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The Childhood Years > Welcome, New Three-Year Olds!
eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy 06:40 PM 01-19-2006
Yesterday I failed to initiate the bedtime ritual by 8:15. I came downstairs to find BeanBean removing his clothing; "Help me, mamma," he said, as he pulled his jeans off of his legs. "Oh wait, nevermind. I did it myself." He undressed, used the toilet, put his pajamas on, dragged the stepstool into the bathroom and began to brush his teeth, all while I was still eating my cereal (which was what I wanted for a bedtime snack). It was the most adorable thing I've ever seen in my life. I was telling my mom how impressed I am that BeanBean can actually brush all of the surfaces of his teeth, and that he remembers to do it without being reminded, and she said, "How'd you manage that, BeastieBeast still won't..." I think that's happened for the same reason that I didn't brush my teeth regularly until I moved out; mom doesn't brush hers!! My kids see me brush my teeth every evening, so they know a bit about how it's done, you know? It's one of those things that kids need to *see* adults doing to get the hang of, it doesn't work if you just talk about it.

BooBah is also all about dressing herself. The trouble is, she likes to put on her brother's underpants. She really desperately wants to wear underpants, poor kid, and she's nowhere near potty learned (occasionally she makes peepees in the potty, and she can put herself on the toilet but that's it). She loves to put pants on, pajama, jeans, or overalls, but she tends to try to put shirts on her legs rather than her head. Well, not always... it's like she can't tell whether it's a shirt or pants until she tries to put it on. It's pretty funny, actually.

We did lots of "work" today, and Bean was happy. BooBah was happy, too. It's a good thing.

hjohnson's Avatar hjohnson 08:04 PM 01-19-2006
Christopher can put on his clothes and shoes and that has been a great help to me. Gives me more time to get David and myself dressed. I just lay out his clothes and shoes and he takes care of the rest.

Lately David has been trying to put on his own shoes and the other night he tried to put on a pair of Christopher's underwear. He loves to imitate his brother!
majazama's Avatar majazama 09:52 PM 01-19-2006
my DD gets herself dressed sometimes too. It's pretty funny, as she usually comes out of the room with everything inside-out *and* backwards
tea olive's Avatar tea olive 05:25 AM 01-20-2006
okay, my intro. i'm going to really describe all the kids. i waited because i really want to say more about reed. he is one of the original forces.

i'm 35, my dh is 30. my folks are both from taiwan and i was born here. i mention this because in most ways, i am learning to parent myself or learn how i want to be, in a direr way than some. i don't go to a job. i earn half of what he makes we all sleep on two queen mattresses and the rest of the house is used up - my kids don't have rooms and this is starting to be an issue, though i do believe in the communal living.

i've been wallowing in the role of mamma since reed was born. certainly his personality demanded it. in my mind i have been working towards continuum concept ideals for years, to focus on the family and do what i'm doing as i raise the kids, rather than being child centered. but i am just finally starting to claim more for myself in the past six months. like bathing regularly. growing my hair. listening to music. it certainly has much to do with ruby being so "old" as three. i truly believe that most tough family dynamics with littles deal with being three and younger and spacings.
i still plan to be a rock star one day, hope to start some type of nonprofit with slings and birth and postpartum. will probably end up starting some kind of catering or restaurant eventually because that's where all our job experience is in. and i happen to have a talent for cooking. i've always had sleep disorder and am a twitchy type person that must be feel busy and creative all the time. i'm loud and blunt. i have a compulsive artistic type personality that is learning how to regulate better for the greater good of my family.

past six months have been a definite emotional upswing for us, mainly because dh got a job at whole foods. financial is rather icky (please explain to me my new 550 electricity bill?), but i finally feel like the battle of where we belong and what the heck are we doing - for the past 7 years - is gone. it's another story.

we are unschooling. started as a combination of reed and terrible local alternatives. but also our need for control and lack of faith in the lack of village where i live. i see it as a natural extension of being mamma - being a guide to the world, helping when needed. theoretically. actuality is very loud and messy. as life can be.
we are loud and not that well behaved and usually dirty. we are fun though. it's never boring here. right now is about learning to live with each other, finding the balance on regularity and spontaneity with all our personalities, figuring how to make the household run to our liking, how we deal with the world outside our microcosm. being a family as a team as part of the world: that's my curriculum.

reed is the pure heart. has the ultimate typical male attributes. he is big - a head shorter than me and 75 lbs and clumsy though he can focus the gross motor skills above and beyond and has been able to truly physically hurt us for years. he is uninterested in emotions and interchanges outside of him. he wants to know how objects and nature work, but is oblivious to the regular parts of life. like he has just started getting out of the bathtub when he is done instead of yelling and me informing him that he could step out, where he would say, oh, okay like it never occurred to him all these years. in our local school setting, i think he would be given all the labels. adhd. aspergers. oppositional defiant. this is the kid that would ask me to make it quit raining. that began to understand after 6 that we go to bed every day. that i worried he would beat up every kid he came near including my own until this past year. he has a sensitive radar to fear and anger which he has converted from striking back to behaving like a foul mouthed gorilla.

