Archive for January, 2014

Jan 30 2014

Tolors.

Published by under Parenting,The Boy,The Man

I bought The Boy this set of DVDs from zulily called “Preschool Prep“. Apparently there’s a whole big series, but the ones we got were:

  • Meet the Colors
  • Meet the Shapes
  • Meet the Letters
  • Meet the Numbers
  • Meet the Sight Words (vol. 1, 2, and 3 on three DVDs)

We started with “Meet the Colors” because he already can recognize most letters and 0-9 numerals, is strong on perhaps four shapes, but has never offered a comment on any color, ever. Sometimes, if I said “Where’s the blue?” he would point to a blue thing, but that was hit and miss, and he NEVER named a color. Well, let’s just say it’s a hit. Upon first viewing, he wasn’t real sure about the whole thing. The Man’s opinion was that he was freaked out. I wasn’t so sure. He seemed pretty interested.

We’ve only been showing this video for about four days, and he identifies colors now. He demands this video multiple times a day by running to me and saying “Tolors? TOLORS?!” The Man was a little worried about the obsession, but I showed him some article that said young children crave repetition because that’s how they master skills.

I tried to switch him out to “Meet the Shapes” today, and while he interacted with it slightly, he was upset that it wasn’t “tolors”. So, for now, I’m going to let him obsess over getting his colors down pat and we’ll move on when he’s bored of it. Before this, his TV obsession was an episode of Bubble Guppies that dealt with fairy tales. That one was referred to as “Witch? Witch? WITCH!”

As you have no doubt surmised, I am not one of the parents who dislikes television. The Boy has watched some television all his life, and to be honest, TV does a better job teaching him than I do. I tried many things to communicate the concept of color to him, with no success. He also didn’t do great with his letters until he got into “Super Why”. Counting was the one thing that I think he picked up from us.

I know there are a lot of studies and a lot of research that shows that television can lead to attention problems and weight problems. I’m not saying that I know better than the experts. But this is what is working for him. We are a very plugged in household, and that isn’t going to change. I don’t want my son to sit in the house all day, staring at a television or computer, but realistically, screen time is going to be an important part of his life and it will form a core of his learning in the years to come. That’s the way things are moving, and there is really no stopping it.

I do want him to have some hands-on skills as well, and I have plans for having him help in the garden, and with homesteading activities I have planned for the future. I’m hoping to get my first hive set up this spring, and next year perhaps we’ll add chickens. A garden will also be part of our future.

I really am looking forward to spring.

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Jan 14 2014

Just real quick.

Published by under Beauty,Parenting,The Boy

I don’t really have the time or energy to write a big post, but I wanted to get something down.

The behavior issues are still prevalent. Time Out stopped being any kind of effective, and actually ended up being something that would cause even more distress. The biggest issues we have are throwing things and hitting people. For the throwing, I have instituted the “penalty box”. When something is thrown, it goes in the penalty box for the rest of the day. The two exceptions are balls (because they are appropriate throwing objects) and his lovey (because if I took that away for the day we might as well just blow ourselves up and save the bother). So far, this seems to be working…ok? Yes, he’s still throwing. However, the emotion I attached to him throwing things is gone. Before, when he threw something, I would begin to get upset and angry because I knew that was just the beginning of a long, horrible struggle: he’d throw, then we’d do the time out thing, and that would cause crying/screaming/fighting/hitting, and what was supposed to be a 1 minute time out would inevitably turn into a 5 – 10 minute tantrum. Now that I know I no longer have to deal with that, I am able to just say “Oh, you threw Object A. We’re going to put Object A in the box and you can have it back tomorrow.” Done. Does it help cut down on throwing? I don’t know. It’s only been about three or four days. Today has been a really, really bad day. He woke up very early, took his nap very early (like 1.5 hours early), woke up from that early, and all day long has been screaming and acting out. The penalty box is pretty full. Usually there are only a few things in it.

