Playing Second Fiddle

My son was top dog at daycare from the moment he arrived nearly a year ago.  I mean, at 9 months of age, he was by far the youngest.  Besides him, there were two 3 year-olds and two 4 year-olds plus the daycare provider’s 6 year-old (who was there before and after her school day).  He immediately found his place in this setting of older kids and became the center of attention pretty quickly.

Oh mom, daycare was so fun!

He learned very quickly how to play with older kids and even now, a year later, he has prefers to play with three to five year-olds when we go to the park than toddlers his age.  Of course, that’s to be expected since he has only rarely been exposed to kids his age and younger.

A part of this frightens me somewhat.  I mean, he’s going to be a big brother soon and though I know he’s full of love, I’m anxious to see how he will react to sharing attention with a tiny human in the house.

Luckily, I now have a snapshot of how he may react.

You see, the two four year-olds that were at daycare during the last year are starting school this year and one of them has been replaced by an adorable ten month-old little girl who started attending the in-home daycare my son goes to last week.

The first day she was there, the baby was a curiosity.  Charles found her presence amusing at first and was as enthralled by her coming as the other kids were.  He seemed quite ok with her presence and went about his usual business, even allowing his sitter to give her some attention ;)

On the second day, though, when he realized that the baby was probably there to stay, Charles started acting out.  The sitter described him (not without a smirk) as having a good arm and a great aim.  Apparently, Little Dude took to throwing things at the baby when he became frustrated with her.  Oops!

Of course, we talked about this and I was really happy to hear about how she handled the situation.  I have absolutely loved this sitter from day one.  Besides the fact that she very clearly loves the children in her care, she is quite laid-back (she had no problems with the cloth diapers or baby-led weaning approach) and, as I learned last week, we are very much alike in our visions of discipline and child-rearing.

Since she does not believe that a toddler Charles’ age understands the concept of a time-out, she decided to use what she described to me as being the “velcro method” in which she had Little Dude follow her around and help with various tasks.  This worked wonderfully with Charles as he loves to help around (ie: set the table, take the clothes out of the dryer).

On a side note, we actually do use time-outs at home, which we started a couple of months ago when Charles decided to start hitting when he was unhappy.  Though we don’t put him in his room for a set number of time, we do have him go to his room.  We try (I say “try” because, well, we are only human and sometimes just react) to use positive language instead of negative language (ie: “be gentle” instead of “no, don’t hit”) and try to put into words what he is feeling (“I know you’re angry/sad/frustrated…, but please be gentle”).  Then, we tell him that he needs to go calm down and bring him to his room (he’s usually fine after a minute).  After, we remind him of the behavior we want him to have, give him a hug and tell him we love him. 

Things have now gotten to a point where when he starts acting out (ie: before a meltdown happens), we ask him if he needs to calm down and he generally nods, goes to his room on his own, turns on his white noise machine, closes the door and comes back out a minute or two later after turning off his noise machine in a super good mood.  When he’s in full meltdown mode, or has an inappropriate behavior (like hitting), we tell him we think he needs to calm down instead of asking him and he generally goes to his room on his own.  Sometimes, when he feels that he’s losing control, he’ll look at us, say “sleep” and go to his room on his own to calm down. 

*Here’s to hoping I didn’t jinx myself by writing all of this out*

Anyway…back to daycare…

The next day, Charles was much more forgiving with regards to the 10 month-old.  Instead of throwing something at her when he became irritated, he would start repeating “no, baby!” over and over again (in the tone one would use to scold a dog).  Whenever his sitter heard him, she would ask him if he wanted a hug.  He would, of course, always accept the hug and then go back to playing happily…until the baby annoyed him again LOL.  Things are getting better and better every day and Charles doesn’t get annoyed with the baby as quickly now.

I’m actually really happy that a younger child has started daycare as it has given me an idea of what to expect once Peanut arrives and has given me some ideas as to how to deal with Charles when he’s going to act out.  I know that he will be an awesome big brother, but am still expecting him to not be pleased with the crying baby that will be frequently attached to his mom.  I’ve already started to think of some of the things I will do to try to help with the transition:

  • Wear the baby so that I can play with my son while nursing and holding Peanut.
  • Keep sending Charles to daycare 3-4 days per week (we pay for daycare whether he goes or not anyways) so that he can play with his older friends.
  • Have Little Dude help me around the house (grabbing the baby’s clothes, putting the baby’s diaper in the garbage can, helping out with meal preparations…).
  • Restarting swimming lessons so that Charles can have some alone time with one of his parents once a week.

