Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Still Alive

Its been ages since I've updated my blog, so I suppose it might be nice if I notify the blogosphere every once in a while that I am still alive.

School has been crushing me since I took 10 credit hours last semester and I'm still working full-time. Oh, and I'm still the parent of a toddler, too.
Facebook also makes it incredibly easy to stay in touch with folks with simple one-line status updates, so I must admit that I've been feeling lazy lately.
Here are some recent pics of the kid which I offer in atonement for my bloggy absence.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Household Politics

A normal day in our house resembles an Ultimate Fight Club tournament. The conflicts begin innocently enough…I make a simple request of my toddler, he refuses and a battle ensues.

My husband is quick to blame our heritage. He is German and I am German and Irish. Obviously, Germans are notorious for their hot tempers and the Irish are considered to be a stubborn people. We try to do our part to perpetuate these stereotypes and my husband will be the first person to tell you that a stubborn woman with a hot temper is a load of fun to keep around. If that’s not enough fun for you, try hanging out with a toddler that has this personality.

Hubby had a moment of enlightenment today after I spent over an hour trying to put the toddler down for his nap unsuccessfully. It’s the Irish in us that causes these conflicts.

I’m the Catholic Irish of the household. Although I’d rather not fight, I’m fighting for what I think is right. I’m also just stubborn enough that I’ll fight as long as it takes to get my way.

That means that David is the militant IRA Protestant Irish of the house. He loves to fight and he’ll fight to the death to win. So what if he has to blow himself up along the way?

I think the solution to this constant conflict is to just follow in the footsteps of Ireland. When they find peace, we’ll just do whatever they did.

Either that, or the boy will grow up and go to college.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


The other day, David asked me

“Momma, how many bingers you got?”

I showed him my hand and told him, “I have 5 fingers. How many fingers do you have?

After pondering this question and studying his hand deliberately, he exclaimed

“All of them!”

Duh, Mommy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Power Struggle

I know I’m a hypocrite because I abandon my blog for months at a time, then I suddenly reappear asking you for advice like I don’t realize that no one is reading this blog anymore because they got tired of patiently waiting for me to post something.

I’m going to throw this out into the blog-o-sphere anyway because it is driving me crazy.

It has recently come to my attention that my son is an evil dictator. He thinks he is the master of the house and I don’t think that is very cool.

For instance, I was eating dinner last night and he told me to get out of my chair. For those of you that have never been to my house, my kitchen table has seating for six people and I was sitting in one chair. The evil dictator wanted me to abandon my dinner and relinquish my chair to him just because. I ignored him and let him scream.

He seems to have this idea that Mommy is his meat puppet or his third arm.

I was appalled to realize that my kid is uber-spoiled, but I was even more appalled to learn that evidently every friend, family member, and church acquaintance that we have has mentioned to my husband that our kid manipulates Mom. I’m not really feeling warm and fuzzy about this situation at all.

I’ve started laying the smackdown, but I’m worried that my neighbors might start calling the cops because my kid has a nuclear meltdown every time I defy him.

Any tips for making the transition of power a little less painful for the folks within a one mile radius of our house?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I feel like I have been in hibernation as far as blogging is concerned, but I have my reasons. Mostly, I've been afraid to write anything here because my stomach has been in knots with anticipation and anxiety.

My 14 year old bonus daughter, Skywalker, is very, very close to David. He absolutely adores her and I am thrilled that they have a valuable sibling relationship with each other. Since she moved farther away from us two years ago, the kids have really been struggling with visitation. They both cry when it is time for her to leave and they miss each other terribly.

Skywalker is also very close to her dad. They have always shared a bond and she especially loves just being in the same room with him. I don't blame her, I love to hang out with him, too!

As if this isn't cool enough, we have also grown very close over the years. I've been in her life since she was 4 years old, which is practically as far back as she can remember. I'm also closer in age to her than her parents, so I am cool by default.

Since she loves us so much, she has been asking to live with us since she was 7 years old. The constant seperation has been painful for our family, but we've tried to make the best of the time that we do have together.

