AK - Just saw you won the cloth diaper contest!!!! Woohoo!!!!
Kate - Gorgeous! It looks like she has red hair just like her big sis :D
My first final is tomorrow and I'm in full study mode!
Sue - congrats!
Everr - hope the final went well.
I've got a couple things we've been struggling with, behavior-wise, that I was hoping to bounce off you guys.
Food: K is somewhat picky, which is totally normal. He's also incredibly contrary about food. No matter what's on offer (even if I know he likes several of the options), he whines, complains that he wants something else, tries to come up with bizarre specific requirements that don't match any food available "I want something raw but not crunchy and not juicy and not orange." He'll refuse things he helped choose, or things he asked for 1 min before. In group settings, no matter what I bring for our lunch, he'll refuse it and instead beg and whine for a friend's lunch, even if they clearly don't have enough to share. (and it's not healthy food vs junk food, just something different than what I brought). I sometimes wonder if he gets enough (vegetables and protein particularly), but mostly its the behavior that's driving me up the wall.
Getting Dressed/Ready: K still does not know how to get a shirt or coat on or off. Not because he's not coordinated, but because getting him dressed or undressed or ready to go anywhere takes so long as it is, I can't imagine adding any more coaxing/ordering/impatient pleading. I want him to do more for himself, but we will literally NEVER get out the door if I wait for him (no matter how enticing the outing, he'd rather dawdle than get ready), so most of the time I just grab him and stuff him into all his clothes. We are, without exception, always the last ones out of preschool. (L, on the other hand, loves to try and put on clothes so much I think she'll learn before he does.) How do I teach basic self-help skills and still get where we're going?
Erin- sounds tough but here are some of my thoughts. With food: It is our jobs as parents to provide healthy food at predictable times (breakfast, lunch dinner, snack, etc...). It is the kids job to decide if they will eat it and how much. That is what I aim for at our house at least. Somedays it seems she does reject everything- even favorites but I figure that if she is truly hungry she will let win over her stubborn strong will! Usually does. It's hard though when you know they are cranky because they just need to eat some stinking food and they refuse to do it! I think you just have to ride it out.
Clothes: find some times when you really don't have to be somewhere at a given time and let him do it. Oh, I see you still need your sock- I will be outside while you take care of that. Oh what fun we are having outside! This bike riding is so awesome!! I can't wait for you to join us! OR...make it a race. Ready set go- can you get your shirt on before I do? Or before L does. Wow you are so quick! I can't believe it- my head got stuck but you were the fastest!
Food: I think it's a 3 year old thing to refuse whatever's offered even if you like it. My rule and it may seem harsh but if one of the kids is whining at the table about what is being served they get down and leave the kitchen until they can be pleasant at the table or at least silent.
Clothes: I will carry a child to the car in their pjs and dress them wherever we arrive. I will also just leave the house and pack the car or get the stroller ready while waiting. Usually my kids if left there with nothing else to do and no one watching will just get dressed *usually*. Getting them to learn to do it I would make it a game of monster's eating their various extremities as they pushed them out. We also did the races. Also when they ask for anything other than breakfast in the morning I say "Sure when your dressed". Can you borrow an older kid to 'show' him how it's done. Make it a game of dress up or something that you challenge him and the older child too? Or borrow some dress up clothes to use for games/practice?
Those are tricky ones, Erin!
Food: I would encourage the folks he's 'begging' off of to politely let him know that they didn't bring food for sharing, and I would make sure that there is at least one thing in his snack that he'll like. I pack the 'treat' foods (package granola bars, raisins, etc) in my bag so E doesn't go for those first, and I put the snack bag in E's backpack, for her to help herself to any time. I put lots of good foods in her bag; apples, carrots, sandwich, seaweed, berries, tofu, cucumber, hardboiled eggs, meat, nuts, other fruits and let her eat whenever/whatever she chooses.
At home, I make sure she has at least one thing on her plate that she likes at each meal. If she doesn't like what we're having, she can help herself to carrots, apples, toast with PB, etc that she can do herself. She is expected to sit at the table with us for meal times, and she willingly tries new foods, which I'm happy about.
Clothes: If you feel done with dressing him, I'd let him go out of the house in his pajamas, until he's interested in putting his own clothes on himself. And I'd bring a coat, so that if he gets cold, he can figure out how to put it on himself. On the other hand, I think it's okay that he's not dressing himself. E's still not riding a balance bike. They'll get there in their own time.
AFM: Must dash. My dear, dear friend is struggling with cancer, and I have her girls staying. Got to get them organized to go see their mom.
Starling - I'm so sorry about your friend.
