If you have two (or more) small kids, then you know that the idea of taking them to the store is enough to give you heart palpitations and trigger a stroke.
I recently found myself out of the two must-haves for Mr. Pants. Milk and apple juice. Or as I like to call them, creamy calming goodness and tantrum medicine. With ten hours to go until Daddy Pants was expected home, I had no choice but to attempt a run to the grocery store with both kids. It took me two hours to muster the courage. But I had to suck it up, hide my fear and be a woman about this. There are single mamas out there that do this on the regular because they have to. Surely I could rise to this occasion and quit being a cotton headed ninny muggins (I think everyone has watched Elf this week right?).
I first did what any self respecting mother would do, I complained to Facebook about it and got cheered on from my friends. Properly pumped up, I set out to kick ass and take names. I returned with about half of the things I needed but with both of the must haves. That is what we call a win. So in the spirit of sharing good fortune this holiday season, below are some ideas, tricks, and tips for getting you, your kids and your groceries to and from the store in decent, not dead condition. Good luck and godspeed, shoppers with young children....
You will need two lists
List one contains the absolute must haves. Don't be greedy. This list is your mission. Keep it short. Only the absolute, can't live without 'em essentials. When hell possesses your sweet angel, ask yourself, "Is list one complete?". If the answer is yes, get the hell out of there.
List two contains the rest.
So I can't spell. Don't judge me.
Park next to a cart thingy
This is REALLY important. It is imperative that Mr. Pants' feet never touch the ground. Car to cart, cart to car. If his feet touch the ground, I might as well turn right around and go home. It is on like Donkey Kong if he he thinks even for a split second that he can be outside of the cart. No matter how hard he campaigns through tears and puppy dog eyes, do not DO NOT let him out.
Oh my God, do not.
But, should you ever decide that it is time to let them out of the cart.....
Use your "backpack"
I have yet to buy a "backpack", but I still might. I will not even have a scosh of shame about it too. Judge me all you want about my kid on a leash. He is just fine not getting hit by a bus in the Walmart parking lot, and that's the point. And it's not about me not being strict enough with my kid. It's about my kid going apeshit at the store and no one wins that.
To the right is an exmple of "the face". You WILL see this face during your trip. Stay strong. Hold the line. You're gonna make it. You can DO this!
If there ever is time, this is it. This is when they get to eat as many cookies as they want. And juice boxes. And Pringles. And peanut butter crackers. And test the Kleenex. And use your chapstick. And have a piece of bread. Another juice box? Totally dude. Here you go. Mama loves you.
Put on your blinders. As in, decide before you go that you will never even care for a second if someone gives you a look or makes a comment about your kid being a weiner in the dairy aisle. Instead memorize a few statements to have on hand should someone say something to you. Something like, "Wow, people must really like you and your awesome advice".
You do not have time to wander. Put your comfortable, sensible shoes and clothing on and get to moving fast. I found that the mere fact that I was racing through the store, threw Mr. Pants off long enough to get almost done without a problem. He stared at me like, "Whoa mom. Whoa" for the first leg. I had fire in my eyes and quickness that cast a spell over him. And the quickness of the cart gave him some extra vesitibular input that made him very happy. Two birds, one stone. Go me!
Arriving home alive should be celebrated with the fruits of your labor! And what an awesome opportunity to really start driving home some table manners. Especially when he strips down and serves himself while you get the baby down for a nap. Hot damn this kid is fast.
Mr. Pants, appreciating (?) my efforts.
And there you have it. Those are my tricks. I'd love to hear yours. Care to share?
Today's Pearl comes from Angie B. Who likes to read about The Family Pants and has a few tiny humans of her own. Visit her over at A Lil R & R, if you are so inclined. Happy Sunday!
All I Want For Christmas
It’s that time of year again. The time when people ask you what you want for Christmas and you either give them some hippy “World Peace” type of answer or you tell them “fuzzy socks”… again… for the eighth year straight, because you can’t think of anything else. Well, this year I am ready with an answer that has been well thought out and is desperately needed.
Having kids has taught me that there are some things in life that you just don’t need (like a drawer full of socks) and then there’s the things you simply cannot bare to live without. There are things in my house that I have learned are not important when you have kids: like carpeting. It’s only going to get stained and ruined by milk, fruit juice, feces, urine, yogurt, popsicles, berries, mud, crayons, play-doh, paint, guacamole, salsa, and even wine when you stumble over a matchbox car at the end of a hard day. And rugs are the same. Don’t spend a fortune on a beautiful oriental rug just to have it tortured by small hands painstakingly grinding crumbs into it day after day. Hardwood floors are the way to go.
