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Entries about child

The 2 second walk...

that took ten minutes...

overcast 84 °F

It took me literally ten minutes today to walk with my two year old son to the car. Actually, it was eleven. I try to follow the principle of 'letting your child lead'. Not necessarily because I am that enthusiastic about wanting him to explore every last detail; but more importantly, because it is generally easier at this point than if I lead him to the car, kicking and objecting. As a two year old, it seems to be his job to want to do everything himself, to object to my outstretched hand, and to deny me the simple luxury of walking in a straight and purposeful direction. He wants to question, to figure things out, to try something again and again until he gets it right, and in his words, to "just go see it".

So today, we absolutely had to leave the house with the most giant beach ball we have, and bounce and kick it down the sidewalk to the street. Then we had to go check out the landscapers, who are in our condo complex nearly everyday either mowing or planting or trimming. Today, they were climbing palm trees and cutting down branches. Since this is one of the more exciting of their tasks, this took us several minutes to observe, explain, and take in. Then we had to explore the garbage, which is a new favorite for my son. He asks if they are coming to pick it up. No, not today, it's too early. Let's get into the car to go to the park now, and maybe when we get back, they will come. Hmm, he ponders this for a second before asking the same question again. "Garbage - pick up?" No, honey, not today. "Dump it?" He loves the men with their orange shirts and their large forklift that comes to pick up and then dump all the garbage out of the large neon orange dumpsters at our condo. In fact when they come, he races out to greet them as if they were the ice cream truck.

Next, it is onto the mailman, and the mailbox. Again, he asks the questions. "Mailman coming?" Nope. Key? He takes the keys from my hand, finds the correct small key for our box, and pushes it into the lock. He twists and opens the door. "No mail", he states. No, OK, let's go then. We take a few steps further and have to jump a few times. Then we have to inspect some flowers and snails. He points and names them: purple (flowers), rock, snail. Finally we reach the end of the walk and climb into the car. "Turn it on?" He wants to start the car. He climbs over the passenger seat and into the driver seat. I go around and hand him the key. He again presses it into place, and with my foot on the brake, he starts the car and turns the wheel back and forth. He's so content why should I be bothered with this routine? I pick him up, and settle him into his car seat in the back, buckled in and finally ready to go.

I laugh to myself. Sometimes this waiting game is easier than others. Patience is a tricky virtue, it comes and goes like the tides. At times, I feel I can sit and enjoy his musings, and follow him to see where he goes. Other times, it is literally all my willpower not to pick him up and buckle him into the car, changing ten minutes into two seconds. I know the meanderings are actually his education, and that my need to get somewhere is often not important, so I try my best to go with the flow and let him explore. The old adage 'life is a journey, not a destination' is definitely written by someone who spent time with a toddler... it doesn't hurt to see the world from their point of view every once in a while. Who knows, if your mind is open, you may actually discover something new.

Posted by globalmomma 13:50 Archived in USA Tagged home travel house child destination condo waiting journey mail patience toddler garbage point-of-view Comments (0)

A few small words...

rain 75 °F

Everyday a few small words. Another sound, another light turning on. Our toddler's mind is expanding so quickly, I feel like I can see it moving, like the tectonic plates or water boiling on the stove, it takes on this kinetic energy all its own.

He has taken to now repeating every word I say (Repeat = danger). I say, Bodhi, lets go home. He says, "go home". I say, come here, let's paint. He: "Here" "Paint". You get the picture. The other day I was cooking something on the stove, and forgot it. I said, "shoot!" loudly, and he said, shoot! shoot! Now he regularly says, "no, no, no." just like that, in a sequence of three. I thought that was the oddest thing, until I heard MYSELF yesterday. No, no, no Bodhi, don't touch that. Ohhhh, so that's where he gets that. I also realized an annoying habit I have of saying, "how about?" before I ask him anything. Because the little parrot has been asking me, how bout? how bout?

