My youngest really wants a bathrobe, just like his big sister.
Here’s a cozy and plush one from L.L. Bean. This robe has roomy pockets for toddler treasures, a stitched down “never lose” belt, and a cute critter on the hood. Since my youngest is going through a “Baby Shark” phase, he’d probably want the shark, but the puppy and bear are pretty cute too.
This Cozy Animal Robe is $54.95 at L.L. Bean and comes in 2T–4T.
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Ann, you just checked off my holiday gift list for my Baby Shark-obsessed nephew.
I recognize the immense privilege in having two amazing healthy children that’s a boy girl pair 2 years apart. I was at a party and one of moms had three girls and she said she thinks same gender siblings are a lot closer and if they all share motherhood, even more so,that boys get married and parents and siblings are more secondary than for girls. She wasn’t saying it all to be mean, but it did make me a little sad to not think of my daughter having a sister like I did. Also, my dad and my husband were not close to their parents, they did their obligatory calls and get togethers but it’s not like a daughter calling mom for advice etc. I know this is so beyond petty and I love both my children so so much, but curious if anyone has experiences to the contrary.
I guess she’s never met anyone with sisters who fight like cats/are estranged?
She’s weirdly defensive and possibly overcompensating for being told (by any number of people in society) that it’s too bad she didn’t have a boy “for her husband”. People are so weird. Don’t let her get you down.
Context: we have 1 daughter, are expecting our 1st son (would have been thrilled with a healthy either!), and our decision of whether or not to have a 3rd child will have nothing to do with whether or not we think either of them needs a same-sex sibling.
Agreed. So weird. I have two sisters and hardly ever speak to them. I do have wonderful cousins and friends though.
It’s just wishful thinking on her part. I know same sex sibs that hate each other and boy-girl pairs that are very close in adulthood. Same with big age gaps va small age gaps. It depends on personality and how the kids were raised.
I do think there’s something to the fact that at least in heterosexual marriages the woman’s parents are normally more involved with the family and kids than the husband’s. That’s the case for virtually all my friends and the few who are closer to their in-laws have very extreme circumstances. But it’s not like you lose your son when he gets married.
Yes! And as far as who is closer to their mom in adulthood, there are also so many factors DH and I are both really close with his mom, as are her other sons. To her credit, she stays very involved with our kids, helps us often, calls all her sons often, is incredibly respectful of our parenting, etc. I sometimes worry she thinks I favor my mom, but again that is a lot of factors, including my mom being a widow and living alone, and that she babysits a full day a week for us.
Oh this varies so much! I think of Tolstoy “All happy families are alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” I have two sisters and two brothers. I was very close to one sister, and still am, although the relationship is strained by COVID. I have another sister who is estranged from the whole family. My brothers both moved out of state, away from both sets of parents. My husband is an only child — we are possibly closer to his mom than my parents. I call his mom for advice as much as I call my mom. In fact, she is a role model on how I want to treat my future daughter in law. I have one of each — they get along well because there is no competition there, even though they are teenagers. In fact, I was just smiling the other day because they were on the couch being silly together still.
Are her three girls still young? I think having three teenage girls sounds like a nightmare — all of those hormones! :) I don’t know that they will necessarily be closer just because they grew up in the same house… their might be resentment and bickering, and it might take a while to get back to being friends as adults. And it might not happen.
Make your own happy family — you are going to have challenges which are different than your friend’s challenges.
I think it’s a little naïve of this mom to say something like this. My only sibling is a brother who is 1 year younger. So I can picture this scenario. And I’m actually a lot closer to him than even my own parents. I know plenty of people with same gendered siblings that are not remotely close to each other emotionally now.
I think this comment also discounts the idea of the opportunity to look for community outside of immediate family. Growing up, I became close to a friend who was an only child. My friend and her family still feel like as second family to me to this day. I think not having a sister, helped me see the value of female friendships. If I had a sister, maybe I wouldn’t prioritize it as much.
+1 Only child here, and my best friend is an only child and we are like sisters. Truly. Our kids are being raised as cousins. There can certainly be value in having a sibling you get along reasonably well with when it comes to things like elder care and end of life decisions for your parents, but you can have a sibling-like relationship with someone who is not in your family. Most only children I know do.
Boston Legal Eagle says
Yes, me too! And I always hear the end of life decisions note on only children, but I have my husband as support (and hopefully will in the future when the time comes), so it’s not like I’m alone in this.
I think the worst thing you can do with kids is to try to fit them into some generalized mold of what you expected your kids to be like (and I’m guilty of this too). You have to accept and thrive in the family that you have, not what you imagined or expected from them.
Yeah, certainly a sibling is not guaranteed to be a help with eldercare (I have seen many times a sibling who is more of a burden than a help), and most people have a spouse to lean on as well by that stage of life. I added that caveat because my friend actually just lost a parent and although we consider each other non-biological sisters, I could not support her through like a sister would have. I knew her parents well and adored them, but it obviously wasn’t the same as if I’d lost my own parent. So I added that caveat. But I definitely don’t think being an only child is terrible – I have an only by choice.
