A post on readiness

April 21, 2010 at 11:00 am (Family, Opinion, Parenting, Toddler, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

This age seems to come with a lot of judgment.  Yes, I know I’ve said that before, but now, at 2 years old there seems to be a whole new set of “things” that need to be accomplished in a certain time frame.  I am once again wondering who makes up these rules and why people care so much.  I am referring to: potty training, big kid bed, pacifier, and school.  One more lesson to add to my book of things I’ve learned as a mom: take their lead, trying to force things or push because other people do it, will backfire.  Oh, and other people see what you’re doing and why.

Potty Training.  I got Alexis a potty chair about 6 months ago and she uses it off and on.  She sometimes sits on it by herself and I always encourage it, sometimes she goes sometimes she just unspools the toilet paper roll.  I am pretty consistent about putting her on there a couple times a day and I praise her when she goes.  But, I know she’s not ready to really potty train.  She doesn’t tell me before she has to go and doesn’t really care if she walks around with a wet diaper.  I know that I could put her on the potty every 15 or 20 minutes and keep her in panties and claim she’s potty trained, but to me, that’s cheating.  In my opinion, real potty training is when they tell you they have to go, of course with reminders from us, but not constant timed trips to the bathroom.  That’s a good way of teaching them and helping them once they show signs of being ready, but its not being potty trained.  When she’s ready (hopefully soon) I’ll know it and it’ll be easy.

Big Kid Bed. This is one thing that I actually don’t want to do.  I want to keep her in a crib as long as I possibly can.  She’s a great sleeper so why mess with a good thing?  Well, safety.  At 36″ tall, it has now become unsafe for her to remain in her crib.  She has not yet attempted to escape, but she can hang over the top rail and she jumps on the mattress like its a trampoline.  And I hold my breath.  Since I’m not too keen on waiting until she falls out and gets potentially injured, we purchased a toddler bed.  I should mention that something happened about a week before the purchase, she started fighting us to go to sleep – crying, hysterical fits about being left alone and waking once or twice at night.  I figured, she’s sleeping like crap, can’t be any worse, let’s take her crib away!  We took the crib down, put the toddler bed together, along with pretty new sheets with butterflies and ladybugs on it.  Babyproofed her room so she couldn’t injure herself if she decided to wander in the middle of the night.  She loved the bed, climbed right in, covered herself and seemed content.  Success I thought!  Wrong.  When it came time to go to sleep, I sat with her because I figured it would take a couple nights to get used to it.  It took her a long time to fall asleep.  Then she proceeded to wake up 3 or 4 times at night (can’t remember).  Around 6am, I gave up and brought her to bed with us and she slept there.  Fast forward 4 nights later, now the sleeping is turning into hysterics.  I tried letting her cry it out, which I’ve never been a fan of but has worked successfully in the recent past after one night and not a lot of crying.  This did not work.  It took an hour the first night and it included banging on the walls and door and saying “owie”.   Middle of the night was no better.  I gave up after the 3rd time around 5am she came to bed with us.  The next night was no better, actually it was worse.  I couldn’t do it.  After an hour and no improvement and me totally stressed out.  I knew she was tired, she hadn’t napped that day, I threw in the towel.  We put the crib back up and I planned to take her to the dr the following day.  She slept in her crib but still slept horribly.  The next day at the dr I found out why – 2 back molars coming in, me not giving her enough motrin for her weight, ear pain, and ringworm rash on her ankle, I’m sure these things were messing with her sleep and making her uncomfortable and not herself.  She was trying to tell me, but didn’t know how.  So, the crib is still up, she’s not sleeping great yet, but better.  Once she returns to normal, then we will give the toddler bed another shot.

