11

Random thoughts on parenting a toddler.

There’s no real rhyme or reason for this post, it’s just a bunch of random thoughts that have been floating around in my head. Scattered thoughts are all I can amount to lately as my brain feels fried and my motivation seems unusually low. Perhaps it is because all things Christmas have taken over my brain. But nonetheless, I have a few thoughts on being a parent to a toddler that I’d like to share with you.

toddler code

When you’re a parent to a toddler, life changes. For one, I can’t pee alone. Ever. It’s like the second I close the bathroom door, a little alarm goes off in her ear and she’s alerted to my desire for privacy. Privacy? What’s that? Definitely not something that makes sense to a toddler! It’s almost as if they remember living inside your body for a year and as a result feel as though mommy’s body is like common-law property – they own 50% and therefore can have access to it whenever they please. Privacy be damned. Besides, she came out of that hoo-ha, so why does Mommy think she needs to hide it? I’m sure in her head she’s thinking “Hey, you get to hover over me while I try sitting on this thing you call a potty. Isn’t it fun when the tables are turned?” Sigh. I just want to pee alone sometimes.

I’ve also learned to lower my standard of “clean”. Clean before kids and clean after kids, are two VERY different kinds of clean. It always looks as though some form of atomic bomb has gone off in my place. It’s a constant battle. Every time I try to put a toy away, she cries, grabs it out of the toy box and throws it back onto precisely the same section of floor I retrieved it from. It’s pointless to pick up unless she’s in bed and can’t physically bear witness to us sacrificing her doll’s life by throwing it in the “toy box of death”. Heaven forbid I put her in a cute outfit, or she’s doing something hilarious I’d like to take a picture of – I have to search for a clean section of the house to take the picture from so that I can post the pic on Facebook without people thinking we live in a home that exploded toddler paraphernalia.

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I’ve also caught myself talking to my child as if she is a parrot. You know how you tell a parrot “Say Hello!”, “Say, Polly wanna cracker”, etc. That’s how my day goes. “Say thank you!”, “Say Bye Gramma!”, “Say Please”, blah blah blah. Sometimes I wonder if it’d be easier if our toddler’s were little ventriloquist dummies, and we could get them to just move their mouths while we do the talking for them. That’s essentially what I feel like I’m doing all damn day. Living life on repeat, trying to get my kid to say the right things at the right times, and to be courteous. They’re at the cusp of language development, and as a result, Mommy’s sentences have turned into a newfangled toddler language I like to refer to as “Toddlerish” (Toddler + English = Toddlerish).

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I resort to bribery. A lot. Especially at dinner time. When L won’t eat, I find myself saying “Will you eat supper if I put on Pingu?”. I’m always (ALWAYS) greeted with an emphatic “yes!”. So Pingu goes on, and L eats. It’s almost magical. It’s amazing how she’s learned to control Mommy and Daddy already into getting to watch cartoons at dinner time. Sigh. L = 1, Mommy =0. Then there’s me being a parrot and repeating the same thing over and over again at the dinner table. “L, please eat your dinner. One bite please. Just one more bite”. Almost every single time I say that I’m greeted with either “No!” or by her grinning at me and drinking water instead. L = 2, Mommy = 0.

There are probably a million more I’m missing, but like I said, my brain is fried and my thoughts are scattered. That’ll get better in 16 years, right?

Sigh. She’s lucky she’s cute.

14

Halloween: The Untold Parental Duties

Tomorrow is Halloween, which means we have some duties as parents. Besides making sure they are warm enough, that they have some sort of reflective gear on since it is dark out, teaching about stranger danger, telling them not to run in the street, etc., there are other duties that might not be talked about so much. Some of them benefit us as parents as well, so pay close attention folks!

1) Teaching our children about taxes. Halloween is the best time to teach our children about tax deductions! Where I live, taxes are at 15%. That means that we, as the parents, automatically earn 15% of the Halloween haul. We’ll call it a “Thanks Mom and Dad” deduction since we were generous enough to walk around with them on a cold night so they could get their sugar fix. This will help mentally prepare them up for their first job, when they see that a significant portion of their paycheque was lost to deductions. Life’s tough kid. Learn early.

