Posted by: Hannah | 03/12/2013

Tuesday randoms

So! Mattel. How about that, ya’ll? I have learned several things from my ‘ranting-at-corporate-types-in-the-social-media-age‘ experience.

  1. A lot of my readers have repressed rage about gender-based toy marketing.
  2. And they like it when I swear about it.
  3. That ‘Condescending Wonka‘ meme is probably the best thing on the internet.
  4. I don’t know what a “lifestyle” blogger is.
  5. Except that it seems to involve nail polish and exclamation marks.
  6. It’s a good idea to make friends with people who know how to do internet research better than you do.
  7. Complain long enough on Twitter and you will get a reply from Large Corporation.
  8. It will be written by an underpaid intern.
  9. And it will say “we’re sorry this caused offense”. (I still can’t do screencaps from Twitter. I iz noob.)
  10. Your response to that little throw-away will be ignored completely.

I’ve never had such a response to a post I’ve written, ever. Even birth announcements haven’t garnered so much feedback. Thank you.


Louis turns three today! He’s been a completely different kid the past couple of weeks. Last week, he went from Monday to Friday without a single potty accident. My rule for Lego play here is age 3 and fully potty trained, and so I’d say he’s made such great strides that he’s met those conditions. Today, he’ll get to play Lego. He’s pretty excited.


Yesterday we did rainbow manicures and they were a HUGE success. All the kids except George and Daisy sat as still as mice for the painting. Today Louis’ older sister insisted that she was coming to my house today instead of day camp, mainly because of the rainbow nail polish. Now, I got my polish for free but it’s cheap stuff – this would cost maybe $5, and bought more amusement and smiles than I would have thought possible. Highly recommend it as a pick-me-up or rainy day activity.


Both Harry and Ron want to play Little League this summer. Um, yay? I guess? They’ll be in different divisions, so we’re staring down the barrel of four nights a week at the ballfield. Needless to say, we won’t be doing swimming lessons or anything else while we’re in Baseball Mode. Michael has declared himself NotACoach this year, which I think is probably sensible – he’s done it for the past two years, so some other parent probably ought to take a turn. We’ll see if that actually happens. I’m skeptical, especially in the ‘tot’ division, where it’s less about coaching and more about herding a couple of dozen twerps armed with bats.


George has become screamy toddler again. We had a few weeks there where he wasn’t screaming all day long over every little thing, and it was nice. Now he’s got a runny nose and we’re back to noisy complaints all the live-long day. It sucks. He’s also not napping worth a damn, which super-sucks. I read an advice column yesterday that talked about the 2-3-4 nap schedule for babies (why have I never heard of it before?)

Basically, you put the baby down two hours after they wake in the morning, for no more than an hour… then three hours after that, you put them down for the afternoon nap, which should last for two hours… then four hours after that is bedtime.

This would not work for George, because our day would look like this:

  • wake up at 5AM
  • go for a nap at 7AM when everyone else is getting up for the day
  • wake up just in time to go to the school bus
  • go for another nap right before lunch, ending just as naptime is starting
  • go to bed for the night at 5PM

So what I really need is to find something – ANYTHING – about getting George to sleep past 5AM, because that’s really our entire problem right now. If I let him go for a nap mid-morning, he won’t go down in the afternoon at all, and he starts melting down around 4:30 or so. If I don’t let him nap until after lunch, he goes to sleep right away and (until this week anyway) stays down for a couple hours, but he’s a cranky mess from about 10:30 onwards.

It’s especially frustrating because I seem to have figured it out for all the kids in the house that I didn’t give birth to.


It’s 10AM on Tuesday and the kids, after having a good day yesterday, have been non-stop bickering all morning. OH YAY AWESOME. Time for a project!!



  1. Reading that bit about the naps made me start to convulse. I used to do 2-3-4 and I was regimental about it. I felt like I was doing sums in my head all the time and that is not a natural state for me. It worked for my kids (I think? Or I wouldn’t have done it?) my younger is also an early riser and I think what happened was I fudged the schedule a bit so it was like 3-4-5 ? but my older one was also 3 years old at the time and we had nowhere to be..if I had to do that and also take a child to school/pick up & run a dayhome, well, it would be tricky.

    Solutions! I haz none!

    I think I might need a rainbow manicure. Pissing rain and dark as a black cat today.