Thanks for all the tips, guys, I'll definitely be trying some of them out. Just putting my complaints in words seems to have spurred a temporary reprieve of sorts - he's been OK about food for the past couple days. Starling - I can't believe you have so much variety of food handy for snacks around at one time. I'm lucky if I can manage a sandwich, orange, and a handful of nuts. I'm also impressed E can get herself toast. Our kitchen is rather child unfriendly, I guess. Most stuff's out of reach, none of the bread is pre-sliced, the lid to the pb jar is much too big for kid hands, etc... I think I might need to make more regular snack times too - because he can whine about food literally any time of the day.
The clothes thing is more difficult. Leaving the house usually involves him walking down a bumpy slippery snowy trail for a couple hundred yards to the bike trailer, not something he can actually do with no boots or pants (which is often the state he'll stay in if I don't intervene). And I'm usually carrying L, so can't really carry him too. I'm not sure he has enough competitive spirit for the race thing, but it's worth a try. And Sue, that's a good idea to just go out into the yard to play without him sometime.
Starling - You're right, it is easy to expect kids this age to be able to do the same things, when they really have an even wider divergence of skills than they did as babies. K has a good friend whose speech I can barely understand, but draws complicated and detailed pictures of fish, oceans, and tidepool critters. K can't get his shirt off but spends his time climbing boulders and cliffs and is learning to read. They're all so different.
So do most of you guys' kids dress themselves?? Makenna can't do it on her own. Though I am going to work with her on it more. I mostly just do it. She can pull her undies and pants up and down when she pees but she puts her undies on wrong half the time if she is putting them on herself. I think she could manage pants but she hasn't figure out how to get a shirt on without some help. She is an expert at getting naked though! LOL!
We just had her cousins (age 2 and 4) here for 5 days. Her 4 yr old cousin (turning 4 in 2 weeks) can dress herself. We were talking about all the things Willa can do and what Makenna can do bc they are big girls - so I asked her if she wanted to work on dressing herself. She does.
Starling: I'm so sorry about your friend! I hope she will be strong and healthy soon! I've always been impressed by E's willingness to eat a varied diet.
RE: FOOD: Every meal here is a bit of a negotiation. M still eats a super limited repetoire of foods. It's frustrating. But lately I have been holding my ground about her eating what she is served - mainly at dinner. And if she doesn't want it, she doesn't get anything else. If she is really hungry, she will eat it. I do try to balance giving her some of what she loves as well as some veggies, etc that she does eat. And often it is already something totally different than what DH and I are eating bc she definitely won't eat most meals I cook. So I definitely do not want to prepare a 3rd meal if she won't eat what she is given. And I am not taking any crap from kid #2 in the food department. I think I was too quick to make something else for Makenna for a long time and I wonder if she wouldn't be willing to eat more foods if I hadn't given in so easily. Oh please let this baby be a good eater. LOL.
Kate: Been thinking of you. I hope you're feeling well and enjoying baby Mallory!
AFM: Nothing exciting here. Relatives just left after 5 days. It was a lot of fun having the cousins here! Also nice co-parenting with 2 other adults and splitting some of the duties for a few days (and having my husband home the whole time too). Makenna is a bit sick today. So we've just been laying low and resting after having run around every day.
Owyn does pretty well when it comes to dressing herself. She prefers to do herself if she can. She still gets her underwear on backwards or sideways at times, but she can tell that it's wrong and will keep trying until she either gets too frustrated with it or gets it right. Shirts she can do herself, but can't tell if it's backwards or not. If I tell her it's backwards, she'll turn it around. I've been buying shoes that she can put on by herself. The kind with velcro or flip flops. Last week, I bought her some Toms in her size. They are so cute on her and she absolutely loves them and she can put them on by herself, but I think they gave her a blister on the bottom of her foot. She kept insisting on wearing them even though she was limping all over the place from the blister!
I think playing dress up was the best practice for her. She is constantly changing her clothes during the day, so I guess being able to dress herself is a bit annoying as well. She leaves her clothes all over the floor in her room, gets into her dresser to find new things. She'll even pull a chair into her closet to get things off of hangers. I find her in a different outfit several times a day!
Starling: So sorry about your friend. That is tough. I hate cancer.
I think its a very good point about the different skills and abilities our kids have. Fiona can get herself dressed but doesn't always want to. She does her own shoes/boots and coat all the time though. She's been interested in getting herself dressed since she was about 18 months old! Lately though all she wants to wear is pajamas and maybe a skirt over her pajamas. Works for me. I tell her footy pj's are for home only but she can wear the cotton ones. Only because she doesn't like how the footies feel in her boots and it becomes a frustrating situation for all of us!
I'm waiting for 9:00 to call the Dr's office. Freaking Dr has had the test results from her celiac blood panel since Tuesday and still hasn't called us back. I called Wednesday last week, then tried again on Friday but they were closed. It's not like this is to check something minor like her vitamin D level or something- this is a big deal. CALL US DUDE!!