he has been my biggest teacher. his ego is so strong. he is as solid as a rock physically and metaphorically. he needs less sleep than i do and this was a bigger issue before....though this week he's been waking them all before dawn..... he still hates to be alone but can stand a bit of it now. he rarely self starts and is playing alone better. he is just starting to read. funny, because i have quit sweating it. i was worried that he was feeling powerlessness due to not being able to read, tell time, interpret people's cues easily, my waning attention on him. now i figure i have preserved that innocence since his body wasn't ready - which i relate to the fine motor skill he genuinely lacks. he can now build a suggested 10y lego. it is rare for him to write and draw he still gets mad because it is not exactly what he pictured. his hands amaze me he lacks the big muscles for the thumb and side under the pinky, and between the thumb and index. for me, my hands are close to everything.

on top of it, he is not dumb. he understands math and abstracts intuitively. he has been speaking well - enunciating clearly at one. he was one of those kids that spoke like any adult at three, just mostly about himself. this and him being the oldest and so big really fooled me since i had little experience with kids before him. i really expected way too much from him. and now, well, if i want him to quit dripping all over the house after that bath, i will have to rub him holding his arms with the towel and show him the pattern until he gets it. i feel bad sometimes that now at 7.5, i am finally feeling able to do these things.

clay just turned 5 and he is in the general sense the opposite of reed. he is also the main source of angst in the family now - some of it due to his age. where reed and ruby's personalities resemble damen's, though they look more like me, clay has all my bred in issues. so reed is teaching me about life and my husband, clay is teaching me about myself. ruby is teaching me about being a girl.
i would call clay the big secret treasure. he is bright and all too aware and the most fun when he is up. he is sneaky and conniving and agile and highly sensitive and knows what to do and is able to do it if he isn't worked up. i think the main problem is that he is not feeling useful, though he mainly complains about reed and dh. all the things they do that irritate him, i have learned to live with and accept, but fundamentally can grate as on me as well. so i don't know what we are in for in that respect. we got him a new computer....and his requirements for emotional space have dropped dramatically. but he worries about the things he wants, the things that haven't happenned, remembers every way he has been slighted. combined with reed and dh's obliviousness, it gets messy. clay is, for now honestly, my favorite child. he is layers and layers of beauty which is sometimes lots and lots of pain and anger that he hurls onto everyone else. i know it has to do with rediscovering myself, learning to turn my faults into assets. but deep down, we get each other. and it hurts too, trying to figure how to cope and help him. it's very different from the understanding ruby and i have, which is just as deep, just female. i've never had to live with me before. yikes!

ruby is a bright star. her charisma oozes everywhere. she sounds like a cartoon character. she can do everything. she wants to do everything. then she just suddenly can't and i have to remind myself she just turned three. she has the propensity to become the biggest nag ever. she does stuff that none of the males had picked up. like she permanently took over feeding our outside cats after she turned two. it's been like having a light turned on for me - seeing how the female can reach her mind in so many directions, be sensitive to mood, and multitask. i thought reasoning with kids was a myth until her. i won't know how much is girlness and rubyness unless i have another girl. but it is like having a mini me. and girlshrieks are definitely worse in some ways. lately i keep telling her to quit it or go away due to her demands and meddling. yes i need a pattern to do better. her curiousity combined with her ability and awareness at this age is a new parenting experience for me. especially in the kitchen.

example: yesterday i woke up to the smell of burning toast. she had plugged in the toaster, which involved some climbing of course and toasted about fifteen pieces of bread, fooling with the dial, and toasting some pieces repeatedly. then was forcefeeding it to everyone persistently. yes, i'm proud and annoyed.

that's enough and too much. oh yah, clay and ruby are still nursing. not much; mostly to go to bed.

and yes, i want more. i have an iud though.
tea olive's Avatar tea olive 05:36 AM 01-20-2006
so what is controversial about march of the penguins? i don't know if most 3s would make it through the whole thing. i certainly can't find many adult men that can. it is a cool little movie though.
the all time favorite first movies for us: my neighbor totoro and kiki's delivery service.
eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy 11:18 AM 01-20-2006
I love Kiki's Delivery Service, that movie is so cute!

Casina, in some ways Ruby reminds me of BeanBean. He's quite the nurturing caretaker, always wanting to help with things. Last night I was miserable and in agony (really horrible sciatica, third-trimester crap) and he hugged me and said, "Don't worry, mamma, I'm gonna take good care of you!" He was a sugar muffin all night, and he kept trying to help. Of course, he really can't do all of the things that he wants to do (he was going to pick me up?!?!) but he certainly tries. He's a lovebug. I think it's just a Scorpio empathy thing, he's always been very sensitive to the emotions of others, especially me.

Last night, I started reading Speaking of Boys. It seems fun so far, but some of the stuff about how mothers relate to their boys is off base for me. I know that it's true in the general sense, for example, that women who know that they're carrying boys describe their kicks as "strong" in utero, and that they hold boy babies differently and talk to them less, , but I really don't/didn't do that sort of thing. I snuggled with BeanBean and kissed him and told him he was a pretty baby and a sweet baby all the time. He was! I also held BooBah standing up a lot, because she demanded it; it was more a matter of responding to their individual cues than it was me treating them differently based on their sexes. BellyBean's kicks are most assuredly strong (and quite painful), and she's a ton of work to carry. I freely admit that the work involved in carrying her made me think, initially, that she was a boy because BeanBean was difficult to carry and BooBah was very easy, but knowing that she's a girl hasn't made it any less strenuous! She's still, quite literally, busting my ass, and I'm hoping that this pregnancy finishes up around 37-38 weeks, because any longer and I'm afraid I might hurt someone.

