7 months

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Happy Hour

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When you have kids, you expect to develop some family traditions: How and where to spend holidays. Birthday rituals. Books and songs at bedtime. Pancakes on Sunday morning... You choose those rituals. You shape and mold them into bite-size memories for your kids to hold onto through the years.

But then, there are some family traditions that are more spontaneous. There are some that choose you.

For us, that unexpected tradition is Happy Hour. It started when B was a newborn and would fuss uncontrollably in the early evenings. Kris found that playing music--not kiddie music, but HIS music--loudly and dancing calmed her down. Once B could walk and dance, she carried on the ritual, pointing to the stereo and saying "Dance! Dance!" So now, when anyone in the house is melting down, at any time of day, Kris whips out his CD collection, and Happy Hour commences.

Miles is still getting the hang of it. It takes a couple minutes before he finds his groove. Wait for it.

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Dinnertime

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The good, the bad, and the bunny...

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Bronwynn still hasn't grasped the concept that all good things must come to an end. So, for instance, when you've been enjoying a wildly successful playdate with your best friend Austin, and nap time rolls around, and Mommy says it's time to say goodbye and go home?? Totally unacceptable.

I had to carry her to the car, over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes kicking and screaming, and forcibly buckle her in her carseat, all the while trying to validate her feelings...because that's what good parents do, right? They lovingly pin their children down and say through gritted teeth, "Honey, I know you had SO much fun at Austin's house and you are SO SAD to leave! Don't worry, sweetie, we'll come back and play again really soon..."

As we drove away, B retaliated by throwing her stuffed bunny (Mr. Bunny, her absolute favorite toy and snuggle buddy since she was 3 months old, the one material thing she cannot sleep or exist without) out the moving car's window. I saw a flash of gray out of the corner of my eye and then watched in my rearview mirror as Bunny cartwheeled into the street and settled in a cloud of dust.

My immediate reaction (after slamming on the brakes) was to say in a very calm voice, "Oh no, Bronwynn. Looks like you chose to throw Bunny out the window. Bunny is all gone now."

I assumed that she would immediately realize the horror of her mistake and make amends. But, no. After a quiet moment, she replied ever so casually, "Yep! Bunny all gone."

"Yeah, B, bunny is all gone. You threw him away." (I make a dramatic sad face)

"Yeah."

At about this point, I realize:
1) she's not feeling any remorse
2) she will understand the impact of her decision at naptime when Bunny isn't there
3) if I don't turn the car around and retrieve Bunny from the road, I will regret it for the rest of my life

So, I do a U-turn and pull over and rescue Bunny. I dust him off and put him in the front seat and say, "Oh Mr. Bunny, I'm so sorry Bronwynn threw you away. You can stay safe with me now." I buckle him in and drive.

About a half mile down the road, I hear a soft, repentant voice from the backseat. "Mommy, I sorry. I have my bunny now please?"


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