Thursday, August 27, 2009

What's Up With These Freakin Parenting Magazines???

Every once in a while I read a Parenting magazine. Usually when I'm bored, or when Maya is looking for information on the newest fashion trends. (Side note: What is with everyone stealing my name? I'm totally pissed cause I thought Maya was at least a little bit off the radar for baby names. I mean, it's not on the top 10 list or anything. But I swear, everyone and their mother is naming their babies Maya right now. I'm so pissed. I would change my mind, since nothing's official yet, but I do so love the name.) Okay, now that I got that off my chest, I can move on.

Parenting magazines! I was browsing through one the other day, trying to make it look muy importante and dire so my husband would entertain the kids for a while, and I realized there is some pretty God-awful advice in there. For example....

In an article about how to get your picky eaters to eat healthy foods, they make some suggestions. Now we all either have had a picky eater, have a picky eater, or know a picky eater. Actually, let me rephrase that. Parents, you have a kid that eats right? Well, according to some Parents magazine editor, these are some solutions to your picky eater problem.

1. Cut up squash and zucchini with a basil pesto dip. Would your two year old say, "Oh yes, mother, could I get a carrot and flaxseed smoothie as well? I really need the antioxidants today."? Hell no! Cause they're normal. Well, I shouldn't assume anything of my readers. Some of you I know and I figure to be pretty normal. But in all seriousness, basil pesto dip? I don't even know what that is! I slather all Mateo's vegetables in butter and salt and he still doesn't eat them. But, hey, maybe a basil pesto dip is just the zest he needs.

2. Rent Ratoiutiuilleee (that's how you spell it right?) and serve homemade ratuoiltooellieee with a side of breaded tofu triangles. Okay, if you've ever had ratouioooeey, you know that it has some pretty strong, sophisticated flavors. I don't know any kid that would eat it unless they've been force fed it since birth. Perhaps if I start the baby on it now, by the time she's in preschool she'll be begging for ratootuiollelleeey with her zucchini and pesto dip.

This editor obviously doesn't have children. Or maybe her nanny does all the cooking and she doesn't know that her kids are living off of dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets and drive-thru french fries just like every other red-blooded American child.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Little Gymnast.....Or Not.

So Mateo seems to have a natural ability towards gymnastic-type moves. He can do a cartwheel and a split, which he learned on his own. And of course, he is very energetic. So I thought signing him up for a little gymnastics class would be good for him as an outlet and to harness some of his energy into something productive. So we signed up for a trial week that meets everyday this week for an hour in the morning. It was pretty cheap and I thought it would give me a good idea about his ability.

We lasted a class and a half. And now our gymnastic career is over. At least for another year or so. Who knows? This kid is so set on doing his own thing he just couldn't function in the class. I don't know if it's so much that he can't or that he won't. Yesterday was his first day and he was very enthusiastic about all the activities. The problem was that he had trouble waiting his turn and his attention span got the better of him. This is what the class sounded like.

"Mateo. Mateo, no. Come here. Over here Mateo. Mateo, come sit right here."

The whole time. More so than all the other kids combined. And the instructors said specifically they didn't want the parents to intervene because they want the children to learn to listen to the teachers. So I didn't intervene. But I couldn't help but feel like my kid was ruining their class, and probably driving them crazy. But Mateo was really great at the activities. It's hard to believe he ever had a gross motor delay. Aside from some balance issues, he was really good at everything. After the class I was excited about his potential. I also thought he would only get better as the week went on and he learned the structure of the program.

Well, today we left early. And we don't plan on going back. He didn't get better. He got significantly worse. I decided it's just not worth it if I'm going to have to chase him around the gym telling him to listen to the teacher the whole time. So we're gonna wait another year or so and try again.

But it was fun to watch him when he was doing the activities. The rest of the time was pretty funny. The whole class would be sitting on a mat getting ready for the next activity and there's Mateo about 20 feet away rolling around on the mat, or hopping around like a frog. That didn't bother me so much, it was kind of cute. But when he kept using the other equipment he wasn't supposed to, or taking another child's turn and being disruptive, that's when I had to intervene. And the fact that he wasn't listening to me or the teachers, just wasn't okay. So we left. And he didn't seem to care. He just wanted his juice box I promised him after class.

I'll post some videos I took as soon as I get a chance.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What We May Be Doing Right

I don't actually credit myself with much while parenting Mateo, but one thing I'll say for myself is that we seem to have figured out one strategy that's helped. I'll tell you what it is but you have to promise not to say, "Duh!" to me, okay? Okay.

We learned to lower our expectations to start. I don't expect Mateo to do what I say, when I say it. Especially without a little resistance at first. But I find if I repeat what I want and give him a little time, he usually does it. We have to treat him a little more delicately and with a little more flexibility and sensitivity. And it really does help him, and us, not having the pressure to be "normal", but to just be who we are at the time we're in. And when I stop trying to conform to what society expects of Mateo or our family, we all do much better.

The continuation of our "schedule" is coming up next. And I have some new photos to post.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Daily Schedule My A**!

I've read on a couple different blogs now, a daily schedule for the children, mostly related to homeschooling. But as I was reading, I couldn't help but laugh at the idea of it all. So I've written my own parallel schedule of my day with Mateo. I'm just mentioning Mateo in this schedule, since he's the funny one. Keep in mind, this is a bad day. He does have days that go better than this. But I thought I'd show the full realm of how bad it could be.

6:30 am - Mateo comes in Mommy's bedroom, I put him back in his. 1st attempt at wake up time.

7:00 am - 2nd attempt at wake up time.

