Tuesday, February 27, 2007

How to know when you have a good sitter

I have spent the last 3 1/2 years trying to find a good sitter for my son. There is never one that compares to a wonderful Grammy like mine, but of course, she isn't always available so I have to settle for the next best thing. I knew I always wanted one that would keep him safe above all else, but wouldn't it be nice if someone would really get down on the floor and play with him, read him stories or snuggle on the couch and watch a good Todd Parr DVD. In short, I wanted a loving big brother or sister to take care of my boy when I was away. Well, I came home yesterday after a long evening of soul-searching and a well-deserved break to find this picture waiting for me on the kitchen table. I asked Max who that was in the picture and he said, "The little one is Max and the big one is Bailey." Baily has taken care of my son for only one month now, but she has brought more warmth into this house than any other sitter I have ever had. It was all I could do to get Max to let her get in the car so we could take her home because in his words, "Bailey wants to stay here in our house forever." I thought I was a good judge of a sitter, but I forgot that my son is getting old enough to have his own opinion too and he has made it loud and clear. I feel so lucky to have finally found someone that has that rare nurturing quality that I so treasure and admire.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Get out of the house!

If you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed by your parental duties, get out of the house. Just pick yourself up, pack up some clothes and snacks for the kids and do something, anything to stop you from saying or doing anything else negative while cooped up inside the house because you're too tired, too broke or the new baby is too, well, new. Just get out and play somewhere and everyone benefits.

First trip to the dentist

Something about an ocean theme that just sets Max at ease. He loved the dentist, loved the cool stickers he got when he was done and since he was diagnosed with having three cavities we get to come back in two days. I'm the greatest mom ever!!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

To Binky or not to Binky

Living up to the Gaedeke name, Max expertly arranges his binkys first in alphabetical order followed by how they lie in the color wheel. Along with all the other societal pressures a parent faces, when to give up the binky now rears its ugly head. The crooked teeth controversy aside because no one can seem to agree on that one, do you wait for them to give up the binkys on their own or do you try to intervene? I realize seven at one time might be considered slightly excessive and when we're out in public he normally only has one in his possession at a time. People say, "How old is he?" and I say three and they say, "Oh, I thought he was a lot younger because of the binky." And inside my head I say, "Oh really? I thought you were a lot dumber because of the cigarette in your hand." See, here I go. I'm feeling judged so I judge right back. Doesn't really get me anywhere.
When you have a new baby, the binky seems like a good idea. Often they cry and after a diaper change, a try at feeding them and about 6 others things, you stick in the binky and wonderful silence returns once again. Pretty soon they, (and you) come to rely on the binky and if you've ever left home w/out one, you know that you either need to turn around or buy one at the first store you see. Hopefully they have the right size and color because that becomes very important as well. It seems that the yellow binkys feel very different from the orange which is different from the blue which is very different from the orange one with the blue ring. All are equally important though and Max's choice of them seems to depend on his mood and the moon's gravitational pull. My point is that I have grown to love the binky too. I see the comfort that it gives my son during times of stress or when he's tired and just needs to relax in the same way we might sit down on the couch with a good book and a cup of tea, (or a cigarette if you're a smoker. I'm ok with that really, but there is pretty good evidence that it will rot your lungs, heart and slowly kill you).
For now, I think I will take it slow and watch for signs that Max is ready to stop using it on his own. Other three year olds are not so quick to judge as we adults are so he hasn't felt the peer pressure just yet. He leaves it in the car when he has preschool because he wants the teacher to be able to understand him when he talks and he knows that the binky makes that difficult. I imagine that concept will expand to the grocery store and other outings. Kids should just be allowed to be kids. Our job is to keep them safe and love them well, their job is to play and I think all the other little details will just fall into place.
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