toddlers

Dinner Time Science and Vegetarians

The little guy has been on a vegetarian crusade for a few months now. Sausages excluded. According to toddler logic, sausages are actually vegetables. Sure, I know you can get vegetarian sausages, but to be honest I prefer my meals newspaper free.

Anyway, we were eating dinner the other night and we got to the meat issue once again. Got to say I almost felt like I was being mocked, we had been cooking a boneless lam roast in the BBQ for the last four hours, it was delicious. To us perhaps.

‘I don’t like the meat’

He says, before even having a bite. He is not usually a fussy eater by any means, but the additional chewing effort and texture of meat has just turned him off. Fair enough I guess. We are actually at a point where we allow him to chew pieces up, ‘turn them into sausage’ and spit them out. Bit of a compromise, but it is a start.

A few days previous to this occasion, I was explaining to food pyramid to him. Not to much success, but it is better to start early right? Went through a few foods he knew and explained where they fit. ‘You need to eat a balance of these because it’s good for you. That kind of stuff.

Ok, back to the lamb. My partner must have had a burst of inspiration, and in that moment explained meat contained iron. The little guy has an obsession with superheros at the moment, Ironman in particular.

Well, Ironman is made of iron. Meat has iron in it, if you want to be big and strong like Ironman, you should eat your meat.

Seemed like a valid enough idea. He took to it, kind of. We then went into a bit of a science lesson, why the fuck not. Tony Stark would have been pleased had he been there.

I explain how iron is in a thing called the periodic table of elements, and they make up everything. But they are so small we can’t see them.

‘They are like little tiny legos, everything is made of little elements, like legos’. The partners analogy was superb I think. 🙂

‘But if you look really close, you could see them’

He returns, ok we are going there. I then explain what a microscope is, and say maybe when he is a little older we can have a look at one. ‘Just like your toy pirate telescopes, but they look at little things instead.’

Don’t think we have won the meat battle, but the science crash course was good for a laugh. Who knows, he might absorb something. 🙂

Insulted by a Toddler v2.0

Such is life, I used to be a pretty active person. I have never felt the need to step foot in a gym, but we both joined the local gym last year. True to form, neither of us have been yet. (6 months later)

I did make a news years resolution to go to the gym. But this is still yet to eventuate. I am pretty happy with how I am, but you know, I miss the physical activity and I do feel it. Life just gets in the way as I’m sure you all know.

Our toddler, in all his wisdom managed to insult me again the other day. I am starting to think he does it on purpose.

So, I was getting dressed for work in the morning. He was in our bedroom with the dog, going about their usual morning routine. Now, I am the kind of person that can’t be ass’ed un-clipping my belt, un-zipping my pants etc, I just pull the bastards up and be done with it. As I begin to wriggle into my pants, he begins to laugh.

‘Dad, your butt’s jiggly’

‘It’s like jelly’

Of course, met with laughter from my partner. The fuck kid, did you just call me fat?!?

Once again, insulted by the 3ft tall midget.

Time to make good on that new years resolution…… My butt looks like jelly, god damn.

There will likely be a lesson for him out of this. Something along the lines of…. NEVER SAY THAT TO YOUR MUM dude… 🙂

Handling Toddler Tantrums – Soothing the Savage Beast

Tantrums are just a part of the deal when it comes to toddlers, and kids in general. We are lucky enough to have a pretty ‘good’ kid. Or so I’m told by my partner. Honestly, I The-definition-of-a-toddler-tantrumhave no experience with kids other than our one, so I take her word for it.

Dealing with a tantrum can be difficult. But, after this long I was pretty sure we had it down pat. A year or so ago it was much easier, but with increased mobility, vocabulary and attitude, it gets harder I think. Either way, he is generally pretty chilled, and rarely gets into full swing. In all honesty, I had seen him go maybe twice in a year.

Up until about three weeks ago.

There has been a lot of change in our house in recent times. Toddlers, like most humans, seem to be resistant to change. Maybe resistant is not the right word, but if you have one you know what I mean. A simple break in routine can cause unforeseen issues, or create a strange habit that wasn’t there before. I find it rather interesting how dramatically they can be effected by what appears to be such a small thing to us grown ups. Anyway, coupled with some changes at home, he has also just started pre-school. Exciting times.

Pre-school is more for the sociability aspect. He does not get a lot of time with kids his age, mainly cousins older than him and adults. Which is all good, but I notice when wecandh do take him to a toddler dominated environment, he is a bit hesitant. With pre-school we hope that will be addressed as he moves through life and into big school. 🙂

Anyway, back on point. Around three weeks ago, the tantrums started happening more frequently. So be it, we can deal with that. Although, something was different, they had this odd, almost violent streak to them. The screaming, the general behaviour, not like the usual stuff. This had us both understandable worried, and at the same time scratching our heads.

Is there something wrong?
Once again, as parents in our generation seem to do, we turn to the internet once again. Surely, we are not the only ones. Well, this activity kind of raised more questions than it answered. We are both discuss the toddler times pretty actively all the time, and this one had us both searching for a solution/answers. Was something wrong?

A while ago, prior to all this going on the tantrums were getting a little more frequent. So we sat down with him one day and discussed what his ‘punishments’ should be for said behaviour. My partner has always said giving him choices is a good thing. To which now I tend to agree, I think it works well giving him some control over what goes down. Anyway, the rules were set and agreed:

1. He says sorry. If the behaviour continues, move to 2.
2. He goes to his room for a short time out.
3. If he refuses to go to his room, he is taken. And must stay a little longer.

Pretty simple stuff really, but it has been effective. Should note, ‘sorry’ means he must also explain WHAT he is sorry for.

28ggdarcy-2jpg-39f615ff5416bbcaThese rules were not helping with these new age tantrums. Nothing was. He once screamed and banged on the wall etc for a good 25-30 minutes. Something had to be done.

We filmed him
Much to his distaste, we filmed him going off at full pace. Later on when he had calmed down, we showed it to him. ‘That’s not me’ he said. I think even he was a little shocked at his rage. I am pretty confident making him aware was a good step.

The Glitter Jar
Pinterest had paid off again. My partner found ‘the glitter jar.’ Designed for such uses as time out, with a spin. So one day while I was at work, they got to making one. It is simply a clear plastic jar with glitter glue and water inside. The principle is the same as an hourglass.

When he is raging, he goes to his room and shakes the jar. (bit of physical outlet) Then sits there and watches the glitter float around. When it stops, it is time to come out again.

He is a little resistant to it, but when he has used it the effect is great. Watching it soothes him, and I think being able to shake it, and have the jar as his own, still gives him control over SOMETHING. When he is no longer able to control his emotions.

For Now
For now, it is back to ok. We have also made a conscious effort to avoid things that set him off, good old misdirection etc. But at least for now, the mean streak is gone. I know it won’t be for good, but we shall see.

I think giving your kid something of their own, that they alone control, helps. The jar is a simple solution, but seemingly effective.

How do you calm down the raging beast?