Archive for the 'family' Category

Pew Pew

January 19, 2010

Through no fault of my own, my kid is becoming violent.  I mean, he doesn’t hit anyone, but he plays violently.  He makes guns out of everything, and if you take them away he just points his fingers and says, “I have two guns!”.  All his toys clash and fight.  And, he puts on epic martial arts battles in the living room–solo.

We have tried and tried not to let him see violent shows, or have violent toys, but there doesn’t seem to be a practical way out of this.  I was making pancakes when something on TV ended, and a show called “Rollbots” started.  He was enchanted and I had to make a decision right then and there.  I decided to let him watch, and we would talk all about it.  About how it wasn’t real.  And how real people never hit and fight (well, the real people we know!).  And how if something is scary it’s OK to say it’s scary and to turn it off.

Well, he was fine.  He wasn’t scared and he went about the rest of his day playing with his cars.  I talked to preschool about it, so that they would look out for him play fighting (which they do for all the kids anyway), but honestly, ALL the little boys play guns and fighting.  I’m sure they have to tell them to stop a million times a day.

So, we made a controversial parenting decision.  We let him watch “Rollbots” occasionally.  And a bit of “Ninja Turtles” and “Spider-Man”.  We got him a few action figures.  And we talk about it all the time.  We talk about good guys and bad guys.  We talk about pretending and reality.  We talk about hurting and playing.  And so far it seems to be working.  He got what he wanted–a few big boy toys and a few hours of watching big boy shows.  And you know what?  Nothing happened.  He still plays cars.  He’d still rather watch “Max and Ruby” (the most sickly sweet cloying kid’s show ever) than most anything.  But he also can hold his own a bit with the bigger kids at preschool.

I wish that my little golden baby angel would never point his finger at me and say “Pew Pew!” (That’s his gun noise.)  I can barely reconcile his big, baby head making a mean face while he bashes plastic dinosaurs together.  My heart hurts when he says that he’s Green Goblin and I’m Spider-Man and I have to get him, all the while punching the air.

But this stuff exists, and in his world it’s a big part of every day.  Spider-Man, Transformers, Batman–they are everywhere.  So the only thing I could think of is to meet it head on and just let him know that Mommy doesn’t like to play fighting and that Mommy doesn’t allow “Pew Pews”.  Maybe I’m just taking the easy way out, or maybe I was just tired of watching “Max and Ruby”, but even at three he has to navigate our world.  As long as we limit the Ninja Turtles (and all his screen time) to very small doses, I think that we are only going to help him grow.  At least, that’s what I’m telling myself as yet another battle between dinosaurs and Batman rages on in the living room.

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Let them be little

March 12, 2009

Hello, it’s me, the Bub himself!  I’m here to set the record straight on a few things that other mommies are harshing on me about!

First of all, I still sleep in a crib.  I’m a crazy sleeper–when I sleep, and I need to be caged.  I like my crib so much, I don’t even try to climb out.  I like it so much, I ask for it by name when I’m tired.  I like being up high, so that when I stand up I can see mommy eye to eye.  There’s a rumor that there’s a toddler bed up in the attic, but I’m just not ready yet.

I also sit in a high chair.  I’m short, OK?  I can’t reach the table even with a booster seat.  I could sit in a booster seat with a tray–but that *is* a high chair.  I could sit at a little table by myself, but how fun is that?  Not very.  I want to sit up next to Papa and make faces at him and show him my seafood and have burping contests–from my high chair.  And utensils?  I tried that.  I used them for months.  They just slow me down.  I’m back to using my hands and loving it.

And, I am not potty trained.  I’m just starting to talk, and I can’t say all my letters yet.  I also find it tres amusant to answer every question with “no”.  Even “Do you want a cookie”.  Yes, I do want a cookie, but if I hear your voice go up in query I will say “no”.  Potty training now would just be frustrating for mommy and for me.  “Do you have to go potty?”  “No.”  Change wet pants.  Repeat.  Why not make it easier and wait until we all can communicate better?  My doctor said, “you can potty train at 2 and be trained by 3 or you can potty train at 3 and be trained by 3.”  Who needs a year of wet pants?

And the talking thing, I’m getting there.  I talk all the time.  I never stop.  But I can’t say all my consonants so no one understands me.  I also am sort of fuzzy on what words go with what things.  I need to be reminded all the time.  All cars are blue cars until I am reminded that the red ones are red.  Sometimes papa is mama.  Or, I forget and just call everyone mapa.  And I enjoy putting “my” in front of everything.  Even things that aren’t mine.  I’m sure I’ll get it all straightened out later this year.

