Tag Archives: 10-12 months

She Says… 12 Months

My precious son,

You are a year old. One whole year. 12 months. 365 days. Although it seems like it has gone by an in instant, it also kind of feels like a lifetime has gone by since this time last year. On July 24th, 2010 I got to see your sweet face for the first time. Daddy and I had worked so hard to create you, and I thought about you every day when you were growing in my belly, but we didn’t really know you back then. We had a lot of learning to do. We loved you; yes, we loved you so fiercely that simply loving you consumed our lives in those early days. But we didn’t really know you. As a person. Our tiny person.

Now we know you. We know the twinkle in your eye when you are about to toss food off of your high chair. Which you do a lot. And you think it’s hilarious. Here’s a secret: though I try not to show it, I think it’s hilarious too. We know the slow blink you do when you wake up from a nap. The slow blink that turns into a smile that morphs into a grin that often erupts into a giggle as you stand up, toss your lovey over the rail of your crib and then feign sadness. We know the little dance/knee bounce you do when you hear the ABC song. We know the feel of your little fingers in our hands as you toddle faster and faster and farther and farther.

We know the way your hair spikes up, still wet from the bath, and how it is as soft as a little duckling’s feathers when it is dry. We know how mischievous you are and how you love to put dog toys in your mouth even when we tell you not to. We know how you are drawn to anything with buttons. We almost always know what you are pointing at when you gesture with your whole arm and cry, “Uh uh”. We know that you are happiest when you are climbing on something (recently the dog) and listening to music.

We know the sound of your cry and your voice and your breathing. We know the curves of your fingernails and your funny, flat big toenail that is still smooshed from when you were in the womb. We know your big, beautiful, piercing, dancing blue eyes. We know your adorable outie bellybutton with the criss-cross creases that slowly emerged once your umbilical cord closed up. We know every tooth as it pushes its way through your gums and makes you cranky with pain.

We know that you love drinking your bottles. You tip your head back and rest it on my shoulder as you gaze up at me, still playing gently with my curls like you did when you were a tiny baby. Now your motor skills are so fine that you can hold a single hair. You pat my cheeks and tickle my knee and sometimes kick your legs absentmindedly. We cuddle. You love to cuddle, but only when drinking your bottle. After that, you are off and running. We know your sweet, sensitive, quiet side. We know you.

But you know what the most amazing thing is? There’s still so much about you that we don’t know. We don’t know what your first word will be (beyond “Dada”, which you are beginning to use appropriately for Daddy, and “Duh” for dog). We don’t know what your favorite subject in school will be. We don’t know what style you will have. We don’t know what words you will write or music you will make or sports you will play. We don’t know when you’ll fall in love or who you’ll fall in love with. We don’t know what you’ll choose to do with your life or what you’ll remember about your childhood. We don’t know what type of a man you will be or what career you will choose. We don’t know what you’ll be passionate about.

I am so in awe of you already. I can’t imagine how that love will grow and multiply as I get to know the person you will become. You have an amazing personality bottled up in that tiny body of yours, and I am so excited to watch it unfold.

I hope your eyes always dance the way they do now. You light up with joy and approach life with an open-mouthed grin. I love that about you. You are confident and social and determined. You are independent and curious, but you always keep an eye on me to make sure I am by your side. I am. I always will be.

Even though you don’t have the words to tell me what you are thinking yet, we have such a strong bond that I always kind of know. I know that will change over the years, but I hope that you always know that I want to know. I want to know you forever. I know for sure that I will love you forever.

I love you, my little 1 year old. I don’t know how you got so big so fast. It is exhilarating to watch you grow beyond the reach of my arms. By far the most challenging and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. You stretch me. You amaze me. You make me a better version of myself.

All my love (and then some),
Mama

Wanna see? Daddy put together a video of our birthday weekend celebration.

She Says… Waaaaaah

Remember this? This was me one year ago today. Buying our new car just days before Owen was going to pop out. And pop he did. Oh man was I gigantic! And swollen!

Testing out the new Sienna

And then this happened. And all of a sudden our little family grew.

And Owen arrived. And my heart grew even bigger than I ever imagined was possible. And, thankfully, my stomach STOPPED growing. Because really, it was getting a little ridiculous.

And then something weird happened. Time started to distort.