I think anyone with three kids of the same gender was probably trying for a third of the opposite gender. Kidding, mostly! But I do really think that anyone who wouId gush this way to someone with different gendered kids may have some issues about all this because this is kind of dumb and tone deaf. People are people! Some sisters will get along, some won’t. My mom and her sister are not close and never have been. OTOH, some brothers and sisters will be close, my husband and his sister are this way. The best advice I heard when considering a second was don’t do it for your kids because you have no idea how it will turn out. This from different people who have very difficult sibling relationships, and same gender siblings coincidentally enough.
I have an older sister and younger brother and much closer to my brother. My sister and I don’t really talk besides family parties – absolutely nothing wrong with our relationship, we’re just not close and never have been.
Boston Legal Eagle says
Yes, I think there is a societal expectation placed on girls to be the caregivers – this is why more women end up staying home to take care of the children or taking care of their parents. I don’t think this is biological destiny, but society does play a bit part in this. Girls are brought up to value cooperation and community, and boys are brought up to go off and succeed and to suppress feelings. I’d recommend raising your boy and girl to both value supportive relationships, whether that is family or friends, and not just out of a sense of duty or obligation.
In my case, my mom is the one who left her parents to move very far away and her brother stayed and is more of the one who values nearby community and family. It’s just their personalities. I’m closer to my parents in the sense that they are nearby, but it’s not really the mother-daughter relationship that you see on TV. Again, different personalities. I’m also an only child, so that plays a big part. I don’t have sisters but I have some close friends who are like sisters. My husband is very emotionally aware and is close to his parents but they also have distance and different personalities between them.
What a bizarre thing to say. I’m a boy mom and while I bristled just a little bit at the idea that having one of each gender is a privilege, I really just don’t buy into the idea that you can predict future family relationships based on gender. I also think it was a little bit rude of her to say that to you.
I read it more as she was saying she’s privileged to have two healthy children regardless of gender.
Ohhhh ok. Yes that makes sense. Sorry, I misread.
That’s when you smile and nod and back away from the conversation.
yeah – I don’t really want to get into an involved discussion about gender essentialism and families with a near-stranger…
More Sleep Would Be Nice says
THIS. Last week I was at a non-work meeting and discovered another member of the group had similarly aged children – both girls. I have two boys.
When I told her this she was like “OMG I’m SO GLAD I have girls, I wouldn’t know what to do with boys!” I just awkwardly responded “Well…they eat a lot?” (again not the best, but I was caught off guard, OK?!) and then she was like “OMG MY girls eat sooo much!” so maybe she’s just insecure about something else and projecting, not even going to touch the weird gender stuff happening here.
Dread to think what kind of mother she is to those girls.
Right. This comment says a lot more about her than it does anything about your family. It makes me somewhat sad for her, as her future vision is already very limiting for her kids.
Vicky Austin says
Also this. There’s absolutely no way to predict how sibling adult relationships will turn out.
I have one sister (2 years apart), no brothers. My husband has one sister (2 years apart), no brothers. He talks to his parents every day, I only talk to mine around once per week at best. My sister lives very far away and we are not emotionally close. His sister lives in the same state, they talk around once per week, and we see her once every 6 weeks or so. We split holidays pretty evenly between families. This all varies so much from family to family. I wouldn’t let it get to you.
I don’t think it’s petty I think she’s buying into a stereotype and you’re worrying over nothing.
I kind of have these same assumptions, which I’m trying my best to unpack. I am one of three sisters; we are different as can be but very close, and very close to our mother. We talk every day and share intimate information. Contrast to my husband and virtually every man I know who calls their mother on Sundays and basically talks about the weather.
Now, I am a mother to three boys. I don’t think it’s a given that adult sons are less close to their mothers, but I do think parents need to be a little more intentional about forming close bonds and keeping open lines of communication with boys. I think family culture plays into it, too – I am of the opinion that if you are close to someone you share your true thoughts and feelings, whereas my husband’s family is much more reserved and believes that’s “nosy” or interfering.
I am hopeful that my boys will be close as they get older, but a lot of that is based on stereotypes (playing golf together, etc) that may or may not come to pass.
As the mom to a trans kid, these kinds of comments always make me laugh. You, really and truly, never know what you are going to get or end up with. I am extraordinarily close to my brother, and we are both close to my parents. Based on my friends, some of whom are close to their siblings and some who are not, I absolutely credit my parents with cultivating our relationship more than anything to do with our genders.
I love this point. Thank you.
I often have to remind myself that one can only be disappointed if one has expectations.
:) Makes me smile, and how ironic – as my most favorite parenting philosophy is “be an anticipation parent, not an expectation parent.” As in, eagerly anticipate getting to know your kids and help them as they grow up, but do not set expectations upon their eventual lives, as you will both be disappointed.
