…of a whole WEEK with no TV. Do you think we have made it? Do you think I caved this morning when I was exhausted beyond belief and feeling like crap? I was certainly not feeling well enough to want to “distract” or “re-direct” Jack’s attention from the TV. I didn’t have Alan’s help this morning as he was rushing out the door to catch his train. So, sure – it is easiest to just turn on the TV so that I can wake up and get everyone dressed and ready to go to preschool. It really is easier.
Do you think I caved? Would you blame me? Would you shake your head and say “I knew she couldn’t do it?”
The answer ? The truth? I didn’t have to make that choice. Jack didn’t care one flip about the TV this morning. He helped me get Colin dressed. He entertained his brother while I got dressed.
When he came into the kitchen with a bag of wooden blocks that he hasn’t touched in months only to dump them out all over the floor INSTEAD of begging to watch Wonder Pets- do you think I complained? Not one bit. Play on kiddo!
I love being a parent.
p.s. I was not all smiles and roses when I walked into the kitchen a few minutes ago and proceeded to step barefooted on the sharp corner of one of those precious wooden blocks that were still on the floor because in Mommy’s elation and picture taking, lost track of time and was almost late to preschoo0l. Oh well.
So, before any of us have kids we all have ideas of what kinds of parents we will be – things we will absolutely NEVER do and things we cannot BELIEVE other parents would do. Then reality sets in when said kids are actually born.
One of those things that I insisted upon was limiting television. I mean, TV is the devil right? Honestly, Jack didn’t really watch a lick of TV until he was about 18 months or so. Then we started with Sesame Street, Clifford, Thomas – your basic PBS fare. He was only allowed to watch TV for a couple of hours MAX each day. I was very strict about it. I insisted that he not become dependent on TV as his main source of entertainment. Over time we discovered Noggin – now Nick Jr. – and Wonder Pets and Blue’s Clues began to dominate our lives. I am not sure when it happened, but the day we discovered Thomas the Tank Engine, it was all over – he was hooked on TV. I realized by that point that the TV stayed on most of the morning and often in the afternoon too. Now, he didn’t watch it all the time – it was just on. I had become “that mom” who had the TV on all the time. UGH.
Now before you get on your perfect mom high horse (it’s ok, I do it all the time too) and say “see” or “I told you so”, let me say that my son has an amazing vocabulary! This kid knows and uses words that most of my high schoolers don’t, and I give high credit to Thomas the Tank Engine for that. How many three-year-olds do you know that use the word “dignified” in regular conversation? He speaks complex sentences that would knock your socks off. He can recognize and tell you where the Eiffel Tower is located and can tell you about Japanese Ink drawings all because of Wonder Pets. So, no – I do NOT think TV is the devil, and YES, I do think that it can be beneficial and educational. We had gotten out of hand with the TV time, however.
Last week Alan was off for the latter part of the week and Jack was out of preschool for Spring Break. Because of that we got out and did more – we stayed pretty busy. By Sunday night we realized that Jack had not watched a lick of TV in 2 days because we were so busy! By Monday, Alan was back to work and I was determined to see how long I could go distracting and redirecting him away from the TV. Not because I think TV should be cut out of our lives all together, but more just to see how long we could go and what the result would be. Basically, a challenge!
Monday we spent most of the day outside in the GORGEOUS weather. Jack only mentioned the TV a couple of times, after his nap. Instead of turning it on I asked him if he wanted to read a book or do a puzzle. If that didn’t work I’d tell him that I needed to change Colin’s diaper or feed him so we would go in their room where he would get distracted with his books. Tuesday we had preschool, but he used to LOVE watching TV in the morning before school – so that was a little bit harder. After I picked him up that afternoon we stopped at the park and then went outside when we got home. we ran, played wrestled on the blanket.
Today was day 5 with no TV and he didn’t even ask for it once today! His Papa bought him a new Thomas book today so I was convinced he would ask to watch a Thomas movie – he didn’t!
So, what has been the result? Jack has been a DREAM child the last 5 days! We have not had one temper tantrum!! NOT ONE! We normally have 2-3 a day!
Why? Why the change in behavior? Only thing I can think of is….wait for it…me! *I* have had to change MY habits and be plugged into him so much more than I normally am. I had to say, “work can wait” and do a puzzle with him, push him on the swing or help build a sand castle. Now, don’t get me wrong – I did all of those things before, but I have simply had to really devote myself to those things more and be fully aware of him.
It has actually been wonderful. Jack and I have really bonded these last few days and I feel stupid that all I needed to do was turn off the damn TV.
To occupy our time and redirect from the crack – er – TV we have played with dinosaurs…
hiked with friends…
played in the show… (Yes, we had more stinkin’ snow!)
hung laundry on the line… (24 hours after the snow!! That’s Texas for you!)
Sure, there have been some screams – but glorious screams of joy!
He’s had quiet, alone time too – but don’t we all need that sometimes?
I will take a trashed out playroom any day if it gives me this amazing boy in return!
p.s. I am starting to kind of miss the Wonder Pets and Dora.
I am feeling moved to write down some thoughts about my younger son – Colin. This morning their Papa came by and took Jack for a day of “lots of wheres” (yes, Laurie – they still use that phrase! haha!) so I got to have a little alone time with my baby-for-now-but-not-for-long.
