Ep. 313 – Parenting Sacrifices You Never Saw Coming

July 1, 2024

Listen Now:

In the special segment “Mom Wins!,” Laura and Shanna celebrate their recent parenting achievements, including heroic sacrifices that involve indoor playgrounds and fancy notebooks. Also Laura reports on the skills that her 3-year-old has recently developed that makes him feel more like a big kid and less like a baby, and Shanna talks about how she celebrated her daughters’ last week of school. Finally, they share their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Shanna’s kids are 5 and 8 years old, and Laura’s kids are 5 years old and 3 years old.

Topics discussed in this episode:

-3-year-old child develop

-When your child feels more like a big kid than a baby

-Signs of toddler independence

-Your kids’ last week of school

-Volunteering in your kid’s classroom

-Making an uncomfortable sacrifice for your children

-Acknowledging your child’s feelings, even when they seem unreasonable

-Playing hide and seek at the park with your kids

-Playing board games with your kids

This episode’s full show notes can be found here.

Want to get in touch with Shanna and Laura? Send us an email and follow us on social! Instagram, Facebook or TikTok at @bfppodcast

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Big Fat Positive: A Pregnancy and Parenting Journey is produced by Laura Birek, Shanna Micko and Steve Yager.

Show Notes:

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Episode Transcript

Shanna:
Hi. Welcome to Big Fat Positive with Shanna and Laura. On this week’s episode, we have our weekly check ins. We have our special segment, mom wins, where we both tell stories of how we recently sacrificed for our kids, and we wrap it up with our weekly BFPs and BFNs. Let’s get started. Hello, lovely listeners, and hello, Laura. Welcome to episode 313. How are you doing? Give us your check-in.

Laura:
Okay. So we had a pretty active week, actually. My mom and stepdad were in town, grandma Susan and granddoodles. So there was lots of going to parks, and we even stumbled upon a arts and crafts festival up in Montrose. Fun. And there were these, like, giant slides, you know, blow up slides that Auggie went up and down about probably 20 times and, got a lot of exercise on. And All that was very fun, a petting zoo, you know, some some very classic kid stuff. But I just wanted to kinda give an update on Sebastian this week because I’m noticing some growth in him, and I just wanted to share about it.

Shanna:
Cool. Alright. I’m excited to hear.

Laura:
So he’s approaching 3a half. He’ll be 3a half in August. Right? So he’s not quite there yet. What? 3a quarter? 3 and 4 months or something like that. And he’s just blossoming into this little personality that is so hilarious. I mean, he’s been hilarious since he was a little baby. Like, he’s been telling jokes since before he could talk, basically. He’s always had great timing.

Laura:
But just I I was looking through my photos from this week and realizing that he’s really starting to be a little boy more than a little baby or a little toddler.

Shanna:
Oh, yes. I remember that phase. It does start around 3 years old, it seems.

Laura:
Yeah. And to be fair, like, I understand that he’s still small. You know? I feel like a lot of times you just go through these phases and you’re like, my baby is gone. And then you look back and you’re like, oh, they were still a baby. And I do still see the baby there, but there’s just certain things. Like, for instance, I’ve noticed a huge leap in his building abilities recently, specifically with magnetiles and duplos. Actually, 1 thing we did was we tried to organize the playroom at some point, and Auggie took the big bin of Duplos down to the basement. And I think I had mentioned on the show that I told him, like, we shouldn’t get rid of it because I think that Sebastian’s gonna get back to, building with Duplos at some point.

Laura:
He was like, oh, he seems to only be interested in Legos. I’m like, yeah, but they’re too small for him. You know? Like, he needs to be able to build. Well, in the last couple weeks, he has been interested in, like, the stray Duplos that were left, you know, that didn’t make it into the bin. So I went back down, got that out, and he’s been building all kinds of cool spaceships and, of course, blasters like his brother. But also, like, interesting shapes with his magnetiles. I’m gonna send you a few pictures.

Shanna:
Alright. He’s a little engineer. He’s got some kind of building structure, but with, like, angled triangular roof features. I love that. Very cool.

Laura:
Yeah. And that was completely independent of me, which was great. And then another point of maturity has been swim class. I had felt like we were on a plateau for a while with him. Like, he didn’t wanna go. And when he was there, he’d always be like, mama, mama. I had this, like, whole system set up for swim class where I would bring my rain jacket and Laura towel because he’d always, like, leave the side of the pool and run over and wanna be held by me between his little sessions with his teacher. You know, the teacher goes and does exercises with each of the kids 1 by 1, and so, like, the other kids have to sit and wait while the other kids do their thing.

Laura:
And when he was supposed to be sitting and waiting, he would always run to me and, like, like, mama, mama, help me and, like, wanna be wrapped up. And then so I had this whole system because I didn’t wanna get soaked by the end of swim class every time. And all of a sudden, he stopped doing that. And he’s sitting by the edge of the pool, and he’s participating and getting better. It’s really fascinating to watch. I also sent you a picture of him floating at swim class.

Shanna:
Oh, very nice. He looks like a little starfish floating on his back. The teacher’s holding his head. Very confident. Nice.

Laura:
You’ll notice his eyes are open in that. That was a big issue with previous swim classes. He didn’t want his eyes open. You know, the teacher would be like, I’m right Cece. I’m right here. And he’d be like freaking out and closing his eyes. And then the final set of photos I sent you was maybe 1 of the biggest things, which is that he went to Underwood Family Farms for his class field trip, but look who took him.

Shanna:
It is daddy. Oh, Auggie was a chaperone, and Sebastian was cool with that?

Laura:
Well, there was definitely some griping at the beginning. No. No. I want mama. I want mama to go. Mama take me. But I had, like, literally been to Underwood Farms either the week before or 2 weeks prior. I I had just gone out there, and I was like, no.

