My daughter is proving to be a lot like I was as a child. My Grandma informed me that it has always taken me hours to fall asleep - even when I was a toddler.
Clara will typically 'act tired' - the typical soother-need, snuggles with her pink 'Bo' bear, and everything is suddenly a huge crisis. She gets extremely whiny and it doesn't help that she has inherited my husband's clumsiness which means she'll trip over her own feet every 90 seconds or so - resulting in bumps and bruises, and extreme tantrumy meltdowns.
After she is put in her crib/bed for night, however, she changes completely. Suddenly it's party time.
When she was still sleeping in her crib, we would hear her talking to herself and to her stuffed animals for sometimes over an hour before finally falling asleep. We suspected she wouldn't easily stay in her toddler bed after she discovered she could simply get up and run around her room, and we weren't wrong.
Now, after her bedtime routine, we say goodnight and close the door. Then we hear the patter of tiny feet running back and forth across her bedroom floor.
Never mind... Seinfeld reference... I think I'm funny...
Every once in awhile she will even knock on the inside of her bedroom door, and we will say 'Clara, it's bedtime - go to sleep!'.
We haven't bothered to always look in on her either, since she has - up until now- always ended up back in her 'big girl bed.'
About an hour after she had fallen asleep tonight, I heard her start to whimper. I looked into her room to see her lying across her bedroom floor with her head wedged underneath her bed. I don't know how she ended up there, but now her still-sleeping self was wanting to be free again. She didn't wake up as I tugged her head free of her bed frame and snuggled with her a moment before lying her back in her bed.
Weirdo. What sort of funny situations have your children gotten themselves into?
I had one of those moments today when I realized that Celia had wandered off and had been contentedly quiet for much too long. So, I left the kitchen cleaning that I was doing and discovered this:
Here's another view...
I walked in on this scene and immediately said 'Celia, NO!' but instead of handling the situation immediately, I then ran around the house looking for my camera because honestly - I couldn't possibly miss these photos. As you will note in this second photo, she is reaching for the door under the vanity - she had begun the clean-up process all by herself.
Please note that one of Celia's tiny feet is bare, and the other is wearing a shoe. She did this herself and refused to let me either remove the shoe she was wearing, or put a shoe on her other foot. Kids are weird.
Anyway, I proceeded (after I had taken a few photos) to instruct her to clean up the mess, and she happily began to pick up the pieces of toilet paper and throw them in the garbage under the sink. She was also determined to close the cabinet door between each piece she threw in, which made the process longer, but hey - she was doing it!
We're in the beginning stages of trying to figure out how to discipline her. She has begun to hit and throw random temper tantrums when she doesn't get her way which makes me think I've dropped the ball somewhere. When it comes to making messes and cleaning up, however - I find the job of teaching easy. Especially since I have a kid who seems to love putting 'things' inside of 'other things'.
Sometimes I will still just put things away after she's gone down for a nap or to bed, because ultimately it's a lot faster and simpler, but often I make her clean up after herself and it seems to be paying off. On days when I feel like I'm already turning out to be a terrible parent - things like this make me feel like 'at least I'm doing 'something' right!'.
Okay, so this picture has nothing to do with the events of last night, but it's adorable and I wanted to include it.
So last night, I decided to give Celia a bath with bubbles for the first time. We discovered awhile back that she was a little bit afraid of bubbles, and I didn't really want to push it, but seriously - what kid doesn't like a good bubble bath?!? So I wanted her to learn that they can be fun.
So I filled the tub with water and bubbles.
She doesn't really like baths anyway, but when she looked into the tub and saw the bubbles, she said 'No, no, no...' and tried to run away.
Then I asked her if she wanted Mommy to come with her. She said yes, but it was still a bit of a struggle to get her undressed. We both did land in the tub, however, and although she did get a bit more used to the water, she was never entirely comfortable.
At the end of the bath, I thought it would be nice to 'reward' her by letting her wear a bathrobe that she received when she was born and only now was she big enough to fit into it. So, I pulled out the robe and put it on her to wear while I was getting myself dressed. She was thrilled.
She ran to the living room where one of our closets has mirrored doors, and paraded herself in front of it, admiring her new bathrobe.
As I listened from the other room, I heard my husband's voice say worriedly "Oh, Celia... no..."
Then I heard a loud 'smack!'.
And then I heard Celia cry.
She came running back to me, in horrified tears, as my husband explained that she had peed on the floor, which is when he had spoken her name. She had then proceeded to try to get away from it, slipping in the liquid in the process and landing directly in it. She was soaked in pee - and so was her brand new bathrobe.
She was absolutely devastated when I pulled off the bathrobe, and even more angry when I then put her back in the bathtub, which had not yet been drained.
