Reading at Daycare

Since they mentioned at Little Prince’s Parent-Teacher’s Night that we could come in and read to the kiddos right before their lunch time, I wanted to do it. So as soon as they put up the sign-up sheet, I signed up for the very first slot.

So today I showed up at LP’s daycare around 11am. The kids were just coming in from outside and were all going to the potty and washing their hands. LP was super excited to see me. He took my hand and led me over to the rug where the teachers/adults sit and then went to sit at his place on the rug. I was really impressed with this because I thought he’d want to sit by me. Soon I was surrounded by almost 20 three-year-olds with their full attention focused on me. We read three books. LP had asked for Mama’s Milk and Cinderella. I figured if I had to read Cinderella, then I was going to read The Paper Bag Princess too.

The kids seemed to like Mama’s Milk. I made sure to name all of the animals and their babies and we all counted how many babies each one had. I did skip the facts page at the end since the pictures on that page are very small. But I did ask LP what color kangaroo milk is (it’s pink!).

cinderellaI think the kids were pretty familiar with the story of Cinderella. They seemed to like it. At least they were quiet while I read it, mostly.

I really enjoyed reading The Paper Bag Princess. Then again, I always enjoy reading that book. There’s a girl in LP’s class named Elizabeth. The very first line is “Elizabeth was a beautiful princess.” When I said that, I then asked if anyone was named Elizabeth. She got so cute and shy when I called her out. I hope I didn’t embarrass her. I got the kids involved in the story by having them help knock on the door and by breathing fire. It was super cute. And when I yelled “Hey Dragon,” they all yelled it right after me. I think that LP’s teacher really like the book. She said that she wouldn’t get married to Ronald either.

After that I had about 5 minutes to kill until lunch time. The teachers asked me if I wanted to tell a story. So, with LP on my lap, I told the story of when he was only about 6 months old and picked out his Cthlooloo doll from the Dragon’s Lair.

Unfortunately, when it was time for me to go, LP didn’t want me to leave and had a total break down. Everyone else was waiting for him so they could start lunch. I’m sure as soon as I left, he was fine and probably at everything no problem.

paperbagThings I learned for next time:

  1. When they say they want you to read from 11-11:30, they mean it so bring a few extra books.
  2. Having almost twenty pairs of three-year-old eyes on you is very nerve-wracking.
  3. Making sure that you’re holding their attention, that everyone can see the book, and that you are reading the book well is even more nerve-wracking.
  4. Using the “I like the way so-in-so is sitting” works amazingly well for getting them all to sit down.
  5. Prep kiddo more beforehand for the leaving after reading part.
  6. Have one of the teachers take a picture.

I can’t wait to do it again, but I’m going to be good and let other parents have a chance before I volunteer again.

Parent-Teacher Night

Last night KR came over to watch Little Prince and Darius and I went to LP’s daycare’s Open House/Parent-Teacher night. They didn’t communicate about it well, so there weren’t a lot of parents there. The only other parent set who came (as opposed to just a mother or a father) brought their kiddo, even though they weren’t supposed to. Anyway, we went over his school/classroom rules (which most of us already knew or partially knew) and then the lead teacher of his room took us around the room and showed us some of the material and work the kids do. I could tell the teacher was very nervous talking to us as she kept jumping around during the first part of the presentation. The second part definitely went on too long. While it was really nice to see the different kinds of work the kids do and how they use the materials, she had an urge to show us everything. I’ve noticed this trend with my own mother, who is also a Montessori teacher. Once they start showing you the work, they have an urge to do the entire lesson. Which is great, because it means that they really know how the material/lesson works, but can become tedious for adults who get the concepts and want to move on. I could tell that Darius was getting annoyed, but when I mentioned to him how hard it is for a Montessori teacher to only give part of a lesson, he totally got it. Anyway, I could tell that his teachers really know what they are doing when it comes to the Montessori work and that they really love working with the kids.

At the end of the presentation, they mentioned that parents can come in on Fridays and read to the kids. OMG, I’m so excited about this. Of course, I had to stop myself from thinking about how many subversive books I can read before I get asked not to read anymore :). But I really do love reading out loud and when I can fit it in around my work schedule, I’m totally going to try to come in and read.

I’ve been thinking about Little Prince’s daycare a lot, especially since he’s been there over three years by now. There are some things I really love about it. There are some things I don’t like (the uniforms, the no home-cooked goodies). Overall I would say that I like his school enough not to be looking for other places to put him but I don’t love it. He’s happy there, he seems to be thriving, and has some very good friends in his class. And that’s what’s really important.