And don’t even get me started on furniture. I used to laugh, back when I was single & naive, at those slipcovers for your couches and chairs. “Who would ever buy these?” I would mock. Now I know that it was probably just a poor parent sick of cleaning their furniture and thought it would be best to just cover it up that came up with that invention. When you get to the point that your stains have stains and cleaning it only leaves an even bigger stain, and someone asks, “What is that?” and you reply, “That was yogurt on pee I think, but now it’s just a big water stain.”, then you know it’s time to break down and buy one of these genius creations. Don’t even bother buying new furniture until the kids are out of the house.
If you have kids the best investment you can make is in a good vacuum. You’re gonna need it. In fact, I use mine daily. Just remember to clean it regularly because the combination of cat fur and cereal really builds up. And, unfortunately, it can kill your most valued tool. As you may have guessed, my beloved Dyson has now died. I am already dreading the piles of dirt and crumbs that are going to start accumulating. And this is where all of my pairs of socks come into good use. If I layer up enough pairs, I won’t have to feel the crunch beneath my feet, right?
And so when someone asks me what I want this year, I’m telling them a new vacuum, a slipcover, and what the heck, maybe one more pair of fuzzy socks.
Cutest little cheese lover of all time
April Fool's Day Wholly Queso Rug Incident
My Dyson has been resurrected! The layers of crumbs have been successfully excavated from my floor! <sigh of relief> Turns out a good filter cleaning and cool down was the cure. But my poor crockpot has bit the dust; huge crack across the bottom that leaks. How on Earth did that happen?
Dear Mr. Pants,
You are such a rock star. After last years "incident" at Thanksgiving,everyone was worried about how you would do today in an unfamiliar environment, with a ton of strange faces and having to wear clothes. But you were more worried about how to best play with all the cool toys in your great aunt's playroom. You made friends with the only other little person there and you had great fun racing cars on the hardwood floors. You sat for just a few minutes and obliged your great grandma in a one sided conversation. And even though I know you were probably thinking "Don't you even think of taking my ball, Old Lady" and you side eyed the gravy out of her, you sat there for a minute. And I know that made her feel good. You even surprised everyone by hugging your great grandpa. Thanks for that bud. I wish I had my camera for that one. You only ate a serving of corn, a fistful of peanuts and a contraband chocolate dipped Oreo (nice one) but I can not complain. Because you were a freaking angel. All. day. long. You ran some wind sprints in the garage and gave some checkers a ride in a school bus. You found Army men fascinating and tried to steal some dinosaurs (Nine-Saar!) for home. You're clever like that. I have a feeling that the fat man in the red suit just might have some nine-saars for you this year. I'll let him know you're looking to score some. Daddy successfully thwarted your attempts to get your nudist on with minimal resistance! You high-fived anyone who asked it of you with a bravado that belongs only to you and you even blew kisses goodbye. So all of this is to say that even though the second we got home, you unleashed holy hell on all of us and spiraled into a vortex of pure "I'm so tired and hungry" eye crossing, head splitting, pea soup spewing insanity. I'm gonna let that slide. Because you did good bud. Nice work. Mama is very proud of you. And just so you know, you look kind of amazing in a sweater vest.
Just so we are clear, this my ball. It is not your ball.
So I completely failed at the thirty days of thanksgiving on Facebook. I did a few days and then forgot all about it. My bad. But I am so thankful. It would take pages and pages of internet space to explain all of the blessings that I am thankful for. So I'm going to keep it simple.
Thank you Daddy, for being who you are. For loving me and all of my strangeness and going to work everyday to provide for our family. Thank you for being every bit of the daddy to our children that I hoped you would be. For being a hero to them and showing them the love you have for them. Thank you for playing with them because you want to, not because you have to. Thank you for making me laugh and holding me when I cry. Thank you for understanding that I can be a pain in your ass when we argue and never taking the low blow. Thank you for taking out the trash and shoveling snow. Thank you for for being the love of my life.Thank you for not hating me for writing about our life for everyone to see. Thank you for working so hard to make my dream of staying home and raising our children a reality. Thank you for choosing me to grow old with you. I love you endlessly.