At any rate: I read something in Speaking of Boys last night that made me kind of sad-- basically, that boys grow up to be men and that at some point, their mother ceases to be the most important woman in their lives. I guess I've always known that, but reading about it from a different perspective kind of made me sad... I was looking at my smooth skinned, snugglebugging boy and thinking about how he just climbs up and throws his arms around me and kisses my cheeks for no reason at all, just to say, "I love you, Mamma," and I just wish that would last forever... but of course, if I do my job well, it won't. : A daughter is yours for the rest of her life, but a son's only yours till he finds a wife, isn't that how it goes? I'm already sad about this, probably because he seems so *old* of late. He's growing up sooooo quickly!

Last night, though, he said, "Remember how you said that when the baby comes out, there will be milk in my nursies? Please remember that I am allowed to nurse when the baby comes out." I guess in some ways he's still little.
tea olive's Avatar tea olive 02:53 PM 01-20-2006
ruby and reed were the big kickers. clay was hardly there it seems, just large as heck.

i think it's true, the losing of the men. of course this is more so in our independent and isolated culture. the reason the orient and others always favored boys is because they would gain the wives and their dowries and have lots of power. i pointed this out the other day to a friend that just found out she's pg with her fifth boy, no girls yet.

here's the story related to me that defines the boys from the girls in a general sense. i may have related it before. there's an experiment with a room full of toys the boy enters the room and is told to find the ball. he picks up the first toy he sees and plays with it, and then the next, until he comes across the ball. the girl walks in and scans the room, and gets the ball.
certainly we are good finders. clay is a good finder too. but he still has the honed focus, ykim?
i always wish i had treated reed like he was smaller, and still do with his lumbering size. please, do it for me. they are little. they seem huge esp with new ones and of course it is a biological thing, to push them from the nest. it really helps me to be around bigger kids seeing how sometimes they are not capable of what i expect either.
if anything, my boys are more snuggly. ruby keeps finding stuff to do.
Mona's Avatar Mona 03:15 PM 01-20-2006
enjoyed reading the posts from today

only have a sec, but damn i wish i could reason w/ kathrynn. there is NO reasoning w/ her. she is as stubborn and strong willed as they come.
still working on the weaning as a result.
DecemberSun's Avatar DecemberSun 10:20 PM 01-20-2006
In my family the difference between male and female is gigantic. Girls tend to be way more sensitive about EVER-Y-THING. Every bump and scrape has to be acknowledged immediately, hugs given, and tears dried. Boys, naturally, seem to be more of a rough and tumble type- fall, see if anyone witnessed the injury, laugh, get up, dust yourself off, and continue the reckless activity. That's the biggest issue we have right now- trying to teach Julianna when it's appropriate to scream her head off in a crazed state of upset, and when it's appropriate to just get on with life without totally freaking out.
I am at a loss as to how I am supposed to organize lessons with these two. I don't even know where to start. Julianna doesn't even know her colors, while Zachary is recognizing letters. I have thought about making an artsy/crafty "My Colors" book and a "My Shapes" book with each of them, then moving on to "My Letters" and "My Numbers". Julianna does recognize basic shapes and can count to ten, but colors are just flying through one ear and out the other. She absolutely can not grasp the concept at all. She will do MUCH better, in my opinion, in the special needs preschool program, with professionals who are trained in the how and why of teaching/learning. I defintely don't have the patience for it. Zachary and I do very well together- he is very eager to please, and wants to learn everything he possibly can, whereas Julianna will immediatley give up when something is too difficult. She is really excited about preschool, I do hope she qualifies! Her eval is on Monday, so please send us some good vibes! Zachary has always told me "I want to stay home with you, Julianna can go to school." But just this morning he told me "I want to go to real school." I always said I would give him a choice because thats what my parents did (of course we chose to stay home!!!), but now that my son has chosen "wrong" I don't know what to do... I started touring and researching preschools a few months ago "just in case", but I don't know... My kids rarely have babysitters and I just don't know if I can trust my one and only 'natural' child to complete strangers. Maybe I'm just being weird. Rynna, Sarita, Casina, help me out!
As for getting dressed- J has been doing it for quite some time now. It must be a girl thing! She was so darn determined to put on her own shoes to go outside! Zachary STILL doesn't put his own shoes on, he whines and cries until someone helps him.
How do I get rid of the nighttime diapers? Do I wait for them to stop peeing at night, or do I take away the diaps and get up with them when they wet their beds???
Do any of you do the "counting thing"? I mean, when your DCs are doing something 'wrong' do you do the old "1... 2... 3!"??? I always said I would never do that, it sounds so abosultely ridiculous to me, but it WORKS! I haven't even told the kids what it means when I get to 3, all I have to do it say "1... 2!!!" in a stern voice and they start hoppin'. Please tell me I am not the only one who does this... :
eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy 11:17 PM 01-20-2006
Originally Posted by DecemberSun
My kids rarely have babysitters and I just don't know if I can trust my one and only 'natural' child to complete strangers. Maybe I'm just being weird. Rynna, Sarita, Casina, help me out!
I don't know if I can help you... I'm still irritated with my sister for sending ChibiChibi to school. Quite frankly, I don't trust the public school system with any of the kids in my life. I think that they're working extra hard to screw certain kids over, and kids like my nieces (read: girls who aren't white) are pretty high on the list.

