Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'm Supposed to Know

In a couple more weeks, I'll be graduating with my bachelor's in Elementary Education, along with an endorsement in Early Childhood Education.  That part is absolutely thrilling, can't come soon enough!  But that's not the point of this post.  The point of this post is for me to tell you that my (not-quite) two-year-old is giving me a run for my money!  I feel a bit like the auto-mechanic who can't fix her own car or the computer tech who can't fix his own hard drive lately.  Caring for and disciplining young children is what I do.  In some form or another, it's what I've always done.  I know children naturally give their parents more grief than they give others.  I know they test their limits at home more than any other place but wow...I never imagined being the parent of a toddler would be this challenging at times! 

Our son is still the most precious and adorable bundle of joy I've ever laid eyes on but he is going through a n.a.u.g.h.t.y phase right now.  When he was a baby, my younger sister said, "He's got a dimple.  You know toddlers with dimples are always making trouble, right?"  I wasn't expecting her to be correct quite so soon!  His behavior is especially challenging for me because, in his typical all-boy style, he seems to actually enjoy getting into trouble.  For example, he knows he's not supposed to eat crayons and yet every time we give him one, he puts it up to his mouth and grins mischievously.  When I take the crayons away, he laughs.  Given that, it's clear that the best plan of attack would be for me to ignore the unwanted behavior.  That does work some of the time, but then he will intentionally do things he knows I can't ignore, such as standing up in his chair at the dinner table.  The other night he was doing that and when I asked him to, "sit down or get down," he looked at me, grinned, and raised both of his little hands into the air.  OK seriously??  It was all I could do not to burst out laughing but of course I had to maintain my composure.

I've been reading about discipline lately and I have found some techniques (more rules of thumb really) that I'd like to try to implement.  The two that come to mind are, "The three C's - calm, caring and consistent" as well as the "90:10 ratio," which states that interactions with your child should be 90 parts positive and 10 parts negative or better.  The thing is...these articles do not say anything I don't already know.  My experience with theories is that they work wonderfully in a book, with the ideal child in mind.  In practice, however, things are a bit more complicated.  Interactions with real children are often more complex than the books can portray.  It's frustrating to read or know something, then try it out and end up with a different outcome than you expected.

Consistency between caregivers is the other huge factor.  For the most part, Michael and I do pretty well in this department; however, our little smarty has already figured out which parent to ask for which item.  He knows, for example, that Daddy is more likely to turn on the TV than Mommy, or that Mommy is more likely to let him practice flushing the potty than Daddy.  Did I mention he's not even two yet?  He is definitely socially motivated.  He picks up on our moods and our tones of voice quickly, probably even more so than we realize.  He also dislikes being separated or withdrawn from others.  These are things I'm trying to fit into the grand schema of our disciplinary plan for him.  We're still navigating the waters and figuring it all out one day at a time but I'm trying to get it together. 

In writing this post, I've just come up with the idea that I should try to think of myself as a parent in my classroom.  What advice would i give myself if I could be on the outside?  Hmmm...that's going to require more thought on my part but it's an interesting idea.  For now, I think it also bears mentioning that as naughty as he can be, our little one is also still quite sweet.  Every time I cough or sneeze he says, "besh ooo Mommy" and just about melts my heart.  It's all really about balancing between and navigating the (often abrupt) changes in his demeanor.  He's definitely a smart, strong-willed, funny, strong, sweet little boy.  The key is  helping him (which will inadvertently help us) to become the best he can be.  A tall order but I'm trying...




Monday, March 14, 2011

And the Winner is...

Hi Friends,

I just entered the numbers at and the winner of the CSN Stores Giveaway is...Katychick!  Congratulations to you and thanks to everyone who entered.  I'm so grateful for the connections I've made through blogging and for all of loyal readers and new followers alike!

{Katychick, I will be sending you an email shortly with your promo code and a few more details.} 

Happy Blogging,



Thursday, March 3, 2011

Two Minutes = Trouble!

Sometimes I think we've given our son the wrong middle name.  Sometimes I think his middle name should have been Trouble!  Seriously?  The scene you see to the left is what happened last night, in the two minutes it took me to realize I had forgotten to close the bathroom door on my way to make dinner.  It took some effort on my part to remember to take a deep breath and relax.  All I can say is, thank goodness for plungers! 

Of course, once I got over my initial shock at the boy's toilet paper experimentation, the only natural thing to do was to laugh...and grab the camera, of course!  You can tell by the change in his expression that  Mommy lightened up a bit.  Still, I think we've learned a valuable lesson at our house:  Toilet paper stays off the roll for the foreseeable future!  To his credit, at least he's not scared to flush the toilet.  That is one potty training hurdle we will not have to overcome!



Tuesday, March 1, 2011

CSN Stores Giveaway! {Contest Closed}

Drum-roll please...welcome to my first-ever blog giveaway!!

Spring fever is in the air and I've been daydreaming about some ways we might improve the functionality of our house.  Although I'm still swamped with school work right now, I will be graduating in less than two months!  Once I do, it's time for some TLC at our place.  One plan I have is to clean and organize our basement office.  I love the idea of an L shaped desk, which would allow us to use our (limited) space in a much more efficient manner!

The awesome people at CSN stores have decided to sponsor a blog giveaway and are providing me with a $20 promotion code that YOU can use on any of the (more than 200) stores on their site. 

As I said, I've been doing some daydreaming and here are a couple of ideas of how I would spend that $20:

Pyrex storage set x 2!  These are some of the best food containers I've ever used.  One of the moms for whom I used to nanny often sent lunch for her daughters in these.  Since C. started daycare, I've frequently wished I had some of my own to use for his lunch bag. 

Preschool hammer peg toy by Plan Toys.  C. is in love with anything he can use to make noise &/or bang on furniture.  With his 2nd birthday right around the corner, I'd love to get him this gift & I'm pretty sure he'd love to receive it!   

So here are the contest details, I will be doing a random drawing for the $20 promotional code.  The drawing will begin on Wednesday, March 2 and end on Sunday, March 13 at midnight. 

Entering the contest is simple and there are a couple of ways you can participate.

1. Become a follower on my blog or tell me you already are.  If I don't know you, introduce yourself!
2.Go to the CSN web siteand do a little daydreaming of your own, tell me what you would get with the $20.

1. Like CSN on facebook

For each one you do, leave me a comment that includes your email address! 

The giveaway will close March 13 at midnight.  The winner will be generated via and posted the next day.  Have fun and good luck!!