During those first few days and weeks, time seemed to stop. I didn’t answer emails or phone calls. I was totally and completely wrapped up in my own little world. It took me 5 minutes to change a diaper, carefully wiping around that weird little umbilical cord stump. I agonized over how to wrap swaddle blankets and if Owen should have socks on and if he was getting enough to eat. Tears ran down my cheeks as I tried and tried and tried to breastfeed but there were just too many issues to contend with. I beamed with pride at the little miracle… the tiny person I had just brought into the world. I gasped and clapped and celebrated every movement he made, every stretch of his fingers and little milestone he reached.

A few months later as I got the hang of the whole mom thing and went back to work, time started flying. ZOOMING by. The milestones began coming a mile a minute. He can sit unpropped! He can roll over! He can roll over both ways! He’s eating solids! He can pull up to a stand! He can babble! He can drink from a sippy cup! He’s feeding himself! He took a step! He took five steps! He’s WALKING!

These days, if I close my eyes even for a second, he is off and toddling. He is climbing and twirling and eating and exploring. He babbles and parrots sounds I make and does some sign language. He understands concepts like “in” and “out”, “open” and “closed”. He can understand sentences like “Give the ball to the doggie” (that particlar one is usually combined with, “No! Don’t eat that! Yucky! That’s a DOGGIE BALL. DOG. BALL.”). Or “Can you put the toy IN the basket?”. It is astonishing to talk to him and feel like, all of a sudden, he knows what I’m saying. And it means something to him.

So today marks the beginning of the weekend-long celebration of Owen’s first year. Yes, we had to reschedule his party, because no one was around, but we still have an awesome weekend planned. And there will be cake. Oh yes, there will be cake. It’s got me thinking a lot about what was happening this time last year. I’ve never in my life felt so overwhelmed by how much changed in a year. Waaaaaaaah! Mama’s feeling sentimental!

Owen will have been outside of my body for 365 days on Sunday. That’s a lot of days. HE WILL BE 1 WHOLE YEAR OLD. In the shortest year of my life, he has transformed from a helpless, wriggly newborn into a rambunctious, hilarious toddler. Wow. That’s a lot to celebrate.

She Says… Couch Potato

Owen is obsessed with all things technology-related. Phones. Remotes. Power cords. Light switches. Night lights plugged into the wall. Heck, anything plugged into the wall. Outlets. Computers. iPods. He wants to touch them, explore them, eat them. Mainly just eat them.

And then there’s this.

Kind of the king of all things that light up and make noise, right? Well, not to Owen. He has almost never seen the thing on. And I like it that way.

But given the bouts that we’ve had with Owen’s scary asthmatic breathing in the past when he’s been sick, we’re trying to follow the doctor’s orders and give him this preventative breathing treatment once a day. It’s only about 8-10 minutes, but imagine trying to hold a hurricane in your arms for 2 minutes. Let alone 10. It’s… trying. On all of us. And the ONE THING that makes it bearable is the tv. Brightly colored cartoons and Sesame Street-style music hold his attention for at least 2 out of the 10 minutes. Especially since he doesn’t even see that amazing thing on at any other point during the day. And that’s 2 minutes that I don’t have to be singing/bouncing/holding the mask/holding down his hands.

For awhile we only gave him the “emergency” albuterol treatments when he was so sick that his wheezing was audible or when the doctor said we should. Now that we have been through those episodes a few times, we know exactly what they look like and sound like, and I know when to give him the albuterol without the doctor even having to see him. In addition to those treatments, the doctor suggested that we add the daily preventative treatment with a different medicine in it. To be honest we gave up on that pretty quickly. It’s one thing to give it to him when he’s sick; quite another to try to pin him down when he’s perfectly healthy. It’s hard to stop your rambunctious, happy toddler from playing and walking and exploring and try to stick a mask on his face and hold his hands down so he doesn’t pull it off. We reserve those fights for when he really, really needs it.

Now before you get all “what a bad mother, she’s not giving her son his medicine” on me, please note: since he’s so little and can’t do some of the diagnostic tests for asthma, no one is really convinced that he actually NEEDS this daily treatment. It’s possible the asthmatic breathing only happens when he’s sick (though you all know how much he’s been sick in the last 6 months!). So that makes it even harder to commit to giving it to him daily. I’m not entirely convinced he needs it. I mean really. He is the most active little toddler I’ve ever seen. He never stops moving. His breathing is fine.

But there is a part of me that doubts my own intuition on this one. What do I know about asthma? I don’t have it. I don’t know what it feels like. And I don’t even know what Owen is feeling, exactly, so I don’t want to be making a decision about his health without the proper medical information.