Laura:
Thank you. And this is a preschool trip, so every kid needed its own parent or chaperone of some sort. And so I was like, Auggie, it’s your turn. And, despite a little bit of protesting, they went and they had a lot of fun. And, yeah, it’s just another sign of this little kiddo growing up. So we’ve potty trained. He has better separation. He’s learning to swim.

Laura:
All that’s left is weaning.

Shanna:
Oh, alright. He still loves the boo boo. Right?

Laura:
He does. We are definitely tapering down, but it’s just really funny to me that we’re doing it so out of order. You know? Like, to fully potty drain before weaning is, like, okay. I march to the beat of my own drum.

Shanna:
Exactly. Each family to their own their own process. That’s why we don’t judge other parents and their processes. Right? So

Laura:
Exactly. Exactly.

Shanna:
Well, I’m very proud of him. It sounds like he’s growing up to be quite an independent, creative little gentleman, and I’m excited to see him again because it’s been a while since I’ve hung out with him.

Laura:
Oh, that’s right. Yeah. I think you’ll be shocked by his language. It’s really exploded. But he still has this cute little voice, so it’s it’s amazing. I have I have put some clips on the show, so I guess you’ve heard that. But, yeah, he’s so cute. He’s so cute.

Laura:
So, anyway, that was sort of what I was thinking about this week. Shanna, how about you? What have you been up to this week?

Shanna:
Well, it was a huge week for us because it was my girl’s last week of school, and it’s just blowing my mind that this school year is over. And Cece done with TK, and Elle is done with 2nd grade now. And talk about growing up. I’m just like, ah, who are these tiny adultish human people living in my house. They’re so big. Yeah. I feel

Laura:
like there’s something about TK, which even though it’s, like, actually part of elementary school now, in my mind all year, I’ve been like, well, it’s not really elementary school. Like, Auggie not really an elementary kid. He’s a TKer. But once they’re out of TK, it’s like, oh, shit. That’s that’s for real now.

Shanna:
Yes. Yes. Exactly. I’ve totally been thinking of her as a preschooler. I think I’ve even told people, more or less, she’s in preschool all year, but not anymore. She’s a rising kindergartner, and she’s very proud of that. But it was really fun this last week because her teacher created a bunch of activities all week long for the kids and invited parents to come and participate. So I got to go in on pump and splash day, which was

Laura:
splash.

Shanna:
I know. Pump and splash. Basically, it’s like a party rental thing of a bunch of huge tubs of water with, like,

Laura:
don’t know,

Shanna:
pumps, I guess. I’m like, what are those things? We old fashioned, like, you pump water out of a well. Right? You know what I’m talking about?

Laura:
Yeah. That sounds like a pump. I don’t know what else you call it.

Shanna:
Yeah. Pumps and pulleys and all these things with water. There were, like, 6 or 7 different stations they set up outside, and the kids could go around and, you know, watch water get pulled up through the pulley and all this stuff. So I got to go and participate with that. And I got to go in and read books to her and her classmates, which as you know, I love doing very much.

Laura:
What books did you read?

Shanna:
I read a variety of books because the kids were told to bring in their favorite book and a blanket in jammies is basically what it was. And so all the kids were in little groups of, like, 4 kids all around the room, and they sat on their blankets with their jammies, and they each had their favorite book. And I went around group to group and a couple other parents too, And we read books to the little groups. So, Cece brought 1 of the butterfly books, like, the butterfly that could or something. It was cracking me up because I think it’s a hilarious book and a very engaging book, but these kids were zoning out. I’m doing my best caterpillar voice, my best whale voice, and they’re just like, my blanket’s wrinkly. But, Ceecees, mom, my my blanket got out out of order, and so I constantly had to stop and, like, rearrange their blankets because they’re just so jazzed and excited about this. You know? Yeah.

Shanna:
So it was just a wide variety of books and personalities and yeah.

Laura:
It was fun. That’s really cute. And I love that the teacher did something special for the last week.

Shanna:
Yes. I do too.

Laura:
So do you have any last day of school rituals or, like, do you take a photo with them? Is there anything special you do?

Shanna:
Oh, yes. We always go to Menchie’s and get froyo after school on the last day of school. And the 1st day of school, we do that. So we did that, and then there was another thing we did after school on the last day. But I’m actually gonna talk about that in our special segment. So I’m not gonna give anything away just yet. Okay. Yes.

Shanna:
Gosh. I feel like

Laura:
that’s an early end to school though. Auggie has 2 more weeks. Yeah. And we’re

Shanna:
2 weeks before LAUSD as well, which is the Los Angeles Unified School District. We’re a charter school, so we have a different date. And we start really early too. We start in, like, early August. So Oh. Yeah.

Laura:
Well I

Shanna:
don’t know. That’s that’s their system.

Laura:
Well, now you have a rising kinder and a rising wait. 2nd 3rd grader?

Shanna:
Is that right? 3rd grader. Yes.

Laura:
That’s absolutely wild, and I’m here

Shanna:
for it. Me too. Alright. Well, that’s it for me, and I think it’s time to move on to our special segment.

Laura:
Yes. It is. We are back, and our special segment this week is mom wins, where we celebrate some big wins we’ve had in our parenting lives. Shanna, you’re up first. Can you tell us what mom win has graced your life recently?

Shanna:
Oh, I can. In the previous segment, I mentioned something else we did after school on the last day of school. The girls got out early that day. It was like a noon release. Right? So we went, had a little lunch, went to Menchie’s, and then the plan was to go to Kids Empire, which is a huge indoor playground near us because there was a plan to have a second grade play date there. Like, all of Elle’s friends were planning on being there. I’d coordinated with parents. We bought, like, bulk tickets.

