17 February 2012

Babble and stuff

So this month I've been challenging myself to post every day at my heartwork site. It has been really hard-- logistically, energetically, and also, just wondering what the heck to post. Sometimes there is something ready to spill out, and other times? Not so much.  It has been really really good for me though, to try to get into the headspace to write or share on such a regular basis.  I miss it. I've missed it. I'll probably miss it again, but I am trying to build the habit of posting more often.

Anyway, I invite you to go take a look-- I've done a cross-post or two (on valentines day, for example) but most of the content over there is independent.

Back here at I can't whistle, we are entering the phase of the mini tantrum. Well, to be fair, we're all not entering into it. Doug seems to have better coping skills and I tend to cry rather than rage. But Della? Rigid body, wailing unhappiness, not often, just beginning, but enough to make me realize what a wimp I am and that I'd better get a backbone, pronto.

Today was easier than yesterday. Yesterday, faced with my first real experience of this, I spent too long trying to soothe and understand, and all that did was prolong the 110dB horribleness of baby wailing in front of building filled with other people's apartments in the early morning hours.... Today, I tried to soothe while stuffing said rigid unhappy baby into babyseat. It took half the time as yesterday. Della is STRONG. Really, really strong.

So! On a happy note, our very unhappy pickups at daycare have improved too, thanks to my ASKING FOR HELP (novel idea, eh?).  When I get there, one of the lovely adult people comes over and helps get Della's coat on while I gather leftover food containers etc, we all swirl around gathering and clothing and then, voila! Off we go.

Della is a joy, so this weirdness has been extra weird.  We're all just not used to it.  When she cries a certain kind of cry, I cannot think clearly toward a resolution.  My only thought is more of a visceral instinct to MAKE IT STOP (sorry about the use of capital letters in this post, apparently I need EMPHASIS today and italics are JUST NOT ENOUGH).

Developmentally, she is doing great-- her language comprehension is amazing-- she will try to say most things when prompted, (platypus was particularly cute), meows when we are almost home and she realizes she'll soon see the cat, has many words and noises that begin with B: ball, baa, butt, boob, breast..... um, yeah.
She points at her belly button and delightedly yells BUTT! which is not entirely incorrect, just incomplete. You should see her smile so very proudly.

She loves music, so much, in fact, we play the opening to Phineas and Ferb over and over and over, and the opening music for Bones. Ahh yes. She dances and dances and dances, and even hums to herself a little sing songy thing when she plays sometimes. Very cool.

She totally has Up and Down, knows what they mean and practices saying them and practices doing them by standing up and sitting down.
She likes to stand UP on her rocking zebra, circus style, then will sit DOWN only after much parental freak out.

She has a great sense of humor-- truly-- anticipates jokes, laughs loudly like I do... wonderful drool when she laughs too hard.

I think I've stopped pumping.  Midday when Della is at daycare, I was pumping, but moved the time farther and farther until I could make it until I pick her up.  Yes, engorged, but happy to not be pumping. My pump has a new and happy home that it will arrive at next week... and I will not miss it. Transitions suck for me. I'm just sayin.

Things we are loving this week: playtex cups with handles and straws (from target)... the cheaper ones we got on amazon were horrible ear poppingly difficult unfun and now gone.  Yo baby vanilla yoghurt.   Carter's ruffle butted cotton leggings/pants (come in a two pack, are soft and stretchy, and have a very forgiving elastic waist).  Old navy socks (target ones suck rocks).  Bananas. Gala apples. Spicy mustard. Sausage.

Della is finally in size 4 diapers. She is 28.25 lbs and 30" long, so a bit shortish and in the 98% percentile for weight. I was round too, so I get it.

How do you get your kids to learn to brush teeth? She has many-- 4 top and bottom and a single set (4) of opposing molars to boot. She'll chew on the brush, but won't let me in there to do a proper job.

Ok! That's all I have time for in this moment.
Thanks for stopping by!


Kate said...

K's not a fan of teeth-brushing, but we force her to anyhow. We started her a few months back, figuring we'd get her used to it before she got too defiant. She used to just open her mouth when we'd say open, we'd pop in and brush them, and that would be it.
Now she usually ends up sitting on my lap. She'll have a go with the brush herself (just chews on it), then I say it's Mama's turn. Sometiems I have to hold down her arms if she's really fighting me, but often I'll just stabilize her forehead with one hand while brushing with the other. I tell her to open wide, and then sing the "ABC song" while we brush. She tolerates it pretty well for the most part, and if she really doesn't want to, too bad, because the open mouth from crying lets me in to do the brushing.
I think you probably just have to not give in. She'll learn you mean business, and will hopefully become more cooperative quickly.
Good for you for pumping for so long!

Sarah said...

I'm another who uses singing to brush teeth. I do a variant of 'here we go round the mulberry bush':

This is the way we brush our teeth...
First we go side to side...
Next we go up and down...
Then we go all around...

That's helped overcome the resistance, but you do have to do it yourself.

Tantrums are always hard, but it gets easier as you get familiar with the triggers, and as dealing with them becomes something you do by habit, rather than having to think through the screaming.

Baby Smiling In Back Seat said...

Burrito and Tamale love to brush their teeth, but not necessarily the part where I do it, because they want to do it themselves. I end up lying them across my lap so that I can access their mouths, and then half the time I have to hold their arms/hands with one hand and brush with the other to keep them from grabbing it. I make it fun by making funny sounds along with the brushing, which helps a lot. I don't base it on time but rather whether I feel that each section has been adequately brushed -- sometimes because of squirming I have to redo areas.

They are crazy for their toothpaste, which also helps. We use We.leda Children's Tooth Gel. The pediatrician said "just a smear." It made a huge difference in their enthusiasm once we started using it.

As for the tantrums, soothing and understanding comes after she has calmed down. In the moment she needs to work it out for herself, and your jobs are to make sure she's safe (no throwing herself headfirst into glass tables, etc.) and to refrain from doing anything that encourages the tantrum. The most I'll engage is something like, "Tamale feels mad because she wants to go outside, but it is time for nap. When Tamale calms down, we will have naptime, then after naptime we can play outside." I use the exaggerated Happiest Toddler on the Block voice, which works for Tamale but not for Burrito.

I am all backbone and they know it, so we actually have very very few tantrums, but it's still hard to be this age and filled with emotions and desires without the words to convey it all. It just is. Which is why I try to voice what they're feeling, so that they can learn to convey it themselves. Very little talking during the tantrum, though; lots of talking the rest of the time.

Prep work also helps a lot. If the car seat is an issue, then in the morning before you leave the apartment, you talk about what will happen. You perhaps play by "practicing" the morning routine the afternoon before, or you pretend using a doll and a pretend carseat.

My final bit of advice: I never, ever give into anything said while screaming or whining or any voice that I do not want to hear every day for the next several years. They have to ask for things in a nice, calm voice, and now they also have to say please, and then I will do almost anything -- and if I can't fulfill that request then, I explain why/when it can happen, then we do/have something else fun instead, or if they prefer we just hug.

This age is so incredibly fun, but the (hopefully only) occasional tantrum is the price you pay.

karen alonge said...

you might try two toothbrushes - one for her, one for you. she might use hers in her own mouth or in yours, but it might keep her busy enough to not protest as much while you do what needs to be done.

I LOVE this site: www.handinhandparenting.org. they have amazing articles about all kinds of parenting situations, including toothbrushing and tantrums, I believe.

also, this article just came to my attention yesterday on another site and I liked it: http://www.stressfreekids.com/9771/kids-temper-tantrums-and-meltdowns

happy belated birthday!