Worst. Bedtime. Ever.
The last bedroom door in our hallway goes into our 'cat room', as well as an entry room since the previous owners installed patio doors in it. This is where we keep the litter box - and Celia is not allowed in it unsupervised.
Which is why I am constantly finding ways to block her from going past the end of the hallway, without blocking the cat from her litter box or food dish.
Enter this Rubbermaid bin.
It is actually full of Celia's old baby clothes, and just sort of landed there after a day of sorting one day and I thought it would make a good little barricade. As you can see, I was wrong. Celia got up there all by herself. At this point, she wasn't quite able to get down on her own, but she seemed quite content to hang out on it for a long period of time. I brought her some toys and books and she seemed to have a blast!
Until she got sleepy, and then it was naptime. She seemed almost willing to curl up right there and nap, but I moved her to her bed anyway.
I've always thought cats were funny, the way they will randomly hang out in the strangest places. It never occurred to me that kids would do this too.
Do your kids hang out in any strange or funny places?
I am so shocked - absolutely reeling...
I was just kicked out of a forum website for mothers because I voiced an opinion that 'the community' did not condone.
I was shocked at their response to one of my posts - because it was in no way rude or attacking or judging - I promise - and I wish I had been able to log back on to copy the posts so I could prove it, but they'd already deleted my account.
Ok, I'll just out with it and I hope I don't make any enemies here either...
There was a father on the forum who was concerned about his 4 month old infant with whom they had always co-slept, but the child was now unable to sleep at all - even for naps - without a parent within reaching distance. His question on the forum was whether he was doing the right thing, because he had been told that co-sleeping would help a child's independence, and his child seemed to have become more dependent as it grew.
His concern was that if he tried to get the baby to sleep without him - the baby would cry, and he was afraid of letting the child cry for any length of time.
All of the other responses to this post told him to wear the baby, or find ways to sleep with the baby. (I don't know if the family had any other children). This is certainly good advice, but I felt that it was not the only option for this family - and maybe constant baby-wearing wasn't something that they would be comfortable with or even able to do.
Anyway, when my daughter was a newborn, I began leaving her alone to nap regularly - even if she cried for a bit - very early. I felt that as her mother, I was learning to be in tune with her needs and since I knew when she ate, played, etc., that I had a pretty good grasp on whether or not she was ok to cry or not. So, sometimes - I let her cry. I realize that in todays society this makes me an evil mother. Or at least, I have learned this now.
Without putting down the 'babywearing' advice (I plan to babywear my second baby much more than my first for my own reasons - I am definitely NOT against babywearing...), I responded with my own experience, which I thought would give this family an alternate option .
I received an email from one of the moderators of the site - quoting my post - and saying that they did not support - ever - letting a baby cry - and that this sort of post was not welcome there.
Ok, so the real reason I was 'kicked out' probably had more to do with the email I sent afterward, but I was so shocked! This is North America! Are we not able to have different views without feeling threatened or bullied?
The email I sent afterward was again - very careful - but probably not very nice. I cautioned the site to be careful about judging differing methods of parenting as 'wrong' - and although I admitted I didn't 'fit in' there, I voiced my shock at having been 'bullied' out of the forum. One response post had suggested that a parent who would 'let their child cry' is an inattentive parent - and I made a comment about how I feel as though I'm an extremely attentive and devoted mother - and just because I may have a different 'road' to get there - doesn't mean I won't raise wonderful children. In fact, I parent very similarly to how many of 'our' parents and their parents 'parented' - were they evil parents? Are we all awful people because of their parenting? Is that why work-ethic and independence and self-confidence have actually DECREASED over the last 20 years????
Anyway, I need to end this, but I had to get it off my chest.
Some of that may have come out badly, but I'm feeling a bit defensive and hurt, so I apologize if this insults anyone. Thanks for 'listening'.
Please read my blog post from a day or two ago about child safety, and toddler helmets... obviously God has a sense of humour.
Not 48 hours after having that opinionated rant-fest, this happens...
Actually, I don't exactly know what happened, but I was sitting at my desk in the living room and my daughter was on the couch, looking out the window, which is one of her favourite activities. If you're thinking I'm completely irresponsible for leaving her alone on the couch - maybe I am - in my defense, she knows how to get off the couch safety. I have hovered over her many times and I have NEVER had to step in and actually stop her from falling - she has never before fallen.
Then I hear this insanely loud BANG!
I look over to see my daughter lying in a heap between the couch and the coffee table (not a big enough space for her to comfortable fit in the way she was oriented), and I realize what has happened, just as she begins to wail.
She has thwacked her head against the coffee table. My memory replays the BANG, and thinks surely that could NOT have been my daughter's head...