Both kids are sick and Maeve starting in with the barky croup coughing again last night. Sucks. I"m tired and grumpy.
Starling: you inspired me to put out more snacks. We do lots of nuts and fruit- fresh and dried but haven't done hard boiled eggs in a while. I'm on it today. Maeve loves the yolk too!
Kate and Courtney: thinking about you mamas and hope you are enjoying snuggling up with your newborns!
AK - How frustrating!! I hope they get back to you soon!
RE Dressing Selves - Umm, definitely NO! He won't even UNDRESS himself most of the time :/ I just dress him. Sometimes he'll have a shirt preference but mostly I just grab something and do it. He does get a bit silly sometimes when I'm trying to dress him which is frustrating.
RE Food - R is pretty good. I don't make substitutions. Although if it's something new that I can understand him not liking I will let him have a quick easy snack. And I don't really keep any junk in the house so if he's hungry it's mostly health snacks he gets. Sometimes he asks for something I don't have, he can eat what's there or not eat. I don't put up with whining about food :/
Erin - I'm so impressed with Katmai and his friends - reading and drawing pictures!! Wow. R doesn't even recognize the letters and his drawings are just scribbles. I'm trying to think of what R really excels at but unless being cute and funny counts then that's about it lol! Social skills I guess would be it :P
Starling - I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. I hope she's doing ok.
AFM - 5 exams down, 1 left on Friday! I have 3 days to prep for it and I need it! I'm so behind in that class. And I'm still seeing my bus guy, things are good there :D
Ever - Glad it's going well with the bus guy, and good luck on exams! Social skills is absolutely a strength that counts! In a group, K is always the one off to the side doing his own thing and saying "I don't want to" to all group activities. His friend who draws beautiful pictures is frequently disciplined for hitting and pushing, and utterly melts down if there's even the suggestion of needing to share.
Sue - Sorry about the sick kids, and hope you get answers on the celiac soon!
Kate and Courtney - send us a few squishy baby pictures sometime when you get the chance
Clothes: I guess K isn't the only one not dressing himself! He does always do his boots - mostly because he finds it hilarious to mix and match rubber and winter boots so he has 2 left boots of 2 different colors. At a recent kid activity a girl an entire year younger than K heard her mom say it was time to go, ran over to find her snowsuit, put it on (arms and legs), zipped it up around halfway, put her boots on, and stood by the door. I was blown away. But I guess she's the unusual one! And it's probably not fair of me to compare K to the other preschool kids, nearly all of whom are a year or more older than him.
Food: I find I have had slightly better luck lately with giving K our food, but with all the ingredients separate, plain, and raw if possible. Maybe that would help you too, Cindy? We eat so much that's all mixed together with sauce, curry, stir fry, soups, etc... And he usually won't touch it. But a plate of plain broccoli, plain noodles, and plain tomatoes often seems to go over better. Also, I've found the only thing K will absolutely always eat is fried eggs if he gets to fry them himself. I'm hoping for better luck on the veggies when we can get them from our own garden again.
Erin: Yep, I often deconstruct dinner for M - or put things aside as I'm making it. I'll try and make our veggie side dishes ones that she will eat. But it's pretty common for her to be eating tofu and green beans while we eat something totally different. Pretty annoying. But at least she does have some healthy standbys in her limited repetoire. LOL. Thank goodness the kid likes eggs bc we have SO many of them right now from our girls.
Everr: Yay for a nice distraction from bus guy!! ;-) I hope your last exam goes well! I wouldn't worry about what R is or isn't doing right now - I'm sure he is absolutely fine and perfect. M is still scribbling, knows a decent amount of letters and sounds but it no where near reading or writing them and still doesn't dress herself. It's fine. It'll happen in due time.
Sue: I hope you got those results! Let us know!!
AFM: I am pondering eating meat again. If I do it will only be pasture raised, local meat. I can't decide. Yesterday I wanted to. Today it doesn't sound as appealing. LOL. My husband is trying not to get too excited by the idea of me eating /serving meat. I've been veggie the entire time we've known each other. He said he didn't want to pressure me - he wants it to be all my own decision. But then he said it would be really awesome if we could have a date night at a steak house. LOL.
Wow Sue! Has her behavior improved since the test and removing gluten again? Or do you think her issues are from something else entirely? Has removing garlic helped at all?
