A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about patience

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)

25 ways to love your child...

sunny 80 °F

(1) Accept who they are, and that it is not you
(2) Nurture their talents
(3) Allow them to feel their feelings
(4) Don't rush to change their minds or make them stop crying - help them cope and feel better on their own time
(5) And teach them that you will be there for them, no matter how they are feeling
(6) Encourage and compliment them for the little things - throwing a ball, drawing a picture, saying 'thank you'
(7) Be firm about sleep - a well rested child is a happy child
(8) Make them laugh
(9) Don't put them down, build them up.
(10) Read to them, again and again...even that book that drives you insane...
(11) Give them guidelines, and be consistent
(12) Try to see the world from their perspective
(13) Spend time playing, interacting, and showing them new things
(14) Feed them healthy food, to inspire lifelong good nutrition and health
(15) Allow them to make choices: what to wear, where to go (park or pool today?)
(16) Hugs and kisses
(17) Provide activities and exercise everyday
(18) Let them make mistakes
(19) And teach them to try again
(20) Be patient with them
(21) Talk to them - explain things - they why's and how's - they understand more than we know!
(22) Support them when they try something new, or during big changes
(23) Appreciate their limitations
(24) Show them you make mistakes too, and you keep trying
(25) Believe in them

Posted by globalmomma 15:18 Archived in USA Tagged new love support accept appreciate patience Comments (0)

Picky Eater, Part 2

WAYS to get your child to eat more healthy foods and drive you less insane!

semi-overcast 79 °F

I have found as Bodhi becomes more mobile, now 22 months old and always on the go, he does not want to sit down and eat. Breakfast is OK, lunch difficult, dinner nearly impossible. What he wants is for me to follow along behind him carrying snacks, and when he reaches back, I will hadn him a few pretzels, a pack of raisins, or a few apple slices. I know grazing is good for you, but this is ridiculous. And I am embarressed to admit that I have resorted to this method on several occasions, just to get him to eat something, when he refuses to climb into his highchair. Meals have now become a lesson in negotiations and patience. Wanting him to eat something healthy, and wanting him to try what I have spent time preparing for him produce anxiety that I just am not accustomed to feeling. I find myself pleading a lot..."Please? Can you try this?"

"Yum, it's sooo good, Mama likes it!" "Please?" The airplane spoon and other such techniques simply no longer work. He wants control over this process. I want to let him decide what to eat, but dammit, I want it to be on my terms too. I believe in providing variety and letting your child try a lot of different foods, spices, and preparations to expand their tastes and experience of food - in theory. In practice, however, I find it leads to a lot of uneaten food and unnecessary prep work. Oh, and many pieces of food swiped onto the floor. Equivalent to frustration for momma.

I have heard that this is a part of toddlerhood and that the pickiness will pass. But when we go out to a restaurant and I have to order him french fries, because I know it's the only thing they have that he will reliably eat, I can't help but feel a little sense of defeat. This momma-baby food drama is definitely one area I have had to work on, and one I continue to remind myself to have a sense of humor about. Hey, I grew up eating McDonalds french fries,and I turned out fine :) My child has only had fast food one time, while stuck in an airport in Paris; he had such bad diarrhea that I or he will never do it again.
As I work through this challenge and try to get healthy food into my child, I will share some bits of sunshine and some lessons learned, to help other moms encountering toddler food strikes...

Here are a FEW TIPS I have learned along the way:

(1) EAT EARLY - when my son eats at 5-5:30, he's more likely to eat what we give him. It's important to eat at a regularly scheduled time, kids do SO much better with routine. If it gets too late before we have food on his plate, he gets fidgety and tired and that tiredness makes him less agreeable to try new things or sit still to eat.

(2) PLACE FOOD IN FRONT OF THEM IN STAGES
Start with the foods YOU want them to eat (example, steamed broccoli and roasted carrots). Provide a dipping sauce or two if necessary. Then move on to adding things you know they will eat, like turkey sausage and olives in our case. Finish with fruit or yogurt for dessert. In my experience, if you even make the suggestion for fruit, the rest of the meal is not happening. No sweet things first.

(3) DON'T EAT AS A FAMILY
I know this is controversial. In fact, I thought my family would be like the Cleaver's, but not while our child is this young. Our son Bodhi has to eat early, and his dinner only lasts for about 20 minutes. So we find when we try to eat together, that my husband and I feel we are frantically shoving food into our mouths while trying to make sure our son doesn't unbuckle his booster seat and climb out. Our family's way: HAPPY HOUR. Bodhi eats his food. We sit with him, make conversation, have a glass of wine and antipasti. A snack and a drink. It has the same effect as 'eating together', but we still get a relaxing dinner atmosphere after he has gone to bed. And keep our sanity.

(4) TRY SOY SAUCE OR LEMON & OLIVE OIL ON VEGGIES
I know, I know, watch the sodium. But for our son, you add soy sauce to rice or veggies, and he gobbles them up. Enough said. Best ever is "gomasio" - the sushi spinach rolls - our son loves them with the salty goodness an they have about a pound of fresh spinach per roll! He gives all other greens the evil eye, so this was a big victory for us.

(5) AIM FOR 5-7 FRUITS & VEGGIE SERVINGS A DAY
My best secrets for this are veggie burgers, hiding vegetables pureed into pasta sauce or in smoothies or popsicles that we make by hand, both of which my son loves to have. There are also some wonderful products by dr.praeger called spinach pancakes or broccoli pancakes - they are potato cakes with vegetables, but my son loves them plain or with applesauce.

I have heard time and time again that it can take up to 15 times for a child to "like" a food. That means that he rejected it 14 times before accepting it. Apparently the researchers in that study had much more patience than I. I prefer to keep offering the healthy things that he likes, and to try one or two things a week that are new, in hopes we find a new winner.
(More on food allergies and how to cope with them - and our baby food global cookbook! - in picky eater, part 3)

Posted by globalmomma 14:27 Archived in USA Tagged food family tips meals go mobile patience allergies sensitive todler picky Comments (0)

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