Tag Archives: 12-18 months

She Says… Belated Daddy’s Day

Father’s Day was ages ago. I know. But still, it was a really nice day. And when I walked out the door this morning at 6:40am to catch the train to work and breathed in the 1,000,000% humidity and felt my hair go frizzy in about 2 seconds flat, I was aching for the cool breeze and gorgeous weather of just a few short days ago. So I’m going to share pictures of it with you now, in an effort to remind myself that THAT is the norm for this time of year (in Boston, my sincerest apologies to those of you who live in a climate where this is normal), not THIS.

I don’t usually complain about the weather (because 1. it doesn’t do any good and 2. it will change tomorrow anyway), but I am NOT GOOD at being hot. The summer I was pregnant with Owen and my feet were so swollen I could barely wear flip flops, I vowed that if it was within my control I would NEVER have another late summer baby. Ugh. I melt like a popsicle. Give me snow anyday and I am a happy girl.

Anyway. Happier thoughts.

Last Sunday we decided, as a Father’s Day present, we would whip out the bike trailer. Do you remember when we got it last year? We envisioned family bike rides and combining exercise with time outside for Owen and afternoons picnicking around town.

And then we realized that Owen HATED it. We tried a number of things to get him to like it last year, but I think the reality is that he was just so little. And the helmet caused him a lot of discomfort on his tiny head. So we took it for a spin a few times, but never really got into a groove of weekly bike rides.

Fast forward to this year. Owen is bigger. He LOVES wearing his bike helmet, and he loves doing anything that Mommy and Daddy do. So that part was easy. He fits in the seat much better and can do things like handle his own snacks and drinks while he’s riding. He understood the concept of going somewhere, so we decided to ride to a nearby restaurant for Father’s Day brunch.

It was quite lovely! Owen stayed put, except for asking to “see Mommy” several times throughout the ride, which was actually good exercise for me as I would sprint up alongside him when there were no cars coming. Benjamin pulls the trailer and I bring up the rear when we ride, since we’re both a little nervous about cars being able to see the trailer on the road. The only downside is that while Benjamin is getting an incredible strength workout, I’m usually in the back shouting “FASTER, DADDY! FASTER!”, because he is slowed WAY down by the heavy load he is pulling. It’s not really a workout for me to keep up.

I won’t say that Owen LOVED it, but he certainly tolerated it. And he’s been talking about it ever since, so I think he had more fun than he let on at the time. I think at this point all we need to do is practice (like doing short rides every weekend so he can get used to it)…

…and keep riding to fun places where Owen can get his fill of bacon.

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She Says… A New Bag of Tricks

It wasn’t so long ago that we were bundling up in hats, coats, mittens and boots to go outside, even just to play out in the back yard. When I would say we were going for a walk, Owen would rattle off the things we’d have to put on. “Hat? Mittens? Boots?”. I didn’t realize what a routine we had set up until Monday, when it was randomly over 80 degrees out.

I told Owen we were going to take a walk with Schnitzel and he started the usual string of questions. Excitedly I answered, “No! We don’t need a coat today! It’s so WARM out, buddy.”. But instead of sharing my enthusiasm, his face erupted with tears and he whimpered, “Mittens! Mittens!”. I was so confused, until I realized that he didn’t even really know what “warm out” meant. All he knew was that things were different and he didn’t like it. I tried to explain how fun summer weather was because we didn’t have to wear lots of layers. When he continued crying I gave him the option to wear his coat and mittens anyway. I figured he’d understand what I meant as soon as we got outside.

He did.

Thankfully.

As we were out, I realized it wasn’t just not wearing a coat that was different. I need to pack a whole new bag of tricks to keep us all comfortable and happy in hot weather.

What we used to have in the stroller/diaper bag for an “outside outing” in the winter:

  • Hats
  • Mittens for Owen/gloves for me
  • Blanket
  • Rain/wind cover for stroller
  • Chapstick/hand lotion for me
  • Extra coat, snowpants or layers for Owen, depending on the activity
  • Tissues for snot wiping

What I need to get organized as the summer weather approaches:

  • SUNSCREEN
  • Hat for Owen
  • Bubbles and balls and other outside toys (and some to share with the friends we meet at the park/playground, etc.)
  • WATER for both of us
  • Water bowl for the dog
  • Extra pair of shorts/bathing suit for Owen
  • Towel

The weather is back to 60’s today, so apparently I have a little time to get used to the changing seasons (phew!). I would have been a little disappointed if we skipped spring altogether and went straight to mid-summer heat.