We sat on the couch and sang songs. We giggled. After a while it was obvious that it was getting close to his nap time so we ventured into his room. As I love to do, I opened the blinds and curtains, turned on some sweet praise music and let him roll all over the floor. Yes, Colin is over 10 months old, but being the second child, has had no real interest in mobility thus far. I was convinced he was going to skip crawling all together and go straight to walking, but I think he is about to prove me wrong. Just yesterday he started getting up on his knees and rocking – and of course – going backwards!! If you remember, Jack crawled backwards for about a month or two before going forwards!
After a while of that he was getting fussy and clearly needed a nap. I picked him up and just stared into his sleepy but soulful eyes. I have never seen eyes so deep and full of joy. Joy simply radiates from his being and he is just oozing with God’s love and hope. You can see it! He is going to move mountains someday; he is going to change the world.
Maybe I have been overly sentimental lately as I have come to the realization that he is most likely my last baby to be born from me but my family has been blessed beyond words with the blessing that is Colin.
I don’t believe in a subtle God, and He most certainly was not subtle when he put Colin is our lives. He was not just blessing us, but tasking us with raising him to be a man of God. Not just a man who loves God in his heart, quietly - but proclaims His love of us all.
We love you, son and can’t wait to see what amazing things you do!
Here is a link from Babywearing International that has some great general guidelines to babywearing safety. Again, just educate yourself and ASK for help!
Here is another link from the same site about choosing a baby carrier. I have all but the Mei Tei listed here so if you have any questions or want to try one of them out, please let me know!
I am so glad that babywearing is coming into the spotlight so that more attention can be given to proper carriers and safe use of them - I just wish it weren’t due to the death of a precious baby. Sadly, that seems to be the way most things change.
I recently learned that the CPSA is about to issue a warning against certain baby wearing devices (sold at Target, Walmart etc) saying that they can cause suffocation. While this saddens me deeply to know that families who were well meaning have suffered a tremendous loss – I think it is important to understand that certain carriers are more dangerous than others but when used properly there are slings and carriers that are very safe and beneficial to you and your baby!
Here are a couple of links below that I have read recently discussing the topic. There is little need for me to rewrite what has already been written.
Undercover Mother - blog that does a good job discussing the difference between the “bag style” carrier and the safer options.
An AP story regarding the warning.
Also, here is a video that discusses proper positioning in a sling
Specifically, the Infantino Slingrider and others like it are the main ones at issue because of the position that it puts the baby in.
I will admit that when Jack was a baby I was not very well educated on slings and other baby wearing devices. The first time I tried to put him in the “cradle” position in my ring sling I was unnerved by the fact that he seemed to be folding in on himself and looked as though he could suffocate – which he could have. This is simply because I was UNEDUCATED! My ring slings, Hotsling, Moby Wrap and Beco have all been total blessings with Colin – now that I KNOW how to use them. Ialso now know that the cradle position is not the safest anyway. The “kangaroo” carry (upright) is much safer and more what the baby is used to from the womb.
The key is to educate, ask for help, attend baby wearing classes, GOOGLE if nothing else. There are videos and tutorials all over the internet on safe baby wearing practices and devices! Baby wearing is SAFE and many slings are SAFE – just know before you sling!
Colin has been happily “slinged” (slung?) since days after his birth – safely!
We are still going strong today!
We have just been a bunch of sickos lately and with the rainy, chilly weather we’ve also been cooped up inside the house to wallow in our own germs – nice visual, I know! This morning when we woke up to SUNSHINE I knew we would not be inside for much of the day! I think sun is one of God’s favorite tools for healing, emotionally and physically; so I tossed the boys outside and told them they couldn’t come back in until they were well! haha! Soak up all of that Vitamin D boys!!
It was in the mid-40′s early this morning but warmed up quickly to about 60*. Heaven!
Then as if I had planned it – our trash truck drove down the alley! It was by far the highlight of the day! I don’t know what it is – but the arrival of the trash truck is the most anticipated time of the week!
I also realized I needed a good 9 month pic of Colin (before he turns 10 months in a week and a half – gah!) And since Colin is always one to oblige when it comes to having his picture taken – I snapped away! I sure hope this kid thinks the camera is this funny when he is three!
Hello Spring – Goodbye snot! We are ready for warmer, sunnier, healthier weather!! Thank you Lord for SPRING! (can you just make sure it sticks around a while before it climbs to 100+?)
Today we did the big car seat “switch-a-roo”! Colin is 9 1/2 months old but honestly we could have made it almost to his first birthday in his infant carrier – I was just tired of dealing with it. He was too heavy to carry in it and the straps were just getting too hard to get around him so although he wasn’t quite at the height and weight limits we decided to go ahead and put him in his “big boy” car seat (i.e. Jack’s hand-me-down Britax).
And since I love me some side by side comparisons – here is another! On the left is Colin at 2 1/2 days old on our first trip out of the house. Remember, he was born at home, so we actually had to leave our house to get a pic of him in the car seat for the first time. On the right is my sweet baby boy today at about 20+ lbs and just over 28″.
Just for kicks – and because, let’s face it, Colin will always be compared to his big brother (TRUST ME!! I KNOW!) – let’s compare the comparisons! Below, on the left, is Jack at about 2 1/2 days old as we are leaving the hospital and on the right is Jack at about 6 1/2 months old (YES, I said 6 1/2 months old) already having outgrown his infant carrier and moving into his “big boy” Britax. As you can tell he had several lbs and inches on Colin already.
So, yes – my precious boys are very much alike in many ways – but there is something about their differences that makes me love them each more and more everyday.