Due to an unexpected turn of events, my husband recently filed for custody of her. I have been holding my breath as I anticipate an ugly court battle, but it appears that she will be coming to live with us after all!!! Her parents are negotiating the details and we should know for sure by early next week.


God is good.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Swimsuit Update

In all seriousness, I need a new swimsuit for the summer season.

In the past, I’ve been a big fan of the skirted tankini because I had a lot to hide. Now that I’ve lost some weight, I thought I might try on a one piece. I found an old suit of mine that has been in storage for years and it fit! I got brave and threw it in my pool bag last night when we went to the YMCA for family swim.

Hubby’s first comment when he saw me come out of the locker room was, “Why did you decide to wear that?”

My response was, “I DON’T KNOW??!!!???”

I panicked thinking that I looked like a fat blob, but he later commented, “You look really good in that suit.”

I was a little more confident after that compliment, but that moment of euphoria was shattered when I had a Janet-Jackson-Superbowl-Wardrobe-Malfunction in the pool. Now I remember with shocking clarity why this particular swimsuit was in storage.

The search is on for the perfect swimsuit and I’ll definitely be trying on some suits to get an idea of my size and the perfect style for me. Then, I’ll probably be checking out this incredibly awesome website that I found. The prices are fantastic, there are coupon codes available, and best of all, the swimsuit models on this website look like REAL WOMEN.

I love it!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Swimsuit Season

I just finalized our flight arrangements for our trip to Florida in June. We’re just visiting my Dad, but he has an in-ground pool and lives ten minutes away from the beach, so I’ll be spending more than my fair share of time in a swimsuit while we are there.

The good news is that I’ve lost a total of 31 pounds since this time last year. The bad news is that I have another 15 pounds to lose before I’ll be entirely confident being seen in a swimsuit.

Since my swimsuit from last season is obviously too big, I have to buy a new one. I’ve been researching the best swimsuit style for my body type and I’ve decide that this is the one:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Advice From A Cool Dude

Now that David is talking non-stop, I’ve realized that my cutie-pie has a lot on his mind. I thought I might share the best of our conversations so far this week:


David: (pointing to my scalp) “Mommy, keep it on.”

Mommy: “Keep what on?”

David: “Hair.”

Mommy: “Keep my hair on?”

David: “Yeah!”

Daddy: “Is he poking fun at my receding hairline?”


Mommy: “David, are you a dude?”

David: “No. I cool dude!”


Mommy: “David, if you take your motorcycle to school, you have to share it with Josh.”

David: “No.”

Mommy: “Then leave your motorcycle in the car.”

David: “No.”

Mommy: “Then you better be ready to share it with Josh.”

David: “No. Josh go car.”


To sum it all up, I’m getting Rogaine for Women for Mother’s Day and if I don’t want to share it with a friend, I should just leave my friend in the car. Of course, that’s what a cool dude would do.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy 14th Birthday, Erica!

My bonus-daughter will be thrilled to learn that I posted this very flattering photo of her on my blog in recognition of her birthday.

Isn't she adorable?!!?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Random Thoughts

You would think that after vanishing from the blogosphere for about a month, I might feel compelled to explain my absence in a logical manner. Luckily for you, I am in denial regarding my compulsions, so you won’t be forced to read a post about the past month of my life.

How about a post about my recent Random Thoughts instead?

It really sucks that I applied for a promotion and almost got it before they offered it to someone else because she knew someone that knew someone that knew someone that recommended her…even though I was better for the job.

I’m still not over it.

I’ve lost 20 pounds since February. I feel fantastic and my clothes look humungous. I still have 10 pounds to lose and I know I just need to start exercising to reach my goal, but I am so tired…

We’re planning a family vacation to Florida in June to visit my Dad.

I won a gift certificate for house cleaning from Merry Maids last year as part of my Mom’s Makeover prize package. They won’t clean my house because I am not in their service area. This made me more than slightly irritated, so I sold the gift certificate on Ebay. I’ll use my auction earnings to buy more Windex.

Do me a favor and hire GrimeStoppers for all of your cleaning needs because the guy at Merry Maids is making me want to scream my head off.

Oh, yeah. Remember Little King David? He’s still alive and well. He is talking very clearly now and it’s thrilling to hear the things he has on his mind. His favorite phrase is, “Why not?”

