Thursday, December 31, 2009
This book is a story about being kind to others. It was written by Claude Steiner, a clinical psychologist to teach children about being kind to others. The way in which this is illustrated in the book is that people give one another small furry balls that sort of resemble koosh balls from the 1990's.
Me: What's he doing?
Wil: Playing with that square thing.
Me: What square thing?
Wil: It's white and square.
[A pause while I try to determine what he's talking about]
Me: Is it safe?
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I attempted to place him back in the crib to see if this incident was a fluke. But the moment his feet touched the Pack 'n Play mattress, he began to scale the walls and he was out of the crib once again.
So I put him back in the crib and left the room. But one minute later, I heard knocking on the door of the room he was in. He had gotten out of the crib and was trying to get out of the room.
I called his pediatrician for advice.
"Well," she said "It looks like he's ready for a big boy bed!"
"Really?" I replied "But he's only 20 months old!"
She insisted that since my son is able to escape the confines of his crib, the next natural step is to put him in a toddler bed.
I am still unsure of what to do. Any thoughts?
Not only does he refuse to sleep, but he also will not leave my side. For pete's sake he won't even allow me to use the bathroom. Each time I leave the room he wails: "Mama!" Can you say "separation anxiety?"
Yesterday evening was no exception. He was wailing and saying "Mama!" Every time I got up to leave him even for a mere moment. So I walked into the living room and exclaimed to my extended family:
"Can somebody please help me because I am going to kill myself!"
I am going to pause the story here to clarify some cultural details. I was raised in a reformed Jewish household. I believe the Jewish culture to be inherently dramatic. I can personally attest to this dramatic behavior and have seen it in my household as well as the households of my fellow Jews.
I feel a sense of dramatic comradery when I enter a Filipino household. My boyfriend's family understands my dramatic nature because, just like the Jews, the Filipinos also are delightfully full of drama. So in other words I need not worry about saying outrageous things in front of them because they are just as wacky as I am.
Back to the story:
So my son is screaming and not sleeping, I am loosing my mind and I beg my Filipino relatives for help. One of the other wonderful things about the Filipino culture is that this culture loves children, and they somehow always know what to do in a moment of baby crisis.
My practically-mother-in-law and aunt-in-law scooped up my son, put on his pants, jacket and shoes, buckled him into his car seat and drove around for an hour until he fell asleep. They returned with a sleeping toddler, placed him in his crib and quietly shut the bedroom door.
I must have thanked them for hours afterward. G-d bless the Filipinas!
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Here are the fruits of our hard work:
Monday, December 28, 2009
As we drove we began to notice civilization slowly but surely disappear. Buildings, main roads and stores were replaced by farms and farm animals. Things began to look creepier and creepier, including the houses. Here is a picture my niece and I created to represent the kind of houses we saw:
We passed what appeared to be an abandoned church in one of the eeriest looking towns I had ever seen.
My son was relatively oblivious to how creeped out we were. He was simply fascinated by the surroundings. I suppose this is one of the benefits of this pre-verbal age.
I was just waiting Rod Serling, creator of the Twilight Zone, to start announcing our fates when all at once we saw it.
It was a mecca at the end of the mysterious farm road: McDonalds.
We drove toward those famed golden arches, the sign of life to come. We stopped at a gas station for snacks. Amazingly my son spotted the aisle of candy. I was astounded that he knew what these products were since he has never had candy in his life.
Perhaps he was intrigued by the bright colors and exciting packaging. Since gas stations in Texas have a limited food selection and sell absolutely no fruit, I opted to buy him dried fruit and pretzels.
With the help of the Texas gas station cashier ladies we managed to find the Rolling Oaks mall. Here's the hilarious part, the mall was only 10 minutes away from our starting point (the house). We had driven 40 minutes North for absolutely no reason at all other than my lack of directional sense.
We arrived at the mall:
We exhausted the mall's options in 20 mintues. Then we decided to see a movie. My niece hadn't seen "New Moon" yet, so we searched for theater nearby where it was playing. It was playing in downtown San Antonio at The River Center.
