Two Time

readingDo you want to know what I’ve been up to for the past five days? Just a little summer reading. According to my calculations, I have read over 90 books* in a five day period.

Yes, I’ve been on two year old duty on and off for a good part of the week, including many sleepovers, which explains my absence here on the blog. But if you think we were just sitting around reading books the entire time, you would be mistaken. Little Beej remains the busiest two year old around.

In addition to reading endless books, he played with cars (big and small), trains (Thomas and others), play food, puzzle letters, xylophone, piano, figures, and as you can see from the photos above- he re-distributed the fluff that Ari removed from her stuffed animal after I gathered it into a handful and he assigned the Teletubbies their positions on the fire engine.

We spent a lot of time in the bathroom and we talked about going potty a lot. We made little to no progress in that area but it really does provide some memorable conversations. He knows all the right answers. He informs me when he has pooped. He is holding it when he’s sitting on the potty chair. He has peed next to the potty chair, on his blanket and socks, on the rug in the bathroom…. Yes, it’s been a bonding experience for us- as if we needed any more of that!

“A toddler believes that if you love a person, you stay with that person 100 percent of the time.”          -Lawrence Balter

Although the last week was unusual, at any given moment, I might find myself spending lots of  time with Beej. I don’t mind. I love this little guy more than anything and I think he feels the same. When his Daddy came to pick him up, I explained that he was going home. “To Daddy’s house,” he clarified to himself. I corrected, “To your house where you live with Daddy.” Beej threw his head back and wailed in pure two year fashion, “Noooooooo. It’s not my’se (the two year old word for “my”) house. It’s Daddy’s house. I want to stay here.”  This story has a happy ending. Beej is two (meaning his mood changes on a dime) and loves his Daddy and was happy to go home with him.

I know this time with Beej is precious and a gift and something I will always treasure. I also know it’s necessary and what’s best for Beej and I’m so grateful that I’m able to be here. Although it cuts into my writing time, it also gives me space, perspective and time to think while I’m enjoying this special little person that my son created (reminding me of a special little person I created so many years ago).

“Sometimes you need to talk to a 2 year old just so you can understand life again.”                       -Patricia Love

I’m working on finding a healthy balance. Writing and my blog is calling to me. I hope to get it right soon!

-Kat

*Here is a list of the books B and I read- Ten Apples Up On Top (3 times), ABC Drive (+5 times), Star Wars A to Z (1 time), A You’re Adorable (4 times), The Golden Egg Book (2 times), Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (5+ times), Hooper Humperdink? Not Him! (5+ times), Where the Wild Things Are (3 times), Do Princess Wear Hiking Boots? (5 times), Jake Baked the Cake (2 times), Giggle, Giggle, Quack (5 times), Have You Seen My Potty? (3 times), Even Firefighters Go to the Potty (5+ times), Potty Time (2 times), Too Big For Diapers (2 times), I Can Go Potty (3 times), Your Personal Penguin (5+ times), Time For Bed (3 times), The Going to Bed  Book (3 times), Goodnight Moon (3 times), Click Clack, 1-2-3 (5 times), Pajama Time, The Bunny Rabbit Show, and I know I’m forgetting a few more titles.

 

 

 

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Saturday Morning Walk

“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”  -Henry David Thoreau

It was the perfect Saturday morning. Not too hot. Not too cold. Sun shining. Clouds- but not too many. And two lovable companions.

Little Beej is a year and half old and loves to go for rides in his stroller. He is usually silent, just taking in the view like a sponge. He loves trees and leaves most of all.

Ari, on the other hand, keeps things lively. She pees her way up and down the block, stopping to let leave her mark long after she is dry. She warns every biker within view to BACK OFF, even if they are a block away and have no intention of crossing our path. She is selective in her interaction with other dogs. The feeling is mutual because the dogs always respond in kind.

Both Beej and Ari enjoyed watching the train pull into the station. Then we made it to the fountain and had the farmer’s market in our sights when Ari decided enough was enough. As self-appointed protector of all children, she severely reprimanded a father who swung his daughter up in his arms. She scolded the mother who took her child’s hand to lead him back in the opposite direction. Her enforcing tone is loud and piercing.

She was voted out of the town square unanimously. We left amidst her frenzied protests and annoyed people glaring our direction and everyone was relieved when we were back on our block, well away from any signs of activity.

And as we walked up to our house, Beej began his own protest when he realized that the walk was over.

Overall it wasn’t that bad of a start for a Saturday and I really couldn’t ask for a sweeter pair to keep me company.

Happy Saturday!

-Kat

This post is in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning.

CEE’S FUN FOTO CHALLENGE: KIDS OR PETS WITH TOYS

What a fun subject!! This week we focus on Kids or Pets with Toys for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.

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CJ makes sure everyone knows he scored a point for the team. 

Beej playing
Beej  chilling on his blanket and playing with his farm toy. 
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Ari claiming “her” blanket with her bottom half of the doll toy. 
Beej and Ari reading a book
Beej and Ari

Thanks for stopping by! If you want to join in the fun, you can head over to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge to find out the details or check out more entries.

