Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February, 2014

20140227-075217.jpg

There are so many long stretches of parenting a small child that are absolutely mind-numbing in their repetitiveness that when you occasionally come up with a genius childrearing idea on the fly, it’s both a shock and cause for celebration.

I had one of those moments a few months ago when I asked the Boo to take me upstairs instead of telling him we had to go up. I have no idea why I did it, but he appeal to his budding independence was instant and dramatic — he seized my finger and practically dragged me up behind him. A couple of weeks ago, though, I came up with an even better trick, though once again I couldn’t tell you where the idea came from.

The Boo was being particularly disinclined to be happy about delaying his desires, which is to say, it was close to nap time on yet another butt-cold day in February and I needed to do a few more things before I could grant his wish to help him play at the sink. I pulled out my phone and opened the clock app.

“I tell you what. I’ll set the timer. When you hear the bells, it’s time for water play.”

He looked a little unsure about this timer thing, but he was pleased that I let him push the start button. Then I made a huge deal about the bells ringing and let him push the cancel button. Then I set it again to signal the end of water play, because he will seriously spend as much time as we let him “washing” dishes.

So now, instead of whining at me (my least favorite thing about my kid) when he needs to wait or stop doing something he likes, he submits to the will of the phone. Because, see, the command is coming from the phone — the provider of videos and games and general fun — not from me. And he doesn’t have it in him to whine at the phone.

Yet.

Read Full Post »

You are two years old.

You get a monthly kids’ magazine called High Five and you know it’s for you as soon as it show up. You love the stories and songs in it, but the big surprise for us is that you can find about half the items in the hidden pictures puzzle:

20140219-053854.jpg

You enjoy spinning to make yourself dizzy, washing things in the sink, and practicing your jumping skills.

You want to sing your water bottle to sleep when we put it in the fridge because Mama said it was going for a nap once when we laid it on its side. You now like to do this with certain toys, and last night you did it with a Cheerio that was apparently worn out from bring on your high chair tray.

You get rides in the laundry basket after Mama puts the clean clothes away.

You are learning how to somersault.

You have begun to protest diaper changes by trying to sit up through them. Often you can be persuaded to calm down with a song or the promise of playing with a favored object like a nail clipper (really), but on the night of your birthday you bumped your head, so sometimes Mama reminds you of that when you’re doing your Baby Abs of Steel routine.

You enjoy washing dishes so much that you sometimes have a meltdown if you can’t wash them when you want to. You also like scrubbing the shower floor, and often enlist the help of your bedtime buddy.

You have begun to state clothing preferences, usually by asking to wear your robot shirt.

You can get up on the piano bench and play by yourself.

You refer to yourself as “you,” often while pointing your chest for emphasis.

You refer to Mama as “I.”

You swiftly declare yourself done with your meal if told you can have something you want after you finish eating.

You have begun to deploy the phrase, “I don’t like it.”

You finally got to go out in a fresh snowfall, but refused to touch the snow. Mama suspects this was because you got a face full of it the day before when we walked to a neighbor’s house while it was falling. You stomped around in it a bit, but were disappointed that we couldn’t make a snowman from it because it was so dry.

You recently met a newborn baby, whom you studiously ignored except to ask Mama to put him down and to say goodbye to him.

You speak in full sentences about 20 percent of the time.

You began eating pasta a few weeks ago, but once again refused to touch or taste your birthday cake.

You know how to get down from the big bed safely.

You delight in playing hide and seek with Mama, especially when you’re in your looniest pre-bedtime state and thus most likely to run into walls and furniture while scurrying from room to room. But she has a hard time resisting your requests because of the pure joy you radiate when you find her and throw yourself against her, squealing.

You enjoy sitting in a big boy chair when we have snacks at the mall.

You made your first attempt to sing an actual song on your birthday. It was “Happy Birthday,” and you took artistic license with the lyric, proudly warbling, “happ burfday for you.”

You are two years old, and it’s a struggle to refrain from calling you “baby.”

Read Full Post »

Memory Game

20140210-062836.jpg

There is a particularly fabulous playground we visit fairly frequently whenever the weather and our schedule permits. Last spring, Baboo was only talking in the sense of occasionally spitting out words, but I narrated everything to him like you’re supposed to even though it makes you feel like an idiot. He responded with eye contact and pointing like he was supposed to, and all was right with the world.

For about a week, there was a treat cup perched at the top of one of the support posts for the baby swings. He pointed to it, I named it, and we moved on. This cycle happened perhaps three times.

There was a hot stretch that prevented much outside activity, so it was fall before we were regulars there again. The Boo still wasn’t completely thrilled about swings, so we went on them only occasionally. But one day when we were over there, he pointed to the top of the post that had had the treat cup on it and said, “cup.”

It had been months. He remembered a few small exchanges from months ago, from before he could talk. My mind spun, thinking of the hundreds, maybe thousands of other experiences he had had in that time span, and before. How far back did his memory go? Could he remember everything, even if he couldn’t verbalize it? What about the things I had muttered in moments of frustration before he could speak — was he storing those bon mots away, too? And how would he interpret the time I had clipped his teensy nail just a wee bit too short?

I might have staggered a bit. I already took my job as a parent pretty seriously, but this really upped the ante. If he’s storing absolutely everything in his tiny head, that means my responsibility to make our exchanges positive and meaningful is utterly huge.

I just hope I can handle the pressure of this concept — refraining from swearing already has me itchy.

Read Full Post »

You are two years old.

