Tag Archives: toddler boy

Hocus Pocus

imagesI made a decision the moment I looked into my son’s eyes to never lie to him.  We talk about where meat comes from and what it means to die.  We don’t do Santa Claus and won’t do the Tooth Fairy.  I know that may sound harsh.  That’s just the way it is.  (Don’t worry: He finds magic in lots of other places!)

What I haven’t decided is if making-up stories counts as lying?  I think not?  Here is the situation:  A few nights ago we three were deep into battle over flossing and brushing M’s teeth.  He was yelping and covering his mouth with both hands anytime one of us came near.  Exhausted, we watched as M darted for the door only to find S’s foot holding it closed.  He didn’t notice her foot and just kept tugging at the door, getting frustrated and then, finally, giving up.

At that moment, it dawned on me (maybe on S…but let’s pretend it was me for the sake of the story): Here is a golden opportunity to change to game.  So, I/we told him that the door had a magic spell on it and wouldn’t open until he flossed, brushed and said the magic words, ‘hocus, pocus, open the door-us’.

Can you guess what happened next?  You are right!  It fucking worked!  Four nights running, we have not battled over his oral hygiene.  There have been no battle of wills.  If it looks like one is coming down the pike, we just invoke the magic spell and ta-da!

I realize that this story may have us crossing very close to lying territory.  That part I am not so keen on.  The lack of battles?  Well, that I love.

-Betsy

Sweetness

I am on my own for a few days while S travels for work.  I am feeling really tired from a few nights of a sleepless toddler and have maybe been a little shorter tempered than I would like today.  It is always on days like today when something happens to remind me how amazing my child is, helping to wash away the stress.

As I was putting him down for his nap, I laid my head next to his so that our faces were nearly touching.  Pretending to be asleep, I was almost overwhelmed by my sweet boy when he gently started touching all the features of my face.  First eyebrows and eyelashes. Nose. Cheeks. Lips.  Gingerly, with one finger, he traced the outline of my eyes and of my exposed ear.  It was pure sweetness and just what I needed.

-Betsy

“That feels like fun!”

As all parents of young boys can attest, there exists a certain fascination between a boy and his penis.  My son, lucky enough to have two moms, has been blessed with parents who talk about his relationship with his penis.  We tell him that it is ok to play with his private parts when he is alone.  He has known the word erection since he could talk.  It’s all good.  Sometimes, though, I am blown away by the things he says in relation to his penis.

Take tonight, for instance.  (Too much information coming…) After M’s bath, he was sitting on the potty and he started to play with his penis.  With a huge grin, he looked up at us and said, “M is playing with his private parts.”

“What does that feel like?” I innocently asked him.

With an even bigger grin, “That feels like fun!”

I know this is one of those blog posts that, if brought to his attention, will embarrass him to no end.  Maybe he will never read this.  If he does (if you do, M), I want him to know why I wrote it.  As someone who has struggled with body image issues for the vast majority of my life, I am pleased to hear my son so effortlessly and shamelessly explain how he feels about his body.  Yes, I know that as he gets older that will probably change, at least for a little while.  For now, I love that he loves himself and all his parts.

-Betsy

Two Mamas

images-4Yesterday at the playground I could tell M was working something out.  He would look at the family next to us, three kids and their dad, then smile a little.  I didn’t think much of it.  He was more than content on the tire swing, so we just kept swinging.  After a few minutes went by, he looked at me, smiled and said, “Their daddy is pushing them.  That’s funny.”
“Why is that funny?”
“Just funny.  M doesn’t have a daddy.  M has two mamas.  A Mama and an Ima,” as he threw back his head and laughed a big open mouth laugh as he continued to spin around while he flew back and forth.

The other day, my mom told me that a friend of hers asked what we are going to tell M about not having a father.  She apparently said it like “that poor thing”.  We have always been honest with M about having two moms and not having a dad.  Of course we will explain what a donor is one day, but M is being raised to know that there are all kinds of families.  His Ima has one dad and no mom.  I have a mom and a dad.  He has friends with one mom, a mom and a dad, two moms, two dads.  We surround ourselves with loving people from a variety of contexts.  So, to my mother’s friend, we tell him he has two moms who love him more than anything.  Seems to me, he’s gotten the message.

