Tag Archives: toddlers

When your littles share a bedroom…

There are so many upsides to having the boys share a room. They play with all the same toys anyway. It feels like they are practically in the same size clothes. “Kid stuff” is mostly contained in one room of the house, rather than stashed in every nook and cranny. I believe it helps promote learning to share and respect and play and work together. Bonding. Yup, lots of reasons.

But there are also a couple of downsides.

Today at lunch Judah was yawning and ready for bed. Soon after he finished I changed him, read the boys stories, and put them in bed.

Several minutes later I heard giggling and slapping. I peeked in the door to see Judah on his knees, rocking side to side, slapping his thighs, grinning and “singing” loudly. (My kiwi friends will be pleased to know that I’m almost positive he was doing the “haka”.)

He was happy as a clam and hyper as a… a… I don’t know. A kid who ate fruit loops for lunch? (He didn’t, by the way.)

Of course Levi finds this hilarious so he is in his bed copying and laughing, until I open the door when he dives for cover and pretends to be sleeping.

Most days I’d work really hard to get the boys both sleeping at the same time (they really do need it, and so do I) but every once-and-a-while I just don’t bother. I figure – they’re happy and they will have days where they wind each other up too much. As long as they stay in there and give me some space, I can deal with a few shrieks of laughter and harmless “naughtiness” during nap time. They’ll go to bed early tonight and I’ll cross my fingers that there won’t be too many melt-downs in between.

And I must admit, it’s kind of fun to snoop through a cracked door and watch the boys bonding and having so much fun… even if it is during nap time.

 

Q for you: Did you share a room growing up? If so, do you have fond memories of it? If you have kids, do they share?

 

Love,
A

 


Would you pay someone to potty train your kid?

A friend of mine posted on her facebook about services she heard of where they will potty train your kid for you. The cost ranges from $400 for a week to $700 an hour. (What??!)

I think this is tragic.

Potty training is such a personal process and achievement for our littles.

They trust us to help them learn. They need our encouragement. They look to us for affirmation. They deserve our respect.

As parents it’s our role to guide them through this personal transition.

I don’t have a problem with other close adults helping (grandma, etc.), but to hire a service to come in and do it for us like we’d hire out our lawn maintenance or housecleaning? (I’d totally pay for a cleaner if I could afford it!)

But contracting out potty training?

Wrong. I just think it’s seriously wrong.

I understand that many parents are daunted by the task (I was one of them), but that doesn’t justify delegating it out to a stranger.

Imagine how the child must feel to have a stranger come in and direct this personal of rite of passage. (So disrespectful.)

We hire trainers for our dogs perhaps, but not for our small children.

Potty training, manners, character, life skills – all of this should be taught first, and foremost in the home by the parents. (And reinforced elsewhere like church, day care, school, therapy, or whatever.)

Let’s not abdicate our role as parents, even when it’s inconvenient or hard.

Geeze.

 

STOP.

 

Q for you: Come on parents, tell me you’re with me on this one. Would you ever hire someone to potty train your kids if money weren’t an issue?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


*Poof* Out of nowhere

The kids are both in a phase right now where they’re literally amazing us every single day.

It’s like they wake up and think… what new thing can I get up to today?

Levi spouts out new words as if he’s always said them.

“Oh, it’s windy!” he said the other day when we got out of the car.

All I could do is look at him and say, “yes, yes it is windy.”

We didn’t teach him that word – at least not in the repeat-after-me-I’ll-name-it-for-you kind of teaching.

He just learned it by picking it up.

A small example, but every day now he says many, many things along these same lines.

Seeing that little brain just explode with information and vocabulary is seriously awesome to me.

Not to mention potty training. By two hours into it he was already telling us when he had to go. And after the first two days he was waking dry from naps. And this morning (day five) he woke dry from overnight.

Hello, we aren’t even training him for overnight yet. We’ve kept him in diapers at night! Obviously he’s training himself. Smart cookie.