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10 Ways I Messed Up as a Parent

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Who said that? It seems to me it’s one of those sayings that has been around forever. I’ve always felt like this applies to parenting. No matter what the newest trend is or what the latest data shows, it’s always a stark contrast to the one it replaces. As my son and daughter-in-law prepare for their newest arrival, I’m reminded of how much things have changed since my children were young. It got me thinking about all the things I did with them that are considered WRONG!

1. My babies slept on their stomach. They slept way better than everyone else’s babies. (They did!) AND yes, that’s a stuffed animal propped up against the side AND he has blankets covering him. It’s a wonder he lived past the first night!

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2. I did not breastfeed my children. In 1990, at least in the world I was living in, it was a toss up which you did. Breastfeeding was on the up rise but at that time I was determined to do everything the way my mother had done in the 60’s and that meant formula.

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3. I had thumb suckers- all three. I was so against pacifiers. At the time, it seemed like too much work to keep track of them. I figured they would never lose their thumb and they always had a spare on hand. (Haha, I just crack myself up sometimes.) And if they woke up at night (which they didn’t because they were stuffed with formula and snuggled in on their tummies under blankets), their thumb was right there all handy. I will admit that breaking them of that habit was HELL!

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4. They all took naps every day after lunch until they were about 4. I didn’t care what they did in their naps as long as it took place in their room on their bed. Michael always managed to pack his bed and get the most out of naptime.

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5. No kids in Mom and Dad’s bed. We stood firm with this. There was only one exception and that was when both Michael and Kris had scarlet fever. Then they slept in our bed and I don’t remember where we slept… or why they slept in our bed and we did not.

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6. Something I felt strongly about was forcing them to hug and kiss adults. While their cousins did the rounds being forced to hug and kiss every aunt, uncle and stranger who happened to be there, I didn’t want my children to feel that they should be obligated to hug someone they did not feel comfortable hugging. just because it was an adult and they said so. I still feel this way.

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7. My children were raised to call all adults outside of grandparents, aunts and uncles with the titles- Mr., Mrs., Ms, Miss. The only exception was our friend, Rob. Because of this, I wonder what Michael calls my friend, John, whose daughter attends the same school as CJ.

8. I didn’t pick up their rooms for them or force them to do it. If they were happy living in chaos, it didn’t bother me. And it saved me hours and hours of nagging.

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9. When they signed up for something, they finished it. No quitting allowed. I think this helped them think carefully about the activities they joined.

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10. I didn’t bail them out unless there were extenuating circumstances. Forgot your lunch- get hot lunch. Forgot your homework- turn it in late. We are talking 3 kids and 14 years of band instruments. I can count on 1 hand the number of times I had to drive a forgotten instrument to school- not too bad.

 So, there you have it. The horrible things I did to my children.  It’s nothing short of a miracle that they are all still alive and speaking to me! (And I’m still called a helicopter parent. I like to think that any hovering I did was well deserved.)

I would love to hear about any things you might have done that raised the eyebrows of fellow moms or dads. (Or am I the only one?)

Not Like Other Kids

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If I had a dime for every time I said, “K is not like other kids”…..well, I might not be rich but I would have a pretty big dime collection. We were among the first in our circle of family and friends to have children. That led to having tons of parenting advice and criticism coming from people who were not actually parents or a few years behind us in the game. All these years later, the same people, upon hearing about K, sit back as a look of realization settles on their face. The message is loud and clear. “Oh, you mean when you said that K is not like other kids all those years ago, you really meant it.” Obviously we did not know what we were dealing with. We just knew that something was different.

Upon finding out that my daughter was actually a son, I was knocked off balance. I wasn’t sure who K really was and for a short time I lost sight of my child. I didn’t see the kid I raised. I felt like someone had kidnapped my daughter and had replaced her with this stranger, who I was supposed to accept without missing a beat. I was confused.

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When K was an infant, toddler, preschooler- well, she was a spitfire. She never stopped moving and she got into everything. Before she could even sit up, she wanted to hold her own bottle and preferred to lay on the floor with it than be held. And once she was mobile, there was no stopping her. Even though she didn’t walk until she was 15 months old, that didn’t stop her. She stuck toys and food in the VCR to “cook” them. She pulled things over to the microwave so she could be tall enough to push the buttons and open the door. She emptied entire boxes of cereal in her bowl and all over the table and floor. She was loud, boisterous- a real character. She sang, danced, performed.

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She was determined and stubborn and ambitious. At just over 2 years of age, I told her she couldn’t stand on her little rocking chair because she could fall and hurt herself. She proceeded to climb up, stand with her arms spread out for balance and rock back and forth as if on a surfboard. The expression on her face was one I would see for years to come and continue to see to this day. “Don’t tell me I can’t do something.”

To say that my little changeling made life interesting is an understatement. Looking back I see so many of those qualities and it helps me recognize that infant, toddler, preschooler who scooted her way over to the Nintendo controller or turned on the boom box or put the bucket on her head. That drive, commitment, curiosity that make up K.