be able to crank out a couple of posts a week--or at least a month--so that will be my goal).