How did your toddler/child react to the arrival of a second (or third…) child?  What did you do to ease the transition?  What have you found to work with regards to disciplining your toddler?

Wednesday’s Words of the Week

I thought I’d try something different this week.  Instead of doing a TTT to share some random thoughts or a Wordless Wednesday, I figured I’d try to summarize the last seven days in seven words (plus a short description) or less.

So, how were the past seven days at the mommytrainingwheels household, you ask?

  1. Yawn:  What do you get when you take a sick partner who keeps himself up because of a nasty cough, a teething toddler (yup those top second molars decided to announce their presence) and a very pregnant mama?  A family of zombies who try their darnedest to function despite major fatigue.
  2. Jealousy:  This is what happens when the toddler who has always been the center of attention at daycare feels like he has become second fiddle because he now has to compete for attention with a newly arrived cute-as-a-button ten-month old.  Oh my!  (It’s actually not that bad – you can read all about it tomorrow).
  3. Fear:  Because, holy crap, I’m going to be a mom of two under two in the next couple of weeks!
  4. Excitement:  See “fear”.
  5. Independence:  The little guy developed the ability to put on his rain boots on his own.  He is now almost able to put his shirts on by himself (he can get his head and an arm through) and is working hard on putting his shorts on (except he almost always puts both legs through the same hole and so ends up looking like he is wearing a very tight skirt lol).

How have you past seven days gone?  Anyone else up to trying to sum them up in seven words or less?

Write For Me Wednesday – 4 Surprises from my Son’s Otherwise Standard Birth (Jocelyn’s guest post)

This week, I have another wonderful guest poster who agreed to share her birth story with all of you.  Jocelyn is the witty, talented and incredibly funny blogger behind The Home Tome.  She has guest posted for me before and I am so happy that she has accepted to do it again, this time helping me with my project of providing a multitude of different birth stories for expecting moms to read.

Enjoy your read!

4 Surprises from my Son’s Otherwise Standard Birth

Ian

My son (now 19 months) came into this world after a fairly standard vaginal birth in a hospital with an epidural. But there were a few surprises along the way…

1. Four days before I went into labor, my husband came down with a serious inner ear infection called labyrinthitis. This gave him a severe case of vertigo (i.e. he suddenly couldn’t stand up or go a few minutes without vomiting). I had to call an ambulance and we spent a scary night in the ER – we worried it was some kind of stroke or a brain tumor. Thankfully, it was neither of these. However, his dizziness and loss of balance would last for several weeks and even lingered to some degree for months – what a crazy way to become a new father. He was able to be by my side for the birth, albeit sitting in a chair. He was incredibly supportive and positive, despite the fact that his own world was rocking like a ship in a stormy sea.

2. My labor was 36 hours, from first contraction to birth. When I arrived at the hospital at 4 am, I had already been up all night and managed 12 hours of contractions – I assumed I was at least 4 or 5 cm dilated. Alas, I was only one centimeter. Because I hadn’t slept and wasn’t progressing too quickly, my OB ordered some morphine so I could get some rest. Already feeling guilty enough about wanting an epidural (hey, I was scared), I resisted this at first – I didn’t want this drug to cycle through my little guy even if it would supposedly be out of his system when he hit prime time. But I agreed and it was the right decision – I was able to relax a bit and I also experienced a hilarious and very specific physical sensation – my hands felt huge, like they were the size of bed pillows. Go figure. My husband and I laugh about my Big Hands to this day.

