Family Friday: Monopoly Junior

This is my favorite of the Junior board games we’ve gotten so far — they did a really good job with this one. I love that we can encourage counting, because there’s no houses or hotels, and it’s only dollar bills, not 5s, 10s, etc. I always make my son count all of the money he wins at the end. It’s very easy, even for someone who’s a non-reader. All of the place names are cute and kid-friendly, like the Zoo and the Bowling Alley. Monopoly Junior moves quickly, and it’s a good, fun game — I highly recommend it. Monopoly Junior

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  1. Lyssa says:

    I like this idea for a category! My 4 year old is absolutely obsessed with Trouble lately. He figured out the tricks pretty quickly, and loves the counting. It’s nice that it’s not a very messy game, either (the pieces stay on pegs, so they don’t get pushed off of the board very easily, and the dice are enclosed in the game board).

    I would have thought that Monopoly Jr would be a little too complicated for him, but looking at this, maybe not. I’ll definitely keep it in mind.

  2. mascot says:

    My son loved this game. By about age 6, he was ready to move to regular Monopoly concept-wise, although he needed a little help counting the big numbers.
    Another awesome game is No Stress Chess. It teaches regular chess, but does so in stages with the first stages limiting the number of moves available to you. There are diagrams and simple instructions. I also recommend Battleship as a no reading required game, just need to know numbers and individual letters.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Ooh, I like the idea No Stress Chess, I might need to check it out. Especially since I’m pretty rusty at it myself.

    • Work travel? says:

      Yes to all 3, these are all favorites in our house

  3. Leatty says:

    I’d recommend Scrabble Junior/Scrabble. When I was growing up, I played with my grandmother, and she let me use the dictionary to come up with new words. It definitely helped to expand my vocabulary, and I have such fond memories of playing Scrabble with her.

    • My uncle taught me to play chess when I was 5 and it became a great tradition between us. Obviously I wasn’t that great at first but it’s a game that grew with me and it’s been a surpringly helpful thing to know as an adult. If you have younger kids, you could start with checkers.

    • I love scrabble but the scrabble junior is just a little slow for us… maybe it’ll get better when we can move to the higher tier of the game. (He’s still asking me things like, “Mom, what does WYZKSL spell?”, which makes me think a non-guided Scrabble game won’t be fun.)

  4. Meg Murry says:

    We have a different version of Monopoly Junior (Monopoly Jr Party, I think?), and at first I liked it as a step up from Candyland, Chutes and Ladders and other games that are 100% chance and luck of the draw. But, at least as the rules from our edition are written, it’s still actually pretty much a luck game, since the rules in our edition say that if you land on a space and have the money you have to buy it. Plus we always have at least once incident that results in the little tokens that say who owns what space getting knocked off and arguments as to who owns which property.

    I’ve been trying to figure out how to make this at least a little bit less mind numbing for me now that my youngest is son is 5 and getting better about following rules. We’ve started with not having to buy every property you land on, and I’m thinking of introducing him to the “charge double when you own both properties” rule.

    The other thing that’s difficult about a game that’s 95% chance is that there is no recovering if you wind up with an extremely lucky few rolls and the kiddo is extremely unlucky. I try not to cheat to let my kids win every time, but I will at least attempt not to completely clobber them – and there is no way to do that here except to purposely mis-count a roll or to “forget” to take money for passing Go, mis-read a chance card, or to turn a blind eye to them cheating, which I prefer not to do.

    I’m also spoiled because I have a 10 year old that can play real board games and has been able to for years, so I’m pretty much over most of the “Junior” games. But I could see this being a good pick if you had 2 younger kids, instead of a younger kid and an older kid. Right now, popular games in our house that the 5 year old pre-k kid can play (with some help, although he’s getting pretty good now that he recognizes numbers) are Trouble, Sorry, Uno, Crazy 8s, Go Fish, Spot It and Connect 4. I prefer these since they often have at least a little bit of strategy to them, and it’s fun watching my son think out loud as to which piece he wants to move, etc.

    Speaking of, the Easter Bunny might want to bring a new game for the basket this weekend. Any suggestions good for a 5 year old that the 10 year old would be willing to play along with, that I can pick up in a brick and mortar store today or tomorrow?