I’m sorry, what?? My brother and I are about two years apart, and I think our relationship has always been great (notwithstanding the normal fights as kids). In fact, when I had my kid, my brother and his wife were one of our biggest supporters, having done it first themselves. I think there’s maybe some truth in general that women do more of the work to keep relationships going than men, but that’s not true in specific families. Does my brother call my mom for advice and just to chat as much as me? No, I don’t think so, but he visits her more often with the grandkids and runs her to more medical appointments.
On the other hand, my husband and his sister love each other, but aren’t close at all, and I have three aunts (sisters to each other) on one branch of the family who can’t attend family parties together, the “shared experience of motherhood” notwithstanding, lol. It doesn’t matter what kind or how many kids you have, you can’t generalize or assume family dynamics just from the number and sex of the kids you have.
Vicky Austin says
I’m one of three girls, and we’re close now but our teenage years were bumpy and angsty. One sister and I have done a LOT of work as adults to repair our relationship; our childhood relationship was not awesome.
Also, this is making me think of my aunt, who had one daughter between two boys, saying to my mom, “I cannot wait until you have teenage daughters, because I cannot wait for someone else to share the misery.” (With all 3 of us listening, I might add.) My mom remembered that a few years ago and laughed her head off, because she went through so much more teenage girl misery than my aunt ever did!
Family relationships are based on family culture and personality, not gender. My husband is close with his parents and older sister, less so with his older brother. He talks to his parents on roughly the same frequency I do – about once a week.
Instead of seeing the negative (my daughter won’t have a sister) see the positive. I always wanted a big brother growing up – not sure why but similarly my younger sister always wanted a little brother.
Potty Training Help! says
Please send me all your potty training advice! DS is 2 and starting in a new classroom next week where they will do more potty encouragement. We are going away this weekend so can’t start the process until next week.
I’ve said it here before but I’ll say it again that bribery on a big scale worked for us – like none of that single m&m stuff, I offered a giant full size chocolate bar and that was what finally did the trick for our youngest to go number 2 in the potty, when she had number 1 down for a while but was withholding. So keep an open mind and an open pantry. But also, know your kid – our first was completely immune to bribery, far more stubborn. I honestly think it finally clicked when I ended up yelling while cleaning up literal cr*p off the floor of her room. Not that I’m recommending yelling. I think it was probably less about the yelling and more about it becoming apparent how big of a deal it was.
For both of them we followed the oh cr*p method, and for both of them we tried around 2.5 and called it a failure after 24 hours, eventually revisiting when they were closer to 3, when we had success. I’m really glad we threw in the towel on those first attempts when it was clearly not progressing well and there was no imminent daycare deadline or the like.
Unless they need you to do something, potty encouragement is something school can manage, in my opinion. Neither of my kids was ready for potty training at 2.
read Oh Crap! Potty Training, it seriously covers all the variables and will get you in a headspace to understand when your child is ready. It’s a very easy read, we thought we wouldn’t try until 3, then because this board recommends it so much I bought a copy at 24 months, my husband read it too and a week later DD said or did something ( I think sing her ABCs?) that made us both look at each other and say “she’s ready”. fully trained by 25 months. For sure there was some luck there, but timing it to when she was ready and “trainable” was key.
LB has his first ear infection. At least there’s good meds for a bacterial infection, unlike the viral earache he’s had all week.
The pediatrician has repeatedly recommended keeping his head elevated to help mucus drain. But the safe sleep advice specifically advises a flat crib with no wedges. The peds totally know they are giving conflicting advice, and just kind of shrug, which I think means they can’t tell me exactly how to balance comfort vs risk. But I was curious what folks here do? Where did your littles sleep when they were sick?
How little is he? We elevated one end of my son’s mattress due to his reflux (this was 10 years ago and was not considered unsafe at the time). At least half of the time he would wiggle down to the bottom of the mattress–perpendicular to the wedge–due to gravity, so I’m not sure it did much good. He has never been prone to ear infections so we didn’t deal with that specifically.
When my kiddo was this small and sick, I just interpreted the pediatrician’s elevation comment to suggest that if they fell a sleep on me during the day for a nap. Where I could keep their head up but be alert to not also fall asleep myself, to let it ride out instead of transferring to the crib like I normally would. Otherwise, safe sleep when I was also sleeping.
How old is he? With infants, I prioritized safe sleep because that’s what our pediatrician recommended. But I would have considered slightly elevating the head of the crib itself (but not using a pillow or wedge in the crib) if I’d thought it would help. With an ear infection, I think the only thing that truly helps is being held upright. Here’s hoping it clears up right away!
How old is LB?
6 months now. I had the same quandary when he got a mild case of covid at 4 mo.