Weaning, Potty Training, and Moving Up

Lots and lots has been going on in our lives, so I don’t have a lot of time to post. Little Prince has definitely had a lot going on as it comes to milestones as well.

Weaning

No, Little Prince isn’t done with his mommy milk yet, but it is getting less. In the weeks leading up to his third birthday we talked a lot about how when he turns three he’ll only get mommy milk in bed. The day before he turned three we had our very last post-daycare/post-mommy getting home from work breastfeeding session. It was really bittersweet for me because we’ve always done this since LP started daycare. It’s been our way to relax and reconnect, even as the sessions went from nurse-napping for 45 min – an hour down to three-five min a side.

Very last post-daycare and work breastfeeding session.

Of course the next day when I reminded him that now that he was three we only nurse in bed, he immediately said that he was tired and that it was bed time. I didn’t fall for it. Since then, he’s tried that a few times, but it hasn’t worked and he usually doesn’t ask for mommy milk during the day at all. That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t try to put his hand down my shirt all the time. ~sigh~

Night weaning is also (mostly) complete. Sometimes when he comes into our bedroom in the middle of the night he’ll ask for mommy milk, but when I say no, he usually just snuggles in and falls asleep. Most nights he just falls asleep. Of course, since I’m no longer dream-nursing him before I get out of bed in the morning, now when he wakes up he wants “wake-up milk,” but that’s usually no longer than 10 minutes or so total (weekends are lazy and a different story).

At bedtime, he always asks for mommy milk, but sometimes he forgets to at first while we’re reading a book. Lately he’ll sort of pop on and off as we’re reading. When the lights go off, he’ll rarely fall asleep nursing, usually only if he hasn’t napped that day. Some nights he’ll stay on one side until Darius comes in to take over after 30 min. Some nights he’ll flip back and forth, and some nights he’ll nurse for a while and then pop off and try to settle down himself. It’s hard to predict what he’ll do on any given night, but he almost never seems upset when I take the milk away. So that’s good.

I think given his druthers, he’d probably breastfeed more often that I let him. If he sees me topless, he’s likely to say “nom nom” or make motions toward my breasts or something like that. When I asked him recently how long he’s going to have mommy milk for, he said until he was five. Now, I’m all for full-term breastfeeding, but I’m pretty sure at this point that I’d be a lot happier with fully weaning closer to 3½ than 5.

Potty Training

Well, Little Prince has been mostly in underpants for three months now. He’s had very very few pee “oopies.” He’s at the point where, except for overnight and for naps at school, he doesn’t wear diapers at all. And he’s stated that he’d rather wear underwear than diapers.

To help with potty training, we got him a Kiddyloo potty for upstairs and one for downstairs.

Kiddyloo

I really like them for a few reasons. They let him climb up onto the toilet easily, they give him somewhere to put his feet so they don’t dangle and he feels more secure, he can stand up on the step to pee in the toilet that way (he only has a few times), and they fold up really easily when an adult needs to use the toilet.

The problem we’re running into with all of this is that with the exception of a very few times, he refuses to poop in the potty. That’s not quite accurate. It’s more like if we catch him before he has to go then he’ll go in the potty. If we don’t, then he’ll come tell us as soon as he’s finished (which is better than not telling us at all, I guess). So we’ve started a potty chart. Every time he poops in the potty he’ll get a sticker. When the sticker covers the present, he’ll get the present.

potty chart

He gets the concept of this and was super excited to receive his first sticker…but it still hasn’t made much of a behavioral change. Hopefully with time he’ll figure it out. In the mean time, we’ll just keep doing lots of laundry. I swear, that boy has 16 pairs of underpants, but between having extras at school, having extras in his backpack, and going through two or three (sometimes) a day, I feel like we’re always running out of underpants for him.

Moving Up

We got the notice last week that Little Prince is transitioning up to the next classroom at daycare this week. Was a little confused about this as he’s only been in his current room for about four months and I thought that they had to be potty trained to move up. But apparently his teachers say that he can do the work. And when he was visiting the room yesterday he actually pooped in the potty there, which they also say sometimes happens; the kids just get it in the next room. He already has friends in that room and some of his other friends will be moving up around the same time, so I think he’ll be happy. It still just struck me as a little strange.

Also in moving up news, LP’s feet grew a lot recently. At the start of this summer he was in 6.5 sized shoes. About a month ago one of his 6.5 pairs didn’t fit well anymore and I started to notice that his toes were getting close to the edge of his size 7 sandals. So we went by the shoe store and his feet were measuring 7.5 range. We ordered 8s just to make sure he has room to grow. With feet growing this much, maybe we’re in store for a growth spurt soon.