So since the last episode of asthmatic breathing that required albuterol treatments, we’ve been doing our best to give the daily treatments. For 8-10 minutes at some point after dinner and before bedtime, we, Owen, Benjamin and I, sit on the couch and try to make a nebulizer treatment fun.

This is a nebulizer. Ours has a tiny little mask with a fish face on it that is supposed to make it fun. Owen doesn’t care.

So we pour medicine mixed with saline into the the blue and white canister, attach it to the tube which connects to the nebulizer, and turn it on. The loud motor pushes air through the tube, which then turns the liquid medicine into mist, and it’s blown into Owen’s nose and mouth through the mask.

The main problem is the mask. Owen won’t tolerate it being held onto his face with the elastic band provided, so we took the band off and I just hold it against his face. Then he tries to chew the corners and rip it down and throw it on the floor, which sometimes results in me spilling the medicine and getting incredibly frustrated. So our recent plan of attack is to have Benjamin hold Owen on his lap, turn on something cartoony and musical on the tv, and bounce his legs and play with his hands while I play defense and try to keep the mask against his face.

I’ve realized two very important things:
1. MUSIC is very important. If there is a period of talking on tv, he gets totally bored and begins pulling at the mask again.
2. MOVEMENT is very important. We have to bounce his legs and dance his hands. The second we stop, the pulling and squirming ensues.

When we have the magic combo of music and movement, he’s mesmerized and forgets all about the mask. The TV is a huge help in getting to that glazed over look we’re going for. But since we’re trying to do this every night, we’re realizing quickly that there is NOT always (ever?) a good baby-friendly cartoon on tv.  I’m not up on my cartoons these days, so I don’t even know what to Tivo. I’m thinking investing in a dvd or two would be our best bet.

Do you let your child(ren) watch tv? What are their favorite shows? Do you know of any mostly musical cartoons that Owen might enjoy?

She Says… Lovey Wars

Remember this post about how much Owen loves his lovey? It’s funny, for so long I was putting lovey in his crib every night without really knowing if Owen cared about it at all, or if it was really offering any sort of comfort or soothing. Last weekend confirmed it: Owen totally loves his lovey.

When I was working long days and late nights last week, I missed putting Owen to bed for a few days in a row. Prior to this, I have “done bedtime” almost every night for his entire existence, save for the few random nights that I had a commitment (so Benjamin did it) or we got a babysitter (which I can STILL count on one hand – I know, I know, we need to get out more!). While I know it’s dangerous to set up a precendent that only one person does bedtime, I am the one who is home 99% of the time, and to be honest, I adore it. I snuggle my nose into his soft, clean hair, still damp from the bath. I rock gently and sing lullabies and murmur how much I love him into his ear. I massage his little feet and gaze at his tiny toes while he sleepily drinks his bottle. When he finishes his bottle I stand and rock him some more and sing while he pats my face and twirls my hair. Then I lay him down, hand him his lovey, give the sign language for “sleep”, and say goodnight.

9 times out of 10, I don’t hear a peep when I shut his door. Sometimes he babbles a bit as he puts himself to sleep (we always joke that he’s telling lovey all about his day), but I haven’t heard crying for ages. But last week, after I missed a few bedtimes, something new happened.

The Lovey Wars began.

It all started during a nap time on the first full day I was home after my long work week was over. We did our nap routine and I turned to walk out of the room. As I glanced back at him before shutting the door, I saw him standing in his crib, dangling lovey precariously over the top rail. Looking at me intently, as if to say, “Oh I’ll do it. Don’t leave, or I’ll do it. I’ll drop him.” With a mischievous little grin on his face. I shut the door as normal, to see what would happen. SECONDS later, I hear a loud, and I mean LOUD, wail. Huge crocodile tears too. I went back in immediately because my hand was still on the doorknob and I knew exactly what had happened. But instead of reaching for lovey as I expected, he was crying and reaching his little arms up for ME.

He tricked me.

Lovey was on the floor, but it seemed so intentional that I didn’t know how to react. I handed him his lovey, which seemed to satisfy him for a moment, and then I laid him back down in his crib and left the room again. Crying ensued.

A minute later, the same loud “lovey is on the floor” wail.

I went back in again, thinking maybe he was trying to tell me something that I wasn’t getting. Maybe he was uncomfortable or teething again or had a fever. Maybe he was too hot or too cold or his clothing was too tight. I picked him up and held his head against mine to see what I could deduce. And then I realized it. He had tricked me again. And it worked.