Our ped’s office told us that we could use something like a can of tuna UNDER the mattress to elevate it. It never worked because my kid would just flop around and end up at the other end of the crib.
When she was small enough, I’d put her in the ergo facing in, and she’d nap on me.
Aunt Jamesina says
Not sure if this is what you meant, but we used tuna cans under two of the crib legs (not the mattress) to elevate when our kid was seven months and was really congested with a cold.
How old is baby? When my kids were tiny and had colds, we used to wear them in the carrier for naps, which helped them breathe better.
Elevate his head like your doctor told you to.
NLD in NYC says
If you still have a thin textbook (~1 in or less) that you’re holding on to, use that to elevate the mattress. It’s a slight incline. If the peds recommending it, it’s ok.
Not what you asked (I elevated the crib mattress when doc recommended it) but document the ear infections. After a certain number, your child becomes eligible for ear tubes and for us they were life changing. 2 of my 3 kids needed them. For my youngest it has made the difference between constant sickness and only being sick in the winter. He has a lot of complicating factors that LB hopefully doesn’t. Good luck!
I don’t know how practical this is–won’t they just end up sleeping sideways at the bottom of the bed anyway?
We have never elevated my kid’s mattress when she’s sick, nor has a doctor ever told us to do that. She didn’t go to daycare until 16 months so by the time she started getting sick regularly we weren’t terribly worried about safe sleep, but it’s just never something that we were advised to do. Are you in the US?
Shopping challenge says
shopping challenge for you all this friday! DD, age 7, wants to be Matilda for Halloween. And I’m having the hardest time finding a dress. She’d like it to be reminiscent of how Matilda dresses in the movie – navy, short sleeve, floral. could have a collar, could be without. Doesn’t have to be perfect but something in that vein. she’s a size 7 or 8. Can anyone find something that might work? I’ve checked the usual suspects (mini boden, amazon, hanna) and am coming up empty!
I think the red headband + blue dress makes it Matilda for me. What about:
I’d go with the chambray dress, red bow and cardigan, because that’s my image from the movie.
But a bit more like the movie poster: https://www.ebay.com/itm/134120872779
Threading challenged, but see below for Old Navy:
This from Old Navy? https://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=417898022&cid=39288&pcid=39288&vid=1&cpos=55&cexp=2223&kcid=CategoryIDs%3D39288&cvar=16849&ctype=Listing&cpid=res22093007287592080090005#pdp-page-content
Aunt Jamesina says
I’m no help, but I love this costume idea!
Old Navy has a bunch of navy or black, short sleeve, floral (what I would call ditzy floral and larger florals) dresses in girls sizes.
Narrow shoes for toddlers? says
I’m sure this has been asked before, but Google is coming up short. What brands of toddler shoes run narrow? My 2-year-old has inherited my very narrow feet.
See Kai Run and Natives never worked for my chubby footed kids so maybe try those?
Those are way too wide, sadly.
Nikes,Toms, and t-strap shoes in general which are more adjustable for width in general.
You could try stride rite 360 and leave the inserts in.
italian brands in general have worked better for my super narrow footed kids
Ooh! Boy or girl?
One of my daughters has the most narrow flat feet I’ve ever seen. Stride rite narrow was all she could wear until she was a toddler size 4. Never could wear natives or any of the “runs narrow” shoes. She needed (still does) a true narrow shoe. I’ve had to buy narrow tap shoes for years because otherwise her feet fall out. Even those we have to tie tight!
What worked around age 2:
– Pumas with full velcro straps. Only ones we could get tight enough (most other velcro sneakers ran out of velcro before getting snug enough). We got these: PUMA Unisex-Child St Runner Hook and Loop Sneaker https://a.co/d/cdnUqNN
– Uggs (fluffy enough that she wouldn’t slip out)
– Tom’s until you size up to size 12. The velcro closure up top can be cinched way down.
Around age 3/4 we started having luck with shoes at Nordstrom rack, lots of cute ballet flat type shoes. They are freakishly narrow so nobody buys them and they end up at the rack for my daughter :).
Now (age 6) the only sneakers she can wear are new balance fuel cores. She can tie her shoes but by the time she gets them tight enough she’s missed the bus ;).
Omg I feel you on the amount of time it takes for a first grader to pull laces tight enough. We went back to Velcro!! Which then break because he pulls them so tight.
I’m also laughing at the “until she was a toddler size 4” because apparently my kids have huge feet- the first shoes they got at 1 were toddler size 5 or 6.
I posted above and to be fair, my slim footed child started walking at ~10/11 months and was a size 3 narrow. She was for sure a 4/5 by age 1ish.
Girl, with VERY strong opinions about fashion, lol! She’s just sizing out of the Stride Rite Soft Motion (yikes, like in the last week all of a sudden). Thanks, I was just looking at the Pumas!
