Sharing and Sleepless Nights

Wow. Tehilah has learned how to share. This past Friday evening she and I went for a walk and ran into one of her best friends. Tehilah had a little baggie of snack treats and she shared them with her friend, piece for piece. I was so proud of her that when we got home I gave her a special piece of chocolate and Julie and I told her that we were very proud of her sharing and that she is such a good big girl. Saturday we had lunch guests (the same friends we had seen the night before) and Tehilah let her friend sit in her booster seat without any fuss whatsoever. She also helped set the table (one of her favorite activities).

Benjamin… The last two nights he had decided that 4:00 a.m. is morning. 🙁 Even if he nurses and has a supplemental bottle, its not good. It takes him two hours (or so) to get back to sleep. If only he would take a pacifier, but all he does is chew on it for a moment and then spit it back out. Does anyone have any suggestions?

One more thing about Tehilah that I’m so proud of, her speaking ability. She is now able to string together four and five word sentences. “Daddy Look! Two Cars! (I guess technically that that’s two sentences, but you understand what I mean.) She has picked up a phrase from me, “I’m busy!” When we ask her to do something she doesn’t want to do she says, in complete seriousness, “I’m busy!” It cracks me up every time.

Oh and did I mention that we have started potty training in earnest? We got a ‘bog girl potty’ that fits over the regular commode. She can put it on and take it off by herself. We also got her pull up diapers. She uses the potty at least once a day. We still have to ask her, she doesn’t tell us when she needs to ‘make’, but we are getting there. Spring is finally here so its not too cold for her to be sitting on her potty for a while waiting for something to happen. 🙂

Anyway, I’m off on vacation until next week. “Talk” to you guys then.

Teething and an update on some of the issues I’ve written about before.

Well, Ben is getting his first tooth. It’s his bottom right front tooth. He’s actually doing really well with it. Last night we had to give him baby Tylenol because he just wouldn’t go to sleep. My wife is VERY excited about the 1st tooth. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is great, but she is just beside herself.

I wanted to revisit two of the things I’ve written about before. I got some comments posted here and more than a few via e-mail.

One is Tehilah waking up during the night. I ended up not doing what I said I would do, i.e. let her cry it out. I go in and lay down next to her for a few moments and she calms down and goes back to sleep. It makes us both much happier. I don’t have the torture of listening to my daughter cry and she sleeps better.

The other thing I wanted to touch on was the discipline issue. Several people objected (some of them quite strongly) to the hand smacking. I want to clear something up. This happens maybe twice a month. In fact, I can’t remember the last time it happened as now Tehilah knows that she can get a hand smack when she is in trouble. Generally we ask her to stop what she is doing and if she doesn’t we ask her if she wants to be in trouble. Then she stops. So I think that this form of discipline has worked. Its a deterrent that we rarely have to use.

Lastly, my mother in law was here recently on a visit and she brought Tehilah two new books from the same series I mentioned before. (Thanks again Ruth!) The first one is Sharing is Fun and its very good. The main theme is that the little boy in the book has friends coming over to play and before they arrive his mommy talks to him about sharing. When the guests arrive there is a bit of a scene over a toy fire truck and the little boy is reminded to share. When ever we get to the page where the boy is pulling the fire truck away from the girl, Tehilah says “No No No!” and shakes her finger to tell him he has to share.

The other book is My Big Girl Potty, by the same author. (My Big Boy Potty is also available.) Its your standard potty training book but I can really see that its helping. Tehilah uses the potty about once a day now that we have started reading the book at bedtime. We aren’t pushing her with potty training. In a month or two once she has gotten more used to the potty, we will really start the toilet training. As of now we just give her lots of encouragement. When she does ‘go’ we tell her what a big girl she is and how proud we are of her. The next step is that we plan to get her some pull up diapers next week. That’s going to be very exciting. 🙂

Potential Treatment for ADHD kids

The following entry was written by a friend of mine who has an ADHD child and has invested a lot of energy in finding the best ways to help them.

J.T.

Background: I should note that ADHD is not necessarily bad. ADHD often means that someone is a “doer,” not a “sitter” or a “sponge”. Schools like sitting sponges, but there are other important skills in the world as well. It is therefore very important that ADHD not be allowed to destroy a child or his/her self-image.

In the long-term, doers are often the people that make the world go around. If they can survive the school system ADHD kids might go on to be the bosses or employers of some of the “sponges” that did better than them in school.

Possible treatments/solutions:

– Contact an ADHD support group or health care professional with experience treating children with ADHD. They can help guide the parents through some of the approaches below.