Shanna:
This whole thing. And the girls were so jazzed about it. So we go to Menchie’s, and then we head on over to Kids’ Empire. And as we step in, I noticed that the fire alarm is going off. Okay? But the employees are standing behind the desk. Parents are sitting in the seating area, kids are playing. And I’m like, what? And I knew that some of my friends had already arrived because we’ve been on a text thread. It’s, like, we arrived.

Shanna:
We bought, like, this bulk ticket deal. Let me know when you arrive, and I’ll share it with you. Blah blah blah. So I knew they had arrived. So I was really confused about what was going on.

Laura:
Mhmm. The

Shanna:
girls, this did not matter to them whatsoever. They were just like, oh my gosh. There’s so and so. There’s so and so. They’re taking off their shoes. They’re getting ready to hop inside. And I look at the employee behind the desk, and I’m like, hi. And he’s like, just so you know, this has been going on for 3 hours.

Shanna:
There’s no fire. Someone came out to check, but we don’t know what to do about it. Oh my god. And we don’t know how to turn it off. And I’m like,

Laura:
okay. Cool.

Shanna:
Cool. Now this place is already a freaking tornado box of chaos. Right? You go into this place, there’s kids screaming, playing. The music, it’s like kids BFP, kids style music blaring. Right? That’s the the vibe of this place anyway. So now I’ve got that, plus an incredibly screeching loud fire alarm

Laura:
going on. I would die. I would lose my shit. I could I don’t think I could handle it, honestly. Yeah. I imagine flashing lights too. Right? Because places have those.

Shanna:
Yes. Flashing lights up above. It was basically a perfect storm of a migraine trigger for me, basically. Like, that’s all I can think. I’m like, 0MG. But this is where the mom win comes in, Laura. My instinct was to turn and run and be like, fuck this place. And I looked at my girls’ faces.

Shanna:
It was the freaking last day of school. This was the big celebration. Elle already, like, waving at her friends. Everyone’s inside. And I text the group. I’m like, what is going on with this alarm? I don’t know if I can handle this. No 1 even wrote me back. I was just like, how is this not bothering literally anybody else? I I couldn’t leave.

Shanna:
I just couldn’t leave and and, like, disappoint them like that. I just couldn’t. So I was like, okay. Maybe it will stop soon. And I, you know, got my ticket, whatever, and we went in. And I sat at a table with a bunch of parents, and we hung out while the fire alarm went off. And our kids played and had a great time and didn’t care at all that that was happening.

Laura:
I love that the kids don’t even register it. I feel like every time I’ve been somewhere where a fire alarm goes off, this is the response too. No one’s like, wow. We better leave. Everyone’s just like, oh, Weird. And they, like, continue doing what they’re doing. And I’m looking around like, guys, doesn’t this mean we should, like, do something? You’re reminding me of when something similar happened at swim class. Like, they were doing a building wide test or something of the fire alarm systems all day.

Laura:
So intermittently, every 5 minutes or so during swim class, they’d all go off. But in addition to it, it’s the type of building that has automatic fire doors that are, like, on magnets. So every time the it was triggered, all the doors in the building would slam. Oh, fun. And I’m sitting there. And on top of it, it was survival week where they, like, try to help teach the kids how to survive if they fall in clothes. So they were trying to teach the kids to float and yell help at the top of their lungs. Oh my gosh.

Laura:
So the sirens are blaring, the doors are slamming, and little children are Elle, help, help,

Shanna:
at the top of their lungs.

Laura:
And I’m just like, this is a sensory nightmare and triggering every fight or flight instinct in my body. So this happened the whole time you were at this place?

Shanna:
Yeah. I know what you mean about that kind of blase response to this stuff. I feel like there’s so many tests or malfunctions that it’s a boy who cried wolf situation in a way. Like, if something really happens, are we gonna just be like, or are we gonna jump to action? I told this to a friend of mine, and her first thought was, well, what would happen if there was actually a fire, like, while that was happening? Yeah. Exactly. Anyone know? And I was like, oh my gosh. I didn’t even think of that. Right? I mean, I couldn’t think straight, period, while I was there.

Shanna:
But, yeah. So the kids played, and I refused to engage with the parents because as much as I really like them, I cannot also carry on conversation in an elevated vocal volume while listening to that at all. So I pulled out my laptop and pretended I was doing work so that I could, like, disengage. I apologize if any of those people are listening to this show right now that, I’m admitting what I did, but I just I was so overstimulated. I could barely handle it. So after an hour, this freaking alarm is still going on, and I am losing my mind. No 1 else is leaving or showing any intention of leaving. 1 of the parents was like, do you just wanna go and leave your kids with me? I’m not going anywhere.

Shanna:
And I was like, that’s so sweet of you. No. It’s okay. So I stuck it out so my girls could get, like, a good hour of play, and then I was like, I’m done. I I just can’t do this anymore. And so I was like, hey, girls. It’s time to go. We were the only people leaving early because of this.

Shanna:
I’m like, gosh. Am I that sensitive? I don’t know. So I ushered them out. They were super disappointed, but I felt really proud that I gave them this gift of this play date on their last day of school despite how much it really, like, irked me deeply. So that’s why it’s my mom win.

Laura:
That is a mom win. I think it’s more than irking though. I feel like the more I’ve been paying attention to my own sensory needs, the more I realized just how physically uncomfortable that sort of thing can be to some people. Right? Like, obviously, not everyone’s the same. So some people could have that noise going and they don’t care. Right? I think Cory could be 1 of those people. Cory doesn’t mind having the TV going at the same time as playing a game on his phone. It’s at the same time as, like, the kids running around playing.

