Archive for the ‘
Home Life ’ Category
Sunday, December 30th, 2012
2 years, 1 month.
I now wrap up the year 2012 with a noteworthy milestone in your life: Mommy and I just tucked you in for the night, for the first time… in your “big boy bed.”
No more crib for you. You have graduated into the day bed version.
Look how proud you are in this picture!
At long last, you are now sleeping like a 2 year-old, not a baby.
Son, tonight was your Bed Mitzvah.
This change in your life also is aligned with your parents’ more deliberate focus on helping your become potty trained.
Yesterday at T. J. Maxx, Mommy and I bought you 3 metal Chuggington trains. We explained to you that for the next 3 times you go pee-pee on the potty, you get to open a new train. (Sure, it’s an unavoidable pun: We’re potty training you.)
As an added bonus, you have recently received a surprisingly relevant gift last week that helps you sleep easier for your naps… a Thor indoor play tent.
It’s random because you have no idea who Thor is yet. You call it your tunnel.
“I can sleep in my tunnel?”
While attempting to get you to go to sleep for your afternoon naps on the weekends has always been a struggle, this new “tunnel” of yours is a pretty cool thing.
It has a side door which I pop my head in to read you a quick story. You never seem to mind when I slip out the door afterwords. Two hours later, you wake up and you’re ready to play again.
I just wish we would have known the wonders of a tunnel sooner!
So between your new “big boy bed” and your “tunnel,” I’d say things are pretty exciting in the world of sleeping, for you.
To this day, whenever Mommy and I ask you if you’re ready to go to sleep, as we can clearly see you are, you’ve never said yes.
Here’s to my wishful thinking that might change now that you’ve had your Bed Mitzvah…
I know, it’s asking too much.
Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
2 years, 1 month.
In a couple of days, we will be loading up the Honda and making the 3 hour journey to my hometown of Fort Payne, Alabama to spend the Christmas holiday with my side of the family.
There is definitely potential for this road trip to be stressful…for all of us. So I want to do my part to make this as easy as possible for our family.
I’ve compiled a “2012 Christmas Vacation Family Road Trip Checklist” for us to go by. Let’s take a look:
For the car: snacks, bottled water, toys, books, crayons and coloring book, clean-up wipes and/or Kleenex, sunglasses, travel blanket, small garbage bag, iPod/CD’s
Necessary electronics: cellphone and charger, camera and charger, laptop and charger, compact DVD player and DVDs
For the destination: the Christmas gifts and cards, food to contribute to the Christmas dinner, family tradition activities (like board games and playing cards)
Toiletries: diapers, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, contacts and contact solution, razor, unmentionables
Clothes: underwear, socks, t-shirts, casual and dress shoes, outdoor play clothes, indoor play clothes, church clothes, warm coat, light jacket, pajamas, hats
It seems that no matter how hard we try to prevent it, we always end up forgetting to pack something. I’m not saying this year will be the exception, but it’s worth a shot.
I designed the list with you in mind. In particular, I asked myself, “How can I do my best to keep Jack from being bored and/or hungry?”
We will pack some of your favorite toy trains, stuffed animals, plenty of Goldfish crackers in plastic baggies, a blanket for you to “make a house” with in the back seat, and even the Carbon Leaf CD which has several of the songs from the soundtrack to your favorite movie, Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey!
If you’re happy, then Mommy’s happy, and that means I’m happy.
Now, let’s start packing…
Saturday, December 1st, 2012
I always do a courtesy announcement whenever I’m about to go potty, because usually you rush to the occasion of being able to carefully observe how to stand in front of the toilet.
You’ll run over from the other room with metal trains in hand and shut the door behind us, leaving Mommy out of the show.
It’s a process you treat with respect. You never try to drop your train in the toilet. You don’t really even speak, except sometimes to say, “Daddy’s all done,” as you reach for the flusher.
Tonight though, you surprised me. As soon as you joined me in the restroom, you informed me: “I go potty too.”
So Mommy ran upstairs and grabbed your training potty so you and me could go at the same time. This happened in our downstairs half-bathroom, where the only place to put your potty was behind me.
It was quickly positioned in a way that made you choose between facing and watching me or facing the opposite direction and standing in front of your potty.
Well, you sort of chose both.
You faced and watched me, while standing and peeing directly on the floor, about a half an inch from my foot.
Mommy and I were actually proud just to see you acknowledge that you had to pee and attempt to go in the potty.