Speaking of talking, David has a “potty mouth” friend at daycare. I’m glad his teacher thought to mention this to me because imagine my surprise when my two-year-old called me a B*TCH last night. Ouch!

My toddler has a cleaning compulsion. He has a fit if he isn’t allowed to use the vacuum cleaner or have a turn with the sponge while I’m scrubbing the tub. What kind of freaks raise a kid like that?!!?

Probably the same parents that send their kid to the ghetto daycare full of potty-mouth children.

Yesterday, I had the brilliant idea that it would be amusing to give my toddler a bottle of glue and a bucket of sequins. It might sound kind of messy, but my toddler has a cleaning compulsion, so his craft project kept him busy for an entire hour. He spent about 20 minutes gluing sequins on his art paper and 40 minutes sweeping up and picking up every single sequin that he accidentally scattered all over the kitchen floor.

I think that’s enough randomness for one day…

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Proof of Life

The baby addict is alive and well! Maybe I'll have something amusing to share soon, but in the meantime, enjoy these photos.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


There’s lots of fun stuff going on in the blog-o-sphere today. If you’re bored and just trying to kill some time at work, check out these fun blogs:

Heather at Not A DIY Life posted a link to a website that will turn you into a hero. (Or heroine, if you prefer). This is me in spandex (which is purely hypothetical because I would never be brave enough to wear spandex in real life).

If you have even more time to kill, check out Lynette’s pronunciation survey at The Best Things In Life Are Three.

Have fun!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Its been a long time since I’ve shared a post on my blog simply because its difficult to admit to the world that I’m knee-deep in the terrible twos and I wish I could start drinking each day at noon.

Every single moment of every single day is an opportunity for conflict with this kid. He doesn’t want to eat, he doesn’t want to get dressed, he doesn’t want to brush his teeth, he doesn’t want to wear a coat, he doesn’t want to get in the carseat, he doesn’t want to stop jumping on my bed, he doesn’t want to clean up, and he definitely does not want to take a nap.

So, what does this kid actually WANT to do?

Jump on my bed while eating ice cream in the nude approximately one hour past bedtime.

It hasn’t actually gotten that bad yet, but the scenario I just described would probably be the perfect ending to David’s dream day.

Now, where did Mommy leave her flask...?

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Aftermath

I’m still trying to recuperate from our exhausting weekend at Kalahari Indoor Waterpark and the time change that you forgot to warn me about!

In the meantime, enjoy these photos of David’s birthday celebration.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday: Gift Wrap

Today is the last day in my son’s life that he will only be one year old. To divert myself from being ridiculously sentimental about it, I’m going to devote a few minutes of my time today to a Works for Me Wednesday post.

Anyone with a small child knows that any gift-receiving special occasion involves an excited child tearing the wrapping paper off of an incredibly awesome toy that they intend to play with immediately.

The joy fades when the child realizes that the awesome toy is impossible to remove from its packaging without adult assistance. The unlucky adult then realizes that the tools necessary to remove the packaging includes a pair of scissors to cut the tape off the box, dexterous fingers to remove the tiny metal twist ties, and inevitably, a tiny screwdriver to remove the tiny screws preventing the toy’s escape from the box. It’s also inevitable that no one will have a tiny screwdriver in their pocket at this moment and the child will be reduced to tears. If you are incredibly unlucky, the toy will also require batteries and fate always ensures that you don’t have the correct size batteries lying around in a drawer when you need them to be.

Last night I was wrapping birthday gifts for David and had a brilliant idea. Actually, it’s a suggestion that I got from another parent a long time ago and it happened to pop into my brain at an opportune moment.

If you are wrapping a gift for a young child, remove the packaging FIRST. Yes, the box is pretty and confirms that the toy inside is brand new. Yes, the gift wrap will look hideous without a box inside. Yes, the wrapped gift will look like it fell out of Santa’s sleigh and got run over by a school bus.


The child will unwrap the gift, shriek with joy, and then play with that awesome toy right away. No tantrums and no tiny screwdrivers necessary.


