Thursday, November 29, 2007

Little Guy's Daycare is Making Me Feel Like Crap

Today, we received the following letter from Little Guy's daycare teacher.

I wanted to update you on Little Guy's week. This week Little Guy has had a difficult time following directions and completing routines and more often than not has needed a teacher's help to complete the direction/routine. Often Little Guy is looking right at a teacher and doing the opposite of what he has been told (for example, getting a toy out when we are cleaning up) or doing something unsafe/unclean (such as licking toys or putting his jacket over his face while on the stairs). As this seems to be intentional behavior to gain attention, we are trying to meet his need for attention in positive ways instead of when he is exhibiting negative behavior. When we redirect Little Guy's behavior we try to use as few of words as possible choosing instead to give him that attention at other times/. Throughout play times we try to engage Little Guy in conversations about what he's doing and also throughout the day we encourage and celebrate with Little Guy as he listens the first time or does something on his own. If you have any questions, please let me know. Thanks for your support.

We were already made aware, through a recent conversation with the teacher, that Little Guy has been stubborn at school - for example, he bangs his utensils at the lunch table even after the teachers tell him to stop. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, he also does this at home. We have been working on telling him to stop the behavior and then giving him a natural consequence if he doesn't stop (e.g., removing his spoon/fork and making him eat with his hands.)

So here's my question - isn't this just normal toddler behavior? At home, I've never been concerned about his behavior. In fact, I've always thought he was a pretty easy toddler to manage in that he can be fairly easily redirected and doesn't really throw major tantrums. Yes, he does things that he has been told not to do (e.g., tries to sneak cookies from the pantry) and yes he doesn't always listen the first time (e.g., continues to sneak cookies after I tell him to stop), but isn't that just normal? I practice redirection, distraction, tell him "no", and use time-outs if he doesn't listen after two warnings.

Am I not being strict enough at home? I don't know. I thought I was handling the discipline pretty well, but the daycare is making me feel like my kid is really hard to handle. And this is a kid that I have always found to be fairly obedient all things considered. I mean he is only two. He's not even two and a half yet. Is the daycare expecting too much from him or does it sound like my kid is unusually bad? This isn't the first time they have told me that he misbehaves and is disruptive. He is also very quiet at school and rarely talks, they've said, while at home he talks a lot. I do believe the daycare to be very good and I'm not really concerned about the quality of care. It was hard to get into this daycare because it is well-regarded and other parents love it. The teachers communicate to parents regularly through these letters home, which I like. I just feel bad that lately the tone of the letters have been pretty negative. How would you respond to this letter?

Social deviant or misunderstood toddler?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Where does he come up with this stuff?

Little Guy peers over at me while breastfeeding the baby and goes...

"Is that tasty, Little Brother?"

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

My Heart is a Melting Puddle on the Floor

Last night as I lay next next to Little Guy in his bed while he was falling asleep....

Me: I love you, honey.

Little Guy: I love you too, mama.

(That was the first time he's ever said it back.)

Oh, so much to be thankful for this year.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

An Open Letter

Dear L.L. Bean, Solutions, Eddie Bauer, Lands End, Red Envelope, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn Baby, Plow & Hearth, and Other Various Christmasy and/or Gadgety Magazines that I Will Never Buy Anything From:

Pleeeease stop sending me your catalogues. Pleeease.

You're wasting paper. I mean it. So just stop. My recycle bin can't take it anymore.



Friday, November 16, 2007

Music You'll Want to Listen To Too!

Usually when I turn on a DVD for my toddler to watch, I want to leave the room as soon as possible. The music is generally annoying enough to get me running the other way. One of the exceptions to this is when we watch That Baby DVD and listen to That Baby CD.

Continue reading review...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Another Reason to Go Vegetarian

I've been an on-again off-again vegetarian for the last few years. It's been hard to maintain my vegetarianism during my pregnancies - hence, the "off-again" part. But after reading the latest news on what the meat industry is doing, I'm seriously thinking of going vegetarian again.
For years, meat manufacturers have been injecting meat with carbon monoxide to give it a fresh, pink look. The CO2 binds with a pigment in the meat and keeps it nice and red. The process has been banned in many other countries including Europe, Canada and Japan. This week, Congress is debating whether it should be banned in the United States as well.
Uh, what? Gross! [Continue reading about the insanity at Moms Speak Up]

Excuse Me While I Vent For A Second

Tonight I made dinner. We had pork chops with plum chutney, peas and carrots, and rice pilaf, with a home-baked persimmon bread for dessert. I admit that it wasn't gourmet, but it was edible and it had most of the food groups so I was happy with it.