Thank you, Mr. Pants for being who you are. You have taught me that in the face of frustration and fear, creativity and love and chilling the eff out makes life awesome again. You are an amazing little kid. A kid that has all of the qualities already, at two and a half, that I want for you throughout your life. Thank you for being patient with us as we have tried to understand your language and quirks. Thank you for wanting to snuggle in the morning and for playing quietly a few times a day. Thank you for dancing for your baby sister to make her laugh. She loves you so much and I can see that the two of you will be great friends someday. Thank you for making me a mama. Thank you for being a bizarro little dude. This is my favorite part of your personality. You amaze me everyday. Thank you baby.
Thank you Ms. Plum for being who you are. For completing our family. Thank you for your cheery disposition and go with the flow attitude. Thank you for your morning giggles and squeals of delight when you wake up, as if you know the day ahead is bound to be awesome. Thank you for loving your brother so completely. When you laugh at him, it makes him so happy. Thank you for showing your temper every now and again and reminding us that we need to stop acting crazy and all sit and play on the floor together. Thank you for nursing in public without a problem. It makes mama's life a lot easier. Your eyes light up all of our lives. You are such a special little lady. Thank you for your determination. Watching you work at something until you get it, fills me with excitement that you will master anything you attempt with patience and grace. Thank you baby for choosing me to be your mama.
And to everyone else, I am thankful for you. Thank you for the things I have learned from you and the gifts that you have brought to my life. Thank you for being a shoulder to lean on or an ear to bend. Thank you for loving your kids, your grandkids, your nieces and nephews, your parents, your spouse, your pets and total strangers. Because love is all there is is. And every time you practice love, you make the world better. Each of us has that in us. So this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for all of you too. Keep putting love out there in the world. There is nothing more important.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!
When I was a little girl I remember Christmas Eve so vividly. My mom would help me get into my beautiful Christmas dress, white tights and patent leather shoes. She would do my hair in curls or braids or let it hang long. And we'd head out into the cold dark night in our big old station wagon. Sometimes my mom would talk to my dad about how Santa had already begun delivering presents to children in bed on the other side of the world and my heart would start to race as I eavesdropped, thinking about all of the presents that were sure to be under our Christmas tree the next morning. There seemed so many things in the way between me and my presents! If only this dang church service were already over and I was in my new PJ's, dad had already read T'was Night Before Christmas and we were finally hunkered down in my brothers room for the night with nothing else standing in the way of me and my new loot. Time dragged on and tortured me. Poor poor me.
My grandpa is a Methodist minister and every Christmas Eve we headed to his church to see him deliver the candlelight service. The church was always so beautiful with poinsettias and candles and the lights dim. Everyone dressed up for this very special night. I have many memories of my Grandfather in his robes telling the Christmas story as I fidgeted in the pew. Asking my mom if I could go pee or asking my dad if he had an extra Halls cough drop. I'd draw pictures on the offering envelopes with a pencil I found in my mom's purse and I'd pull at my tights as they got saggy and uncomfortable. But there was a part of the service that was worth all of the waiting I had to put in for it. The very last part. They would turn the lights off and each person held a small candle and we sang without music, the song Silent Night. I remember so clearly how beautiful it was. How it moved me to tears even as a young girl. I felt connected to my family and my heart would swell as a lump rose in my throat. I remember asking my mom once why I cried when we sang Silent Night. Because I really didn't grasp why it made me cry. And she told me that it was because when we sing, we feel things deeper. That it was a gift that some people are given. To feel. It made me feel special when she told me that. Even if my brothers made fun of me for it.
My grandpa retired from his church years ago and I was there when he gave his final telling of the Christmas story at his last Christmas Eve service. It nearly overwhelmed me when we sang Silent Night. Knowing it was the last time. My heart breaking and feeling the loss that this part of my life, this gift, was to be archived and logged away as a memory. A memory of my grandpa that I cherish and miss. See, my grandpa is very special. The most special. I'm not saying that your grandpa isn't. Just that mine really really is. His heart is enormous and he doesn't have a mean bone in his body. He loves everyone. He hates no one. He loves rainbows and kids. He is patriotic but never dismissive of dissent or protest. He sings with a rich baritone and his hugs will melt you. He is a hero to me. I don't call people heroes for just being good people either. And it has been such a blow these last few years to see his health be slowly taken. It is a part of this life and I know that. But I want to keep him forever. I want him to always tell me stories of when he was in the Navy and about his heritage and talk baseball and football, politics and spirituality with him. I want to always hear this silly little song that he used to sing to me when I was little, "A little bone um bone. Diddily dee, diddilly", he'd sing. None of us grandchildren really knew the words he was singing. That was just my best guess. I want to sit in his lap again and ask him for the hundredth time to tell me the story of the USS Indianapolis or the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. I want to go back and listen to his records of Broadway musicals and sing along. I want to once again be laying with my head on his lap watching the free concert that Simon & Garfunkel gave in Central Park. I want to go back to do all of these things with the understanding of how special they would be to me. Knowing that I needed to soak them all in.
