Nate touched Adams face under his nose….
Nate: “Aba, what’s that?”
Adam: “that’s aba’s mustache”
Nate: “Nati wants a mustache”
Adam: “Nati will have a mustache when he is big like Aba”
Nate: *sigh* “okay”
5 minutes later….
Nate: “look Aba…”
As Adam looks at him all he sees is a bunch of markings on his face as he tried to draw a mustache on himself.
I don’t know about you but my kids love to eat everything that they shouldn’t.
So for the most part I kept Play Doh playtime at a minimum until today.
Today my mother in law made her homemade recipe that shouldn’t be eaten but
is edible nonetheless.
Here is the recipe:
In a medium pot mix:
1 cup of flour
1/4 cup of salt
2 tbsp of cream of tartar
1 cup of water
1 cup of unsweetened Kool Aid
1 tbsp oil
Cook over medium heat and stir until a ball forms.
Turn it out and fold until it has cooled off.
Now enjoy without any worry of your kids ingesting it.
That’s what I call true freedom these days!
Imagine talking to your parents and explaining your deepest feelings and fears just to have them respond with a dumbfounded look on their faces.
They ask you questions like “what was that?” or look at eachother and ask “what does he/she mean?”.
That would probably be the most frustrating feeling.
This can cause hurt feelings and potentially a fight.
Now think about your two year old.
They have finally developed all of the skill sets to conquor their universe.
The stairs are no longer a journey but a quick few steps.
They’re communication skills, just like their flavor palate, are now developed enough to point out the things they like and the things that they don’t like.
Once in awhile they get really tired and irratble because of that nap that they fought off.
Since they are new to the art of speaking and are very comfortable with the language of crying this now becomes their default response when they are too tired to think.
Here comes the famous tantrum.
It’ a tornado of emotions, screams, yelps, tears and on occassion a stop, drop and roll motion.
It also usually happens in a very public place.
INSERT EMBARRASSMENT HERE.
Nate is not a huge tantrum guy.
For that reason exactly, when he goes into tantrum mode it is exteme.
The first time it happened we were at a mall that is chock full of everyone that I would rather avoid when in these types of situations.
He was very young and insisted on walking alone even though he fell after a few steps.
The moment I tried to put him into the stroller he went into full meltdown mode and there was nothing stopping him.
Rather than try to argue or bargain with him I just let him get his frustration out.
He noticed that his behaviour was not affecting me and slowly began to unwind.
It was in that moment that I realized he wasn’t crying because he was being a brat, he was crying because he was having a hard time communicating his feelings.
As adults we verbalise most everything and the things we don’t say we show through our facial expressions.
This has become second nature to us and we forget that it’s a skill set that takes time to develop.
To toddlers this is a brand new skill that is extremely elaborate. Like with all new endeavors, they face challenges and set backs. Different facial expressions to convey different messages.
Different vocal tones to explain our emotions.
This is all really complicated stuff so it’s no wonder that they lose it once in awhile.
If you ask a dentist to explain the theory of relativitey they would probably feel frustrated too because it’s something foreign to them.
So next time your toddler has a Rambo style meltdown at the mall, ask yourself what they are trying to tell you rather than getting annoyed and yelling.
Adam recently sent me an email with a link to an article.
This particular article discusses something so important that I felt the need to share it with you.
The author, Filicity Hannah, discusses how dismissive adults can be with toddlers and young children.
She points out that although as adults we don’t think that toddlers understand social cues, in reality they do.
For example, when Nate comes up to one of my friends and starts to talk about how the firetruck went weeeyou weeeyou weeyou and down the street to save a cat, he wants to be heard.
In many cases as adults our response will be “WOW” and we simply turn away and continue with whatever it is that we are doing.
Although we would assume that a two year old has no concept of condescension, we are in fact wrong.
By dismissing their story we have hurt and offended them.
Felicity points out that she too is responsible for this type of behaviour and how it can one day nip her in the butt.
She mentions that if we behave this way with our children when they are young, they are less likely to confide in us once they are older and their problems are bigger.
This article made me realize that I too am reponsible for this kind of belittling behaviour. I am often busy with chores, emails, phone calls or other insignificant things while Nate is telling me his exciting story and my response is “WOW, really?”.
The funny thing is that I am always concerned with how my children will turn out.
Will they be kind, honest and respectful?
That all depends on how I communicate with them.
Thanks to my sweet and smart husband Adam for the “hint, hint” “nudge, nudge”.
Here is a link to the original article:
My favorite song for awhile now has been “Home” by the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
It is a true representation of how I feel about my boys.
Although we have a physical home that we share, I feel that as long as I am with them and wherever that may be, it always feels like home to me.
Here is the video which isn’t really a video but you get to hear this magnificently quirky song.
Nothing makes my problems seem more trivial than Nates positive reaction to the smallest things.
I brought home a balloon yesterday and he lit right up!
Me: Nati, I brought you something!
Me: A balloon!
Nate: BALLOOOOOON! Look aba, a balloooon!
We were all in the family room just tossing that balloon around and laughing our butts off.
Even Benny got in on the action.
Nates excitement was so palpable that I could taste it.
I hope that he holds on to that pure optimism for the rest of his life, mostly for him but a little bit for me.
It truly melts away all of my stress to watch him experience such pure joy and positivity.
Saturday is my favorite day of the week.
Not because I get to sleep in; Nate has a fever and it was a pretty hectic night topped off with an early morning.
Although Ben was up at 7:45 am which is a gift!
Not because I get to take my time getting ready for the hottest brunch spot in the city; I’m the chef at Brunch a la Rev.
It’s the day that we all get up and head downstairs to have breakfast together.
I look forward to the challah French toast that I make for the boys; I’m currently on a Paleo diet so I can’t even have any.
As soon as I sit down at the table all of my exhaustion dissipates because I feel so blessed to be a part of such a sweet little family.
My craving for that delicious French toast on the other hand is still raging on!