Monthly Archives: February 2013

Thing number 291 that you hear about having two kids before you have two kids that you ultimately find to be true once you have two kids: you take less photos of the second one. Now anyone who’s linked to me on instagram, twitter and/or facebook might find that statement to be implausible based on the social media salvo of snappies that I unleash on a regular basis, a good percentage of which include or are solely of Crosby, but I swear if you compared the actual quantity of photos taken from Norah’s first seven months to Crosby’s, she’d win by a margin of at least 25%. I am conscious of this and it does stress me out because I do want to have just as many mind-blowingly adorable moments captured from Crosby’s youth as I do Norah’s, but with two wee ones in tow it’s ever so slightly more challenging to remember to get the good camera out. Thank goodness for the handy dandy iPhone lest there be such a disparity as to cause some questions from teenage Crosby about favoritism.  All of that said, every now and then we’re successful at snatching the ‘ol Pentax from its roost in the kitchen and clicking a frame or two, so I figured I should actually share some of those moments with the people that love our dear little buds almost as much as we do.

IMGP4608Early December hanging out in the kitchen with the dogs on daddy day. That exersaucer came to us all the way from the faraway land of the Florida Elders and afforded us much baby holding time for both kiddos. It now lives down the street where it will soon house yet another adorable baby.

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Mid January good times on the weekend in the bear’s room. Yes he is almost always this happy. Also, that’s an Eagles blanket he’s laying on and his sleeper is orange and blue. Start ’em young!

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Walker time sporting a super stylish outfit care of the Khannas. Buds looks good in green and blue! The walker is his (read: our) best friend. He really gets moving in that thing and is quite the little navigator. Our ped once suggested that walkers are questionable because of something about how they encourage toe walking and that doesn’t help babies learn to actually walk. Well guess what? Norah was walking by one with no problems and oh, also, it makes Crosby super happy. So take that.

IMGP5296A couple weeks ago at bath time, Norah decided that Crosby was having too much fun in his whale tub without her and so she climbed in with him and they had a grand ‘ol time. I’m sure was saying something about how she doesn’t like Crosby at some point during the event, likely while she was smiling and laughing because, well, she’s crazy.

IMGP5551And for every 10 heart achingly adorable, gush worthy snappies, there’s one of these. But come on! Still somehow cute.

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Captured mere moments after Crosby went forehead first off the bed landing, as luck would have it, on my somewhat cushy slipper. While that perhaps saved him from any broken skin or blood, he still cried horribly hard for at least three whole minutes and immediately formed this delightful little bruise just under his hairline. I take responsibility for this one as I was supposed to be preventing any such happening by actually watching him with both eyes when Norah got up in my face claiming she peed in her pants (she didn’t). I was distracted just long enough for him to take the plunge. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t ever so briefly consider the possibility that Norah planned the whole thing. Toddler cunning is fierce. The cut under his eye is a self-inflicted baby-dagger-fingernail wound.

I’ll do my absolute best to keep the camera snapping so as not to deprive anyone of oodles of Crosbyness!

Elderland out. XO.

I feel the need to share (read: admit) something about our parenting tactics. I wouldn’t consider this a confession as there’s no guilt on my part, and it certainly isn’t a soapbox speech proselytizing to the parenting masses because I feel our way is THE way. I’ve simply come to a realization that something I hadn’t expected to be a large part of our parenting repertoire has indeed become an oft used page in our playbook. So here it goes.

We Elders as parents offer our toddler bribes. Rewards? Incentives? Reinforcements? Call them whatever you want, spin it however you like, it’s all the same game and it’s a winner. I suppose the proper term depends on the situation. Bribes or incentives come before an action or behavior, rewards and reinforcements come after, and honestly, we do it all. The parenting “experts” will have you believe that bribing is evil and rewarding is good, and I believe that there are certain instances where the dividing line is bold, but that’s most definitely not always the case and grey area abounds. Like every parenting topic out there a quick Google search of the matter revelas a bazillion articles, blog posts and forum threads elaborating on the many schools of thought, but there’s some consistency in the fact that the opposition to bribery mostly occurs in the form of an article written by some sort of doctor that may or may not actually have children of their own, while the proponents tend to be real life parents blogging about their real life experiences. Okay, okay, the article writing doctors probably have some “research” and “case studies” to support their claims but neither of those things matter a poo when you’re in the parenting trenches, exhausted, dirty, hungry and losing your freakin’ mind. And also, on a side note, how exactly does one earn the title of “parenting expert”? What amazing feat do you have to accomplish to be dubbed an absolute authority on one of the most impossibly broad topics in the universe? Sure, your ideas about how certain aspects of child rearing should go down likely apply to and work for a lot of mommies and daddies, but certainly not all of them because every child is different in so many ways, so it seems absolutely unreasonable to think that any one person could be an expert in all things related to the fine (read: absurdly insane) art of parenting. Side note over, point being: I’m a firm believer that in situations like this, where what’s in question is not related to the health or safety of your child because in those cases you probably should listen to the experts, you’ve got to do what’s best for you. If it works for you, you feel okay about it, and any child rearing partner in your life is on the same page, go with it. And so it is with us and bribery.