Pacifier.  I know I said it would be gone by age 2, and it’s not.  See above for my reasons why.  I have prioritized.  The pacifier is not a big enough deal to me right now and I won’t do it before she moves to a toddler bed.  She mainly uses it for sleeping and the car only.  I keep one with me when we’re out for true emergencies.  I am just not willing to deal with the trauma that it will cause just yet.  It will be gone soon, but I’m not ready and I don’t think she is either.  It comforts her and helps her sleep, so what is the big deal?  Because other moms will judge me?  Oh well.  I’m sure it wouldn’t be the first time.

School.  I looked at schools.  I tried to like them.  Can’t do it, sorry.  I would LOVE to have a few hours  to myself a week, I really really would.  But I just could not see leaving her yet.  I’m a stay at home mom.  This is my job.  I am responsible for her education, entertainment, feeding, changing, etc and I don’t want to share that responsibility.  She gets one on one attention from me and would not get that at school and it really breaks my heart to think of her being upset or crying or scared and just being one of 10 kids in a class.  For the time being, she gets her socialization from the classes we go to and the playdates and the park and that will just have to be enough.  I’m thinking of starting her this fall when she’s 2.5, but I may change my mind and wait until she’s 3, we’ll see.  As for her speech which was slow at first, when I took her to the dr (not my usual one, a new one) this week for her sleep issues the dr mentioned how great her speech is.  So, even without school she has learned to speak just fine, it happened after she turned 2, it was like a faucet turned on.

For all the things she’s not ready for yet, there have been plenty that she is ready for.  She walked before her first birthday, she was jumping like a bunny way before kids are “supposed” to be able to jump.  She has excellent coordination and can walk a balance beam in gym class like kids older than her, can ride a tricycle.  She does puzzles meant for 3 year olds, counts to 20, spells her name, knows all the letters, etc.  She is also a fabulous eater, the list of foods she won’t eat is very short.  Loves fruits and veggies and is the opposite of picky.

So, for all the holier than thou moms out there, or the ones that feel the need to keep up with the Joneses, or be competitive, do what works for you.  And, especially, all the not yet parents who love to say “I would never” or “can you believe she still…”  I’m not talking about all mommies.  I know some whose kids have been ready and have done the above things already and I am so happy for them! (and a little jealous).  I think they should brag about it, but I can tell the difference between the moms who do it out of a sense of pride and those that do it to compete.  And if anyone is judging me for my choices, go right ahead.  I’m the mommy, I make the decisions.  She will only be little once and I am confident that she will not go to high school with a pacifier or a diaper and that she will be sleeping in a big bed soon enough.  So, judge away.  While you’re at it I can give you other things to be judgey about – I give my kid sweets, keep the tv on all day because I can’t stand quiet, I have no problem bribing her in a store with a toy or food so i can get some shopping done, oh yeah and she’s spoiled.  But, she’s happy and so am I and to me that’s what’s important.

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I admit it, I’m over protective

February 8, 2010 at 11:02 pm (Baby, Family, Friends, Opinion, Parenting, Toddler) (, , , )

But I would rather be over protective than under protective and regretful.  I just finished watching an episode of Oprah about child sex offenders.  These men all knew the children they molested.  Family members or close friends.  I don’t remember the exact statistic they said but I believe it was 90% of victims know their abuser.  People are sick and twisted, there is no question about that.

Being mom to a young daughter, unfortunately i think about these things.  She is innocent and does not know about evil people and cannot fathom that there are people who would want to hurt her.   Its my job to keep it that way.  No, I would not leave her with a babysitter who I did not know.  She was 18 months before I left her with anyone who was not family.  And even then it was because I had surgery and needed the help, but I was there with her most of the time.  And she was someone who came highly recommended from family.

I am mainly skeeved about diaper changes.  There are only a very very limited number of people who I feel need to be seeing her privates.  So even if it’s me changing her, I’m cautious about who is around, I don’t do it if there are people around who can look. Because, again, people are SICK.  I don’t like lap-sitting for the most part either, depends on the person, but again the number of people is very small.  It makes me uncomfortable.

