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Sometimes I IGNORE my Children!

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Not only do I sometimes ignore my children, instead of feeling guilty about it, I’m getting better at it. Gasp, I’m a horrible mother, I know I read minds too, just kidding. But, I’m fairly certain that’s what some of you are all thinking. Before you get your undies in a bundle, let me elaborate. I don’t ignore my children by leaving them in hot vehicles (and if you do, please stop), I ignore (usually relative to my 2-year-old) his never-ending stalking, whining, crying and hanging on me to put my attention into something anything else. In fact, sometimes I even stalk over to the computer, get on any website (yes sometimes it is Facebook other times the newspaper) just to be doing something so that he sees I am busy and busy with something he can’t help me with and therefore I won’t be busy placating him. It’s sort of very anti-attachment parenting of me, which I generally try to follow, but as Brecken gets older, I think his needs and mine are changing.

So why do I ignore my child? Because if I don’t he will drop down drag himself around the house attached to my ankles, leg(s), hanging on my shirt tales generally all while crying and whining and making obnoxious noises for no intelligible reason. Generally he can’t even tell me what he wants and not because he doesn’t have the vocabulary to do so. He is very  verbal and can effectively communicate all the essential needs like I’m hungry, tired, poopy, need to potty and so on and so forth. When left to his own devices though, magically more often than not all this screaming and crying ceases and he wanders off to PLAY by himself in his playroom or somewhere else in the house. He may pop up in ten minutes or a half hour with a “boat” built out of duplos or a book that he asks to be read, but he is no longer screaming and whining and crying when he does so and I am generally happy to appease him. That’s not to say that during this quiet playtime I don’t get all super secret agent spy like and stealthy pop my head in the playroom undetected to make sure he’s okay and contentedly playing by himself, but otherwise I don’t interfere unless he comes to me with some creation he’s cooked, Duplo masterpiece to show off or book to be read. So you might call it ignoring but I like to think of it as letting his imagination thrive. Maybe that’s just what I say to make me feel better about it but I really think it’s better for both of us than him laying on the ground holding onto my ankles screaming bloody murder. Not that I’m not neurotic, to the point I may or may not have run a google search before admitting this little secret to the world to make sure I wasn’t causing major psychological harm by employing this glorious yes I just said glorious technique. Interestingly, the results of that google search, that I may or may not have run, indicate that I’m not the only one!

Do you ever ignore your children?

Slept like a Baby or did I?

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Who the H came up with that saying? Slept like a baby? So what you got 14 hours of sleep in 2 hour increments, maybe with a long stretch of 5-6 hours, umm okay lucky you I guess. The only thing I can think of is that whoever started this saying either didn’t have kids or was so old they don’t remember having kids. Lets be clear too, the saying isn’t slept like a baby’s parents, because let’s be honest no one wants to be us. Except I keep seeing all these annoying posts on Facebook like OMG my 3 week old slept for 8 hours straight!!!! I’m torn between asking when they feed their baby and when, absolutely hating them, or going all Red Foreman and reaching though the screen to shove my foot up their a$$.  Then clarity sets in, and laughter ( possibly hysteria?) takes over and I remind myself that no baby is perfect!! Those with good sleepers can have super fussy eaters, teething monsters, crazy clingy babies, colic set in or any number of other challenges we face as parents. And trust me that great sleeper at eight weeks can be an awful sleeper at almost 8 months, example A is currently sitting in my lap. We all pay our dues so to speak. And if you claim to have the perfect baby, not going to lie, I’m going to think you’re lying, but if not, you should probably look into cloning because that kind of thing only happens once.

We went on a mini-vacation last weekend and were prepared for the worst. It normally takes our son like 3 weeks to recover from vacation and get back into his sleep routine. That’s not to mention that he doesn’t generally get any sleep on vacation. He surprised us this time. Now his sister, well that’s another story, she didn’t sleep hardly at all the first night, then as if that wasn’t enough we got an encore last night, our 2nd night home.  She’s the gift that just keeps giving, let me tell you. But as a whole, it could have been a lot worse for our first nights away from home with two kiddos instead of one, and all sleeping in the same room.  In fact, I think the two of them were better than Brecken has ever been by himself before. Here are some tips that we found that seemed to work, in case anyone else has this problem:

Bedtime Vacation Tips:

1. Stick to Routine: This is hard!!!! We didn’t do so well with naps but were very good about getting Brecken down the same time every night and as close to the same routine as possible, three books and then bedtime. It worked, at 27 months he knows this routine and is comfortable with it and I really believe it helped.

2. Make things Familiar: We brought all of his bedding, pillow, blanket to snuggle, puppy dog he snuggles which sounds like a lot but really wasn’t. I think this helped to make him comfortable away from home, he was on a twin aero-bed so he wasn’t much lower than his toddler bed would be and we decked it out with all of his bedding so it seemed like his bed.

3. Don’t Compete with Bedtime: Another thing hard to do but if there’s something better than bedtime (well lets be honest some nights anything is better than bedtime) it can be harder to get them down, especially somewhere unfamiliar. So try to take some time before bedtime with mellow activities, nothing that is so awesome there is no way that your little one wants to miss, so if you’re out making smores make sure he/she gets to join in the fun before having to head off to bed.

4. Don’t Rush It: In line w/ number 3, kids know if you’re trying to run off to have a good time without them, so as much as you might be dying to crack open that wine and hang with your spouse, make sure to stick to routine and don’t rush through it, read the stories, sing the songs and remember if your child is anything like mine, they look forward to this one on one time and depend on it.

On an aside, in case any of you want to know anything more about me, I’ve include my new autobiography below, except that I CAN cook, when I WANT to. I’ll let you figure out the operative word in that sentence!

Clearly everyone has something to offer in a relationship =) !!!!

(Photo Credit: someecards.com)