About Me

My photo
A slightly insane mother to three girls ages 11,11, and 5. I live/love to find the humor in being a parent.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Dinner. Why is dinner so stressful? Why can't it just be like lunch where everyone has a little something like PB&J or a bowl of soup? Already at 3:30 my daughter Rachel is asking, "Mom, what's for dinner?"  Really?   My husband is home this week too and she didn't bother to ask him.  When I turned to my husband at this point and asked him what he wanted, he said he didn't care. This pressing issue is apparently my problem to solve, and pronto!

Food is a big issue in our family. Rachel will only eat meat (plain) and select carbs, sometimes a bit of fruit. Needless to say she has some slight digestive issues due to her diet.  I had stomach surgery about six years ago and can only eat small select portions. Shayna is a typical four year old and her preferences change like the wind. Hannah is pretty much my only child who will happily eat what I place in front of her. It is hit and miss with my husband because  I never seem to make him food he is "in the mood for" when he comes home. Often I will leave his portion on the warmer only to find him digging into a bowl of cereal because he just wasn't "in the mood" for what I had made that evening.

So, this being my vacation also, I told the family I needed to pick up a few things at the store and would come home with dinner as well.  I happily went off on my own to the supermarket.

I love going to the store. I think it started when the twins were babies.  I would often try to go grocery shopping when my husband was home ( otherwise I would be pushing the the double stroller and pulling the wagon).  No list, just me and my wagon leisurely strolling down the aisles. Humming to the easy listen music, checking out the new and ridiculous products being sold, occasionally catching a free sample, just escaping....

Unfortunately this trip had to be short because I left my husband alone with three hungry children who were told they could not open their last Hanukkah present until after dinner.  I had no choice but to be quick and hopefully come home with something that would satisfy the angry mob. Thank goodness for Deli chicken, I grab one and a few sides as soon as I spot the familiar container.

I walked in the door laden with groceries ( because everyone knows this is what happens when you go in for "just a few things") to the point that I almost fall over. Rachel comes running up to me.

"What did you buy?" Not once did she try to help me with the bags.
"Chicken", I said.
::insert really LOUD scream:: "NOOOO!"
Apparently I failed in my mission.  However, she did calm down when she found out I picked up the fried chicken and not the rotisserie kind ( they were out, otherwise I WOULD have).  The angry mob was satisfied for the moment.
"Yes, sweetie?"
"What's for dessert?"

 ©2011 Amy E. Silverstein. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ahh! To be Young Again...

I know this blog is meant to be a place where I can share some of my humorous ( at least I'd like to think) trials and tribulations of being a mom to twin tweens, but today I am compelled to write about pre-schoolers as my 4 year old most certainly falls into this category. I have had an interesting week so far with my girls as it is winter break for all four of us. The conclusion I have arrived at is probably common to all, it must be great to be four!
 Here it is, ala David Letterman.

Top Ten Reasons it must be awesome to be four...

1.  You can sing about anything, anywhere at the top of your lungs regardless of who is around and what you are singing about. Yesterday Shayna started in the morning singing about breakfast, this continued on throughout the day with her dolls, and I also heard her in the bathroom singing "The Poopy Song".  It can't get better than that.

2.  Getting caught is okay, when you are four. She was reaching for the cookies at nine am in the morning. I looked at her, she looked at me and gave me a "grin" that said it all. "You caught me but I am so damn cute, it's okay". No, she didn't get the cookie, but managed another yogurt and some cuddle time out of the deal.

3. Cleaning up is actually playing. I just have to ask her if she wants to use the swiffer or broom and she gets excited.  You should see her when I let her use the Clorox wipes! Of course the result is not stellar, but should I complain that my four year old is pushing a dust mop around the floor? I think not.

4. Hand-me-downs are still cool. All I have to say when I put her in a "new to you" pair of Pajamas is that they belonged to her big sisters. She will strut around all day if I let her, feeling just like one of the big girls.

5. Work is fun. I always tell my kids that learning is their job. Preschool is fun to a four year old, they can't wait to get there and never want to leave at pick-up time. On the rare days that homework is sent home, like the letter box we had to fill with things that start with the letter "d", the excitement is tantamount.

6. Finding a penny is like finding a 100 dollar bill on the street. This happened the other day (the penny, not the $100.00) and I swear she took it to bed with her that night.

7. Grudge? what's that? A four year old does not hold grudges. I did not say they can't get angry, or throw an all out temper tantrum. At the end of the day though, all is forgiven and hugs and kisses are always welcome.

8.  Farts are funny, not embarrassing. Do I really need to explain this?

9. You are big enough to "understand the rules", but still small enough to have them bent a bit for you. My older girls are always complaining that their little sister "gets away with everything". While this is not true, a four year old's leeway is certainly a bit wider than a 10 year old.

And now the drum roll.....

10. Mommy and Daddy are the sun, moon, and stars (this one is my favorite). No matter where you are, as long as you are with mommy and/or Daddy, all is well with the world.

 ©2011 Amy E. Silverstein. All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tweenragers Never Forget.

A year and a half ago I punished Hannah for some unremembered incident and did not take her to a local art festival with her sisters. Two days ago while driving to the mall Hannah recalled the incident and asked why she did not go. I told her I did not remember. This escalated into a full blown "snit fit" ( a phrase I once heard my aunt and uncle use and find extremely apropos).  After a few rounds of me telling Hannah to get over it and her insisting we talk about how she did not deserve to be punished  I told her the conversation was over and refused to engage in her tantrum.  The more I refused to respond, the greater the "snit fit" grew until the ultimate curse of "I hate you" sprang forth. My response? "I love you!" This prompted her sisters to chime in with a series of "I love yous". It was one great big love fest with the exception of Hannah; her mouth set, and arms crossed as she glared at her traitorous sisters.