What do you pack in your “summer” bag?

She Says… Dinner

I’m sure you’ve read the studies that say things like

the more often families eat together, the less likely kids are to smoke, drink, do drugs, get depressed, develop eating disorders and consider suicide, and the more likely they are to do well in school, delay having sex, eat their vegetables, learn big words and know which fork to use. – Time Magazine

Eating dinner around the table as a family is important. It’s extremely important to me, mostly because the majority of my fondest memories occurred around the dinner table. And not just on Thanksgiving or Easter. I mean the regular, old, gather-up-all-the-kids, put-away-the-homework, turn-off-the-tv, sit-around-the-table, everyday, weeknight dinner. Eat together. Laugh together. Share your day together.

But here’s the thing. As much as Benjamin and I enjoy cooking and preparing lovely meals, we usually eat them in front of the tv. We’re together, and we’re doing something we both enjoy, and after a long day of working and taking care of Owen, it’s how we decompress. Not going to apologize for it or  say “Wah, I wish we didn’t do this”. It’s nice. We enjoy it. And I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. But we always said, as soon as we had kids, we would do family dinners right.

Even though we had a kid 18 months ago, family dinner is only now beginning to become a reality. Since Owen was 4 months old he’s been going to bed between 6pm and 7pm, so “dinner together” with enough time for Owen to digest before bed would have meant an afternoon snack for us, really. Benjamin and I much preferred to put Owen to bed early and then have a little time to ourselves, cooking, eating, watching tv. It was our time. And “dinner” with Owen, for many months, involved a parent sitting and feeding and watching and playing defense when the food was thrown on the floor, etc. It wasn’t exactly that calm, winding-down, enjoying-our-food kind of experience we wanted for our dinnertime.

But in the last few weeks there has been a transformation. It has been slow and almost imperceptible, but something is afoot. I can feel it.

1. Owen wants to chat with us. He wants to engage with us. Sitting eye to eye. He wants to use words.
2. The food throwing days are (maybe?) behind us. At least for the time being. Sometimes food still ends up on the floor, and once in awhile it is not quite an accident, but gone are the days (KNOCK ON WOOD) of mindlessly throwing entire bowls of food on the floor.
3. Utensils are Owen’s best friend. He still prefers his fingers most of the time, and still needs a little help stabbing things with a fork (especially the dull, toddler forks), but he will sit pretty quietly and eat an entire plate of food without needing us to feed him anymore.
4. He is a SPONGE. He copies everything from me choosing my clothes in the morning (now he’ll stand in front of my closet and point to different dresses and skirts and say, “Dis?”) to how I dry my hands to how I stand in front of the refrigerator. The kid misses nothing. And he is an astonishingly excellent copycat. If he’s soaking up our habits around food, I don’t want them to be that we grab a granola bar and run out the door all of the time. Sure, that’s inevitable sometimes, but I want him to soak up dinnertime. Sitting. With the family. Talking. Laughing. And enjoying that time.

So we’ve been trying to do dinner as a family.

At least on weekends.

So far, it’s going great (when I have a simple and quick dinner planned). Owen loves to help me prepare it (thanks to our learning tower) and then we all sit down around 5:30pm and eat. In the dining room. For half an hour. We ask Owen about his day and talk about the things we did. We sing, sometimes, since that seems to help him eat his food. We talk about the food we’re eating, and we all eat the same things. Sometimes I let him use an adult fork. He goes crazy for an adult fork.

When it works, it is the happiest time of my day. And the best part? While I finish Owen’s bedtime routine around 7:00pm, Benjamin has done the dishes. Which means that at 7:00pm Benjamin and I can sit in front of the television and put our feet up. Dinner’s done. Kitchen’s clean. Owen’s asleep. BLISS.