"Are you up for an adventure?" I asked my nine year old niece.
"Sure!" She said with a smile. My son had no choice in the matter. So off we went to San Antonio proper!
It took us 30 minutes to get downtown. We got stuck in an incredible amount of traffic in downtown San Antonio and I had no idea where I was. So, like a child of the 1980's who was raised on PSAs, I did the safe and smart thing, I asked a police officer where to go.
Here's how the conversation went:
Me: Where is the River Center Mall?
Police Officer: Sorry, I'm not taking anymore questions today.
Me: (pauses silently stunned)
Police Officer: Just kidding! Go down three blocks you'll see it.
Me: Can I park on the street?
Police Officer: Good luck!
Thanks a lot! I thought people were supposed to be helpful in the South!
We managed to find the River Center mall on our own. We purchased tickets to the film which began at 6:55pm. I was hopeful that my son would behave himself in the theater since we had such great luck with his first two film viewings.
The days of good behavior in the movies are over. At first things were going well. My niece and I loaded him up with a tray of popcorn. He was transfixed by the large film screen and the crunchy popcorn. But then he got stir crazy and exited his chair. He roamed up and down the theater aisles, threatening to approach the movie goers.
At first I let him, and then when he began talking aloud, so I had no choice to remove him from the theater.
After entering and exiting the theater several times, I managed to get him to watch the last 30 minutes of the film.
By the time the movie ended it was already 10pm! We frantically called my sister-in-law to assure her I hadn't kidnapped her child. We rushed home, and my son fell asleep on the way.
What a day!
Sunday, December 27, 2009
It was love at first sight. Walmart is truly a super store. I believe Walmart to be a combination grocery, clothing, electronics and everything you could ever imagine store.
Here are my purchases from today:
Multi Car Set- $3.97
Robe: $15 - On sale from $18
And one of my favorite shirts of all time:
Ocean Pacific Hoody - $12
When I return to Brooklyn I will be sad because I won't be able to afford anything.
When you visit suburbia go to Walmart and be happy. If you live in suburbia, thank whatever deity you believe in for Walmart.
And off we went. As soon as we entered the church it was clear that my son was NOT going to sit through the ceremony. But the church happened to have this amazing playroom! First of all, it was pleasantly decorated and featured an elaborate mural with various forest animals and trees. There were a million toys, a crib, a changing table with diapers sizes ranging from New Born to 5, organic animal crackers for snacking, a TV/VCR/DVD combo with kids videos and DVDs just beside it. We were set. Boredom issue was solved, for now.
My nieces even joined us to help with the toddler entertainment process:
All was well, until we had to go to the wedding reception. We arrived at the Army Base where the reception was being thrown. My son could not sit still at the circular dining table. He was grabbing at forks, knives, spoons, asking for "wa wa" or water out of a glass every three seconds, throwing items from the table onto the floor at warp speed.
My only recourse was to remove him from the scenario and retreat into the hallway next to the dining room.
He zoomed up and down that hallway over and over again. He veered toward the "Gentleman's Bathroom," and almost entered it. But thankfully I grabbed him and redirected his 25 lb self before he got there.
During the course of his travels he managed to break a votive candle, shattering glass all over the Base hallway floor. At this point, my boyfriend and I decided, it was time to leave.
I honestly don't know how people with toddlers attend to fancy events, aside from getting a babysitter. Please share your stories, suggestions and advice for these occasions. I need a game plan for next time!
Friday, December 25, 2009
As soon as we boarded the plane, he was raring to go. He wanted to roam up and down the aisles, talk to strangers and steal their food. I was exasperated. I tried to bribe him with toys but he was uninterested. I was so desperate to calm him, I turned on cartoon network on the individual TV screen at our seat. He didn't care. I was at my wits end.
My boyfriend was no help at all, he had been up for 36 hours straight working and left the childcare for the flight to me. And when he did try to help for moments at a time, my son would scream "mama!" And reach for me. So we took walks up and down the aisles. Low and behold on our journey we found three babies with mamas and daddies attached to them.