3. Because I was so nervous about the birth (even knowing that I’d get an epidural – hey like I said, I was truly terrified), we hired a doula from Northeast Doulas (http://www.northeastdoulas.com/) to help us through the process. This was especially fortuitous, considering my husband’s wobbly state. Lauren Porte Schwardsfeld was exactly as supportive as I was hoping. What I didn’t expect was how much she was able to decrease the intensity of contractions (pre-epidural) through massage. The way she put pressure on my lower back and hips during the rough parts was nothing short of miraculous. She. Is. An. Angel. She helped me manage the pain and the fear – this allowed the labor to progress naturally; without her, I suspect I would have gone the way of a C-section. If you think you might need a little extra support, I recommend a doula, whether you are aiming for a drug-free birth or not.

4. Unlike the movies, I didn’t embrace that “bonding” moment with my son the second after he arrived. Nope, I had just pushed for two hours – a physical exertion well beyond anything I’d done as a lifelong athlete. I was exhausted and disoriented. When they put him on my chest, I was like, “No, no, not ready.” Ha! The nurses must have had a good chuckle over that – after all, who is ready for this crazy adventure called parenting? No one. But when it’s time, it’s time: we snuggle that child, we coo, and – dizzy as we may be – we stumble into the wildest and most wonderful journey of all.

Thanks again Jocelyn for sharing your birth story with us!

Would anyone else like to share her birth story?

Ten Thought Tuesday: August 19th

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  1. Wow, already at 38 weeks, I can’t believe I’ll be meeting Peanut in a few weeks time!
  2. Yesterday, I had a checkup with my obgyn.  Baby is firmly head down (and despite being almost ready to come out, Peanut is as active as ever).  I was asked if I wanted a cervical check and declined.
  3. Speaking of cervical checks, did you know that Valerie over at Atlantamomofthree wrote a post on them a while back?  It’s definitely worth a read.
  4. Yesterday, my brother and his girlfriend made an absolutely decadent mac and cheese.  If you’re looking for some comfort food (and really really like cheese), I would definitely recommend it.  Did I mention that it was decadent?
  5. I went out and bought some new shoes for Little Dude yesterday.  It was about time, he went from wearing a size 5 to wearing a size 7 (can you say “growth spurt”!?!).  Once I picked out the shoes, I let him pick the color – he went with his new favourite colour: red.
  6. My partner’s LEGO exhibition went really well last weekend.  You can check here if you want an idea of all the awesome things you can build with LEGO blocks.
  7. This weekend, we’re having friends over for a brunch.  It’ll be really fun as 1. we haven’t seen them in a while and 2.  Charles will be able to play with his 16 month old friend.  We’re borrowing my MIL’s coffee machine for the occasion because neither my partner or I drink the stuff.
  8. Yesterday, the little guy was with his mamie all day.  I took advantage of the fact he wasn’t there to reorganize his toys and do a toy box rotation (we keep one set of toys upstairs, one in the basement and keep one in storage).  He was super excited to rediscover his “new” toys when he got home.
  9. I’ve got a ridiculous amount of bananas in the freezer – I will have to make some banana bread and muffins.  Yummy!
  10. One of Charles’ friends has left the daycare that he attends because she is starting kindergarten.  Her little sister will be taking her place.  I’m eager to see how Charles will react to a smaller baby (10 months old) – he’s always been with older kids at daycare.

If anyone else is doing a TTT today, feel free to link your post in the comments section!

Obsession

My son has a new obsession.

I’ll give you three guesses as to what it is…

If I ask him to pick out his clothes he always invariably asks for “nin-nin” (said in the same tone as the word “Batman” in the old tv series).  Actually, even when I don’t ask him to pick out his clothes/pyjama he asks for “nin-nin”.

Is your toddler obsessing over anything lately?

Write for me Wednesday – Chelsea’s Homebirth Experience

Soon after posting that I was looking for different childbirth stories, I received an email from Chelsea who was kind enough to share her wonderful homebirth experience.  This is the story of her son’s birth.

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I always knew that I wanted to have my child at home. I wanted the quiet peaceful atmosphere that a hospital just can’t achieve.

My husband was agreeable with this choice mostly for the cost difference. After doing some research we discovered that paying for a home birth with a midwife out of pocket is the same as the insurance deductible for the hospital delivery (not including the charge for the newborn stay after delivery). That same cost with the midwives also included all prenatal and post natal visits, so it was definitely more cost efficient.

