16 August 2011

toddlerville: where we are

muir woods

When Jacky gets older, will he read this blog? Chances are, with the indelible nature of anything released into the interwebs, the answer is Oh Yes. Sometimes I think about that. I try not to publish too many embarrassing photos or descriptions, as I just *know* kids are being taunted at school this very moment for parental oversharing.

Anyway, part of the reason I keep writing this blog is that it's simply a record. Where we're at. I cherish my simpler, less self-aware 1970s upbringing, but part of me wishes my parents had created this type of artifact. It's so easy to forget... but, like an elephant, the internet never forgets.

Here's a little sampling from Jacky's land.

:: hello terrible two's? ::

First, I don't love this term. Yep, the screaming and frantic yes/no/yes/no business is quite terrible to be on the receiving end of... but, really. There must be a better term for this stage which I feel is, at its heart, all about a transition. Because, like the teen years, isn't toddlering a stage of intense change and in-between-ness? Not that the rest of life isn't. Well, it hit us FULL FORCE last week. Yep, last week. Jacky has been two for a long while, and while he has been going through the usual amount of stubbornness and boundary-testing, last week was a completely different animal. A startling wave of frantic crying, longer tantrums, really tough transitions between activities, just weariness for everyone. It was pretty sad to see him so agitated but wanting help. Picture screaming in protest, but burying himself in me for comfort. Push, pull.

Toby and I said, Oh. So, this is the two's. Crap. Here's my take though: he's not trying to make everything crazy. He wants to be happy and is most happy when he's feeling helpful and harmonious. He's obviously going through an intense wave of change and needs calm & constancy. (Can I recommend this wonderful book again??) We've been trying little tactics we know work for him (happy wake-up routines, zero sugar (some had crept in), more relaxed schedules, "previewing" upcoming activities and events, lots of naked time!). It seems to be working for Jacky, and this week is going much better. Fingers crossed.

:: family dinner :: 

So important, I think, and someday we'll be up to seven nights a week. Right now, we're doing this once a week, which is about right for us, right now. I think the other important thing to protect in family life is parents getting a chance to talk, have a glass of wine, cook together, put down the Goodnight Moon and focus on each other. That's the routine Monday through Saturday.

But on Sundays, lately: family pizza night! First we tried getting Jacky involved in the pizza making.... which can probably wait a little longer. Basically, he had a tough time relinquishing his "creation" so it could be cooked. You know what I mean. Tears topped the pizza. We'll try that again later. Right now, we're just working on the sitting and peacefully eating part.

pizza night chez toddler: cute chaos

:: his baby :: 

This boy loves to nurture, hoo boy. Sometimes it's his softy-frog tucked up in his shirt like he's wearing a baby carrier (awwwww), sometimes he's the one getting "big boy swaddled" again. But this boy is nutty for babies... when we're out and he sees one, he gets all squirrelly, silly and shy, all at once. It's hilarious. And, this morning, he was mumbling something about a little sister. Gulp. I said, "Um, do you want a little brother or sister, Jacky?" He said, "Yeah, think a sister. Because they really like hugs."  !!!!!!!

:: straddling potty land :: 

The potty work continues. We're in that in-between land of only sleeping with diapers, and diaper-free all day. So, it's cool! Getting there.

:: imaginary, actual friends ::

Overheard recently: [pretend phone to ear] "Hello, Woo-Seal? Think you and Timmy can come over to my house today. OK?"

Me: "Did you just call some friends?"

J: "Yeah. Woo-Seal is going to come over. But Timmy said no he's busy."

Man, celebrities.

a closer inspection

:: actually, sometimes... not always :: 

Current favorite words. Don't you love those kids that use "actually" in long explanatory sentences?... so cute and slightly nerdly. Love, love, love.

And, say you ask J a question like this: "Hey, Jacky. Do you like to shovel sand at the beach?" J: "Um, yeah. Sometimes... not always." I die.

Well, that's where we are. Where you at?

follow me home mama


  1. love it. i wish my mom would have written this stuff down. instead she says we were perfect and painless...angel babies. time can do funny things to the day to day life we live.

  2. oh dear. SO dear.
    all of it.

    i can't wait for dylan to help in the kitchen but i totally hear you about readiness!

    rad about the potty... would love to hear how you got started with that sometime...

    "just in case" is d's favorite new catch phrase... oh golly it's cute. sometimes the context makes sense and other times it totally doesn't at all... either way the cuteness breaks my heart!


  3. It sounds like you are such a thoughtful mama. Thanks for that book suggestion-- I looked at that a while back and couldn't remember the title. Another one that I really love is *Playful Parenting* by Lawrence Cohen.
    Wait 'til the 3s!
    @Desi: of course you were a perfect angel baby ;)


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