We usually have to follow up with a small snack of cereal or something right before bed, because hey, we ate dinner like we live in an old folks’ home. But that’s totally worth it.

Do you do family dinners? What age did you start? What’s your favorite meal to make that the whole family can eat?

She Says… Splurge

Do you hear that?

It’s the sound of angels singing.

It’s the sound of me being able to cook something without Owen wrapping his arms around my leg and trying to climb up my side, shouting “Up! Up! Mommy! Up!”.

It’s the sound of dinner simmering and homemade bread baking and music playing and having a little dance party in the kitchen, all the while knowing that Owen is contained, safe, happy, and still able to see what’s going on at counter height.

This just may be one of my favorite things we’ve ever bought for Owen. And no, no one is paying me to say this. We didn’t even get it for free. Far from it, in fact. This Learning Tower is not cheap. But do you know what it is? WORTH. EVERY. PENNY. And we’ve only had it a week.

Almost every morning, we make Owen an egg for breakfast. Since he got his play kitchen for Christmas he has shown a keen interest in helping (Hep! Help. Cock! Cook. Eh! Eggs.). In the beginning, “helping” meant me holding him while I cooked eggs. Which was a little tricky, what with the hot pan and squirmy toddler. Since we got the learning tower, it’s climbing into his learning tower on his own, choosing which egg from the carton he wants to eat, helping me put the coconut oil (“oyyo”) or butter (“buddah”) in the pan and telling me when it’s sizzling, watching the egg turn white and holding the spatula after I flip it, and finally climbing down from the learning tower on his own and walking over to his high chair to eat it.

Not only is it an awesome bonding time for the two of us, it’s also a great learning experience for Owen and a perfect way to keep him entertained and get something done.

Have I mentioned that I love my learning tower?

I know it may seem like a step stool or chair would do the same job. Well, it didn’t for us. Owen would stand still on our kitchen bar stool for about one millisecond. After that he was twisting and turning and climbing up the back and trying to climb down on his own (which he couldn’t do safely) and even trying to jump off. My little daredevil. A chair wasn’t going to cut it for us, as it still required one parent to stand behind Owen and make sure he wasn’t going to crack his head open.

The tower has kind of transformed the way we spend time in the kitchen. And we spend A LOT of time in the kitchen. The other night we had a dance party — Owen in the tower, Benjamin and I dancing around him, while we cooked. Owen climbs and hangs on the tower and I don’t worry about him falling off. I can put the tower strategically just far enough away from the counter or the stove so he can’t reach the dangerous stuff, but close enough that he feels like he is involved in the cooking process. I’ve heard of other people using it to let their kids play in the sink with soapy water, do craft/art projects on a table or counter, and even turning it into a puppet theater when they get a bit older. Now that’s versatile.

Now my little spider monkey can climb all he wants. And get “Up! Up! Up!” and “Dow! Dow! Dow!” all he wants. And I don’t have to do a thing except make sure nothing breakable is within his reach.

What have you bought or made for your child that had a huge impact on your life? Do you let your toddler stand on chairs or stools, or do you have a learning tower or other contraption?

 

She Says… A is for Apple

I have a problem.

A somewhat strange problem.

It doesn’t impact my life most of the time. But it’s beginning to be more of an issue as we move into the stage of Owen’s life where he learns his letters.

About a week ago I got Owen a set of foam letters and numbers to play with in the bath. He has shown such an interest in learning “names” of things/people/shapes/objects/places that I thought he might be excited to start to identify letters. So far he has learned several shapes (oval, circle, moon and star) and points them out everywhere. We will be driving along and all of a sudden I hear a frantic “OOOOOOOOOOOval” and he’s desperately trying to show me which oval he saw. Anyway, turns out I was right about the new bath toy. The letters are a HUGE hit. Now the issue is getting him OUT of the tub. He loves picking them up and asking “Dat!” about each one. Then he sticks it to the wall. He picked up “O is for Owen” really fast and can now find the letter “O” floating around with all of the other letters.

Anyway. Back to my little problem.