And Judah’s the same.

All of a sudden today he just stood up on his own and stayed there for seconds before falling. He didn’t pull himself up on anything, didn’t have assistance, he just stood.

At eight months old (yesterday) he’s seriously freaking me out the way he’s determined to move along. No doubt he’ll be an early walker.

And I guess that’s the thing with milestones. There’s all this developmental work in the background that’s going on that you can’t see… and then one day *poof* – it’s as if their skill emerges out of nowhere.

I wonder how much of that we lose as adults, obsessed with finding the quickest solutions and shortest routes to success. We want to skip straight to the results and rarely give time to work hard and build behind the scenes where no one can see us or where there’s nothing to show for our hard work and investment.

Or maybe that’s just me?

In any case, I’m completely astounded with my ambitious little boys at the moment.

They are so entertaining. And so fun to watch and learn from.

STOP.

 

Q for you: When’s the last time you witnessed a skill emerging from what seemed like thin air? (In an adult or a child.)

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Gush gush

It’s far too late to be writing anything coherent tonight, but I’ve just now finished a few hours worth of editing my last two months of photos. (Otherwise known as deleting about five thousand similar shots of blurred little people.)

Oh, it feels good to finally be caught up on that little area of my life. (Prepare for an onslaught of Booker boys on facebook over the next week.)

I actually don’t intend to write tonight except to say this:

Lately my heart is bursting for my little boys.

Obviously I always love them (and would probably always say something similar), but at the moment they are just killing me with the cute. And the new skills. And the personality.

Everything.

Gush, gush, gush, I could write a massive old gush. (But I won’t. I’ll save that for their personal blogs that I write without succumbing the world to.)

And since it’s approaching the coach-turning-into-a-pumpkin hour, I will just finish by saying this:

My eyes are heavy but my heart is full.

Thankful, I am.

STOP. (early)

 

Q for you: Are you an out-loud gusher? Or do you prefer to just reflect internally on your emotions?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


The making of a backstory

I learn so much from my kids.

Both of the boys are at ages where they’re rapidly changing at the moment – Judah in all his babyness (one milestone after another) and Levi in the midst of his toddler vocabulary explosion.

Although he’s been sitting up for a good six weeks now, just today Judah got himself up into the seated position (from laying down) all on his own. It was fun to watch, and looked completely effortless and natural.

And every day Levi says new things as if he’s been saying them all along. (Love the seemingly easy flow of words that pour out in every day conversation.)

So I’ve been thinking about these developments that seem to apprear out of nowhere.

Of course we know that there’s been lots going on behind the scenes to get them to the point of being able to sit up or articulate or whatever other development it is, but it’s easy to forget the backstory and just get swept away in the it-happened-just-like-that front end of the story.

It’s caused me to think about my own growth as an adult.

How many tiems to I get frustrated with myself when the results don’t come immediately? When the improvement isn’t overnight? When it seems like nothing visible is happening?

And yet, there’s always a back story.

There’s always a strengthening, a preparation, a foundation-laying that needs to happen first.

Pouring concrete into giant holes isn’t sexy, skyscrapers with shiny windows are.

And as cliche and over-used as the analogy is, the tallest buildings have the deepest, most grueling-to-lay foundations.

There’s a whole lot of backstory to be developed before the world sees those 78 flashy stories.

And so it goes with our lives.

STOP.

Q for you: Do you ever feel frustrated when you’re in the foundation-laying stages and just want to get on with the building of skyscrapers? Or are you grateful to be living the “backstory”?

Love,
A

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Passing over (chaos) and holy communion

I imagined that tonight I would write something about Passover after returning from a beautiful feast put on by our YWAM community.

Something deep and spiritual and lovely.

And yet truthfully? My family adn I showed up ten minutes late after frantically tying sheets on like togas and forgetting the baby food and tripping over all sorts of unfinished business around hte house.