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2) Testing for poison. I learned how important this was from my Grandfather. Whenever I had a chocolate bar, a bag of chips, a cookie, or any kind of tasty treat as a child my Grandfather stressed how important it is to check the food for poison. He generously risked his own life by taking my treats from me and eating a bite or two, followed by a long pause for dramatic effect before deeming them safe for me to consume. It felt really great as a kid to know that he loved me enough to eat/test my treats for me to make sure I wouldn’t be poisoned. We all need to eat our kids candy and show them how much we love them. It’s a parental duty!

3) Stranger Danger – the night off! We spend our whole lives telling our kids to never take candy from strangers. I’m not one to preach “stranger danger”, but more or less to preach “stranger awareness” – the difference between a safe stranger and a bad one. (Ex. Police officer is a safe stranger, but a creep in the back of a van with a puppy and a lollipop is a danger stranger). However, this is the one night of the year we get to confuse the shit out of our kids! “Yes, dear child. Go take candy from that stranger. Yes, you can walk up to the scary house that gives you the heebie-jeebies. Yes, you can talk to the man covered in blood on that front porch”. Poor kids – with all that promise of free candy, they don’t stand a chance!

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4) Teaching the value of clever costumes rather than slutty ones. I hope to teach my little L that you garner much more respect from a clever Halloween costume than you do with anything that has the word “sexy” in front of it. They are making everything sexy nowadays. Sexy Ben Franklin. Sexy Bert and Ernie. Even sexy corn on the cob. Yes, corn on the cob. How the hell can you make that sexy you ask? Like this. Scary stupid isn’t it? Can you imagine the pickup lines you’d get? “Mmm baby, I’d love to butter your cob”, or “If things get heated between us, will you pop?”. How about “Come on girl, let me peel away the rest of that husk”. Gag.

5) Halloween candy can evaporate! Remember how we are teaching our kids about tax deductions via the Halloween tax? It’s also a perfect time to teach them about evaporation! You know how if you leave out a glass of water, it will slowly evaporate until it is nearly gone? The same thing happens to Halloween candy over time. It disappears! That explains why when they wake up every morning, there is less than there was when they went to bed the night before. In our house, it’s the chocolate and sour patch kids that seem to “evaporate” the fastest. For this I have no scientific explanation to offer. We just won’t tell my dentist (or my dietitian) that they’ve been disappearing so quickly.

Do you have any other “valuable” lessons for the kids to learn on Halloween? I’d love it if you shared!

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11

Strangest baby/kid products part 2!

Since I’ve been sad about what is to come tonight (see: “To my cat, before you die.“), I decided that to cheer myself up a bit and distract myself I would scour the internet for some more beyond crazy baby and kid products. There are some weird ones out there, but these were what made my list today.

Here we go!

1) Bratz Babyz.

Ok, as if Bratz dolls aren’t slutty bad enough, there are apparently also Bratz Babyz out there. WTF! Babies are innocent, sweet, and pure. Babyz on the other hand, are slutty, skanky, full of makeup and sexualized. WHO THE EFF THINKS IT IS OK TO SEXUALIZE A BABY AND MARKET IT! So wrong on so many levels. Hate, hate, HATE!

SO WRONG!

SO WRONG!

Talk about marketing to pedophiles...

Talk about marketing to pedophiles…

Who buys this stuff!!!

2) First High Heels by Heelarious. ( http://tristinstyling.com/kids/baby-girl/get-her-heelarious-for-christmas )

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Popular among celebrities for baby gifts, apparently these babies are popular all over the world and have been featured in Vogue Japan, given out by Ellen DeGeneres for mom’s to be, and the list goes on and on.

Am I the only one who wonders what the hell is wrong with letting kids be kids? Why do they have to be little grown-ups at 6 months old? A woman wearing high heels is considered a sex symbol, so what does that make a 6 month old in heels? Sure, little girls like to play dress up and that’s all fair. But these are made for babies 0-6 months old. At that point they aren’t playing dress up, Mommy is. Mommy is also pushing her ideals of beauty onto her child before she’s even gotten to an age where she can begin to develop a sense of worth, or have confidence in herself for who she is rather than what she is wearing or what she looks like.