So when I got a message from my cousin that my grandpa had been asked to deliver the Christmas Eve service this year, I knew that nothing could keep me from being there. Because it means I get to go back and sing Silent Night by candlelight with my grandpa one more time. Even though it means splitting up our family on Christmas Eve, with Daddy and Mr. Pants in one place and Ms. Plum and me in another, it will be ok. When my beloved grandfather looks out into the congregation during what is certain to be his last time, he will see me among the many, smiling back. And while I will not be wearing white tights or a fancy Christmas dress, Ms. Plum will. And she will see her great grandpa in his robes telling the Christmas story. And someday I will be able to tell her how important that night was to me. And I will explain to my babies why we light candles and sing Silent Night before we go to bed on Christmas Eve. And if they cry, I will tell them that it is a gift.
1988. Me, my gramps and Santa
You should always let your husband make dessert when he offers. Especially if you know he is no good at following recipes.
Because: A) it's nice of him to try and B) it will take away the sting that he is a far better cook than you are.
The intended outcome
Hot friggin delicious mess
Dreaming of returning to the wild
When I was little it wasn't a normal day in my house if I hadn't yet run from the living room with my head hanging back and wailing all the way down the hall to my room only to throw myself to my bed and sob. This could be because I didn't get to watch my show on TV or because my heathen brothers said something that I just couldn't bear or they didn't want to play with me, or I stubbed my toe or I couldn't find my shoes or well, you get the point. I was (and there is a good case for, still am) the most dramatic child that ever lived. It served me well in life. I enjoyed a little career in the dinner theater circuit in the eighties and starred in many high school plays. I went on to enjoy some roles in college too. I know that this trait also helped me get down to the floor and work with the kids at the shelter. It's easier to talk to a big old grown up when they can play house with you and pull funny voices out and act like a goffball. It really helps me parent these babies too. Feeling my feelings has never been an issue for me (and other people feelings). I feel
them. A lot. And it would seem that I can not supress them even if I try. It's a curse, really. No it's not, that was me being dramatic. It's a blessing. And can even be kind of funny. When Mr. Pants was born I could not sing to him. I'd get about one word out, sometimes not even that. Sometimes just thinking
about singing to him reduced me to buckets (like ten gallon buckets) of tears. Singing to my newborn baby was way
to friggin precious. I couldn't even handle it. So instead of cry singing and snotting all over my baby, I started to sing about things in the room. "There's a chair over there that isn't very comfortable!", "The paint on the wall is ugly, somedaaaay I hope to repaint!". And it worked for a bit til I was ready to try again singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Twinkle Twinkle.
There is a pretty big downside to being this dramatic though. I can fall into some pretty intense thoughts when I am faced with uncertainty. Having had cancer inside of my body, even if just for a short time. Even if it was just in one spot and they took it out and do not expect it to return. And even if it does, it would probably mean one major surgery to take care of it for good. And the surgery would be ok, because I no longer need my uterus for the job it provides. She has served me so very well and I'd hate to see her go but if she has to go, that's that. Done. Even still, the idea that cancer found my body a nice place to grow has never left my mind. I suspect it never will. And that was no more obvious to me than last night.
