It’s What Mamas Have to Say Monday! Each Monday, our panel of mommy bloggers weighs in on wacky questions that we – or you – think up. Have a question you want our panel to answer? e-mail it to us at email@example.com. We’ll notify you if your question is selected!
Here’s what mamas are saying today!
Question: How do you get your kid to sit still when they need to sit still?
The doctor’s office has always been our biggest challenge (and the place we seem to spend the most amount of time waiting). The waiting room is fine — yes, it’s germ filled and horrifying to me, but the kids love it because it has lots of germ-filled toys and a giant TV showing movies. The problem is once they move us to wait in the office. There is NOTHING in there. When the kids were little, I used to play patty cake and sing songs and maniacally point out how “fun” the animal borders were and talk about any pictures in the office. “I see a hippo!” “Do you see that hippo?!?” “I see a tiger!” Now that they are older it’s a little easier. They watch kids shows on my iPhone, they whine, and they look through my purse.
I know that there are super-organized moms out there who have this covered. They have the fun bag of books, games, and snacks. I have been meaning to do this for eight years now. It’s a really good idea.
Sarah Knight is co-founder of Mamas Against Drama and has countless hours sitting in the doctor’s office with her fussy children. She is pretty sure her husband has done it exactly once. Just saying. You can follow her on Twitter at @sarahsknight
Why, we meditate and practice polite conversation in our quiet inside voices, of course.
Thankfully, both my little mini-nerds are crazy for reading, so we’re in good shape as long as we have books on hand. The problem comes when I forget the books. That’s when they start doing things like, “Mom, watch this! I can hike my pants all the way up to HERE!”
ML has a son and daughter who are both, thankyoujesus, past diaper age. She is a freelance writer and editor, as well as the author of the humor column, I Miss You When I Blink. Follow along on Twitter (@wheniblink) and Facebook.
In times where I need my wiggle worms to sit still for a few minutes (like restaurants or waiting in line) we play a few verbal games. Both girls can play “Would You Rather” because there are two choices: Would you rather have feet that quack when you walk or hair that slithers?” It’s easy to keep them quiet when they are listening for the questions. And they create awesome choices too! They also love to play “What Am I Thinking Of?” We give a series of clues: This animal is nocturnal. It uses echolocation. It is endangered. It sleeps upside down. – You keep giving facts until they guess “bat.” You will be amazed at how much your children know and it’s a good way for them to learn new vocabulary or practice for upcoming tests. It’s incredible to watch their brains churn through the clues and sometimes their questions will even stump you.
For times that you are not their sole source of entertainment, I stock a few essentials in my purse. Bendaroos are a fantastic way to keep tiny ones busy. They’re easy to store and keep the kids busy for a while. I always have crayons for time like sitting in the doctor’s office. I draw an outline of their bodies on the paper on the exam table. They color in the outfits, hair, face, etc. And, when all else fails, I whip out the iPhone and let them duke it out over whether they want to watch a riveting episode of Ni Hao Kai Lan versus Scooby Doo and pray for the time to pass quickly!
*Tracy Winslow is one of the top four funniest people at her address. She lives with her husband and two daughters in California. You can read more of their hilarious antics at http://www.momaical.com and follow her @Momaical and http://www.facebook.com/momaicalblog
While I will do just about anything to avoid these situations, I find the best way to handle this is with wine. Oh, you mean for the kids? Candy. I have a ziploc bag of Trader Joe’s gummy bears and lollipops in my purse that I will whip out at the first sign of squirminess. I also have every annoying app on my phone (Angry Birds, the matching game, Curious George) to help out and I travel with a Leapster and LeapPad in my car for these very situations.
*Sarah Weitzenkorn has written several guest blogs for Mamas Against Drama and is the mother of an adorable little boy and girl.
Electronics. I don’t think there’s any other way, especially on an airplane. We look like the gizmo-addicted version of Hansel and Gretel with our ipads, ipods, iphone and movie player (though the movie player is only used on flights). For regular type waiting areas, if the wait isn’t too bad (say, 15 minutes or less), the boys are fine people watching. Longer waits (when one child is seeing the doctor while the others tag along for the ride) will see the iPhone hauled out or a Nintendo DSi turned on. However, if it’s not a super-long wait or is one that they need to learn to endure (long line at the bank, long line to order food, slow moving line at the Post Office, etc.), then we go gizmo-less, and I resort to using the Cobra if they get rowdy. Remember the Cobra? Where you hook your fingers around the muscle on top of the collarbone and give it a gentle, little digging squeeze? It’ll take a rambunctious child right to his knees, I tell you (it’s more of a tickling, awkward kind of feeling–not pain, I promise–but it’s weird enough without being painful and it gets their attention). Bad behavior? Nipped in the bud. Hiss hiss.
*Laura Bedingfield Herakovich is the mother of three rambunctious, yet adorable boys. You can read her personal blog at http://www.jtandtheob.com/
Finally! A question that I can relate to, having a two year old. I have one word of advice. iPad. There is really nothing else. Evans and I have had the pleasure of flying approximately 150,000 miles together his in short life and I am almost positive that I could not have done it without this life saving device. I have seen with my own two eyes how miraculous the iPad can be. If it can entertain my child on a ten hour international flight, it can work for you in your doctor’s office, on your bank visits and during other siblings sports practices. Our apps include anything and everything ever made by Duck Duck Moose, Toca Monsters/Toca Kitchen, Dr. Seuss Books, Disney and multiple movies (Cars). I get that it is an investment and I can honestly say that we wouldn’t have one if I had not bought one for my husband one Christmas. I’d buy another tomorrow if something happened to the original one we own. If you are looking for a cheaper option, we have recently purchased an Android based tablet so that my husband’s iPad might have a chance at a longer life. I paid $88 for a no name no brand tablet and I have had no problems finding apps in the Google Play Store. If you need hours of enjoyment when you are in public places, you cannot go wrong with a tablet of some sort.
*Sarah Deaner is ex patriot living in the land of sauerkraut and bratwurst. She is a STHM to her two year old son. When she is not out and about being yelled at by Germans, Sarah can be found at www.gleatieanddeaner.blogspot.com and Sarah Gleaton Deaner on Facebook
I hate to say this, but candy and video games. There is a reason that banks have that big jar of lollipops sitting on the counter. And over the years my kids have progressed from the Leapster to the Nintendo DS and iPod Touch, but all hand-held electronic games come in handy in waiting rooms – just like that’s where I’m most likely to be making a move in Words With Friends.
*Jennifer Griffin is the mother of two very active and very adorable little boys.
That’s all the mamas have to say this week. Check back next Monday for another wacky (and yet profound and insightful…) round of answers from the mamas!