Three Kids and a Dog

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Poor Adler, Austen Now Eats her Treats!

In the past, Austen has loved to be the one to give Adler her treats so it has kind of turned into a routine...when we get Austen from daycare, I let him give her a treat once he gets in the car (Adler usually comes with me to pick him up from school). However, lately he's refused to give our poor girl the treat and keeps it for himself.

Instead of getting into a struggling match with Austen to take away the treat and give it to Adler, I just give Adler another treat and let Austen hold the treat that he was supposed to give Adler. (Us moms need to pick and choose our battles!) Seems like a good solution, right? Well, last week as I'm driving home, I actually caught him putting the treat in his mouth. So I'm trying to drive and wrestle the treat away from Austen. Luckily in that instance, I happened to spot my brother standing outside a local bar before a White Sox game and I pulled over and had him reach through the back window and take it away from Austen.

Well I was lucky that time. You'd think then that I'd refrain from giving him Adler's treats but he so enjoys holding and torturing Adler that the next day I let him have another. That's when I noticed that Austen had shoved the whole thing (okay so it was only half of a dog treat) in his mouth and was chewing it like it was the best cookie ever. Now, I could have pulled the car over and squeezed his cheeks to get the now half-eaten treat out of his mouth but I figured if he really wanted to eat the treat then I should just let him. He was after all just being a toddler who explores with his mouth, but I did let him know it was 'yucky' and after he swallowed the treat, his face told me that I don't think he'll be trying that again anytime soon.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

There are Good Days and There are Bad Days

Everyone has good days and everyone has bad days...even kids. Friday was a bad day(or should I say bad evening for Austen since he was in 'school' until 5pm). My dad happened to be down in the city for a meeting so he picked me up from work, we got Austen, took Adler and Austen for a walk and all seemed to be going well for a Friday evening. We were going to let Austen stay up a little bit later this evening so we could go to dinner and enjoy the nice summer night while watching the planes from the Air and Water Show fly overhead.

About two or three weeks ago we said it was going to be a long time before we took Austen out to eat again because at this age, he just doesn't want to sit in his seat long enough for us to eat a meal while we're at a restaurant. Well, I must've forgotten how unenjoyable it was last time because I thought we'd be able to corral him in the fenced-off outside dining area at our local pizza place. For awhile, he seemed to be doing okay. He watched the planes, admired the 'choo choo' across the street and drew some pictures. About an hour into our dinner my dad, who was facing me, had noticed that Austen had gone behind me and somehow slipped through the fence so he was on the outside of the eating area. Now if you lived in the burbs, this probably wouldn't have been a big deal but Austen was mere feet from a very busy street and my dad, Tom and I sat helpless on the inside of the fence while I watched my 19-month-old smile at me and then take off toward the street. Panicked, which I'd like to say, I don't get too often, I yelled Tom's name and he quickly jumped over the fence to rescue Austen before he hit the street.

I think that incident took about 10 years off my life. Fast forward to Saturday, we took Austen to the beach, he slept the whole hour there in the car so Tom and I got to enjoy some quiet conversation and then he played wonderfully on the beach with his toys by himself and Tom and I got to read a few articles in our magazines. We spent about four hours at the beach, went for ice cream and then he fell asleep for a nice quiet ride on the way home. What an enjoyable day.

I guess no two days are alike when you have kids. One day could be a nightmare and the next could be absolute bliss and make parenting look easy. I'm just grateful for some easy days now and then!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Terrible Twos Start Early

No one told me that the terrible twos would begin way earlier than age 2 and last longer as well. Well, at officially 19 months of age my son has a case of the terrible twos. Take a recent afternoon where within 20 minutes, I was telling Austen to -

*quit playing with the bathtub faucet where he enjoyed sticking his hand underneath the water making it spray everywhere including on him;

*get out of my china cabinet which he had opened and proceeded to pull out my crystal glasses;

*stop destroying my coffee table centerpiece which includes what he thinks are balls for playing catch; and

*get down from climbing up on a small step ladder in my closet and almost causing what I'm sure would have been a nice big bump on his head.

This is just a snapshot of his recent antics, I can't even count how many temper tantrums he's had over the last month. And, I thought boys were so easy. Boy (no pun intended), was I ever wrong.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Who's Biting Who?

I always thought that I would have to worry about Adler biting. But the tables are turned.

I recently was summoned for a conference at Austen's daycare to discuss his biting. "Thanks for coming," said his teacher, who apologized for bringing me in since it had now appeared in the days since she scheduled the conference that the biting had died down. But only two days later do I get a phone call that Austen had bit three kids in one day at his school. Okay, so one time was because one of the other kids pushed him down and he got back up and bit - nevermind that he didn't bite the kid that pushed him down, just the one closest to him - but I can rationalize that one. Anyway, the daycare told me they were going to take a more stern approach and then refer him to a behavioral psychologist if the biting didn't stop. I don't know how a behavioral psychologist can assess an 18-month-old but I don't want to find out. I want Austen to stop biting.

The problem is that he wasn't doing this at home so how do I help enforce no biting then? Well, I didn't have to wait long to find out as the day after this incident, he bit me three times within a 30-minute period. I took a step back and assessed why he was biting - it was in the morning, he was happy to see me and snuggling with me when he put his teeth on me - maybe his way of expressing love or dismay that I had been working like a dog (sorry, Adler) for the past two weeks and wasn't around much. At any rate, I definitely was strong in my reprimand of 'no biting' and telling him kisses only. I really felt like I was talking to Adler since this is how I taught her when she was a puppy to kiss instead of nip with her sharp, little baby teeth.

The good thing was that we were headed for a long vacation weekend in Michigan, and had time to work with Austen on the no biting. And, it seemed to have worked the first two days he was back at daycare. But the last two days there have been incidents. So I guess he's 2 for 4. I'm just hoping there's no report in his cubby when I pick him up today to get us over the .500 mark. And, if anyone has any surefire remedies for getting your toddler to stop biting, please do share!