I had my screening a week and a half ago. The general rule with these types of screenings is that if they don't call you, all is well. So I was going through my voicemails last night and they had called. I missed the call somehow and here I was after business hours waiting. Thinking. Knowing I can not call until this morning. Torture. My solution after breathing through a panic attack (BOO!) was to eat half a box of swiss cake rolls, talk to my girlfriends online and cry. Oh and dramaticaly stare at my babies and be, well, dramatic. Yep I totally took it to that waaaaaay next level and started worrying about my kids having to grow up without their mama. Daddy having to raise them alone. I know, I know, I could totally smack myself too. But that's what I did. As I nursed Ms. Plum to sleep last night I just stared at her, imagining her as a young lady hoping I'd be there and knowing that even if I am not, her big brother and daddy would help her through. Jeebus help these children, their mama is a NUT. Because I woke up (did I even sleep?) this morning and called the office about seventeen times until I got someone on the phone. And I'm fine. All negative. All clear. I'm just fine. Totally good. I might have aged a bit in the twelve hours I had to wait to hear it, but I'm good. They are calling those with cancer histories either way now. Good Lawd! Now I am bringing the drama with the happy/relief tears that have been aflowing for about an hour now.
Anyway, I will end this post with two messages.....
1. Ladies, LISTEN UP! Make sure you are getting screened yearly. Don't put it off. Catching lady bits cancer early is so important. I am alive because of it. My children exist because of it. Suck it up and go put those feet up. I'm serious.
2. I'm gonna work on the drama a bit. Because the refrain that has been on repeat in my head for the last 15 hours is "Get busy living or get busy dying"
. It's the perfect mantra for me right now. It's time to step up the healthy and kick back the unhealthy. Because I promised my baby girl this morning as I nursed her down for her morning nap that mama was gonna stick around for a very long time. And I mean it. That's not drama. That's the friggin truth.
A week ago we sent Daddy Pants back to work, and our hearts hearts were tugged a bit. For the previous four days our family had been hunkered down in what I hope is a quarterly tradition. A staycation. We unprogramed all the alarm clocks and got down to business just being a family. See about three weeks ago, Daddy and I were talking. We talked about all of things that have happened over the last few months and how we needed a little break. From bee attacks and autism testing and school starting for Mr. Pants and Miss Plum getting a new tooth. We had an amazing time with a certain nine year old big sister from California, but her inevitable return home to California left us all a bit defeated after spending a week feeling whole. As it stands, there is one Pants family kiddo that lives three thousand miles away from us and that is so hard. Especially on Daddy. So, I left my job to stay home. But somewhere along the way we got caught up in survival mode. Going from appointment to appointment to this to that and school functions we started feeling a bit run down. So we daydreamed a bit about going to the beach or going on some fancy vacation but the reality is that what we needed was to be with each other. Really be. So Daddy turned in a few vacation days and made a four day weekend so that we could do nothing but be together. Just breathe together.
Everyday for four days we took epic naps and no one was made to get out of bed before they were ready. When we did get out of bed, we watched the fog that crawled over the yard. We made food together and watched a few movies. Mr. Pants and Daddy cleaned out the garage and found all of the baby toys we'd put away for baby girl and Pants jumped in a leaf pile for the very first time. He wasn't into it. I imagine it was to itchy for his senses. Ms. Plum started to work on really crawling. She looks pretty funny doing it. Slithering like a chubby snake while alternating leg extensions like she is striking a ballet pose. Toes pointed , knee slightly bent. She's already performing. She prefers the army crawl though, because it gets her to where she's going way faster. She also decided that she would no longer be spoon fed and went on solids strike. So just like her big brother we are chucking the purees and instead doing baby led solids. Miss Independant. She started the hard work of getting tooth number two and took it like a champ. And on the third day I heard her say "Mamamama" with a gorgeous clarity (and somewhat on point, because she was ticked) and while I know she hasn't yet made the connection that "Mama" is me, it was beautiful to hear none the less. Mr. Pants discovered the creamy heavan that is Nutella and smeared it all over himself (of coarse). There have been times when I thought about doing that, Nutella is that good. He didn't adjust so well to the time change but he perfected a stunning new dance move we are calling the "Side eye kick step crazy baby" and he let us read him a book. Like the whole thing. Turns out he might have been waiting for mama and daddy to snuggle into bed on either side of him under the down comforter before he'd stand for reading a whole book. Who knew? After two years of not caring at all about it, the Twilight Turtle that grandma got for him suddenly became the most awesome thing he has ever seen. He took it under the covers and giggled with it for for thirty straight minutes. Completely blown away by the stars changing colors from blue to green to amber. And Daddy and I watched and giggled with him. Enjoying him. Being a kid with him. We rolled around on the floor with Ms. Plum and found her tickle spots have changed. She is no longer as ticklish on her belly. Her ribs are the new good spot. All of these things helped us fall deeper in love with each other and i know that sounds super cheesy, but oh well. It's the truth.