He also had another language explosion recently and is really expressing himself and telling stories. So, while sometimes he is a very frustrating three year old, sometimes he is truly awesome and a total delight and joy. Here he is in one of his favorite games: Little Prince drives around and mommy or daddy pretend to be zombies and try to catch him. At least if the zombies ever do rise up, he’ll be prepared.

zombies

Little Prince’s Busy Day

Yesterday Little Prince had a very busy day.

It started around 7:30 with Little Prince not wanting to wake up.

Let me sleep!

After he finally woke up, we got ready to go out and got kolatchies and donuts for breakfast. Then we headed out to the park.

At the park, we met up with friends, B and R, and their daughter, EB. We got EB and LP changed into special Marvel print outfits that B had made and did a little photo-shoot with the two of them.

gbb_model_01

B runs the company Geek-A-Bye Baby and she wanted to get pictures of the overalls and the dress for her website. The kiddos did really well and had a great time. They were awesome about posing and smiling and taking pictures. They really liked it when we moved from the trees and let them play on the playground for a while.

gbb_model_02

Then we changed into bathing suits and let them run around the splash pad that was there. Ok, I ran around with them a lot too. :)

Splash Pad

After a good long time playing in the water, it was a pause for snacks, then changing back into regular clothing and back over to the park again. They played there for a little while and then it looked like EB was running on about 5% battery power, so we said our good-byes and headed home. I thought LP would fall asleep in the car on the way home, but he didn’t. He was super cranky during lunch and didn’t eat too much. We were all pretty exhausted after lunch so we all got into bed together took a 1.5 hour family nap.

Then it was time to get up and get moving again. I’d made sure to get LP’s swim suit and towel into the washer before our nap and quickly got it drying. Then we let LP watch one episode of one of his new favorite shows, Jake and the Never Land Pirates, (the other being Daniel Tiger) while Darius and I switched off showering and getting ready. Then we walked over to CR, AR, VR, and ER’s house for VR’s birthday party. There LP had fun showing off his overalls again. The party was good and low-key. All kids from VR and LP’s daycare class and two older siblings. They played in the pool and the sand-pit and ran through the sprinkler and had cake. Darius and I could tell near the end of the party that CR and AR could use some help, so we invited them back over to our house after the party was over with an offer to make dinner.

Back home I gave LP a quick bath/shower and tried to get some of the sandbox sand out of his hair, which mostly worked… We made pasta with sauce and broccoli for dinner for the seven of us. LP was annoying/funny in that toddler way, claiming that he didn’t like broccoli, but finally when I got him to eat a piece, declaring that he said that he likes broccoli and eating a few more pieces (but he only eats the stems).

After dinner, LP got to do what he really wanted to do, which was take VR out for a ride in his Jeep.

Jeep

VR was both terrified and thrilled and couldn’t quite figure out how it worked. ER had fun driving it, but at a tall 6, she almost didn’t fit. Finally it was time for our friends to go home. We let LP drive around a bit more on his own and then it was time to go inside. He played a bit more and then we got him ready for bed. I thought he would fall asleep quickly, but he didn’t. He finally did fall asleep, though.

This morning he was very hard to wake up, poor guy. I’m glad I’d washed his overalls last night, because he wanted to wear them to school this morning.

gbb_model_04

Little Prince turned 3!

On May 28, my Little Prince turned 3 years old!

Three Years Old!

At his three year doctor’s appointment he measured 24.6lbs and 34.2″ tall. Still a small guy, but growing right along his curve. His pediatrician said that he looks good and that he should be in print (seriously, if we only had time to take him on auditions, we would!).

For months now LP has been asking us for a Batman cake and a Justice League birthday party. So, on Sunday June 1, that is exactly what we threw him. I worked really hard to find JL decorations, bags, etc that included both the men and women of the Justice League together. Do you know how hard it is today to find that? Lots of eBay searching. But I think I did a good job.

We invited his whole class and some of our friends and neighbors to the party and had a great time. We rented a Justice League bounce house, which the kids (and adults) loved and was totally worth it.

Justice League Bounce House Bouncing away

My mom had gotten me the old Superman/Batman cake pan and I think that his cake turned out really well.

Batman cake

We also had push-pops to help everyone cool off and Darius made an awesome fruit salad that we served inside of the hollowed out watermelon.

LP got lots of great stuff. I think it helped that I included in the eVite a list of things that he’s currently into.

