Monday, September 24, 2012

So Close I Can Almost Smell It

I nearly titled this "so close I can almost "taste" it" until I realized how gross that would sound. Because I'm talking about diapers. And the thing we are so close to is saying goodbye to them!!

B2 has really been putting in an effort lately and he doesn't wear diapers at home anymore. He's even stayed diaper free on a few short outings this weekend too! Can anyone else hear those trumpets and bells and fireworks?

Only today was Monday. Which meant daycare. Which meant we didn't think it was right to put him in underwear without running it past the daycare teachers first (since it would mean a lot of extra work for them and possibly a lot of extra mess). So we put him in a diaper this morning - you'd think the diaper was lined with spikes or possibly fire ants. He was pretty clear in letting us know "NOT me a baby." And I can see that - I wouldn't be tickled either if I finally reached a milestone and then got knocked back down to the previous level. That happened in Angry Birds when I upgraded to iOS 5 and I've never forgotten it.

But the other thing is he hasn't ever had a dry day at daycare. Close - he's been averaging only about one wet diaper a day (which is all kinds of awesome!) but in a room full of littles, I don't think it's reasonable to expect that he'll be able to be 100%. And his teacher has told us that he takes it really hard when he wets a diaper, he cries and feels ashamed. So what's going to happen when he wets his undies and pants and it's a big disaster? I just don't know. Feels like I'm setting him up to fail and I feel bad about that. This is new to me - when B1 was at this stage I was still a SAHM, so I never had to deal with this.

I know he'll figure it out, but it's so hard to balance being supportive of his learning and being fair and respectful, while still getting this done. I would love it if he just had a few upsetting days, wet his pants a few times, and learned from the yucky experience to never do it again. Feels unfair to someone or another though.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Out of the Loop

I am so out of the loop! Not Froot Loops...I do not buy those regardless of how many times the boys beg, campaign, and suggest when we're at the store. Maybe one of those cute tiny boxes for Christmas stockings, though...and that's a lovely segue into my topic du jour.

I am completely stumped as far as what to give the boys for Christmas. And there's only a few days more than 3 months to go!

This is our first Christmas as a family of four with two parents that work outside the home - maybe this is the difference? Maybe I haven't had the same time to spend browsing the web for the It Gift of the year. Maybe there isn't one? I get enough emails from retailers every day to choke a horse - but none of them have offered me the Holy Grail of Gifting yet.

We've had it pretty easy in the past few years, with big baby gear, bikes, train tables, car ramps, sleds, etc. We had nothing and needed everything. I think we may possibly have more toy inventory than some small stores and I have little desire to acquire more, plus I have no idea what to get. Even Santa has no ideas yet. And this is a problem, because I need to have ideas for the big guy, for us, and I usually get asked by lots of aunties and uncles and grandparents too. And I got nothin.

When I ask them what they want, they always say they want to go to the park or take a sport or dance class or go to the petting zoo or something like that. But somehow I doubt a 4 year old and 2 1/2 year old will be thrilled with a bunch of passes, gift cards and class enrollment receipts. I'm sure I can slip a few things like that through but they're going to want SOMETHING tangible, I'd bet.

What do YOUR kids want for Christmas?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Your Choices are Take It or Leave It

Is there a magical age at which kids learn how to eat around the stuff they don't like? Like, without whining, crying, shoving the plate away, or various other theatrics?

Or is there some secret technique to making it through dinner without tears, eye-rolling, threats, begging, bribing, or timers? (Actually we only really use two of those as a general rule - timers and eye-rolling - I think I saw my brain the other day.)

I understand not liking certain foods. Nobody can ever convince me that I like cilantro. Or onions. I've tried, oh Lord, I've tried. But they are just not for me (but somehow I love all other Mexican food. Weird, huh?) I'm totally ok with my kids not liking certain things, and I do a pretty good job of remembering what they are and ensuring I offer choices that don't include them too, or making it really easy to pick them out. That is, for me or Hubby to pick them out of course, because somehow these offending particles just send our boys into a severe tailspin from which there's no return.

Sometimes I dream about what it might be like to be in a different family. Where the food preferences look something like this:

Doesn't that seem reasonable? Everyone has their own little realm of preferences. There's usually two or more people that like a decent amount of items. But everyone has a nice big repertoire and there are plenty of options to serve that make everyone happy.

This is what it looks like in our family:

Dad is not the problem. I am not the problem. We are pretty much garbage guts, and we agree on the breadth and depth of our range. There's very little the boys like that we don't either. But note the relative size of the circles? That's not an accident. I am a graphy, market research sort of gal. See how their bubbles do not overlap with each other's? The fact that I can pretty much guarantee that someone or another will say "I don't like that!" is indisputable. 

At least now we have it in Venn diagram format. My little anal geek world is now complete. Even if I still don't know what the hell to make for dinner tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Aw, nuts!

With the start of the new school year comes the obligatory grumbling of the parenting community about what foods they are not allowed to send in school lunches.

I'm not sure why there is such hatred for blanket bans of particularly dangerous allergens, but there really is, and it seems to me it's getting worse. Parents rant about it, they suggest ways to sneak in the contraband, gripe about the need for bubble wrapped kids, and wonder out loud what else they can send.

As mother of a child with a peanut allergy - I'm sorry. I really am. I understand that it makes things difficult.

Please know, however, that living in fear of accidental exposure in your allergic child is more difficult. So is taking them trick or treating and knowing they will have to surrender at least half of their haul. So is seeing them disappointed because they can't eat the yummy treat that all the other kids are enjoying because it doesn't have that little logo on it and you can't be sure it's safe. So is repeatedly catching people (even those who know about the allergy) offering things that are clearly unsafe to your child. But the most difficult watching your child's face swell up and dashing for the Benedryl or Epi-pen and praying it will work in time.

Even before we had children, I respected allergies. I always gave out Halloween candy without peanuts. If made aware of an allergy, I don't serve that food. My home is very low-chemical and nearly scent-free (but it does and probably will always contain non-hypoallergenic dogs!). I ask when we have people over if anyone has any allergies. I hoped this would buy me enough good Karma that my kids wouldn't have serious allergies - alas, not the case. We are lucky and grateful that B2's peanut allergy is mild, but it's still there. Still a worry, still a nuisance. And it doesn't look like he'll outgrow it by age 3 as the doctor hoped he might.

Yes, it sucks, but I can deal with it. We found alternate products. We taught him from the moment he could understand that he is "yergic" to peanuts. He will wear a bracelet when he starts school and will be trained not to eat anything he's not sure about. I'm not sure why other parents find it so difficult, when it isn't even their kids that are at risk. There are so many options - spend five minutes on Pinterest and you'll have more lunchbox ideas than you could ever use.

For those who help keep my boy safe - thank you.

For those who roll their eyes and grumble - count your blessings and don't be so sure you'll never need to rely on a village.