So much wrong…

3) The iPotty. ( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2259969/iPotty-gadget-lets-toddlers-watch-videos-iPad-toilet-training.html )

Take this review as you may, because I don’t own an iPad. But I see all kinds of reasons why I wouldn’t buy this product.

iPoop, iPee, iPotty!

iPoop, iPee, iPotty!

Here’s my thoughts on this. We already are living in a digital society where our kids are spending too much time in front of screens and not enough time learning to do things by hand or interact with other humans. Between TV’s, computers, iPhones, iPads, Leapfrogs, etc., our kids are learning that everything has to be done with digital accompaniment. While some people may say the iPotty will help their kid actually sit still and stay on the potty, I say it will help them to learn to be too dependent on technology rather than focusing on the task at hand.

Plus, if you’re training a toddler, there are bound to be “misses” with the pee aim, dirty poop and pee covered fingers smearing the screen, and germs galore! How will they be able to focus on that “I have to go” feeling, when they’re focusing on a video or a game? How weird is it that your kid knows how to use an iPad and not a toilet? To me this just screams “easy out” for parents who don’t want to have to put work into potty training. Potty training is one of those times that you should be active in engaging your toddler, and talking with them, teaching them, and rewarding them. Not plunking them down and walking away while the iPotty babysits for you.

Ever heard of Pavlov’s dogs? This is a prime example of classical conditioning. We are going to raise a generation of kids who see an iPad, and have to iPoop or iPee. Gross.

Seen any weird or crazy products geared towards parents or kids lately? I want to hear about them!

Don’t forget to like How to Ruin a Toddler’s Day on Facebook!

11

“The Pacifier – Makings of an Adult Baby?”

A pacifier

A pacifier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Sorry sweetie, I know it has ruined your day that you can’t have a sookie anymore, but we’re done!”

My inspiration for this post? Seeing a mother out with her two children today. One approximately age three, and the other approximately age five, both of them with the pacifier in their mouth. Do you have every right to make your own parenting decisions? Of course! Do I agree with it for my kid? Hell no! I will not have my child turn into one of those creepy adult babies featured on “My Strange Addiction”.

The pacifier. Otherwise knows as a soother, sookie, sooker, etc. I relied on it heavily for a long time. We nicknamed it the “mute button” for a while, because it would instantly sooth and, for lack of a better word, pacify her. If she woke up, we could shove sooker into her mouth and she’d drift right back to sleep. It was mommy’s life saver for a very long time. We’ve recently gotten rid of the sooker, and to say it was a hellish transition is an understatement.

These are older pics, but it gives you an idea of what we’ve been dealing with.

My kid, with her sooker:

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My kid when you took away the sooker:

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Needless to say, we just let her have it most of the time. Who wants to be bothered with that fight, when you can have peace and quiet?

Now, at 19 months old, we decided to be done with it. Our choice was based off of a few things. First, we didn’t want her development of speech inhibited by always having in a mute button, and second, we feared that it may not be the best idea for her teeth to have a pacifier in 24/7.

Plus, who wants their kid growing up into this:

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So we took them away. It was a rough transition, mostly because she had to adjust to not sleeping with it (which was an adjustment for Mommy, too because if she woke up, I woke up). Plus you know these kids. They stash and hide these things away and then all of a sudden you turn around and they’ve got another one in their face! Where does she even hide these things?! It’s like she’s got this never ending stash of pacifiers hidden in every crack in our house. She must have learned this technique by watching her mother’s chocolate hoarding. Crap.

At 19 months old now, we’ve been pacifier free for about a full month. So far so good, and I think she’s forgotten about them for the most part, until we go somewhere and she sees another kid with one. Then, all hell breaks loose, and there’s nothing you can do to change her laser-beam focus on the sooker. We’re done for.

What are your thoughts? Is it ok to let a kid use a pacifier till whenever they want to give it up? Do you think it can turn them into one of those creepy adult babies featured in those
“reality” shows?