    • POSITA says:

      Ticket to Ride might be a good option. I find it to be fun as an adult. I bet a 5 yo could follow the rules, even if he doesn’t get all of the strategy. There is a Jr version, too, I think, though I’ve never played it. I’m sure Amazon has reviews.

      • We have ticket to ride junior and it’s a great game for my 5/8 year olds. Sometimes the 5 year old needs help with his routes, but he’s picking up quickly.

    • Blueberry says:

      Any tips for how to get two littler kids to play a game together or not totally destroy it? My 4-year-old is starting to enjoy some board games, but we really only play once in a while while the 2-year-old is napping, because I can’t imagine it would go well if we involved the toddler. I think it’s probably not possible, but would love to hear someone prove me wrong!

    • Anonymous says:

      Haha, I was just going to suggest most of what you already have. Thank goodness someone invented Uno, right?

      Guess who
      Apples to Apples if 5 year old can read (or maybe save that for a year or so)
      Sequence, maybe? (it’s been a while since I’ve played)

    • NewMomAnon says:

      The collaborative games are challenging, but since they’re collaborative you can easily help/coach kiddo through them. I’ve played Forbidden Island and enjoyed it; I think a 5 year old could participate. I’ve also played Pandemic, and that’s a little more challenging.

      I did a quick google search and a site called Peaceable Kingdom has collaborative board games for kids as young as 2 (although I haven’t played them):

  5. For kids who love math I can highly recommend Reiner Knizia’s Poison. We started to play it with my stepdaughter around age 6 and we actually still play it now (she just turned 11). It’s not a kids’ game technically and it’s pretty fun for adults, too. The concept is adding numbered cards to cauldrons, and trying to keep the total 13 and under.

  6. AnonChi says:

    Any recommendations for bath toys for a 8 month old very energetic baby? I am trying to figure out how to make him actually sit in the bath tub because he is all about getting up. Thanks!

    • Anonymous says:

      We have a “butts on the ground” rule and would just end the bath after he stood up three times (two warnings, then you’re out). I felt bad doing it so young, but it worked, and it’s really helpful now– I even use it at the playground when he tries to walk down the slide.

      We’re not super creative with our bath toys. DS is a bit older now, but he likes including stacking cups with holes in the bottom (we have Greensprouts) and foam letters that stick to the walls. His nanny got him a wind-up turtle that “swims” which he loves, but I had to throw away because it quickly got moldy.

      • AnonChi says:

        This is a great rule! I’ll look into the foam letters. Thanks!

      • Blueberry says:

        Hrm, I haven’t had much of this problem, probably because I’m pretty strict and have a no warning policy. Whoever stands up gets taken out of the bath. (I am the bearer of a scar from a bathtub/stitches incident in my youth, so I may be over-sensitive about this issue.) For the little one, I actually had this bath seat thing at about that age that I really liked, but I hesitate to recommend it, because apparently they are semi-recalled, because if the kid tips over, he can’t get himself out. However, this was mostly to keep him from getting toppled over by his big brother, and I don’t think it’s necessary.

        In terms of toys, I honestly think things to pour out of or into are the most fun for that age — nothing too complicated. We have those green sprouts cups too. I also leave the faucet running (lightly) for the whole time, so the little one can play with the water coming out. We got rid of our squirty toys because they kept growing gross mold inside, and who has time to give their bath toys their own vinegar bath often enough to prevent that?

        Finally, if none of these suggestions are helpful, I’d remind you that an 8-month-old probably doesn’t need to bathe that often so if he can’t get the concept that he needs to sit in the bath and bathtime is too crazy, I’d just limit the number of baths.

    • (former) 3L mama says:

      honest question. Is it a problem that he stands up? My daughter never sits in the bath. She squats, she lays, and splashes, she stands, but she seldom sits. Am I missing something about bath time? She also stands or walks down the slide upon occasion.

      • AnonChi says:

        Good point. DS cannot stand up without support yet plus he somehow manages to bump into the tub, pulls shampoo bottles (which I should remove, yes). I feel that his bath should be relaxing time, not time to explore and conquer…But maybe I am missing something.

      • I think the hardest time is when they are pulling up or starting to walk but not steady. For me it’s just a safety hazard because its hard to keep them from slipping. My son is almost 2 and now I let him stand in the bath if he really wants. Usually I hold his wrist and let him walk/stomp/dance for a bit.

