20 Things The Second Baby Taught Me

My little one will be 3 in a couple of months and I’m feeling nostalgic as his babyhood slips away.  I remember wondering if there was enough room in my heart to love another child as much as I loved the first one.  Turns out, there was no need to worry — and this one from last winter proves it.

There’s no bigger change in a woman’s life than becoming a mother for the first time. With my first child, it seemed like every day brought 100 new surprises.

But when I became pregnant for the second time, I thought I got this! And in some ways, that was true. I didn’t stress nearly as much about every little thing. But I quickly learned that boy #2 was his own person — and that I still had a lot to learn.

Here’s what I learned from the second baby.differences between first and second child

1.  Just because your pregnancy went a certain way with the first child doesn’t mean it will go anything like that with the next one.

2.  A baby doesn’t have to be carried all that carefully.  In fact, he’ll adjust quite easily to being carried like a football. [Read more…]

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Little Boy in the Men’s Room. This Mom’s Dilemma.

Yesterday my 1st grader didn’t have school and because he’s kicking butt this semester, I wanted to take him out for a special treat.  We ended up seeing Big Hero 6.  So great – best kid movie I’ve seen since Despicable Me. Except for the villain Yokai.  I guarantee he’ll be responsible for me getting at least 20% less sleep over the next year (having nothing to do with the kids).

After the movie, we headed to the restroom.  Asher is 7 now and getting really cranky about having to go into the women’s restroom with me.  I generally tell him to suck it up.  But this time, I opened the bathroom door and a girl about his age was standing right there with her mother.

Little boys in the men's room: what to do when your son doesn't want to go into the ladies' room with you anymore - @toulousentonic“NO WAY am I going in the girls’ restroom!” he yelled, probably more for her to hear than me.  “I’m a BOY!”

So I did what I usually do in a little boy in the men’s room situation – which is allow him to use the men’s communal restroom while I stand sentry at the door.  He knows to yell loudly if someone messes with him and if I make sure which number he’s doing (#1 or #2), I can ask someone to check on him if it takes too long — or just barge in myself.  And don’t think I wouldn’t.

There are certain places where this doesn’t make me nervous – places where creepers are a little less likely to hang out.  But then there are places where my 7yo alone in a men’s bathroom makes me very nervous.  Those places include movie theaters, fast food bathrooms and parks. And a highway rest-stop?  Standing at the door yelling at him, even when he’s 19.

At the risk of sounding just like a 7 year-old, “NO WAY is he going in there alone!”

And because this issue has occurred to me occasionally for more than a year, I posted the above status update to ask other moms what they do in this situation.

A couple of people responded to my Facebook update by calling me a helicopter parent.  (Feel free to click on over there and join in on the discussion.) But most moms seemed to be on just about the same page I’m on.

Better safe than sorry. Either stand guard outside the men’s bathroom or take the time to find a family restroom (depending upon your state of emergency, of course).

Case in point.  I personally know someone who was almost kidnapped in a fast food restroom when she was a little girl.  A man was in the ladies’ bathroom dressed as a woman, grabbed her and tried to make off with her.  Luckily, the employee stockroom was right next to the restroom, someone heard her screams and saved her. Thank God.

And then there’s this and this and countless other stories of kids being molested and worse in public restrooms.

One of the commenters on my status update said this:  “Not every public men’s bathroom in America has a resident, lurking, lecherous pervert hiding in it, just waiting for your kid.”

To which I reply:  it doesn’t take a pervert in every public men’s bathroom. It only takes one.

Here’s a really great book about how fear is a useful tool that can protect us from violence.
And here’s what I’m doing to assuage my fear a little bit.  I’m ordering a package of cheap whistles on yarn like these and throwing a couple in my purse to swim around with unpackaged gummies and half eaten cheesesticks until the next time he wants to go in a public men’s restroom by himself.  Then I’ll put one around his neck and tell him to blow away if anyone messes with him.


It’s not a perfect solution but it’ll give him a little independence and me a little bit more comfort. But I’m still standing right outside that bathroom door until he comes out, probably doing the peepee dance myself.  Because just like everything else, we always put our children’s bladders before our own.

I welcome your thoughts even if they’re different from mine.  I enjoy an open discussion.  Just be respectful, like your mama taught you.

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The Day A Baby Accidentally Fell Out Of My Vajayjay.

It’s World Prematurity Awareness Day, so I’m sharing my story again.  Spoiler alert:  he’s almost 3 now.  But our story is pretty crazy and I’ll never forget the journey.  I hope you enjoy it too.

This time last year, I was in exactly the same place I am today for Thanksgiving.  Except I was about 4 1/2 months pregnant.

I was entering a holiday season where I was dreaming about having a new family member a year from then one moment and being the most gripey, miserable pregnant person ever placed on the planet the next.

The day a baby fell out of my vajayjay. A preemie story you won't soon forget by Toulouse & Tonic

To expect one pregnancy to be just like the one before, I’ve now learned, is nonsense.

With Asher, I felt pretty good.  I wasn’t spectacularly moody.  And things went exactly according to plan. [Read more…]

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Boy Mom In The Girls Department. The 5 Stages of Grief.

I’m the mom of 2 precious, crazay little boys who take their mission to teach me patience very, very seriously. But growing up, I always wanted daughters because I had only sisters and I love all that girly stuff – the dresses, the hair, the makeup, the ballet lessons … I would never in a second trade my boys for anything. They’re the best things that ever happened to me, hands down.

But there is one thing about not having a daughter that still gets to me. I try my best to avoid it but every now and then I just can’t. Because when I need to buy clothes for my boys, there it is, just a few inches away. The sweet toxic siren call of the little girls’ department.

Boy mom in the girls department: the 5 stages of grief - @toulousentonicAnd so begins the tale of a boy mom in the girls’ department: the 5 stages of grief.  [Read more…]

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