I think I’m almost ready for David’s 2nd birthday. Now, all I need is a Prozac…

That’s what Works for Me!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Agony Continues

I just spent my entire lunch hour at Giant Eagle agonizing over which birthday cake to buy for David to take to daycare for his class to share on Thursday.

On an ordinary day, the decision would be simple. $10 cake or $28 cake? Obviously, the $10 cake!

Today, the decision was much more difficult.

What does the guilty mother that will be working on her child’s second birthday buy for his birthday celebration that he will have with his friends while his guilty mother is working?

Does she buy the expensive, professionally decorated Elmo cake that he will be thrilled to have and forget an hour later?

Or does she buy the inexpensive, simple white cake with sprinkles and write his name on it with decorating gel?

Or does she buy the mid-range, elegantly decorated cookie-cake with icing balloons on it to impress him?

Or does she agonize over this decision for an hour, then call Daddy at work for his advice?

She calls Daddy and he tells her to buy the $10 cake and write his name on it. He calmly reminds her that his friends will be wearing more cake than they will be eating, so it doesn’t make sense to spend $28 on a cake that will only be used to frustrate many mothers that are responsible for washing the laundry for the children wearing this cake.

Mommy relents and buys the cheap cake.

She’ll make up for it by going to Babies R Us tomorrow during lunch and buying the Birthday Boy shirt for him to wear.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Birthday Blues

I think its only fair to warn you that I’m going to be sentimental this week. David’s second birthday is on Thursday. Where has the time gone??

Rather than have a party at our house this year infested with relatives that just won’t leave, we decided to take the kids to Kalahari Indoor Waterpark for the weekend. I gotta tell you that I have never been to an indoor waterpark, but just the thought of putting on my bathing suit in public in the dead of winter is absolutely thrilling to me. But I knew David would love it, so how could I deny him this? I can’t wait to see his face when he sees the pool!

For his birthday on Thursday, Mommy and Daddy will be taking him to the indoor playground at Chick-Fil-A. We’ll pretend that we expect him to eat his chicken nuggets before he climbs out of the high chair to play. After dinner, we’ll do cake and candles at home and David will un-wrap his gifts. Daddy was cool enough to do the gift shopping this year and his choices of a Play-Doh Duffel Bag and the Play-Doh Fun Factory are going to be a hit!

I hope I don’t cry this year…

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Can You See Me Now?

My dad and I both have cellular phone service with Verizon, and its not uncommon to hear either one of us invoke their slogan, “Can you hear me now?,” whenever my Dad tries to use his phone from home. He has cell phone coverage everywhere on God’s green earth except for in his house. You would think he lives out in Uni-bomber country, but he doesn’t. He lives in Florida in a metropolis best known as a port for Cruise ships. (I’d tell you exactly where that is, but I don’t know for sure that you’re not an internet stalker, do I?)

I’ve tried on quite a few occasions to let David talk to Papa on my cell phone, but that little experiment usually has catastrophic consequences. He either closes the phone, effectively disconnecting the call, or he accidentally texts or calls people that I have been avoiding. Needless to say, it just wasn’t working.

My Dad is a fairly smart guy, so he bought us a webcam and had it delivered right to the house. I was thrilled with this idea because David would get to know his grandparents and actually know what they look like, too. Its much cheaper than plane tickets.

A couple months went by and I still wasn’t able to convince hubby to install the webcam for me. It’s mostly my fault because I really try not to nag, and its really hard to say, “When are you going to install that webcam for me?” without sounding like you are nagging. So I cut him some slack.

Now that it’s been more than 5 months since the webcam has been sitting in the closet, I gave myself permission to install the webcam on the computer by myself. Although Dad reassured me that it would only take 15 minutes to download the software, it actually took an entire hour. The programs kept freezing up and I had to reboot my computer umpteen times. Of course, Dad has explained to me umpteen times that this is exactly why Linux is better than Windows, but I’m a glutton for punishment.

We tried our first webcam video chat last night and it wasn’t great, but it could have been worse. We both had picture, but the video wasn’t moving. We both had audio, but it was really difficult to understand. My Dad sounded like the guy behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz.

