Archive for September, 2012

Tattle Tale

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

From Friday Mom – Jaime

It seems like no matter how old we get, we run across things that we don’t like. It could be a process at work that needs to be revamped. You may have stumbled across someone doing something they shouldn’t. And no matter how old I get, I still find myself thinking “Is this something that I really should be going to someone else about?”

By age 34, I’ve developed a decent filter for when I think it’s appropriate to vent my frustrations to other people. At age 4, however, Andrew hasn’t quite developed this skill.

Whenever incident reports came home from some playground injury at daycare, he’s always been happy to report EXACTLY what happened and who did what to who… He came home from daycare the other day all upset because he wasn’t allowed to play in the coloring center. When we asked why, he said he got in trouble because he told the teacher (repeatedly) that a little girl was using “bad words.” (No, the words weren’t really that bad. I think “poopyhead” was the extent of it, but still, it upset Andrew that another little kid was being picked on…)

Supposedly – and I base this only on the highly scientific method of the monthly emails I get from various sources that tell me what my kid should be up to developmentally at this age – tattling is a big thing right now for preschoolers. So how do you stop them from running around and telling on everyone? These same emails encourage telling the kids to work their problems out themselves, unless there’s an emergency.

I give my son a lot of credit for being able to do a lot of things. But when it’s easier to push and shove over differences, how do you really get them to develop the “talk it out” type of skill? These same highly informative emails don’t really offer that kind of advice, just that this is what we, as parents, are supposed to do.

I don’t really find that kind of parenting advice all that helpful. I haven’t figured out any brilliant solutions to this one, but if any of you have, I’d love to hear about it.

Potty training…maybe?

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle

Potty training already?  Wasn’t I just blogging about the birth of Tate and how Jack was a big brother?  The last two+ years have flown by, and my baby apparently isn’t a baby anymore.  It’s bittersweet, but happy to see the growth of both of my boys.

I started to ask Jack if he wanted to use the potty several months before he turned three.  At first he showed no interest, and I didn’t push it.  A month later I tried again and he was a little curious, but still would rather run and hide in the corner to do said business.  In the back of my mind I knew he had to be fully potty trained by the time school started in August, so I was on a mission.  I bought a couple different potty seats, made a potty chart complete with Thomas stickers, bought lots of Thomas underwear and commenced a reward system.  After a rough couple weeks, Jack was “day” trained and I couldn’t have been more proud.

Now that Tate is in Preschool at an earlier age and is around children that use the potty he is starting to show some interest in the potty while at school.  His teacher tells me he tries to go on the potty everyday and has been successful a few times.  That makes me happy, but I’m confused as to why he wants NOTHING to do with the potty at home.  I guess he is trying to prove to his friends he can do the same things they can do.  Jack is a big help and will explain to Tate exactly what to do when it’s time to use the potty.  It’s actually pretty funny listening to a five year old explain the process.

Tate’s teacher said it is very common for children to do certain behaviors at school and not at home or vice versa.  I didn’t go through this with Jack being exposed to learning about the potty early on in school.  I assume it’s just another “phase” children go through and eventually Tate will be trained.  He’s still a “baby” in my eyes, although, I will be ecstatic the day I never have to buy another box of diapers.

Autumn in New York

Monday, September 24th, 2012

From Monday Mom – Neetika:

To quickly follow up on last week’s post, I’m happy to report that Haley has been napping. Her naps are short, on the floor and require a lot of soothing, but I will take it. I even manage to slip out for most of it. I claim victory!

When I manage to stop obsessing over Haley’s health and wellness for a few moments, I remember that it’s officially fall! I love fall. I love the beautiful weather, football season and comfy sweaters. This year, not only do we have holidays to look forward to, but a presidential election cycle as well. This one seems like it will continue to offer plenty of excitement!

Haley loves getting out in the cooler weather, and stepping on crunchy leaves. She looks so cute in her little hoodies, toddling down the sidewalk. She enjoys seeing the kids walk home from school again. Before I know it that will be Haley. I’m not ready to think about that yet. But I do look forward to having an excuse to buy school supplies!

As the year comes to and end I also eagerly anticipate the holiday season. I’m hoping to find the perfect puppy Halloween costume for Haley. Her favorite thing to say is “Woof! Woof! Woof!” She squeals in delight whenever she sees a dog. Haley should appreciate Thanksgiving a lot more this year compared with last year, when she was just starting solids. The best part for her will be getting to spend the day with both sets of grandparents, which hasn’t happened since her baptism.

I appreciate that we live in a part of the country where there are four distinct seasons to enjoy. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t play favorites! I hope you too enjoy of the apple picking, trick-or-treating, hay riding, and pie eating the season has to offer!

