I know screamers. Baby screamers. Toddler screamers. Boss screamers. At any age, it’s not pretty. At least not to 99% of us. The exception is with parents and their offspring. Parents think their kids’ shrills are cute–but they also think the same of their child’s poop (and let them publicly defecate. In a restaurant). So they are no barometer.
We met a couple once who thought it was cute when their 2 -year old went into his high pitched screaming mode. He would do it over and over, almost like a crow squawking. They laughed at him and while maybe not encouraging the boy, it didn’t seem like they did much to dissuade him either. I don’t know what happened to the kid. I could speculate, but I won’t.
However, all my judging of kids and parents happened before I had my own. Now I still judge but in a different way (don’t we all?). I have a sweet, somewhat shy girl and a boy, who is, well, a screamer.
Emmett is 16 months and is rapidly discovering his voice. This means when he decides to test his vocals out, he nearly breaks glass. Thank god we don’t live in our Brooklyn apartment anymore. I would be horrified for my neighbors.
Here’s the kicker: when he first started doing it, I found it, well, um, ack– cute. I would laugh at him and he’d continue on. Then I realized I was becoming that oblivious, entitled parent. So I’ve started putting the kabash on it. “No Emmett,” I say, as he squawks. That word actually pisses him off and he escalates the shrieks. At this point, he’s only been doing it a few weeks and I’ve only been disciplining him for a few days. But so far, it seems to be backfiring.
So how do you stop a screamer? Especially one as little as him? Last night I was in a restaurant with him and Fia when he started. I threw his pacifier in, which at least allowed me to shove down my last few bites of food and get the hell out. But I don’t want to stop doing the things with him and Fia that we enjoy. I cringe to think of him on an airplane at this stage. 90% of the time he is such a fun easygoing little dude. And even the screaming for him is typically in a happy-hooting non-tear-ridden way.
Any tips? If I keep saying “No” is that going to make a difference? Or make it worse? He doesn’t understand timeout yet so that’s not the answer. I knew from the day he was born he was strong-willed and had things to say. I just don’t want screaming to be one of them.
Pic of toddler shouting via Shutterstock
Once again, the news is just too much to bear. A tornado rips through a small Oklahoma town, destroying neighborhoods and plowing down an elementary school. At this point in the search and rescue, 20 children are confirmed dead, many still missing. At least 51 people have perished, with that number expected to rise.
How to cope? How to handle such grief? We saw the Newtown massacre, and our hearts broke and bled. We heard from the Newtown moms this week–on Mother’s Day–as we pondered the question: how do you go on? And while the circumstances in the town of Moore are far different, our grief remains the same: Those poor parents. Those poor babies. That poor community.
As I tucked Fia in tonight, I felt how precarious and precious this life is…how so much of it hangs in the balance, with fate tipping the scales. I thought about how blessed I am today. How cursed I may be tomorrow.
As we lay in the dark, her tiny arms wrapped around me, she said, “Mama, don’t ever leave me, okay?”
“I won’t,” I whispered as I inhaled the soft scent of her hair.
“And I will never leave you,” she said happily, as if we were two girlfriends making a secret–but lighthearted–pact. If only life were that cut and dried. That easy.
I know that nothing in this world is a guarantee. But what I would do for one to protect my babies…
All I can do is hope. Hope that by the Grace of God, Fia and I can both keep our promise.
Picture via google image/ABC.go
I don’t get it. When Fia is at home she is the most outgoing, funny, confident 3 1/2 year old. When we have her best friend Teddy over, she is just as gregarious. One on one or with just a few of her friends, she is great. But when I take her to her preschool, she gets clingy and doesn’t want to participate. Yet, the hour leading up to preschool it’s all she can talk about. How excited she is, how she loves to nap at school, etc. And once she is there, I’m told she warms up. Though the teachers say it does take awhile and they have to push her a bit.
If it were just school, I’d think maybe the place wasn’t the right fit for her. But it’s also gymnastics. And with our cleaning ladies. And babysitter.
For example, every Wednesday Sheny and Lucy come to our house at 8 a.m. They are warm and loving. Yet it is a struggle to get Fia to say “Good Morning.” We started prepping her.
“When Sheny and Lucy come, what are you going to say?” we ask.
“Good Morning!” Fia declares with enthusiasm.
Then they walk in and nothing. She puts her head down and clings to our leg. It is somewhat maddening.
In gymnastics she’s gotten better at participating after we kept encouraging her–and a few times bribing her with the promise of a yogurt covered pretzel. But still, at “drinking fountain time,” 8 boys and girls run giddily across the room, laughing with one another. Fia walks. Now granted, she walks with a little sassy sway in her and I kinda dig that she doesn’t have to run with the pack, but I just wonder sometimes what is going on in her mind. I don’t want to project anxiety on her, and maybe she just goes to the beat of her own drum, but still…I am left puzzled.
