Sunday, May 13, 2012

potty training & pacifier weaning...done!

I skipped this post at the time BIG things were happening but it seems like if I'm keeping a record of everything else in B.'s life these were pretty important milestones.
It was our second attempt at getting rid of the paci so for anyone else who's tried and failed, don't feel bad. Just try again a few months later. This time was all about the lead up...every day for weeks before his 3rd birthday we talked about how he would be giving his paci to a neighbor's baby who really needed it. So the day after his birthday we made the swap, he gave away the paci and in return she "gave" B. a couple of trucks I bought and secretly dropped off the day before.
Nothing really registered until that evening when he realized what had actually gone down. He cried for a few minutes, cursed out the neighbor's baby (she's moving soon anyway so he'll never actually get to be friends with her and discuss this little bit of parental trickery) and then went to sleep. The same thing happened every night for 5 days. And then it stopped. He still doesn't like the baby but seems to have forgotten all about the paci.
As for the pee, we went cold turkey the week before his third birthday. No diapers. He had a week off preschool so it gave us the time we needed to spend at home. The first two days were probably a 50/50 ratio of pee to toilet versus pee everywhere else. And the livingroom rug will definitely be in the trash by the of this year. (At this point, it's probably twice as toxic as a hotel comforter). But he started figuring it out by day three and we were 99.9 percent there by day five. Now he's peeing exclusively in the toilet except for at night when I put him in a diaper. He's waking up dry but I'm not rushing the overnight bladder control just yet.
The most helpful thing for me was keeping a schedule of when he peed. The accidents and the successes. It helped me figure out that B. only pees every two to three hours. So when I was pressuring him to go every 30 minutes he would just get annoyed and refuse to go to the bathroom. Once I had his timing figured out I just left him alone until at least a couple of hours passed.
Now we're tackling poop. It's been a month since he started peeing in the toilet and he's just agreed to sit for number two due to massive bribery involving chocolate and trips to the toy store. Before this week he would tell me when he needed to poop, I'd put on a pull-up and then put him back in underwear after he went to the bathroom. Fingers crossed we're completely out of daytime diapers in the next week or two.

why preschool is so important...

It's not just the socializing and the learning, which is obviously a major component of sending your kid to preschool. Sitting outside today and watching B. play with the neighbors it just made so much have such a particular type of play that grownups can't duplicate (at least without being paid, going nuts or being a grandparent). Why is it funny to shriek, run around the courtyard, flop down and then repeat six times? Why take the hat off the doll where it belongs and try it on every single toy around? This type of stuff just doesn't mesh well with my practical (boring?) side. I do art, I do books, I do outings. But I don't really do silly fun. It's just not me.
I agonized forever before sending B. to preschool and still not even sure we settled on the right one. (More about that later.) But I am happy we sent him to preschool instead of having a babysitter around while I work. Kids definitely need lots of other kids around...especially once they get close to 3. (Suddenly it makes so much more sense why a lot of Santa Monica preschools won't accept kids until 2.9 months).
Of course if you have tons of kids available for playdates or lots of children of your own, this is all moot. But here in SoCal the playgrounds are empty except for infants and very young toddlers during the day.
As for the dreaded preschool wait list. I feel so bad for the parents who agonize over their applications. We did and then ended up being accepted at all 3 preschools we applied to. I think the economy probably has a lot to do with it (preschool is effing expensive!) plus it's a mythology the directors need to maintain so they can keep the upper hand in the relationship that lets them charge ridiculous application fees and insist that you attend their parenting workshops.
I don't happen to like our preschool director because she seems to be shifting kids around like chess pieces to fill her classes. I also wish our school had more parental/family involvement. So I've been touring preschools again trying to figure out if it's worth the transition trauma to send B. somewhere else. We'll probably stay put but it does give me a whole different perspective going on these tours with a kid who's already happily enrolled at school and seeing wide-eyed parents going through the system for the first time and taking this all so earnestly. Don't worry, I want to say to them, your kids will pretty much be happy wherever you send them as long as there are books, toys, paint and other kids around. You'll be the one with issues.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

we had a moment

I have not been in the mood to blog lately even though some awesome and not so awesome things have happened at casa Haberman. I'd rather go to bed early or sneak a nap than sit at the computer but yesterday was so blissfully wonderful that I had to record. Daddy was at work, we'd been up since forever so I took B. to lunch at the Counter at 11am since I couldn't think of anything better to do. Out of the blue he said, "I'll try my burger but I don't want it with ketchup." Woohoo! I don't even eat beef and I don't really care if he winds up being a vegetarian. But this is a kid that doesn't ANY meat or fish and hasn't tried anything radically new in FOREVER. Usually when we go to the Counter he just eats the sweet potato fries and I kid myself into thinking he's consuming a super food. So I ordered burgers and fries and unprompted he picked up the burger and started eating. Time slowed. For some reason I noticed "Hey Soul Sister" was playing in the background for this little montage moment. Everything was just dreamy and great, like the expression on his face. And I don't know why. And I don't know how to recreate this scenario at home. But it was great while it lasted.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

more food lies

Feeding my kid doctored fruit puree in a syringe under the pretext that it's vitamins isn't the worst thing I could be doing. And now I know for sure. Babble had this funny post about the food lies we tell our all the nutrients in bread are all in the crust and if you swallow gum it'll stay in your stomach for seven years.
Here are a few more of mine:
All the chocolate bars sold at grocery store checkout stand are so big, they're just for daddies. You'll get one when you're a daddy.
Skittles (and all other candy) are just for big people with big teeth. Candy is so hard you wouldn't be able to chew through it.
All protein is chicken, including some really good pulled pork B. ate on vacation last year.
Then of course there's the stuff I just don't tell him about. For the rest of his life, this kid will grow up thinking Nutella should taste like peanut butter and mac & cheese should taste like cauliflower.