It never occurred to me to give BeanBean a choice about this... then again, he's only three and it hasn't come up. I mean, I'm all about kids making their own decisions, but legally in PA I'm not required to send a child to school until the year in which they turn 8 during the first two weeks of the semester; in other words, September of 2011. Sending BeanBean to school now would involve a lot of work and I don't really have the energy for it, so I never made it an option in BeanBean's mind. It's like, I believe kids should be able to make their own choices about food, but if I don't keep candy in the house, it won't be an option, kwim? When he's old enough to ask for candy, we can talk about it and he can make an informed decision, but before that happens, I'm not buying it.

Does this make any sense? I've got a wicked headache and bad heartburn right now, it's making it hard to think straight...

How do I get rid of the nighttime diapers? Do I wait for them to stop peeing at night, or do I take away the diaps and get up with them when they wet their beds???
BeanBean has been dry at night longer than he's been dry during the day; I ask him to pee before he goes to bed, and then, if I think it's necessary or he's gone to bed early, I'll wake him up when *I* get up to pee or when Mike gets up to go to work. This isn't generally necessary as BeanBean, more often than not, will wake up when he needs to pee. He starts to have a wahwah, I say, "Bean, go pee!" and he does, whereupon he feels instantly better and happy with the world again. He comes back to bed, curls up in a ball, and goes right back to sleep. This happens more often than not, I'd say 68 of the past 70 nights he's awakened (or half-wakened) on his own because he needed to pee, but in his super-sleepy state he's not able to articulate anything at all.

I don't feel badly about half waking him up when I have to, especially when I can carry him (which I can't right now, because my sciatica has been *horrific* for the past few days ); It's a lot easier on all of us if he pees in the toilet. It's cheaper, it's cleaner, and of course BeanBean wakes up tickled pink that he's been wearing underpants all night and he's not "peepees." He doesn't remember it when I half-wake him.

Do any of you do the "counting thing"? I mean, when your DCs are doing something 'wrong' do you do the old "1... 2... 3!"??? I always said I would never do that, it sounds so abosultely ridiculous to me, but it WORKS! I haven't even told the kids what it means when I get to 3, all I have to do it say "1... 2!!!" in a stern voice and they start hoppin'. Please tell me I am not the only one who does this... :
God help me, but I do. : We can go be ashamed together, I also swore I'd never do it.
saritasmile's Avatar saritasmile 12:08 AM 01-21-2006
Originally Posted by DecemberSun
Do any of you do the "counting thing"? I mean, when your DCs are doing something 'wrong' do you do the old "1... 2... 3!"??? I always said I would never do that, it sounds so abosultely ridiculous to me, but it WORKS! I haven't even told the kids what it means when I get to 3, all I have to do it say "1... 2!!!" in a stern voice and they start hoppin'. Please tell me I am not the only one who does this... :
I do 1-2-3 Magic. It's a book you can read and I haven't read it but know the basics. This is how I see it. I make a statement about what needs to be done. ex: Razi you need to come get dressed. If he doesn't come I say, Do you want to come by yourself or do you want me to come get you? (not a threat just a question) No answer, or no respose and I say, "razi, that's one...that's 2 and he comes. I very rarely have to say three. But the consequence of reaching 3 is that I come get him instead of him doing it himself. sometimes the concequence is something different. Yes, sometimes he gets timeouts on the recliner... I always have a consequence in my head before I start counting. also, I always make sure he knows his choice about what he can do. Maybe it's imposing my agenda, but if I didn't do that nothing would ever happen around here, like we would never leave the house and he wouldn't eat anything. It's nearly impossible to get him to sit still for meals.

I want to write more but razi really needs me to look in his mirror that is balanced on a ruler on the back of a chair!
DecemberSun's Avatar DecemberSun 12:44 AM 01-21-2006
Thanks for the input, Rynna...
I really like your idea, Sarita... If I ever do have to get to 3 I'll make sure it is as well thought out as your plan. I am really trying to maintain consistency with these two monkeys!
Zachary just told me "Mama, I'm ready to ni-night." I think it is so cute how he always says it 'wrong' like that!
Honeybee'smama's Avatar Honeybee'smama 02:20 AM 01-21-2006
Hello, I just saw this and thought I would introduce myself! You all seem like a talkative bunch, I am not sure that I will be able to keep up!

My name is Cyndi, I am 27, and have been married to dh for about 5 years. Sonja just turned 3 a few days after Christmas, and we are expecting our second the end of next month. Dh is self employed and works at home, he does wood working and sells at various markets and fairs. I am currently substitute teaching and some day will teach middle school.

Sonja figured out the whole potty thing this summer and only rarely has accidents (usually standing on the toilet turning on the light so that she can see in the bathroom). She has been fairly consistently staying dry at night the last two months or so. She seems to go in spurts of a week or two of wetting the bed. As far as sleeping goes, she starts in her bedroom (right next to ours) and either comes to our room in the night or early in the morning.

For the most part Sonja is a funny, creative, happy, and energetic little girl. Though the last month or so we have been dealing with lots of fussing and whining which drives me and dh crazy!

I look forward to getting to know some other mama's of 3 year olds! Most of my friends have little little ones or no kids at all and can't always relate.
saritasmile's Avatar saritasmile 03:09 AM 01-21-2006
Leah~I think no matter what you do, consistantcy and follow thru are the big things. Like I'm some kinda professional, lol!