-Betsy

Alone Time

P1060349Today, like other days, I was Craving alone time.  I woke up in a bad mood and felt grumpy most of the day.  All I wanted was a little time to close a door and maybe snooze a little or take a nice, hot bubble bath.  Instead, I didn’t sit down until 7:00 p.m.  Cleaning the house, washing diapers, running errands, mowing the yard, fixing dinner.  That was my day.  After we ate, M and S decided to go for a walk and I was SO grateful.  A few minutes on Fakebook…I mean Facebook…then off to the tub.  No audience, no tub companions.  And the water was REALLY hot.  The only problem: after a few minutes I started to miss my family and kept listening for their voices to come in the door.  I guess I am addicted to them (mostly to my boy…S and I do time away pretty well).

My mom is back in action after having her hip replaced 2 months ago.  She came over today to hang out with M so I could get stuff done around the house.  She mentioned that she is ready to start watching him more regularly.  She said she and my dad would come take him for story-time at the local library on Thursday and then she could put him down for a nap.  I told her that it was too much, too soon.  She asked, “You don’t trust me?”  I said, “No.  I am not ready to be away from him that much.”

I have grown accustomed to our days together.  We have a good rhythm going that makes me happy.  I have been able to have M join me in a few of the things I do for me.  He is great at stirring whatever concoction I am brewing in the kitchen.  He has potted flowers and played in the dirt while I planted a garden.  We go for walks and play in our fantastic yard.  While S is at work, we are a unit.

I know it won’t always be this way and that it is good for him to branch out.  I just don’t want to miss anything.

-Betsy

Almonds

images-2Here are a couple of things about my boy that I just don’t understand.
1) When he is with me, he puts himself to sleep at nap time in about 10 minutes and will usually sleep for 2.5 – 3 hours.  When he is with S for nap time, he refuses to put himself to sleep, will only fall asleep nursing and usually sleeps for under 1.5 hours.  WTF?

2) At night-time, S usually puts M to bed.  While he does put himself to sleep, it usually takes 45 minutes to an hour for him to do so.  WTF?

3) M and I had a great day today.  Lots of playing, social time, great nap, no whining.  We walked to meet S after work.  As soon as we got to the front porch, he starts whining, not following directions and, before long, we are in full-blown melt down mode.  No sugar today.  Right on time for bed. Fun day.  WTF?

4) He tells me over and over again that he doesn’t like nuts.  If I hand him a nut, he will chew it up and then spit the masticated remnants into his hand, then transfer to mine.  Tonight, I made stir-fry and put almond slivers in. When he asked what they were, I said crunchy almond slivers.  Apparently he now loves everything crunchy.

Children are strange creatures.

-Betsy

Body Awareness

“Mama! I have an erection!” he shouts while we stroll the isles of Home Depot looking for ant killer.  The man scouring the cross isle for mosquito repellent smirked and looked our way as M grabbed his crotch and tried to give his penis a little tug through his overalls.  I know I should have been horrified, but really I felt proud.  I grew up with so little awareness of my own body that I have been trying to teach my son all about his to make up the difference.  We had some friends over for dinner tonight including a nearly 4-year-old.  When I told them this story, one of the moms said that she doesn’t think her son even knows that word, let alone is able to associate it with an actual thing.

M knows many words for body parts, including a few euphemisms: vagina, penis, girl parts, boy parts, na-nas (his nursing mother, S), no na-nas (me), and bool-bool (Hebrew).  He uses all of these words interchangeably and sometimes in embarrassing situations, like when he looked at the man two lanes over in the pool and said, “Na-nas!”  Or when he was eye level with a naked woman’s lady parts in the locker room and said, “What’s that?” referencing her excessive pubic hair.  Thankfully, people often ignore little kids and neither situation was met with death-stares.

I actually love this stage of his life.  The totally inquisitive, no-holds-barred stage has brought me much laughter, some blushing and a few trips to Dr. Google to come up with an accurate answer to his myriad questions.  I don’t look forward to the day when he realizes that it might not be ok to announce his erection in public.  I want him to realize that this doesn’t mean his body is bad, just private.

I am hopeful that my boy will grow up with love for and understanding of his body.  I hope he never feels ashamed of what he and his body are capable of.  I hope he also feels ownership over his body and a responsibility to take care of it.  These are all things I have been trying to teach myself since I became an adult.  I hope he has it easier.

-Betsy