Laura:
And I’m the person who walks into the room, and if that’s going on, I’m like, can we please mute the TV or something? Like, we need to we need to take it down. So I understand the pain involved. And though I don’t like celebrating martyrdom in motherhood, I think this is a situation where you really took 1 for the team.

Shanna:
Thank you. And here’s what else I think is a bit of a mom win if I think about it. Mhmm. I texted Steve because he was working from home that day, and I was like, hey. I can’t handle this. Let’s do a swap after an hour. Like, you can come and hang out with a fire alarm for an hour, and I will be relieved. And he was up for that.

Shanna:
But after an hour, not only was it obviously annoying for me, I was also like, I don’t think my girl’s ears need this kind of trauma. It wasn’t so loud. Like, it seemed damaging. You know how loud alarms can be. Right? And just for a straight hour. I’m like, that had to be so many decibels. So I also held a firm boundary. When they saw that their friends weren’t leaving, I was still like, hey.

Shanna:
This is what we are doing for us, for our mental health, our physical health. This is what we are doing. And we did. Good for you. And guess what, Laura? A what? We got out to the lobby, got our shoes on, and the second I touched the doorknob to leave, it stopped. The alarm stopped. Of course. Finally.

Shanna:
Of course. And I was like, hell to the no. We are still getting out of here.

Laura:
I am so overstimulated. Oh my god. You got your shoes on? At at that point, if you have your shoes on and you’re walking out the door, you’re done. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are. You’re out of there. You’ve already got the kids in the transition. Like, you are transitioning onward.

Shanna:
Absolutely. The parents are texting me. They’re like, Shanna, the alarm is off. You guys can come back. Come back. And I was like, no. No. I can’t I can’t I can’t even listen to kids bop kids anymore or listen to kids scream anymore.

Shanna:
My brain is fried.

Laura:
An hour is a lot of time at 1 of those places. Like, that’s fine. You did you did your duty, and now Yeah. It was time to go home and just chill.

Shanna:
Yes. Yes. Exactly. So, yeah, that’s my first mom win for the week. What about you, Laura? I wanna know about 1 of your victories lately.

Laura:
Okay. So as I mentioned, my mom and stepdad were in town this week, and this mom win let me set the scene.

Shanna:
Okay.

Laura:
It is about 6 o’clock, which is about a half hour later than the boys usually eat dinner. We eat dinner early here because the kids get hangry. Like, we’ve tried all kinds of variations on the bedtime routine, and we’ve tried, like, bath before dinner, bath after dinner, shower instead, 2 dinners, all this stuff. Right? Like, a light dinner right when they get home from school and then a later 1. Through all that trial and error, we’ve discovered that the kids really need to have dinner between 5 and 5:30, or else the mood is not it. Right? The mood is not what we wanna be around. Right? So we work hard to do that and, luckily, we work from home, so we can. I know most families cannot manage that because it’s like they’re still at work at 5.

Laura:
So we are pretty stuck to our routine, which is something that my mom doesn’t always understand. Right? She’s definitely a free spirit. She did not have a strict routine with us growing up, and I know because she’s told me that she thinks that sometimes our adherence to the routine is too rigid. Right? We’re too uptight, basically. Like, we need to be freer. Mhmm. I think this is a common thing that people hear from their parents, from grandparents. I’ve definitely heard it from other parents, Like, oh, you know, my mom thinks we should feed the kids later or just, like, you know, they try to make plans and it messes up with the routine, and the grandparents are like, why does it matter?

Shanna:
Oh, right.

Laura:
Well, on this situation, it was 1 of those nights where my mom said, oh, I’ll get dinner. I’ll be in charge of dinner. And I’m like, cool. Elle know, we’re gonna eat around 5:30. Right? She’s like, oh, yeah. For sure. 6 o’clock rolls around, and dinner’s still being prepared. Right?

Shanna:
Oh, she’s making dinner. Okay.

Laura:
Yes. She was making dinner in our kitchen, and it was taking longer than anticipated. And while the boys were basically just gonna have dino nuggets, like, we all want to eat together. So it was getting pushed later. It was 6 or maybe even 6:30 by this point. And the boys were not super happy. You know, like, they were not saying I’m hungry. I’m hungry, but their mood was saying I’m hungry.

Laura:
I’m hungry. Right? Like, everything they were doing was kind of annoying.

Shanna:
Yeah.

Laura:
But, anyway, it happens. Right? I’ve made dinner late too. Life happens. Life gets in the way. But this is all to set the scene for the moods and what was going on. Right? So my mom, noticing that they’re starting to get a little hangry, starting to get a little snippy, says, oh, boys. I brought you something. I got you a present Uh-oh.

Laura:
To try to, like, lighten their mood. Right? Mhmm. Mhmm. And, of course, this does lighten their mood. They’re so excited. They expect to get toys every time grandma shows up, you know, and she’s she hasn’t failed them yet. So she’s like, Cece, let me get them for you. So she goes to her purse and pulls out what she had bought for them that day, and it was 2 PEZ dispensers.

Laura:
1 was shaped like baby Yoda, and 1 was shaped like the Mandalorian. Okay. You know, very on theme.

Shanna:
Mhmm.

Laura:
And Auggie was excited about it, but Sebastian was not. Sebastian must have had something else in his head. He had heard that grandma brought me a present, and I think she had dropped that it’s like Star Wars related. And he was like, cool. And in his mind, he was getting a a Star Wars toy. And instead, he got a Star Wars PEZ dispenser, which Uh-huh. Is not exactly a toy. Right?