This blog has been helpful for me in fitting my son, who has a different issue (very high arches and insteps) https://fittingchildrenshoes.com/narrow-width-toddler-sneakers
Older(ish) mom says
I’m pregnant with my third child. After dealing with infertility in my late 20s and early 30s, my kids are close together in age. I’m admittedly an older mom (39) living in an area of the country where people tend to have children much younger. But I don’t consider myself super super old (though I feel like it some days and maybe look it?) But man, I’m just so tired of the comments and side-eye from people who have opinions about this.
It’s been worse during this pregnancy, but it is happening more and more just generally (the wrinkles aren’t helping). I have pictures of my kids in my office and people are constantly shocked at how young they are—which I know isn’t directly a comment about my age, but it sort of is.
Anyway, I don’t know what I’m looking for other than to scream into the universe. It feels like it’s coming from all angles—25 year old nurses at the OB offices who act like I’m the oldest mom they’ve ever met, people at the hair salon, etc.
Maybe I need to move to a coastal city where this is more “normal.” Blah.
That’s super frustrating! And yes come to NYC for the weekend, you’ll see loads of moms with babies and all gray hair.
If it’s any consolation to consider that someone will always have an opinion no matter the circumstances, I have a friend who had her youngest at 25 and people acted like she was throwing her life away when this happened and now are constantly weirded out by the fact that she has a child in high school. There’s no winning so you have to just stop caring (easier said than done, I know!).
+1 to your last paragraph. I had our one and only child relatively young (I was barely 28) and when I told my mom we were starting to try she tried to convince me to wait. She was 35 when she had me.
My husband is 8 years older than me and he gets “old dad” comments. Though less of course because sexism sucks.
+1 to this! Kids “too early” and that’s judged too! My MIL has 4 kids, with a wide age range. So she dealt with judgment with #1 as a “young mom” and then by the time the youngest was in HS she was feeling judged for being “older” and for having 4 kids.
Yeah, I think people have opinions and make awkward/rude comments no matter what.
I live in a super red, rural area and my OB told me I was her oldest first time mom patient in over a decade when I had my first child at 32. She labeled me “geriatric pregnancy” and everything, which really annoyed me because the standard cutoff is 35. I’ve met grandmothers at the playground here who are only a couple of years older than me. But I was among the first of my college/grad school friends to have a baby! And my parents (who had me at 33 and 35 a generation ago) would have been very disappointed if I’d had a baby in my 20s – they really wanted me to focus on career. Just varies so much based on where you live and family culture.
I’m in Boston. I had my second at 33 and was told “you are the youngest pregnancy patient I’ve had all day.”
That’s super annoying and I’m sorry you’re having to deal with it.
I had my first at 40, am currently pregnant with my second at 42 (due the month before my 43rd birthday), and we haven’t ruled out a third yet (all our pregnancies are via IVF and we have enough frozen euploid embryos for this to be possible if we want it to be). I feel young and thrilled with our choices, and it sounds like you do too!
Remember that you are setting a great example for other people who don’t fit into your regional norm but now get to look at you and see a different model of happiness/success.
Thank you for this!!!
What? Gross. I had all my kids before I turned 35, but I’m in the Boston burbs. It’s such a mix that I honestly assume nothing. I’ve met moms that look like they are the au pair and moms that look like the grandma. I’m 38. My 9 year old’s best friend’s mom just turned 50. My 4 year old’s friend’s mom is 31.
You either need to move or stop paying these people any mind.
Hah! Here in the Northeast, you’d be average for a 3rd kid mom. I would say average for my friends having a 3rd is between 35-42.
Like AIMS said though, you can’t win. I think people are also dumb when they assume that we are all in total control of what our families look like – would I have loved having two kids exactly 2 years apart, but… it wasn’t in the cards. Instead I have 3 awesome kids, 2 of whom have a bigger age gap than I ever would have expected.
Aunt Jamesina says
I’m convinced people become blathering idiots when they’re around pregnant women and mothers. You’re too young, too old, have too many or too few (or the “wrong” number or balance of boys or girls), you have them too close together or too far apart, you’re feeding/clothing/helping them sleep the wrong way, you work too much or you’re leeching off of your poor working spouse. Your daycare or a nanny is raising them for you, or your kid is too attached to you. You spoil them or withhold affection. You’re a crazy crunchy mom or you let your kids ingest chemicals all day long. It’s a crapshoot.
I’m 37 with one kid (and likely only, and I find it interesting that people refer to her as my “first” kid, implying we’ll have more). I guess I’m “old” in the sense that I had her later than average, but I’m not objectively old.
Boston Legal Eagle says
Your first paragraph is spot on. It starts when people feel the need to comment on your big belly and then you can’t win with any decision you make in the future with certain people.
