Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pick and Choose

There should be contests for who has the pickiest eater. I realize this is an incredibly common toddler trait, but I'm pretty confident we'd at least bring home a ribbon if not the Big Kahuna trophy.

It's improving... Kind of. At least now Emily understands that all of the Apple Jacks taste the same, so there's no need to request "just the green ones." I'd guess only 1 out of every 25 Apple Jacks is green and it's not like Crunchberries... They don't make a box of "Just the Green Ones" (I checked).

Emily would eat nothing but eggs, cheese, and bread if we let her. She pretends to like food and even requests things on occasion only to take a single bite or make an art project out of it. I asked the other day, "Are you going to eat your Cheerios?" "No, I'm just going to make a caterpillar." I appreciate her honesty.

I like to think that if your first kid is a picky eater, then the second will eat anything. This little boy will be requesting hot sauce by one year. That's how it works, right? I get one of each -- girl and boy, picky and not. I'm making this up, of course, but it sounds good to me.

Our son is going to be a rock star when it comes to sleep -- none of those 20 minute naps we were blessed with the first time around. He'll be SO healthy! Reflux? What reflux?? We won't have to relive the crying (I'm hungry) followed by crying (that hurts) and more crying (both of us). No expensive prescriptions or GI tests either.

I only want the opposite when it comes to things that were difficult with Em, though. Is that too much to ask? I had a relatively easy labor and delivery. Really hoping that doesn't mean I'm due for one of those horror stories everyone likes to tell pregnant women about (Seriously, folks... Stop already).

I know expectant moms all say the same thing -- "I just want a healthy baby." This is the part where I roll my eyes. Of course we want healthy babies!! I'm not going to pretend that's all I want. I'm hopeful for all of the good things and none of the bad. Aren't we all? Health is number one on the list, but it's not the only thing. Easy labor. Sleep. Hot sauce. Or at least be willing to try the red Apple Jacks. Please?

Say What??

I let Emily watch YouTube clips of My Little Pony in the mornings while I get ready... There's one clip in particular where the ponies are in a heated argument with a herd of buffalo. They're arguing over whether the land should belong to the buffalo so they can do their stampedes or to Apple Jack's family for growing apple trees. Highly realistic story line, right? Bear with me... At one point a pony yells, "It's not fair!"

And so begins my daughter's use of the phrase "It's not fair." It's not fair when I tell her it's time to go. It's not fair when I want her to take a bite of breakfast. Nothing I do is fair anymore.

She's very good at picking up lines from books and screen and trying them out on us. This morning we walked down the stairs and she asked, "Is this a mountain?" No, Corduroy. Lately, I ask her to stop doing something and she asks, "Do you forgive me?" This tends to get some funny looks in public. I can thank Ni Hao Kai-Lan for that one. When I come home from work, she likes to quote her favorite line, "Mama Llama, You came back!"

Today I heard a new one and I'm not sure (yet) where it came from...

"Mom, You're so boring!" (said with a smile while riding in the grocery cart)

"What?! That's not a very sweet thing to say to people! What could you say to me that is sweet instead?"

"Mom, May I please say you're so boring?"

Close... At least she understands that magic words = being sweet. We're moving in the right direction. I suppose I should just remind her that I don't call her boring. That's not fair!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Passive Agressive Parenting

I had some beautiful preconceived notions of what my adventures in parenting would look like prior to having a baby... Rocking my daughter to sleep at night, reading stories together, playing games and teaching her new things. All of these scenes were full of laughter, love, and a warm fuzzy feeling that I would be a good parent.

Fast forward almost three years to a scene that took place earlier this week. We were driving in the car and I offered Emily a bite of my cereal bar.

"That's MY cereal bar."

"No, Honey, it's actually Mommy's cereal bar and I'm sharing it with you. Would you like a bite?"

"No, you DON'T take a bite of my cereal bar."

Admittedly, this is where I could have taken the parenting high road and continued on a mature, good parenting path. I was exhausted, sick, and getting kind of fed up with the new "that's mine" stuff. I ignored her protests and took a very large, slow, passive aggressive bite of MY cereal bar. Then I reached back to offer her a bite. Emily took the bar and threw it into the seat next to her!

I said, "Emily! That's not OK! Do I need to pull over?"

"You don't eat my cereal bar!"

I actually followed through with the age old threat of pulling the car over. The problem with this is that I had NO idea what to do next! I got out of the car, fetched the cereal bar from the seat beside her, took ANOTHER bite (Am I 12?!) then closed the door, and thought, "What am I doing??" She was already in her car seat, so a time-out was out of the question... It's not like I had anything to take away or reinforcements to offer and what would I be asking her to do anyway?

I got back in the car and tried to think of how to explain why Mommy was acting like a nut, but when I looked in the rear-view mirror she was fast asleep. Let's just pretend that didn't happen, shall we?? I drove her home, carefully took her out of the car and walked in slow motion as I carried her to bed. I was on my knees covering her with a blanket when I remembered the popping sounds my knees tend to make when I raise from a kneeling position. Very pregnant and crawling feels funny, so I imagine it looks equally as strange. I slowly crawled to the door and prayed to God she would stay asleep!

I'm not proud of my parenting choices I made that day, but I don't think I did any major damage either. Note to self: Grow up before you decide to teach your daughter a lesson. I don't even like cereal bars!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Toddler Time

Toddlers have no sense of time. I know that. It still kills me, though, when Emily acts like something happened years ago. She melted into a tantrum as we pulled up to the house last night. "I want out!" That's not how we talk to Mommy. Em responded with some impressive yelling. I told her she could stay in the car until she calmed down and sat on the rear bumper while she screamed for literally 5 minutes straight. Neighbors walked by and I gave them a look that said, "I totally know what I'm doing here." (Liar)

Finally she calmed down and I opened the door to ask if she was ready to be calm and sweet. Not only had she completely regained composure, it was as if the whole scene hadn't happened at all. In fact, as we walked into the house she said, "Remember when I had a tantrum in the car?" As if it was SOOOO long ago!?! She was over it. I suppose to her it was a long time ago.

On a related note, I'm waiting not-so-patiently for a clock I ordered online for Emily. I'm not interested in teaching time concepts, I'm interested in getting another half hour of sleep in the mornings. The day we moved Em into a big girl bed was the day she dropped her habit of sleeping in until 8 or 9 a.m. (those were the days). She's all smiles and laughter as she runs into our room and I love when she crawls into our bed for a cuddle. I just want it to be at 6:30 instead of 6. Is that too much to ask? The new clock has a picture of a sleeping bunny. When the other picture lights up (the one where bunny is out of bed and playing), she's allowed to get out of bed. We'll see if this actually works... In the meantime, I've asked Emily on more than one early morning, "Remember when you used to sleep in and we were both well-rested?" She just laughs and says, "No, silly!" Yeah... Me, neither. It really is beginning to feel like SO long ago!