So, do any of you computer geeks reading my blog know what we’re doing wrong?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Best Buddies

Skywalker is one of David's favorite people on the entire planet. He adores her, probably because she is the coolest big sister anybody could ever have.

She even lets him listen to her Ipod with her. How cool is that?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Big Helper

I made the mistake of trying to pack away David’s baby clothes this weekend while he was awake. I decided it was time to put another round of clothing into storage when I opened a dresser drawer the other day while I was looking for nail clippers and I encountered an entire drawer devoted to baby bibs.

While I was packing up his baby bibs, tiny socks, and unbelievably adorable tiny outfits, he was doing some unpacking of his own.

He tried on his Halloween costume again…

Then he had a fit because I wouldn’t let him play with Mommy’s new Canon Powershot SX10

Then he demanded to wear a tiny bib and sit in his baby carrier…

No way Mommy’s putting that on her back with you in it, big boy!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

A mother holds her children’s hands for a while, their hearts forever.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Potty Training

It’s been ages since I participated in a Works for Me Wednesday, but I received some awesome potty training advice the other day, tried it for myself, and I am just aching to share this brilliant idea with you.

Little King David recently began attending a new daycare center. The center’s policy is that any child over the age of 2 years old wears Pull-Ups at school rather than diapers because they begin potty training after each child’s second birthday. David is 23 months at the moment, so his potty training adventure will begin very soon.

He seems to be very interested in all things related to the potty. He “helps” Mommy and Daddy go potty and Elmo’s Potty Time is his favorite movie at the moment. He asks for a diaper change immediately upon soiling it and he is always happy to tell me when he is going to poop.

The other day, a friend advised that every time he has a bowel movement, I should dump his poop into the potty and tell him that is where poop belongs. That sounds so disgusting that I knew he would love it.

Last night, he told me he was pooping, so we changed his diaper and I told him the big news. Poop goes in the potty. He looked stunned! I let him look at it in the diaper first. Although he said, “Ewww! Gross!” He really looked more curious and impressed with himself, but I pretended that he was grossed out.

We dumped the poop into the potty and David flushed, while waving “Bye Bye, poop!” Then, we washed his hands in the sink, just like we will do after he uses the toilet.

He loved it!

It was one of the grossest mom things I’ve had the pleasure of doing in the past two years, (or at least in recent memory), but I think David is looking forward to his next bowel movement!

I’ll keep you posted on the potty training progress. In the meantime, this is working for me!

To read more interesting and useful tips like this, visit Works For Me Wednesday.

Did I Blink?

Since when is my little baby such a big boy? It seems like just yesterday he needed me for everything and his most impressive response to any question was “Yes.”

Now, he eats cereal in a bowl with milk and a spoon, he drinks from a cup without a lid, he opens the refrigerator by himself, finds the blueberries that I have hidden in the butter compartment, opens them and pours them into his snack cup. He brushes his teeth by himself, can turn on the water in the sink to wash his hands, and pretends to do bicep curls with my resistance band. He has a painfully accurate aim when throwing any ball (he’s a lefty, too!). He puts away his dirty laundry, tosses his dirty dishes into the kitchen sink, and loves to vacuum.

He suddenly speaks a zillion words and he likes to throw them out all at once. Last week, he could say “Yes.” This week, he says, “C’,mon, Mama. Get up and come here. I want this, please.” He also loves to say, “I do it! I big boy.”

How did this happen so quickly?

Who is this little man living in my house?

And where is my baby?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Purse Is Boss

Lynette tagged me for a meme because my current blog fodder about daycare and respiratory infections has been getting a little old. She’s also mistakenly thinking that I might have something fun and interesting to add to this meme, and I can assure you that I don’t. We’ll blame her for the post that follows.

This meme is forcing me to take a photo of my purse and post it for everyone to see. The meme was very specific in instructing that I may not dig the cute purse out of my closet. The photo has to be the purse that I’m hauling around with me today. Since I'm at work, I also don't have access to that fancy new camera my husband bought, so I'm using the camera on my cellphone.