So there we are, playing in the tub, and Owen holds up the letter N. “N!” I shout. “N for … “. My mind is blank. Well, almost. Blank except for words that are not exactly toddler-friendly. Nipple? Nymphomaniac? And often words I don’t even feel comfortable writing on the internet.

B? Boobs. Bastard. Bitch.
P? Poop. Porn. Pervert.
O? Ovulate.

You get the idea.

It happens to me at other times too. I’ll be on the phone with a credit card company or something and they’ll be asking me how to spell my address or my name and I’m all, “S as in …Sex”. And I can not. For the life of me. Think. Of. An. Appropriate. Word.

What is wrong with me?!

I’m not even someone who uses those words regularly. I don’t really curse. Maybe it’s because I DON’T use them? Who knows. But in any case, it sounds like someone needs to learn the NATO Phonetic Alphabet.

What’s the first word you think of that starts with the letter N? Anyone else have this strange affliction?

She Says… Bundled

Last night we FINALLY got some snow around here. (Umm, yeah, not counting that strange pre-Halloween snow that we got in October). I didn’t even know it was supposed to snow, and (rather embarrassingly) went to bed before it started last night, so I was shocked to see the ground covered in white when I woke up this morning! It was a decent “first snow”, too. Usually the first snow gets me all excited and then ends up being a lame dusting that turns to ice. But this was a few good inches of nice, fluffy stuff. The perfect amount — all of the ground was covered but the shoveling was easy, and there was no ice.

I opened the door to let the dog out this morning and squealed to Owen, “Snowwwwwww!”. He promptly said, “BUH bye” and tried to close the door. Ha! But once we got him bundled and ready to go to school he was shouting “Noooooo” right along with me.

Prior to the snow, though, this weekend was BITTER. That kind of biting, harsh cold where the wind seems to cut through all of your clothes and pierce your skin. When just being outside stings and any exposed skin is swollen and cracked.

We’re struggling with bundling up. Well, let me rephrase that. OWEN is struggling with bundling up.

He still adores going outside. He will stand at the back door to our deck, face plastered on the window, and whine, “Ayyoh! Ayyoh!” (Note: I have no idea why he still says some words totally incorrectly, even though he says nearly 200 words relatively clearly. Outside is one of them.). We need to walk Schnitzel anyway, so we’re outside at least once a day for a good stretch.

But then he refuses to wear his “Nyeh nyeh” (mittens).

Which is fine for a little while. But then when his skin gets all red and puffy, he holds his hands up and cries. And won’t put on mittens and won’t tuck his sad hands under the blanket and won’t let me hold them or blow on them to warm them up. Then our walk is over. And if we’re not home yet? He whines and sniffles and whimpers the rest of the way. So I end up stressed, power walking and dragging the dog the rest of the way.

You’d think he’d learn just to keep his darn mittens on!

We’ve been doing his regular clothes + fleece onesie (see above) + winter coat + boots + mittens + hat + blanket over him in the stroller. I have a set of bib overalls for when we play in the snow, but usually that seems like overkill. I use the cover on the stroller when we go for walks when the air is painfully cold (like this past weekend). I call it “the bubble” and made him think it’s a super fun treat to get to “ride in the bubble”, so he’s cool with being zipped in. For now. We’ll see how long THAT lasts.

The mittens thing is beginning to make me a little crazy. We’ve been using just cotton mittens, but unfortunately he can easily bite those off (even with mitten clips). I’m thinking I need some heavy duty ski mittens that go halfway up his arms so he can’t take them off. Anyone ever seen anything like that?

Do your kids wear tolerate mittens? Even a hat is a struggle with Owen, so I’m still squeezing his growing head into a small, 9-month old hat we have with a velcro chin strap. What can I say? The kid has a small head. So far he hasn’t figured out how to tear that off. At least not when he’s wearing his mittens.

She Says… Mommy Phase

First of all, I have to say I am loving the discussion in the comments of my post on what kids should call adults in various situations. So interesting! A little update from our end: yesterday Owen’s daycare teacher showed me that he has learned all of his teachers’ names. He came up with a solution I hadn’t even considered — he calls them only by their last names. I assume this is because they are saying “Ms. Last Name” to him, and he is just skipping the “Ms.” part, but I think it’s a wonderful way to combine familiarity with the beginnings of formality. Cute boy.