As far as leaving w/ strangers, hmm, I met w/ Razi's teacher a few different times and I really like her. Any time I've felt worried about him for some reason I talk to her about it and she has always had good advise. I don't know, the first day of school I was a complete wreck. I don't know what to say. It's hard.

Razi requested to go to school. I don't know if he had any real idea of what it meant but he was ready to go w/ his little backpack on and everything. It's lost some of it appeal but he is now fine to go in and is glad when I pick him up. I know that not all the kids are nice to Razi. He's comes home and tells me about it. At first I freaked out and was upset that this was happening. I realized tho, that in life, not everyone is nice and it's really important to learn how to deal w/ it.

He learned a funny but great way to put on his coat at school. He lays his coat on the floor w/ the inside up and stands 'by the tag'. Then he puts his arms in the holes and then flips it over his head! It's so funny!!

okay, blabbing..

Honeybee'smama~ Welcome! I know what you mean about friends that aren't on the same page. I'm running out of friend that don't have kids, I think I really only have 2 left. My MIL watched Razi one night and I went out w/ a friend and I didn't know what to talk about! (and the music was too loud and the drinks too expensive... )
tea olive's Avatar tea olive 03:55 AM 01-21-2006
123 is generally a good thing, though i never really recognized that til now, and certainly never anticipated using it. it shows there is a limit -in a pattern that is respectful.

i can't say that i can reason ruby into anything these days. she is just defying it all. but she does see that i have hot frying oil and the french fries will burn her and defies me anyway.

nighttime diapers - i have to say i have just waited until they can hold it. i haven't the energy. and if i don't make clay pee before bed we have a scene in the middle of the night. which hasn't happenned in awhile now that i'm thinking about it. it seemed to go on forever.
taking away dipes would mean: a towel and waterproofing. taking the child to the bathroom when they wake because they need to pee. or having a time in the middle of the night.

i don't see the point in making a production after they have wet a bed. i am not an expert here though. i think if i spent the energy training my boys to go in the middle of the night, then they would sleep a little more in the morning.

leah, you are just going to have to figure what you feel about zach and school. i happen to be in a place where the schools and overall parenting is terrible, and i live next door to a noisy daycare, so that only reinforces my decisions. my kids do have a choice about going to school, or at least clay and reed do. you can always try it and quit it and go back or whatever.

amidst it all i just find the basics of schooling impractical for my boys. they cannot be contained quietly in a chair for ten minutes, much less from 8:30 to 3:30 plus more for transportation. it is imperative to me that they can pee whenever they want. it is important that they can drink water if they are thirsty, and eat when they want. here they combine lunch and recess together into 45 minutes, and no other recess.

i don't care much about traditional learning. i'd rather my kids grow up and know how to speak out when needed, survive emotionally tough situations, know how to cook and grow food and take care of sick spouses, understand decision making, sew a button, respect their bodily limits, be passionate and proactive in what they believe in, learn how to let the moments of joy seep in, have and understanding of their belonging in the world, et cetera etcetera, rather than have an extensive vocabulary or teach calculus. of course, i have faith that they will learn all the book stuff anyway. both me and dh have analytical minds and are compulsive readers.

i do also think boys are a year behind girls for what they expect as appropriate behaviour in school. i always think it is funny that education concentrating on the 3Rs was originally reserved for males. because i think females do it fabulously.

recently i've seen that reed Could do it, without being a total frazzle. but there are many other issues, especially locally. i know that there are good schools. i was in some and saw some in the midwest. any friends i have that were homeschooling in louisiana that moved out of state have found schools that they love.

so alot is about you leah, and also about zach. if it is a halfday program with people that respect kids and other kids and parents you like. if zach is naturally social it is easier earlier. i can say for me though, as they get older it becomes more apparent if there is a need for outside activities and social contact. certainly there have been times recently that i wished that the schools were decent enough that i could even try it. there is a potentially beautiful energy with a posse of kids in a loose structure.

i'm not usually quite this talky.
Daffodil's Avatar Daffodil 09:46 AM 01-21-2006
Originally Posted by saritasmile
He learned a funny but great way to put on his coat at school. He lays his coat on the floor w/ the inside up and stands 'by the tag'. Then he puts his arms in the holes and then flips it over his head! It's so funny!!
That's the way I taught Lindy to put on her coat. She learned to do it before she was two, and it's the only piece of clothing she can put on easily. A lot of people have never seen a kid flip on a coat that way, and they laugh and say what a cool thing it is when they see Lindy do it.
abranger's Avatar abranger 01:32 PM 01-21-2006
Originally Posted by casina
i don't care much about traditional learning. i'd rather my kids grow up and know how to speak out when needed, survive emotionally tough situations, know how to cook and grow food and take care of sick spouses, understand decision making, sew a button, respect their bodily limits, be passionate and proactive in what they believe in, learn how to let the moments of joy seep in, have and understanding of their belonging in the world, et cetera etcetera, rather than have an extensive vocabulary or teach calculus. of course, i have faith that they will learn all the book stuff anyway. both me and dh have analytical minds and are compulsive readers.
Casina I am always so inspired by your motherly/wordly wisdom. It is a privilege to 'know' you and all the mommas on this thread. I think about this for georgia so much .... just not as eloquently. We are looking at preschools for next year and schools beyond that. Right now she attends a family daycare which has become like family to us. Her DCP Isabel was crying to me b/c she realized next September she would be loosing both her daughter to college and georgia to preschool. Since that conversation I have been seriously considering leaving her there next year. I am starting to feel that an environment where she is truly loved and can just play all day may be better for her. The logistics of keeping her there are tough for us. We live and now both work in the city and she is in the suburbs where DH worked until this year. My only concern is that she may at some point in the year next year get 'bored' with just playing all day. She might be ready for more curriculum. B/c of her dec birth day we will after another year after next year in which we could do preschool or even pre-k at some of the schools we would like her to go to.