        As for slide, similar issue. I will let him walk up holding my hand if park is empty/no other kids on slide. When he’s a little bigger I have no problem letting him do that as long as it isn’t too high and other kids aren’t trying to use it. I don’t let him walk down now just because I think he’s still likely to fall- he doesn’t try that much anyway so it’s not really a problem.

        This is just what I do, I think you have to use their judgment based on your kid’s abilities and how much energy you have to supervise.

      • It wasn’t a problem for us because our tub was so old that the bottom was really rough — in need of recoating — and not remotely slippery. At last, renting pays off! In our new place we bought a tub with a non-slip bottom, which seems to work pretty well. So I have allowed standing.

    • Anonymous says:

      +1 to ending bath after three warnings. 8 month old is probably a bit young for the consequences to be effective, so for now just keep putting him on his bottom, but it is good to set the habit when they are young.

      To others, it is unsafe to stand and walk in the tub.

      If they fight sitting – think about the surface of the tub. It may not be comfortable. They may want a mat. They may want a smoother mat, etc.

      ALEX Toys Rub a Dub Stickers are some of the best bath toys I’ve ever had. The kids love them and they are surprisingly durable. We have the “Beach Buddies” set, purchased ~3 years ago. We’ve had many, many more but most played with are rubber duckies or similar (a mix of random freebies, dollar store, and a few ’boutique’), the munchkin simple boat, and cups of all kinds.

      FYI, I find too many toys can also keep them from sitting down.

  7. Eliza says:

    Can anyone recommend a good quick workout for legs and but I can do at home? For those of you who workout at home in the morning, what motivates you to get out of bed earlier? In theory, I like the idea of starting the day with some light workout, then shower, coffee etc. while the baby sleeps. I think there are more chances that the workout will happen in the morning before work as opposed to after work. I also plan to commit to 30 minute walking each day. Thanks!

    • mascot says:

      Squats, lunges, single-leg deadlifts, and glute bridges are doable as bodyweight only exercises. You can add dumbbells and bands if you have those.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Agreed. Also, google Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide. She has a whole program, but you can find a free PDF of her workouts, which are designed to be done with minimal equipment. I personally really like having someone tell me what to do when I exercise, so following a guide is good for me.

        I’m a morning exerciser and love it. I love starting my day with an endorphin rush and I love knowing that my workout is done for the day!

        • Good point to think that you’ve achieved the workout goal for the day. I am curious, do you get hungry and eat right after work out? I usually eat my breakfast at work so I wonder if that will change once I start the morning workout. I did not know there are free PDFs for Kayla Itsines. Thanks!

          • Anon in NYC says:

            I usually wait to eat until I’ve gotten to work. I usually find that I don’t have an appetite immediately after a workout and I also drink a cup of coffee both before and after my workout so that probably naturally suppresses my hunger. Not sure if I would be hungry earlier if I didn’t have that post-workout coffee (probably?).

    • Look at for lots of free non-annoying workout videos. They have a search feature and you can limit the length of the workout, difficulty, target areas, equipment needed, etc.

  8. POSITA says:

    I’d love to continue yesterday’s discussion about au pairs. We have one schedule to start this fall and are very excited. I’d love to hear more about what others have found made for a successful experience. We really want this to go well. Is a manual essential? Can we develop rules as we go? Should we have weekly meetings or is informal conversation better? How much should we help the au pair structure her time with the kids? So many things to consider…

    • Famouscait says:

      Would also like to hear about the nitty-gritty logistics of living quarters. Do they share the hall bath with the kids? Can they cook their own food in the kitchen? etc.

    • anne-on says:

      I highly suggest for all of these topics (logistics, feedback, schedules, etc.). I will say a manual and clear expectations for hours/scheduling is so key. I also strongly suggest their guidance of ‘start off strict and ease up later on’ – it is much easier to ease up on stated rules than reinstate them later on.

      Yes, au pairs can share a bathroom with kids (ours does not, but it isn’t uncommon), they can cook their own food if they’d like (ours eats dinner with us, but will cook her own lunches). The advice I’ve heard (that I agree with) is the more removed you can make the au pair living quarters the better – both the au pair and you will each want your own space to retreat to and recharge.