Now that Owen has so many words, it’s pretty easy for him to express what he wants (and, perhaps more passionately, what he doesn’t want). We’re constantly working on “using our words” instead of grunts and whining, and to be honest, I think it’s going really well. He’s a natural communicator. But one thing he’s been communicating recently isn’t so nice.

When we came home from daycare last night and had a little time to play before dinner, Owen grabbed my hand and led me over to his play kitchen and said, “Gub!”. (Come). “See-DOW”. (Sit down). “Peh”. (Play). I sat on the floor and we pretended to cook together. Benjamin sat down with us too and almost immediately Owen was pushing him away and shouting, “Nooooo! No! No!”. No Dada.

Unfortunately for Benjamin, this is kind of the norm. When Benjamin kisses me; Owen whines. When Owen brings over a book that he wants to read, he demands, “Moooooommy”, even when I say, “Can Dada read you that book?”. At meals he only wants me to sit next to him and cut his food and give him his cup of milk. I get cuddles and hugs and kisses and pats; Dada gets none. Even when he asks nicely. Thankfully I think this dissipates when I am not around, but when there is a choice, the answer is always Mommy.

Someone is going through a bit of a Mommy phase.

Which shouldn’t be a big deal. Right? I mean, it’s totally normal for kids to choose one parent over the other at different times in their lives. I’m sure there will be days (months? years?) that he chooses Benjamin over me, especially given that he is a boy and there will be guy things that he just won’t want Mom to be a part of.

And, to be honest, Benjamin takes this behavior WAY better than I would. Oh sure, I would play it cool and say, “Ok, go play with Dada” and try to enjoy having the opportunity to do something else, but I’m pretty sure it would sting. Like, a lot. But the truth is, that hasn’t happened yet. It feel like Owen has been going through a Mommy phase since he was born.

On one hand, I love being the chosen parent. It’s undeniable that Owen and I have a special bond. Hopefully we always will. But on the other hand, it’s kind of exhausting. Even when the whole family is together; I’m the one who takes the lion’s share of Owen duties because he wants me to. Usually I want to too, which is good all around, but once in awhile I’d like to be the one checking my email while Owen and Benjamin play blocks together. And, frankly, it makes me feel bad for Benjamin when I see Owen quite literally pushing him away.

We’ve been trying to push back on this behavior a little bit. I’ll say, “Dada can sit with us. Pushing is not ok” and we’ll go from there. Or “Dada can read with us too”. Usually there’s not a big temper tantrum about it, so I’m using it as an opportunity to practice compromise. I don’t want to ignore Owen’s wishes entirely, though, because it’s important to me that he feels heard and understood. I think that is essential to why he is such a great communicator. We listen. Err, we do our best to.

I know some people will probably say that we’re letting Owen “boss us around” or run the show. But I think that letting him make some decisions for himself is a very powerful thing. It shows him that when he expresses himself (with words, appropriately, without temper tantrums), things happen. It’s the same philosophy behind giving him a few choices of what he wants to eat (when it’s practical). Practice making decisions and communicating them. I love the opportunity to let him decide how things will go, whenever possible, because so much of his life is out of his control. It must be tough being bossed around and moved around and talked over all the time by everyone else, so I try to empower him when he expresses his feelings.

Unfortunately in this case they are at the expense of someone else’s. Poor Dada.

I’m sure almost all parents experience this at some point. Right? RIGHT?! Please tell me I’m not alone. How do you react when your kid chooses one parent over another? Does it hurt when you are not “the chosen one” or do you appreciate the time off?

She Says… Ooops

Oh, I wish I had a picture to show you the scene at our house from Saturday night. But I don’t. So I’ll have to do my best to paint a picture of my embarrassment with just words.

To set the scene: It was Saturday night and Benjamin and I were planning to head out to a friend’s birthday party. Our babysitter (a young girl whose parents live directly across the street from us) had just arrived. Since we had such a crazy week with me working late hours and staying in a hotel a few nights, etc., I wanted to put Owen to bed and sneak out after that so he wouldn’t even know we were gone. Bedtime went smoothly and I tiptoed out of his room, slipped on my heels and Benjamin and I headed for the door.