I’m currently carrying a very simple, black New York and Co. purse. It has two straps and one zipper. It contains my wallet, my cell phone, my car keys and my i-pod. I also have some eyeliner and lip gloss stashed in there, as well as a few Euros that David’s grandfather sent him from Austria, but I can’t find a place to exchange them for U.S. currency.

The purse cost me absolutely nothing as it was a cast-off from my fashionable sister-in-law a few years ago. She is always on the cutting edge of fashion and I have never seen her wear the same outfit twice. I also never saw her carry this purse, which probably explains why it was given to me looking like-new. I’m a bargain hunter at heart, so $0 for a cute purse is an offer I can’t refuse.

Now that I’ve done my bloggy-duty, I’m inviting all my readers to participate in this meme. The rules are simple:

1) Post a picture of the purse you are carrying today. Do not grab the cute purse out of your closet that you now wish you were carrying instead.

2) Share the story of how you got it and how much you paid. This is purely for our entertainment.
3) Daddy bloggers are not excluded! If you don’t have a purse, we’d love to see the masculine diaper bag that you carry around.

4) Tag your friends and link back to this post so they understand why you are torturing them with a writing assignment. They’ll also feel better about their own hand-bags after seeing mine on display.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Back In The Swing of Things

It’s another Monday morning. Little King David is feeling much better after an episode of pneumonia that left him three pounds lighter than he was a week ago today. He is eating and drinking again after several days on antibiotics and he returned to daycare this morning. Now Mommy is starting the get the same respiratory infection that he had last week…gotta love those French kisses!

Although today technically marks David’s second week at the new daycare center, it’s really only the third day he is attending. He was melancholy on the morning commute, even though Mommy was trying to excite him with thoughts of play-doh and painting. Upon arriving at daycare, David became very clingy and refused to be put down. Mommy finally handed him over to his teacher and kissed him good-bye. You can never imagine how hard it is to leave a hysterical kid until that kid is your own. You would think it should make you feel good that someone in the world loves you so much that they are devastated when you leave them. I felt like scum for leaving my crying baby.

I called Daddy this morning as I drove to work and he listened to me cry and assured me that David would be fine. He encouraged me to call the daycare when I got to work and promised they would tell me that David was happy. He convinced me that it’s safe and healthy for David to feel sad when people he loves leave and its evidence of healthy emotional development. See why I love this man so much?

I did call the daycare when I knew they would be done eating breakfast and David’s teacher assured me that he is just fine. He stopped crying two minutes after I left the parking lot and he has been playing happily ever since.

Do I really have to do this all over again tomorrow???

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: New Camera, New Pics

Sick Day

David’s first day at the new daycare center was fabulous! He didn’t cry all day, had a good nap, met some new friends, and made a mess of himself with his spaghetti. The transition was smooth and uneventful.

Day #2 wasn’t quite so good. David woke up with a runny nose and a little bit of a cough. He screamed and cried as Mommy left the daycare center and he was still crying as he stood in the window watching her drive away. Mommy was crying a few moments later.

I got a call later that afternoon that David had a fever of 103 degrees and rapid breathing. I ran to my car as fast as my chubby legs could take me.

Daddy met us at the doctor’s office a short hour later and they ran a zillion tests and poked him too many times. It’s not strep throat, it’s not the flu and it’s not an ear infection. His doctor concluded that he has the same mysterious viral infection that every single kid in her pediatrics practice has had this week.

David is at home with Daddy today watching The Jungle Book and eating ice cream for lunch. He’s probably even eating ice cream for lunch while sitting on the living room couch. (All the rules change when you’re sick)

Its my turn to stay home with him tomorrow and his doctor wants to see him again on Friday if he still has a fever by then.

One day at a time!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Good Morning!

I have been anxiously awaiting this Monday morning, and it’s not because I was excited to go to work. Today is David’s first day at his new daycare!

I’ve been an emotional train wreck since we decided to move to a new daycare center. Although I knew in my heart that it was the right decision to make, it was so hard to say goodbye to the teachers and friends that have been part of David’s life ever since he can remember. His teachers cried on his last day and David hugged everyone goodbye as if it would be only a few short days until he saw them again. I felt a tug at my heart at the thought that he doesn’t understand that he is never going back.