Friday, March 16, 2012

it's the little things

I stumbled across this great blog post on HelloGiggles about the little things you can do for yourself as you're wiping up poop, fixing snacks and picking up toys to add some romance to your day and feel like you're more than just "mom." I am the first to admit I'm pretty much swallowed up in the universe that is my kid. It's like living with the most popular kid in school where EVERYTHING is about them ALL of the time. And to be totally honest I love when B.'s friends say "Excuse me, B.'s mom" as if that were my name. But I totally get where this mom is coming from. I happen to feel better about myself if I take the time to blow out my hair in the morning. Even if I'm wearing sweats and no makeup, clean straight hair just makes me feel more special. So here are her (paraphrased) suggestions for a good mood day:
  • Wear red lipstick around the house
  • Use a French press to brew your coffee
  • Clean house to audiobooks
  • Have a glass of wine with lunch
  • Get regular manicures (I'd have to say pedicures!)
  • Use Christmas lights year round
  • Buy fresh flowers every week
Got any others to add to the list?

Monday, March 12, 2012

kitchen negotiations with the picky kid

B. came up with an interesting barter this weekend. Out of the blue he asked to eat some fruits and vegetables (which ended up being one bite of carrot and some fruit puree) in exchange for a later bedtime. Works for me. We barely even enforce a bedtime as it is. (We aim for 8:30ish but don't actually get strict unless it's approaching double digits.) So for the last three nights we've bullied him into eating fruit puree as soon as it gets matter what time it is.
And then this morning he asked to make sweet potato pancakes. He hasn't eaten pancakes in forever but likes to scam me into getting down a bunch of pots and pans just so he can measure and stir ingredients. Then once I've plated the pancakes he refuses to eat them and walks away. Which is exactly what he did this morning. But I've lowered my high-falutin' standards A LOT. So I pulled out my ace card. A jar of sprinkles. And offered pancakes with syrup and sprinkles. Offer accepted. I'm not sure there's a kid alive who wouldn't eat something covered in rainbow sprinkles.
It almost seems like we're making some strides in the food department. Then again, I just tried to convince him to eat a bite of potato for dinner. Plain frigging potato. And he refused. So we're not celebrating just yet.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

confetti art is perfect for sick days

Thanks to Jen for the contact paper collage idea, which we executed with leftover confetti, sequins and glitter. And to B. for reminding me that he knows all about confetti from Shel Silverstein's Spaghetti poem. And for not actually wanting to throw spaghetti.
Spaghetti, spaghetti, all over the place,
Up to my elbows—up to my face,
Over the carpet and under the chairs,
Into the hammock and wound round the stairs,
Filling the bathtub and covering the desk,
Making the sofa a mad mushy mess.

The party is ruined, I’m terribly worried,
The guests have all left (unless they’re all buried).
I told them, “Bring presents.” I said, “Throw confetti.”
I guess they heard wrong
‘Cause they all threw spaghetti!

how my kid will heart NYC

Growing up I read a lot of stories that were New York-based. Ironically never Eloise which might be the most fabulous of all. But the books definitely left an impression on me--NYC kids always seemed to be having more adventures and less adult supervision than anyone else--and I will always be a New Yorker at heart no matter where I'm living.
On our reading list right now is Ira Sleeps Over. It's a fairly lengthy debate on whether or not to take Tah Tah the teddy bear to Ira's first sleepover and I'm always impressed B. has the patience and appreciation to sit through this book.
Up next will be Lyle, Lyle Crocodile. (Also by Bernard Waber.) And then there might be a slight delay before we get to the non-picture books: Harriet the Spy, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and the so very great From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler but I can't wait to read these to B.
One guaranteed love of New York City...coming up.
PS. Please let me know if I'm missing any other good ones!

what the picky kid is eating these days

Nutella and peanut butter sandwiches. Every morning. And sometimes for lunch and dinner, too. He never gets sicks of them. White rice. Buttered noodles. Mac and cheese (with hidden cauliflower puree) on occasion. Quesedillas with pinto beans and avocado (I'd feed him this every meal if he would eat it that often). Pizza. Cheese crackers. And that is literally it. Seven items. Over and over and over again.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

my kid versus your kid

I swore off parental smugness a looooong time ago since karma always seems to get you in the end. But it's really hard not to play the constant comparison game. Like yesterday we met some New York cousins for lunch at the Library Ale House and B. had the best time playing with their 3-year-old. They bonded instantly and started playing weird babbling games that only another little kid could understand or appreciate.
Carson Daly (yeah, the TRL guy) his girlfriend and their son were eating next to us and when we were wheeling the strollers out of the restaurant, she asked my cousin how old the boys are because her kid (who's the same age) doesn't engage as well with others. Score one for my social kid.
But the night before, we ran into a little friend from preschool, a.k.a. junior foodie, who was placing his own order for honey lavender biscuits with fried chicken from the LudoTruck. WTF? Meanwhile, B. was too shy to talk and refused to eat anything but cold sweet potato fries that had traveled with us since lunchtime. Not exactly a shining moment. But those biscuits...excellent! Thanks for recommendation, Jr.