    • Meg Murry says:

      I don’t have an au pair (I’d love to, but in our LCOL area it doesn’t make financial sense, so I’m leaning toward a future exchange student instead). However, Kat, I think the audience here is a prime target for a series of articles about life with an au pair, or even just open threads where you pose a couple of questions and let people here answer them. I’m not 100% certain how/if you could monetize the posts (perhaps there are books on Au Pairs that you could link to in Amazon, or heck, even just a “like this article and want to see more like it? Click here to support this s!te when you shop on Amazon” link), but I think it’s the kind of information that there isn’t a lot of in the parenting/mom blog world and it would probably attract a decent amount of traffic.

      Although now that my kids are school aged, I don’t need a full year au pair, but is there such a thing as a summer only Au Pair? Or does anyone have any recommendations for hiring a summer nanny? I just realized that since we have a spare room it might be possible to swing it, since we can’t afford to pay the full market rate in our area, but we could potentially offer room and board, perhaps to a local college student. Hmm, probably not for this year but maybe something to consider for next summer. Due to my husband’s job we’d have to do everything on the books though, so that’s something we’d have to take into account in our logistics and planning.

    • Any thoughts on the au pair’s first weekend? Ours arrives next month and I am trying to decide if it should be a normal “day in the life” weekend, or if we should plan something fun/special

      • anne-on says:

        We did a split that mirrored our normal weekend – Saturday is our ‘fun’ family day – we make an effort to do an activity together, we either cook something fun or go out to dinner, and we spend lots of time together. Sunday is our errand/cleaning/stuff around town day. We also try to make Sunday dinner and a movie night (fun dinner for kiddo and an early movie). That worked nicely for us as a way to test driving skills and orient our au pair to the neighborhood.
        Also – write things down! Their spoken English is probably still improving, so a list of common spots and addresses (and what my kiddo calls them – the ‘fun’ playground = 123 maple street, the ‘big playground’ = 456 sycamore drive), etc.

      • Winter says:

        Do something fun! They’ll be nervous and overwhelmed and a fun day will be so much better than a day tying to keep up with your routine and feeling stressed.

    • A manual is crucial because it gets you to think about your expectations. We shared it in the interview process. If you post an email address I’m happy to share mine.
      For the first weekend, it could be good to do one “fun” day and one tour of all the grocery stores/pharmacies/playgrounds/school and a driving assessment
      I’m still on my first au pair who has extended for a second year and she’s absolutely amazing!

      • POSITA says:

        I’d love to see an example of an au pair manual. Thank you for your generous offer! My email address is my name, so this is an anon email account for internet use.

        [email protected]

      • Betty says:

        Yes! It helps to set expectations in the beginning. Our handbook goes over everything from the way we want discipline handled to schedule to car and phone rules. My advice would be to go more strict in the beginning and to allow more leeway as your au pair shows that s/he is responsible.

  9. board games are a dominant source of entertainment in my house – I have 5 and 8 year old boys. Favorites have been sequence jr – although I think we have now graduated to “adult sequence”. Fun for me too.
    Yahtzee has been great – I do the scoring for my younger son, but the older one has learned a ton of addition and multiplication with it.
    We also recently discovered a card game called “trash” (you can google for the instructions). It’s pure luck, quick, and can be played with 2 people or 10.
    On the I-don’t-get-why-the-kids-love-it spectrum, we have a game called animal bingo that has been going strong for 5 years. If you draw 2 chips each turn it goes much faster.

    • Anonymous says:

      The eeboo animal bingo? I’ve had that in my hand so many times.

      In my region, we call the card game “garbage” ;)

      I also have a 5 and 8 year old. We haven’t tried Yahtzee! They like Uno the best. Guess Who, dominos, and Gone Fishin’ come out a lot, too. They’ve been asking to learn Rumicube, but I just haven’t had a chance yet.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I could really use some anecdotes on dating success stories as a single, working outside the home, feminist mom. Realistically I don’t see this happening for myself until kiddo is in kindergarten (2 years out) but due to networking events etc I have been the recipient of interested (polite) inquiries and am at a loss as to how to really respond. Last time I dated I was 24 and it is now a decade later.

    Here are the unicorn factors:
    I am a widow and so very much need my late husband’s memory to be a part of our kid’s story, and also for someone to have the capacity to understand that my situation is a polar opposite from contentious divorce (ie my late husband is NOT an ex).
    This is in addition to the usual criteria of being a feminist (labeled or not) and supportive of women’s rights, my career, splitting housework duties, etc.