I decided that I needed to have a consistent response to the lovey throwing in order to get through this stage (because everything is a stage, right? RIGHT?!) without regressing into bad sleep habits. So I left the room one more time and tried really hard not to listen to the crying that ensued. Finally Benjamin went up there, handed lovey back to him, and left the room. Silence. I think he wore himself out.

We made a plan: no more retrieving lovey. It’s not that I thought he was manipulating us… I think he was doing exactly what a baby his age should be doing. Testing a theory. If I throw lovey, and then cry, mom will come in and bring it back. Score! And it worked, the first few times. But I was hellbent on this NOT becoming a new fun game. So our lovely and relaxing weekend was peppered by total lovey extinction. Also known as “learn to live with the consequences of your actions”, the toddler version. If he threw lovey (and throw lovey he did), we were not going to come in and give him back. He’d have to fall asleep without lovey.

Sniff, sniff. It just about killed me thinking of him alone in his crib without lovey!

But you know what? It took him 10 minutes to cry himself to sleep for the first nap. Then 7 minutes. Then less and less. And the lovey throwing stopped after less than 2 days. And now we’re back to happy (and long!) sleeping. Hallelujah.

Thank goodness that was a short phase.

What phases have you gone through around this age? What did you do to fight against them, or embrace them?

She Says… Done and Done

We did just what I said I wanted to do this past weekend.

Strolled through the farmer’s market that is practically right outside the door of our new house…

(Owen’s new favorite thing is getting out of his stroller and pushing it)

 

made a yummy dinner with our farmer’s market haul…

went to the pool…

and generally soaked up time with each other.

Glorious.

How was your weekend?

She Says… When the Cat’s Away

… the kittens will play.

Isn’t that the saying?

While I’ve been working late the last few days, Owen learned a new trick. And instead of correcting this behavior, Benjamin giggled along with him and took a video. Thanks for your help, Daddy.


It IS hilarious. But it’s also kind of frustrating. Because although it keeps Owen giggling while he’s eating, it also means just about nothing goes in his mouth. And, you know, though Schnitzel is the right weight right now, that’s not going to last very long if he’s eating all of Owen’s food!

I’ve tried catching the food before it is dropped and saying a firm “no” (while hiding my own laughter, of course). But Owen thinks that is even MORE hilarious.

What’s a mama to do? I know, I know… lighten up? Let him be? Probably. But I’d also like for him to eat something.

She Says… Breaks My Heart

For the vast majority of the year, my job is super flexible. I work from home often. If I need to take an afternoon off to take Owen to the doctor (which, as you know, happens all the time) I can easily adjust my schedule to accommodate it. My commute is easy, even from our new place in the ‘burbs. My manager is wonderful, and totally understanding about the fact that life comes before work. But every few weeks I run an in-person training program (for several days or up to 2 weeks) that requires me to be in early to set up before people arrive, attend dinners and other evening events, and then stay late to be the one signing the check. Though they are generally in Boston, sometimes they are held in other states and once in awhile even other countries (hence getting stuck in Munich last year while very pregnant). The days are long, and when I am the one in charge, there is not a lot of room for flexibility. Thankfully I also love this part of my job.

The good news is that these dates are planned far in advance, so Benjamin is able to block the days off in his calendar and we can be prepared for them. The bad news is that they still, inevitably, fall at inopportune times.

Last week and this week is one of those times.

This week a dear friend of my family’s died and I am missing her funeral. I just couldn’t figure out how to make the travel work, so I won’t be there to be with my father as he mourns the loss of his best friend. Last week Owen’s daycare was closed for a week and Benjamin was (and still is) working on a huge project for work, so we were like ships passing in the night to make sure Owen was cared for. We had a babysitter come for a few days and Owen had one person putting him down for a nap and woke up to someone else. He was given bottles in different laps every day and although we generally stuck to his schedule, things were far from normal.

I missed two bedtimes in a row already, and I’m missing tonight’s bedtime as well.

Even though it’s a short term situation, it breaks my heart.

And even though Owen is remarkably flexible and easygoing, I think it’s taking a toll on him as well. Yesterday both of his daytime naps were 30 – 45 minutes, when usually they are reliably 1.5 – 2 hours. He went down to sleep fine for Benjamin at bedtime, but woke at 4:30am this morning crying. Since he almost never does this anymore, I don’t really let him cry much, since it almost always means something is wrong (he’s wet or his teeth hurt or he threw lovey overboard). I went in to see him and you should have see how big his teary eyes got in the dark room when he saw my face. He beamed at me and cooed and patted my cheeks and touched my curls. He gazed into my eyes by the soft light of his nightlight and let his eyelids droop in my arms. It was just about the sweetest thing ever. He hadn’t seen me since yesterday morning, and I wonder if he woke up to see if I would be there. I’m so glad I was.

