Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Suddenly she looked up at me and asked for an orange. I peeled it and put it in a bowl for her.
"Good girl," she told me.
Guess we know who is in charge around here.
After breakfast, Peanut and I were playing when she kept begging "snuckle, snuckle, snuckle."
I had no idea what she was talking about and asked her to repeat herself trying to decipher her toddler language. For an hour, she'd play and then ask me again, "snuckle, snuckle, snuckle."
Finally I asked her to show me what she wanted. She grabbed my finger and led me up the stairs to my bedroom where she pointed to the bed and said, "snuckle."
"Oh, you want to snuggle!"
"Snuckle," she said.
And so we did.
Tell me your sweet moments.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The Lad rolls over in his crib, but only in his crib, and looks up at us when we come in to get him, like, "Hey! There you are!" He loves to get a reaction. Where The Boy would just hang onto the rings dangling from the octopus on our playmat, The Lad smacks Pulpo with a rattle or fist and laughs as he dances. He smiles as soon as he hears my voice when I pick him up from daycare, dimples digging holes in his cheeks. He giggles every time I nuzzle noses with him and shake my hair in his face.
The Lad gets bored in the carseat, even if it's out of the car. I could push The Boy around Target forever in his seat on the cart and never hear a peep. The Lad squawks his displeasure if I go more than 30 seconds without looking at or talking to him. Where The Boy transitioned slowly from one thing to another, The Lad is quick, as if he throws a switch to flip from one mode to another. Sometimes this is a blessing: He falls asleep faster than The Boy ever did. Other times, it's infuriating: One second he wants wants you and only you, the next he just wants to be left alone in his bouncy chair, and the next he wants picked up again -- NOW, DAMN IT!
The Boy made me a mother and taught me to trust my instincts. The Lad is making me realize I'll never be done learning how to mother.
Monday, March 29, 2010
I was a single parent tonight. The husband is working late, and that always means scrambled eggs and toast for supper. The Boy and I love it; the husband does not. When I picked up the kiddos, The Lad cooed and smiled broadly at me and The Boy yelled, "Momma!" I was sure it was going to be a good night. Driving home, I pictured The Boy playing with his blocks while I made supper and then maybe walking down to the park or at least all playing in the sandbox. I was in such a benevolent mood, when The Boy asked to watch cartoons, I smiled and said sure. I was going to be the nicest momma ever.
Then The Boy roared at supper. Again. This is my fault.
The first time The Boy looked up from his plate, grinned at me from across the table and went, "RAWR!" I laughed at him. I won't lie: I roared back. The roars grew louder, so we said, "Even dinosaurs/lions/monsters have to use inside voices," and let him quietly roar. Now the roars are just the beginning of playtime at the table. First, he's roaring, then he's racing his fork around the plate, then he's hopping in his seat. And then, as happened tonight, I'm angry and making threats I have to follow through on, no matter how silly.
I became Mean Momma, barking commands, hissing out warnings and meting out consequences. The evening ended with The Boy in bed before 7. I'll spare you the blow-by-blow. The bottom line: I won, but felt like an asshole doing it.
Everyone has a trigger; messing around at the supper table is mine. When The Boy plays instead of eating, I understand the adage that children should be seen and not heard. It's not that I don't want The Boy to talk, and I don't want to force him to eat if he's truly not hungry. I just want him to sit at the table and eat or not like a civilized human being, not a wild animal -- or, you know, a toddler. I stand by my belief that even the littlest children should be taught to behave at the table.
But I also know that my irritation and expectations border on irrational. So, I have tried to temper my expectations. You know what that's gotten me? Roaring, that's what.
How do balance your expectations of your kids with reality?
Sunday, March 28, 2010
I thought it might help her if we could all tell her things that we worried about in those first few weeks with the infant home (and how the worrying really didn't do any good).
Things I worried about:
- Nipple confusion. Peanut had a couple bottles in the hospital as well as a paci. She never turned me down and we breastfed for a year. I know every kid is different but sometimes, you do what you have to do to get some rest.
- Sleeping. We held Peanut for months while she napped and I feared she would never sleep on her own. Now, she rarely gives us trouble when it is night-night time.
- Mommy confusion. I feared she would think the babysitter was her mom once I went back to work. While I know she loves it at B's and sometimes I have to tear her away, she still knows I'm her mom.
- Showering. Once the husband went back to work, I didn't know how I would shower without her crying. Since she rarely slept on her own, she rarely slept through my shower, squawking the entire time. She survived and I was clean every day.
Friday, March 26, 2010
As I lay in the darkness, listening to my husband's sleepy breathing, I heard The Lad snuffling in his crib. He wasn't squawking. He might have settled himself back to sleep. But I was up and went to nurse him, hoping to stave off a feeding in the wee morning hours.
I settled into the rocker and watched his mouth work. The nightlight illuminated the fuzzy curve of The Lad's head. His fingers rubbed my arm in rhythm to his sucking. I heard The Boy flop in his bed across the hall and the cat yowl as she pounced a toy mouse. When I changed The Lad mid-feeding, he opened his eyes for the first time and, seeing my face, grinned wide, his dimples showing. We finished up and I snuggled him under my chin for just a minute before settling him back into the crib.
