As we do every Saturday, my three year old and I went to his ballet and tap class. It was a small class today, only two kids. Usually there are at least four kids and parents for three of us who hang out right outside of the room to provide encouragement and security for the kids while they are getting instruction.
Today was different. Only one other kid was in class and instead of her mother, who usually comes, her father brought her today. Class started late because they were late to class, but hey things happen, right?
It was a difficult class for my kiddo today, which made me sad because he loves to go to this class. The little girl, lets call her Carrie, was not having a good day.
Unfortunately, I have yet to see a class where little Carrie pays attention to the teacher well. In the beginning of class she will turn the lights on and off, play on the bars which is not allowed for this age group, crawl around on the ground pretending to be an animal or just ignore the teacher and doing her own thing. Sometimes my kiddo follows her lead, at which point I will gently remind him to listen to his teacher. Luckily little Carrie is a cute kid and usually sweet, so why get upset? These kiddos are young and the idea of this class is not to learn strict ballet positions, it is to have an introduction to movement and learn to love ballet and tap. Carrie's parents are never outside the door, they usually prefer to wait upstairs so they have no idea how their child is in class. Which is why I should not have been shocked today, but I was.
Little Carrie was having a cranky day and seemed to want to make sure mine did too. My little one was getting yelled at quite a bit by little Carrie, he brushed it off and ignored her. At one point the teacher finally looked at her and told her to use a nice voice and say please. The little girl refused. My son, who loves a calm environment, ended up coming out of class couple of times telling me he wanted to go home. I spoke to him and told him I understand it can be difficult when someone is having a bad day, but that he loves class and he is allowed to have fun and to tell Carrie "no" if she is mean. I encouraged him to go back and have fun with the teacher. He went back in. This happened twice.
And that is when her father chimed in. From around the stairs he peeked his head out to say, "Don't you think that is distracting? That is distracting to class to have him in and out. Don't you think you should move?" I replied no, I didn't think so and that I appreciated his concern. At which point he raised his voice and said, "I have no concern for you, I am paying for this class and he is distracting my daughter."
Maybe he forgot that he was late to class, but why go there? I did let him know that when it is a full class, all of the other parents sit here and that it says on the website that seating (although limited) is permitted for this age group. I also let him know that his daughter was actually providing a fair amount of distraction in the class and if he were to sit where I was, he would see that. His daughter is older than my son and has been in the class much longer and should be providing the example of how to behave appropriately. He responded by raising his voice again, although I really didn't pay any attention to what he was saying at that point and luckily the music drown him out so I just ignored him.
Then the unthinkable happened. His child ran out of class to go see her dad. Wait a minute ... isn't that distracting? I didn't say anything. Again, about ten minutes later, his child ran out of class to go find him. Oops, guess that is distracting again. But you know what, it actually wasn't distracting for my son at all. It actually allowed my kiddo to get some individual attention from the teacher who he adores. How great is that?
A few minutes later little Carrie attempted to hit Everett because she wanted to jump even though it was his turn. He dodged it and kept on his merry way, not letting her bother him. A bit later, it became too much, my kiddo came out and was upset. "Carrie stepped on my foot and hurt me," I asked him to show me and said, "Well that wasn't nice of her. You tell her no, she is not allowed to do that." I offered to kiss it and make it feel better and he said he was fine, he just wanted to go home. At this point, sheesh, sure, he shouldn't have to endure that in class. I said "Okay let's go tell the teacher we are going home now." He ran in so fast and she asked if he would wait so he could get a sticker. He was excited for that. The teacher came out and brought little Carrie to her Dad. His first question, "Did she pay attention today?" The teacher said, "Well she pushed him."
Her father was upset with her, told her she did not make a good decision and wouldn't get a sticker. Then he came over and forced her to apologize, right after being upset that she wasn't going to get a sticker. My heart broke for this upset crying little girl who just wanted her Dad to enjoy watching her dance the way I enjoy watching my son and the other parents enjoy watching their kids. Yes it is good to have a kiddo learn to say they are sorry, but she wasn't sorry she was now even more angry with my kid because now she didn't get a sticker. She still hadn't gotten over that and now she is supposed to deliver an apology? She finally did apologize, which I have mixed feelings about. Yes, kids should learn to apologize when they mean it. She had already said multiple times that she didn't want to say she was sorry and that she wasn't sorry. Guess what Dad, you just taught her to lie.
