Tantrum-free Weekend

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This weekend I did not have to endure any tantrums and yes, I spent the entirety of it with my daughter. Surprised? So was I.  Don’t get me wrong, Emma did cry here and there – fake cry – but she didn’t have a full-blown tantrum, and to me, that’s progress.

Saturday we had a long day ahead of us so I was clearly thinking of the worst but hoping for the best. In the morning she had ballet and it was her final class! (I am pretty happy considering the fact that we will no longer need to wake up at 7 a.m. on Saturday mornings) Afterwards, we stopped by Bed Bath and Beyond to get a gift and then went to the Noguchi museum for an art class. Emma fell asleep on the road and I was afraid of waking her up. Thankfully, she woke up calmly when I took her out of the car and once she noticed where she was, she was happy – tantrum averted!

After her art class, we went home, ate quickly and headed to one of my best friends’ bridal shower. I was skeptical about bringing Emma with me as I knew that it could potentially be disastrous but to the contrary, it was great. She slept on the way there – it was a 2 hour ride – woke up 30 minutes prior to us getting there and watched me sleep(my friend was giving us a ride)because of course, I couldn’t fall asleep beforehand as I was writing my card on the road – a typical day in the life of a mommy.

In the Bridal shower Emma found some friends and was with them almost the entire time – they were lovely – they played with her and gave her tons of attention. Emma had a great time and so did I. She spent time with me but also played independently (without mommy) and while it felt really nice having some time to chat with friends, it made me realize that she is growing up.

Yes, she is less dependent on me, which means that I now get to go to the bathroom alone – for the most part – but the fact that she is becoming less attached to me is a little hard to accept (Yep, mommyhood is full of contradictions). But that’s the give and take of motherhood, right? As you child grows, things change, and you need to quickly keep up with the pace and adapt to these changes. Like everyone tells me, before I know it (in the blink of an eye), Emma will be in College and although that seems plausible – as I sometimes look at her and remember not long ago she was a newborn – I try to enjoy each of her stages and accomplishments one day at a time. This week’s accomplishment – 2 days without a tantrum, and to me that was like two days in mommyhood heaven.

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Am I a Good Mom?

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I obviously love Emma more than words can express, but lately I don’t feel like I am the best mom I could be. I don’t even know what being the ‘best mom’ would be, but I do know that my patience with her is running low these days and that I am relieved when my husband gets home and I get some time off. I know a lot of it has to do with my lack of sleep, as my patience dwindles. But part of me is also tired of her running my life/dictating my movements. She cries if I am not with her/by her side all the time. I need to shower, cook, clean up a little, etc. So I definitely need to do things that don’t allow me to be stuck by the hip to her. I love her so much, that although I try to set the rules, I notice that she has managed to manipulate her way around them and gets away with things. She must have mastered this while she was sick. This week I’ve tried to compromise and negotiate with her but nothing seems to work, the fact that she constantly refuses to do things that need to get done is frustrating. I try to always talk to her about things, explain to her why I ask her for things or why she needs to do something and lately after returning from vacation, everything I hear from her is a scream, a cry, a tantrum. When she behaves I feel like it is the most amazing gift ever!

Yesterday, after trying the talking route and it not working, I ended up screaming at Emma and just plainly screaming at the air -out of frustration – which gets her even worse; and even though I know this is the effect it brings, I couldn’t help it. I don’t want to go the screaming route – I think it’s unhealthy for both her and I. I need to figure out how to better deal with her attitude and tantrums. I also need more sleep…

This is how I feel –

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Is it terrible that I feel like I need a break from my daughter? Do other moms ever feel this way?

Having a Sick Toddler

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Going on vacation is awesome but coming back sucks:

  1. You are back to your regular routine/no more slacking/ no naptime
  2. You no longer come back to a clean, well made bed, or have breakfast, lunch and dinner made for you… Instead, you have to unpack, do laundry and various chores around the house..
  3. You are jetlagged and someone usually gets sick

This time it was Emma. She started feeling a little sick the day we landed and it progressively got worse and evolved to bronchitis. Since she was congested and wanted comforting, she woke up several times a night. I was jetlagged and had to return to work so once again I feel sleep deprived – It didn’t help that it was daylight savings on Sunday and we lost a very precious hour of sleep. I am pale and have purple circles around my eyes – yup, my tan totally vanished – Figures, it only lasted two days.   In addition, as a parent you tend to feel helpless at the sight of your sick child, at least that how I felt, especially when Emma refused the medicine and/or soup and I had to come up with creative ways to have her drink/eat it so that she could actually recover… Thank God Emma is better – not only because she is well, but because we can put order back in the house. She is our little princess but if she was to be sick all the time she would reign the house. Fortunately, today she was able to return to daycare/school – she missed her friends and teachers.

This is what it feels like when you have a sick toddler –

  1. Somehow all the rules that have been established at home are discarded – your toddler has become a dictator
  2. Whatever your toddler wants, your toddler gets. If God forbid you don’t give them something on command they will have a tantrum, and when they are having a tantrum while they are sick you actually feel the need to comfort them.
  3. They will take over your Bed – Emma already claimed it. I might find her name written on it one of these days.
  4. By the time the sickness is gone, the parents are exhausted and run down which can easily lead to someone else being sick in the house (I hope not).
  5. You have to re – train your toddler – to sleep in their own bed, to actually eat, to clean up their mess, to go to sleep and wake up at a certain time, etc.