Something right

Friday, September 21st, 2012

“Mine” was one of Andrew’s first words.  It’s probably still one of his favorites, even with his building vocabulary.  Every stuffed animal within a 100 mile radius is Andrew’s. (Fair warning if you live in the area…No toys are safe!)

Every so often, he does something to surprise me though.

He brought a bunch of stuffed animals over so that a little girl he just met could play with them.  He happily shared with her… until she got a little too attached to a stuffed monkey he hasn’t played with in literally years…and then that monkey was all his all over again.

He got a new book that had lots of stickers in it.  He wanted to bring it in to school so he could share the stickers with all his friends.

When Andrew’s class was going on their field trip to the Turtle Back Zoo, he brought his key with him.  He told his friends that they could all take turns using it on the key boxes…if they were good.  (But those naughty kids, man, they were out of luck!)

I got this email the other day about things you can do to encourage your kid to be generous.  Set a good example.  Talk about other people’s wants and needs.  Praise generosity.  Stuff like that.

And in reading the email, all I could think was that we  – whether we were doing any of that stuff or not – we were doing a decent job of that already. He may still have a wicked selfish streak, but when he wants to show it, he does have a heart of gold.

The last time we were in the mall, Andrew went by the Build A Bear and grabbed my arm.  “Mommy?” Then he looked up at Hubby with his big, pleading eyes. “Daddy?  Do you remember when I was three…and we went to that store? And I made a bear for another child?  Can we do that again?”

I was shocked… First off, I wasn’t even sure he’d remember that we did that.  It’s become a kind of holiday tradition.  We brave the mall and bring Andrew to the Build A Bear.  He gets to make two animals.  One he can keep. The other he has to give away.  Hubby would explain to him that he was giving the animal to another little kid who needed a toy for the holidays.

But I was also amazed that he was genuinely wanting to do something nice for someone he doesn’t even know.  He actually tried to sell the trip to Build A Bear as, “I have lots of toys.  I just want to make one for another child.”

There are still a lot of days where I shake my head at Andrew, having no idea to how to deal with him talking back or how to handle a kid who’s 4 can throw attitude like a full blown teenager.  But in moments like that, I know we must be doing something right…

Brotherly Love?

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:

Over the last few months Jack and Tate have started playing together. They get along well for hours but things can turn nasty quickly. Tate is always interested in what his big brother is doing. If Jack has a toy he wants to play with it too. If Jack builds something with blocks, Tate wants to knock it down.  Tate torments his brother sometimes and Jack usually shows restraint but sometimes they both lose their temper.

Tate doesn’t share as well as his brother. Tate will often try and take the toy Jack is using. Jack knows he is not supposed to hit, but Tate will hit him and Jack gets very frustrated that he cannot return the favor. We have to decide when they need to be separated. When we separate them it is often for their own good but Jack will usually take it worse than his brother. Jack feels that he is being punished for his brother’s actions, when in fact, we are just trying to protect Jack from Tate’s poor play skills. Tate has shown signs of improvement sharing and Jack has learned how to cope with his two year old brother. Even after a big fight they seal the apology with a “big brother hug.”

I’m pretty sure this will be something my husband and I tend to for many more years.  We look at it like a learning experience for the boys.  They learn how to stand up for themselves and apologize for mistakes.  Yes, mom, I know you are shaking your head thinking back to when all three of your daughters would bicker over ridiculous things.  Glad to report my sisters and I get along great now and hope the same for my boys.


Tired and Overwhelmed

Monday, September 17th, 2012

From Monday Mom – Neetika:

Last week was really tough.

Haley decided that she just wasn’t going to nap. No, thank you. Not interested. The only way she would nap is if she napped on me. When she was younger, I wouldn’t have minded. I even enjoyed the break from running after her. Having a few moments to rest and read the news on my cell phone wasn’t the worst thing in the world. However, Haley is now down to one nap, which in theory should be several hours long. To make matters worse, she’s been waking up earlier in the mornings, too. By the end of the day, I am really exhausted.

I did some research about this and I’m fairly certain that this nap strike is caused by separation anxiety. Apparently at Haley’s age (17 months), there are also several developmental leaps that can cause sleep disruptions. Like so many issues that pop up during childhood, it’s “just a phase.” But even if you know it’s a “just a phase,” it feels endless when you are in it.

All week I’ve been holding Haley for her naps, and she seems to be doing well since she’s actually getting some sleep. Another option would be to just allow her to refuse her nap and put her to bed really early. However, I find that route inconvenient and she just gets too fussy without daytime rest.

I don’t know if there’s a light at the end of the tunnel or not. My main concern is that developmentally, Haley will get over her separation anxiety and she will be back to normal—but she will be so accustomed to be being held because I have set up a bad habit. So this week, I’m going to take some action. I’ve created a game plan. I am going to attempt to put her in the crib and stay in the room, but not hold her. I know she is going to cry a lot, but hopefully me being present will calm her enough to where she can fall asleep. And then maybe I can slip out and get some mommy time. Wish me luck!

