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Family Goals for 2013, Or: No Pooping Behind the Plant

Posted by Kara Baskin  January 1, 2013 09:00 AM

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OK, I’ve accomplished some of my 2013 goals already (I cheated and did ‘em over the holiday break, 'cause they were easy). These included buying actual big-girl makeup (I’d never used eyebrow pencil before—how is this possible? It gives you a whole new face, I tell ya!) and rearranging the furniture in our bedroom (our neighbor, a feng-shui consultant, gave us complimentary suggestions, since apparently our “relationship corner” was stacked with old bills). Now I just need to pay off my credit card by next week, and I’ll be happy. But I have some bigger-picture family issues that need attention.

They are:

1. Start toilet-training Andrew. Right now he scrunches behind a plant and makes a face like he swallowed a prune every time he needs to go. Sometimes I yell, “Are you pooping?” and he yells back, “No way, Mumma!” Then he waddles back toward me, smelling pungent, and I yelp, “Andy! Ya pooped!” in some kind of Irish brogue that I adopt for the occasion. Um, I do not think this method is found in any parenting books. (Anyone have recommendations for good potties? Is “potties” a word?)

2. Get him to bed before 9 p.m. On the plus side, Andy wakes up at 7:30—bliss considering I know many two-year-olds rise at the ungodly hour of 5. However, he doesn’t retire until at least 9 p.m., meaning that Brian and I have about 20 minutes of “adult” time until I pass out in front of Scramble.

3. Eat together at the kitchen table. We dine as a family most nights, but—sorry, Mom—it’s usually at the coffee table, in front of the television. That’s because Andy prefers to “graze” while roaming the house. He’ll play for a bit, come back to the table and take a few bites of food, roam a bit more, eat a bit more, insist on watching “Super Why,” and so on. This could go on for an hour. I give in because he’s a very picky eater, and so I’m happy to contrive any scenario in which food enters his little maw. However, I also realize that it’s probably not the best habit to instill. And I don’t want our family conversations to be sound-tracked by “Super Why! He’s our guy! He’s SUPER WHY!” Why oh why?

4. Stop dressing like a hobo at drop-off and pick-up. Oh dear. Andy goes to the same school as a woman I grew up with, and I see her at the door sometimes. She has a job that actually requires her to get dressed in the morning, and I’m pretty sure she was confused when we met in the lobby and I pre-emptively announced, “I haven’t buttoned a pair of pants since 2007!” Cringe. Working from home has its perks; fashion isn’t one of them. Once I showed up to get Andy wearing nothing but a fleece jacket and yoga pants, sports bra underneath. How was I not arrested? The one time I visited his classroom with makeup and hair blown out, his teachers almost didn’t release him to me because I didn’t look like his mother. It’s that bad.

5. Do yoga. If I want to have a second child—and I do, someday—I need to not look like I have a litter of otters hiding under my shirt. I also think yoga would help make me a more centered person. Right now my methods of stress relief involve some combination of listening to iTunes and staring into space, drinking white wine, texting/gChatting, and napping. Not exactly healthy. I signed up for a 20-pack of classes at the awesome Black Crow Yoga Studio in Arlington, and I loved it. I felt flexible and calm and mellow and, in other words, distinctly un-me. But then I missed one class. And then another. And gradually it faded from my life. Time to fix that.

6. Go on a family vacation. Every year we talk about renting a beach house during the summer, but somehow this never happens. Part of the issue is that Brian’s family has a house on a lake, which is very nice, except I’m really not a lake person; his mother also lives on Cape Cod, so why would we spend money to rent a place by the ocean when we could stay with her for free? However, there’s something to be said for having space and time completely to ourselves. And usually, when we do go on big trips, it involves someone’s wedding—we went to San Francisco in September, and it was awesome—but I can’t remember the last time we just went someplace with absolutely zero commitments and zero cramping into someone else’s guest room with a Pak and Play, Terence the Night-Light Turtle, and five suitcases.

What are your resolutions? Happy New Year!

P.S. I splurged and got my makeup at MAC, which is huge coming from a stingy Capricorn who usually buys whatever's on sale at CVS. I cannot say enough nice things about the very patient makeup salespeople at the Burlington Mall MAC, who basically gave me a new face for a lot less money than plastic surgery. If you need help, visit them! They will take you aside and do a whole consult for free.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Kara Baskin (@kcbaskin) is a Boston-based writer, editor, and mom to Andy. She thinks Sriracha and garlic make everything tastier. She loves Steely Dan and "Murder, She Wrote." Her More »

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