You get a monthly kids’ magazine called High Five and you know it’s for you as soong as it show up. You love the stories and songs in it, but the big surprise for us is that you can find about half the items in the hidden pictures puzzle:

20140219-053854.jpg

You enjoy spinning to make yourself dizzy, washing things in the sink, and practicing your jumping skills.

You want to sing your water bottle to sleep when we put it in the fridge because Mama said it was going for a nap once when we laid it on its side. You now like to do this with certain toys, and last night you did it with a Cheerio that was apparently worn out from bring on your high chair tray.

You get rides in the laundry basket after Mama puts the clean clothes away.

You are learning how to somersault.

You have begun to protest diaper changes by trying to sit up through them. Often you can be persuaded to calm down with a song or the promise of playing with a favored object like a nail clipper (really), but on the night of your birthday you bumped your head, so sometimes Mama reminds you of that when you’re doing your Baby Abs of Steel routine.

You enjoy washing dishes so much that you sometimes have a meltdown if you can’t wash them when you want to. You also like scrubbing the shower floor, and often enlist the help of your bedtime buddy.

You have begun to state clothing preferences, usually by asking to wear your robot shirt.

You can get up on the piano bench and play by yourself.

You refer to yourself as “you,” often while pointing your chest for emphasis.

You refer to Mama as “I.”

You swiftly declare yourself done with your meal if told you can have something you want after you finish eating.

You have begun to deploy the phrase, “I don’t like it.”

You finally got to go out in a fresh snowfall, but refused to touch the snow. Mama suspects this was because you got a face full of it the day before when we walked to a neighbor’s house while it was falling. You stomped around in it a bit, but were disappointed that we couldn’t make a snowman from it because it was so dry.

You recently met a newborn baby, whom you studiously ignored except to ask Mama to put him down and to say goodbye to him.

You speak in full sentences about 20 percent of the time.

You began eating pasta a few weeks ago, but once again refused to touch or taste your birthday cake.

You know how to get down from the big bed safely.

You delight in playing hide and seek with Mama, especially when you’re in your looniest pre-bedtime state and thus most likely to run into walls and furniture while scurrying from room to room. But she has a hard time resisting your requests because of the pure joy you radiate when you find her and throw yourself against her, squealing.

You enjoy sitting in a big boy chair when we have snacks at the mall.

You made your first attempt to sing an actual song on your birthday. It was “Happy Birthday,” and you took artistic license with the lyric, proudly warbling, “happ burfday for you.”

You are two years old, and it’s a struggle to refrain from calling you “baby.”

Read Full Post »

20140205-094624.jpg

A few days ago the Boo and I made a (long overdue) visit to a friend with a new baby. I had primed him for the trip, saying we were going to Auntie Suzanne’s house to meet Baby Henry, who was brand new and tiny and cute, all concepts he understands. I asked what we would say to the baby; since “congratulations” was a bit of a mouthful we settled on “welcome” even though the kid was lobbying hard for “good morning.”

We arrived and visited for a bit, patting the two sweet house dogs and chatting before the baby woke up. When we went into the nursery, all attempts to get the Boo to look at the sweet sleeping child were met with requests to flip light switches or attempts take me out of the room by my finger.

I alternated between saying deep things about how tiny and cute the baby was and either deferring or granting my kid’s requests. When I was walking around with Henry in my arms, the Boo actually pulled (gently) on my outer wrist and said “down.” Using my Mama interpretive powers, I understood him to mean, “Put that kid down, there are more light switches I need to check out and I need your help to do it, lady.”

Even with the toddler juggling act, it was a sweet visit, bringing back memories of those love-struck early days when the simple enormity of the new baby routine made me feel both powerful and utterly stoned. I had wanted to go on my own, but having my kid with me felt good, too, even as I sheepishly plied him with chocolate chips to extend our time there.

Back at home, we settled into the late afternoon routine of play and mealtime. I was rinsing something at the sink when Boo piped up from his chair.

“Auntie Suzanne!”

“Yes, we went to Auntie’s house, that’s right. Who did we meet there?”

“Puppies!”

“That’s true, there were puppies. Who else did we see there?”

“Foxy!”

After a bit more prompting, he did acknowledge the existence of Baby Henry and noted that he had been sleeping. I hope they’ll be pals somewhere down the road, but right now, he only has eyes for Foxy.

Read Full Post »

20140202-065537.jpg

A week ago I left the Boo in my husband’s care for the day. I had never done this before, as there had never been a need. But an uncle had died and there was a memorial in Detroit and we take our funerals seriously in my family, and so off I flew.

I was worried about how the baby would react to being away from me — I’d only ever been away from him for a few hours at a stretch. The day dawned and he slept late, so I didn’t even get to say goodbye to him — and he’d be asleep by the time I got back.

Naturally, he had a great time with Daddy. So great, in fact, that he now asks for him as soon as he wakes up in the morning. And when he wakes up from his nap. And it’ s only been a few weeks since he started calling out “Amma” when he wakes up.

The first few times, I thought it was sweet. Then it began to rankle. Nearly two years of constant care brought down by one day — one DAY! — of non-stop fun. Suddenly I was the proverbial chopped liver in my kid’s life.

But on the plus side, perhaps this means he’ll have an easy transition to school.

Read Full Post »

I'm over 40. I'm at home with a preschooler. Hear me roar.

CityMomCo

Where motherhood and midlife meet.

thepeacefulparsnip

My journey to becoming a dietitian and other cool stuff

Bideshi Biya

Living The Road Less Travelled