– Be in constant touch with the child’s teacher(s) and principal. Explain the situation and try to find ways with the teacher(s) to minimize any problems that might arise. A good teacher will learn to understand the child’s behavior and will discover ways to handle the child when s/he begins “acting up”. It is very important that an adversarial relationship does not develop between the child and the teacher as this will just make any behavioral problems worse.

Continue reading “Potential Treatment for ADHD kids”

Crawling is just around the corner.

Ben has started scooting himself backwards across the floor. Saturday my wife couldn’t find him for a few seconds and got a bit worried, until she asked Tehilah where he was. Tehilah told her mater of factly, “Couch bottom.” So Julie looked under the couch and there he was, all smiles and proud of him self. I’m thinking about all the child proofing we are going to have to do soon. We will need child safety locks on all the cabinets and lock the door to my office. I can just see him crawling in here and seeing the shiny buttons on my computer and “Boom!” a day’s work down the tube. (Always backup your important work!) I’m glad that this is happening as spring is arriving. At least this way the heater will be off soon and we won’t need to worry about him crawling into that. Tehilah knows that it is “HOT” and she can’t touch it, but it will be a while before Ben can be taught that lesson.

I would like to say thanks to the people who have made comments on the blog, especially Hannah’s Mommy, and old friend from my time spent moderating the Baby-Place Message Boards. If any of you other old message board ladies (or Steve 🙂 ) read this, please leave me a comment to say hello.

Well, we have at least one regular reader!

I showed this blog to my grandmother and she fell in love with it. She told me to write as much as possible so she can keep up with her great grandchildren. We do live several thousand miles apart, so having digital pictures and this blog really helps close the distance.

Anyway, a little advice. Now I know most of you parents out there are going to say, “Duh! That is so obvious!” but I never made the connection and I bet I’m not the only one. (I would be willing to bet that a lot more moms than dads figure this one out.) Back to the advice. When you take your two year old out somewhere with you make sure that they have eaten recently. We were at a family celebration yesterday and Tehilah was all grumpy for the first hour. Then she ate something. What a difference! She got up and danced with her cousins.

Ben is Ben. What can I say. Cute as a button. Some one said that he looks like me yesterday. Everyone always says he looks like Julie so this was a surprise I think we will be able to tell better in a year or so.

Solid Food!

Ben has started eating solid food! It’s great. Julie tried bananas and while he liked sitting in the high chair and getting a spoon, he wasn’t so fond of the taste. The next day Julie tried sweet potatoes. SUCCESS! He loved it. There is one down side…. changing his diapers just got a lot stinkier. 🙁 I’ve adopted an easy way to clean him (my father told me that he used to do the same for me). I simply take the baby strapped into the high chair and put the whole thing into the bathtub. I use the shower hose to clean everything off. Works like a charm and it takes only seconds.

We are having a discipline problems with Tehilah. She tends to take what she wants from younger children. If the little girl from across the street comes over and she and Tehilah are playing together, Tehilah will just take her toys away from her. We’ve tried telling her no and making her give the toy back, but she generally won’t listen. The only thing that we have discovered that works is asking her if she wants a slap on the hand. If she doesn’t respond we give her a very light smack on the hand and then take the toy and give it back to the other child. This smack, even though its no harder than a love pat, brings serious tears to her eyes. Neither Julie nor myself enjoy this, but its the only way she will listen. Any suggestions on another approach?

This fatherhood thingie is amazingly rewarding

Wow. There are really cool things going on with my kids that I would like to share with you. I know that they are’t a “big deal” but they make being a father rewarding.

So, my five month old son, Ben, has reached a major milestone. Not only can he roll from his stomach to his back, now he can roll from his back to his stomach. In addition, he’s making crawling motions and scooting him self around. I can really see a difference from Tehilah. When she was born it was the first time for both my wife and I and it was hard for us to let her cry. She HATED being on her belly and would cry and scream until we either picked her up or flipped her over. As a consequence, she was very late i crawling and walking. I will be very surprised if Ben isn’t crawling within six weeks. VERY EXCITING! It is an amazing feeling to hold him in my arms and think about his future, a future that I am responsible for helping shape.

Tehilah has reached, to quote my father, a miraculous stage. That is she really talks and is able to express her self. I know that every parent since the beginning of time has gone through the same thing, but it is the first time for me and its so very special. “Daddy, big sister bed time big girl bed!!” translates as Dad, will you please read me my book I’m a Big Sister as a bed time story in my bed. BTW, for those of you with your second child on the way, I recommend this book or it’s companion, I’m a Big Brother. My mother in law bought the book for Tehilah (thanks Ruth!) and its been great at explaining the concepts of being a big sister to her. Several months ago we moved her from the ‘baby bed’ that is the cradle, to ‘the big girl bed’ and she loves it. She’s a ‘big helper girl’. She loves to help with anything (including things she shouldn’t help with. 🙂 ) One of her favorite activities is helping her mother set the table. The really neat thing is that she gets most of the right things in the right place.

