Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Then or Now?

Once again inspired by FB comments and conversations with my Nerdstar.

I'm sure as all mother's do, I think about how parenting was for my Mom.  Not the was she a good Mom or not question, (like all mothers she was both, but the good far outweighs the bad) but did she deal with some of the same issues moms face now.

One caveat to this discussion is that I'm an older mom, so the gap between when I was Noah's age is much bigger than for other moms.

Nerdstar and I were talking about all of the pressure from other moms to be the perfect mother.  It's as if parenting (much more for women than men I think) has become a competitive sport.  From blogs to magazine articles and who knows what else, there are all these ways to get the message "you're not doing it right."  Is it because we communicate so much more through social media than face to face?  I just can't imagine my mom and her friends telling each other the types of things I read these days.  I don't know.

Then, on FB there was a comment about was it better for our parents that cartoons and kid's shows were only on when they were on and there was no you.tube or on demand.

I remember as a kid watching cartoons while getting ready for school in the mornings.  Casper, Popeye, Tom and Jerry, Felix the Cat, old Mickey Mouse.  Then there might be a few more cartoons in the afternoons (maybe that's when Tom and Jerry was on).  And if I got up early enough, there might be Saturday morning cartoons.  But honestly, I remember Soul Train on Saturdays more than cartoons.

So, in some ways I think it's better now.  More choices and at any time.  You don't have to have a set time every day that's "tv time" you can watch it when wanted or needed.  Noah doesn't understand real time tv, but she absolutely knows what the "skip ad" button on you.tube is.

Also, you.tube and on demand give parents the option to skip all those ads targeting children - that alone is worth it!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Lazy Wins

(Disclaimer, parts of this are from FB)

Noah has definitely hit the "play everything ten times back to back" phase of life. It's a blessing and a curse the iPod had a "repeat" button. It does save me from having to get up and manually restart the song every time. (No, we don't have a remote control for it.) We're on the fourth viewing of this particular Curious George video. All I can say about Curious George is that after two days I'd send him back to the jungle.   

So far, our saving grace is that Noah still has decent taste in what he watches/listens to. I'm pretty adamant about never letting him see for the first time things I won't watch 100 times - like Elmo! Curious George isn't my favorite, but it's harmless. He also really likes Mickey Mouse Club House, which is fine.  He'll also watch Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Sophia the First.  Disney Jr. has too many commercials, so I'm glad our On-Demand has all these shows.  Also, our boy just doesn't understand commercials or viewing schedules - heh.  He does totally understand the "skip ad" button on you.tube.

One really cool thing from Noah's video viewing is that thanks to some really cheesy, cheap animated videos with trains carrying the letters of the alphabet, numbers, and shapes - Noah is learning those things without us teaching him.  He picked these videos all on his own.  I'm glad this bodes well for using something like Kahn Academy in the future.

His language development is still coming along slow and steady.  He talks all the time and tells us these long stories, but we still don't understand most of it.  When he really needs to ask or tell us something he usually knows enough words to get his point across.  

Which brings me to Parenting/Teaching approaches.  Ugh.

Two years or so ago I read the books that were really against "child led" stuff.  It was all about the parent setting the eating/sleeping schedule and everything else.  Sounded reasonable.  And then we had a hard-headed son who, while a very good kid, also seems to set his own schedule/agenda.  

So, in some ways, lazy won.  Because he's not anywhere near unreasonable, we let Noah lead a lot.  

Mostly, I believe he's got a lifetime of having to do things on other people's terms and time tables.  He's still very young, and happy, and sweet.  He's social, and curious.

Where we're running into trouble already is with the school system and his speech therapist - who is a developmental therapist not a speech therapist.  She's consistently advised we put him in pre-school to work on his attention span and essentially - compliance.  Um, No.  He's been two this entire time, and his attention span is just fine for his age.  She brought it up again last week, suggesting pre-school in the Fall.  I didn't explain to her all the reasons we don't want to do that.  We don't think it's normal for kids under four or five to sit and conform.  The whole reason I'm staying home with him is to avoid such things. 

Her one hour a week with him, and her determination to get him to sit and pay attention and complete tasks has prevented her from seeing his actual development.  It's been a little frustrating.  

