Friday, December 30, 2016

I'm Still a Cool Mom. No, Really!

Photo © Pixabay
Before I had children, I promised myself I would be a cool mom:
  •  My husband and I would stay in our 815-square-foot condo in the cool area of town. We wouldn't move out to the suburbs
  • I would still wear stylish clothes, avoiding mom jeans or other pants with elastic waistbands.
  • I would not dress my children in matching outfits for family photos that would embarrass them when they were older.
The first two resolutions crumbled quickly in the wake of  the new reality of parenthood. We moved three months after our son was born. I wore yoga pants for two years, after a surprising amount of baby weight lingered postpartum.

However, I still hadn't bought matching clothes -- but this one recently flew out the window. I broke down and ordered matching pajamas for me and my daughter. Pink pajamas -- with unicorns, no less. These are not cool in any universe, known or otherwise.

Perhaps I can preserve my dignity somewhat by not taking any photos of myself and my daughter in the pajamas. But I'm itching to post a photo on Facebook that will haunt me in any job interview down the road.

Believe me, I wasn't remotely cool in high school or college, but I was determined to be a cool mom. I had a brief window of coolness in my 20s when I splurged on a used Ford Mustang convertible. With the top down and the breeze through my hair, I was the coolest I've ever been.

Nowadays, I take heart from an episode from the cult television show "Freaks and Geeks." Sam, the adorkable younger brother, repeats "I'm cool" to himself to build his confidence after making some questionable fashion choices. I just have to repeat "I'm cool" enough times while wearing pink unicorn pajamas to believe it.

But then again, all moms are cool, if you think about it. After all, we grew a baby human inside us for nine months, and then suffered a fair amount of pain to bring the tiny creature into the world. What's cooler than that?

Nina Snyder is the author of "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book that makes learning the alphabet fun for toddlers. Follow her on Twitter @nsnyder_writer.

Monday, December 12, 2016

4 Best Books for 4-Year-Old Boys

Photo © Pixabay
I'm basing this highly-scientific blog on books that my four-year-old son loves me to read. He is a typical toddler in that he loves silly books, especially about underwear. If you're still looking for stocking stuffers for Christmas, or need an eighth present to round out Hanukkah gifts, you've come to the right place.

  • Vegetables in Underwear -- My son loves this picture book about the joys of wearing underwear. Clever illustrations make it an easy read for parents also. My favorite character is the broccoli boy who narrates the story. 
  • Yellow Submarine -- The Beatles cult classic is not really a children's movie, although it is animated. The book actually makes a lot more sense than the movie, especially if you're trying to watch it completely sober. 
  • Don't Push the Button -- In an example of reverse psychology at its finest, the picture book instructs the readers to avoid pushing a red button. My son loves pushing the button, of course, and seeing what mayhem ensues to the poor narrator.
  • Tikki Tikki Tembo - A 1968 classic about the value of short names, the book continues to delight my toddler. I think he just likes hearing "Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo!" over and over again.
What are your toddler's favorite books? Do you have any you would recommend?

Nina Snyder is the author of "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book that makes learning the alphabet fun for toddlers. Follow her on Twitter @nsnyder_writer.