    I am just missing my husband a lot and could use some positive stories to remind myself that other people have been able to find happiness after a big loss. Thanks in advance.

    • mascot says:

      I don’t have any advice (or eligible friends), but I wanted to give you an internet hug. Most of the guys I know wouldn’t have an issues with your criteria. Things look different in your 30s.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      No advice, but huge hugs. I know there are some women on here who have found new relationship happiness following divorce – hopefully they will chime in!

    • Anonymous says:

      Same, no advice but all the hugs.

      • No advice, but lots of internet hugs. You are very young and the sun will shine on your street again.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      A friend of mine has a bit of a different story, but was a single, badass mom, and just married a wonderful man who seems to be a great addition to the family. He understands her and her kid’s relationship to dad, and also acts as a father figure to the kid. And loves the heck out of my friend and knows how lucky he is to have her.

    • Lurker says:

      I bet there are some online support groups for people in your situation that could be really helpful. There are good guys out there that are not intimidated by knowing you loved/love someone that came before them. My story doesn’t involve loss in your way but I had a serious high school boyfriend from 8th grade through freshmen year of college. All my formative year memories have this now man in the picture. He was as much if not a greater part of my life than my parents/siblings. We broke up because we had different life goals and what it takes to love and work in high school is different than college / adulthood. We still very much loved each other when we broke up but we knew we weren’t meant to be forever.

      He still lives in my hometown and we still have mutual friends. I met my now husband shortly after high school guy and I broke up. He understood that while the relationship was over, we still thought fondly of each other and interacted in the same social circles. He was never intimidated by that. He never gave me ultimatums. I still had things that meant a lot to me from high school boyfriend and he never asked that I get rid of them.

      Even now that we are in our 30s, high school boyfriend and I see each other at weddings and funerals. My husband has no problem with us occasionally supporting each other. When he learned high school boyfriend’s mom died, he was the first to help me clear my schedule so I could be there for the services. No questions asked. My husband knows that high school boyfriend’s family will always be my family too.

      I could never have dated or married someone that wanted me to erase my past. I still cherish my photos hanging with my high school friends and there is no jealousy that I’m hugging high school boyfriend in those photos. I think it helps that my husband knows that he is a catch and that there is nothing missing in our relationship that ex-boyfriend could provide.

      You will someday find a secure man that doesn’t see your late husband as someone to compete with or be jealous of. He will realize as someone once wisely said here, there is no limit on the amount that we can love. Just because you also love someone from you past does not take away how much you can love the person in your present.

    • Betty says:

      I can’t speak as the mom, but I can speak as the kid in this situation. My mom and dad were both military and my dad was KIA. My mom was/is an absolute bada$$. She stayed in the military and retired as a colonel. She dated when we were kids. To be honest, she did not remarry but I know that she enjoyed dating. Even with all that she has been through, she is happy, contended and fulfilled with her life. My life has recently followed an unexpected parallel (my husband almost died last year), and she has been honest that the first few years were gut-wrenchingly tough, but that she put one foot in front of the other and put herself out there when she was ready. I wish I could offer more, but I can say that I have seen happiness on the other side of tragedy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you so much everyone. Greatly appreciate the support and stories, they give me hope. I hope you all have a good weekend!

  11. Rainbow Hair says:

    HALP. Mornings!

    My kiddo (just over two) is NOT a morning person. I think she’s getting enough sleep. Naps 1.5-2.5 hours a day, and sleeps from 7:45pm-6:30am, ish. But when we wake her up she’s a miserable nightmare. It takes her a good hour (by which point we’re en route to daycare) to get herself together.

    A later wakeup time isn’t an option: I drop her off before I go to work, so it has to be what it is.

    But I was thinking maybe of one of those alarm clocks that makes the sun rise? Or something??? I don’t know but I swear I’m gonna send her to the north pole to live with Santa if I have to spend many more mornings like this. (I won’t. I love her. But I do not love *this*)

    • Is it possible hunger is part of the issue? Maybe you could try to get her blood sugar up with a glass of juice first thing?

