Thursday, April 02, 2015

Ray's 2!

Oh god you guys, Ray turned two last weekend. What? duh? naturally time will continue to pass and kids will get older?
Here he is at the 2 year birthday party for my 'mama-tomo' babies!

I know, but jeez! he started talking (still mostly nouns and some adjectives) but in two languages! I used to know how many words he could say, but a month ago he had another vocab explosion and is chatting up a storm!
I thought that he would be harder when he's two, but honestly, the ability for him to speak allows for negotiations by both parties, and that really makes life a lot easier.
There's only really one authoritive 'book on parenting' I've been reading, Harvey Fishman's 'The Happiest Toddler on the Block' ; it has some good advice and practical examples.
I've been reading it off and on sice ray turned 1. Now he's two and I'm approaching the last few chapters, and he explains that '18 months to 2 years is a very difficult time, and around 2 it levels off, and kicks in when they turn 3 again' which would explain what I'm seeing, and also helps me breathe a sigh of relief (I get a little break!), as I was dreading the 'terrible twos'.
I turn to the next chapter about 'red light behavior' and how to respectfully discipline. he explains how to administer a Time Out. I read on in curiosity because we still haven't done any of those and I think they may come in handy in the future.
"I recommend practicing Time Outs after they come in for their first year's checkup."
crap, we're a year behind!
I think on this, there were a few times when Ray's thrown tantrums or pulled our hair, but not that often... I am trying to remember some examples.
Am I letting him have his way all the time and thus spoiling him and being a bad parent?

The night before last he screamed and cried when it was bedtime, really having at it. He was clearly upset. It was already 9:30 and past his bedtime, so we thought 'aw, poor kid, he's just tired. Let's just put him to bed.' But he was so adamant about not going to bed! Saying the same word over and over again.
I was tired and cranky, and annoyed with him, but I could tell he wasn't just stalling, he really wanted something.
"innah!! innnaaaaa!!" He is red and purple-faced with rage that I am not listening to him, glaring through his pouring tears.
Gosh, what is he...
"Takeshi I think he's saying dinner."
"what really?"
"Is it dinner? are you still hungry?" i ask ray. He is still crying but tries to nod.
so we go off back to his high-chair, where his half-eaten dinner is still there, abandoned because he climbed down and played with his toys. I had naively thought he was full!
He scarfs down the rest of his dinner and asks for seconds!! I am cranky through this whole thing but manage to get him fed.
After that he's content and goes to bed with little fuss.

There are many episodes like that, where he was screaming last night and saying something, and he wants to bring his toy car to bed. I don't let him, and the crying gets worse and worse. I give in, but tell him to hold it really close to his chest so he doesn't smack me in the face with it. (my main concern). He agrees and is pretty careful.

Daddy sometimes goes on business trips or fishing trips, so when he's sad I sing a song for him about daddy.
"Dadd's going boxing, bish bish bish!" (boxing motions)
Daddy's going fishing, fish fish fish! (fishing motions)
Daddy's going working, type type type! (typing motions)
Then dadda comes home to ray! (kiss kiss!)
This and looking at pictures seems to work.

He will run off if you let him (he got hit by a little kid on a little bicycle this weekend in the park and a big old bruise on his face!! (O_o)
update- he keeps pointing to his boo-boo and seems to have taken it seriously, and says stop! bicycle! (bap! bi-cle!) and mimes stopping and looking.
So maybe it's one of those things you have to learn the hard way. I'm just glad it was a little kid on a little bike.

...but his tantrums seem to be resolvable by compromise and trying to understand what he's talking about.
basically I decided my parenting philosophy will be:
Help him find the things he needs to do what you want to do happily. Respect his wishes and choices even if you have to say no to them. Explain why you have to say no and try to respect him when he says no, which is different from spoiling or giving in. Just think of him as a person.

Which makes me wonder if he's the kind of kid who needs time-outs, anyway?
According to another chapter, Ray is both 'easy' not too picky about most things, and 'spirited'.
He's also just such a sweetheart to everyone!

Anyways, hopefully I can keep being a good mom and Ray will keep being 'easy' ;)

Ray: "Haha, you wish, bucko"

Oh also, as promised: a comic!  I was too lazy to draw anything, but here is the template from Dinosaur Comics that I filled in and tried to make funny with a 'slice of life' observation.
Because my life is filled with dinosaurs these days, obviously. ;)  

Until next time, jya ne!