How about a trip to the park? How 'bout we go to the store? Or if we are out, I ask him, how many steps are there Bodhi? So now, he says, on his own, "how many? One, two, three...how many?"

The point is that they mimic back our own habits, our phrases, our mannerisms. This can be good, or it can be bad, but it is always, definitely, enlightening. My awareness has been raised just by his constant mirroring of my actions. I try not to judge myself, or others, too harshly for this. He doesn't, he just calls it like it is. I am amazed by his perceptiveness and his desire to know the world. I am also humbled by my ever-striving desire to do everything right, and to say all of the right things. Impossible, yes, but a goal I cannot help but strive for. It is difficult not to want to be perfect parenting, when it is the most important job you will ever have.

Posted by globalmomma 14:59 Archived in USA Tagged education child perfect repeat learning parent growth words Comments (0)

Picky Eater, Part 1

overcast 77 °F

My son Bodhi has always been a good eater. He latched on in less than an hour after birth, and took to nursing with a zealous flair. The kid knew his #1 priority, and he took it seriously. When that milk (me) came home even ten minutes late from the store, he would let me hear it. We followed the rules, breast milk only, but by 5 1/2 months, we decided to give him his first food just a little earlier than the steadfast recommendation of 6 months. He seemed so ready. He seemed hungry. He whined and reached for our forks while we ate. He wanted to nurse - almost always - just as the food was ready and put out on the dinner table. My husband would be cooking, the smell of food was in the air, and just as the food was finished and hot and I was ravenous, he would want to nurse.

We gave him his first food, avocado, and it was a moment I will never forget. "Mmmmmmm". "MMmmmmm", was his emphatic response to that. He gobbled up three bowls. 3 bowls. Not three teaspoons, as I read was the 'appropriate' amount for babies this age to want to eat, like the baby books will tell you. He literally ate an entire avocado... My husband and I laughing out loud the entire time. The only food he rejected in the entire first year of eating was green peas. And we tried a lot: beets, rutabagas, swiss chard, white beans with olive oil, lamb, basil, curry, olives, turkey, millet, apricots, pumpkin...

Anyway, as a baby, he was an enthusiastic eater. But that has all turned on its head this second year. Since he started wanting to feed himself, the options of what he can eat narrowed somewhat. Some dishes were just too messy or too difficult for him to eat himself. No more beets, no thin purees, no good healthy veggies disguised by the sweetness of fruits. So we went to finger foods, but then all meats were out due to textural issues, and all eggs too, except for hard-boiled egg whites. A protein dilemma. And almost all vegetables - except carrots, yams, corn, beets, and potatoes - (the starchy ones) - almost all others he rarely eats. Even avocado, his long-time favorite, is now rejected.

To add to the challenge, we have discovered a number of food allergies, two of which are a real doozy when trying to:
A) eat out at restaurants
B) keep things exciting and maintain variety
C) not spend his entire college fund at specialty stores

Wheat and Cow's Milk are his two sensitivities. Whenever I tell other parents this, they always ask: How did you know? Well, first, my husband and I are both naturopathic doctors, so it is literally our job to know these things. Secondly, careful observation of signs and symptoms related to foods he eats. Many people do not think to correlate the food that they eat with how they feel: headaches, skin allergies, mood swings, fatigue... all of these symptoms and more are OFTEN correlated with food and sensitivities to foods. For our son in particular, it was skin allergies (eczema) and diaper rash/diarrhea. Every time he eats dairy, he gets diaper rash. I don't believe that babies should just have diaper rash - in my medical experience, it is almost always a food sensitivity, sometimes coupled with a sensitivity to products being used, for example the wipes, lotions, or diapers. More on the naturopathic diagnosis and ways to deal with food allergies (now a major focus of my work!) in Picky Eater, part 3. :)

Posted by globalmomma 13:09 Archived in USA Tagged food child baby foods first tips eater allergies parenting picky Comments (0)

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