I want  to raise her to be strong and have a voice and a mouth and be very familiar with the word NO (though she seems to have that one down pat).  Yes, I will teach her all about staying away from strangers, but there are a lot of non-strangers that can be worse.  I will have to find the balance between making her aware and cautious without making her fearful and nervous.

One of the most important things that I heard in the Oprah show was from one of the sex offenders he said (I’m paraphrasing) ‘if a child says they were molested, believe them, kids don’t lie about this’.  That really struck a nerve with me.  I can’t imagine ever not believing Alexis if she told me anything happened to her, but I know it happens.  People don’t want  to cause trouble in families or think the kids are looking for attention.  I know that if she ever told me anything like that, I would not be responsible for my actions towards the person.

I would rather question people and their intentions than be too trusting because you just never know.

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Let them eat cake!!

April 28, 2009 at 2:47 pm (Baby, Cooking, Eating Out, Family, Opinion, Parenting) (, , , )

Disclaimer: this is only my opinion – no offense to any mommies out there.

I was just reading one of the message boards I frequent filled with moms of Toddlers from 12-24 months and a mom posted a “dilemma” her word, not mine, because she didn’t know what to give her daughter for her birthday cake.  Come on! Give her cake.  I am all about being health conscious and teaching Alexis to eat healthy.  I buy organic when I can and make sure that she eats fruits and vegetables every day.   It has paid off because she is a great eater.  She loves broccoli, asparagus, corn, tomatoes, etc.  Not to mention all variety of fruits.  She has fish once a week and all the other meats.

However, I do allow her to have “junk food” also.  When we go out to eat I will give her french fries – not an entire order but a few.  I control what she eats not her.  So as long as she is eating whatever food I got her then she can have a few french fries.  She likes them.  She has also had cookies, chocolate, cake, and (gasp!) cake batter!  I believe in moderation and I know how happy chocolate makes me so why not allow my daughter to indulge a bit.  Again, as long as it is in moderation and as long as she eats the healthy food as well.  I think it’s important to have variety and that includes the bad stuff!  There are a few things that I will not allow – soda is one of them.  I do not think there is anything even slightly good about drinking soda so I will keep her away from that as long as possible.

I know there is an obesity epidemic and kids are heavier than ever which is why I do believe in moderation.  When I take her to fast food places, I opt for the healthy options for her – the apple fries, milk, I take half the bread off the cheeseburger and make sure she has tomoato on the burger.   When she’s old enough, I will enroll her in sports to make sure that she is not a sedentary child.

Anyway, I say, Let them eat cake!!!!! They are kids after all 🙂

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Confessions

January 29, 2009 at 12:03 pm (Baby, Opinion, Parenting) (, )

Here goes:

I let Alexis watch TV even though the American Academy of Pediatrics says no TV until age 2.   Sometimes it just helps me get things done,  I can fold laundry or wash dishes.  I don’t let her eatch tv all day long and I don’t let her watch inappropriate shows, but she likes Yo Gabba Gabba, Backyardigans, and the Sprout channel and she also likes Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!.

I bring Alexis into bed with me when I’m too exhausted to help her fall back asleep.  This is not something that I do frequently, but if she wakes in the middle of the night and will not fall back asleep usually due to teething pain, I do not have the heart to let her cry so I bring her into bed until she falls back asleep.  Or if she wakes too early in the morning, she comes into bed.  She usually wakes up between 8 – 8:30 sometimes earlier.  I will get up if it’s at least 7:30, but any earlier I just can’t do it, so she comes into bed.

I give her food she shouldn’t be eating yet.  Chocolate, mainly.  Yes, most of the time she eats healthy but if I’m having something yummy i give her a taste.