      We use videos as a motivator/bribe, like, if you get dressed fast you will have more time to watch a video. (causes some battles when the video has to get turned off though). If you are willing to dress her, you can do it while she is slack-jawed watching the video.

      • Meg Murry says:

        Or vice versa – do they serve breakfast at daycare, and how much “getting ready” does she need to have in the mornings? Do you have to feed her breakfast at home, or can she wait until she gets there? One family at our daycare pretty much just scoops kids out of bed and does a diaper change and plops them in the car with a sippy of milk, and then gets them dressed at daycare. I know another family has convinced their kids it’s a “treat” when one adult is solo parenting to get to sleep in sweats or leggings and tunic and then go to daycare/school without having to get changed in the morning. When I had to take my kids to daycare an hour earlier than their normal routine when their father was out of town, I also had a couple days of carrying in a drowsy shoeless kid, and plopping them in the “reading corner” to keep dozing until they were ready to be up and going.

        One of my kids also just likes to have us come and wake him and open the curtains and/or turn on the light, and then leave him in bed for 5-10 minutes before we get him up. What time does she get up on the weekends if you don’t wake her? Perhaps she isn’t getting enough sleep, or isn’t actually napping at daycare? Or does she have the added joy of being the kind of kid that gets up pre-dawn on weekends but drags on weekdays?

        My husband does the morning routines, and he does 95% of them from the living room in front of the TV. Gives the kids breakfast there, brings clothes to them and gets them dressed in the the living room, etc. I don’t love it, but since it works for them and I’m not involved it’s not something I’m going to fight. Does she actively fight and kick and scream all the way in the morning, or just drag and move slowly and not follow instructions?

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        We really need to buy a damn TV. Our current rule is “screentime only on weekends” and then we just have Daniel Tiger playing on a laptop out of reach — she watches it sometimes for 10 minutes at a time then does other fun stuff. But it requires some supervision because she would like nothing more than to smash that keyboard…

        • Meg Murry says:

          If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on it, and the hassle of mounting the tv on the wall or buying somewhere to put it, etc, our kids have the Kindle Fire Kids Edition and they have survived being stepped on, spilled on regularly, super sticky fingers and all other kinds of abuse. On sale right now for $80. Plus it has an option to only allow a certain amount of screen time before it goes to sleep, and is easy to put up out of sight in a cupboard when you don’t want it around. Or if you have any old smartphones around, you could get a heavy duty case pretty cheaply and bribe her with that once she is dressed and eaten.

          Of course, if you want a TV so you can do your own binge watching after she’s in bed, nevermind :-)

    • CPA Lady says:

      If she’s not waking up on her own at that time then she is not getting enough sleep. My daughter slept a solid 12 hours plus a 2 hour nap when she was around that age. Some kids are really high needs when it comes to sleep. It changes quickly though– my kid is 2.5 at this point and those six months have made a big difference. I can push bedtime way back without a problem these days.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      How long is she typically awake before you leave the house? I wonder if you can minimize that time by doing things like putting her to bed in the clothes she’ll wear the next day (saving time getting her dressed), or giving her breakfast in her car seat (or waiting until she’s at daycare to give her breakfast)?

      Is there any way she can/will go to bed earlier? My daughter (almost 2) just started naturally pushing back her bedtime, so I realize there’s only so much that can be done there.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Thanks guys.

      Yeah on the weekends she’ll easily sleep until 8:30 am (hallelujah) and then her nap is a bit shorter, about an hour.

      I believe she really naps at daycare because once this week they told me “she only rested today, she couldn’t fall asleep” and didn’t mark her down for a nap. So I believe she’s actually asleep when they do mark her down as asleep.

      There’s one mom who does the whole “bring sleeping child to school, get her dressed and ready there” thing which … I guess I could do but I’m not thrilled about it. I’m concerned that the amount of time she’d get in extra sleep (30 minutes?) wouldn’t be worth the hungry, angry car ride. Also she often leaks in her diaper in the morning/overnight, so there’d at least have to be changing of clothes at home.

      I wonder if I could let her sleep more, just change/dress her, and give her something to eat in the car (noooooo I hate that idea).

      I guess we could put her to bed earlier — but we start bedtime stuff just after 7pm and that only gives us an hour and a half after school/work to eat dinner and do fun stuff like crafts and books! :-/

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        OK clearly not being willing to change anything will mean the problem persists.

