Wednesday, May 26, 2010

First HOT day of summer

Noodle had her first dentist appointment today. She was GOOD as gold. Q had his first since he was 2. He was also very good. But he's not 3, so that's not quite as impressive. (Although he is a bit wired about being messed with.)

Afterwards, over Q's objections, we went to the nearby beach in Old Saybrook. It was low tide and we walked around looking at the crabs and broken shells and being generally happy on the beach. Some friends turned out to be there with their 3 kids, which was nice.

Noodle wanted to be carried. A Lot. My back is not good right now, so I was aware of it. She was Not Into Wading. Or the muddy sand. But we wandered into an area of hard packed sand/mud and she scampered happily away looking for shells and animal prints, a spot of brilliance in a bright yellow tulle skirt.

Every once in a while I'd look for Q & J. They were almost always hunched over checking out a tidal pool or stream. It was great to see Q do a complete reversal on his attitude.

By the time we got home, the little one was done in. She had near hysterics when we didn't let her snatch a shell from her brother. It was suffocatingly hot upstairs, and she kept getting wound up over small things ("I can't get my dress off!") and calming down only to lose it again ("Q broke my hat!" -she acknowledged it was an accident- and "I don't want to wear a tank top!").

Finally I gave up on getting her to bed quickly, stripped her down and gave her a rinse in the tub. While bathing her, and worrying that the late afternoon sun had possibly fried her skin, I realized it had been a week since her MMR shot and they warned that she might run a fever in a week.

Applied ibuprofen (always cheers up the kids) and she settled into back into sane...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Candles - by Wendy Cope

Three little candles
On a birthday cake.

Count them very carefully
So there's no mistake.

We counted three and there's no doubt
Now it's time to blow them out.


Happy Birthday Happy Nuala.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'd be embarrassed, but I'm too tired.

Scrolling through the blog to share pictures with the kids today I had several revelations. Not that I have neglected the blog, I blush whenever I think of it. But first was a revisiting of the fact that I cannot remember anything unless I have written it down, and sometimes not even then. Which is more motivation to blog.

Second, I found entries from when Q had just turned three. He was pushing my buttons constantly. I'd totally forgotten. He's become such a reasonable and easy going child, that I lost all recollection of previous behaviors. As I type this, he's scolding Noodle, "It's not funny! Go to sleep!" She's giggling hysterically at him.

I find this terribly reassuring. While we've recently turned a corner with Noodle, I was beside myself with impatience recently, trying to deal with her behaviors, whining, demanding, etc. In three years, she could be a mellow easy going child too.

Or not. But still, she's three (tomorrow) and I need to remember that threes are just a handful. On the grand scale, she's actually pretty cooperative and has surprising self control.

I'm actually feeling very clever right now. My boss (I have a new job working in a preschool) was giving some instructions for dealing with inappropriate behaviors from one of our kids at school. I realized I could use the same drilling technique with Noodle to avert bad behaviors. So when I really want to make my point with her, we repeat the desired language (eg: "Can I play with that please?") over and over and over. Followed with praise. I modified this with another technique recommended for use with the kids: physical prompts rather than verbal prompts. I'm tired, really really tired, of asking Noodle to say something nicely, or say please. So now, if she forgets, I hold up one finger. She often stops, mid-sentence, calms her voice out of a whine, adds please. If she simply says, "Please" I rotate my finger in a circle to indicate I want the whole sentence.

And it's working. No really. It's working.

I've also gone back to quick implementation of time-outs with the 1-2-3 warning. Usually she just needs a "One" to modify her behavior. She's such a good girl.

Of course, since hitting gets her an automatic time-out, it's hard to warn her ahead of time with that behavior. But I can only be so much of a genius at a time.