We took some birthing classes as well. I decided on the Bradley Method which teaches husband coached childbirth. There were very insightful things that we learned in the classes and some things that we have decided after the birth were not as necessary as the teacher made us think.  I loved having my husband actively involved in the birth and that made the biggest difference to me.

So when the big day came we were very calm. I had started some contractions the night before but they came and went and I was able to sleep through the night. The next day started our sporadic as well but by the afternoon they were getting closer together. We went shopping and then out to lunch. By now the contractions were getting strong but we started timing them and they would be anywhere from 30 seconds to 4 minutes apart and 30 seconds to 2 minutes long. They just weren’t regular like we were taught to watch for as the beginning of hard labor. So we decided to go see a movie.

During the movie my husband timed the contractions on his phone by using the stopwatch feature every time I squeezed his hand. Still, the contractions didn’t regulate.
After the movie, we went home and by then the intensity had kicked up a bit.

We did some walking around the house until I got to the point where I could not stand up during the contractions anymore. At this point, I just wanted to curl up in the fetal position when they hit, so Kirk called the midwife and my mother and they were all on the way.

When the midwife arrived she checked me and I was already dilated to an 8 so we started to get things set up. They got the water tub ready for me and I climbed in. I really enjoyed the warm water but when the pain hit all I could pay attention to was my husband’s hand in mine until it was over. I got really tired and then I started pushing and a few minutes of that made my water break.

I started out timid with the pushing because I didn’t want to poop in front of people but now I realize that I would have had a shorter labor if I just pushed with all my might from the beginning and not cared about that. I pushed for a long time and during that time I moved around a lot. I got out of the water and pushed while squatting and then assisted squatting and finally in a 45 degree sit with my knees pushed to my chest.

The midwife told me that she thought I would need an episiotomy and I really didn’t want one so she let me try one more push and that last one did the trick. My little boy’s head was free and he came right out.

They put him right onto my chest and I held him. He had a short umbilical cord so they had me cough and the placenta delivered. I didn’t even have to push for that. After the umbilical cord stopped pulsing, my husband cut the cord. They moved me into my bed, wrapped my son up and handed him right back to me so I could get him to nurse. He did latch on after a few minutes but didn’t nurse much until later.

The midwives gave us about 45 minutes alone (me, my husband and our son) to bond as a family. During this time they cleaned up everything, even took out the garbage. Then they came in and weighed and measured the baby and did the newborn exam.

I was so happy to be at home in my own bed. My husband holding my hand the whole time. It was a great birthing experience and we plan on keeping with the same plan with our next child.

Chelsea
Age 34, mother of one little boy. Born 7 lbs 3 oz after 2 hours and 45 minutes of pushing. 😊

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Thank you so much for sharing your birth story with us, Chelsea!

Anyone else up to sharing?

The Worst Thing In Life – You’ll Be Missed Robin Williams

mommytrainingwheels:

” If you accomplish one thing today, please let it be making yourself and others feel happy and loved. No one should feel alone. Go and hug your family and tell them you love them. Encourage them. Support them. Show them love. It’s the best thing we can do all day.”
– Lesley (Bucket List Publications)
I’ve been following Lesley’s blog for quite some time now. She has been an inspiration to me from the getgo because she has dreams and isn’t afraid to chase them. Like me, and many other I presume, she is shaken by the news of Robin William’s death. Her post is a great reminder of how sneaky depression is and calls for a reflection on the subject.

Originally posted on Bucket List Publications:

I-used-to-think-the-worst-thing-in-life-was-to-end-up-all-alone

We live in a sad world surrounded by people who are questioning themselves and the importance of their lives, gripped by depression. We need to reach out and provide positive encouragement, support, and love before it’s too late.