One couple was particularly wonderful. They had two little boys, Baxter,3, and Anakis, 17 months. The dad offered me a seat as I was chasing my son down the endless plane aisle. "Only parents truly understand..." I remarked to him as I collapsed into the plane seat. He smiled in agreement.
The mom and I got to talking about sleep issues, pre-school, having siblings and the works. This couple was so down to earth and dare I say "normal."
My son blatantly stole their crayons and they didn't even bat an eye lash. When my child began drawing on the plane walls with these same crayons, I cried out in a panic, the dad responded: "Don"t worry! They're washable!" And he handed me a baby wipe to clean the wall with.
I loved this couple. I told them about what a rough flight my boy was having. They consoled me by letting me know that my son's stir crazy travel behavior was, indeed, just a normal phase in development.
One would think that having a child would have stopped my potty mouth, but no, I continue to use these vulgar words on a regular basis.
My sister-in-law uses substitutes for curses. I like this idea. Here are some that I have compiled for general usage. I hope you all can exclaim these to stop yourself from yelling F you!
1. Motther Hubbard!
2. Shut the Front Door!
3. Jimminy Christmas!
4. What the Foo?
6. What the Funk?!
If you have more to add post a comment! Or email me at email@example.com
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Today's Jewish Xmas was extra special, because it was also my belated birthday celebration! My real birthday was actually in October, but my friend Staci and I weren't able to get together until today (December) to actually celebrate it!
First, the Chinese food:
On the way back my apartment we saw a large stoop ornament that Staci almost got into an altercation with:
Then we came back to my place to enjoy a chocolate birthday cake that Staci had purchased for the occasion, until we opened the cake box and found this:
The cake, however xmas-like it was, was delicious!
After the cake, our Jewish Xmas continued when Mint and Mike came over and gave Ari a belated Hanukah present! During the gift giving they(and Staci too) convinced Ari that it was okay to wear his hood, which he kept trying to unsuccessfully remove from his body
Happy Holidays Everybody!
I've ended up taking him into my bed with me when all else fails. I turn out the light and he curls up with me and falls asleep. However, I don' t get restful sleep when he is in the bed with me because he is a total bed hog. I wake up in the middle of the night to find him sprawled out in random directions, or positioned so that I am almost falling off the edge of the bed.
In a desperate attempt to solve the problem, I decided to reason with him. I asked why he doesn't want to go to sleep at night. Here's what he had to say:
And finally, he revealed his real reason for not wanting to sleep in the crib:
Clearly I need some help. If you have sleeping suggestions for toddlers, please post them as a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Take a look:
I am 17 weeks pregnant today and I still don't know the gender of the baby. I am so excited to find out and I do; in three weeks.
I kind of think it's a boy.
I can't wait until my baby shower and to find out the sex of the baby.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Here is the Dr. Bronner's website for someone how has more time then I do to look it over.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Usually I would be more persistent about getting back to sleep on both of our parts. But this time I gave in to insomnia. So now we are sitting in the living room, he is watching "Blue's Clues" and I am writing a blog. Look! A friend just joined me!
Cats are always up for for nighttime action. Egreck is now sleeping on my knee. I wish I could sleep. I wish my son could sleep. Maybe we should try again?
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
While we can always use more clothing (since my son is growing at an extraordinary rate) I knew he was bored with all the toys in the apartment,** so I replied that he would rather have a new play thing.
And so, last night he was lucky enough to receive this:
Kaleido Gears are just perfect for him. Though the box reads that this is a toy for ages 3 and up, with some parental assistance it can be enjoyed by younger ones. My son is 19 months and he loves these things. He enjoys taking objects apart and putting them back together. Kaledio Gears enable him to do this favorite activity.
Here's where the parental guidance/supervision comes in. For little ones his age, there are smallish parts that you need to be aware of and you'll need to set up the gears on the peg board for your child. But once they're up, your toddler will love turning and playing with them.
For the English speakers, here is a link to Amazon.com where you can purchase Kaleido Gears.
**When my son gets bored, he tends to destroy things. Not a good look.