Saturday, February 03, 2007

Let's Make a Deal

Newsflash - It's Superbowl Weekend!
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the world's biggest football fan. Neither is my husband. In fact, if we're being completely honest here, I think that back when Mike and I were first together I actually explained the rules of football to him.
But I do, occassionally, enjoy a good football game. I'm a true bandwagon fan of many things. Football included. So when Superbowl Sunday comes along count me in. I love the beer and the nachos and the chili. I've hosted Superbowl parties.
Probably the best or most memorable Superbowl party was the year before we got married. Mike was living with the world's biggest football fan (thank God I had already explained the rules of the game) and since I was always at his place I offered to make a huge batch of chili, get tons of snacks and we would have a party. We all had fun. But as Adam (the roommate)'s team started to lose really badly he went off to his room to cry and watch the end of the game. I'm not sure whether we were more absorbed in the game or laughing at Adam.
But that's what makes Superbowl fun.
The Janet/Justin fiasco. Golden.
I love it.
There's just one problem. The Superbowl is not shown on Treehouse and Matthew is very demanding about watching his shows.
Hence our use of his favourite phrase - let's make a deal.
Tomorrow we are on a quest to watch the Superbowl and are hoping to do it without a toddler having a temper tantrum for the duration of the game.
Luckily we are getting pretty good with the bribes. Licorice and chips will tide us over for awhile. We can bring all the good basement toys upstairs. And, if worse comes to worst we will turn our bedroom tv on to Treehouse and let him hang out in the love den (ha ha just kidding) while we enjoy the game of all games, the Superbowl.
Now, in all honesty we are a little anxious. This weekend is posing a few problems. Mike went to the grocery store to get all of the ingredients for Chili but they had no kidney beans. I think another traditional Superbowl food is wings, but Mike hates chicken wings so that option is out. We may be making nachos. We'll just have to see. There's also the small issue that we could be without water (our neighbour is turning the water off for a few hours - don't ask). And, we still have to pick up beer. Because it would seem I have a new found affinity for drinking beer. And what is the Superbowl without beer?
We fully intend to spend tomorrow discussing with Matt why the tv will be tuned to football. In highschool I went to a lot of games, and found pure joy in the idea of screaming "smoosh smoosh smoosh" every time someone tackled someone. This will be my final card. If nothing else we will allow Matt to scream at the television while we attempt to enjoy the show.
Wish us luck everyone. I think tomorrow we will be needing it.
Of course, if anyone wants to babysit - you've got our number!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Time Out

My husband and I are advocates of the time out. Sometimes we go with the quick no warning time-out though this is rare.
For instance, last night when Matt kicked Mojo and I told him that was bad, and then when he kicked me in response it was straight to a time out - on the stairs.
We usually try to do the counting thing though. You know - 1, 2, 3 and it's a time out. Usually he freaks when we get to 2 and he stops. When he doesn't we put him in whatever we have deemed the time-out location. Sometimes it's the living room chair, sometimes it's a stair, I've even resorted to the cart in the grocery store (and that is fun). I am not one to carry a naughty mat nor do I think location is that important. If you have ever seen my child in a time out you would understand -- if he's in time out he's pissed off and location is irrelevant.
But this morning I was watching the Gill Deacon show (it was 5 am - there's not much choice at that time). She was talking to an expert about time outs.
It was the stupidest segment of television I have watched in awhile.
The supposed expert they had talking about it was driving me crazy. As they sat in a nicely lit studio with no children running around they had a serious discussion about the idea behind a time out. Apparently, when putting a child in a time out you should be calm, rational and loving. You should not be angry or frustrated. You should lovingly explain to your toddler that you are putting them in time out so that they can calm down and then you will discuss the behaviour. And then the good parent you are, you should walk away and be calm because that is what this behaviour is all about.
Have they met my child?
Time out for me is the moment where I choose to be a good mother and not strangle my child, not leave him alone in the grocery store or just go buy a bottle of wine and drink it because I'm at a loss.
Do I have a moment of clarity, where I think happy thoughts all while my child is freaking out and possibly kicking or screaming or - and this is his latest manouevre - punching. Of course I don't. Generally when we get to the time-out phase I'm mad or frustrated or both. I'm trying to figure out why he's doing what he's doing. And I'm trying to find a good solution. I generally don't take the time to go into my happy place to convey to my child that I'm not mad.
Seriously. I think that may confuse him.
Take for instance my upbringing.
My parents were and are amazing. They had their own discipline techniques - they weren't the biggest advocates of the time out. But let me tell you. I knew when I was in trouble. Don't get me wrong, they didn't bring out the whip and threaten me. Nothing like that. But, my usually calm and fairly reserved parents let me know when they were not pleased with me.
It didn't always get to the punishment stage because they could convey in their words and looks that if I didn't stop I was in trouble. They were not reaching for their inner calmness (well, I 'm sure they had to in order to not kill me) but there were no fake smiles and niceness while calmly putting me in my room.
They made it clear - your actions were wrong and I am upset.
And, that to me is the best way to do it.
I never questionned it. I didn't always listen or behave. But there was never any question that if I was bad my parents were not happy and there would be a consequence.
I can't imagine it being any other way. How confusing would it have been for me if, say, when I was 4 years old, I bit my sister and instead showing her complete disgust with my actions, my mom calmed herself down and then gently told me that biting was wrong? With my personality I probably would have laughed, and then done it again to see what her reaction would be. Truthfully, I vividly recall the day I got mad at my sister and bit her through her winter jacket. I don't remember the punishment, but I certainly remember thinking that I really should never do that again. And I never have.
And trust me. My mom was furious. That I recall.
My point is - sometimes as parents we need to show our emotions.
Of course showing emotions works two ways. Sure last night after the kicking incident Matthew knew I was mad (and in pain), but a lot of the time I let him know how happy I am. It's awesome to fall over laughing with him, or to play "cut the pickle tickle tickle" and laugh. And I think that he'll remember that just as much.
And besides, that's who I am. I'm an emotional nut case and a bit of a drama queen. You know me and love me for who I am. And so will he.
And if all else fails, at least his dad is a pretty calm person.