I picked her up gently and held her while she cried, watching her for signs of a concussion or something worse. She cried normally, like she always does when she hurts herself. She was wearing a bunnyhug (sorry, 'hoodie', we call them 'bunnyhug's in Saskatchewan...), so her head was all surrounded in her hood and I couldn't see most of her head. I had this terrifying image of peeling back the hood to reveal a head full of blood, but there was nothing.
Gently, I brushed the hair around on her head, trying to find out where she'd hit, and then I find it - a deep, dark purple stripe about 2 inches long above her right ear. No blood, but it looked really deep. Also, I was terrified of a concussion, and absolutely shaking in fear, so I called the local health-line.
As I was looking for the number, (after only about a minute or two of crying, really) Celia became distracted by something and decided she was finished crying. It seemed miraculous to me, that she suddenly seemed COMPLETELY normal, and entirely herself.
I stayed on the line, though, and answered about a million questions asked by a nurse who's job it is to determine if I should be taking her in to a doctor or emergency, or if I have nothing to worry about. She gave me a list of things to watch for in the next 6 hours or so, and told me that if any of these things occurred, to either call back or take Celia in.
Sigh... crisis over. She seemed fine. She still seems fine. I'm still setting my cell phone's alarm for every 15 minutes to go in and look at her, but she's ok.
And, for the record, I will NOT be purchasing a toddler helmet for her to wear around the house, although I will probably watch her a bit closer on the couch for a little while...
I'm late for another Toddle Along Tuesday with Growing Up Geeky, but I thought this was another fun one and wanted to do it anyway...
So after much thought about this particularly photo hunt - what exactly is a 'photo blooper' anyway? - I came up with these photos, not because the photos themselves were bloopers - I took them very deliberately - but because it seemed like a 'life blooper' I was catching on 'film'.
Do you see why I found this funny? Look a bit closer if you don't...
I just want to note that I did not put her soother on her face. I found her this way during an afternoon nap - I have no idea how the soother ended up there, but I thought it was hilarious anyway...
I've been a bit flaky with posting lately - between teaching piano, going to doctors appointments, trying to keep my house at least somewhat in order, look after my daughter and spend as much time as possible at the hospital with my Dad, I haven't had a lot of time to sit down at my computer...
Last week, the 'Toddle Along Tuesday' post was about traits you hoped your child did (or did not) inherit from you. Since my Dad has been on my mind constantly lately, I started thinking about the traits I inherited from him. I am proud of these things - even the ones that are not always flattering, and I hope that my daughter inherits them also...
1. Educating Yourself - Always.
My Dad taught me to read when I was 3. Really and truly, I could read full-length books before I entered kindergarten - there's a University study out there somewhere on me to prove it. My Dad never attended post-secondary, but always voiced that he wished he could go back - as an adult, when he understood the importance of learning, and had developed a passion for learning that he lacked in his earlier years. He was extremely self-educated, though. Although he had mild dyslexia, and had trouble reading, I remember him reading constantly. He learned how to build guitars and other musical instruments by reading books. When he watched tv, he watched documentaries and how-to videos. He spent all of his spare time learning. Recently I've discovered the same desire in myself. I've had to admit to myself that I rarely enjoy watching a movie - because it doesn't get anything accomplished. I'd really rather do laundry, or do some writing, or play the piano - because these things are productive - than watch a movie. Even when I'm watching a movie, I enjoy it much more if my hands are doing something at the same time... It's annoying for my movie-loving husband, but I'm ok with it. It's a good trait, and when it comes to my children - the desire to learn and 'do' will always bring more success than sitting around and waiting for things to happen for them.
2. Attention to detail
This sort of goes along with the first one. My Dad builds (or used to, anyway) musical instruments, which requires a lot of dexterity and patience. My Dad is not the most graceful person, and he sometimes makes a lot of mistakes when he's building, but he will always go back and fix it.
I remember my Dad learning specific songs on the guitar or banjo, and he would spend hours playing certain riffs over and over, making sure his fingers learned how to move exactly as they needed to. Sometimes I feel as though I could use more of this particular persistence to perfect things, but I also look back at things I have done - projects I have completed and songs I have learned - and realize there must be some of that in me after all.
This is also part of the first two... My Dad has an almost unending amount of patience. Actually, I don't think I can recall a time when he really ran out of patience. He had patience for himself when he was working on things, and he had patience with me when he taught me how to build with him, or when he was struggling through a particularly difficult book. He didn't give up, for anything.
I hope I have inherited this also, although sometimes I don't think so...
I almost never remember my Dad yelling at me. When he was angry with me, we would 'discuss' things. He has a bizarre ability to remain calm in almost any situation.