I mean, I’ve only been alive for two years.  During that time I’ve grown hair, learned to walk and run and jump and climb, learned tons of words, been to the hospital twice, started to sleep more than 2 hours in a row, I eat real food–I mean, I do tons of things!  I’m a big boy!  As for all this other stuff, I’ll get there.  I promise.0303090924

Buckethead

November 18, 2008

buckethead  The bub has taken to wearing this blue plastic bowl on his head.  It’s his helmet.  He also puts bowls on the “heads” of other things, like his cars.  I think I might be overdoing the safety stuff.

Time changes are the suck.

November 7, 2008

When you are almost two, and something so small as using a different cup can ruin your day, then having everything happen an hour later than usual apparently can ruin at least a week.

We started moving the schedule forward last Thursday.  Eating dinner a little later and keeping the Bub up longer.  This was met with hearty disapproval.  Halloween we stayed up forty five minutes later.  But by Saturday the kid had totally had enough.He was crying all day, and met bedtime with huge tantrums.

It’s now been a week and even thoughhe does OK during the day, the nights are still pretty much screaming, starting before dinner and continuing off and on until he falls asleep out of sheer exhaustion.  He wakes up alot at strange times–even for my kid who is a champion night waker, and Papa and I are going crazy.

Added to that is me screwing up the wiring on our new thermostat, and cold weather coming back any day, and me not being able to fix anything because the help line is only open during business hours and they won’t give me any assistance when I’m not in the presence of the thermostat (believe me, I’ve begged the Indian call center to just give me a few suggestions and I’ll try them after work and call them back, but no) and Papa have unending painful dental work and I am about to lose it for good.

As extastic as I am about the election–I can’t enjoy it yet.  Not until we adjust to the new schedule, get heat in the house, and my husband out of pain.

Customer Service

October 1, 2008

I’m actually not surprised that all the tips on dealing with toddlers are exactly the same as tips for dealing with difficult customers.  Although I’m not sure what this says about angry people.  Do we regress to toddlerhood when frustrated?  Or are we really closer to our kid selves than we’d like to admit?  Either way, my ages of customer service experience are serving me very well as a parent.

Google “angry customers” and you get tons of articles on what to do.  They all talk about empathy, using “I” statements and “active listening” and offering the customer alternatives to what you can’t do for them and for what is pissing them off in the first place (“I know we said your car would be ready today but the part didn’t come in.  I know how awful and inconvenient that is.  When my car is in the shop it’s just impossible to find rides.  Would you like to use our shuttle service?”).  And stay calm and use a soothing voice.  Sound familiar, parents?

Now google “temper tantrums”.  See?  You distract them with alternatives to what they can’t have (How about some raisins?  We’ll have a cookie later.)  You empathize and use “I” statements (I know you are angry that you can’t have a cookie, but cookies are for dessert and fruit is for snacks.  I would like a cookie, too, but we have to wait.)  Oh, and be sure to stay calm and use a soothing voice.  You do get to hug your kids.  I truly hope that hugging doesn’t become the next big thing in customer service!

I am absolutely sure that if I looked into it, most of these suggestions would also come into play when dealing with an angry dog, too.  I mean, you have to talk to it in a soothing voice and distract it with something, right?

We are all, from the cradle to the grave, just animals.  Or at least, toddlers.

I think I’m starting to hate the dog

September 19, 2008

Ok, not really, but since I’ve had the baby and despite my best efforts I really feel differently about the pets.  Maybe it’s not different, but it just seems like less because I love the baby so much more.  And, I have to care for the baby so much more that having extra to do for the pets just gets on my nerves.

I’ll never forget when a friend of mine started letting her cats outside.  Now, one of these cats was found abused outdoors and I would never have thought that that kitty would ever see sky again.  But, when my friend had her babies, well, she even admitted that she just didn’t see the cats the same way.  I swore up and down that would never happen to me.  I adored my pets and would always adore them.

Now, I do love them.  And I am forever amazed at how good they are with the Bub–even my rather snappish terrier, but I don’t snuggle with them the way I used to.  They are no longer a focus.  I try to pet all of them every day, but some days I don’t manage that.  The dog gets a walk, and he gets to sleep on the bed, but not a lot else.  Vet appointments go overdue.  Grooming is every few weeks at best.  And, I just don’t seek them out like I used to.  Taking care of them has become more like housework and less like taking care of a family.

I feel so guilty about it.  And I know that the pets *know*.  They feel sad–but I think they know I’m trying.  It’s just when the baby’s been up sick and crying for an hour, and I come back to bed and the cat pounces on my feet and the dog is licking something I just want to scream.  And when I come home and my son gets knocked over because the dog is jumping at me I know I have to pet the dog, but I want to just shut the dog outside and get some peace and quiet before dinner.

And they’ll keep staring at me with Disneyland eyes, wondering what happened to their mama and why we don’t have snuggle time every evening and why she keeps yelling at us for doing the same stuff that was so charming 19 months ago.