Would it make you feel better to tell you I am expecting and turn 45 in two months? I also don’t colour my silver hair so it is SHOCKING to some people (and lots of people think I have enough kids already). Honestly, though, you can’t win. I was anxious about having to tell people and have been very pleasantly surprised. But we are ecstatic and this works for us and I am a better mother as I age (which my grandmother said when she had my mom in her 40’s). So those people can step off and jet and keep their narrow-minded, insular perspectives to themselves. When I admitted to my grand boss that his heartfelt congratulations meant a lot given that it hasn’t always been the response received, he pumped his arm in the in the air and said, “Are you kidding!?! This is such awesome news!” and my immediate boss said, “What the hell? The only response to a pregnancy announcement is an unequivocal and enthusiastic CONGRATULATIONS!” and they both now have to backfill me in a tricky two person team (for a year or 18 months!). So take some solace that somewhere, some people think you are absolutely normal!
We have booked a trip to the Beaches Resort on Turks for January. I read reviews before we booked – but would love to hear from folks here if they have any insights. (I saw it mentioned earlier this week) For multiple reasons, this is an ideal trip for us right now. However, I’ve never done all inclusive and I’m getting cold feet. We are fortunate to be able to afford it, but it is expensive! Is it worth it? This is our first big trip with the kids other than Disney (kids are 5 and 7). Part of me thinks this is just the cost of traveling with kids, part of me thinks we are over paying?
I’m going this December, so I can report back then! My two cents is that it’s probably not really “worth it” in the sense that it’s not going to be twice as good as a trip that cost half as much. I’m not even convinced it will be better than a resort that costs half as much. We can afford it, but I highly doubt I would have paid for this out of my own pocket (we’re traveling with my parents and they’re paying for the room — we’re getting our own flights). It seems more worth it if you have kids under 4 and will take advantage of the free babysitting. Pretty much every Caribbean resort has a free kids club for kids ages 4-12, but it is unusual to have free childcare for children under 4 and that’s a big Beaches perk. But doesn’t apply to you (or me). It is right near an excellent snorkeling beach (I’ve stayed at a nearby hotel before) so that could be a big draw if you really enjoy snorkeling.
I don’t know exactly how much that particular all-inclusive costs in comparison with hotel + meals, but I generally find all-inclusives and cruises more enjoyable than a la carte vacations because my husband isn’t worrying about the price of every meal and activity and wanting us to sit in the hotel room eating Subway and watching TV. Meals at resorts that aren’t all-inclusive also get very expensive very quickly, so unless you are willing to leave the resort for most meals and do things like grocery store muffins for breakfast you might not save much.
Beaches Turks and Caicos is very pricey even by all-inclusive standards. ~$12-15k for a week, which is more than we paid for a private sailing yacht in the Caribbean with a captain and chef last year. I totally agree that ~$500/night all-inclusives can be a great value, especially with picky kids.
Ha, yes, I was guessing more like $1,000/night.
For Beaches? Isn’t that the family version of Sandals, the sort-of-tacky honeymoon resort? For that kind of money I think you could get legitimately fancy.
Yeah, Beaches is the kid-friendly version of Sandals. I’m not sure how you define “legitimately fancy” but a lot of the nicest all-inclusives don’t allow children (understandably). There are some family friendly places that are quite a bit fancier and more expensive than Beaches (Sugar Beach, Jumby Bay, Cap Jaluca) but those places can easily run $2k+/night without inclusions and food is very expensive in the Caribbean and can easily add hundreds of dollars to your daily costs, so those places aren’t really in the same price bucket as Beaches. Beaches has sort of a unique price point, in between the ultra-luxury resorts that I mentioned and the more generic all-inclusives in the $400-800/night range. Rating all-inclusive resorts is also pretty subjective. I’ve been with family to the same resort and some people loved it and some people hated it. (And yes I spend way too much time daydreaming about family trips to Caribbean resorts, lol).
Also T&C is by far the priciest Beaches, which reflects both the fact that Turks and Caicos is a pricey island in general and that it’s by far the largest and “nicest” of the Beaches resorts with something like 25 different restaurants on-s!te and a huge waterpark. The Jamaica Beaches resorts are considerably cheaper, though still not cheap – typically in the $800-1k/night range.
My 9 year old daughter needs jeans. She’d prefer skinny/straight style. She’s very trim but has a booty by genetics and soccer thighs by sport. She’s also tall.
Size 8s are too tight. Size 10/12 is too big. We tried all the jeans at Abercrombie because they come in a 9/10 but the styles that fit were outrageous and she won’t wear them (think flares with slots to the knee).
Target/cat and Jack brand worked in a “straight” fit size 10, we thought, but they shrunk in the wash and are now too tight on her thighs and too big in the back (eg a waist gap).
Old navy rockstar skinnies size 10 worked ok but are a little too tight in the leg and run a little short.
What other brands/stores should we try? It’s so annoying!! She’s only 9 and in excellent shape and it’s harder to find jeans for her than my middle aged size 12 large booty’d self!
Has she tried jeggings instead? Those tend to work for a wider range of body types. Target has a bunch.