I have 2 blankets in her crib and they have been there since she has been in there.  Actually, I covered her with a blanket in her bassinet b/c she hated being swaddled.  Even when I did swaddle her with her arms out, I still added an additional blanket.  Our house is cold and I didn’t want her to be cold.  When I put her in the crib, I would tuck the blanket into the mattress at the bottom of the crib.  By that point she was able to pick herself up and she would cry if anything happened to her.  I would check on her at first to make sure she was ok and she was so I felt comfortable leaving it there.  Now the blankets are a bit heavier since it’s cooler outside.

I also have bumpers in her crib.  They are not only cute, but they keep her from bumping her head.  See above for picking her head up, rolling over, and crying if there was an issue.

I know a lot of these things are no-nos but I’m the mom and I would not do anything that I felt would be dangerous to Alexis.  So there it’s out I’ve confessed!!!!

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Alexis is 11 months old today!!!!

January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm (Baby, Family, Parenting) (, , )

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One more month and the first year is over – it’s incredible!!  She has gotten so big it’s hard to believe.  She is extremely active these days.  She crawls all over the place, she stands without support and she cruises a lot.  She’ll be walking soon I’m sure.  She is talking more also – she says bye-bye, leche, and sometime she says upa (spanish for “up”).  She definitely has a strong personality and knows what she wants.  She likes being on the floor most of the time playing with her toys.  She can also eat with a spoon now.  Not well, but she can do it.  When I put food on the spoon, she knows how to put it into ther mouth to eat.  She is a very good eater and I still haven’t found anything she won’t eat.  She has 8 teeth – 4 top and 4 bottom and her molars are starting to come in but haven’t yet broken through.  She’s a lot of fun and likes to giggle and laugh.  She is very vocal.  She is also very squirmy and makes changing her extremely difficult!  The minute I lay her down she flips over and tried to get away so it’s always a fight changing her.  Luckily I stopped using a changing table a long time ago and I just use the floor.  I haven’t weighed her really, but I put her on our scale and it said 21 pounds which sounds right.    That’s about it.  I’m planning her 1st birthday party now and I just can’t believe how fast this first year has gone by!!!

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When did I become a mom?

August 11, 2008 at 5:08 pm (Baby, Parenting, Uncategorized) (, )

Was it when I was pregnant?  When Alexis was born?  Or some other time?  Well, I guess technically I was a mom when I got pregnant, when I started doing things for the yet-to-be known human growing inside me.  I changed the way I ate, what i drank, medicines I took, and I was always a bit more careful with my actions.  Once I found out I was having a girl, I was able to connect more and really begin to “see” the baby.  Then when Alexis was born and it was a real baby, a baby I could hold then I really was a mom.  I had to sign papers that said so!

But I really think it happened later than that.  The first few weeks are crazy.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I was feeding and changing like I was supposed to.  I would pick her up when she cried, but I really didn’t know what to do.  I had no confidence, when she cried I had no idea why she was crying, I was guessing.  She thrived and got bigger and did what she was supposed to be doing so I guess I was doing things right.  But boy I was not sure back then.  I could not look on that time with the perspective I have now and think it will get better, things aren’t always this crazy.   So, recently I realized that I’m a mom.  I know what I’m doing.  I’m confident in my decisions.  I have gotten Alexis to sleep through the nigth sucessfully.  I have gotten her moved to her crib from her bassinet and I got her to nap in her crib when previously she would only nap in her swing.  I make decisions based on my knowledge of my daughter.  I don’t feel like I need to ask my mom / friends for their approval on whether I’m doing things right.  Not that I don’t still ask b/c I still like having advice from those who have been there.  I know what I’m doing is right.  When Alexis cries these days, I can *usually* tell why – hunger, tiredness, grouchiness, etc.  Not always of course, but more often than not.  Alexis has become a central part of my life and I can’t remember before she was around!  Now, I feel like I’m a mom, not just someone with a baby.  She knows me, looks for me when I’m not around.  I’m sure it’s different for everyone, I ‘m sure there are some who feel like the minute they find out they’re pregnant.  But for me, while I loved her from the moment I knew she existed, I didn’t feel like mom until later!

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