There are so many things wrong with what happened today and I don't really dwell on that. What I do want to say is when you have 3, 4, and 5 year olds, sports, dance, whatever activity they are in, IT SHOULD BE FUN. You are setting the foundation for your kiddo to love what they are doing. Instill the love of that activity first, it will become competitive work soon enough without your pushing it to be. Let them be kids and enjoy, be there to support them and love them. The teachers and coaches will take care of instruction. Little Carrie misbehaves in class constantly, not because she is mean. She is not a bad kid. She misbehaves because she is desperately seeking attention. She wants her parents to enjoy watching her.
I am going to leave you with a wonderful article I shared with some family and friends a while back ... it merits a reminder read, even if you have read it before.
Mommy McD signing off ... to go enjoy my kids. Please go enjoy yours and make sure to tell them that you love to watch them too.
Click here for the article:
The Only Six Words Parents Need to Say to Their Kids About Sports—Or Any Performance
Dear Supernanny Jo,
I saw your response to a viewer question that there is no justification for spanking (click on picture to go to video clip if above video does not load). We Americans do have many justifications for spanking. The most frequent justification I hear is:
"I was spanked and I turned out fine."
Supernanny Jo, the problem is lots of Americans have been spanked and lots of Americans turn out fine.
Now the research is definitive that spanking can cause behavior and emotional problems (and they may be ones we don't see immediately). For those people who were spanked and turned out fine, I am always happy and thankful that they turned out wonderful. Even though they turned out fine, not all children do. So while we may justify a little smack on the behind because it didn't affect them, the real question becomes:
Can you be 100% certain that your child is not going to be one of the ones who is damaged physically and emotionally by spanking?
The only answer to that is "No." We don't know the in's and out's of why every child develops emotional and behavioral issues, nor do we know why some genetically identical twins develop issues that the other does not. What we do know is that stress caused by things like spanking are strongly associated with children developing these issues.
Bottom line is: Are you really willing to chance that your child, the baby you love, have hopes and aspirations for, the child who you protect from all the evil in the world, the one who you hug when they are hurt by another child at school, the child who you must depend on to help you in your old age ... are you willing to take the chance that your child will be one of the ones who is damaged because you made the choice to spank them?
The other justification I hear, Supernanny Jo, is "I don't beat them, I barely hit them at all, it isn't even hard."
So if we don't hit our kids hard, then it makes it okay, right? Well, again, the research would say no, but let's just put that aside for a minute.
Before my husband and I were married, he firmly believed in spanking. I told him I would not raise a child in an atmosphere where they would be spanked. After a long talk about facts and studies, he acquiesced and we were eventually married. During my pregnancy, I brought up the conversation again. I wanted us to be on the same page when it comes to behavioral modification (Because we all know how it does not work to have on parent who says yes when the other said no.) He returned to the idea that spanking was somehow right. I looked at him and said, "I would prefer that if you get upset with me, you spank me. At least as a grown adult, I would understand that you have lost your temper or are too frustrated to deal with me in a respectful constructive manner." His face was aghast and he said, "I would never hit my wife, that is crazy."
We both paused a minute and I said, "The thing is, I agree. You shouldn't hit me. What I am saying is that at least I would understand the complexity of human emotion better than a child. I would understand better that you were so frustrated that you couldn't think of anything else to do. Do you think a young child is able to understand that?" Of course, his answer was no. This was a turning point in how he understood using physical punishment on a child.
That being said, not everyone will feel the same way. So I will put it another way: it is against the law in many states to hit your dog. The message of shame that you are communicating to your child and the embarrassment they feel when you hit them, when you punish them in a way that dogs aren't even allowed to be treated. That is damaging. Is that what you are trying to communicate to your child, or are you just wanting to change their behavior?
Another justification I hear is that other methods won't work on their child, every child is different and theirs only listens to spanking.
To this, well, if ADHD and Developmentally Disabled children can have their behavior modified without spanking, then it will work for your kid too.
The most emotional justification I hear is that it is God approved to hit your child. "Spare the rod, spoil the child."
We Americans get pretty riled if you dare to say anything that contradicts the Bible. Good thing "Spare the rod, spoil the child," actually comes from a 17th century Samuel Butler Poem and not the Bible.