The beautiful meal was all laid out for us, adn many had taken great care in preparing the food and atmosphere and explanations of all of hte symbolism to help us understand adn breathe deeply, receive and have revelation.

Yet most of my evening was spent cleaning up spilled “wine” (cordial), toddler taming, and fretting about my baby’s growing over-tiredness. So much so that I was barely able to follow along with much of hte flow of hte evening.

Despite my lack of “passover-ing” I had a beautiful moment of catching up with an old friend who I haven’t seen in four years. In hushed tones while the program went on we swapped stories of life – triumph and victories as well as struggles and hardships – adn then spent a few quiet moments praying for each other.

“Were we supposed to be having communion?” my friend asked me.

The truth is, we were having communion – sharing the reality of Jesus through our lives and circumstances and care for one another.

It’s Holy Week, a time for remembering Jesus – who he is and what he’s done for us. And also for remembering who he lives within… us.

STOP.

Q for you: Are you observing Passover or other elements of Holy Week?

Love,
A

Click Clink Five | Minutes a day, unedited. 
Adriel also writes (using spell check!) on motherhood and parenting at The Mommyhood Memos


Shhh… don’t tell the boys I think trains are boring

We play trains most days around here.

I have to admit, I love building the train track configurations. No two ever the same.

I get to be engineer, designer, problem solver all at once. I like the challenge of trying to make them all fit together and do fancy stuff.

When we first got the train set, Ryan proposed making a table where we could permanently set up the tracks.

I opposed the idea, mostly because of space.

But the other reason is that I think having the same old track set up (like the design the set comes with) is just boring. Don’t get me wrong, the design that the set came with is amazing. But I love the challenge of forging something new.

As much as I enjoy building the tracks, I actually do’t love playing trains as much. I mean, around and around we go. Woops, crash. Start over. I find it boring once the “creative” part is over. (Apart from the fact Levi loves it. That’s nice of course.)

I know I “should” enjoy playing trains with my boys, but really, I’d much rather build legos or read stories or do coloring or playdough.

Thankfully, every train session frist starts with designing and building the tracks. Fun times.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you steer your kids toward play that you enjoy or do you let them take the lead?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.
Adriel also writes (using spell check!) on motherhood and parenting at The Mommyhood Memos


Rejected, again.

I love my son so much.

The cliche rings true – I’d give anything, do anything for him.

I spend my days considering him, caring for him, providing for him, nurturing him, teaching him. Basically giving him everything I can so that he will know he’s loved and valued and respected and know that life is good.

So days like today, when I go into his room after a nap and he immediately melts into a raging fit becuase I’m not daddy? That’s kind of a kick in teh gut.

Because son, don’t you know how much I love you? How much I give you? How much of my very being is wrapped up in being your parent? Don’t you know I give almost 24/7 of time and energy for you???

It’s tough. Giving so much only to be met with rejection.

And it makes me think of Father God.

How much does he love? Give? Sacrifice? Provide? Teach? Guide? Care? Invest?

Over and over again he gives himself to us.

And yet over and over again he is rejected, or ignored, or simply counted as second priority (or third or fourth or…).

How much of my actions and choices must sadden him? The one who loves me so completely and yet demands nothing in response.

And today I choose to think about him and acknowledge his love for me, of which I’m still learning so much about.

Thanks Levi, for helping me to remember how amazing Jesus is. (And maybe you could htink about being a little nicer toward your mama tomorrow?)

*sigh* Toddlers.

STOP.

 

Q for you: We all know how much it hurts to be rejected. Are you wallowing in rejection right now? Or are you choosing to not let it dictate your life or rob you of your joy?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.
Adriel also writes (using spell check!) on motherhood and parenting at The Mommyhood Memos


WWJD in the face of a messy toddler meltdown?

I try not to talk too much about parenting on this blog, because that’s what my other one is for.

