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Posts Tagged ‘stay at home moms’

Yes, I put C in daycare today.  Which is somewhat shocking because I am a stay at home mom.  So let me explain.

1. C really needs to be exposed to other children.  We’ve done classes or play groups, but he usually wants to stick close to me rather than engage the other kids.  So really, C needs to be around other kids specifically when I’m not there.

2. C is very dependent on me.  Or maybe we’re co-dependent.  I don’t know and I’m not going to use this moment to analyze the Freudian nightmare I may have created.  Let’s just focus on the fact that my husband was largely absent for the first 20 months of C’s life.  So C had me.  And I had him.  And we were always together.  Maybe too much together, I don’t know.  The point is that now he does not like being away from me.  He rarely goes to anyone else and if he does it is for a short amount of time.  When he was sick, on and off these last two weeks (that is an entirely different post), he largely refused to leave my side, nay my arms.  So maybe we could both use a little away time.

3. My aunt runs the daycare I dropped him off at, so there was never a question of looking for a daycare, interviewing, etc.  She was like a second mother to me, so it was natural for C to go to her.

4. I sometimes need a break, a little alone time with my thoughts or thought, since I can’t think of anything else to do right now than write in my blog.  Literally, I’m sitting here trying to think of what to do next that might be fun and does not involve housework (although the house is clean and the laundry is done so I can’t really do that either).  I could write the Christmas thank you notes I’ve been putting off, but that’s not much fun.  I could clean out my closet, but again, that’s lacking the fun factor.

I think I’ll head outside.  I’ve done my hair and makeup, since I was actually alone in the bathroom for more than 5 minutes.  I think I’ll make the most of it and go somewhere in public.  Like the mall….Yeah! that’s it.  I’m heading to Fashion Island.  It’s outside, pretty, and public.  Woo hoo!

Here I go…right after I check my text messages from my aunt for the 14th time today.

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As all the mothers who read this blog will know, your belly is just never the same once your precious little one stretches it out.  And if you can’t relate because your belly is now the same as it was pre-pregnancy, I hate you.

So I’ll tell you about my belly.  It is not the same as it was before, although it is much improved in the last year.  I’m pretty sure, though, that my belly will never be flat again (unless of course I decided to dedicate hours every day to working out my core; that is just not going to happen).  I’m more than a little self-conscious about my stomach’s appearance, which would explain my heavy investment in Spanx.  My favorite is the higher power line, in case you were wondering.  (They make maternity Spanx, though I’m not sure why you would want to wear them.)

Anyways, I worry about my belly, I obsess a little about it, I do my best to conceal it, as most of us do.

All of my efforts are for naught though, given my son’s current obsession with bellies.  That’s right, C’s current obsessive phase is with the human body, particularly the belly.  This means that when it’s nap time or bed time, C usually lifts the hem of my shirt to reveal my non-flat, very white, heavily stretch-marked belly and gently pats it.  (Odd or affectionate? Hmmm…affectionate with me, odd when he starts trying to examine other people’s bellies, which has happened.)

The first few times this happened I was self-conscious.  My poor belly was exposed!  And it did not look its best.  So I would gently remove C’s hand, pull my shirt down over my tummy, and try not to think about my former two-pack in high-school.  Sigh…

Yet C is persistent.  For whatever reason, rubbing my mommy tummy made him happy.  If I tried to stop him, C just got upset.  He was insistent that he snuggle next to me and rub tiny strokes across my belly button!  Why this makes him so content, I don’t know, but it does.  Meanwhile, nothing about my white flabby belly sticking out of the bottom of my t-shirt looked attractive.  Nothing!  It didn’t matter though, it made him happy to do it, so I let him.

I was initially hoping this was a phase, some kind of momentary obsession to emerge and pass.  In his infancy, one of the only ways I could get C to calm down was to undress him down to just his diapers, strip myself down to just my intimates, and hold him, skin to skin.  There was something magical about that direct skin contact that soothed him.  It didn’t last long though, fading with time, as I was sure this would too.