View original 509 more words

Ten Thought Tuesday: Sleepy

TTT

  1. Ok, so technically, it’s not Tuesday here yet, but since Mr. I-can-fall-asleep-and-start-snoring-within-30-seconds-of-getting-in-bed has done just that, I figured it was as good a time as ever.
  2. To save my sanity and not go totally berserk on him for something over which he has no control, I’ve decided to relegate myself to the basement couch for the night.  The upside is that it’s cooler downstairs than it is upstairs (yay?).
  3. I’m still looking for birth stories to share on my Many Faces of Chilbirth page.  A big thank you to those of you who have already linked or sent a story.  If anyone else is interested, please check out this page for all of the details.
  4. My dental clinic called today to schedule my yearly exam.  They wanted to see me on August 20th.  I told them that I was very pregnant and that later would be better.  I ended up taking an appointment on October 8th.
  5. To help with the natural birth I’m aiming for, my partner has been practicing some massage techniques.   I think that given my couch predicament, he’ll be doing some more practicing tomorrow ;).
  6. This coming weekend, my partner is participating in a miniature train exhibition.  Among AFOL LEGO builders like himself, there will be a whole bunch of other exhibits for trains enthusiasts.  I’ll be going along with Charles so that he can get his fill of trains (and, at the same time, I’ll be there to support my partner in one of his passions – LEGO MOCing).
  7. Everyone around me is betting that Peanut is going to come early.  I think that given that both myself and the dada are stubborn as heck, the little peanut will decide to extend his/her stay just to contradict everyone.  My thoughts: s/he’ll come out when ready.
  8. It was finally warm enough yesterday to warrant going in our pool!  Woohoo!  I think I’ve only been in it about 5 or 6 times since the start of summer so far.
  9. Our few pool visits were enough to get Charles accustomed to the water once again though so I expect that the transition to the swimming lessons we’ll be continuing with him in September will be rather smooth.
  10. Speaking of the little guy, he’s definitely entering the wonderful world of the teenaged-toddler.  It’s both a pleasure and a pain in the butt to see him asserting himself.

Back To the Ecomuseum – A Review

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I know I’ve written about going here before, but I love the place so much that I just had to blog about it again.  (And, for the record, no one is paying me to write about this place, I just feel like sharing my love of it with you guys again).

Little Dude and I went back to the Ecomuseum, last Friday.  This time, we even brought the dada along (because he’s off for three weeks – yay!).  It was an absolutely beautiful day and we got an early start to increase our chances to see more animals.  You see, in summer, the earlier you go the better as when it’s cooler out, the animals are generally out of their shade-filled hiding spots and chillin’ out and about.  And boy did we get to see a lot of animals!

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One thing I love about this place is that it isn’t jam-packed full of tourists.  You don’t have to fight your way up to see an animal and, despite the fact that quite a bit of visitors can be there at any given moment, you never feel crowded.

Another thing I love about the Ecomuseum is that the toddler-paced tour of the place (which, incidentally, resembles very-pregnant-mama pace) takes about two hours to complete.  Trust me, we tried it.

Charles decided to be our tour-guide and walked just a bit ahead of us pretty much the whole time.

Charles decided to be our tour-guide and walked just a bit ahead of us pretty much the whole time.

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Of course, all that walking is tiring, so the leader asked for a few water breaks.

We had many pit stops along the way as we waited for some animals to come out of hiding, looked at some animals, read the information panels and took a few breathers.

Once we were done outside (where you can see the big mammals, the aviary and the birds of prey) we went indoors for the From Day to Night exhibit where we can see both diurnal and nocturnal rodents, amphibians and fish.

What else do I love about this place?

  1. The admission price is very reasonable.
  2. Besides visiting the animals, there are picnic areas and a few paths that you can just take a walk in.
  3. The souvenir boutique also has reasonable prices.
  4. It’s only 15 minutes away from where I live!

What is one of your favourite places to visit with your kids?

Spread the Love Sunday: August 10

Spread the love

As some of you may have noticed, the two week hiatus that I had planned back in June turned into an almost two month break.  Needless to say, I missed a lot of interesting posts.  Getting inspired by Valerie’s Friday Blog Parties and Blasts from the Past, I thought I’d create a new series similar to them.

However, instead of asking you wonderful bloggers to link one of your own posts, I thought I’d help spread the love and ask you to link a post from an equally wonderful blogger that you follow.

Here’s how it works: find a blog post from your reader that you really enjoyed, introduce it in the comments section below and copy-paste the link.

I’ll get the ball rolling with a post from Going Dad, a stay-at-home-dad that wrote about breastfeeding and how he contributes as a dad to help his wife keep breastfeeding their daughter.  You can find his post here.  Enjoy!

Care to share a great post that you have read recently?