7:24 am - 3rd attempt at wake up time. I finally give in and drag my butt out of bed.

7:25 am- Mateo demands in an increasingly loud voice that he would like breakfast ASAP. As in now!

7:27 - Mateo eats oatmeal. I try to get a bra and some deodorant on.

7:30 - Mateo demands more breakfast. Mommy says wait (still working on the bra step) and Mateo screams.

7:31 - Mommy tells Mateo he can have more breakfast when he asks nicely.

7:32 - Mateo throws his spoon across the room.

Let's just skip ahead a little...

7:55 - Breakfast is done. Noggin is on TV. Mateo is playing with cars. Mommy starts count down for Mateo to get dressed.

8:00 - Warning #1

8:05 - Warning #2

8:06 - Warning #3

8:07 - Mommy tells Mateo it's time to get dressed. Mateo runs away.

8:09 - Mommy chases Mateo then proceeds to wrestle him into his clothes using various threats and bribes.

8:30 - Play time!

8:32 - Mateo whines for juice and to eat again.

8:33- Mommy asks Mateo to wait until snack time for juice and to eat, Mateo begins explosive tantrum.

8:34 - Mommy contemplates the pros and cons of giving in to juice and a snack or holding my ground for him to wait until later. Mommy makes decision to negotiate.

8:36 - Mommy asks Mateo if he would like some water or milk now while waiting until snack time. Mateo doesn't negotiate, cue larger tantrum.

9:00 - After numerous attempts at distraction, negotiation, and calming techniques, Mateo has hit/bit/scratched/thrown toy/etc. and ended up in a time-out.

9:15 - After Mateo stops calling names, spitting, and screaming at the top of his lungs in time-out, he apologizes to Mommy and is let free.

9:17 - Mateo asks for juice and to eat. Mommy sighs, looks at the clock, and realizes it's snack time anyway.

9:20 - Snack. Mommy attempts to get dressed, brush teeth, contacts in, etc. Then discovers Mateo has fingerpainting/mashed/squished his snack on himself, the table, and the floor.

9:30 - Snack time over.

9:32 - Mommy collapses on the couch after realizing it's only 9:30 in the morning.

9:40 - We decide (meaning Mateo) to go outside and play. Commence act of putting on shoes.

10:05 - We finally go outside.

10:15 - Mateo's powerwheels truck is not charged (Mommy silently curses Daddy for that one), Mateo flips out. He calls the truck "stupid" multiple times, then flips it over upside down.

10:20 - We go inside because Mateo just can't get over it. Use TV as a distraction until we can move on.

10:45 - Mommy suggests play-dough. This goes well.

11:00 - Until Mateo wants something specific to work with the play-dough that just doesn't and he gets frustrated.

11:10 - Play-dough away with much drama.

11:30 - Lunch! Mateo eats exactly nothing, even though he states he is hungry over and over.

To be continued...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Five Years!

Today my husband and I have been married 5 years. I'm proud to say we are just as in love as the day we said "I do". I'm always amazed at our ability to work as a team. I think the key to our success is our ability to compromise and balance one another. Of course there are times when we are both grumpy and act selfishly. But usually, one of is willing to sacrifice for the others sake. And usually, when one is having a rough day, the other steps up to take the lead. We truly are a great team. And I'm so thankful for him. He is the peanut butter to my jelly. The macaroni to my cheese. The ying to my yang. And I love him!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Things That Make You Say Hmm...

We just got back from a mini-vacay to New Hampshire for some hiking, swimming, shopping, and train rides. And I just wanted to high light a few things that happened that just make me want to say hmm... or, more accurately, why would you do that?!

- Mateo was waiting outside while I changed Maya in the dressing room at the beach and as people walked by, he would whack them with his pool noodle. Hmm...

- While ordering pizza and waiting to collect it and pay, Mateo was walking up and down the line licking the bar that you slide your tray on. Hmm...

- When I went to fill our drinks at the fountain and stock up on napkins and utensils, Mateo emptied the entire contents of the salt and pepper shakers onto the table. Hmm...

- We were outside of the condo enjoying the nice mountain air and Mateo tried to open the door to someone else's condo and when it was locked, he knocked and yelled to open up. Hmm...

I also decided, per this trip, that Mateo may have sugar running through his veins instead of blood. My huband's friend, Terry (who lives in Hawaii and came with us since we don't see him much), tried to tire Mateo out one day. We went on a short hike, almost a mile, to a cascading waterfall where we climbed up a steep hill to swim in some of the pools (it was really cool, I'll post pictures later). Terry and Mateo ran the whole way there. Then he proceeded to climb up the hill, around on the rocks, swim in the water (somewhat because it was really cold) and then climb back down. Then Terry, thinking he would really get him this time, ran Mateo all the way back to the parking lot, one mile. Dave and I took our time walking with the baby (who was on my back) and when we got to the parking lot, there was Terry looking completely amazed, and Mateo, still running, back and forth across the trail. The whole adventure was about two hours and Mateo didn't slow down for a minute. You see? He must have sugar in there or something.

But really, Mateo was SUPER hyper this weekend. One of my theories is that perhaps because we stopped doing the therapeutic listening for the vacation, that had some effect on his ability to be calm. I don't know. Just a theory. I just hope things go back to "normal", meaning periods of extreme hyperactivity and just some hyperactivity in between, instead of extreme hyperactivity ALL DAY LONG. I just don't think I could take it anymore. Well, thank God for daycare.

Thank You!

Thank you everybody who wrote kind words and encouragement when I poured my heart out about Mateo. And thank you to the lurkers who came out to say I'm not alone!