The school this is getting complex too. There is a pretty decent for urban schools elementary in our neighborhood. The population is very diverse as you would expect from a city school both racially and economically. There are also some first rate private schools that are completely in line with my values, have teaching styles I like etc (emilio, waldorf, montessori) but they are lily white and full of families with tons of $$$.

I am going to print your post for dh husband to read. We have been thinking about writing a sort of mission statement for our family. We sometimes have values and goals that are in conflict (not that his and mine are in conflict rather the goals seems mutually exclusive) and we would like to sort of get down what our core values as a family are (which could obviously change). For example we both quit pretty high paying jobs so we could have a sane family life. We now make less then half of what we 'could' be making. Having made that choice we don't really want ga in a school full of rich kids feeling like she is missing out on something. We also like to travel and like to expose her to travel. This means our daily operating budget is reduced even more to make $$ for trips. We hope these choices will develop in her a love of travel and that she will not value things. My worry is it will backfire and she'll want to make up for all of the things she never had later in life.

Ok now I have been rambling too long. GA and daddy are at tot shabbot and I need to get our kitchen unpacked while they are gone.

eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy 01:48 PM 01-21-2006
I've seen kids put their coats on that way. It's a favorite of lots of preschool and kindergarten teachers for helping kids who don't already know how to put their jackets on. BeanBean can put his arms in his sleeves, but can't start his zipper on his own yet. I think it's pretty typical; I specifically asked my mom if she thought that most kindergarteners could start their own zippers and she said she thought it was probably about 50/50 in September.

BooBah can already put her arms in the sleeves on her own, no problem, and she's working on starting zippers but it's a bit beyond her at this point. I'm not concerned.

More thoughts on home education: The wonderful thing about home education is that you don't *have* to do anything. It means that BooBah and I can sit and write letters over and over again while BeanBean colors pictures in a workbook, or that both kids can spend the entire day jumping on the bed pretending to be airplanes or gymnasts or whatever. There's something to be said for knowing a bit about your child's learning style and their own natural inclinations, but most teachers really don't know any more about the subject than anyone else with a library card. The mechanics of teaching is something that teachers have to learn by experience, and as a parent you've already gained specifically applicable experience just by being with your kids all day for years. I know that there are teachers who would look at BeanBean right now and say, "He's gifted, if he would only sit still for a few minutes he could be a really great kid." and there are others who would say, "He can't sit still so he can't be all that bright, we'll just discipline him when he acts up and teach him to conform." Neither of which is, in my opinion, the case; he's already a really great kid, and he sits still exactly as long as he needs to sit still. Some would say that he's not ready to do any formal academic work because he can be wild, but I disagree-- he's certainly not ready to sit in a classroom for 8 hours, but he's more than ready to learn to read and count by 2's and 5's and do basic math and such. He's proving it every day.

There are lots of great resources to help you figure out your kids' learning styles, as well as information about various home education methodologies (i.e. unschooling, ecclectic, classical, etc) and which might be best suited to your family situation. I consider myself child-inspired classical, I'm way too tense to unschool. It's working well for us thus far (though of course, we've only just begun ). There's a great thread over in Learning at Home and Beyond for people home educating preschool aged children with lots of great information and general chattiness going on. You wouldn't be the only one working with kids at different levels, even at the same age.
lilmiss'mama's Avatar lilmiss'mama 06:25 PM 01-21-2006
Hey Casina will you talk about your iud or PM please? I am think of getting one next week. Do you like it? Any side effects? Is it the copper one? Thanks ~Anna
Honeybee'smama's Avatar Honeybee'smama 02:38 AM 01-22-2006
Wow, so much to think about and look into with schools! I must admit I have not really done much research or looking in our area. With dd's Dec. birthday she could start this fall or next. We are in no rush though! Right now she has two days a week in child care that we ! Emily (dcp) homeschools her own nine year old as well as the child care so she is awsome about the sort of educating in the everday activity kind of stuff. The other days of the week she is home with either me or dh.

I always feel a little funny in discusions about schooling. I substitute in public schools and will eventually end up teaching in public schools. However, I am very supportive of homeschooling (though we probably won't do it) and other alternative schools. I am still not sure what school situation dd will end up in, but probably not the traditional public school.
I love the flipping the coat over the head technique. We will have to give that a try!
tea olive's Avatar tea olive 05:05 AM 01-22-2006
the thing is, the word school means so much in one word and has different meanings for everyone.

honeybee, if i lived in portland i probably wouldn't be 'where' i am.

again, i tend to see schools as the extension of the community and the beliefs of the parents. of course it isn't that simplistic. but i don't even truly see my children as they are and whether i am succeeding most of the time with homeschooling and staying home. often they are large hungry whining monsters i'm just keeping at bay. (i'm working on it!)