For a long time now, when LP has said he wants something, I’ve replied that I want a million dollars and a pony. So he started responded that he wants a million dollars, a pony, and Batman boots. For his birthday I got him a Darth Vader lunch box with fake money in it (a million dollars), a Rainbow Dash doll (My Little PONY), and, of course, Batman rain boots. I thought that I’d done really well with the gifts.

But Darius got LP the best gift of all. He’d saved his overtime pay for months and surprised LP (and me) a Power Wheels Jeep. See, LP has been obsessed with Jeeps lately. And he kept saying that he had a black and chrome Jeep, but it was broken and he and daddy were going to fix it. So Darius got him a black Jeep that came disassembled. And the day after his party, they “fixed” it together and then LP got to take it for it’s first ride around the cul.

Damien and Daddy put together the Jeep First drive of the Jeep

Video from the party. Blame all cheesy effects on Tante:

Lots more pictures from the party can be found in the LP’s Third Birthday Party Photo Gallery.

Teaching consent

The other day Little Prince was playing outside with our neighbor’s son, E, who is almost four and probably a head and shoulders taller than LP. E had a beach ball and the two boys were throwing it back and forth and up in the air. At some point the game became grab the ball on the ground, but really it turned into wrestling a bit. E’s mom starts up with the “Be careful of LP. He’s smaller than you.” It’s the first time I really started worrying about how others will see him because of his small size (he’s in the single digits for height and weight and always has been). I’m thinking that LP can totally hold his own, especially since most of the noises coming from the boys is giggling. Then something happens and LP cries out unhappily. E’s mom repeats the “be careful with LP” line. After checking LP was fine, he was, I go over to the boys and look at them both. I tell them, “You can keep playing like that, but keep it on the grass. But if you hear ‘ouch,’ ‘stop,’ or a cry from the other one, you have to stop right then. Got it.” I’m not sure they totally did, but they went back to playing. And there were a few cries and we had to remind them to stop at that moment, but mostly they were silly and happy and giggling.

playingwithE

Yesterday when I was dropping LP off at daycare, one of his good friends was not having the best morning. He went over to her and tried to give her a paint brush she had dropped, but she kept moving away from him and sort of whining. He kept trying to be nice and hand her the paint brush, but she backed away and hid behind their teacher. I went over to LP and explained to him that she seemed upset and while I know he was trying to comfort her and that she’s his friend, if she is saying no, ouch, or backing away, he needs to respect that and stop, even if he’s trying to be helpful.

And that is one of the ways I’m starting to teach my son consent at a young age.

Little Prince, now in underpants!

A few weeks ago Little Prince moved up to the next room at his daycare. The big change for this room is that they actively work to potty train the children in the classroom. Little Prince has been using the potty on-and-off since he was about 18 months old, but nothing has been super consistent. Sometimes he’s great at it and sometimes he was afraid of it and sometime he absolutely refused to sit on it. Honestly, we haven’t really been that consistent with him either. Partly because we hadn’t made the mental effort and partly (for me at least) because I wanted to wait until after our Mardi Gras trip before we did a big push. Since we got back we’ve been working on it more, but LP still doesn’t usually ask to go. It’s more of us putting him on the toilet. And the only time he’s pooped in the toilet was when I caught him mid-poop and got him on there. Still, he was really excited about that.

The other week we got the official “your child is ready to potty train” letter. In talking to his teacher, she said that he was really smart, and probably could get it quickly, so she recommended the cold turkey to underpants method. I’d been promising LP that he could have Batman underpants when he learned to use the potty. So we went ahead and ordered one package of Justice League underpants and one pack of just Batman underpants. They came in last week. We waited until this weekend to start. All last week we let him know that he’d be in underpants over the weekend.

I present to you Little Prince in his very first pair of underpants ever: Batman!

Batman Underpants

He was super excited to be in “big boy” underpants all day. On Saturday we only had one “oopsie.” It was in the afternoon and he’d refused to go sit on the potty a little while before and we didn’t push it. He was running to the door to greet V and E who came over for a playdate when it happened. I’m pretty sure we would have had a poop oopsie in the early morning, but he’d asked to keep his ‘jamas on through breakfast and so we didn’t actually put him in his underwear until after breakfast and he’d already pooped by then. On Sunday we didn’t have any pee oopsies. We did have a poop oopsie in the late afternoon. He was playing by himself and I was downstairs with my mom when Darius caught him doing his “I want to be alone” poop behavior. By the time we got to him, he’d already gone. Oops.

He went to daycare today in underpants. He’s definitely my child because as soon as he walked into the classroom he wanted to pull off his pants to show his Batman underpants to all of his friends and his teachers. We’ll see how he does today.