Monday, January 29, 2007

What we have determined about soothers, and why I'm not giving up this blog

Obviously I'm over what I wrote about yesterday. I know a lot of you don't get it. But, I had to say it. And I had to figure it out. And, to the people who sent me e-mails saying that yep, it's my blog I can say what I want thanks. Cause that's the point. And, as much as sometimes I want to vent about the crap out there I'm not. At the end of the day, no matter what the forum, I'm responsible for what I say. And it would just be really stupid to share some stuff.

And, to the anonymous commenter who found me from Rebecca's blog. HELLO - that is the coolest thing ever! Don't you love her? I love her.

So ...

On to the topic of soothers.

Mike and I were laughing today about soothers. Apparently after nap today Matt had a complete meltdown when they took his soother away. Eventually (and this is why I LOVE this daycare) they let him have it. He was happy, and he needed the added comfort the soother brought. He's 2. I say whatever.
But it made us curious about the whole topic.
What's with this whole soother deal? Why is it that when a child reaches a certain age (1, 2, 3 or 4) parents feel the need to take away the soother. Okay, maybe 4 is a little old, but I don't get the obsession with removing the soother. Sorry. I know a lot of you do.
So, Mike randomly asked Matthew today "who else has a soother at daycare?"
I know a few kids have them but he gave us one response "Julia".
This is the little girl that he hangs out with ALL THE TIME.
He talks about her. She kisses him goodbye. I've never met her since I don't do the daycare pick ups or drop offs, but I know she exists. Cause he talks about her.
And it turns out that she shares his love of soother.
Mike asked me tonight "do you think they are kind of like the foyer crowd but with soothers?"
Actually, I kind of do.
Love the soother.
My thoughts on it. We have cut back on the soother. He's content keeping it in his pocket and doing stuff. If he's not tired he can go for long stretches without it. But when he's tired. Seriously he needs it.
The truth is that I've never seen grown kids sucking soothers (well, I have, but not in like the way that a baby/toddler does). And, I know that in kindergarten they won't be allowed them. I've even done some research on it and conferred with my doctor. By all means he's good till the age of 4 then he has to give it up.
My niece gave her soother up around then. I have to admit she's a little like a reformed alcoholic. She can go months without a soother, but if someone slips one to her she just sits there with a look of complete peace on her face. It kills me when I see it (and yes, I am the enabler who occassionally lets her get a taste of soothery goodness).
So, one day we will retire the soother. Oh, and the bottle. But for now. I'm not ready. And neither is Matt.
And, okay, I'll be honest. One time he stuck a soother in my mouth. And it was kind of comforting. But weird. I'm 28 - too old to ever justify it. But, I do see the appeal. There are worse things I tell ya.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Long Time Gone

It feels like I haven't blogged for awhile. And, I know it's been awhile because a couple of people have mentioned it. I mean, I've said the random thing here and there, but lately it's been pretty quiet.
Well, because sometimes it's hard to write about your life. And, lately I've been questioning it a bit. I started this blog because I wanted to write about my son. I loved the idea of sharing the craziness of motherhood with other people. Someone I pretty much idolize encouraged me to, and I did. And it's been fun.
It's pretty cool knowing that people read about my life and that they care. I love knowing that my niece goes online with my sister to look at pictures of Matty (and of her and her sister). It's cool that friends I don't see very often check it out. It's amazing to me that I sent an e-mail to my best friend from elementary school, who I haven't seen since I was 14, and she saw the link and has been reading (and in some cases relating to my life).
That is cool.
But there are some things that aren't so cool. It's weird knowing that people at work read this. Not everyone - but some people. You can't limit it. Nor can you decide that one day one friend can read and another can't.
It bugs me that I can't be as open as I would like to be. Sure I'm a little negative here, but not really. Without getting into details (because, obviously I can't) there's just some crappy stuff going on right now. And, I don't really know who I can rely on, who I can trust, etc etc. And here would be a great place for it. All of it. Except that I'm not anonymous. And, I wish I were.
(Mom, if you are reading this don't worry - yes, you know the whole story we chatted about it at Starbucks).
I asked someone, another blogger, his opinion of letting people at work in on your life. He didn't say I was crazy, but it's not his practice. At the time I didn't quite understand his point. Now I do.
My point is this. Some people suck. And, knowing sucky people read my blog sucks. So, instead of writing around it and not talking about it I am. Maybe I'll switch blogs. It's not the first time someone has done that. Or maybe I'll get over it and stop being sensitive and remember that at the end of the day it's my choice to write or not to write and how much I share and don't share.
I'm not going to be negative and say all the crap stuff. I think at the end of the day, I'm writing what I know - and what I want to write. And I would way rather talk about the cool adorable funny stuff that Matt does than the crap that sometimes arises outside of home.
Good? Good.
But for those of you who know me - what do you think? Continue? Take a break? Just wondering what you think.