Now what is in the bible is "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." Proverbs 13:24. This is how King Solomon tells us he raised his son. Well, if you are diligent in reading your bible, you will see the Bible shows us King Solomon raised a pretty awful child ... I don't think using his methods would be anything to be proud of or to want to emulate. For more info on this click here.
The problem, Supernanny Jo, is there are tons of justifications we Americans use in order to be able to hit our kids, despite all of the evidence showing other behavior modifications to be more effective. When someone is enlightened to the fact that there are other, more effective methods to raise children and they still choose to hit ...
That means that one of the biggest lessons we teach our children:
Do not hit others
it just proves that the parents who continue to spank never learned that lesson themselves, despite how many times they were spanked.
Supernanny Jo, I applaud you and your methods. Thank you for showing us a different way to help guide our children and I hope, despite everyone's attempt to justify spanking, that you do continue to reach parents everywhere.
I grew up seeing pictures of my mom and her family always hanging out on their front porch. What a wonderful place to be, in your home and able to see your neighbors and your neighborhood. When my husband and I were looking for homes, both of us really wanted a front porch. We quickly came to realize very few modern homes are made with front porches. Instead, we have lavish back yards with decks, pools, gardens and play area, which is great, but not the same.
I remember visiting my great aunt Julia who used to live off of Calhoun Street in Dearborn, MI. She would attend Mass every single morning at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church across the street. After attending Mass and weather permitting, she would have breakfast on her porch. She would go back inside her house to do dishes and come back to sit with coffee and tea. Then she would have lunch on her front porch. The front porch was much like a second living room. This second living room didn't have a television, it had real life. She knew all of her neighbors, she knew the children who attended the school across the street and she spoke on a daily basis with everyone. Many of the people around the neighborhood would affectionately call her, "The Mayor of Dearborn," because she knew everyone. On one visit, she invited us to attend a talent show at the school across the street. Although she had no children of her own in the talent show, a few kids from the school who passed by her house every day had invited her to come see their performance. I remember her introducing me to so many kids my age and younger, as well as all of their parents. It was a whirlwind of people for me, for her, just her circle of friends.
My aunt Julia is no longer with us, but I like to think we keep her spirit alive as much as possible by trying to cultivate relationships with our neighbors. It isn't easy. We don't have front porches anymore, everyone hides out back (if we can even get anyone out and away from television or other mobile devices at all). Like I said, I would like to think I help to keep the spirit of neighborhood friendliness alive, but I have to admit, I have a lot of work to do.
It will be a while until I can work on being more neighborly because I just had foot surgery and have been relegated to my bed for the next few of weeks, keeping my leg up and iced. But I have one neighbor, who is an inspiration, much like my great aunt Julia. She just left my bedside to run home to take care of her kiddos for lunch, but my neighbor came by this morning with Yahtzee to keep me company. The day after surgery I was craving a Sprite and she was sweet enough to swing by and bring one to me. We have had days where it has iced and no one could get out the neighborhood, and she has had the whole cul de sac over for dinner. My husband hit a gas line while digging and without a second thought she invited us over for dinner while the gas company worked on fixing the line. She has thought about my family on Veteran's Day and brought over a thank you for your service gift. If I enumerated all the nice things I have seen her do for our family and our neighbors, I would end up writing a mini novel. The most important thing I think she has given our neighborhood and my family is that wonderful return to a time where people used to build front porches and know their neighbors. She has helped to create a community where we can feel safe letting our kids ride bikes in front of our house. She has helped to create a welcoming atmosphere where the kids play with each other and run from house to house laughing. We may not have a front porch, but my neighbor has broken through that imaginary wall we all put up and created not just a cul de sac, but a real neighborhood.
My neighbor is an inspiration, like my Aunt Julia. In this blog, I hope these two people help to inspire you as much as they have inspired me to help cultivate those friendships with people next door and create a place where your kiddos can have contact with other kids instead of their televisions and video games. Get out there and make friends. Borrow a cup of sugar and bring back a pie. Drop a hand written note or just knock on the door and say hi. There is a wonderful world out there for you and your kids, one away from the television, away from computers, one that can just let you enjoy and become part of something bigger than just your backyard.
One question I got from a lot of people while I was pregnant was, "Are you going to keep your dogs?" I was shocked the first time I was asked the question, then I realized so many people asked the question and to them it was a normal thing to get rid of dogs before having a baby. That made me so sad.