We do have Jean colored leggings but not legging-style-jeans. Those didn’t work in a size 8 (too small) or 10 (too big) at target.
Maybe Oshkosh? At least they have lots of different styles that you could try.
I like Uniqlo jeans for my kids. Their clothes are gender neutral so not so skinny. A lot of them have stretch too.
Also look in the boys section- the jeans there are roomier. I buy a lot of my 10 year old daughter’s pants and shorts from the boy’s section. Better pockets too and without all the extra decoration or styling.
I’ve also had food luck with H&M for jeans, but we had to try on a bunch in store before we found the perfect pair.
I like Children’s Place stretchy dark wash jeans for my tall 8 YO. They’re available on Amazon.
Funish question. We are hosting an outdoor fall party tomorrow– sort of a belated housewarming because we never did one with COVID, so here we are 2 years later! The kids are SO pumped it has been more fun to prepare than I thought it would. What’s something you try to do as host/things I shouldn’t forget? I’ve got extra hand towels and toilet paper for the bathroom. I’ll lock my WFH desk drawers. Any other tips?
Trash cans outside
Make sure you have plenty of drink options, both hot and cold! Warm apple cider, hot cocoa, a variety of teas. For snacks you could do popcorn and donuts. If you plan on serving a meal, brats and hot dogs on the grill are easy and pulled pork is a little more work but also a classic fall food. Pumpkin decorating could be a fun outdoor activity for the kids. Do you have a fire pit?
Paper weights for napkins and fly covers for outdoor food. Make sure there is a bottle opener near the cooler if neded and a place to set debris (corks, tops, etc.). Set out bug spray and/or sunscreen if needed. Have active kid activities ready (I usually set out bubbles, chalk and a bag of various balls (soccer, football, mini kickball, etc.).
+1 on napkins, period. I feel like this is one that gets overlooked sometimes.
Glow sticks or glow in the dark balls will keep kids entertained. Can even play ghost in the graveyard or version of capture the flag.
Garbage and recycling receptacles outside.
Smores bar? Fun for adults and kids.
We are in NE, so we always have a few outdoor blankets in case people are chilly, even around the fire.
HAVE FUN! Sometimes we get caught up in the “I need to refill the ice” that we miss out on the company!
my other comment may have been sent to mod?
-glow sticks or glow in the dark balls. kids can play ghost in the graveyard or capture the flag.
-throw blankets, it can get chilly even near the fire.
-smores bar? fun for kids and adults
-have fun, don’t get caught up in refilling the ice and missing out on the company!
I first saw this thanks to Covid but now I wonder why I didn’t always do this. I remove hand towels from the bathroom and put out folded paper towels like you’d get in a public restroom. I love the idea of people not using my hand towels.
have a drink in your hand when people arrive, it helps them relax and feel comfortable
So Anon says
Looking for a AITA/gut check here: My mom lives close to me. I have worked very hard in therapy for years to establish solid boundaries with her, which are continuously tested and I am made to feel in the wrong. (Easy example was during height of covid, she was sick, said it wasn’t covid and insisted that my kids and I come help her with a task that could easily wait a few weeks. She threw a tantrum and didn’t speak to me for a month+.) My mom is in her 70s, and her brother is 2 years older. I was very close with my uncle and his kids growing up. In fact, the four cousins (my uncle’s two kids, my sister and I) are all very close, but we are all in the hectic stage of life with working and parenting elementary and middle school aged kids. My uncle and one of the cousins live in a beautiful area that is tough to get to – think one flight a day that involves at least one layover and then a good drive.
My mom said that she wanted to take my 9yo daughter to visit my uncle and cousin as a fun trip. (She did the same with my son 4 years ago.) I tentatively said ok. She called me excited because she found flights for a weekend in December. It would involve my daughter missing 2 days of school, which is fine. The problem is that the flight left at 5am (airport is 45 minutes away) on Thursday and returned at midnight on Sunday. My daughter has high sleep needs but doesn’t sleep on planes or in cars. Missing her sleep by more than an hour leaves her in a funk for days. My mom is insistent that this is the only flight that will work for her. When I raised the sleep issue for my daughter, my mom responded by saying that she (my mom) would be up early too but that she (my mom) would be able to handle it. I suggested that the trip wait until summer when there are more flights and they can take a full day to travel. She then let me know that the trip wouldn’t work and it was my problem to figure out how to get my daughter out to see my uncle. My mom is now not talking to me, again. To be honest, I’m kind of ok with the quiet. AITA here?
I would have said no in the first place given the history. It’s lucky that she is cancelling the trip instead of insisting on making it work somehow.
Exactly. You need better boundaries!
Grown adults do not just stop talking to each other when they are mad. That is a-hole behavior.
PS – I should have said – to someone, not to each other. I can see drawing a healthy boundary where you decide to cut off contact with someone. But for her to stop talking to you to “punish” you for making a decision that you feel is in your daughter’s best interest is ridiculous.