Benjamin thinks I’m crazy for thinking that it has to do with me, but my theory is that since I’ve been coming home while he’s been asleep, that he might think if he wakes up, I’ll be there. So he’s waking up early, hoping I’ll be there. Didn’t work out so well for naptimes, since I was still at work, but it had the intended effect at night. Who knows if he is actually capable of thinking like that, but I’m going to stick with this theory that he misses me :)

Needless to say, he didn’t go back to sleep at all this morning, so we’ve all been up since 4:30am. I should have just slept on his floor or something. I can’t blame him for wanting to see me — I wanted to see him! I secretly loved rocking him in the quiet of his nursery this morning. I missed him like crazy. But I don’t want to reward the crying at night so that it becomes a habit.

Thankfully after tomorrow night, I’ll still be working like a madwoman at work during the day, but I should be able to be home by his bedtime. Hopefully he will realize I’m here to stay and will go back to napping regularly and sleeping quietly until a reasonable hour.

Have you had to leave your baby for an “extended” period of time (believe me, I know a few days/bedtimes is not really an extended period of time… but it is for me!)? Did it upset his/her sleep? Is there anything I can do to help him know I’ll be back later? I already wave bye bye and kiss him like I do when I drop him off at daycare, I just think it’s hard for him to figure out when I’m going to come home since it has been so erratic.

She Says… Boo Hoo

I have been dreaming of planning Owen’s birthday parties since before he was born. I LOVE to throw parties. I love the planning and the coordinating and the cooking and the decorating and the little teeny tiny touches that make the event special and different and personal and awesome.

Clearly a 1st birthday party is more for the parents than the child. Seriously. Owen’s perfect day right now would probably involve taking long naps, eating fruit all day and an unlimited amount of toddling around and climbing stairs. He doesn’t care about parties (though he IS Mr. Social and LOVES being around other kids), and he certainly doesn’t need cake (never had anything remotely like it so he has no idea what he’s missing). But there will be a party. And there will be cake.

While I love the idea of a theme party, I just couldn’t settle on one that was both personal to Owen and parent-friendly. I don’t feel the need to cover my living room with Elmo or theme the day after a movie he’s never seen. Not yet. There will be many years of character-themed parties in my future, I’m sure. Rather, I honed in on the idea of an adult party that caters to Owen’s favorite things. I found an invitation online that totally grabbed me (check it out on my Pinterest page), and then Benjamin and I set out to recreate it in a more personal way.

We are so happy with how it turned out.

Since we have negative free time right now between working, moving and, well, living, we decided to skip the steps of printing and gathering addresses and just email it out to our friends and families.

I hit send and anxiously awaited happy replies.

:: Crickets chirping ::

One by one the emails trickled in. “Oh no! We’ll be out of town that weekend.” “Sorry we can’t make it, we have family in town.” “Bummer. That’s the same weekend we’re going on vacation.” Even Benjamin’s parents couldn’t make it. My visions of cupcakes and party food and decorations started to feel kind of silly if no one was going to come.

And I had a flashback to when we figured out Owen’s due date when we first discovered we were pregnant. Benjamin had said, “Oh no! Poor kid. He/she will have a summer birthday so no one will be around to celebrate with him/her.” Whereas my first thought was, “Lucky duck! He/she will get a pool party every year!”. I guess we were both right, but I did NOT give Benjamin’s point enough thought at the time. I mean, not that we could have done anything about it at that point. But you know what I mean. I just didn’t think it would be an issue.

Fast forward to now. It’s an issue.

So I’m putting my “It’s his 1st birthday and I want it to be perfect and on/near his birthday and blah blah blah” attitude behind me and rescheduling the party. Score 1 for Owen. He gets TWO CAKES.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to make an oat-free, gluten-free, dairy light cake that actually tastes delicious. I’m thinking cupcakes so all of my guests don’t have to eat gluten free cake. That and the fact that though I’ve made many batches of cupcakes, I’ve never made a cake. That’s right, I’ve never made a cake (from scratch). I don’t even own round cake pans. So at least this year I can avoid facing that fear.

How did you celebrate your little one’s first birthday?