Here is the issue as I see it: When you take on any pet, you make a commitment to caring for another living thing. One of the best lessons that I can teach my children is to honor their commitments and responsibilities. What kind of message would it send to just get rid of my dogs? It would send one of irresponsibility and one of not valuing living things.
I have heard people make all sorts of excuses like the dogs are crazy, they require too much attention, the bird screams too much. No matter the excuse, it isn't valid. You made a commitment. Honor it.
If you are worried, get to training your dogs or other animals before the baby comes! Remember to keep up training after the baby comes too. One of the best methods I have found with mine is to use a really high quality food as training treats. I know they are getting good food instead of the corn meal they try to pass off as dog treats, but they still enjoy it because it is different than their regular food. To keep treats readily accessible I used one of my rice cereal containers and filled it with the dog food. This allowed me to keep it on the counter without it being stinky and still readily available. (For other animals, using novel healthy food appropriate for the animal also works.)
Now for the most difficult part, catch them doing something good! That's right, any time you see good behavior that you want them to keep doing, give them a treat. Since you are giving them actual food, and small single pieces, you don't have to be worried about empty calories or unnecessarily high in sugar/fat treats. They will learn quickly the behavior you want. Ignore the behavior you don't want. When the kiddos do come, hopefully you will have such a great relationship with your animals that you kids can enjoy having them as part of the family too. All this being said, no matter how good your relationship is with your pets, do not leave your children unattended with any pet.
Keep your commitments and your kids too!
Merry Christmas! I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday season.
This is actually a two part blog. 1. The worlds best chew toy! and 2. A reply to some folks who have been upset about my blog content ...
So, the worlds best chew toy? Kong! Yes, not just for your dogs!!! I can't believe it took me this long (and with my mom's suggestion, too) to give my kiddo a Kong! My first one never chewed ... really, never. We didn't baby proof anything! My second little one, he chews everything (including drywall so we have to watch our windowsills!)
As a zoo keeper, pretty much one of the best toys for the zoo animals is Kong chew toys - from vultures to primates, they all love them. They are bouncy, fun to put treats in and can take a ton of chewing. I have purchased a huge variety of chew toys made for babies, but not a one has held up to the kind of chewing my little one wants to do! Not until we got him a Kong, that is! I just switched phones, so I don't have a great picture of my kiddo chewing, but please enjoy this blog (click on photo) from the Oakland zoo. If Kong is good enough to stand up to their bears, I bet it will work for your cubs at home too!
Chew on this (Part 2)
I have been told there are people who are extremely upset that I have not written more about being a military wife in my blog.
Well, this is not a blog about being a military wife. While I have mentioned it and my husband's service in my bio and my very first post, it apparently was not enough to satisfy some sort of quota military wives are supposed to meet in blogs about parallels between animal training and raising kids.
I am very thankful for my husband, his service and his commitment to doing what he thinks is right. There are many who sacrifice (whether a combat veteran like him, or having served in times of peace) and I am appreciative and thankful for all of them. There are also many military families who sacrifice through multiple deployments. I have only been through one. I suspect the wives with multiple deployments under their belt might be best qualified to write a blog about how to deal with deployment issues.
There are many events which define us as a person. While my husband has been military for many years and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, he has also done many other things which are important and defining of his character. Get to know him and you will find that out! Still, if anyone in our family should write about military it should be my husband, not me, and he has a great writing style too, so feel free ask him.
One of the things that defines me as a person is being a military wife ... but that is not all. I have had many years being an animal trainer, so for those who are interested, I parallel aspects of my animal training experience to raising kiddos. If you are interested in reading it and discussing it, I love it! I love hearing responses from those who agree and also hearing counterpoints from those who disagree.
If you are not interested in this blog, well this is a free country, you are welcome to read it and say whatever you want ... but isn't your time better spent elsewhere? If you don't like it, why get yourself all worked up? Just don't read it.
If you all know me or read the little blurb about me on the main page, I worked as an animal trainer for many years. More than that, I have worked as a keeper in zoological institutions, sanctuaries and animal labs. I started my career volunteering on a farm at 14 years old. So, needless to say, a lot of what I have learned to do as a parent comes not only from my parents, what I read and research, but also my experience in working with all sorts of animals.