Practice Makes Perfect…

Friday, September 14th, 2012

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
Today was Andrew’s first soccer practice. I know how weird that sounds. My family is totally into baseball. Like to the point where there’s baseball season and then the rest of the year… And the first team sport Andrew is signed up for is SOCCER? I’m going to try not to let it make me feel dirty, like bringing Andrew to his first baseball game at Fenway.

So, the first practice was interesting. There was lots of crying and clinging to parents’ legs. There was a lot of ignoring the coach and being afraid of the ball.

Oh. You didn’t think I meant Andrew with any of that, did you? NO… Those were the other kids.

MY son was running across the field with reckless abandon, kicking the ball, dribbling the ball through cones, almost taking out the assistant coach when she wasn’t looking as he kicked the ball to her. It was pretty cool. Some of the dads were there watching their sons not being able to kick the ball five feet and they were either amazed or jealous (or both) by Andrew being able to boot the ball so far.

I guess all the time we spent out on the front yard kicking the ball around actually paid off. Andrew was really excited to meet new friends on his team and play. But his biggest complaint? “WHY do I have to PRACTICE??? I just wanna play another team!”

I still find it amazing that these 4 year olds have 2 days of practice during the week and games on the weekend. It seems a bit excessive to me… But if it makes Andrew happy, then I’m all for it.

First game on Saturday. Wish us luck!

Have a great weekend everyone

Soccer… Take Two

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Watch out, the Stampede is coming through!  This year Jack’s soccer team is called the Stampede.  He’s had a couple practices and will have his first game this weekend.  Our friend is the coach, and his son and Jack are buddies.  They are competitive with each other so hopefully they’ll motivate one another.

I remember last year’s first soccer game and how comical it was to watch these fresh new players figuring out the game.  Scoring goals for other teams and kicking the ball in the wrong direction was mainly their concept of playing soccer.  This year is different.  After a year of experience the boys are figuring out how to play and following the rules. Jack is even trying to make headers.

Tate pretends to be the team’s mascot.  He runs up and down the sideline (and field sometimes) trying to keep up or cheering for his big brother.  Last year I was running up and down the field after Tate.  It’s nice to see Tate look up to Jack and hope to play someday, too.

We’ll be on the soccer field every morning for the next ten Saturdays.  I’m okay with that, since I know Jack is having fun.  Go Stampede!


Garden Club

Monday, September 10th, 2012

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
In my household, there is a very exclusive organization known as the Garden Club. So exclusive, in fact, that even I am not a member. Alas, I do not possess the requisite green thumb. However, little Haley is a very dedicated participant.

Nearly every day this summer, Haley and her grandparents have gone down to our side yard in the early morning light bearing their buckets to reap their harvest. The yield includes tomatoes, green peppers, hot red peppers, cucumbers, scallions and giant vegetables known as baseball squash—they resemble the bat, not the ball!

Though I can’t take credit for our beautiful garden, I sure do enjoy its bounty. It’s so nice to enjoy homegrown vegetables at dinner every night. Without my even thinking much about it, Haley is really absorbing a skill that her father and I are totally deficient in. Thank goodness for grandparents! She just loves going out in her Crocs and garden hat, collecting everything in her basket, getting her fingernails dirty, playing with shovels and soil (and if you ask her, really helping!), and coming back in to show me what she’s gotten. I’m so proud of her!

I hope that one day when I become a home owner, I will be able to continue in the family’s gardening tradition. I love having fresh, healthy food, and it’s also wonderful exercise. Luckily, my parents will be able to guide us. One thing’s for sure—Haley will be in charge of our garden spot!

Back to School

Friday, September 7th, 2012

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
Andrew is in pre-k. It’s still weird to think he’s old enough for that.

Tuesday was his first day. It was still at the same daycare, with the same teachers. So in some ways, there was an element of things being the same.

But when I picked Andrew up after school, he came running over screaming, “MOMMY! I HAVE HOMEWORK! HOMEWORK!”

I couldn’t believe both that he HAD homework and that he was EXCITED about it. Andrew had to trace letters and numbers. And even though he had until today to do it, he did it right away. He traced upper case and lower case Ts intently. He copied number 1s, colored in pictures. Then he proudly brought his homework folder back in the next day.

He started trying to read books by himself. Well, he’s been “reading” books for awhile flipping through the pictures. But now he’s really recognizing words and saying them out loud. He read Biscuit books the first day of school, so that meant he and I ran around the house as soon as we got home gathering up all the Biscuit books we have here. We read some of them after he did his homework.

Andrew is also about to start playing soccer. His first practice is on Monday. Yeah, practice. Twice a week. Plus games on the weekends. He’s FOUR. This seems a little excessive to me… But I hope he enjoys it.

Have a great weekend, everyone!