Makenna has a new issue that I'm not loving. She is constantly afraid our car is going to fall into the ocean! And cries and freaks out. It started this weekend when we were in San Francisco and went down a big, multi block long hill with a view to the bay. She started crying and demanding I turn. But then she had a HUGE fit about not wanting to go to the beach bc she thought we were going to fall in (same trip). I chalked it up to a 1x thing. Where we live, we are on the other side of the bay and live a few miles from it. When you drive down the street leading to ours from the downtown area, you can see the bay. This is a drive we've done every day, if not multiple times/day for over a year and she never cared. But since this weekend's freakout, she freaks out again every time she sees the water. She demands I turn, demands I park the car and just generally freaks out. I had to have her drive with a library book in front of her face so we could get home from a park up in the hills (with an even more pronounced view on the way home). Ugh. I feel bad that she is scared but how do I get her to understand that the car is NOT going to fall into the ocean and that we are actually no where near it??
Sue ... well that's perplexing! What now?
Cindy ... I was vegan or vegetarian for fifteen years, and started eating meat a couple of years after being diagnosed celiac. I love meat now.
As for the car-going-into-the-ocean thing, I would take her to a friendly mechanic and have him explain the brakes. If she's confident, I'd have her ask the question herself and articulate her fear as best she can (you can interpret, if necessary). I find that E often accepts information and fact from 'experts' MUCH easier than if I try to convince her. Because we're going to homeschool, I figured I better come up with a solution to that asap, so I get her to investigate her own questions and concerns. I've had her ask skytrain cops why it's not safe to go up the down escalator or stand to close to the rails, ask the bus driver why it's not okay to stand on the seat, ask the grocer why she can't eat the fruit before she pays for it, ask her gymnastics instructor why it's better to jump off things that aren't too high, ask the librarian why she can't eat ice cream while she looks at the books, ask the construction guy why the building isn't going to fall on her, ask the fireman how the smoke alarms work (she has a fear of our house burning down), etc. Works GREAT!
Starling: Great idea. I'll have to look into who I can ask. Grandma explained that no roads go into the ocean and that cars don't fall off of roads while on the phone earlier. But we have yet to be in the car since she spoke to her. As for meat - did you have any mental hang ups about eating it? The thought of chewing it is freaking me out. Also the guilt factor bc I am veggie not just for health reasons but for moral reasons. And also the fact that Makenna has only ever been veggie and she does not want to eat meat and she doesn't want me to eat it (I asked her earlier how she would feel). I worry about being a hypocrite - teaching her 1 thing and doing another. And also I feel like this is something I can probably never go back on with her. For myself, I can always decide in a month to go back to being veg - but I may be stuck having to cook and serve meat to her if she tries it and likes it - which I doubt I would want to do if I am vegetarian again. I know I like the taste of meat - I always did like the taste. That's my problem. Pregnancy cravings, I suppose. Today I was wanting to eat rotisserie chicken skin. The other day it was steak.
Cindy ... I had major hang-ups about eating meat. I bought the most organic, humanely treated free range buffalo for my first meat. And after eating it, I felt like a million bucks. When I started eating meat on a regular basis, I had so much more energy. I know eating meat is not the right thing for everyone, but my body was begging for it! You could always be a closet meat-eater for your pregnancy and then see if the cravings persist once the baby comes?
Cindy - I started eating meat again last year after 5 years as a vegetarian. I only eat fish and poultry, no red meat (I haven't had red meat in probably 7 or 8 years ago..) R wouldn't eat it at first but then he started to and now he loves it. He doesn't eat red meat either, sometimes he asks if someone's having something but he knows we don't eat cows and pigs so I just tell him what the animal is and he knows we don't eat that. He also won't eat chicken/turkey bacon because it looks like pig bacon which he knows we don't eat. I decided to add in some meat because I truly felt it would be healthier for myself and for R to have some meat in our diet. I find it really hard to eat healthy as a vegetarian, I know not everyone does, but for me it seemed to take a lot of work to make meals that would satisfy me. Have some chicken/turkey or fish really helps me feel satisfied and healthy and it's a lot easier to make a meal that way (for me). The one thing I'm not too happy about with myself though - when I first reintroduced meat my plan was to only eat local, organic type meats. Well that has gone out the window. I can't afford that type of meat, I can't enforce that on people I'm visiting for dinner, and it's not available at restaurants (and we also eat fast food meat occasionally... Ah well!
If you're unsure about sticking to it and what Makenna will think then I agree with Starling - just eat some in secret to see how you feel.
Starling - I love that idea! I think it's awesome you get E to take the initiative like that! I should really do that with R. He argues with everything I say. He will even ask me a question, I gave a completely simple, factual answer, and his response is "No! Tha'ts not right!" Why does he even ask lol?? I should get him to find out for himself by asking someone else, let them deal with it :P
Erin - Yep that's how R is with food too. If it's mixed together with sauces/spices, forget about it! But he will devour a plate with separated plain rice, plain veggies, and plain meat. At least he's eating! Actually, last night we had fish with a lemon sauce and he ate that, but he wanted his rice and veggies separate.
AK - Huh.. So now you're back to square one? What do you/they think could be causing her issues?