My only thought as I returned to bed, before I slipped easily into sleep, was to wonder who got more out of these night feedings: Me or The Lad.
P.S. Happy birthday, Michelle!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
She's been singing Happy Birthday, "Happy to mommy. Happy to mommy. Happy to mommy," then covering her face and giggling.
I can't think of any better gift.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Remember in January when I started a new schedule working nights? Well, I failed to tell you that only lasted a month. Things didn't work out for a variety of reasons so I went back to my early morning schedule. Now, I'm moving again, working a swing shift starting at noon.
This is good for a number of reasons. I'm moving into a job that I am really excited about. I get the same amount of time with Peanut as I have now but just in the mornings. I will still get to see the husband since I should be home before he goes to bed. I also will have the flexibility to work some days when I need to. I'm quite pleased with this.
Update No. 2
The pacifier. Oh the pacifier. We are being strict about paci at night-night only. It is Not Easy. We've had a couple of pretty big meltdowns over the paci but I think it is getting better. Sometimes when she asks for it and we tell her no, she is completely cool with it and goes about her business. Sometimes I can distract her into not even thinking about it after she's requested it. We've had almost a week where she only gets it at night-night so maybe, just maybe, we can beat the habit by this summer.
Update No. 3
The new attitude. Well, Peanut's attitude has simmered somewhat. She's been in a much better mood lately. Except when she's not. When she's isn't telling me "NOOOOO!" she's smiling sweetly, saying "no, thank you" and giving big hugs. The good dulls the bad, I suppose.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
No, the husband didn't walk out. He went on a mancation to Vegas for a few days leaving me to fend for myself with Peanut. Instead of leaving her at the babysitter's for 10-plus hours a day, I took two days off work so we could hang out.
So, no working, just me and the kid and I'm exhausted. Did I mention I went to my parents' house for a couple days too?
I know. I'm a wuss.
We've been going non-stop the past couple days. Play dates, lunch dates, shopping. Peanut has caught two out of the three naps in the car leaving me with little downtime. She's also in that phase where she's whiny and wants everything her way. She's very particular to boot.
It made me realize two things: Single parents are my heroes and my husband is invaluable in so many ways.
I did eventually get a break when my parents kept Peanut overnight so I could have a girls night out - something I haven't done since Peanut was an infant.
And now the husband is home and being extra helpful. All is well and we all survived.
How was your weekend?
Thursday, March 18, 2010
When do kids typically stop taking naps (please don't say two, please don't say two, please don't say two)?
How often do you get a date night? A night out with your friends?
Feel free to answer one or all of these.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
She says please and thank you. She goes to bed with a smile on her face and rarely a peep. She eats well, plays well and has never-ending kisses and hugs. Her fits are kept to a minimum.
Something changed last week. She's still our sweet little girl, except when she's not. And when she's not? She's a Hot Mess.
I have no idea what happened. At first I thought it was an illness. She had a stomach virus at the beginning of the week. But then she got over it and her crankiness didn't go away.
One morning she flopped on the floor, screaming and crying, refusing to do anything. I have never seen her act like that. She didn't want breakfast. She didn't want Elmo. She didn't want to go back to bed. She didn't want to change her clothes. It made getting out the door nearly impossible. At one point, I called the husband and told him I didn't think we could subject this child on anyone else.
She has since thrown multiple fits over various things. One time she was mad because parmesan cheese was on the menu on which she was trying to color. (It only took the husband and I five minutes to figure out what was causing the meltdown). Another time it took her almost 45 minutes to shake off her Z-monsters from her nap, spending the entire time in my lap, with her paci and her blanket.
She gets angry if her banana breaks in half or if her bagel doesn't come in one piece. Bedtimes are not always a simple night-night and have become plagued with screaming and crying.
We typically ignore the fit unless she is really worked up at which point I try to remove her from the situation and quietly talk to her about calming down while holding her. Admittedly, when she's on a real tear, I've been known to snap at her to "knock it off."
She's 20 months old this week so I'm assuming this is an early onset of the terrible twos. So this is normal, right?
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
One area I want to explore is our diapers. Do we keep using disposable or go to cloth?
I care about the environment. I also care about my sanity and fear disposable might just be a bit too much work. I've looked into the possibility of a diaper service and there is one in our area. Unfortunately, after doing some quick calculations, I'm not sure we would actually save money this way.
The thought of washing them myself is more than my mind can handle to be honest with you. Plus, since Peanut is at a babysitter's during the day, we'd probably need to look at doing half and half.
But there is the nice aspect of not filling landfills AND I could get these super cute diaper covers from etsy.
Anyone have good experiences with cloth? Bad experiences? No experience and just think I am crazy for thinking about this?
Or rather, we were happy until The Boy discovered he could blow bubbles in his milk or suction the cup to his face or make echoing sounds into it. Then, he was happy and Momma was not.