I just need to figure out a way to set up your training potty right next to mine so we can go side by side. Evidently that’s the way I teach you a lot of things, from playing cars to drawing to shouting “Oh no, crash!” at the TV while watching Thomas & Friends on Netflix.
Granted, I see a lot of things going wrong with the idea of potty-training you side by side with me, but if you’re so passionate about learning to pee standing up by doing so while watching Daddy do it, then I want to support your kinesthetic/visual learning style.
I’ll have to see what I can work out…
Thursday, November 29th, 2012
You can’t always change how you feel, but you can choose to decide how you’ll react to how you feel.
In other words, emotions are automatic; behavior is controllable.
That’s the lesson I was forced to teach you today.
I’m not gonna lie. This morning was the most difficult morning I’ve ever had with you.
It was rough! For both of us. Simply exhausting.
After getting you through the front door, I picked up on the fact you weren’t able to let it go that “YouTube time” was over and you had to go to school.
As I attempted to buckle you in your car seat, you screamed at me while bowing out your back, making it impossible for me to strap you in without possibly bruising you, as you violently resisted me.
So I took away your graham crackers and toy train.
That got your attention. I was able to buckle you in your seat as your focus was no longer about fighting me and now you were just simply angry at me for taking away your pre-breakfast snack and morning ride entertainment.
I started up the car and turned around to explain to you the deal, as you began your hostile emotional meltdown:
“Jack, listen. I’m going to give you your crackers and your toy; all you have to do is just one thing: Calm down. That means if you simply stop crying for a few seconds and stop screaming, you’ll get what you want.”
Your response, in a faux German accent: “MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE!!!”
For the following 18 minutes, as I drove towards the interstate, it was a back and forth battle between the two of us: I would explain that all you had to do was calm down for a few seconds, you would retaliate with the equivalent of the Tasmanian Devil cursing.
I held a graham cracker in my hand just waiting for a 2 second pause in your crying. Finally, it happened. I slipped you one cracker.
Then you realized how it worked. If you calmed down, you got the very thing you were demanding.
By the second half of our drive to daycare, you had earned back all your crackers, as well as, your toy train.
Right now, at the age of 2, your emotional intelligence isn’t that high. Being able to manage your emotions is not easy for you.
So that means it’s my job to help you with that.
Your meltdowns seem to be triggered mainly when you are told no. Therefore, my main goal is to help you learn not to cry and get upset when I can’t, or won’t, give you what you want.
On the drive home tonight, I purposely avoided turning down the cul-de-sac with all the inflatable Snoopy Christmas yard decorations that you love to see. Instead, I wanted to test how you’d react.
Son, you did well. You accepted my rejection.
That means next time, you’ll definitely get to see Snoopy.
The more you can handle being told no, the more I will tell you yes.
I know it’s a struggle for you right now, but let me tell you, it’s even a challenge for me as an adult to be told no. I promise I know how you feel.
Sunday, November 25th, 2012
The day after Thanksgiving, Mommy and I had to go work, so your Nonna and Papa came up to visit and take care of you.
When I got home, Nonna told me how you kept telling her, “Mama and Daddy go to doctor.”
These days, you have random words floating around your head at any given moment, so you are often spitting out sentences that, while they make sense, aren’t actually true at all.
No, Mommy and I haven’t gone to the doctor; specifically, we haven’t gone there to confirm a pregnancy or get a sonogram. That’s because Mommy’s not pregnant.
But you sure had Nonna wondering.
Jack, you definitely may be an only child. That’s something Mommy and I have been very open about with everyone.
We don’t think it should be weird to only have one kid. In fact, it’s a wonderful and respectable idea.
However, I am willing to admit, now that you’re 2… I’m not completely opposed to the idea of having another kid, like I basically was just a couple of months ago.
No offense, but you’re a lot easier to take care of now. I’m not feeling overwhelmed or slightly angry like I was before.
It also has to do with me feeling more secure at my job as I am getting HR certified. It has to do with Mommy and I getting closer to being out of debt. And it has to do with neither of us being stressed out quite as much.
Like I said in my letter to you on your 2nd birthday last week, “The younger you were, the more difficult being a dad was. I was so clueless, even a year ago.”
I recently realized that I no longer feel clueless as your dad. I am much more prone to take on any challenge if I already sort of know what I’m doing.
A couple of weeks ago, Mommy asked you, “Jack, do you want a brother or a sister?”
You instantly answered, “Stister.”
That’s no typo- you literally said “stister.”
We’ll keep that in mind. But I still don’t think you’ll be a big brother anytime soon. Give us at least a year or two.