When kids start talking, parents usually look at themselves and say “we need to limit what we say so baby doesn’t learn these bad habits”. I don’t talk bad about Husband even when mad, I try to use proper English (at least as much as I can remember the rules to), and I really don’t swear that much so I didn’t think I had any habits that needed to be curbed. However toddlers are like super sponges. They pick up on EVERYthing. “J” made me realize what vocal habit I do have and repeat a lot. “J” repeated it after me one night which I kinda smiled at, but then started noticing how much I actually say it….
Yup, I say “all right” before I pretty much do anything with the kids. “All right, let’s get on our socks and shoes and go “J”” or “All right, it’s bath time! All the little bodies- clothes and diapers off, and into the tub”. Or this is the one “J” repeated after me- as we settle down for reading books at bedtime, “All right, ready? Red fish, blue fish…”. When I said ‘all right,ready’, “J” pulled the blankets up over his body, cuddled his bear, pointed at the book and responded “all-ight”.
So is it bad? Probably not. But my little sponge of a toddler picked up that habit, I shudder at what other-worse ones I might have that he is currently working on copying. Hopefully its just the good habits like saying please, thank you, excuse me, and opening the door for others…well I can hope.
“J” loves trains. Cancel that- “J” is obsessed with trains. Pretty much ever since we when to the train museum in Old Sacramento and “J” got to play with the ‘Thomas the Train’ kids tables upstairs, he is obsessed. I am talking he starts yelling “train! train!” when we are driving and he sees train tracks- and the yells are even louder if he actually sees a train.
As a way to sneak in more one-on-one time with “E” when I put him down for bed, I
put “J” in our bed and let him watch an episode of ‘Thomas’. He gets so excited to watch he starts chanting ‘thomas,thomas, yeah thomas’ as the episode starts.
Being around “J” all day and used to decoding his toddler speak, I know this is what he is saying. However Husband pointed out today that “J”s ‘thomas’ sounds more like ‘badass’. Husband had “J” saying it over and over just to laugh at the clean-but-sounds-like-profanity-words from our toddler.
Today while I was cleaning the kitchen, I failed to notice when “J” went from the living room to playing upstairs (I know I should notice and he might have fallen down the stairs, but I count my blessing that he didn’t). I finished up the scrubbing and took “E” to check on “J”. When I reached the gate at the top, I noticed it was closed and latched so J must have slammed gate after he went though. I also found all the doors shut; I called J’s name but he didn’t answer. So I went door to door searching for him. Not in his or E’s room;not in my room; not in either bathroom…..CRAP! I heart dropped. How did I lose my son? He didn’t go out in backyard because he would have asked me to open the door.
Crap, crap, crap. Where is he?
The only door left…the hallway linen closet. He couldn’t be, could he?! I slowly opened the door….
Out fell J! He had apparently hid there when I called out from downstairs mid-cleaning (to my defense I heard giggling so I assumed he was fine). He then must have shut the door but couldn’t twist handle to get back out; and then proceeded to fall asleep for a nap!
Thank goodness he was ok…it made for a funny story now after the fact.
Now don’t get me wrong, Husband is an AMAZING dad. However sometimes he does things that well…make my job harder. This morning I gave “E” a small yogurt cup with the lid on and a spoon to entertain while I did a quick chore- and after my chore was finished I would feed him the yogurt. Husband walked into the kitchen, saw “E” with the unopened yogurt , opened it for “E”, and walked upstairs to go shower. He thought he was doing me a favor by opening the container. This is what I came back to….
“E” was so excited about the yogurt I couldn’t be mad…
It was such a sticky mess that I ended up having to change his shirt.
Being in a rental means limitations on how personalized you really can make a space. We have been trying to make “J”s room most comfortable and personalized as we can- so encourage sleeping in his own room. “J” loves his fish tank and wants to feed them every morning. The stars are pointed out every night. But the reading corner just kinda was blah. So I introduced a tree….
This tree is not paint. It is actually brown felt adhered to the wall via…wait for it…laudry startch! I learned that you can adhere fabric to the walls here and it will come off with no problems with landlord.
It attempts to build in a little learning too- I put the tree up as “winter” tree (we live in central valley of CA so winter means bare trees- no snow). It seemed though after I put it up, that it is actually closer to spring and summer. While “E” napped yesterday, I put up leaves. I think it looks even better and more homey now.
“J” loves pulling the leaves down and showing them to me or “E” and then putting them back up again.
As I have mentioned in past posts, we have had “J” co-sleeping in our bed. Which has been nice on occasion, we can sleep in longer. “J” just would wake up, find the remote on the side table, and turn on cartoons (I know, a 2-year-old shouldn’t watch tv, let alone being able to turn on the tv to his cartoons- I need sleep so I have energy or I would be on a coffee drip all day). “E” has also been in a pack-n-play next to our bed. So Husband and I have shared our bed/room with our two monkeys.
This has been okay BUT after a few months, we want to actually talk in normal voices and watch late night news before bed. So we have been prepping “J”s room to make it a ‘big boy’ room complete with a queen size mattress on the floor (so no waking due to falling out of bed), a fish tank with 30 or so fish (white noise and morning entertainment), an oversized chair for reading books, glow in the dark stars and planets on the ceiling for wind down bed time, and a blanket/teddy bear lovey.
So I buckled down right when we got back from our trip. “E” transitioned easily into his crib in his room (he slept through the night before so different bed really made no difference). “J” had one awful- I mean awful night. I put “E” to bed, then read 5 books to “J”, turned off the light and pointed out the stars, gave him a kiss, told him I loved him and walked out the door. The crying started as soon as I turned off the light. It was so bad he would start coughing due to lack of air. My heart was breaking. I went in every 5 minutes to put him back in his bed and tell him I loved him but he needed to sleep in his own big boy bed. This went on for an hour. Finally I went in and didn’t say a word or look at his eyes- I just pointed at the bed. “J” went to lay down and continued crying, but 2 minutes later it went silent. Sleep had finally won….at least until midnight. I repeated the point with no spoken words. And again at 4am. And finally at 6:30a I allowed him to get up and go downstairs for breakfast.
But after this awful night of crying and power struggles, the next night came with only a minute or so of crying then quiet. And it was like “J” tested me at 2 am to see if I would give in, but I didn’t do anything but point. Now it seems the new routine has been accepted as that is the way it is. “J” goes to bed in his own bed after 4 books (toddler-very short-books), I give his a kiss, tell him I love him as I turn off the light and walk out…and last night there wasn’t even a peep of a cry!
Our king size bed-which was starting to feel crowded- now feels huge with no more monkeys. YEAH!! So nice. I will miss the cuddles mid night, but it was time to let “J” have his own space.
SIGH! That is a huge sigh from a mommy that is trying her best to regain patience before the next seemingly-out-of-the-blue toddler meltdown occurs. “J” seems to have flipped a switch to the “terrible 2s”. He isn’t terrible all the time. Melt downs just seem to be happening more often for seemingly no reason out of our normal routine. Getting changed out of pjs into clothes for the day= meltdown. Going upstairs for a bath= meltdown (he wants to watch tv downstairs). Walking into Target for diaper with “E” in the carrier= meltdown (he wants to be carried too). “J” is also getting more vocal and possessive of toys and pretty much everything. If “E” touches a toy, “J” says ‘no! down!’ and pushes “E”s hands away from the toy/couch/walker. I understand part of this is “E” getting big enough to want to play with the same toys, but geez! Not everything in the whole house is off-limits to “E”.
am using the excuse have concluded that “J” is in the terrible 2s stage and I need to hang on for a couple of years of toddler battles.