JUST as we were pulling on our coats and closing the door behind us, we heard a beeping. A loud, incessant beeping that we had never heard before. A constant, loud, incessant beeping. We followed the beeping sound to the carbon monoxide detector in the hallway outside of Owen’s room. Instinctively Benjamin tore the beeping thing off the wall and ran down the stairs in an effort to keep Owen asleep. But taking it off the wall only made the beeping worse.

It seemed highly unlikely that all of a sudden our house was filled with carbon monoxide for no good reason, but the carbon monoxide detector has a warning that says in big, bold capital letters: YOU CANNOT SEE, SMELL OR TASTE CARBON MONOXIDE. IF THIS ALARM GOES OFF, CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT OR EMERGENCY SERVICES AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

There were two lights on the front of the detector. Power and Alarm. Alarm was the one that was blinking and beeping.

Shit.

Despite my normal inclination to say, “I’m sure it’s just a mistake. It’s fine. It’s not REALLY an emergency”, I couldn’t ignore the warning or the beeping. And, frankly, we couldn’t get it to stop. I couldn’t bring myself to call 911, since this situation felt far from an emergency, so I looked up the number for our local fire department. The fire chief answered the phone.

“Ok. Does your detector have a battery?”
“Hmmm. I don’t think so. It was plugged into the wall.”
“And is the alarm going off every few minutes, or pretty constantly?”
“Constantly. And the light that says Alarm is blinking.”
“We’ll be right over.”

I hung up the phone and Benjamin and I examined the (constant! loud! incessantly beeping!) detector. Guess what we found? A BATTERY. There is, apparently, a battery backup just in case the power goes out. Benjamin and I couldn’t help but laugh at our own stupidity while we changed the battery and plugged it back in.

Silence. (And, surprisingly, silence from Owen’s room too, even with all of the beeping and scrambling and yelling over the beeping).

I called the fire chief back to tell him we didn’t need anyone to come over. That we were idiots who didn’t know there was a battery in there even though it was plugged into the wall. “They are already on their way”, he said.

Double shit.

I opened my front door to see a gigantic fire truck with lights blazing, and 2 big firefighters jumping out of the doors and putting on their fire gear. (Yes, for real.). I ran up to the truck and explained what happened. We are idiots who didn’t know there was a battery in there even though it was plugged into the wall. The stupid thing must light up the alarm button when your battery dies. I’m sorry! They decided to come in and check it out just to be safe. So the big, burly firefighters in their heavy firefighting gear stomped through my house holding a meter in the air and looking for deadly gas. Surprise! They didn’t find any.

During this time our babysitter was just hanging out in the kitchen watching this unfold. And her PARENTS (who, remember, live right across the street) saw the fire truck pull up at our house and thought there was some emergency. So THEY come running over, barefoot, to see what happened. They were thankful that we were still there, and, to be honest, I was thankful that they ran right over. If there really had been an emergency I would have appreciated their concern. In this case, though, it just made us feel like even bigger idiots :)

After a few minutes of the firefighters checking the air in various parts of the house and me pleading with them that they should get back to the station in case of a real emergency, they left. I cursed myself for not waking Owen up to see them. He would have freaked out. A REAL, LIVE FIRETRUCK AT OUR HOUSE?!

Just as they left I heard him crying from his room. Apparently that was enough ruckus to wake him. I waited at the bottom of the stairs to see if I needed to go in, but he stopped after a minute or so and went back to sleep.

Ok. Babysitter was still there, alarm was off, baby was asleep. So we went out.

Just a normal Saturday night.

She Says… Mrs. So-and-So

Owen has been completely obsessed with names recently. When we received Christmas cards over the holidays we put them all up on the wall and his favorite thing was to point to each one and ask (read: demand), “Dat?”. After I said each name he would repeat it (to the best of his ability). And then giggle. And then ask me again. Lather, rinse, repeat. Often I would turn the question back on him and ask him who the people were, and he almost always said the right name! Go figure, Mr. Social is totally enamored with learning names.