But… I’m a mom and I spend a lot of time with the littles. A lot. So of course they occupy much of my headspace. And of course my headspace it’s what ends up here on this paper space. Er, web space.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I parent in two areas: discipline and getting my baby to sleep. naturally those are the two issues that I’m most immersed in at hte moment – helping Judah’s basic needs to be met (feeding, sleeping, and cuddles), and helping to shape the foundation for our parenting philosophy and style in the area of disicpline (helloooo, little toddler!).

And since I’m a Christian, I’m asking myself this question a lot: how does God parent me? (Because that should shape how I parent my littles.)

To put it in today’s (cheesy, over-used) terms: Would Would Jesus Do when dealing with a tantrum? or a fussy baby? or being woken up at night? Or food landing anywhere but the little one’s mouth?

I try to imagine Jesus dealing with a toddler in teh midst of a meltdown over toppled blocks and wonder… would he sweep the kid off to a time out? Would he use stern words? would he give him a giant hug? Would he remove a priviledge? would he distract? Would he spank? (Oh, the controversy these responses stir up!!!)

So many questions.

Of course i don’t know all of hte answers. And I can only imagine what Jesus would actually do.

But I do have expereince of how God’s treated me as an “infant” Christian. He was always so gracious, so kind, so slow to anger. His rebuke never felt stern. I can never remember him barking orders. I don’t recall him demanding obedience or punishment. I don’t remember him even removing “privileges” so to speak.

I just remember him loving me. And trusting me. And giving me opportunity and responsibility and the chance to make a difference.

ANd as I grew to love him and know him back, my desire to obey and serve and be like him just naturally followed.

I grew to love what he loves and live by his value system.

Doesn’t mean he never corrected me along the way.

But when he did correct (and still when he corrects me now), he does so gently and with respect.

Often he even whispers, nudges, suggests a better way.

And his boundaries are clear and unchanging and set up for my own good. (And even bring freedom – what a concept.)

How does this translate into how I parent my littles? How does this translate into that moment – life in teh eye of a tantruM?

That’s where the rubber really hits the road.

These are my questions… These are my thoughts…

This is my parenting being shaped.

So. Much. To. Learn.

STOP.

 

Q for you: How does your faith shape your parenting?

 

Love,
A

p.s. Yes, I did go over time on this post. Like a whopping two minutes or something. Yikes, you’d think in two minutes I could have at least fixed up some of those typos! 😉

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


And then he threw up on me

It wasn’t like him.

Wanting to be held. Sitting still. Needing mama so much.

I knew he wasn’t feeling well today… but today was the first day he was able to articulate what was wrong.

His tummy hurt.

Poor little guy.

He pointed to his chubby little tum and said “owie” and got a really, really sad face.

And then he threw up on me.

Ok, he didn’t really throw up on me. (But that would make for a better story, wouldn’t it?) He just threw up on himself and on the floor.

he did, however let me hold him and rock him to sleep for a second nap. (He hasn’t taken two naps a day for a year.)

I was only wishing that my day wasn’t so busy, that Judah wasn’t also out-of sorts and needing to be held constantly.

How wonderful it would ahve been just to hold him, cuddle him, and stay there until he woke up. (My first baby.)

But dinner was on the stove. Judah was crying. Life was still happening.

So I had to put him down to sleep on his own, rub the tired from my own eyes, step up to the plate, and be mom. (Make it all happen.)

And now that he’s all tucked up in bed for the night, all I really want to do is go scoop him out again and sit there with him in my arms, burying my face in his messy hair.

My baby let me rock him so sleep today.

I never did get to fulfill my promise to him to splash around in the pool, even though I wore my swim suit all day long.

I hope he feels better tomorrow. (If so, we’ll try again for the pool.)

I also hope he’ll let me cuddle him again too.

STOP.

 

Q for you: When is the last time sickness threw you for a loop?

 

Love,
A

P.S. Happy Valentines Day.

 

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.