        Any tips on eating in the car that won’t be a huge disastrous mess?

        Any tips on making a cloth diaper not leak at night?

        Any tips on scootching bedtime earlier?

        Any tips on convincing my husband that even though daycare is *at my work* he should drive her there separately an hour later because it would make mornings so much more pleasant? (This one is not serious.)

        • mascot says:

          If she’s getting food at daycare, I’d give her some sort of smoothie or a pouch that she can have in the car. My kid could slurp down a pouch in 20 seconds, there wasn’t time to make a mess!
          And yes, moving up bedtime is no fun and eats into your weekday time. But, the trade-off is that you’ve got a better rested kid during the week so what you lose in quantity, you gain in quality. Team ProtecttheSleep all the way here.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        So on weekend mornings she’s more pleasant when she first wakes up? If so, it sounds like something has to give on weekdays – morning or evening time – because she needs more sleep and since the evenings are pleasant and mornings are terrible, I’d to sacrifice some morning time. You know your kid best, but my daughter isn’t much of a breakfast eater so she’d be fine with a string cheese or bowl of fruit on the way to daycare.

        • Rainbow Hair says:

          Yeah that’s a good point. Weekend mornings ARE more pleasant.

          OK, wonder if I can get husband on board to do a solid, week-long experiment of cheese-stick breakfast in the car, and an extra twenty-thirty minutes of sleep for kiddo.

          She usually eats some oatmeal/cereal/toast at home, then a full breakfast of cereal or yogurt at school, and THEN a morning snack, and THEN lunch… she’s a big eater. But she doesn’t eat a ton of breakfast at home when she’s miserable, she just picks at it. This morning she was upset because I told her we had to get dressed in two minutes, and she shouted, “I am going to make a sad face!” At least there’s humor to be found.

      • Anonymous says:

        Put her to bed in her school clothes. (leggings and top, etc)
        Eat in the car.
        I like the sunrise clock idea. That’s so helpful for me.

        I’m a slow waker, as is one of my three kids, and there’s not much you can do besides plan around it. (It’s physical – some people wake in a different part of their sleep cycle). I am also much more pleasant on weekend mornings because I can get out of the fog on my own schedule.

    • Blueberry says:

      This is counterintuitive to me, and I can never do it, but my husband has success tickling my son till he wakes up and starts laughing. I would probably punch someone in the face if they did that to me, but my husband thinks of all kinds of silly things to do (often involving animals crawling in the bed? I dunno, there are lots of noises involved) to my son until he is laughing and awake. I think they share some strange silliness gene, but maybe give that a try and hope nobody punches you in the face?

      I also agree you could try to push bedtime earlier if she allows it, but she does seem to be getting a pretty good amount of sleep.

      • Meg Murry says:

        Yes, this is my husband as well. He is a morning person and he wakes the kids up by singing them silly songs, and is really good about going into “I bet you can’t put your shoes on faster than me” mode rather than “oh for pete’s sake will you put your flipping shoes on already?!?” which is what wants to come out of my mouth.

        Alternatively, if daycare is at your work, which means you have to do all drop-offs and pickups, and husband doesn’t leave until an hour after you, could you tell him that you just need him to handle mornings down to strapping her in the car, while you focus on getting yourself ready, since he’ll have an hour to himself after you leave? If mornings are your breaking point, can you trade it with him for another thing like bedtime or bathtime? Or at least alternate – MWF, he has primary kid morning duty and you take Tue-Thurs? Part of the reason my husband has morning kid duty is because he’s a morning person, and the other part is because until recently he’s had a 5-10 minute commute each way, while I’ve had a 40-60 minute one.

        Last, don’t forget, she’s 2 – boundary pushing comes with the territory. Be prepared for her to tell you she’s going to make a sad face even if she suddenly got 3 more hours of sleep. I promise you every parent here has wrestled a screaming, kicking kid into clothes and/or into a carseat in the morning at some point.

        • Actually, tickling works pretty well for those times when your kid is arching their back/fighting like crazy to avoid being buckled in the seat. My kid couldn’t giggle and fight at the same time so I got really good at one-handed buckling while tickling with the other and (gently) using my forearm across his chest to keep him in the seat. That stage was awful. I remember sitting in my car in tears bc I couldn’t get my kid in his d*mn seat.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        Hahaha I would SO punch the face of anyone who tried to wake me by tickling!

