Thursday, October 9, 2014

Non-Events are the Biggest Wins

Sometimes the non-events are the biggest wins in my parenting experience. So far these are the biggest successes:
- fun Dr Apts
- weening from breastfeeding
- taking the crib sides off
- transition to big kid beds
- soother extrication
I will spend a little time preparing the kids for a transition (look at the big kid bed pictures) or a new experience like a doctor's appointment, playing out all the things the doctor will do and then the experience will go totally smoothly. Parenting win! Maybe my efforts help smooth out any issues, maybe not but I think it's worth taking a little time to talk about these things.
However, recently I've made a bigger deal out of some things than I needed to. The soother extrication was the perfect example of me over-thinking.
Rachel loves her soothers. The house rule is that soothers were only for using in bed which was generally accepted. Until recently she would like having two or three in her hands as she went to sleep for naps or for bedtime. Whenever I went to check on her she'd always have spit them out, so I was pretty sure she didn't sleep with them in her mouth but I knew they were a big comfort for her.
So in an attempt to get her off of them prior to baby coming (I just can't stand the idea of her playing with and sucking on a soother and then it going into the baby's mouth) I created the 'soother fairy.'
I explained that the soothers were getting old and might break and if that happened, she'd get a present. Then she explained that Mommy can buy more at the store!
Oh bugger, the logic of a nearly 3 year old!
I explained that new soothers were only for babies. When babies are born they get some soothers but as they get bigger those soothers break and the big kids get presents. They both wanted to know why Sam had no soothers so I told them the truth, we tried giving baby Sam soothers and he spit them out! They found that quite funny.
So when one of her soothers broke (yes I deliberately cut it up) I showed it to her and we put it in the soother fairy box and the next day the soother fairy left a present for her. I was prepared to do this for all 4 remaining soothers.
The soother at daycare 'broke' (I requested the daycare provider assist in that breakage) and we brought it home and put it in the soother fairy box and magically big girl and big boy pillows arrived the next morning.
The purple soother got 'lost' and the last remaining beloved pink soother I agonized about the timing of. What if she totally freaked out after it broke? What if she woke up all night long for a week?
So as a soft trial the soother got left at home (again deliberately) when we went up to spend a couple of nights at Grandma and Grandpa's house. I wasn't sure how those nights would go and if she'd be a crying mess without it or not. But I guessed that the novelty of sleeping somewhere else would distract her from the fact that the soother wasn't there. She never even mentioned it!
When we got home that last pink soother was just 'missing' and Rachel cried for it one afternoon when she was upset about something and she cried for it in the middle of the night one night when she woke up. Both times the tears lasted less than 2 minutes and we just told her we didn't know where it went. It hasn't been mentioned again.
YAY! We've got at least a month till baby comes (hopefully) and I'm hoping by then she will be over the idea of having her own soothers because she is a big girl. :)
I so love my big kids!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

I am Wonder Woman

Sometimes we have to do really hard things and then find they aren't nearly as hard as we thought they were. Still hard but not the struggle that we feared.

This week has been that way for me. My loving husband abandoned us for a week in southern France....for work but still! An entire week by myself at 7.5 months pregnant while taking care of 2 two-year-olds and having to still work was seriously daunting for me. I was QUITE crabby and stressed out leading up to this week alone.

And then he left ... and we were ... fine. There have been some tears and a few small meltdowns and of course I came down with a rotten cold right after he left but overall, we've done really, really well, far better than I thought we would. It's been a calmer, happier week than a lot of other weeks when there are two parents at home. In fact I've gotten more done this week than a lot of other weeks. I baked with the kids, I cleared out all their old clothes, I cooked real meals for dinner most nights.

The kids have enjoyed skyping with Daddy this week, which we fit into the morning routine most mornings.  They talk a lot about Daddy being in an airplane and on a train and that the airplane will bring him home again. They sometimes really really need a Daddy hug and after some sad tears they settle for a Mommy hug. Poor pumpkins!

I've relaxed my TV rules and that has helped. I also adjusted my expectations for timing in the mornings and that has helped. Overall, I find if I don't push for things to be done when I want them done, they generally happen anyway at close to the same time. And if they don't, it's not the end of the world.

For example, yesterday Sam was up at 6am hungry for breakfast. I fed him, set him up with Backyardigans on the TV and then got in the shower and was completely ready by 7:15 when Rachel woke up. A quick breakfast/milk for her and we were out the door and at daycare by 8:05!
This morning however, they both slept till 7:15 and we didn't get to daycare until 9. So my very last work day was delayed by a full hour... and who cares? It's mostly a sick day anyway cuz oh my heavens this is a nasty cold!

I've packed us to to spend a couple of nights up at Grandma and Grandpa's house to add some variety to the week and then on Saturday we will pick up Daddy at the airport. YAY!

I'm feeling pretty positive right now as we head into this fall season. I'm in count down mode, 6 weeks till baby comes (although my Dr predicts that I won't go to term) and a lot of little milestones along the way to look forward to. Birthday party for the kids, me going to a friend's wedding, prepping for Christmas now that I'm off work cuz I'm pretty sure nothing is going to get done after the baby comes. :P