Friday, September 30, 2011

Working At the Car Wash

Took the kids through the car wash today. Well, I didn't put them through the car wash as much as we drove through the car wash. Anyway, they loved it, as usual. I drove up really slowly to let the anticipation build, popped the sunroof and listened for the little oooos and ahhhhhs. The cutest part for me however was listening to my son explain what was happening step-by-step to my daughter. They are truly the most adorable kids on the planet.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Little Cowboys & Indians

I am not a fan of guns. I am especially not a fan of little boys with toy guns. But, no matter how hard I try, I cannot shelter my three-year old son from them.

This evening he came home from preschool making a gun formation with his hands and shouting 'Pow, Pow!'. Naturally his little sister began mimicking him. ARRRRRRRRRRGH!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Potty Training Update

Dare I tempt fate and utter the words my son is finally 100% potty trained!? I think I will...MY SON IS FINALLY 100% POTTY TRAINED!!!!!

He did three consecutive woo woos in the potty some time ago, but would still have the occassional I'm-too-lazy-to-be-bothered accident. However, switching almost entirely to cotton underpants have diminished those significantly.

As for his little sister, she's making great progress too. She will happily deposit her wee wees and woo woos in a potty, but is dreadfully afraid of a toilet. My daughter, whose little bff calls her a superhero because of her immense upper body strength, is afraid of an inanimate object which personally brings me so much joy. Who would have thought?

As for me, I can see the end of the diaper-changing tunnel. But the hollers for me to come and wipe my butt are far from over.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Toy Story

The kids are watching Toy Story. My son is totally into it. My daughter is hard to read. I walk over and ask 'Do you like Toy Story?', to which she replies 'No, I like Woody!'. Seems crush number two has arrived. lol!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Writing is on The Wall

I can't believe my kids waited this long to become 'wall artists'. When I was their age, I was a regular Picasso.

Of course, they don't use their washable Craylola markers either. They scout out Sharpies, furniture touch-up pens, etc.

Good times.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bear Hugs and Hungry Caterpillars

This afternoon, my three-year old son was thrilled that I borrowed The Very Hungry Caterpillar from the library for him. As I was putting the DVD into the player, he ran over and gave me a colossal hug. Before tipping over, I thanked him for my great big bear hug. Confused, he pulled away, looked me squarely in the eyes and said "Mom, that was a people hug.".

'Iego

My two-year old daughter has developed her first crush...on Diego from Nickelodeon's Go Diego Go. Everything is 'Iego. So cute. I don't mind if her crushes for the next 16 years are on fictional characters.

Hey, a Mom can dream.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Three-Year Old Jokes

We're sitting at the table tonight having dinner, when out of nowhere my son declares "I smell someone's stinky!", then burst into uncontrollable laughter. He was immediately followed by the rest of us.

We later determined that no one at the table had a stinky. Guess my son was being his usual comedic self.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

An Ounce of Prevention is Better Than a Pound of Cure

Last night, a friend asked 'how's the no-shouting thing working out?'. I told her it depends on the day. Some days I don't have to shout, some days I do. And in the case of an emergency, like my three-year old about to wonder into the parking lot as I struggle to unbuckle his little sister, necessary. I don't care to be one of those hippy alternative Moms who totally refrain from shouting at their kids so as not to damage their delicate psyche...and create other problems in the process. I'm just an average Mom who loves her kids, and wants to do her best to raise them to be independent, happy and responsible citizens. To this end, I am always searching for more effective ways to discipline them.

I had more time to think about my friend's question today and a phrase from my childhood popped into mind...an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. How is this related? I need to backtrack. For the last few days, my children have been absolute angels, and consequently, I have not had to shout at all. Twice, I found myself checking their birthmarks to make sure they weren't switched with aliens.

I first noticed their improved behavior on Thursday. I had a ton of errands to run and sat them down for a chat before heading out. I explained where I had to go and why, and that I needed them to sit PEACEFULLY in the shopping carts (multiple stops), use their inside voices at the bank, and to be polite to Mommy's friend (a senior citizen who thinks they are delightful) and not run through her house like a pack of wild animals. To my surprise, they did exactly as told and as a unexpected reward, they got to browse (ad nauseum) the Halloween blow-up displays at Lowe's followed by picking chesnuts. Back at home, I thanked them for their good behavior and told them how proud I was.

On Friday, I decided to brave adventure sans my DH, and take the kids to the Peanut Boil Festival. Again, I decided to brief them beforehand on where we were going, why they had to sit in the double stroller without fighting, highlighted the bits about the bouncy castle and train rides, and most importantly, stressed when Mommy says it's time to go...its time to go. It was perfect. The crowd was manageable, the kids and I had a blast in the kiddie corner, and I actually got to shop because both darlings sat comfortably in their strollers for 'Mommy-therapy'. Two hours and too much money later, we were heading home full and tired and happy. Again, I explained to them that they were on their best behavior and I was very proud of them.

Today with DH in tow, we took the kids to the coolest spot in town, the Rec Center pool. After the requisite two-minutes of screaming once my son realized Dad let go, swimming lessons commenced and all was well with the world. Until it was time to go. I didn't brief my subjects beforehand so it took some effort - but no shouting - to get the kids out of the pool. But once I chimed in with the 'time to go' reminder, they became more cooperative.

Throughout this, several things stood out:

1. If the kids know what is expected of them, they are more likely to cooperate.
2. Obviously there is something to this 'drilling the rules' theory. E.g. when it's time to go, it's time to go.
3. If I can control my son's behavior, I can control my daughter's. She adores her big brother and follows him like a love-sick puppy. Therefore, if I can get him to sit in the cart, she sits in the cart. Etc., etc.
4. Preparing them beforehand (an ounce of prevention) is a more effective disciplinary tool than shouting or spanking them after ( is better than a pound of cure).
5. Congratulating them on their good behavior is positive reinforcement.