but then i see members of my homeschoolgroup. the children are simply beautiful. the teenagers are astonishing. their faces and hearts are open, and they are a pleasure to be around. and my kids fit right in. so if i were picking a school, i would look at the kids first. i would have to find them likable and want them to be a pleasant group around my own kids, at all the grade levels. this would give me a good indication of how they are treated at home and at school, regardless of credentials and styles. and i would guess that all of us here are conscientious parents. or simply trying. so school or not, we mammas are the original influence because we are active. school is not everything. it just happens to take the same hours to deal with a 40 hr work week. don't give school THAT much credit. that's what my parents did and most of the people here do - expect the school to do all the parenting and give up the responsibility. that is the big mistake - losing the social responsibility. and i'm missing some of that too. i have a good friend that has her child in public school because of their beliefs in it. but there's just too much i see that i don't like.

lilmiss, i have the ten year copper paragard. it works as it should. i am surprised my body hasn't kicked it out after three years. i got it to salve my marriage. and it has. i am anemic at times, and have always had heavy seven day periods. so this exacerbates it. the cramps are like teenage sometimes. i hate it around af which i have now, but am more accustomed after all this time. i don't feel it and i got it even though i have hypersensitive skin and it goes against my general ideals of whole bodies, keeping a foreign object in me. but it's what was needed and does the job, and i'm thankful for it - my marriage wouldn't be where it is without it. i know that theoretically i can get it out in a jiffy without side effects.

so i was thinking last night how there has been multiple mention of obstinate and clingy behaviour. i've been just living with it thinking ruby has a cold or is fighting one and it will eventually go away - sorry if i seem so lackadaisical..... but anyway, when behaviours get extreme, and obviously is age related, it is usually an emotional spurt. often for littles dealing with independence and dependence - growing up. just stick to your regular boundaries, try to validate and respect the need. now lets see if i can follow my own words.

i'm feeling a little weird, my fil asked my mil for a divorce. after 30 yrs and four grown kids. i'm scared and pissed off for her. i'm impressed by how my dh is handling it.

amy, don't ever worry about stuff backfiring. practice diverting that energy into something else. yes, me and a friend joke about how our kids will rebel and be the kinds of people we despise when they are extra contrary. but i think it is impossible. or that if they are such opposite types superficially, they will feel loved and know the basics of nutrition, even if they fail to practice it. even my own folks - i loathed and feared them growing up and felt they failed me for a long time, and it was the basis of avoiding their mistakes that i began parenting with. but i looked at me and my brother and sister at christmas. we are fine. my parents did okay in some parts, or maybe they didn't have much to do with it after all. and most of their grief is about all the decisions they made. not too long ago my mom told me maybe if we hadn't moved to louisiana i would have ended up at harvard and implied i could have married someone with wealth or potential (she likes dh, just wishes we had money) HA HA HA. i didn't even finish college. and i was already purposely doing no homework before high school. and i like the way i am. i wouldn't trade all my terrible learning experiences for any of that. now that i'm relatively rested and not in the midst of crisis, that is.
DecemberSun's Avatar DecemberSun 03:40 PM 01-22-2006
Thanks for the link, Rynna. I will check it out.

I liked your ideas on schooling/unschooling, Casina. You are so wise. And Julianna sounds a lot like Ruby in the defiant behavior. It doesn't matter what we are doing, Julianna will argue to do the complete opposite. It's hillarious and annoying at the same time.

I guess my views on homeschooling would be a mixture of classic and unschooling, if there is such a thing? That's what my mom did, anyway... We'd have days when we did absolutely no acedemic/book work, but we learned a heck of a lot about every day life. We traveled tons, driving back and forth from WA and AZ, we backpacked in OR and Canada, we raised chickens, turkeys, horses, dogs and rabbits. We grew food, and cooked it. We made clothes and quilts. We entered our projects in the fair exhibits. My mom made us watch Anne Frank's Diary and Schindler's List for 'history' and we all cried. My brother and my dad put a new engine in our car. We learned so much more by not being "taught" with a strict curriculum and schedule, but we did fill in our workbooks when it was required. So I was hoping to do something like that for my kids- a little mixture of everything. I want to keep it fun, and interesting, for all of us.

I didn't have a problem with public schools as a student, but now as a parent I have some major issues... If I do "let" Zachary go to school it will be a private school, and you better believe I will be involved in every aspect of his learning there. Crystal goes to public school obviously, and Julianna may go to preschool there, but the special education program is way different than regular ed, and I have a hand in what goes on.

I am not in a hurry to phase out the nighttime diaps- in fact, I am just fine with sleeping through the night! I know it is laziness on my part, but they'll get it sooner or later, right? I remember wetting the bed until I was 4 or so- I was such a deep sleeper! I still use Pull-Ups for them on long car trips- I was sick of washing those darn carseat covers. Plus, in a bizarre way, the kids really like their diapers- the whole ritual of picking out the jammies and the diaper at bedtime. I think they like having that little bit of baby-ness still around...

If I hadn't miscarried in July I would most likely be holding my newborn right now... (DH's ex-wife had her third little girl recently, and she found out she was pregnant when I did.) She is 26 and has been divorced twice. This is her third daughter, fourth child, with the third father (different one for all the kids but two). I can't help but be jealous of her. Why should she have another baby to put on state health insurance, and add on more food stamps and WIC checks and government assistance money??? The universe is crazy that way...