  2. Isn’t it amusing that we think we have any control at all over our child’s sleep? Gah! My son has actually been a great sleeper, but it has had nothing to do with anything I have done. Although I have noticed that if we put our son down for bed fairly early, he actually sleeps later, so maybe putting G down for bed early might work for you, too, You might lose a nap, though.

    I bought the toddler some Lego Friends. And later that day, an older boy said, “why does he have Lego Friends? That’s for girls.” Then he and my almost 3 year old proceeded to inform me that Lego City was for boys. We had a discussion. I am now going to go out and buy the small packs of Lego Friends (the ones with the animals) for EVERY CHILD I KNOW. My husband has no idea why I am getting bothered about this when “if Mattel wants to be stupid, just let them be”. (And sigh, Mattel does, in a heavy handed way, do good things for people with disabilities). Fortunately, my husband can also see the problem in our son thinking that there is “girl” Lego and “boy” Lego and that children are only allowed to play with certain types of toys. Because it’s really the boys who lose out on this. Girls still play with trucks, airplanes, dolls, play kitchens, and Star Wars Lego. But boys?

  3. I’m intrigued by your Lego restrictions – is it as a reward for being potty trained, or simply a maturity threshold for chocking hazard toys?

    • Maturity restrictions. The reward for potty thing is recent and solely because of Louis, because as the youngest of three kids (and with six older cousins!) he’s been playing with Lego at home for probably a year now. Telling him “no, you are not old enough yet” just wasn’t getting through, so I arbitrarily picked the ‘must be potty trained’ thing. Because it’s good to be king. 😉

      My own kids can start playing with Lego as soon as they can be trusted not to put it in their mouths. George already plays with it sometimes, with heavy supervision of course.

      • That makes a lot of sense! I shall add it to my list of “useful things to remember for the future” 🙂

  4. I also have no help on the sleep thing because even though oldest is now ten and has to be woken up at 7:00 to make it to school on time, I spent the entire first year of his life and maybe more wondering if he was ever going to sleep past 5:00 am. I think that was the only year I actually was happy about Spring forward – suddenly the 5:00 am waking was 6:00 am and we could work with that. Of course then Fall back occurred and I wanted to burn everything down. I tried putting him to bed later, putting him to bed earlier, later naps, earlier naps, more naps, less naps. Every. Damned. Thing. Nothing changed the early morning waking. Looking back I think the only reasons I didn’t go completely insane were since I only had the one child I could go to bed virtually as soon as I put him down for bed at night and he was just so happy in the morning. Even now he is at his best in the morning. I blame my husband’s DNA for giving birth to a morning person. Damned morning people…

    Uuuuuggggghhh 4 nights of sports. I feel your pain. Due to various scheduling issues we currently spend three days a week at soccer at two different locations and then a game on the weekend at a third location. It’s steadily eating up all of our time for other things. Luckily youngest is too young to do any activities so husband and I trade off who goes to practices, but there is no question that the time commitment just screws things up. One night and sometimes two both kids eat a dinner of sandwiches in the car as we drive back from one particularly early and poorly located practice. My mom picks oldest up from school two days a week so he can do his homework at some point other than 7:30 at night. It’s a PITA. Bleh.

  5. I have no solutions to your sleep problems. I remember hazily how the boys used to get up early, but then they gradually didn’t, and I don’t remember if there was something I did or if it just happened. Probably it just happened. I do remember that Jake gave up all naps at age 20 months. THIS IS ALL I REMEMBER. Sleep deprivation. I’m glad we had photos from that time because I don’t really remember 2-3 years out of my life at all.

  6. Thanks for the mention! I just found your tweet exchange with Mattel! Well said! You blogged about pedicures! You’re a lifestyle blogger now! Exclamation marks are fun!

  7. A lot of my clients experience super-early wakings with their year-old babies, and, sorry, no brilliance from me, either. It just seems to be something they have to outgrow. (This from me! The sleep-training woman, I know!) The only thing you can do is to gradually extend the time between his waking and your rescuing of him, the idea being to teach him to amuse himself for a while, first.

    But if ‘amuse himself’ means ‘scream the house down and wake everyone else’, that’s probably not a viable option… 😛

  8. Guess what I saw on the Today Show this morning?

    And my very best wishes to you on the napping. I am blessed with a 7 month old who is sleeping through the night, but his day time naps have fallen all to heck. Stupid time change.

    • Thank you for the link. That was certainly a more balanced approach than the puff piece in Bloomberg.

  9. I have no advice. You know how great my kid is at sleeping. Good luck.

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