Shanna:
Right. He knows that sweet candy comes out of it. Right? Sweet sweet pez nugget Shanna? He does, but

Laura:
he had his heart set on a toy. And Okay. Combined with the hangriness and the time of day and having been at school all day and all that stuff, this just pushed him over the edge. And he started just wailing, you know, saying, like, I want toy. I want toy. And then and this started a whole flurry of activity. My stepdad’s there. Corey’s there.

Laura:
I’m there. And at first, we’re all trying to calm him down, basically. Right? Like, my mom is like,

Shanna:
but you don’t like it. I got it just

Laura:
for you. It has candy, like, trying to rationalize with him slash making him feel guilty.

Shanna:
Uh-huh.

Laura:
My stepdad starts to be like, oh, quiet you. That’s, like, there’s no crying at the dinner table. Like, he starts getting very, very old fashioned very quickly. Even Auggie was like, but it’s it has candy. But Cece, it’s it’s the Mandalorian. It’s okay, Sebastian.

Shanna:
Aw.

Laura:
And he’s not having it. He’s losing his shit. Right? He’s melting down. And even Auggie was like, okay. Come on, man. Like, this is not that big of a deal. Right? Everyone is jumping in with, like, parenting approaches, and they’re all different. And here’s my mom win.

Laura:
I just had a moment where I was like, he needs connection. Like, what this kid doesn’t need is rationalization, telling him his feelings are wrong, telling him to suck it up. What this kid needs is, well, food, but also, like, he needs some connection and quiet.

Shanna:
Yeah.

Laura:
So I just picked him up with everyone still talking around him. I just picked him up and just left the room with him. And I could I could hear my mom behind me being like, oh, Laura. He’s he’s okay. He’ll be okay. You know, like, that sort of thing. Like, he’ll be fine. You know? And I just had this moment where I was like, I am this child’s protector.

Laura:
I need to take him out of this situation. And I, like, scooped him up, and he was, like, kicking. He was literally kicking and screaming about, like, I you know, I want a toy. And I just walked him around the corner into, like, a quiet little nook of the house. And I just said, oh, Shanna. You really wanted a toy. And I will tell you, Shanna, you know, sometimes you do the doctor Becky thing, and it’s like, okay. This isn’t working.

Laura:
Like, you’re like, oh, doctor Becky, I don’t know what you’ve been doing, but this is not working. But this was 1 of those magical times where it’s like, ah, yes. It did work. I mean, it didn’t immediately stop him from crying, but I just was taking deep breaths while holding him and not trying to correct his mood, And I literally just said to him, validating things, oh, Shanna. You really wanted that toy. It’s so disappointing when you don’t get what you want. And I’ll tell you, Shanna, he calmed down. He stopped kicking and screaming.

Laura:
He stopped crying. We had a nice little cuddle, and I was able to take him back to the table so much more regulated. And, incidentally, it was time for dinner. Right? And we got to be better. But I was just like, man, I was very proud of myself in that moment because I was like, you know what? It’s so rare for me to have, like, a moment of clarity where I’m not thinking about how other people are gonna judge me or how other you know, like Yeah. I don’t really it’s not strangers I’m really concerned about, but when it comes to, like, my mom judging my parenting, I am very sensitive to that. Right? Mhmm. But to just absolutely instinctually not give a shit about that and just do what I needed to do with him and then realizing when be it being very clear that that was the right move.

Laura:
Like, that was such a win for me. So it was a good reminder.

Shanna:
That’s amazing. I just picture you like like this metaphor of, like, you’re walking towards this ocean of criticism and it’s this big tidal wave and everyone is, like, you know, saying things and chiming in and it’s this tidal wave and Laura is just there and just like, no. And, like, pushes the tidal wave away and it recedes. But just listening to that story and, like, how I felt in my body when I was hearing about how everyone was trying to rationalize with him and, you know Mhmm. Kinda judge his feelings versus how I felt in my body when you stepped in and, like, just carried him away and heard him and acknowledged him. Like, it was a complete different feeling in my body, And I’m, you know, a grown ass woman. So, of course, that’s gonna feel so much better to a little 3 year old who’s so doesn’t know. You know? Just this big eruption of feelings is just coming out, and it’s probably confusing on top of everything else.

Shanna:
So I think that’s great, and I’m so proud of you. And it is a great reminder to me too to find times to to get that connection, you know, when the kids are going through stuff like that.

Laura:
So yeah. Yay. So, yeah, that was my first mom win. Shanna, do you have another 1?

Shanna:
I do. Okay. Speaking of building, you were talking about Sebastian doing some building earlier. Wow. I have to say, I recently stretched my building Shanna engineering muscle here in my house, and, that’s what my next mom win is. Do tell. As you know, we’re fostering 2 little kittens right now, and 1 of the things that’s in the paperwork from the shelter, like, to do with kittens is, like, offer them a box. They like to hide in boxes.

Shanna:
And so I was, like, you know, I found a LaCroix box or whatever and put it out there. Mhmm.

Laura:
And then

Shanna:
I was looking at our pile of recyclables, and, wow, it was very big. We had LaCroix boxes. We’ve got, like, Coke 0 boxes. We’ve got an unboxed wine box, Amazon boxes, all kinds of stuff laying around. And I was like, girls, should we make something like a I don’t know, like, you know, maybe a little structure for the kittens. And they’re like, yeah. And so we engage in this activity together to make a very cool cat condo out of boxes, for the little kittens, and the girls were really into it. Cece was super into it.

Shanna:
She’s like, I’m gonna go get my scissors, and she brought scissors, and she was helping me cut windows in the boxes and tape things together. As you know, my kids have relatively short attention Shanna, so they, kind of tuned out of this project after about 10 minutes, but I was so into it. And I was like, I need to make this spectacular. I need to show my kids that I can do really cool things. I need to be a good cat mom and, like, make something incredible for these kittens. And, like, an hour later, I had basically, I don’t know, kitten city, made out of cardboard, and I was very proud of it, and my kids loved it. The kittens loved it, and we all had a blast watching these cats play in this structure.