Jim Jams

August 19, 2008

Why are pajamas the hardest things to find and buy and have enough of?  I just don’t get it.  It seems like Bub has about 100 pairs, but only one that is right.  The wrong pajamas mean he doesn’t sleep.  He’s too cold, or they bunch up, or the legs ride up, or the top comes untucked.  All I want are footed sleepers made out of thick T-shirt material that fit like a big 18 month or a small 24 month.  Oh, and they need to be cheaper than the freakin’ Carters ones that are 20 bucks each.

Or, I need it to get cold, and for Bub to get bigger, so that we can just get some 24 month blanket sleepers.

Or, I need a baby who sleeps under a blanket and doesn’t freak out if he pjs bunch up.

Killer Diller

August 7, 2008

Last night my son killed a cricket.  I know that this isn’t a big deal, but it was just so sad and sort of shocking to see.  He was so delighted with the crickets in our garage.  He was watching them jump and just laughing and laughing.  It was all my fault, because I sort of stepped next to the cricket to make him jump.  Bub tried that, but just stomped right on the little bug.  Then, he couldn’t figure out what happened.  He picked up the (gross, gross, gross) carcass and started crying. 

All I could figure out to do is make him put the dead bug down, wash hands, and have a snack.

Swift Boat Veterans for Diapers

August 1, 2008

We always use White Cloud diapers.  Of all the “cheap” diapers, they really are the best.  They are soft, and they fit nicely and don’t leak.  Well, some of them do.

We found out this week that there are two manufacturers of White Clouds.  Sort of like the two makers of Girl Scout cookies, the one that calls the best cookies “Samoas” and the one the calls them “Caramel Delights”.  We brought home our diapers and noticed that the pictures had changed from John Lennon art to zoo animals.  No big deal, I mean, it’s a diaper.  I’m just gonna throw it out.  I put one on the Bub, and it’s way small.  Like, the tabs are out on the transparant side panels.  This is not good.

Then, I notice about an hour later that the velcro on one side has come open and is sticking to his shirt.  Really not good.  I fix it, but an hour after that the whole diaper comes off and falls out of the leg of his shorts.  (My husband sort of panics, and just strips the Bub down.  We were out in the yard playing.  The Bub’s response to being nudie out of doors?  Peeing in the grass.  He leaned up against the side of the deck with both hands out in front bracing himself and then just went.  Perfect “hangover” position!)  We find one of the “old” diapers in the diaper bag and put that on him.  Then we go to CVS and get some of the “second best” diapers.

I’m honestly so pissed (hee) off about this that I take the time to write the company.  I mean, if you want to save a little money, go ahead and make the diapers a little smaller–just change the weights on the box.  But don’t fuck with the tabs!!  The tabs must hold!

They emailed me back this:

Thank you for contacting the Consumer Helpline.  Wal-Mart has two manufacturers for their White Cloud diapers.  It sounds like you may have the diapers from the other manufacturer – Arquest (1-800-526-0914 or 1-888-270-8378) without the package information; it’s really hard to tell the difference.  I think Arquest puts a lot code on the grip tabs on the diapers.  If you see a number on one of the tabs that will indicate that the diapers are manufactured by Arquest.  We have not changed our design; we still have the Lennon characters on our diapers.  If you want to guarantee that you’re getting the diapers that we manufacture, when you’re at the store look for a box or bag that has our phone number printed on it. (See below)

Man, if I were them I would be so angry.  The Arquest diapers suck  They are rougher, and the tabs fail all the time.  We are using them up, but only when he is wearing a tight onesie.  They still fall off.  We found the “right” diapers and side by side the differences are just tremendous.  

So now we know to look for the teeny, tiny phone number printed on the box.  And I know that I have to deal with phone calls from my husband, “what was the number I have to look for again?”.  I just memorized that it ends in “42”.

Foam Party

July 16, 2008

We put bubbles in Bub’s bath.  He was not amused.  In fact, he got very upset and started crying.  We tryed to show him that foam is just bubbles (which he likes, he can blow bubbles all by himself) but we eventually just had to get him out of the tub without even washing him.

We were wrapping him in the towel, and he kept pointing at the tub and crying.  He was saying, “Quack quack.  Quack quack!”.  He needed us to rescue his ducks from the evil foam, too.

On Monday, I had to stay after at daycare because he bit *three* kids.  He now has to stay in solitary (a pack and play) whenever he gets cranky or tries to bite.  I really thought this phase was coming to an end, but no.  At least he’s not getting dropped.  We talked about it, and no one wants him to leave daycare, because other than the biting he’s a great kiddo.  I just hope no other parents leave because their kid’s getting bit. 

Today, he has the croup.  We were up from 12 – 3 sitting in the bathroom making steam.  Our vaporizer broke and my husband had to go and get a new one at 2 a.m.  I really am never sleeping again, am I?  Can you survive on three hours a night?  Long term?  I really hope so.