We needed this time together. Even if just to learn a few seemingly silly things about each of us. And we need it to happen more regularly. Before we get desperate for it. Because at the end of the day, these crazy loons are my people and I risk disconnecting from them when I get caught up in running a schedule and managing the day instead of living inside of it with them. We do keep some semblance of a schedule to ensure the day doesn't fall into a heaping pile of crazy but we need to be mindful that our days are not just going through the motions. Because these kids are trying very hard to grow up on us. Even if I try binding them to this place and time, I will fail. We just have to stop looking toward bedtime and wishing the day to end (most of the time. I mean sometimes it's just in everyone's best interest for bedtime to come sooner rather than later). Because just four weeks ago, Ms. Plum stayed were I put her. Today she is dragging herself all over the house. Four weeks ago, Mr. Pants didn't sing a song with you ever. Today he skips around the house singing the ABC's (HALF of which is in English!). They are changing with everyday. My wish for Daddy and I is that we grow with them. Because they have lives to live and people to become. The most important thing we can do is to be with the people they are right now. This minute. And soak it up. So that when they are adults themselves and need their mama and daddy (because you are never too old to need mama and daddy), we will have all of the information we need to support them, because we have been witness to who they are in each day that they lived, and we will know what works to soothe them because we have paid attention. We will know the whole of them. And that is such a gift.
So I recommend that you take a staycation with your family. Right now. Go ahead and do it before the holidays make us all a bit nuts. And then take one after the holidays too. Because while I still dream of lounging by the beach and being served cocktails in the sun, for right now, I am dreaming about Daddy taking a few vacation days and all the awesome things we will do and learn about each other the next time we decide to just stay home.
Watching the fog recede
Mr. Pants does not like to wear pants. Or shirts. Or diapers. If you know him at all you know that shoes and socks are a whole different ballgame. They are always welcome. So if you decide to stop by the Pants ranch you will more than likely find our two year old running amok in only socks and shoes. I have come to accept this as a phase and hope for the best. Actually, it seems that "hope for the best" has become my parenting strategy for just about everything. Hmmm. If you have a nudist child like I do, there are things you must know. They are listed here. Feel free to print this page for your records if your child is not yet 18 months because this just might happen to you. I'm not trying to scare you. The key to any good preparedness plan (zombie or otherwise), is well, being prepared. So here you go. You are welcome.
Ten Things You Need to Know if Your Child is a Nudist
1. Being naked will not kill them.
2.There is no temperature low enough, to make them cold enough, to want to put on clothes. It seems as though these children have thermal skin or it could be that they do, in fact, have magic baby vampire blood that is keeping them warm. If so, then Daddy Pants has been right all along.
3. Peeing is going to happen. Be ready. Have a plan. And towels. And disinfectant.
4. They will probably only hurt their bits once. But your definition of hurt and their definition of hurt are two very different things. Be prepared to wince and gasp at the vicarious trauma to your bits. Daily.
5. Butts to the face. Intentionally and unintentionally. This is gross. So so gross.
6. Beggers can't be choosers. If they want to wear two different socks, pajama shorts and a fleece pullover? So friggin be it, man. Just be happy that clothes are actually touching their body.
7. Turns out, Two year olds are not self concious about their body so saying things like, "The neighbors can see your penis" will not even phase them. Not even a little bit. Instead they will make it their mission in life to expose themselves to every neighbor, every day. For fun.
8. They are a completely different little angel child at school.Their teacher will say things to you like, "Oh no!, I never have a problem keeping clothes on him". Try not to take this personally (or pull her hair). It's not her fault. He doesn't love his teacher more than you. I promise.
9. Children, in general, can smell fear. If you are in public and you see your child begin to disrobe, DO NOT PANIC. It will just make them go faster. Be calm and nonchalant. Pretend you don't care at all. Pick them up and try distraction. When that fails (because it will), give them candy.
10. On the plus side, spaghetti sauce, juice and other foods are much easier to clean off of skin than clothing! On the down side, dinner peeing can ruin everybody's night. Make arrangements. Have a plan. And a towel. And disinfectant. And a back up dinner.
Good luck parents of nudist children! As I type this I'm getting butt smeared on my back as Mr. Pants squeezes between me and the chair.