She’s also gotten into the “NO!” stage. My wife figured out that if you explain something and ask her to do it, she’s much more likely to do it with out arguing. On the other hand, we have to teach that she has to do what Mom and Dad say. It’s challenging, but I’m sure we will get it figured out.

Ladies, I have a book to recommend to you for your partner.

If your husband or partner is like I was, he may be quite nervous (read SCARED OUT OF HIS MIND) about the upcoming birth. I had a lot of misconceptions myself. Be Prepared help me correct those misconceptions. Babies look a lot different when the come out than what I expected. It’s not a cute cuddly neat looking child (i.e. the Gerber baby). Don’t get me wrong, I thought both of my children were amazingly beautiful and special the moment that they were born, but it just wasn’t what I was expecting, at least not the first time around.

If you want to get your partner more involved or IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A SPECIAL WAY TO TELL HIM THAT YOU ARE PREGNANT, Be Prepared makes a great gift for the man in your life. I’ve lent my copy to several friends and they all enjoyed it and learned useful information at the same time.

One of the things I really liked about the book was the fact that it uses a really clever retro format reminiscent of classic adventure and how-to guides. To quote, “Now changing a diaper can be as easy as changing a tire.” That pretty much sums the whole book up. While fueled by humor, this inventive “guy’s guide” provides all the information Dad will need to make it through year one of that ultimate survival sport – fatherhood.

“For thousands of years dads have roamed the earth, hunting, gathering, trudging through the fields day after day in order to provide for their families any way they could. But it wasn’t until the last quarter of a century that dads began to put down their spears and take an active role in the day-to-day duties of raising a child. The truth is that all those centuries of hunting gave men a skill set perfectly suited to new fatherhood. Patience, cunning, stamina, ad on-the-spot improvisation play a major role in both stalking prey ad baby raising. And much like a beast of the field, a baby is a very unpredictable creature, prone to wild mood swings and cranky tirades.” That is probably my favorite quote from the whole book.

It really is an indispensable survival manual for guys entering the trenches of fatherhood, Be Prepared is loaded with one-of-a-kind insights, MacGyver-esque tips and tricks, and no-nonsense advice for mastering the first year as a dad.

Finally, a book that teaches men all the things they really need to know about fatherhood…including how to:

  • change a baby at a packed sports stadium
  • create a decoy drawer full of old wallets, remote controls, and cell phones to throw baby off the scent of your real gear
  • stay awake (or at least upright) at work
  • babyproof a hotel room in four minutes flat
  • construct an emergency diaper out of a towel, a sock, and duct tape (I keep wanting to try this one out, but so far my wife ever lets us run out of diapers.)

Get your copy of Be Prepared today for your special someone.

Welcome to Baby Place’s new Parenting Blog.

As part of our continuing effort to build a parenting community here at Baby-Place.com, we’ve decided to add a Parenting Blog.

My name is J.T. Parker and I am a 27 year old father of two. They are Tehila, two years old and Ben, five moths old. I have been married to their mother, Julie, for three years.

I intend to write about problems and solutions (or attempted solutions) that I, as a young father, who is still pretty new to this whole parenting adventure face.

Right now i have two issues that I’m dealing with, one with each kid. Our two year old is a real daddy’s girl. I give her her bath and put her to sleep most every night. It’s our special, just the two of us, time together everyday. The problem is that as of late, she has started waking up in the middle of the night and she won’t calm down and stop crying until I come into her room. That I can deal with, but there are nights when she won’t fall back asleep unless I lay next down to her and talk to her in a calming voice. This can be a hard thing to do at 3:00 a.m. especially when I have to get up in a few hours. I know that I need to be firm with her and let her cry it out or else she’ll have sleep problems if I’m not around to comfort her. The thing is, she has me wrapped around her little finger and it BREAKS my heart to hear her crying in bed.

My second problem is with Ben. Thank God, he is nursing and so spends the vast majority of his time with his mother. I feel that it is hard for me to get close to him. Almost every time I hold him, he starts crying within five minutes and won’t calm down until Julie takes him. I know this is silly to be worried about this and that it will change as he grows older, but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.

I welcome any comments or suggestions on either or both problems.

That wraps up my first blog post. Hope you enjoy it and the many more to come.