For example: Most toddlers are picky eaters and this can be frustrating, even infuriating. Norah actually does eat well a good percentage of the time and though her inexperienced palette may involuntarily expel certain things that she was at least willing to try she enjoys all sorts of healthy foods. That said, there are always (quite frequently) those days when her little toddler emotions overtake her rationality and she seems disinterested in anything comestible. “I just don’t want anything at all” she half sobs into her hand (number one sign of fake crying: hand to the mouth). At times it’s easy enough to just say fine and wait until she comes around, but when you’ve got a schedule to attend to and you need to be sure that some sort of nutrition is consumed by a deadline, there are ways to encourage her to eat. Such as letting her watch YouTube videos. This works like a charm 99% of the time. Now, what we have to be cautious about, and in this case the experts and I concur, is that we don’t run this play so often that it becomes engrained in her mind as permanently associated with eating. If we’re busting out the laptop for some Mother Goose Club sing-alongs every other time she eats we’ll quickly find ourselves fighting to get her to eat anything ever without that extra incentive. I feel that we’re pretty selective about its usage and have thus far succeeded in making it work for us.

Example two: Norah has been peeing in the potty for at least six months, but she has thrown all out tantrums at the thought of going number two in a toilet. I have no explanation for why the otherwise quotidian porcelain throne became an object of torturous terror when it came to the act of pooing, but it was serious business and really hard to watch at times. The poor girl would pace around uncomfortably, crying about her bum hurting, begging to go to sleep (sleepy time = diaper = poo in peace) and no amount of comforting talk or encouragement could get her to sit on the potty and do the only thing that would make her feel better. We offered everything short of a pony to try and get her to poo in the loo, but special treats and gifts didn’t have their usual magical powers in this situation. Until this past Sunday. Pete went out in the morning to get eggs and Dunkin’ Donuts was on the way (nope, not on the way at all) so he grabbed a box of munchkins. Norah has had her fair share of sugary goodness in her 2.5 years but I’m not sure she’d ever consumed the delight that is a donut hole. She was all ooohhs and aaahhs over the pretty pink and orange box and we let her eat half of one after she finished her actual breakfast. A bit later she was sitting on the kitchen counter hanging out with me talking about how she wanted another donut to which I replied sure thing, just go poopy in the potty. She refused, but not with her usual drama, and then a few moments later said I need to go potty. I took her in the bathroom with just the tiniest inkling of hope and she climbed up on to the toilet and I sat on the floor. She peed almost immediately and then said don’t get me up. I of course obliged, hope rising, looked away, heard a couple toots (wow, yes, I am really writing about poop and toots) and then she said I’m done. Did you poop I asked her? And she got the biggest damn grin ever on her face and exclaimed I did!! I squealed and jumped up and down and she smiled and laughed and we danced and cheered and then of course flushed and washed hands, and then we went into the kitchen to let her pick out any donut hole she wanted. Dude. If giving my daughter one little donut hole as a reward gets her to overcome some irrational toddler fear, fuck yeah I’ll do it. Of course I also told her how proud and happy she made me and honestly this is just as rewarding to her, but I think the donut hole was a nice bonus. Today she did it again and though we’re fully prepared for the occasional setback, we’re so damn excited to be progressing.

There are lots of other examples, but I think you catch my drift. I’m sure at some point before I actually had a toddler of my own I renounced this form of negotiation, especially that of offering special treats for certain behaviors, and surely I judged someone else for doing so. Lesson learned and once again proof positive that thou who knows not, shall judge not.