Yes, one of the many joys of parenthood!

Valentine’s Day

Overall I think Valentine’s day is a great excuse to show your appreciation for those you love, although I do think that this should be done as often as possible. Having said that, I thought about spending Valentine’s day with my husband (only) because I know that Emma is too young to really remember. But knowing myself, I wouldn’t be able to bear the fact that I didn’t spend a Holiday with my daughter, so I chose to spend it with both (Yes, I know, am I am extremely attached to my daughter and I recognize that eventually Emma will choose not to spend a Holiday with us and I hope that I am emotionally prepared for that).

I also hate going out on Valentine’s day because restaurants are crowded and overpriced. I’ve done it in the past and I don’t think it’s worth it. Besides, since I wanted to celebrate it with Emma, I spared every couple who was trying to have a romantic evening my toddler’s tantrums and sporadic behavior and decided to stay home.

Valentine’s day –

In the morning we gave Emma some chocolates – which she can’t get enough of – and Monsters, Inc. stickers since she loves the movie. We opted not to give her toys since she already has more than enough. I also bought her friends some heart-shaped lollipops and her teachers some chocolates and told her that she should hand them out in appreciation for their friendship, to which she responded, “I’m going to eat them all.” I guess I would want to eat them too if I wasn’t and adult and hence so self-conscious about the calories. Since Emma is practicing the letter V and has a friend named Valentina, on our way to school I told her that Valentina and Valentine’s day started with the same letter so she kept saying that it was Valentine’s day like Valentina – I am sure that I managed to confuse her and she will probably call the day “Valentina day” from now on.

After work, I rushed to pick up Emma from school. When she came out, she showed me a heart that she made and told me that is was for me and daddy (Naturally, I took possession of it without my husband’s consent and took it to work this week so that I could constantly look at it and smile).
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After that I took Emma to Starbucks. I wanted us to sit down and have a cup of hot chocolate together since we are usually always running to catch the bus. She loved it and felt like a big girl, which is a big hit among toddlers.
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We then headed home to a home cooked dinner by my husband.

He made Emma her favorite – macaroni and cheese and we had some shrimp, salmon and steak with a side dish of mashed potatoes. Yum! Emma wanted all of us to sit at her table, which is tiny, so my husband and I were uncomfortable but these are the kind of things parents do for their kids…. I sat on a sheep chair that Emma has, Emma sat on her “art” chair and my husband was on the floor. At one point, Emma stopped eating, put her spoon down and walked away from the table only to go grab her Dora chair and bring it to her dad so he could also have a seat. Of course, this melted our hearts and there is no way my husband will say no to her now; not that he ever did before…

After dinner we watched Beauty and the Beast (movie night). Emma wanted the three of us to dance every time the music came on, which was actually great because we did a bit of exercise after having such a huge – but delicious – meal. My husband then gave me a paper bag and told me my gift was inside… I assumed it was chocolates, which I love, but was really surprised to find a ring! A couple of months ago, I bought some really trendy rings from H&M and I mentioned to him that I wished I had one of them in real gold, because it was simple and beautiful and would last me longer. Somehow he remembered I said this and got the ring made for me for Valentine’s day! I was definitely thrown off because for the past couple of years we have kept Valentine’s day low-key and unless we directly ask each other for a specific gift in advance, we just give each other thoughtful but small things. The best part of his gift was the card he gave both Emma and I. The card was very short and to the point – but what he wrote really touched my heart. I will definitely be saving it for Emma to keep when she is older.

We all had an amazing Valentine’s day – most of all because we spent it together. I couldn’t have had it any other way.

P.S. In honor of Valentine’s day I also cooked for my family (hubby, parents and siblings) on Sunday and made my first attempt at making lasagna. I followed a recipe and it turned out pretty good. It took a long time to make but it was Emma approved, which was worth the effort. However, I definitely don’t plan to make another one anytime soon. I also know that this post is very late, but having an active toddler, sometimes I just can’t find the time to do anything…

Toddler behavior – Terrible Two’s

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My daughter is 2 years old and yea, there is definitely something about her turning two that changed her behavior. She is very testy and has become an amazing performer when it comes to dry crying. I try not to complain and remain positive about her new attitude – if you’ve watched or read “The Secret”, what you put out there is what you get. However, I also need to acknowledge the facts, and to be honest, she is in her terrible two’s. Lately whenever I need to shower her, change her, brush her teeth or do anything that needs to get done to get out of the house or go to bed, she refuses to do it. I always try talking it out with her (which worked before) or wagering with her, but now I am at a loss… I have to be firm, which makes her cry (for real), and just get it done while she is having a tantrum… This makes it very difficult and obviously not something I look forward to – Like any parent, I hate seeing my child cry. I am working on this and below are suggestions that I found that I will try out this week –

Mothering.com – http://www.mothering.com/community/t/356729/my-toddler-refuses-to-take-a-bath-shower

What to Expect – http://www.whattoexpect.com/toddler/behavior/resisting-bath-time.aspx

I will start a new routine. Maybe she dislikes the fact that I shower her right after she uses the potty. I will also attempt to give her more choices – her favorite word is NO, so we will see how that works out. She also hates to have her hair washed, but I will work on that after she actually takes a shower/bath.

I found a great article on parenting.com that gives a better understanding to the causes of a toddler tantrum and how to address it when it happens. http://www.parenting.com/article/toddler-temper-tantrums?page=0,1