Anyway.  The point is we have a great kid.  He takes a lot of energy, but it's worth it.  

Oh, and the right bribe at the right time is still the best way to help him choose to do good.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Non Update

Well, we're about 2 1/2 weeks into the unknown... and it's all still pretty unknown.

One kinda funny thing, a few weeks ago we were really wishing Nerdstar could just take some time off so we could "get stuff done".  We've put a decent dent in our "get done" list.

As of right now, I'd say it's looking a little more likely Nerdstar will land a job here in the same line of work she's been doing.  We'll know more in a week or so.

This isn't the worst thing.  And if it does work that way, it's probably helpful.  It buys us time.  Time to take a little vacation or two before she starts the new job.  Time to house hunt down in Texas - and employment to be able to get a place.  Time to look into jobs down in Texas.

So, IF a job here comes through, maybe we'll be looking at moving to Texas in the Fall.

If none of this comes through here, well, we can still sell the house and take a chance.

Noah is a crazy boy with Nerdstar home so much.  Wow.  He's having a blast.

In other Noah news.  He's really gotten into watching Curious George and Mickey Mouse Playhouse on you.tube.  He also really likes these odd educational videos with animated trains and stuff about the alphabet, colors, numbers and shapes.  We think it's cool we've got a kid who makes us show him educational videos!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

More Two-ish

Now that our boy is getting closer to turning 3, he's acting a little more "two".  He's crying a little longer when he does cry, and maybe being upset a little more often.  The best strategy is still to mostly leave him alone and let it blow over.  I'm sure the stress in the atmosphere around here isn't easy on him, and the craziness of Nerdstar being home a lot more.  I'd say right now the thing that upsets him most is when one of us leaves the house without him and the other Ma. 

I'd say one of his favorite things to do is just run.  Run relays from here to there.  I think he could run a couple of miles given the space and ability to not get distracted.

One of the cutest things he's done in the past week or so is try to sing.  I love it.  And what makes it so funny is that we don't understand a word!  Now, he can sing along a little bit with his dance tunes like Blame It On The Boogie and Heaven Knows, he's also starting to learn the "rock yells" in songs like Dancing With Myself.  But this is just him singing by himself out of nowhere. 

Several months ago, his speech/developmental person showed him a game on her iPad.  When Nerdstar's sister gave her a kindle for her birthday, we found that same app for Noah.  It's the best thing ever when we need to entertain him so we can finish our meal at a restaurant.  It has four or five different little games to it.  It has a little monkey in the corner that says what to do, and then jumps up and down and says "good job" when you get things right, or shakes it's head no when you get them wrong.  Noah loves saying "good job" every time!  One of the games is moving four puzzle pieces into place.  For a while we'd help him move his finger, then this past week or two, he started being able to do it on his own.  One game is to pick the one item out of four that is different - somehow he's done that perfectly from day one.  Another game is a matching game with eight tiles, like concentration.  Today, he's been able to do that all by himself a few times.  It's so cool to watch him learning.

He's also starting to tell me when he poops.  Maybe he'll be potty trained before he's four!

Speaking of poops (and all moms of little ones do!) I finally became a little concerned that his poops were no longer solid.  They were a gross wet mess.  We decided to completely cut out apple juice, even though he didn't drink that much of it in his water.  About the same time, we decided that the cause of his remaining red bump breakouts on his face might be related to milk drool when he sleeps, so we switched to almond milk.  (Mostly because Nerdstar already had some she was drinking.)  Turns out, it was probably the milk causing the runny poops.  And the derm said it probably is his drool causing the skin problems.  We're using vaseline type stuff on his face to help keep the drool off.

We still feel like we won the baby lottery when we got him!  He's so damn cute!  Oh, and he's so very social!  He loves running around seeing what kids are out in the neighborhood and going and sort of hanging out with them.  It's still not really "playing together" but he loves being around them.  He's also always saying "hi" to people whenever he walks by them, or if he's sitting, when they walk by him.  So sweet! 

Oh yes, I almost forgot.  Noah will not survive Nerdstar being home all the time for long.  I cannot tell you how much more he eats when she's home.  It's at least twice a much!!