He also knows the names of people on food packages when he plays in the pantry cabinet. Oh yes, he and Bob (of Bob’s Red Mill) and Uncle Ben (of Uncle Ben’s Rice) are on a first name basis. And if there are any people on cereal boxes, Owen calls them all “guy”. The kid sees a face and wants a name!

In public, he will point to people and say, “Dat!” as if I know everyone’s name. It’s getting a little awkward to have to say (out loud, usually within earshot), “Ummm, I don’t know that person’s name, buddy…”. And even more awkward to say, “That’s a man/woman/girl/boy/kid” and realize that I’ve guessed wrong. Ooops. The other day Owen learned the word people (pee-boh), so at least I’ve got that one as an easy out.

He talks about our friends constantly, even when they are not there. He constantly “finds” his cousins and aunts and uncle and grandparents (most of whom he hasn’t seen in months) in books and on the street. When we sing songs he will shout out their names and I will work them into the song. He comes home from school with new words every day and finally I’ve come to realize that many of them are names of his new little buddies. Have I told you he’s obsessed? Obsessed.

At school he is supposed to call his teachers Mrs. and Ms. So-and-So. This strikes me as kind of funny, since he is only a toddler, but I guess it is good practice in formality for later in life. In any case, it feels a little strange to refer to his teachers as Ms. So-and-So when most of them are clearly my age or younger. But what is even weirder is thinking of having Owen call my friends Mr. and Mrs. So-and-So. I can remember several of my parents’ friends who I called Mr. or Mrs., and definitely when I met my friend’s parents, they were Mr. and Mrs..

Does that mean that Owen should be calling my college friends by their formal title when he learns their names? REALLY?! Not going to happen, folks. But then will it be weird when he is 10 and going over to friend’s houses and calling their mothers by their first names?

Maybe it’s generational. Maybe Owen’s generation WILL call their friend’s moms by their first names. And maybe it won’t seem weird then.

What do your kids call your friends? Their teachers? Do you feel weird introducing people as Mr. or Mrs.?

She Says… Hollow Leg

Well if New Years weekend was defined by puking and NOT eating, this past weekend has been defined by eating everything in sight.

For Owen, thankfully, not me.

The kid must have a hollow leg or something. Yesterday he was pretty cranky and every time I asked him, “Are you hungry?” he said yes. And he ate. Boy, did he eat.

6:15am – Sippy cup of milk
7:20am – Scrambled egg, 1 waffle with butter and jelly, pomegranate seeds, 1/2 banana
8:00am – Dry cereal and steamed carrots (random… I was packing up a snack to take to a friend’s house and he just kept saying and signing, “More! More!”)
8:45am – Pretzels in the car to keep him from screaming the entire time (Yeah, we’re still not over the “I hate the carseat with a passion” phase)
10:00am – Banana bread at a friend’s house (He would’ve eaten several pieces if I hadn’t cut him off)
10:45am – Hot dog, cheese, steamed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots (the random “clean out the ‘fridge” snack I packed for our morning playdate)
12:00pm – Sippy cup of milk, crackers and green peppers with hummus for dipping, more pomegranate seeds and a few bites of my yogurt
3:00pm – Pirate booty and apple sticks (his favorite snack to snap him out of the post-bad-nap weeping)
5:00pm – Another sippy cup of milk, lemon pepper fish, green beans and sweet potato fries.
5:30pm – Black beans, pomegranate seeds, more sweet potato fries and frozen raspberries (apparently not finished eating!)

Today has been much of the same. I usually stick to fruits, veggies and proteins more than carbs, but the kid seems to be carbo-loading. Perhaps he’s running some marathon I’m not aware of. Or just refilling the fuel tank that he emptied last weekend. Either way, I’m fully expecting him to bust out of all of his clothes by the end of the week.

I know toddlers’ eating habits wax and wane and kids generally eat exactly what they need. And I like to follow Owen’s cues to figure out how much I should put on his plate, but I’m beginning to wonder if I should cut him off! I assume this only gets worse when he is a teenager…

Has your toddler gone through similar periods of eating everything in sight? Or perhaps in the other direction, a food strike?