Laura:
A kitten city. I’m having a hard time visualizing this.

Shanna:
Oh, well, let me send you something.

Laura:
Okay. Let’s see. Okay. You aren’t lying about a cat city. This is like a cat high rise situation. Let’s describe. We got some Cheetos boxes. We got some LaCroix boxes.

Laura:
We got some Amazon boxes. It’s quite a thing, and it appears you’ve sent me a movie as well.

Shanna:
Oh, yes. I made a bridge, a covered bridge. I think the kitty goes through the bridge in the video.

Laura:
You know what’s genius about this too is that all cats wanna do is play with boxes. Like, that’s it. The they just want the boxes. So at least you you really went all out. I this looks like a fun project. On the oh my gosh. These 2 little kittens are so cute.

Shanna:
They’re so entertaining.

Laura:
Oh, I love when they stick their little paw through the little windows you created in the boxes. Too freaking cute.

Shanna:
So not a huge or significant mom win, but a fun thing that I did with my kids and for the kitties, and we all had fun watching them play in it afterwards. So mom win. Awesome. Alright, Laura. What’s your second mom win? Oh, I wanna tell you, but let’s do

Laura:
it after the break. Okay.

Shanna:
We are back, and Laura has 1 more mom win for us. Alright, Laura. Lay it on us.

Laura:
Okay. So you know how you were talking about how you sacrificed your ears and your brain to do that play date with your kids, and we were talking about how martyrdom is not something we always wanna celebrate on this podcast, but sometimes it can be good. Well, this is my mini martyrdom that I that I have, subjected myself to in honor of my child having more fun. So I do this thing every year with this Facebook moms group that I’m in. It’s like my alumni moms group. We do a Galentine’s Day gift exchange, where it’s like Cece Shanna, but for Galentine’s Day.

Shanna:
How cute. I love that.

Laura:
And for people who don’t know, Galentine’s Day is February 13th, 13th, and it was coined by well, I’m sure people have done Galentine’s before, but it was really popularized by Leslie Knope Mhmm. On parks and recreation. So the idea is that we send each other gifts for Galentine’s Day and really, like, gas each other up with, like, cards that tell us how amazing we are, what magical land mermaids we are, that sort of thing. So I look forward to it every year. And this year, as usual, I got a wonderful gift from a mystery sender. And inside of the box, 1 of the things I got was a very cute little notebook that was purple and had a unicorn on it, and it had, like, a really nice texture on the cover. It was just like a nice hefty little notebook. And I was like, cool.

Laura:
I love notebooks. Great gift. Yeah. Well, I made the mistake, Shanna, of leaving this out. Uh-oh. And I gotta say that I did not think it was gonna be an issue because Auggie is, like, aggressively male in his, like, things he plays with. Right? Like Mhmm. He does not like playing with dolls.

Laura:
He doesn’t wanna dress up in dresses. He likes blasters and, you know, a lot of these, like, mail coated things. So I was like, he will be repulsed by a purple notebook with a unicorn it. So I can leave it on the counter. It will be no problem. Uh-huh. You know? I was wrong. I was wrong about that 1.

Laura:
He saw it, and he was like, oh my god. What is this? And I was like, oh, that’s a gift that mommy got, from a friend. He was like, it’s beautiful. I was

Shanna:
like, okay.

Laura:
Oh my gosh.

Shanna:
And then he was like, can I have it?

Laura:
And I had a moment, Shauna, where I was like, no. That’s my you know, in my mind. I I didn’t say this out Elle, but I’m like, no. That’s my that’s my gift. Uh-huh. But then I remembered, you know what? I’m an adult. I can buy myself another notebook. He had just like the biggest, most excited look in his eyes.

Laura:
And I was like, you know what? Yeah. You can have it. Oh, Elle, good on you. Okay. The reason it’s a win specifically is because he is obsessed with this thing, and it’s really inspiring him to do more drawing and writing and stuff. He carries it with him everywhere. He packs it in his backpack to school every single day.

Shanna:
Oh my gosh. He’s calling

Laura:
it his diary to write poems in. Oh my gosh. You know, he doesn’t really know how to write yet, but he, like, tries to write things in it. I spy on it every once in a while. Because, you know, this was back in February. Right? So I’m like, I I every once in a while, I’ll open it and see what he’s been writing in it, and there’s just all kinds of, like, pictures and just letters and stuff that I don’t understand. And I’m just like, oh, okay. If this inspires him to want to write and draw, I can give up my cute little unicorn gift for him.

Laura:
So that is my mom win.

Shanna:
Yeah. Oh, I love that. Especially because sometimes when you, like, give kids a toy or anything, it’s just like the attention towards it is so limited. You know, they love it for an hour and then no 1 ever touches it again.

Laura:
So Exactly.

Shanna:
It’s so special that he’s really into it. And it is making it clear to me how much he and Elle are, like, kindred spirits. Like, I feel like they are similar in so many ways. Elle has become really into notebooks and diaries. She probably has, like, 6 at this point. Any opportunity she has to, like, buy 1 or something, she loves writing in them and drawing in them and stuff. And, I just think that is so cute for kids to have their own little special place to do their stuff.

Laura:
Yeah. So that was my final mom win, and, I think there are gonna be more notebooks in our future.

Shanna:
Yeah.

Laura:
Although, I think our BFPs and BFNs are in our future. What do you think?

