Sunday, August 30, 2009

My 3 year old is smarter than me

My wife and I try to feed our boys nutritious meals and snacks. Low sugar, no saturated fats, low salt, organic fruits, whatever we can do to find the best foods for our boys. I have been trained well to always read the labels and not be fooled when the package says "0 gram of trans fat per serving." Apparently the manufacturers are rounding to zero for very small serving sizes, because there are trans. fats in the package, just not enough to quantify per serving. We allow them to have sweets, but not too much. Our rationing of sweets has of course resulted in creating sweet-toothed monsters in our boys. Whenever, they are at a birthday party or after game snack, to say they binge on sweets would be an understatement. My wife and I are trying to find a healthy balance, so that we do not go overboard.

Today my 3 year old wanted to have a juice box. Well, I told him that he could only have one today and that he would need to eat lunch first. he agreed and ate a good sized lunch. In the afternoon he was whining and wanted to have another juice box. I mentioned to him that he already had one and that we agreed to one a day. I also made up a story, as parents are prone to do, that if he had another one it would make his tommy ache. My 3 year old, clearly smarter than I am, said "I want my tummy to ache." I couldn't win the argument, so I gave him another juice box, after which he said to me, "hey my tummy feels fine."

But I want the blue one!

I'm surprised that I have not written about this topic in the past, as it occurs daily. We have 3 self-powered scooters at our house. Unfortunately for me, they are all different in color. My 7 year old was riding the blue one and my 3 year old wanted it. I told him that there were 2 other scooters available for him to ride. But of course, "I want the blue one." No amount of reasoning or convincing could deter my 3 year old from getting his hands on the blue scooter. I made all kinds of promises to my 7 year old to give his younger brother the blue scooter. You can play on the Nintendo DS, you get a juice box, you can be a good big brother etc... Well finally, with a lot of reluctance my 7 year old agreed and dropped the scooter about 3 feet away from his little brother, at least to have a little victory that his little brother had to walk to the scooter. Less than 5 minutes later the little brother was no longer interested in scootering, blue, yellow, or any color for that matter.

My wife and I try to buy 2 or 4 of the same exact things whenever we pick up new things. The scooters unfortunately came at different times, so we could not coordinate the colors. It doesn't really matter, because whatever your brother has is always better than what you have, so I must have it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Potty Training - One Last Time

My youngest son turned 3 in April and my wife and I have been too busy to potty train him. It actually takes a lot of coordination to potty train as you can imagine. If you are training a 3 year old and have to run to pick up one of your other children, then there is always the chance (highly likely) that there will be an "accident" in the car on the way to the baseball practice or at the person's home where you are picking up one of the other brothers. You see, potty training is a home activity. You need to be able to access a potty within 3 seconds and 10 feet if possible (maybe 20 feet). For a child that has in his whole young life always went potty whenever and where-ever he wanted, distance and time to a toilet is not high on his list.

As parents you are on the clock, constantly reminding yourself to either ask or take the potty trainee to the toilet. An empty bladder is a good thing. Modern society has of course invented the "pull up" diaper. They are elastic waisted so the child feels like he is wearing briefs, but just in case he has an accident there is no spillage. We love pull-up diapers even if they are a bit more expensive and don't hold as much "stuff." You have to call the "pull up" diapers as "underwear" and NOT diapers. Because if you call them "diapers," then you child will not know that he is being potty trained. It's a very complex process, which every parent will eventually have to go through, but the reward is oh so wonderful. We have four boys and have only been out of diapers as a family for about 6 months during that 11 year span. I'm not complaining, just presenting the facts.

Yes, I do dream of a time when I don't have to change diapers any more. If I am fortunate to become a grandfather, I will not volunteer to change the diaper - I've done my share. I have changed diapers in all the usual spots, and also at the baseball game in the stands, at the ski lodge all bundled in thermals and ski bibs, in the car (of course), in the plane, on a ship, you name it. Don't get me started on the times when the diaper has slipped off the bed due to the diaper-ee fussing and my natural instinct to grab a falling object - only to realize that that was not a good idea. Oh the stories I have...

I am counting down the days...