I was in a car accident when I was a teenager, and my then-boyfriend voiced his disappointment later at how calm I seemed, when he was hoping to comfort me but I really didn't seem to need it. Internally I was panicking, but I guess that didn't come across. When I called my Dad later that day to inform him of what had happened, the tone of his voice didn't waver. I heard a very calm and collected 'ok....ok....ok' as I explained to him that I was alright, but had been in an accident. My Mom told me later that she could see the look in his eyes and knew something was very wrong - but he was able to keep it together for me.
This has served me well over the years, as nothing can shake me. Sometimes I almost wish I could lose it - throw a huge, angry fit just to let off steam - but I know too well that it wouldn't really make me feel better, and I'm just not that kind of person.
5. The ability to laugh at himself.
My Dad never failed to embarrass me in a public place. Remember Mr.Bean? I hated that show. I hated that show, because so many of those situations had happened to my Dad when I was with him, hoping that no one I knew would walk by and see us. We were entering (or exiting?) a parkade once, and he had gotten his ticket and the arm should have lifted to let him drive pass, but for some reason it didn't. I don't know how long he waited, but there were people behind him so he got the brain wave to drive around the arm (we had a small car, he figured he'd see if it fit... or something... I don't actually have any clue what he was thinking...) and as he was trying to maneuver the car around the arm, it lifted and then lowered again - directly into the driver window. I have no idea how... I just remember how embarrassing it was as Dad tried to drive the car forward and backward in an attempt to free us from the parkade arm... I actually don't remember how we got out of there, but I was mortified - I remember that.
But Dad was never embarrassed. And you could always bring up the story later and he would laugh. There was nothing you couldn't bring up, actually. Once (when he actually did get really angry...) he started throwing apples in the house. (That's what was easily accessible, I think...). Mom jokes about how she was cleaning up applesauce for weeks afterward, and Dad laughs too. It doesn't bother him to bring it up - it's funny, why not laugh.
I think I'm this way too - mostly, anyway. And I hope my kids can always laugh at themselves also. Nothing is so serious in life, it's better to be able to laugh.
I'm sure I could think of more, but it's a pretty long post already, so I'll be done here. I just wanted to talk about my Dad a bit... Thanks!
It's not as gross as it sounds, really...
I had blocked out this particular gem of a pregnancy symptom since the last time I was pregnant, but it's back full-force now, so it's forced back into my reality.
Placenta Brain. It is a disorder of the brain that occurs during pregnancy in which a woman's regular thought processes are disrupted and she is unable to function in quite the same capacity as before she became pregnant. The symptoms are mild, and can be confused with average flightiness, or ditsy-ness, and in some women it may be almost indiscernible.
Last night we got home late from our Announcement Tour, and I dressed my daughter for bed and took her into the bathroom to brush her teeth. I put toothpaste on her little brush, and had just put the brush in her mouth when I noticed the shocked look on her face and realized that I hadn't used her 'toddler friendly' toothpaste - I had used our 'grown-up' toothpaste. She fussed a bit, and I tried to get her to drink a bit of water (how do you get a 14 month old to spit???) but this was completely out of her usual routine so she didn't really want to drink. Then I used her brush with water to re-brush her teeth and then used her own toothpaste to assure her that her routine was in fact, not being threatened.
I felt awful.
I have never done that.
It didn't help that when I looked online for what the risks of a baby ingesting a small amount of toothpaste was, I came across a number of forum posts that said 'Call Emergency!' or 'Call Poison Control!!!'. She hadn't had THAT much. Probably about a pin-head sized spot of it.
She's fine today, so any fears I had can be put to rest.
I still can't figure out what I was thinking...
So what I was going to write about was that it has been over 2 months since my husband and I have succumbed to a fast-food craving (particularly the late-at-night kind when we're too lazy to actually MAKE anything, and none of our leftovers look appetizing...), and so I feel ok about the fact that my husband is - right now - out there driving to pick up a couple of Big Macs.
It's acceptable, right? I thought so...
Anyway, when I uploaded this photo, it reminded me of another, probably somewhat more amusing, story.
We went on a trip to China a few years ago, and while we were visiting a 'small' village in the mountains, we were taken to a fast-food place that our hosts were fond of. They jokingly called it the chicken burger place, because they guaranteed that no matter what you ordered, you would get a chicken burger. I should note that our hosts spoke fluent Mandarin, so it couldn't possibly have been a translation issue.
When we got there, one of the guys decided to order a burger on the menu that advertised two beef patties. He laughed and speculated that it would probably come with one chicken and one beef patty. He was right, and I wish I'd taken a picture. We safely chose to order chicken, just so we wouldn't be disappointed, but a number of our friends ordered other things and most of them were given chicken instead...
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