Then the most wonderful thing occurred. Silence. It was beautiful, serene, and lasted about 2 minutes. Hannah was the first to break the silence. "Mom?" At this point I was triumphantly expecting a huge apology and was promising myself as I waited that I would not rub it in would accept it graciously as an adult and role model.
"Yes sweetie?"
"Can you buy me something at Claire's when we get to the mall?'
I was still driving so she did not see the look that passed across my face. All of the higher ground I was standing on crumbled beneath my feet.
"Hannah, would YOU buy something for someone who hates you?"
Game point.

 ©2011 Amy E. Silverstein. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The twins look as different to each other on the outside as they are to each other on the inside. Often when I was pregnant I would ask my husband what our babies would look like. He would tell me, "one will look like you, and one will look like me." He could not have been more right ( yes, this may be the only moment I admit openly that my husband was right about something).  Hannah is outgoing, verbose, with a flair for drama that matches her bright red hair and green eyes. Rachel is quieter (unless she is upset), loves to spend time by her self, and doesn't care what other people think. Rachel also has Asperger's Syndrome, an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. I always say the girls are my yin and yang.  When they were babies, they rarely napped at the same time. You could actually watch the phenomena of one child waking up just as the other was closing her eyes.

My youngest, Shayna, is blonde, spunky, and has no fear. She will stand up to either one of her big sisters until they back down from her. Shayna is a tweenrager-in-training at age four. When she was born, I was so excited to have a baby again. That lasted for about two years. Suddenly before I could even blink, she was singing along to Hannah Montana and poo-pooing Sesame Street. She has been "engaged" to Jack since the two-year old room at preschool.  Technically I have two tweens, but Shayna is watching and learning from the professionals.

Yesterday morning Hannah told me, "My life is a tragedy!"  This evening Rachel told me her life was over because she had to read a book for school.  Tonight as I was getting Shayna ready for bed, I heard the third dramatic proclamation within 24 hours "My life is not fair!"

My life is a soap opera.

©2011 Amy E. Silverstein. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Missing "Hyper"Link of Being Cool

My husband and I don't consider ourselves extremely strict parents, but we have our oddities to the modern day parent. First, our daughters do not have TV's in their room or phones. A bedroom is an imagination waiting to happen; toys, forts, castles, etc.  We do not want to intrude on this type of play. It is also now where my older girls do their homework, a good quiet place with little distractions.

Second, the only video game you will find in our house is a broken down Wii the grandparents got them years ago, it is quite dusty. I refuse to be "that family", out to dinner with the kids silently tapping away on some small screen oblivious to the world around them. If you ask my children what mommy thinks of video games they will reply, "Junk food for your brain." On long car trips we will pack the portable DVD player. However, the girls usually are happy with a book, or coloring, or playing car games with each other.

Now the last oddity and biggest contention of late to our "tweenragers" is that our children do not have cell phones nor do I allow them on social websites such as Facebook. This has not been much of an issue prior to this year, as the twins are now in fifth grade and sadly most of their friends have their own phone and just about all of them have a Facebook page. I do not mean to disparage parents that do permit these privileges for their young children, but as I so often point out to my daughters, those are the decisions of other children's parents.  In our own little family I just do not see why phones and Facebook are necessary.

I teach in a middle school, I have seen the fights over texts and nasty posts on Facebook. Heck, I have seen how adults get out of hand with the awesome power of the net. I am not ready to hand this power off to a set of pre-hormonal tweens who can't decide whether to watch Spongebob or icarly.  The question now remains, am I marking them for prey? Are they going to be the weird kids in school who are singled out for no phone and no Facebook?  Oh well, what is a childhood without a little bit of angst and peer pressure.

This now brings me to my favorite conversation I had with Hannah about having a cell phone ( of course all of these conversations seem to happen when I am driving, usually after a long day at work).
"MOM! Why can't I have a phone? Everyone else has one! What if I needed to call you when I at school?"
"You will go to the teacher, who will let you use the phone if it is important."
"What about next year when I am in middle school?"
"Same thing, but I will be there already."
"No you won't....you sister won't have one either."

 ©2011 Amy E. Silverstein. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 9, 2011

What is a Tweenrager?

Blame it on the hormone laced milk, Miley Cyus, or even bad parenting ( I never claim to know it all); tweenragers are here and they are living under my roof. Ten years ago I gave birth to two beautiful girls, Twins! I watched them grow, laugh, and learn with a smile in my heart. I even survived the terrible twos (I actually thought the threes were worse).  Now, however, I find I have entered a dangerous zone. A place that no one understands (according to my very own twin experts), a place where I am THE most embarrassing person. I am the uninformed, I am no longer considered all knowing. I am...MEAN.

I do understand that many parents are well entrenched in this behavior already, I expected it. I have had the "chuckle" with many about when my girls become teens. BUT THEY ARE NOT TEENS YET! How have I landed in this in between horror? Not yet teens, no longer little girls.  Last week Hannah hissed at me, this week she growled. Am I feeding her too much meat?

Lately I have been sharing my angst through tiny posts on facebook. I find this to be therapeutic and fun at the same time, thus a blog is born.  I end this post with some great words of wisdom from the great Jimmy Buffet "If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane"

 ©2011 Amy E. Silverstein. All rights reserved.