But as days and weeks went by, C continued to love on my belly.

I knew that no matter how flabby, how white, how covered in stretch marks, C just loves my tummy.

Or I should say, he just loves me.

And there’s something more than a little liberating in that thought.

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Let me begin by saying that in my attempts to do some quick research to support my personal info on the “terrible twos” that apparently the established medical community doesn’t like this term and considers this abhorrent toddler behavior to be…normal.

Little C has fully entered into his terrible twos at just 18 months.  Our average day now includes such behavior as pulling all the books from a particular shelve, throwing toys at the dogs, and perfecting the charming “screaming while running” tantrum.

Now I’m all for C exploring his universe and learning about things like gravity and force, but not at the expense of my sanity and the dogs’ well-being.  As to the running tantrum, it’s all I can do not to fall down laughing (C gets really mad and literally starts running as fast as he can until he can’t go any farther and then turns around and runs the other direction at full speed.  All the while he is screaming and crying.  It would be sad were it not for the fact that his little wobbly run is adorable and the behavior is just so bizarre.).

To make matters worse, I’m getting a tantrum nearly every time I tell him “no”.  Not fun.  If C isn’t allowed to do one of the three things he always wants to do (dig in the dirt, watch Sesame Street on the computer, or pull things off shelves/out of cabinets)  I am the immediate recipient of ear-piercing screams and foot stomping.

It makes me so glad that I decided to devote my life to raising him.

The few somewhat legitimate websites about the terrible twos really emphasized how important it was to remember that the toddler is not being willfully rebellious or defiant, but is frustrated with the lack of control over their own life and their inability to communicate.

So I try to remind myself the my son isn’t purposefully trying to drive me insane, take a few deep breaths, and chase after him.

Until he outgrows this stage (in what? two to three years?) I’m going to try to redirect some of his energies into something more productive.

As of today, I’ve ordered a “rollercoaster” table (you know the tables with long wires twisted into shapes and curves, loaded with beads?) and I’m looking into some MyGym classes.

Any other ideas? I’m all ears!  I’m looking for classes, outdoor activities and entertaining toys if anyone out there has some suggestions.

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I enjoy cooking.  I honestly do.  Granted, none of the dishes I make are particularly complex, but I enjoy the time I spend making the meal and I think my concoctions usually turn out pretty darn tasty.

Usually Little C agrees.  But for whatever reason, he does not like stew.

I don’t get it! It’s one of my favorite things to make (and eat).  Who doesn’t like a slowly simmered pot of tender beef, delicious carrots, tasty potatoes, savory onions and mushrooms?  No one, that’s who!  Yet, no matter how delicious I make it, even when I up the ante by adding bacon, he just refuses to eat it.

It makes me crazy!  It’s so simple to make, I just can’t give it up.  I love cooking it in my slow-cooker.  It literally takes me only 15 minutes to set-up and voila! dinner!

But I am not about to force-feed my son, so I need to change it up.  Does anyone have any kid-approved slow-cooker meals they would like to share with me? Or you know what? ANY kid-approved recipe would be great.  Seriously, it’s getting dire around here.

Here are my requirements: no seafood.

That’s it.

Help please.

If I eat chicken nuggets or peanut butter and jelly for dinner one more time, I will scream.  Or if I actually cook and lovingly make just one more meal my son won’t eat, I might just set my kitchen on fire and be done with it.

Please, save my kitchen.  Send me a recipe.

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Sometimes mommies have rough days. Sometimes they are just tired, worn down, and grumpy for no good reason.

And you know what?

That’s ok. We’re allowed.

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We had an accident in the tub.  No…not that kind of accident.

We had a slip and fall kind of accident. We had the kind of accident where my son does a little flip in the water and my heart follows suit.

Everything was going so well, at first.