With our sitter Michele, whom she loves, Fia greets her happily. But then she always comes to me and asks, “When is Michele leaving?” The exception is when Michele brings her twins, Maci and Cruz. Then it’s happy chaos all around. But If I am putting her down for her nap and the twins aren’t here, it’s the last question she asks before she goes to sleep and the first when she wakes up.
“Is Michele gone? Did you tell her to go home?”
I suppose part of this is wanting to know “the plan” and what is up. I can imagine in the world of a toddler, you have no control, so you crave it on any level.
We did have a breakthrough last Wednesday. We prepped and practiced for Sheny and Lucy to arrive. When they did she perked up and said louder than her usual whisper, “Good Morning!” Then she hugged them. When they left the room, Fia was beaming. I said, “How did that make you feel?” She nodded her little head, while bouncing up and down with pride. “Really good mama, really good.”
So I feel like we take a few steps forward, then suddenly will revert and go backwards again. Maybe this is just part of normal toddler development. Maybe she’s just a little shy, or it takes her longer to warm up to someone. I don’t think she likes chaos and I know at her preschool, when the whole pack is out playing and being wild, she tends to shy away. Two weeks ago I showed up and she was the only kid inside, quietly coloring. All the others were outside. On some level it hurt my heart. But again, if she’s not sad or anxious, then it doesn’t matter, and I shouldn’t feel sad right?
What do you guys think? Any insight or advice?
When you have kids, you end up needing a separate house to basically store their upbringing. The artwork, the pictures… you know, all their “stuff.” If you’re at all sentimental, you feel guilty tossing that piece of paper that has a fuschia smear. Especially after they tell you it’s a self portrait. Then the guilt is equivalent to throwing away the Mona Lisa.
Until it’s not.
I thought I had a pretty good idea for all the artwork Fia comes home with. I use it as wrapping paper. That way I’m reusing it and I don’t feel guilty for throwing it away. It’s someone else’s problem. Plus she has fun wrapping the presents with me.
However, we don’t go to enough birthday parties to use up the constant influx of art.
When I was at Mom2.0, I met this great guy Jedd, who created an app for parents that allows them to save their kids’ art in a different way. It’s called Artkive. Get it? Like archive… okay, I’m babbling.
The app is amazingly simple to use… even a third grader could probably handle it. Which means I can. You take a picture on your phone (thru the app–which has an icon for the camera) of your child’s artwork, school work, or whatever you want to document. Just take pictures. Like, every piece that comes in if you want.
If you have more than one child, you pick who created each piece, and the pictures then get stored (on their servers, thus not taking up precious space on your phone) with your child’s name, grade and the date. It’s all in order so that when you’re ready, you hit print and the app puts all the artwork into a coffee-table book that is mailed to you. Almost no work and no risk of your child finding their art in the garbage. Speaking of, here’s a funny video on the psychological damage done to your kid when you throw their
sh-t, err, stuff away.
I wrote a few weeks back about my quandary with photos and what to do with them all. Well you could use Artkive for that too. You can upload anything from your camera roll and then rather than ordering 900 prints a year to go into 9 different photo albums (which is my current system), I can add my favorites to Artkive and get a book made for me. Or, just skip that step and take every picture through the Artkive App on my phone.
Jedd started the company after watching his wife photograph their kids’ art one day. She then uploaded it to her computer and uploaded it from there to a photo site. She never actually made the book she had hoped because the pictures were all out of order and she didn’t have the time to spend sorting it all out and making a book. So he created an app that would make her life easier.
What a guy, right? I’m waiting for Phil to hire a personal chef after watching me struggle in the kitchen.
Anywho, it’s a small business enterprise that I just thought as a mom myself was cool and invented by cool people. And hey, Ivanka Trump apparently likes it. Need I say more?
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips | Tags: albums, App, archive, Artkive, Artkive App, artwork, child's artwork, Mom2.0, Mom2.0Summit, photos, pictures, toddler artwork
You know how I feel about the whole EC–Elimination Communication movement. As in potty training your kid from the moment they are born and going to weekly support groups that revolve around talking sh-t. Um, no. Not happening.
So I had to dive into the discussion stemming from an article in Gothamist about publicly defecating. On purpose. We’re not talking about a homeless person down on their luck either.
The snapshot is of a little boy on one of those porta potties for kids. He is sitting on it outside, at, ya ready for this? A cafe. Specifically Pier 1 cafe that overlooks the Hudson River. Diners eat while he poops. I have never….
Now I know kids have little bladders and if you are in a park without a bathroom or something, having one of those porta potties can be handy. Especially because you can keep it in your car and your kid can use it. In Your Car. In Private. But at a restaurant? Where there is a bathroom?
The nanny was apparently with the kid. But honestly, this must fall on the parents. I can only assume they made her take this thing everywhere. I am also making the assumption that they are entitled and uptight. Because this is what the latest breed of entitled, uptight parents do. I can just hear it, “We can’t let anything interrupt little Johnny’s poo.”
I mean, come on you guys, tell me you agree on this. Tell me this is extreme parenting at the sh-ttiest level.
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Pic of boy via Shutterstock