Am I just setting myself up?

I am planning a trip to Texas to visit my sister and brother-in-law. Am I setting myself up for a day filled with crying, toddler tantrums, and all out stress?

I have decided to brave airports, car rentals, and hotels with both boys…by myself. Husband has limited vacation time, so he can’t really take the time off to join me. I used to be a frequent flyer, so I know the whole check-in, load, get off, wait for bags, etc of flying. I even flew three separate trips with “J” in his first year. He was an amazing flyer- pretty much fell right to sleep as soon as the plane took off.

BUT now with two kids, I am kinda worried. I really hope that “J” is still a good flyer- doesn’t have to fall asleep, but at least no tantrum would be nice. And “E” has never flown so I really do not know what to expect of him.  I am already trying to plan out my day to try to get it to go as smoothly as I can.

I can already imagine the various looks from strangers I am going to get! The dirty ones and eye-rolling from those who didn’t have kids and don’t understand how hard it is to wrangle backpacks full of toys and coloring books, strollers, shoes, and everything else that has to get pushed through the security check point while making sure no kids get left behind. The sympathetic ones from those moms who have been there done that and know the stress. And of course those looks that are indescribable from people when they realize that their assigned seat for the 5 hour plane ride is next to two kids. Or the ones I hate the most  are the ones that seem to say “your their mom- you should know how to shut them up” (yet the look wouldn’t be given if it was the dad).

Despite all these looks, I want to visit my family and will fly across the country to see them. I just pray that this trip will go smoothly so I will want to actually do it all over again.

Will attempt again…soon

I have decided that “J” is more ready than I am for potty training. “J” went into ottoman in living where we store the diapers and wipes- got the wipes and a new diaper, brought it to me, and laid down in front of me for me to change him out of a poopy diaper. I think that was a sign that he is ready to stay clean- which is so crucial for potty training. “J” also will pretty much undress himself for bathtime, so I know the motor skills are almost there too.

I am ready for one less set of diapers to change, however I really do not know if I am ready for the on-call, which park has the cleanest/closest bathrooms, where each store’s bathrooms are, and road trips taking FOREVER due to potty stops more often. And with a trip to Texas to see my sister in February, I think I will wait a bit longer. But then after the trip, I have told myself that I should stay home and focus on just potty training.

Should I be worried?

“J” talks a lot. He chats to me in the kitchen, squeals with delight when the dog takes the treat nicely from his hand, and informs “E” about how to correctly use all the toys. BUT about 50% of it is still ‘baby talk’.  He does a combination of ‘baby talk’, signs, sounds, and words. If you ask “J” about an elephant- instead of saying elephant or any derivative of that- he will put his hand up to his nose like a trunk and give a little sound. “J” will give lion roars and car/truck vrooms. And of course there are the necessary words for a day in the life of a toddler- mom, dad, ball, juice, and nana(banana).

“J” is a wonderfully smart kid- that understands simple commands, makes me laugh everyday, and can’t get enough of his brother (unless “E” is trying to play with the wrong toy).

So I ask again…should I be worried that he isn’t saying more clear adult words, or doesn’t know his letters or numbers yet, or should I just assume that he will get it when he gets it?

Progress

We made progress yesterday. We finally set up “E”s crib (he has currently been in a bassinet next to our bed). This means he will move to his own room/bed very soon- which is good because when the dog wakes me to let her outside, she also tends to wake him up way too early.

We also got “J”s room set up aside from the bed (we still have to get the mattress figured out). I moved the oversized living room chair upstairs to “J”s room and set up a little reading corner. A trip to PetCo ended with a 14 gallon tank  and a few fish for white noise and entertainment.  I will start with the new routine of bath for both, putting “E” to bed, then reading and cuddle time with “J” before he gets put to bed. I know it might take a few tense nights, but I vowed to myself not to let crying go on for more than 5 minutes a time and the blanket “lovey” will continue to be available for hopeful acceptance. I know we will all be better in the long run.

Just go to sleep…

When I was pregnant, many people warned that I shouldn’t create the “total silence” for kids to sleep in. Life isn’t that way. A cousin of mine, when she was little, used to yell at her parents from the top of the stairs for them to be quiet so she could sleep. I vowed that I was NOT going to have any kid of mine do this.

So my kids are the ones that will fall asleep pretty much anywhere and sleep through pretty much anything. Both “J” and “E” can sleep through the others cries and our dog’s barking (unless it is right in their ear). Both can fall asleep in the car- which has made car trips and vacations easier. When “J” was about 1 years old, he was “that kid” who was able to fall asleep in the midst of bright lights and yelling fans at a Friday night football game. 

Yet, we are having this predicament of “J” not being able to sleep and stay asleep in his own bed through the whole night. Sigh.

The delicate line of parenting

There is a delicate line that all parents have to ride on. How much freedom or independence to give your child? This is different for each age you parent.

For example, the line I am treading on right now with “E”, is whether I feed him myself (which is WAY cleaner) or do I let him feed himself (though it takes longer and has more clean up)? I know I have to let him feed himself in order to build his fine motor skills of picking up little things likes Cheerios and peas.

As a young toddler, when do you give up control of silverware and allow the toddler to learn how to feed himself?

With “J” now in his “I’ll do it myself”stage, comes the fine line of letting him walk by himself but maintaining his safety. He throws a fit holding my hand, but I need him to be safe in the parking lot where others may not see him or even look.

I know the next lines will be even more challenging. I can only imagine the delicate lines of  grade school and when is the right time to allow sleep overs, middle school and being dropped off for movies or at the mall with friends for the first time, teen years and dating, first job, driving, curfews. It is all the parenting lines that we have to experience: when to allow your kids to experience life, learn from their struggles, cheer on their achievements, and grow up- not too fast, but not keeping them babies.

To cloth or not to cloth?

Please don’t get upset but I see my percentage of disposable diapers such a minor amount that I don’t feel guilty using them. However, I have and continue to contemplate using cloth diapers. Not for the environmental aspect- as I would have to laundry more often- but for the budget and wishing-upon-all-wishes-potty training aspect.

I have been doing research, emailing other mom’s who I have seen using the, and “excel”ing my way through cost effectiveness. Majority of cloth diapers referred to me by mom’s are about $17-$20 each. With two boys and having enough to only do laundry every three days, I figure I would need 40-50 diapers. That is A LOT of money.  I found some reviewed higher than the $18 brand for only $11each. That is slightly more cost-effective.  Cost would be about equal to 9 months of disposable.

I don’t know what to do. Do I dive into a huge investment of time and money and force myself to like my choice? Or do I buy a few (maybe enough for like 3 days for J) and do a test run?