PPS – we probably would have said no on the basis of missing school. I know different families have different priorities/opinions on that issue, and that is okay – the point is reasonable people can disagree about what is reasonable. It doesn’t matter who is right; YOU get to make the rules about what is okay for your own daughter. You are never going to be able to keep your mom happy for any length of time; give up.
Given all the backstory with your mom, NTA.
That said, I have a high sleep needs kid but we are flexible on sleep for her to do special things like this with grandparents, and in a scenario like this I would have said yes. But again, we don’t have the family dynamic that you do and I know that makes a big difference.
Nope. You’re not the A. Enjoy the quiet.
No, you’re definitely not
No definitely not. Also, if she has high sleep needs, she’s going to have a rough readjustment that next week. We are avid and frequent travelers, and I have definitely pulled my kids out of school to travel – but the next day is always tough, even if the travel wasn’t as long as what you’ve described. My parents live a similar distance from me, and *I* need a few days on either side of that trip to recover. We only take our kids to see them when they can chill after the trip.
But also, given your history and how you describe your mom, I’d also take the win that your daughter isn’t stuck alone with her for all that time. No way that the volatility you’ve described doesn’t impact or get directed at your kid when they are traveling along for that long.
Vicky Austin says
Absolutely NTA. Your mom is TA for pushing your boundaries and disregarding your knowledge of your kid, again.
I believe a parent’s primary responsibility is to their children, particularly when they’re minors. Your mom’s feelings and convenience don’t really matter compared to what you think is best for your daughter, even if your mom can throw a much bigger tantrum than your daughter.
Honestly, I wouldn’t let someone who has so little regard for my child’s needs take my child on a trip, even if it could be scheduled at a more convenient time.
This right here is the best answer (and I responded as well). Given your mother’s history, I would print this out, and refer to it on the regular. I can’t imagine this is the only time she’s pressured you to do something that isn’t in your daughter’s best interest.
I think the fact that you feel the need to interrogate your behavior and parenting choices, and think that this question is at all about who is the a, means that you are still playing your mother’s game according to your mother’s rules. Isn’t that what her “punishment” of you is supposed to make you do? Sit around and think about what you did and try to find fault with it and doubt yourself and ask strangers for help because you have lost your sense of why you felt what you did was right? Stop playing her game. You will not win.
Of course not. But you have to stop doing this. Don’t agree to let your boundary pushing mom take your kid on a trip! Just don’t.
I wouldn’t let your mom travel with your kids because of the relationship issues, but I’ve never heard of a flight, especially to a hard-to-reach destination, that wasn’t inconveniently timed and disruptive to sleep.
Right. You should never have said yes. It’s silly to agree and then walk it back after she’s invested time in setting it up. If your kid has rigid sleep needs cool! Then don’t agree to travel with grandma a day away.
At some point you need to own that you are playing a role in this dramatic dynamic.
fashion help says
I’m trying to finally ditch my skinny jeans and get with the fashion program. But I don’t understand how shoes work with the new styles of jeans. I live in a four seasons climate, and I can’t get away with wearing ballet flats or mules or things like that for 3/4 of the year. I’ve been wearing sneakers a lot with the new pairs, but pretty soon I’d like to wear a full sock. What shoes/ boots are you wearing with straight leg (and even wider) jeans? And is this as confusing as I think?
Boston Legal Eagle says
I don’t know but I tried on pants the other day that stopped right above my ankles. I guess the style is to show off ankles? But how am I supposed to wear these in winter with long boots being out and short boots in – just show the socks? Give me my appropriately lengthed skinny jeans any day…
I just had to Google this myself. Apparently you are somehow supposed to magically have jeans that are the exact length to meet to top of your ankle boots or wear sock boots.
Jo-Lynne Shane just did a post on wearing boots with straight-leg jeans, although she might skew a little older. The main takeaway is to find pairings where the hem of the jeans doesn’t catch on the boots when you stand up after sitting down. This generally translates into a taller, narrower boot shaft (“sock booties”) and/or a longer hem (but not too long).
Unfortunately for those who run cold, visible socks are a very frumpy look these days. Bloggers are showing some straight and flared jeans with longer hems that come down to the top of the shoe but don’t break like they did back in the pre-skinny-jean bootcut era. You could hide a sock under those with sneakers or loafers. But with ankle-length pants, it’s boots or bare ankles.
I think you can still get away with wearing skinnies under shorter boots, just not tall boots.
I wear wide legged jeans/pants with chelsea or hiking boots with a high narrow shaft or leather Chuck taylor high tops. The top of the boot is just higher than the hem of the pants. (Obviously the boot tops are inside the pants.) I always wear socks. I’ve seen other moms with straight leg jeans and high top sneakers. Yes it’s confusing. It took me a while to land on this. The boots have to be taller than those low ankle boots that used to be around.