Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Parenting 2011

The new year seems off to a decent start. The girls transitioned back to school and daycare better than I had expected yesterday. Fortunately for me, Adam has been home the past 2 mornings to help me get them out the door.

Although she exhibited quite a bit of jealousy over the attention that Little A and her younger cousins received from everybody over the break, Big A was a stellar traveller. She was great on the flights and generally well-behaved in Florida inspite of taking no naps and tiring herself out completely 2 days in a row with her swimming sessions.

Little A seemed to make some big advances in her language skills over the holiday and has finally starting saying her first affirmative word: "Da" instead of just nodding her head (which made for some very silent phone conversations between her and my parents). Although she is not nearly as defiant as Big A was at 20 months, she is already starting to show some signs of the same bossiness Big A used to have: she likes to tell us all where to sit and if Adam and I are both present, she always wants the other person to: get her out of the crib, change her diaper, hand her her sippy cup, push her stroller, etc. Adam has rightfully pointed out that I am giving in to her whims far too often, just as I used to with Big A. I don't know why I am so reluctant to just let her fuss. This is exactly what got me into problems with Big A.

Before the holiday daycare pick-up had become a miserable daily chore. Just like Big A used to be, she is always crabby in the stroller on the ride home. Once we are home she is fine, but until then she is generally shrieking her little heart out.

I was coming armed every day with about 5 different snacks trying to appease her (3 different fresh fruits, cereal or muffin and dried fruit) but no matter what I brought, she was always howling and screaming before we got home. She would also have me stopping in the frigid weather so often to give her another snack or remove the snack she was holding that she no longer wanted, that I was freezing my butt off and we were almost late by the time we got to Big A's school to pick her up. Adam suggested I bring her one snack and if she doesn't like it, tough for her. This was the strategy yesterday and I realized that she was no more grumpy than on any other day.

Little A has also has started using nursing as a delay tactic (to delay leaving for daycare in the morning, to delay bathtime and bedtime, etc.). This morning she nursed twice (normally she nurses once before daycare) and then when Adam said it was time to go, she started crying for "Mommy milk" again. Adam told her it was too late and strapped her into the stroller. She began screaming her head off and continued to do so until we had walked about a block down the street. Then she calmed down and by the time we got her to daycare, she was her usual chipper self. Adam pointed out the fact that sometimes you just have to wait her out and, again, he is right. Sometimes you have to just let them cry. I am not sure why I find this so hard to do.

I am quite pleased with myself for the break I took from exercise over the holiday. I was chatting with a few gym friends of mine on Sunday after my spinning class and we all admitted that it usually takes an injury for us to take a rest, even though rest is important for us folks who work out intensely. I also don't feel bad about all the indulging as I do it so rarely.

What I do feel bad about is how the girls ate...basically the whole month of December, since Hannukah, was a big junk food fest. Travelling across boarders with fresh food is not easy, so I loaded up on what I think of as healthy junk food for the girls for our trip. Thinks like Big A's favorite organic chocolate dipped brown rice cakes (i.e. organic empty calories) and Del Monte fruit twists (i.e. "no sugar added" fruit candy). I did find no sugar added dried apples, bananas and strawberries for them to snack on in Florida, as well as squeezable fruit purees (had it not been in a squeezable package I doubt either would have touched it), but still. Not the best choices. And don't even get me started on what Big A ate at our New Year's Day party!

However, I feel like I have managed to get them back on track. Monday dinner they ate meatballs and steamed cauliflower and last night roasted chicken, potatoes and orange peppers. If we can keep going like this, I'll feel better. Thank goodness they generally eat whatever is served at daycare/school. I think that's the only way any legumes and most veggies get into their little bodies!

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