Elderland out. XO.

saturday

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Every morning when I go in to get Norah, after she has stood at the gate in her doorway hollering “mommy, mommy, come get me!” enough times to convince me that on that day, like every other day, she is most definitely not going to just magically climb back into bed and go to sleep, one of the first things she says to me other than “Norah’s awake.” (thanks princess obvious) is “today’s not a work day?” And since during a standard week five out of seven times the answer to that question is that it is indeed a work day, my heart sinks a little bit every morning on most days. She then says “but you’re not going to work yet?” to which I reply “no, not yet, we can hang out while I get ready.” If it’s later in the week I tell her how many days are left until the weekend when mommy gets to stay home for two whole days, and so goes our current routine. Which is all to say that Saturdays are so important to us so I thought why not recap this Saturday in Elderland…

Around 5:50 AM I heard the call of the bear from down the hall and cringed a little at the absurdly early hour, but also felt pretty confident that I could get her to go back to sleep. I think 6 is actually the breaking point for her. If it’s before 6, even though she clearly can’t tell time, I can convince her that it’s not time to get up yet and tuck her back in which will hold for anywhere from 30 – 90 more minutes. After 6, forget it. She knows and “Norah’s awake” is steadfastly declared in a way that says don’t even think about trying to put me back in bed. So yay 5:50! She went back to sleep and so did I, and the next time I heard anything from her it was 7:30–that’s major sleeping in around here. At that fine hour I much more cheerily hopped out of bed and went to her room to find that she had taken off her night time diaper, wiped herself, and put on her swim outfit. “Can we go at the pool now?” Pete had told her on Friday evening that we “might” go to the pool over the weekend and that girl doesn’t forget a thing nor does she understand the word “might.” So I explained to her that we had a good few hours before pool time which she accepted with little drama but insisted on keeping her swim outfit on even though it’s damn cold in our house and I’m still bitching with pants, slippers and a hoodie that I’m not quite warm enough. Crosby and Pete woke up around this time as well and we went about our normal Saturday morning routine of eating breakfast, hanging out in the kitchen, and planning our day.

After Crosby’s morning nap we loaded everyone and of all our crap into the car to head to the Triangle Sportsplex. It’s mighty nice to have an indoor pool 15 or so minutes down the road for days when it’s annoyingly frigid outside and your 2.5 year old doesn’t understand why we can’t spend the whole day playing at the park. As soon as I sat down in my seat and looked up at the windshield I blurted out some string of obscenities because there in front of me was a giant crack. I knew a rock or something had hit it the night before on the way home from work, but of course there was no crack when I went to bed and of course I didn’t try to find some late night glass service to get it before it was too late and of course now it’s too late. I can’t count the number of windshields Pete and I have seen destroyed by wayward road ricochets and now my pretty newish car, the first newish car we’ve had in almost 10 years, is horribly blemished. Pete still believes we might be able to have it repaired, but I’ve accepted defeat and will now just see how long I can deal with staring at this maddening fissure before I crack (PUN!) and spend the money to have the windshield replaced.

Anyway! The pool was super fun. Crosby and Norah both love being in the water and the four of us, plus some random 4 year old named Sofia whose dad weirdly dropped her off and then went to swim laps (sure, we’ll watch her for you?), spent the whole time wading around the kiddie pool, playing with Norah’s pink inflatable boat and splashing and kicking and just having a grand ol’ summer style time on a winter day. Once home, it was time for mommy and daddy to attend to separate activities–Pete headed over to our friend’s house to work on the door for the dining room to Crosby’s room conversion (another post, I swear I’ll write it) and I solicited babysitting help from my mom so I could get in a chilly 8 mile run (half marathon in June!). Norah and Crosby both took two hour plus naps (WHAT?!) and then we were all back together again and it was time for everyone to get clean.

Norah, who absolutely loves playing in water in any way she can get it, is typically a huge fan of the shower and so Pete and I both often take her in with us. Being that she’d doused herself in chlorine earlier that day it was necessary that a shower happen at some point before bed and so as Pete prepared to take one himself I began to also ready Norah. Unfortunately, for some unexplained reason that also explains any number of other irrational behaviors our favorite toddler exhibits, Norah decided that she was absolutely, positively 100% against taking a shower at that time and proceeded to scream her pretty little head off as though standing under that stream of water was the greatest torture she’d ever experienced. As parents we’re not keen on giving in to tantrums and as I stated previously that shower was necessary, so through her wales of crazy Pete proceeded with scrubbing her down. Crosby too was in need of cleansing and I undressed him while waiting for Norah’s torture to be over. Once done, she stepped up out of the shower bin and onto the tile step, still balling, and I handed nakie baby to Pete. And then, I kid you not, as soon as Crosby was completely transfered from my hands to his, Norah ceased her sobfest and said in the calmest voice possible “I want to shower again.” Shutthefuckup.

For dinner we treated Grandma to some La Fiesta which went smashingly well in terms of multi-kid restaurant experiences and then it was off to bed for all of us after one super great Saturday.

Sunday rocked too. Booo for the weekend being over. Elderland out! XO.