After supper I bathed Little Guy while Husband cleaned the kitchen. Upon briefly entering our bedroom to get something, I noticed that Husband had left all of his loose change on the ground. This is one of my pet peeves. Money will fall out of his pockets when he changes his clothes, and he won't pick it up. I am always having to get after him about this because I know that Little Guy will put coins in his mouth and he could choke to death on them. It completely annoys me that after TWO years of telling Husband to be more careful, I STILL find change everywhere.

Me: I found all this change on the ground in out bedroom. Why do you keep leaving change on the ground??!

Husband continues cleaning dishes with back to me and says nothing.

Me (shaking my fist of coins at him): It's dangerous to leave change lying around. How many times do I have to tell you that??!


Me: Little Guy could choke to death on coins!!

Silence. Still with back to me.

Me: Flinging coins across the room at him.

Husband: God, you're crazy!

Me: Don't ignore me!

Husband: I wasn't ignoring you! I'm busy cleaning up the mess you made!

Me: Mess??!! MESS??! I cooked dinner for you and now you're complaining that I made a mess?!
The conversation continued to spiral downhill from there, but suffice it to say that I am pissed. Yeah, I threw the coins at him, but he ignored me while I was talking about something really important AND he accused me of making a "mess" while all I did was cook him dinner.

I hate to vent about Husband here. I rarely do it. Usually Husband is great. He is funny and helpful and a good dad. There are a lot of great things about him. But tonight he pissed me off. And I have to vent. I don't care if I did throw loose change at him. He was being a jerk.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Potty Training Begins

Ever since Little Guy came home from daycare and told me about Carson's penis, I've noticed that his fascination with the bathroom has greatly increased. Come to find out that his daycare is starting the beginnings of potty training. Hence the reason that he's seen Carson's penis. And hence the reason for his recent obsession with sitting on the potty.

I've been dreading this whole potty training thing for a while now. I'm not the kind of mother who can't wait to start potty training. I'm not looking forward to spending all my time in the bathroom or rushing to find the potty when we're out shopping or cleaning up accidents. I know we need to do it, but I'm not looking forward to it. However, he has begun showing some readiness signs that makes me think it's almost time:

1. He wants big boy underwear like Carson. (Damn that kid.)
2. His favorite DVD is Elmo's Potty Time.
3. He carries his potty around the house, pulls down his pants, takes off his diaper, and sits on it several times a day.

However, he still hides when he really has to go. And then he lies and pretends he doesn't have a big fat poop in his pants when it's obvious to anyone within a 200 foot radius that he has gone poop. So I'm thinking he's not totally ready just yet.

Regardless, I bought him a potty insert yesterday so that he could sit on the "big toilet", which he's been begging to do for a while now.

As you can see, he doesn't always use it as intended.

Potty Training Rule #1: Allowing your child to walk around the house with his pants down and his potty seat on his head is better than enduring the inevitable tantrum that would ensue should you attempt to remove the "crown" from said child's head. Trust me on this.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Someone Get Rid of This Candy Before I Eat Myself to Death

That's three Snickers bars, one Crunch bar, one Starburst and a Baby Ruth. And that's just what you see pictured here. There were more wrappers in the garbage. On the bright side, it got me through a tough period in the afternoon yesterday between approximately 1:00pm and 2:00pm when Little Guy decided not to nap and to instead methodically try to drive me insane with annoying toddler-esque behavior. If not for the Halloween candy, I don't think I would have survived.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Printakid's Personalized Books for Children

When I think about the keepsakes that I really treasure from my childhood, the two personalized children's books that my parents bought me come close to the top of my list. To this day, I still like to take a peek at them from time to time and read the fantasy stories that were written just for me.

So I was really excited to get a chance to review Printakid's personalized books for children. Unlike other personalized children's books I had purchased, this one was unique in that they actually design the main character to look just like your child.

[continue reading...]

Sunday, November 04, 2007

People Who Smash Jack-o-Lanterns are the Lowest of the Low

OK maybe not as low as pedophiles or anything, but people who smash jack-o-lanterns are some of the lowest forms of life. I don't care if they are just kids "having fun". Haven't their parents taught them any manners??!

So to the person who smashed the jack-o-lantern sitting on our porch -- the first jack-o-lantern that Little Guy had ever carved from the first pumpkin that he had ever picked out from the pumpkin patch himself, just know that you haven't spoiled the joy of Halloween for us. Even if he does come home every day and ask me "Mommy, where is the jack-o-lantern. It smashed?" and it makes me want to rip my heart out.

Even still, you haven't spoiled the holiday. Not by a long shot. Not for this cowboy.

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