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…

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No Season

I got an email update from Babycenter this morning. The subject was “What Your 22 Month Old Is Doing Now: Week 2.”

The email informed me of a condition referred to as “toddler refusal,” which is a stage when a toddler’s only word is “no.”

I’m so grateful that I received this email today because I never would have guessed that my child could be defiant. I’m so glad they warned me, because the last seven days of my life have sounded something like this:

While Playing In the Snow:

Mommy: David, we have been outside for an hour. Your lips are blue and your fingers feel like ice. Let’s go inside and make some hot cocoa.

David: NO! NO! NO!

While Taking A Bath:

Mommy: David, sit on your butt in the tub. I don’t want you to get a boo-boo.

David: NO! NO! NO!

While Getting Ready for School:

Mommy: David, what do you want to wear today? Do you want your moose shirt or your motorcycle shirt?

David: NO! NO! NO!

While Still Getting Ready for School:

Mommy: Great job, David! Thanks for letting me pin you down with my elbow while I try to fasten your diaper before you flip off the changing table! Now, its time to put on your pants.

David: NO! NO! NO!

Mommy: David, do your friends wear pants?

David: Yes.

Mommy: David, do your teachers wear pants?

David: Yes.

Mommy: David, do you wear pants?

David: NO! NO! NO!

Luckily for me, the smart folks at Babycenter have plenty of advice to offer. If you are coping with toddler refusal, try the following:

Divert the child’s attention. If he refuses to go into the house after playing in the snow and you fear hypothermia, simply divert his attention by offering hot cocoa.

Your child is exercising his will. Offer choices to help him feel a sense of power and control. For example, allow him to choose his favorite moose shirt or his new motorcycle shirt. For best results, limit his choices to only two options.

Explain to your child why a certain behavior is desired. For example, remind him that his friends and teachers wear pants, so it would be good for him to wear pants, too.

I’m going to print this so Little King David can read it. He obviously didn’t get these instructions.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I told myself I wouldn’t make any resolutions for the new year. Its so cliché and new year resolutions rarely stick. I don’t want to make goals for my life just because its trendy to do something new on January 1.

At least, that was my rationalization until I realized that my resolution could involve shopping.

I’m sure you’ve realized by now that I’m a working mom. I work because I have to, not because I want to. I loathe that fact that my darling angel spends hours a day in a daycare center. I will never forget the first time I left him there. He was only 8 weeks old and he was asleep when I dropped him off. I bawled during my entire drive to work because I was convinced that my precious baby would wake up in a strange new place with strange people and flip out. I was hysterical.

Since then, I have come to realize that there are many benefits of David attending daycare. He has been blessed with caregivers that adore him and he is clearly the Teacher’s Pet. He gets more attention than any other child and he has many close friends. His social skills are excellent and he has plenty of opportunities to play with other children and learn. Despite the fact that I would love to spend every waking minute with him, I know he is safe and happy during the day.

So, since I have to work, I’ve decided to make the most of it. I’ve been going to school, taking one class at a time, to finish my degree. I’m gaining valuable work experience in my field and I’m networking.

The next step on my career path is to dress professionally. I work in a business dress/ business casual office. That means, the executives wear suits and the secretaries wear slacks and sweaters. When it comes to clothing, I am both cheap and lazy. I cringe at the thought of spending $30 on one pair of shoes and I can’t buy anything that isn’t on sale. I also can’t force myself to wear a suit knowing that I will just be sitting in my tiny cubicle all day. I love to be comfortable.

My New Years Resolution is to dress for the job I want, not for the job I have.

I’ve cleaned out my closet and I’ve been wearing suits all week. Luckily for me, I’ve lost some weight (although not enough), so my darling Hubby gave me the green light to spend some money. I bought an entire wardrobe on Ebay. I can’t wait to get the box!

Here are my faves:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Too Many Blessings

Now that the holiday season has officially ended with Ascension Day on January 6, its time to return to normal life. The bad news is that involves a lot of early mornings. The good news is that involves more blogging!

We had a very joyous holiday celebration. Santa was too good to Little King David this year. Luckily, Mommy and Daddy have learned from past experiences with the Queen of Sheba and Skywalker that the grandparents don’t know when to stop when it comes to buying Christmas gifts. This allows us to buy just a few gifts and focus on the reason for the season without feeling like the kids are deprived.

We appreciate the time we have to contemplate the birth of our Savior, because when Christmas Day is over, we get to stay up until 2:00am sorting through the toy box, deciding what toys have lived their useful life, and trying to find room for the new additions. (Warning: don't ever try to do this while your child is awake. You will not get rid of anything, you will simply resurrect the old toys that haven't seen the light of day since last Christmas. Your child will be thrilled to see their long lost toys, but they will refuse to part with them. Wait until the kids are in bed before you start purging the toy box.)

Although I expect the grandparents to buy more than the kids need or that we could possibly fit into our tiny house, I was still shocked that we came home with this:

The grandparents must have heard me say the MY son will NEVER ride a motorcycle. Thanks for adding fuel to the fire of his obsession, my dear in-laws!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009