Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The great Barbie debate

My daughter turned two yesterday and her very sweet daycare provider got her a gift.

It was a Barbie.

This is the Barbie she got.
I was able to hold back my horror when I saw the doll - apparently a veterinarian, although my vet does not wear what Barbie had on - until after we left the daycare. I thanked our daycare provider and said it was so nice, "You didn't have to do that," etc. etc.

Really, though, you didn't have to do that.

I was hoping Barbie was still a far off concern - something I didn't have to worry about for at least another two years.

Why do I dislike Barbie? After all, I played with Barbie, I think I turned out pretty OK.

I can't really put my finger on it. Barbie just seems too old for a two-year-old, even if you ignore all the choking hazards that come with the doll (tiny shoes, in this case little needles to treat the toy dog that could also get lodged in my daughter's throat).

Barbie wears a lot of makeup, She is wearing a rather short dress in this particular incarnation. She's the opposite of what I am - and maybe that's why I have a hard time handing a Barbie over to my daughter.

The box says 3+, which makes more sense, but if I'm really honest, I'd prefer if my daughter ditched Barbie and played with Duplo and her Little People forever. I feel like she gets more out of playing with those kinds of toys.

My husband had a similar reaction to the Barbie as I did. Not yet. After bed, and I had to tell my daughter she couldn't take Barbie to bed, I took Barbie downstairs and we agreed to put her away for a little while.

I am sure we won't avoid Barbie forever, but I want to hold on to my newly turned two-year-old's enjoyment of other toys for just a little longer.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

All by myself ... Don't wanna be, all by myself

I am technically not all by myself. I have a wonderful husband and a darling daughter. And we have a dog. He's pretty awesome.
But sometimes I wonder, where did my friends go?
For a solid five years there, my husband and I had our weekends booked seeing friends, drinking, doing stuff. I remember remarking how I wasn't this popular in high school - so what happened?
Frankly, it was a lot of fun.
Cue baby.
Sure, when our daughter was still very tiny, I took her with us and we still stayed out late. But then she hit about six months and we started a bedtime routine complete with the same time to bed every night. And here ended our carefree nights out.
All of my female friends either live too far away to call up for a quick coffee, or have also recently had children, so often also aren't available at the drop of a hat.
I've tried setting up girls' events. Dinner out. A book club with some other moms (the goal being to read novellas because who has time for a whole book?), and even simple play dates.
The schedule of any mother, it seems, is to stay home and watch Netflix once their child goes to bed. Or that's the case in my circle of friends.
I am envious when I hear about other friends going out. I am insanely jealous of my husband's semi-regular boys' nights (spent mostly playing a game and having a beer or two).
I don't help my cause - I work an early morning shift so get up at 4:30 a.m.-ish each weekday, meaning a weeknight is out for me. But I also am not sure it would make a difference.
I can see why moms turn to Facebook and over share - it's the only way some people can make a connection.
I tried an online forum for a bit, but the atmosphere reminded me too much of high school, except here the mean girls had avatars with cupcakes and rainbows and names like aLlInEeDiSLOVE or something similarly stupid.
Oh, woe is me, cue the tiny violin and listen to the mom bitch about how all her friends have forsaken her. It's a fairly common refrain.
I just never thought I'd be the one saying it.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The fast-approaching birthday party

Oh wow. Next weekend is our daughter's birthday party and beyond getting a cake ordered and inviting people, nothing is planned.

Pinterest fanatics shudder at the thought.

The thing is, I used to be very organized. I used to love planning parties for our friends. I was GOOD at it.

But now, with a toddler and being pregnant (god, please don't ask what month I am ... My lack of attention to this pregnancy is a whole other post), plus commuting two hours daily for my full-time job, my brain is mush. I'm lucky I remember how to use basic appliances.

But while a part of me feels like I should feel like a failure, I don't. I used to be a perfectionist, but now think, "It'll happen. I'll get it done." If something doesn't happen, others won't know it.

I didn't get balloons? Maybe I didn't want them. No special shirt for the birthday girl? Maybe I think they're cheesy. No cutlery? OK, that people would notice ...

But so long as there is food, drink and cake, plus the little girl we're celebrating, there will be a party and, in the eyes of most people, it will be an enjoyable day. And sometimes, that just has to be good enough.