Toddler Tenderness

Does your baby have an object he loves?

My son is obsessed with toothbrushes. I’ve had to move my husband’s and mine out of the drawer in the bathroom where I’ve kept them for years, because he goes and gets them – and then brushes everything with them.

He will take the tube of toothpaste and pretend to squeeze some out onto the toothbrush. Then he waves it around vaguely near his mouth, probably thinking he’s brushing his teeth. Then he’s off and running with the toothbrush firmly clenched in his chubby little hand.

He now has about 3 toothbrushes stashed around the house and car. He carries one with him into my older son’s preschool during drop-off and pick-up. (The teacher said he could be obsessed with worse things, right?)

I’ve heard of babies having strange loveys: a water bottle (oh that crinkly sound!). A shoe. But I’d never seen it for myself. My first baby never became attached to anything in particular.

But as is often the case, my second baby is SO different from the first.

The foam baseball bat was the first lovey to go everywhere with him. Then when that went missing, it became a bubble wand.

We tried getting him attached to a proper lovey. He had a little plush frog that attached to his pacifier that he was supposed to form an emotional bond with. (It was supposed to help wean him off the pacifier. You just remove the paci and hope they’re happy with only the frog. My son just laughed as he tried to suck on the spot where the pacifier had been attached. And then cried for the real thing when he really wanted it.)

That frog has hopped off somewhere and my son could care less. So now we’re going with toothbrushes. At least he doesn’t want to sleep with it!

What about your kids? What do they have for loveys?

Healthy Family & Home

What lengths do you go to protect your kids from germs?

When I pick up my older son from preschool, I always bring his little brother with me. Sometimes I let the little one check out the toys and books in the play area.

The other day, my toddler was carrying around a book and occasionally putting the corner to his mouth. I was only taking a moment to jot down a note for the teacher, so I knew he wouldn’t get far. But a concerned mom walked over to him, took the book from him, and said, “I don’t think you really want that in your mouth.”

germ

 

I’m not really sure what she meant – was she genuinely concerned that my son was getting into something that might be dirty? Or was she worried he might pass his germs on to other kids there?

Either way, I hadn’t been that concerned. I just am not that worried about everyday germs. I’d go crazy trying to keep everything from my toddler’s mouth.

My older son knows to cover his mouth with his arm when he has to sneeze or cough. He automatically washes his hands after going to the bathroom. Those are the bare minimums for keeping your germs to yourself, and at four years old, he does pretty well.

I also cancel playdates if he’s sniffly or coughing, even if he is in good spirits with no sign of fever. But beyond this, we don’t go out of our way to do much to keep germs at bay.

I’ve also found it impossible to keep the brothers’ germs separated.

Little brother just wants to test out everything with his mouth, including big brother’s straw, snack leftovers, and even his baseball bat. And with two kids, there’s just no way I could keep everything out of his reach.

Worst of all, this has been big brother’s first year in preschool, so he has caught everything. Strangely enough, the little brother has rarely come down with even a stuffy nose.

We were pretty picky around the house when they were newborns, though.

We were especially protective when they were first born, as they were premature and the doctor warned us about the potential dangers of catching a cold with their immature immune systems. But when they’re that small, it’s so much easier to shield them from everything.

How about you? What lengths do you go to keep germs at bay around your kids?

Newborn Madness

Does your baby look like you? Does it matter?

The blogger and her familyA neighbor once told me very directly – almost accusingly – “You know, your son looks nothing like you.”

It hurt a bit. I’m not really sure why. It’s a fact, after all, sort of like saying “his hair is brown”.

I know we don’t look alike at all. I love that he looks like a complete, tiny replica of my husband.

Yet there’s a nagging feeling that our son is mine, too, so why can’t anyone see me in him? (It’s there! Really, if you look closely, you can see he has a small patch of red hairs, maybe 5 or 10, right in the midst of his deep chocolaty brown head of hair.)

As fate would have it, our second son looks just like me. In fact, the nurse in the hospital referred to him as a “little white boy”, pretty much counting out my husband’s Indian heritage.

My husband figures that the first child always looks like the father, at least at first. It’s an ancient evolutionary fact, he says, that keeps the dad around. The thought is that if the child looks like the dad, it serves as confirmation he’s the real father, preserving the family.

I’m skeptical. I don’t know that you can tell who a newborn looks like. Though I’m a mother two times over, most newborns look the same to me. It’s after a few weeks when their features start to become more distinct, I feel.

Regardless, now my husband and I joke that we each have one. The funny thing is, though, the little boy who looks like his dad seems to have his mom’s personality while the one who looks like mom acts like dad through and through in his mannerisms.

And in the end, it doesn’t matter one bit who each of our children looks like. We love them just the same and wouldn’t want them to look any different.

What about your family?

Healthy Family & Home

When Mommy is sick – what happens in your house?

Moms run the universe, and everyone finds this out when Mom gets sick. At least in our house they do. How about in yours?

What happens in your house when Mommy is sick?

  1. Not much differently – she takes whatever medicine she can and ploughs through it all in a fog.
  2. The babysitter and a maid are called in (otherwise known as grandparents and willing friends to some) while Mom gets much needed rest.
  3. Daddy takes over and most things happen as they need to (well, except for the massive cleanup required upon Mom’s recovery).

I found out that ours is a Type C household recently.

I came down with a stomach virus that knocked me off my feet for about 36 hours. I almost never get sick, THAT kind of sick, so I was pleased, grateful – and also vaguely unaware (at the time) of just what a great job my husband did taking care of the kids.

He did exactly what was needed to keep the kids safe and happy – all I could have asked for.

When Daddy takes over                                                                

My husband is not the sort of guy who comes home from work, juggles two whining kids, cooks dinner and ushers in bath and bedtime all by himself normally. (I know they're out there!)

While he has strategies for when he has to care for both at the same time, he’s never done it for more than two or three hours at a time – and usually one is sleeping.

I spent the entire Sunday in bed, delirious and shivering under mounds of blankets. My husband scrounged leftovers from the fridge for lunch, ordered dinner out for a special treat, and made sure he and the kids ate well. He had them bathed and in bed on time. There were few tears throughout the day, and both kids had a bit of mommy cuddling time – but not too much.

I was impressed.

Granted, when I woke up nearly normal the next day, the house was in complete disarray and laundry had piled up. (I’m sure the babysitter and maid would have made an appearance had I been sick for a week.) But all in all, I was just so happy to have been able to get the rest I needed to kick that stomach bug without the stress of worrying about the kids, too.

So, do tell. What happens in your house when Mommy is knocked out?