My last blog started a conversation between myself and my mother. She complimented my blog post (aww thanks mom!) and also added her comment (P.S. she is a retired child psychologist who worked with some of the most violent kids in Detroit) that there already exists a power differential between adults and children. A power what? Look, you are the adult, you have been there, you are grown up, you get to do grown up things, one of those grown up things is guiding your young ones. They don't need reminders that you are the adult, they know you are the authority ... that is already built into the relationship. That is part of why we speak to them gently and we guide them instead of bossing them or yelling at them - you are already the authority, to do things just because you need to prove to them that you are the authority only makes them feel more small and helpless in their relationship with you, it makes them feel bullied, not parented.
The conversation my mom and I just had reminded me of one I had with my aunt years ago (who is also an animal person). We talked about how zoo and sanctuary animals are already in cages. Yes, they may be dangerous wild animals, but they are dangerous wild animals stuck behind bars. There is no need to be an authoritative punisher in animal training, the power differential exists (if only by reason that they are captive). This is why animal trainers have moved to only positive reinforcement as a method of training ... there is no need to make animals submit to your greater authority ... that just makes them angry and unwilling to participate (they already know they are caged, no need to bully them). Cough ... cough ... also why a lot of us are not on board with the type of training that Cesar Milan uses. It is not what is best for the animal or your relationship with them ...
Why do we remain calm and use positive reinforcement with zoo animals? Well, most importantly, it works. IT WORKS. Sometimes, it may take longer to get the behavior that you want, but you get the behavior and create a positive beneficial relationship with the animal. You create a relationship of trust and respect, despite the fact that they are captive.
The last thing anyone wants is to create an antagonistic relationship with a large wild animal ... there may be bars, but there is also space between the bars and if you accidentally get to close, well let's just hope you have a good relationship. Or, as when I was in Africa where there were no AZA regulations, when you end up fixing wiring in an enclosure with full grown male baboons, you best hope you created a positive relationship because they could greatly hurt you or kill you quickly. After all, male baboons have canine teeth longer than a lions!
Bringing it back to your kids. We already discussed that the power differential is there. They know you are the authority. They fully have to rely on you for shelter, clothing, food, love, education ... well everything. There is no need to bully that into them, they know it. That is why, just like with zoo animals, we try to create the best positive loving relationship possible. Isn't what you want with your kids the best loving relationship possible?
So what is positive reinforcement? Well I guess I can get to that in another blog later ... there is a lot to discuss ... but here is a neat basic start http://www.positivereinforcementforkids.com/.
As we discussed in the last blog ... your kids are watching you to see how adults behave, everything you do teaches them how adults should be and how they should handle situations. Whatever you teach them that adults do, plan on being fine with them doing the same thing to you when you are old and unable to care for yourself and the power is switched.
This is something we have all heard from someone in our lives at least once, right?
"Why can't I mom?"
"Because I said so, that's why."
Haven't we all heard some variation of that? What does telling a child, "because I said so," really accomplish?
Before I became a parent, it always made me cringe to hear other parents use that to quiet their kids. I knew I didn't like it, but I hadn't before examined why. Now that my 3 year old asks me why on, well, pretty much everything, I have figured out exactly why I don't like that phrase.
First, what I have noticed is that "because I said so," is frequently code for you are about to get in trouble. I am just not really a big fan of speaking to little kids in code unless it has to do with bathroom habits at the dinner table.
Second, is that it takes a moment where you could teach your child valuable reasoning skills and crushes it.
I dared the shopping on Black Friday this year, and heard the screams of kids wanting to do all sorts of things parent's were not okay with. One in particular really hit me. I heard a mom tell her child that he had to hold her hand to cross the street, "Because I said so." It struck me very strange that the mom wouldn't tell the child that the street can be dangerous, that cars might not see him ... I could think of a ton of reasons why that child should hold hands with his mom, why wouldn't you share one ... or all of them if he needs to hear them. I realize that she was probably rushed, but it takes just as much time to say, "to be safe," as it does to say, "because I said so." I thought about it in the car and realized that I have never told my kid, "Because I said so."
One of the most difficult things to teach a child is how to think. Our schools teach our children how to answer multiple choice questions, how to regurgitate answers in a 5 part essay, but few classes have time or funding to teach children how to think and reason through things. If "because I said so," becomes a regular part of your parenting dialogue, how can the child learn reasoning and thought from you? They can't.