Shanna:
Oh, yes. We wrap up every episode with our big fat positives or big fat negatives from the week, and you’re up first, Laura. So tell us what you got.

Laura:
I have a BFN this week. Oh, okay. What happened? It was kind of a scary BFN. Okay. So what happened was I was at the park with my mom and stepdad and the 2 boys. Auggie was off playing tennis, I think. Actually, what had happened was Corey took them all to the park and then we swapped. So, like, I showed up and Corey left to go play tennis.

Laura:
So my mom was on Sebastian duty following him around the park. My stepdad was just sitting on a bench, and I was on hockey duty. And this is a beautiful, like, shady park with tons of really big old trees, and it’s up kind of in the hills of Elle, and it has 0 cell service, like, absolutely 0 cell phone service. Your phone says SOS on it when you’re, like, up there, which is actually kinda nice because you don’t have that instinct to, like, scroll on your phone while your kid’s at the park. So you really get engaged. And Auggie is playing with me and, you know, he’s he can’t he can’t play by himself. He’s gotta play with me. And he’s like he’s like, mama, mama, let’s play hide and seek.

Laura:
And we’ve played hide and seek before. And my confession to you is that I always cheat at hide and seek when it’s with him because I’m not gonna take my eyes off my kid for a long period of time, right, at the park. Right. He’s getting old enough now that it’s I’m not that concerned about it, but I’m not intentionally, like, keeping my eyes off him. Right? So I’m, like, yeah. For sure. Let’s play hide and seek. So I cover my eyes with my hands and peek through the cracks in my fingers while he goes and hides while I’m counting.

Laura:
And he goes and hides behind a big tree and I can see him and sit at the corner of the park. So I’m like, okay, ready or not, here I come. At that very moment, my mom comes up with Sebastian. She’s like, oh, could you watch Sebastian for a sec? I need to go help Neil with something. And I was like, oh, well, I’m okay. Sure. You know, I’m like, I know where Auggie is. It’s fine.

Laura:
Right? Like, it’s okay. Sure. But at that moment, like, Sebastian had overheard us playing hide and seek. Cece goes, like, I go hide. I go hide.

Shanna:
Uh-oh. So he’s

Laura:
he’s bolting in the opposite direction. So I make a choice because my mom is now out of earshot. I make a choice to follow the littlest 1. Right? Because I’m like, okay. I’m gonna I’m gonna catch him. And I’m like, no. No. No.

Laura:
Sebastian, you gotta help me you gotta help me find Auggie. Right? He’s like, okay. I help. So I’m like, you gotta help me find Auggie, but he’s slower. He’s little. And I’m like, we got Let’s go look over here. And I’m I’m playing it up, taking my sweet time because I’m like, I know where he’s hiding. Right? Yeah.

Laura:
We get over to the tree that he’s hiding in, and he is not there, Shauna. Oh,

Shanna:
no. And I was

Laura:
just like, fuck. Right? Like, I was like, shit. Okay. And I was like, Auggie, the game’s over. Come on. Like, I okay. You you got me. Right? He’s not coming out.

Laura:
And my mom hears me. He’s like, what’s going on? I was like, I thought I knew where he was, but I can’t find Auggie. And I’m still kind of trying to play it off like he you know, assuming he can hear me that it’s a game, but also being like, okay. Time to be done. So my mom starts panicking. Oh, no. Meanwhile, I have Sebastian. So, like, I I hoist Sebastian up on my hip, and I’m trying to, like, scan around the park, but also without being, like, I guess I could have done the thing you’re supposed to do, which is, like, I’m missing a 5 year old boy.

Laura:
He has sandy brown hair and blah blah. You know, all that stuff. But I was still embarrassed and also pretty sure he was safe. But it is a pretty busy road, and, you know, my mom later was like, I was envisioning someone had kidnapped him and all this stuff. I’m just like, fuck. Like, where where the fuck did he go? So I traverse the whole park, and I’m starting to panic. I’m like, shit. And then all of a sudden, Auggie bounce out from behind a different tree.

Laura:
He’s like, I tricked you. And I was just we were all like, oh my god, Auggie. Like, do not do that again. And

Shanna:
So scary.

Laura:
What had happened was, obviously, when I was distracted by Sebastian running in the other direction, he quickly went to another tree, and he was just really freaking good at hiding. Like, he really was good at it.

Shanna:
He’s so small. He can hide behind those mature trees.

Laura:
He’s like he’s skinny and, like, small. Yeah. He was hiding behind all the trees, and he was like he was like he told me the whole story. He was like, when you were there, I just went around the other side, and that was so fast. So I was like, great. Cool. So my BFN is that I did not set up any, like, safety precautions. I realized that next time we play, if we ever play again, there’s gonna have to be, like, a safe word that we’re gonna have to practice, which is like, okay.

Laura:
Game’s over. You know? Now reveal Elle.

Shanna:
Uh-huh.

Laura:
And also just, like, not be distracted by anything else so I can continue to cheat.

Shanna:
Yes. Yes. You’ve gotta cheat. It’s so interesting. I have never allowed the girls to play hide and seek with me at the playground or at the park. And I I don’t know. It just, like, always was, like, this anxiety or something that something like that could happen. And I’m always just like, no.

Shanna:
Like, I panic before it even begins. And so I’m the boring mom that’s just like, no.

Laura:
Well, I don’t think I’ll play I I don’t think I could play with 2 of them at the same time, for sure. And the only way I would play is if I was cheating. Right? Like Yeah. Like I was supposed to. But it just goes to show that your best laid plans can still go awry. And, yeah, I think hide and seek is gonna be limited to, like, enclosed backyards from the Yeah.

