Kids and bribes

Curly told us recently that he wants his next birthday party to be at a farm. His next birthday, when he turns 4. FOUR. We’re happy to do a farm birthday party for him and we have a regional park close by where kids can get up close and personal with some animals, so that should work out (as long as the weather cooperates, which for the first day of May, you never know…)

Still, it is amazing how much of a kid he is these days. A kid who picks out his own clothes and gets them on all by himself, although sometimes he says “I did it!” and we have to not laugh at the fact that his pants are on backwards. A kid who turns lights on and off, hangs his coat on a door knob or holds it until we’re ready to hang it up for him, cleans up his toys and makes sure everything is in its right place, cuts up his own food, can handle most trips to the bathroom (at home) by himself, reads along with books and sings along with songs, talks incessantly from the time he wakes up until the time he goes to sleep, says “I want to give you a kiss” or “I love you” or, unfortunately, “I don’t like you” or “Don’t come in here,” who asks how our days at work went, tells us what he did at school, makes plans for the future, asks what time it is or what the weather is like, wants to take a dance class, sets up indoor picnics with his stuffed animals, etc, etc. A kid, and a really awesome one at that.

Now for the other part…Nutella and I are going on a week-long cruise in 8 days. Without him. Kind of a second honeymoon to go with our recent legal marriage. We’ve been planning the trip for 8 months. Nutella’s parents will be watching Curly at their house half the time, and a wonderful family friend and her boyfriend will be staying at our house and bringing him to school for the other half. About 2 weeks ago, we told him we were going on a “work trip.” This was very necessary not only to prepare him for our absence, but because if we dared to tell him we were going on a vacation without him, and a cruise at that (since he’s already been on 2), we would never live it down. So work trip it is, and he is perfectly fine with that news. Well, for the most part. A couple of times within these past 2 weeks it would hit him and he would start crying about the fact that we’re leaving. Which led us to promising to bring back presents for him, and that helps a lot lol. There is an episode of Danie.l Tiger that talks about parents leaving for date nights or work trips or whatever, and the main message is “Grown-ups come back.” So we’ve been stressing that to him and the fact that it’s only one week and he gets to have fun with grandma and grandpa, too. And, let’s face it, part of it is to assuage our own guilt. But we are SO looking forward to this trip, and new adventures, and freedom and all the time we can just spend together in paradise. So yes, grown-ups come back…feeling super refreshed and with armfuls of presents 🙂

10 responses to “Kids and bribes

  1. Good for you! I hope you guys have a blast! (and that you don’t run into problems like the recent ones in the news!)

  2. That sounds SO lovely. Growing up, my parents would take a 3-week trip every other year without me starting around Curly’s age. They always went somewhere that would have been hard to travel with a small child (like India or China) and brought back fascinating objects. One year, (I think I was 8, and their trip was particularly hard for me) they went to Scandinavia and had arranged for a package to arrive “by mail” (placed by our neighbor) every day with a little something that was related of where they were. I really thought they sent me a postcard/package every day of their trip and I loved it. Maybe you can leave a little something for Curley to get in the mail while you are gone…..

    I think getting kids in the habit of parents absence is definitely the right thing to do. Dont feel guilty! When I got older, I used to look forward to my few weeks “alone” when I got to stay at friends’ houses during the week and with my grandparents on weekends. And when I was finally a teenager, I got to travel with them! Its great for the kids to have a break –and for the moms! Enjoy!

  3. e10stix- thanks for your comment! We do plan on leaving Curly a couple presents hidden around the house to find while we’re gone. We’ll be calling a couple times to check in and let him know where to look 🙂

  4. Taking a second honeymoon is definitely in order and I’m sure Curly will have a blast with new people spoiling him! Can’t wait to read all about it!

  5. In less than 2 months, you will have a FOUR year old! You will leave behind the long hard slog of toddlerhood forever and have a bona fide pre-schooler! That is amazing.

    I know I go on about how much I love babies and toddlers (and I do)…but yeah, I can really appreciate how nice it will be to have pre-schoolers in 2 years. Who can have conversations with you and take themselves to the bathroom and maybe even play in the basement while I make dinner and talk to my wife! (Now that’s just the stuff of science fiction!)

    I’m sure Curly will do great and you will have a wonderful trip. (The hiding presents idea is awesome! He’ll remember that so much more than he’ll remember you were away.) We’re starting to make some progress with our summer trip. We’re thinking 4-5 days (not 7-8…not ready for that many yet) but even that much sounds like it will be so restorative.

  6. Wow. Four. When did that happen? Somehow I feel that all the blogland kiddos should be permanently two. Maybe because our little guy is two? I don’t know. Completely illogical.

    Also, I hope you have a WONDERFUL time on your cruise. Sounds like Curly will be in good hands and you two will be able to really enjoy your time together. 🙂

  7. ohmygod. I’m so excited for you!!! He’s going to be just fine. and you’re going to LOVE LOVE LOVE the time together!

    He’s such a wonderful kid. and FOUR! When did that happen?

  8. Isn’t nearly four amazing? The conversations we have surprise me every day. I just never expected a preschooler to be so tuned in to everything around her.

  9. Nutella and Strawberry,

    Hi how are you! I love your blog. Curly is so cute! I am a Casting Associate at Metal Flowers Media. We have cast many credible shows in the past, such as Storage Wars, Frontiersman, Bar Rescue and others (you can scope out our website for an exhaustive list). Currently we are casting a show about different parenting techniques and I am very interested in interviewing some families with same sex parents about their family lives.

    If you are interested, I would very much like to speak to you about your parenting style. Please call me or email me back when you have a minute.

    Robert L DeRoeck
    Casting Associate
    Metal Flowers Media, LLC
    robert @
    (3two3) 5five2-9eight17

  10. Happy belated birthday to Curly! I hope you are doing well. I have been lapsed for a while and don’t think I have your current p-word. Would you send to

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