The other thing I wanted to mention is that I’ve been having issues with my nose piercing (did I mention I got my nose pierced? I can’t remember). I kind of slacked off doing the recommended sea salt solution soaks (say that 10 times fast) while we were in Tennessee. As a result, the dreaded Horrible Bump developed. I immediately went back to doing morning and night soaks, but the bump was stubbornly staying put. So…I did some looking online and found basically an intensive regimen that is supposed to get rid of said bump (assuming it’s not keloid scarring). It pretty much sounded like things I was told not to do, but I know my body and sometimes it needs to have things turned up to 11 in order to respond. I don’t know that I’d recommend anyone with sensitive skin or whose body usually responds to normal strength treatments use these methods, but they are working for me. I’m going to try to find the exact URL I read but in the meantime, here’s what I’ve been doing:

1. Regular sea salt soak morning and night (1/4 tsp sea salt in 8 oz of water)

2. During day, leave uncovered. Several times a day, apply tea tree oil using Q-tip. This also cleans off the crusties that form during the day.

3. At night, after sea salt soak, apply several grains of salt directly to bump and cover with small round bandaid. Leave on all night.

The bump is already a lot smaller, but it is raw looking. It’s pretty much dissolving from the outside in, though, so what do I expect? Once it’s gone, I’ll just do the regular sea salt soaks and maybe put tea tree oil on at night, before bed.

OK, I gotta get back to the monster man.

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Jan 03 2014

Gonna have a bad time.

Published by under Parenting,The Boy,The Fam,The Man,Travel

We tried to go to Tennessee to visit Dr. Mom and Moll the day after Christmas. Well, no. That makes it sound like we didn’t make it. We made it to Tennessee just fine. We chose to do the drive in one go, so we didn’t get there until about 12:30 AM, Central time (we are in Eastern). The Boy was so excited. He was amped up, running around, freaking out, just being happy. I knew it was because he’d woken up after sleeping for five hours, and that it was, shall we say, false enthusiasm. Of course, he didn’t want to go back to sleep and he didn’t sleep very well after being interrupted like that, but we expected it. The unexpected horror show started bright and early the next morning.

Since this was a Christmas trip, all of us were there. That means me, The Man, The Boy, Lucky, Galleta, and of course Dr. Mom and Moll. All of the dogs, seven in total, were also there. And I think the combination of lots of people and lots of dogs snapped The Boy and broke him. He did NOT want to leave our bedroom. If we took him out into the main part of the house, he was freaking out. We tried to take him outdoors, once, since it was 50 degrees. He freaked out. If we were in our bedroom, he would happily play with dust or his cars, and he would be happy. If we went out of the room, he freaked out.

Also, he would not sleep on his own. He has always been a great sleeper. If you lay him down, he will usually just be quiet and go to sleep quickly. Not so much in Tennessee. He would not sleep in his travel crib. If you put him in there when he was awake, he would scream hysterically. For every nap and every night, we had to lay him in bed with one of us and snuggle with him until he fell deeply asleep. Then we could transfer him to the crib.

We only lasted two days.

There was no way either of us was going to spend better than a week cooped up in a bedroom and taking two hours out of every day in order to cuddle a toddler to sleep. It was ridiculous. On the third morning, we packed up and drove home. The drive home was also fairly miserable. The Boy was fussy…and when we tried to stop for dinner, he had a full on meltdown in Steak N’ Shake. Like, he cried for 15 minutes and The Man finally said “To hell with this” and took him to the car. I tried in vain to tell our server to just box up our order, wolfed down 1/2 of a sandwich, and we left.

Now we’re home and working to repair The Boy. The unwillingness to sleep has come home with us, but we aren’t putting up with it here. He goes into his crib and we check on him at five minute intervals (which is how we sleep trained him to begin with). He’s finally to he point where, although he still protests being laid down, he only cries for a minute before calming down.

His behavior is also somewhat deplorable. I don’t know how much of this is leftover freak-out from our trip, and how much of it is just him being almost two and probably starting to test his boundaries and being normally defiant. It’s draining, most days.

However, he continues to be my super smart genius baby. He knows the names of many shapes, numbers, colors, and letters. He will often count very fast under his breath, so sometimes he’ll be running around going “eight, noine, teen, leven, telve, tirteen”. It sounds very funny. He’ll pick up one of his shapes and say “Dimond!” and it is, in fact, a diamond. Colors are more hit and miss. If I ask him to point to the pink one, sometimes he will, sometimes no.

The meltdowns are a trial. I know that this is just how toddlers are. They don’t really have the capacity to process strong emotions properly, so fits and meltdowns are just a matter of life. But it really seems like someone flipped his switch into demon mode sometimes.

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