C had another of his “challenging” days as the last of his one year old molars comes in.  As typical of these days I prepared him two separate dinners, of which he wanted neither.  After struggling to get any food in him at all (which ended up being an applesauce, a yogurt, and some crackers), I was looking forward to getting him in the bath.

Usually, he’s somewhat happy in the bath.  C loves to pick up his various bath toys and tell me stories about them, or at least I think that’s what he’s doing when he babbles to me for half an hour picking up toy after toy.  C has recently discovered how much he likes splashing, making bath time endlessly more entertaining.  He doesn’t seem to mind that he mostly splashes himself, as the sheer joy of roughing up the water seems to be enough.

C also likes to wander from the front of the bath to the back, usually sliding on his bottom, sometimes walking.  It’s the walking in the bathtub that I have been growingly concerned about.  But, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before on here, my son is a tad stubborn, or let’s say “independent” to put it nicely.

I’ve physically tried to make him sit down, picking him and putting his tiny butt down in the water.  I’ve tried holding his arm so he can’t actually walk any where.  I’ve tried strongly telling him no.  All of these approaches have resulted in tears…mostly C’s tears.

So I took a new approach.  I let C know that I did not approve of this walking around business.  I held his hand when I could.  I said “careful. CAREFUL!” over and over and over.  I watched him closely, refusing to play any games with him until he sits down.

This doesn’t sound so bad, right?

Well the truth of the matter is that I knew that one day C would fall.  He would slip and hit his head or his elbow or something on the side of the tub as he slipped back into the water.  All I could do was to catch him as much as I could, while letting him fall.

Bad parent? Maybe.

Here’s my justification: C was never ever going to learn his lesson until it hurt.

And, this time, it hurt.

He’s slipped a little before, but never enough to actually scare himself and learn that there’s a reason I’ve been telling him not to walk in the slippery bath.

This time he slipped, banged his head just above his left eye, and completely freaked himself out.  He screamed and cried and buried his head in my shoulder for about 20 minutes.  He rubbed his wet fists into his bruised eye again and again, as pain, exhaustion and frustration rolled over him.  C’s little wet body clung to me as he cried, soaking me through, using my dress  as his towel.

Yet as he cried, as he vented, as I comforted C with kind words and back rubs, I kept in the back of my mind the hope that maybe he learned his lesson.

Sad lonely duck

I included this picture of the duck to capture the mood of the bath.  There’s something very sad about a rubber duck floating face down in an empty bath, right?

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Of the many thing motherhood means, it often means time management.

I know, exciting!

But seriously, an hour here, 20 minutes there, can mean the difference between a good day and a no-good dirty rotten one.

Let me give you an example:

In my never-ending quest to turn Baby C (now Toddler C) into a better sleeper, I am constantly obsessing about time:

nap time

bed time

the duration of sleep

wake up times

the time between nap and dinner

the time between dinner and bed

the time it takes to fall asleep

the time left before I lose my mind….

My ideal day with Toddler C consists of an 8 am wake up, 12:30 lunch, followed by a 1:30-3:30 nap, ending with a 7-8pm bedtime.

If things go even slightly off schedule, my whole day seems to go slightly off kilter.

If we get up too early, C tries to sneak in a nap before lunch or simply becomes unbearable with the extremely tired whining.

If we get a nap too early, C won’t go down for a second nap and then becomes unable to hold his head up after 6pm.

If C tries to go to bed at 6pm, he’ll wake up at 9pm thinking he’s just had a great nap (ya!) and try to get up.

If I somehow keep him in bed after he wakes up at 9pm, he’ll wake up at 3 or 4 am feeling completely refreshed and ready to start the day.

If C tries to get up at 3am, I then take him to bed with me, hoping we can sleep until 6am, praying he’ll take 2 naps that day so I can get some dang sleep, and close my eyes.

You can see how things sort of snowball, all stemming from just an hour off schedule.  Just an hour!

Imagine what happens when things get really off schedule.

And people wonder why I look tired all the time!

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