Shanna:
Yeah. You know, so funny, it must be because I have kittens and cats on the brain. But, like, when I was picturing you guys, like, looking for him and trying to lure him out, I was thinking of, like, what I do when I can’t find Jasmine or 1 of the kittens is, like, shake a bag of treats. You know? It’s like, come here. Come here and shake, like, a very high demand treat. It’s like, we should bring really high demand treats to the park in case we lose our kids. Like, as if that would work. Like, that thought process went through my mind, and I was just like, Shanna, I don’t think that’s the solution.

Laura:
I should keep a bag of brand new Star Wars toys. Be like, you gotta get this. That that’s his version.

Shanna:
Yes. And there you go. Yeah. Exactly. Well, I’m glad everything turned out okay. I can relate

Laura:
to the panic in that moment for sure. Anyway, that was my BFN. Shanna, what do you have? A BFP or BFN?

Shanna:
I have a BFP. Oh, good. Yeah. And it’s a fun, hilarious 1. We went to Target recently because Elle had a gift card left over from her birthday. I am notoriously terrible at spending gift cards that I get. I put them in my wallet and forget about them. Same with the ones I get for my kids, apparently.

Shanna:
So several months later, I’m like, hey. You have a gift card to Target. Let’s go and you can buy whatever you want. So she bought a couple things and then we were in the board game section, and she zoned in on a game called what do you meme family edition. And the front of the box is hilarious. It’s like a big picture of a chihuahua making a hilarious face. So I think that really drew her in. And we were looking at it and trying to understand what the game was, and she’s like, I wanna get this.

Shanna:
So that’s what she chose, and we took it home, and we played it as a family, and it was a riot. We loved it. It’s basically like apples to apples where you have, like, a theme card and then everyone else has to kinda put in a card that matches that theme. Do you know have you played apples to apples?

Laura:
I have. I think the first time I played was with you ages ago back in our grad school days. Yeah.

Shanna:
Yeah. Yeah. I love playing board games. So that sounds like it could be true. So this game is like the dealer picks, a picture, a hilarious picture, like a chihuahua making a funny face or a teddy bear sitting in the corner looking glum or a turtle looking quizzical. I mean, just funny stuff. Right? And then everyone has a handful of different, like, sayings, and they put a saying in to go with the picture to create a meme. So 1 of the examples of the things that it might say is like that feeling you get when you trick or treat and get a box of raisins, or when you farted so loud in class.

Shanna:
You know, just like funny things like that. So we’re making combinations of pictures and funny sayings to create memes, and the girls loved it. And we just had a blast playing as a family. So my BFP is what do you meme family edition?

Laura:
So is Cece reading well enough that she can play independently, or do you still have to help her?

Shanna:
I sat next to her and helped her a bit. Like, I would read everyone to her in in her ear, and then she would just kind of, like, remember which ones were which so she could, like, pick 1. But, yeah, she was pretty much able to play. Like, she would pick some pretty funny combos. I was pretty impressed, actually.

Laura:
That sounds fun. I I’ve been reminding Auggie, like, anytime he gets kind of harumphy about any practicing we’re doing with reading and writing and Elle, that, like, anytime we run into something where he wants to do something, like, video games are a perfect example. He’s really into Nintendo Switch games right now because Auggie introduced them to him. And there’s things that you need to read on them. And I keep telling him, I’m like, if you get really good at reading, these games will be so much easier for you. You know? Like, this is this is the goal. Right? It’s not about necessarily reading books. It’s like living life and playing your funny meme games.

Shanna:
Yeah. Exactly.

Laura:
Well, that sounds super fun. I kinda wanna play this with you. Yes.

Shanna:
Come over, Laura. Me and you, we’ll have a little cocktail, play a little, what do you Cece, family edition? Nice. Sounds like a plan. Alright. Well, that’s it for me, and I think that’s it for our show. And last, do you have a 5 star review to read from 1 of our 5 star listeners?

Laura:
I sure do. I have a brand spanking new 5 star review from rj1031 on Apple Podcasts. It’s titled my favorite podcast, and favorite is in all caps. 5 stars. Once I got pregnant, I was hooked on this podcast. It feels like you’re talking to 2 friends and they paint their stories so vividly. They’re hilarious and serious all in 1 and keep things real. As a first time mom, they ease so much of my anxiety surrounding becoming a mother, and I will forever be grateful to Shanna and Laura.

Laura:
Smiley face. So glad I found this gem of a podcast. No. You know what? I am so tickled by someone who compliments our storytelling skills because I feel like I try hard to bring the storytelling aspect of our, you know, of our backgrounds and histories to this. Yeah. So I’m so glad you noticed that, RJ.

Shanna:
Yeah, RJ. Thank you. I’m appreciate that you appreciate that. And listeners, if you haven’t had a chance yet to leave us a 5 star review, could you please do us a favor? Head on over to Apple Podcasts. Leave us 5 stars. Say a few things you love about the show. And it really does help us reach new audience members and grow our BFP community, and it means so much to us. And we might read it on an upcoming episode.

Shanna:
Also, if you have any mom wins you wanna share with us or you have any comments on ours, we would love to hear from you. Where can they reach us, Laura?

Laura:
We are on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook at BFN podcast. We have a website, bigfatpositivepodcast.com, and if you wanna send us an email, just send it to contact atbigfatpositivepodcast.com. And finally, if you wanna join the coolest group of people on the Internet, just search Facebook for Big Fat Positive Community. It is a private group, so you need to request to join and make sure you answer those 2 membership questions so we know you’re not a robot. But once you do that, you’ll be sent through to all the amazing conversations we’re having in there.

Shanna:
Our show is produced by Laura Burack, Shanna Micko, and Steve Yager. Thanks for listening, everyone. Have a big fat positive week. Bye. Bye.