She Says… Happy 4th — Take 2

Thank you all for your comments on yesterday’s post. Apparently I am not alone in wanting to poke my eyeballs out listening to incessant whining.

We had part of Benjamin’s family over to our new digs for a little 4th of July celebration yesterday, so you do get to see adorable pictures of my [whiny] child after all. And, BONUS!, with so many people around to entertain him, the whining pretty much stopped. Win win.

We played a little whiffle ball, and golf…

Did a bit of walking…

And even tried running. Which didn’t end so well.

Schnitzel drank an entire baby pool of water. That also didn’t end well. (Just kidding!)

We played with sparklers…

And phones. (The wonders of technology, eh?)

Unfortunately today I have that nagging “what if the whining is stemming from an ear infection or other sickness-related thing I can’t see or feel or touch” feeling (which usually means something is actually wrong), so I’ve sent him off to the doctor with Daddy for a once-over while I’m at work.

I’m running a BIG, 2-week training program at work with about 5 times the number of new hires I usually manage, so it’s another one of those days where I barely have time to pee. And will probably continue at that pace until Friday the 15th. And I have to go into the office every day, when I normally work from home a few days a week. 9 work days until the craziness ends. The countdown has started.

Hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend!

She Says… Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July!

I had hoped to have adorable smiley pictures of my little red, white and blue baby for you all to see, but unfortunately our day so far has been filled with nebulizer breathing treatments and a lot of whining. I’m not sure if it’s the bug Owen has (his usual… nasal/chest congestion, asthmatic breathing, stopped up nose, cough and general sickies, possible ear infection), teething (we’re up to 6 teeth and I think he’s working on 7 and 8 right now, though they are taking awhile to pop through completely), or frustration with not being able to walk on his own very far (he can go about 5 feet and then he plops down and is getting increasingly unhappy with that progress), but he is one out of sorts kid today. Thankfully naps have been normal, and he was fine when we went on a walk to see the 4th of July parade in our town, but the playtimes in between have forced me to gather all of the patience I have within me to ignore his whining and not explode.

I HATE WHINING.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Whining is far worse to me than crying or singing offkey or even fighting. It grates on my nerves. It makes me snap. Fast.

I have a feeling I’m going to have to get used to it, given Owen’s age and the fact that the “terrible 2′s” (or 3′s, as my mom always said that was way worse) are right around the corner. We’ve already entered the realm of baby temper tantrums. If Owen is holding my hand while walking and I stop to do something or steer us a certain direction, he throws himself on the floor, folds himself in half smooshing his face on the floor and wails. It’s not usually crying, it’s more of a scream. An angry scream. Thankfully at this age he is easily distracted and placated with something else. But still, it bewilders me.

There is a big part of me that wants to leave him there, crying, until he gets ahold of himself. To teach him that tantrums don’t get him anything. I have very little patience for whining and while I would love to say I “don’t tolerate it”, I’m not really sure what the best thing is to do in that situation. Especially with a child so young that they might not really understand the purpose of such a exercise.

That said, I’m sure he ‘gets’ cause and effect. And if crying and smooshing his red little face on the floor get him what he wants, he’s going to continue doing it.

So how do you avoid these tantrums when they are over something as small as walking the wrong direction? I’m currently reading “Happiest Toddler on the Block” (sequel to “Happiest Baby on the Block“, which absolutely transformed how I comforted Owen in the early months and, I believe, REALLY DID turn him into the happiest baby on the block), and Dr. Karp’s theories about empathizing (really, truly mirroring their frustration or anger or sadness) in a toddler-friendly way and then stating your rationale about why they can’t do whatever they want to do makes a ton of sense. It’s about meeting them at their level, and then steering them in the right direction. If that’s not a metaphor for good parenting, I’m not sure what is. Leave it to Dr. Karp to make it sound that simple! I’m just having a hard time putting it into practice when these little tantrums erupt. Ahem, often, on a day like today.

When it comes down to it I think the frustrated behavior I’m seeing now is a result of being on the verge of being a steady walker. He WANTS to walk somewhere, and gets halfway there and then just CAN’T. YET. GET. THERE. Imagine how frustrating that would be.

So I’m trying to keep that in mind while I listen to his nails on the chalkboard whining. Empathy = the key, right, Dr. Karp? I’m hoping once he wakes up from this nap he’ll be a bit less whiny. Please pretty please. How do you react to these little outbursts? At what age can you start to really make these teachable moments?

I hope your holidays are filled with less whining than mine!