We spent the weekend talking about David’s new school. I even let him watch Finding Nemo so he would be excited about the fish tank full of clown fish in the new daycare center’s lobby.

We arrived at daycare early this morning, just as I had planned. We hung up David’s coat and filled his new cubby with his bibs, sippy cup, painting shirt and spare clothes. We spread out his nap mat and his blankie on his new cot and I left his photo album on his cot so he could see Mommy & Daddy at naptime.

David gave Mommy a huge pucker and ran off to meet some new friends. As I was leaving, David was helping one of the teachers move the breakfast cart to his classroom. He didn’t even cry when I left! I was so relieved!

Now, if only I could be as excited about a Monday morning...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Difficult Decisions

Little King David has been in the same daycare center since he was 8 weeks old. His former infant teacher calls herself “his grandmother.” He is the teacher’s pet in the toddler class. He has a best friend in his classroom that he hugs goodbye at the end of the day.

Imagine my dismay when I realized now is the time that we need to move David to a new daycare center!

There is another child at this daycare center that is a challenge for the teachers to manage. Biter Boy constantly runs off, ignores their instructions, and hurts other children. The hurting other children part is what bothers me, and the hurting David part is what bothers me most. Biter Boy is the child that was biting David a few months ago.

Wednesday morning, I dropped David off at daycare. As I was leaving, I saw Biter Boy run up behind him, knock him to the ground, and lay on his head. Needless to say, David was hysterical and Mommy was late for work.

Not surprisingly, Daddy was livid. He worked from home on Thursday so David could stay home while Mommy sorted things out with the daycare Director.

The daycare Director informed me that I was exaggerating when I told her that David was “injured” by Biter Boy because he was able to get up and walk away after the incident. She also told me that Biter Boy’s behavior has improved since the biting incidents and there must be something about David that encourages Biter Boy to pick on him. She also reminded me that David is not a perfect little angel and he must have hit someone in daycare at one time or another, although his teachers have never notified me of that behavior. She assured me that she has seen children in the past that have much more severe behavior problems than Biter Boy.

I wonder how she would feel if I knocked her to the floor and sat on her head?

David will only be attending this daycare for one more short week.

Bye Bye, Biter Boy and Child-Hating Daycare Director!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Mama of Few Words

We have been working with a Family Support Specialist from Help Me Grow for a few months. You may recall that Little King David was in the habit of throwing massive tantrums. It wasn’t unusual for him to cry for an hour or two if he didn’t get his way. This was very unnerving for Mommy and Daddy and rather than battle each other over how to fix this problem, we decided to get help.

David hasn’t had a monster tantrum for awhile now and we no longer feel like we are walking on eggshells all the time. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Mommy and Daddy got in the habit of bowing to His Majesty a little too often.

Rather than command our little toddler, we began to make requests. It wasn’t uncommon to hear Mommy use her sing-song sugary voice to say:

“David, please don’t touch the stove. It is hot and Mommy doesn’t want you to get a boo-boo. Mommy would be very sad if you got hurt.” (Repeat 20 times)

“David, please lay still while I change your diaper. This is very messy business and Mommy doesn’t want you to fall off the changing table. You will get a boo-boo and Mommy doesn’t want you to get hurt.” (Repeat 20 times)

“David, please don’t stand on the chair. I would like you to sit on your butt. If you fall, you will get a boo-boo and Mommy doesn’t want you to get hurt.” (Repeat 20 times)

I’m sure you can see how my communication style was flawed. It was even better when Mommy and Daddy were in a room together. I would repeat my request a zillion times and Daddy would be sure to interrupt to repeat my request again.

Our Family Support Specialist must chuckle to herself every time she leaves our house.

Her instructions this week are to stop rationalizing with a toddler. Use only simple sentences and short words. There is no need to offer explanations or rationalizations.

I’ve been trying this for two days now and I have a new child!

Mommy says, “David, sit down.”

David sits down.

Mommy says, “David, we are taking a bath now.”

David runs to the tub.

Mommy says, “David, we are eating.”

David stops hollering about getting out of his high chair 5 minutes after we start eating dinner.

Either it’s a miracle or I’m dense. Probably the latter…