It seems like the biggest obstacle we have to overcome is to get him to recognize when he has to go and tell us before it happens, not afterwards. We’re working on it. Lately as soon as he pees he says, “See I told you I had to go” which is totally the opposite of what actually happened. We’ll get there.

My only sadness is that we’ll never get to put him in his Kickstarter diaper from Seams Geeky, as we haven’t gotten it yet. Oh well, we knew that might be a possibility when we funded them. Now to figure out the best way to prep prefolds, covers, and pocket diapers for storage and to figure out what we want to do with the changing table in his room.

Carnival in New Orleans

We decided that 2.75 would be the perfect age for Little Prince to experience his first Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

On Thursday, Feb 27, we got into the car nice and early and drove to New Orleans. The drive went pretty well overall. Little Prince used the potty twice on the way there, which was totally unexpected and cool. He did fight sleep for over half an hour after lunch time, which sucked. We were really hoping to get in to NOLA in time to head over to Tante’s and catch Muses, but we hit some nasty traffic in Baton Rouge and by the time we got to Grandma R’s, we were all just exhausted.

On Friday Grandma R showed us that she’d saved a huge amount of our childhood toys. Little Prince was in heaven playing with it all.

Grandma R saved our childhood toys. DJ loved playing with them.

 That evening we headed over to Tante and Bullit’s for our very first Mardi Gras parades. Darius got to learn just how stressful parking during Mardi Gras can be. We got to Tante’s, ate dinner, and then the parades started right outside her door.

A kid on his shoulders and a beer in his hand. Daddy is doing Carnival right.
Darius with a drink in his hand and LP on his shoulders.
That’s doing Mardi Gras right!

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First nosebleed

It was almost bedtime. I turned away from Little Prince for maybe half a minute. When I turned back around his nose was bleeding. It had to have happened quickly because there was only blood on him and three drops on the costume bin that’s under the window. I have no idea how it happened, but I didn’t hear LP call out in pain or fall or bang into anything. I called Darius into the room as I was dealing with LP and he was just amazing. He sat him on his lap, helped him get his head tilted down and stay that way, and held the tissues to his nose. I quickly looked up what to do with a nose bleed and when to head to a hospital. LP was very calm throughout the whole thing. He wasn’t crying out in pain or upset at being held still. I think he was a bit freaked out. To help him stay still while the bleeding stopped, we showed him some videos on my laptop, mostly the minions songs from the Despicable Me series.

After about 10 minutes the bleeding had mostly stopped and LP had two good sneezes during which no blood came out at all. I took over the holding the child and pinching the nose closed with a tissue duty and after another few minutes there was no blood at all. We praised LP for being so brave, sat him on the potty (he peed! he’s getting so much better at that!), brushed his teeth, and got him into bed. I must have fallen asleep with him because Darius had to come in and wake me up.

So that was our first nosebleed experience. We’re sure it won’t be our last. And now we know when to take a kid to the hospital for a nosebleed and when not to.

LP radio

Oh we had a morning. One of those nothing is going right sort of mornings. Little Prince rolled out of our bed and hit his head on something at 5 in the morning and wanted an ice pack and not milk and then wanted milk and wouldn’t fall back asleep. When he did fall back asleep for a bit, when i tried to move out from under him to take a shower, he woke back up. Let him watch the opening 10 min of Frozen on my phone while I showered. Nothing was right for the whole morning after that. I don’t need to go into all the details, but there were plenty of meltdowns and contests of wills. Eventually I got him changed, into his uniform, and downstairs. I still love my Scootababy because he was finally willing to nurse in it for a bit while I got our morning stuff ready to leave.

We eventually got out the door. While LP was starting the car (he likes to do this every morning), I contacted Kid’s Place Live (the kid’s radio station) and ask them to play a song for him. I wanted a Doubleclick’s song (it’s his favorite band), but they don’t have them in their library (yet), so my back-up song was Yoda by Weird Al. Finally got LP into his seat and got going. Turned on KPL and told him that it was the special LP station. He was still kind of pouty in his seat. As we were exiting the highway, the morning DJ said that the next song was for [LP] in Austin, Texas and they put on Yoda. When I pointed out that it was the LP station because they just said his name and he was in Austin, TX and listen it’s the Yoda song he loves, he got the biggest grin on his face. He told me that I could sing along to Yoda but not Princess Elsa. He also (as always) got excited with the song mentioned Darth Vader. We got to school just as the song was ending. He then proceeded to tell the director and his teachers at school how the LP radio played Yoda just for him. It really made his morning. :)

Now if only I could get them to play the Doubleclicks.

How old is Damien?
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