I have baby fever, to say the least. I so want another one right now! Ask me again in two weeks and I will say that I am content with the ones I already have...
eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy 06:01 PM 01-22-2006
Leah-- I totally understand not being in a hurry to get rid of nighttime diapers. I have mixed feelings about BeanBean being out of them. On one hand, he'd need large fuzzi bunz and I don't have any; on the other, I already feel like I have problems with treating him fairly because he's so "old" in so many ways... if he was in diapers, I could at least have that bit of "babyness" to hold on to. Right now, all I have left is the fact that he's in a rear-facing carseat, and that will change when we put BellyBean's seat in (obviously no later than BellyBean's birth ).

Then again, I still desperately need large fuzzi bunz for BooBah... Anyone have some that they'd be willing to trade? BeanBean trained out of mediums and petites, so I've got a bunch of those, but BooBah has hips and buns and puts out an *extreme* amount of urine so she needs larges (at least!) that can be stuffed to within an inch of their lives and worn under wool to keep us from floating out of bed in the morning.
DecemberSun's Avatar DecemberSun 06:46 PM 01-22-2006
I pm'ed you, Rynna...
saritasmile's Avatar saritasmile 04:41 PM 01-24-2006
well, one of the things that I felt worried about w/ Razi's school is what kind of parenting style do the parents of these kids have? yk, cuz it greatly influences the way kids are obviously. well, there are a few mama's that I'm getting to know (whose kids are new this year too) and both of these mamas extended breast fed. Now I still don't know much else but I thought that was really cool. Razi also really likes these two kids and I've invited them over to a play group today. Razi is so excited and I'm excited to hopefully be meeting moms that I have things in commom w/ . They both subscribe to mothering mag too. So there's potential!

DecemberSun's Avatar DecemberSun 07:04 PM 01-24-2006
I need friends like that, Sarita! Hope it goes well today and everyone has fun.

Well, I *think* DH is ok with TTC again... I brought it up last night (after he'd already had some wine ) and he didn't say much... But first thing this morning he asked me "So, were you serious about wanting another baby?" and I said "Yes", and he said "Oh, I thought you were just drunk when you told me that." : Not exactly the best reaction, but I think I can persuade him... I just know that if I don't have another one I will spend the rest of my life wondering 'WHAT IF...?' kwim?
saritasmile's Avatar saritasmile 07:39 PM 01-24-2006
Originally Posted by DecemberSun
I just know that if I don't have another one I will spend the rest of my life wondering 'WHAT IF...?' kwim?
I know 100% what you mean! Dp was slightly balking at the idea last night and he did bring up some good points but I really don't care, I know it won't be easy but I always knew I'd have 2. It's weird, I can feel that there is someone waiting for me to be their mom. I don't really know how to describe it.

Leah it would be so fun to be preggo together!! more fun if we lived closer, but oh well.
eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy 09:18 PM 01-24-2006
You should see if you can find guys who have more kids than you have to talk to your husbands about it. I have told Mike that I'm already a bit bummed out at the idea of stopping at four, even though I know that we have no money and . I totally thought that he was just going to write me off, but he's made an effort to talk to other guys at work about having more than 2/3/4/5 kids, and what he's heard has encouraged him to keep an open mind. It's a good thing.
nancy926's Avatar nancy926 12:43 AM 01-25-2006
Hi everyone,
I sometimes followed the Nov/Dec 02 thread but don't remember if I ever posted....I have a Nov 02 "baby", and a new wee one, both girls. We love them dearly but are stopping at 2.

Sascha is my 3-year-old...she is quite the "threenager" sometimes, I gotta say. Melodramatic to a fault! But she's also insightful, fun, silly and fascinating to watch.

She's very physical and loves jumping and climbing, and is way more coordinated than I was as a kid (or probaby am now). She will not allow me to pick out her clothes (she can dress herself except for snaps and zippers on pants), and usually wears at least 2 shirts (she's worn up to 5 at a time though). She's been daytime PTed since about May, though we did EC with her since about 7 months (we were lazy and only caught poop, lol). Still wears a diaper at night....still nurses to sleep if I will let her...still nurses during the day if I will let her. Sleeps in her own bed though, also since about May.

She has great spatial memory and is always noticing things that match or are similar. She shows no interest in reading yet, but loves to type out people's names on the computer (the only 2 she can spell herself are "Dora" and "Ed", lol).

I think she's just starting to wrap her brain around the idea of death...I mentioned to DH that his aunt's beloved dog had died (she sent an email to us) and Sascha spent the next 5 minutes saying, at regular intervals, "He DIED....He DIED?" I don't think she really gets the concept yet, though we've discussed it a few times in different contexts.

Hey Rynna - I PMed you about the FBs. And I love the knit socks! I just started learning how to knit again. I have done one scarf and one hat, and am tackling a mitten now.

all for now....bed is calling.

eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy 03:19 AM 01-25-2006
Hi Nancy! I don't remember you posting on the other thread, but I wasn't there from the beginning, I just kind of jumped in later on.

Do any of your little boys have an obsession with the color pink? BeanBean has pink and white shoes, and loves pink *anything* right now... It's kind of cute, but I get funny looks from people. My mother was with me when we went shoe shopping, so she totally understood how I got to the "anything that fits" point, but that doesn't change the fact that BeanBean will chose to wear pink over any other color just about any day of the week. He also asks for nail polish (generally purple; I don't think he's ever seen pink nail polish) and ponytails in his hair all the time. I don't think it's unhealthy, just a little... odd, maybe? Is this because he's not in daycare and therefore not exposed to the whole "boys don't wear pink" thing?
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