        I’m gonna talk to my husband about a bedtime of 7 pm on the nose and also about sleeping in and pouches (he makes smoothies after I leave anyway! why not make them before and throw one in a pouch for her — and bonus one in a cup for me! — instead?) in the car.

  12. Richard Scarry’s Busytown, Eye Found It is a favorite of my 3 year old. The 15 month old doesn’t quite get it.

  13. Adult Games says:

    What are you favorite party games for adults? My preference is social games like outburst. Bonus points if it comes as an android app.

  14. Turned down for LGP says:

    From my understanding, “relations” (trying not to get moderated, hence the ridiculous word!) around here are called LGPs, or “lady garden parties.”
    I was turned down for an LGP a couple nights ago by my husband. It’s not like it was the first time — we’ve been together over ten years, he’s turned me down in the past – but this time it really hurt. Maybe because I almost never turn him down, and when I do, it’s because I have cramps or am sick or something. In his case, he just said he was really tired. It’s been a few weeks – we have small kids – which made the begging-off doubly bothersome.
    I wish I could take it in stride as I have in the past but I’m finding myself angry and resentful. He even said something about how he still finds me very attractive — I stupidly expressed how it got me down — and that made me feel worse, because I just felt kind of pathetic. What’s worse is, he made no attempt last night to try.

    I’m just hoping for some commiseration and advice as to how to not be so emotional and reactive about this. And please = please, please — if you’re on the other end, where you’re doing the rejecting…I’d rather not hear from you! I’m sure it would be well intended but part of what makes rejection like this hard is that it goes against type, of the conventional wisdom that the man always wants it and it’s the wife being chased.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Ugh I have felt those feelings! They’re not fun at all. Especially because I, too, always try to say yes, unless I really just can’t. So then I am like “wtf, husband, why won’t you even try?” (There is also a lot of cultural BS about women’s desire vs men’s desire that as much as I reject on a conscious level, I know I’ve internalized somewhat.)

      I have no idea how this would work for a couple who isn’t us, but sometimes in the morning, or like, right after dinner, when it couldn’t happen right away, I whisper “you should seduce me tonight.” It feels less risky, because while I’m telling him I’m up for it, I’m also asking him to show me he’s up for it?

    • This got recommended on here before, but the Longest Shortest Time podcast #68 was a good listen and might give you and your husband some things to talk about.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Hugs. Used to happen to me when I was married too and it always made me feel bad. If it’s against type, I would keep asking and/or get uncharacteristically physical outside the bedroom as a warm up; he may legitimately have been very tired the last time you asked, or grouchy about something else and not thinking about you in the moment.

      I don’t have a lot of suggestions for if it happens again. I found that I was easily discouraged after the first few rejections and it was hard to recover from that.

    • Wait, why was it stupid for you to tell him you were hurt by his reaction? Why is it pathetic to want your husband to want you? Of course you want him to want you, that seems normal and healthy. If it is unusual for him to turn you down, it seems understandable that it would bother you, because it implies that something unusual is going on. I validate your reaction!

      My husband had little to no interest in LGP for several years due to depression, and it was hard for me. I hated being the initiator, and while IIRC he didn’t usually say no, it was never his idea. But we have come out on the other side of it, and in many ways our LGPs are better than they ever were even early in our relationship. So there is hope.

      I encourage you to ask him again, and if he isn’t interested, ask if he minds if you self-garden next to him. I know that may not be comfortable but it can take the pressure off him – he may be worrying he can’t get it up or can’t finish if he’s just not in the mood (one key difference between men and women – we don’t have to be in the mood to meet minimum gardening performance standards, although of course it is better if we are) – allow you to meet your needs and feel close to him, and maybe also change his mind.

  15. Turned down for LGP says:

    Thank you for your nice reply! You’ve nailed how I feel – I really wanted to say “do you know all the times I wanted to say no, too?!” But that would have sounded insane.
    Anyway, that’s a really good idea – I think I’d feel less like I’m putting myself out there. Thank you!

    • Maybe don’t say that in the moment, but it’s okay to say, I’d really like us to make an effort to not turn each other down, absent really good reasons like I might puke on you.

  16. Turned down for LGP says:

    You are all so so kind. Thank you so much.

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