But last night, while the husband and I were talking and not completely focused on The Boy, he learned the hard way:
The cup sort of exploded on him. I'm not quite sure which of his tricks caused it. He was completely distraught, and the husband and I laughed so hard I cried.
"That's what happens when you play with your cup, Boy," the husband said between chuckles. "Did you learn your lesson?"
"YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!" The Boy wailed.
"No -- get the camera first," I said to the husband, who was reaching for the dish towel.
The milk droplets on his eyelashes needed to be captured for posterity. I wanted proof to show The Boy his parents are being mean for his own damn good, though I know this won't be the last time he learns the hard way. I just hope he can smile like this after those other hard lessons -- or most of them, anyway.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Scene 2: Momma, Boy and Lad driving home from work/school.
Boy: We go by diggers?
Momma: Yes. We'll drive by the diggers.
Boy: We go by diggers?
Momma: Yes, but we aren't there yet.
Boy: We go by diggers?
Momma: Yes, Boy. But we aren't there yet. We have to drive down the boulevard and then the parkway and then we'll turn into our neighborhood and see the diggers.
Boy: Hurry. Hurry. Hurry! We see diggers!
Momma: I'm going as fast as I can. If I go faster, the policeman will pull me over and I'll get a ticket.
Boy: You get a ticket?
Momma: Yep, it's like a timeout. You want Momma to get a timeout?
Boy: (giggling) Yeah! Hurry, Momma. We see diggers.
My mom had a speech she gave every time we kids opened our mouths about her driving. I thought of it after these episodes but couldn't recall the exact words, so asked her. Two words in, and I was repeating it as easily as the Pledge of Allegiance. It's as much a part of my childhood as the Pledge.
"Until you are 16 years of age,
"You are a passenger in this car.
"You can -- and will -- sit down
"and keep your mouth shut."
(End with ad-libbed threats of ejection and/or banishment from vehicle.)
Perhaps it's time to break this out for my little backseat driver.
I took her into my arms to carry her upstairs and asked her a kiss. She coughed in my mouth.
"We don't get paid enough," the husband said.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I read this article about the RAGING debate about taking you children to bars.
Here is a comment from the pro side, a stay-at-home father in Brooklyn:
"I'm not going to keep her out past 7 p.m. When the bar starts filling up, that's when we head home," he said. "It's responsible parenting and responsible adult behavior. I'm not knocking back double vodkas while my daughter is stumbling around."
Here is a comment from the con side:
I tend to agree with the con side.
I don't have any problem with drinking. I've been known to drink. I've been known to drink in front of my daughter. At home.
I get twitchy and twirly if Peanut acts out at a family restaurant. I might meltdown if I take her to an adult bar where only adults are expected to be so they can have some adult fun.
It's selfish to take a kid to a bar. What fun can they have there? It's not like many bars are stocked with crayons and coloring menus. Plus, you are probably going to annoy 90 percent of the clientele.
Hillary and I talked about this and she admitted to taking her children to a sports bar. (She followed it up with the fact that she wouldn't take her child out in footie pajamas, an obvious slam to my parenting fashion style.) BUT she said the sports bar had a kids menu with crayons. That to me is OK. A place with crayons is a place open to children.
What do you think? Agree? Disagree?
Monday, March 8, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
The sound of her little feet running in the kitchen upstairs while I'm doing laundry downstairs.
When Peanut insists that we all get up and dance to the opening song of "Elmo's World." She then must point out Dorothy the goldfish to us and then waves hello to Mr. Noodle.
My husband's disdain for Disney while watching "Tinkerbell: The Lost Treasure." He thinks it is "ballsy" of Disney to invent a way the seasons change and give the fairies credit. And yet he still chuckled at some parts with Peanut curled up on his lap.
Hillary's post on good books she's read. It came in very helpful when I went to the library today especially after my last couple trips have been busts.
All the great recipes everyone left on Hillary's crockpot post. I can't wait to try these.
What do you love right now?
Friday, March 5, 2010
Coincidentally, I already was planning to write a post soliciting slow-cooker recipes next week before I saw that Wall Street Journal piece about Miss Mable and "Crockery Cookery." Beginning Monday, I'll have to prepare dinner, entertain The Boy and feed The Lad all in the hour between my homecoming and the husband's. Using our Crock-Pot is the only way I can figure to get all this done. I have a few really good slow-cooker recipes, but I could use some more.
I'll also take any recipes I can do ahead on the weekend and refrigerate or freeze to reheat during the week.
Help a momma out, would you?
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Me over the screaming while changing her diaper: Give me angry, show me angry. Oh you do that so well. Now give me sad. Gooooooood.
Peanut screaming: night-night, night-night, paci!
The husband over the screaming: You are sooooo going to bed.
Peanut screaming: night-night, night-night, daddy!
Me over the screaming while putting her pajamas on: If your noggin wasn't so big we wouldn't have such a hard time getting your pjs over your head.
Peanut still screaming: night-night, night-night, paci!
The husband over the screaming: I'm putting on my hood of silence (pulls hood up from sweatshirt).