I realize we are all busy and feel like moments are precious and the last thing we want to do is sit there and answer question after question. But the thing is, most of the time children are actually asking questions because they want to learn! It isn't until they get older and learn that having to answer the questions frustrates you and makes you cave that they will use it to get what they want ... and at that point, you kind of set yourself up.
If we do our best to remain calm and answer questions accurately for our children we might actually impart lessons with each of these questions. They may have to ask the same question a hundred times but if you give them a real answer then they learn and you might not get that battle or even that question as frequently. If you give them, "because I said so," you just teach them not to get caught by you doing whatever it is they were doing.
You set the example for them, show them that you think through your day, that you care enough to think through the answers you give them and that you respect them enough to share with them why you have arrived at a certain decision.
One of my regular battles at home is not giving pop to my 3 year old. Every time we go to a grocery store or out to eat, he wants Sprite. While I am fine with the occasional pop, I prefer him to be in a healthier habit of having water with his meals. It used to be a bit more of a battle than it is now. My kiddo wanted Sprite and would question over and over, cry and even scream. He would say "I want Sprite!" And I would reply with, "Sprite has too much sugar, we are going to have water." If he pressed more I might tell him that it could upset his belly or that it is getting close to nap time and we don't want to have too much sugar before trying to go to sleep. I even have told him that it is not as healthy and we want to be healthy, so we will have water instead. If he got really upset, I would hug him and let him know I could tell he was upset and frustrated but we were still only going to get water. It only took a few times explaining (and calmly not caving in to his tantrum) why we were not going to have Sprite for him to stop being so upset at me telling him that we were not going to have any. Does he still ask for Sprite? Sure. And sometimes I say, "I think it is a special occasion, sure we can have a Sprite." Most of the time, however, I say, "No Sprite today, too much sugar, we will have water instead." Now that is all it takes, no tears, no frustration, no sadness.
So why do kids get all that frustration when we say "No" but don't give them a reason? Children are concrete thinkers and they think in the present tense only. If you say "Yes," one time and "No," the next, all they know is that you are not letting them have something and they don't know why. Now since even until their teens kids think everything is about them, they are prone to faulty logic like "they are just doing that because they hate me." It seems crazy right, but really, remember what being a kid was like, I bet you might have had similar thoughts like all the other kids in the world.
The strongest method to teach is through observation. Take advantage of that! They are watching you more than you know.
In case you are wondering: I have had my child question why he can't do something and because I had to provide him an answer, I realized I was telling him no just because with no good reason. While we were putting up the Christmas tree he wanted to vacuum. I said to wait until I was done. Because he questioned me, I realized that there really was no good reason that he shouldn't be able to vacuum (after all he was doing something helpful and something that would keep him entertained while I put up the tree). I let him know that I thought about it and I think it would be okay for him to vacuum while I put up the tree. He was happy, I was happy and by the time my tree was up, there were no needles left on the ground to have to clean. :)
At least that is what I like to call it. We recently put in laminate where we had carpet and our 10 month old was not happy, he kept sliding everywhere. He would try crawling in his cozy jammies and rompers and would have a very difficult time crawling ... and had a few slips that made us all not happy.
I had to figure out a way to let him crawl. It is too chilly this time of year to let him go just in a diaper and shirt. We had thought about rugs, but the reason we got rid of the carpet was to help his allergies. Why would we want to bring another rug in the house?
I kept thinking that I wish someone would put grip pads on baby clothing knees like they do for the feet. Then it came to me ... get ready, I bet you have this around your house!
What you will need:
Cardboard (small enough to fit in pant leg)
Low temp hot glue gun and glue
What to do:
Place the cardboard in the pant leg to ensure glue does not go through to the back side of the pant leg. ENSURE CHILD IS NOT IN CLOTHING WHEN APPLYING GLUE.
Squeeze glue on the area you would like there to be traction. To ensure glue sticks well and cannot be peeled off, press glue into fabric firmly, don't just lay the glue on the fabric (this is why I use a low temp glue gun, so it doesn't melt the fabric). Let glue dry and it is ready to wear!
Feel free to get creative! You can see in the picture, I have glued a star design on the left leg (right side of the photo). The other leg is not done, so you can see the difference.
My kiddo was so happy he started crawling immediately. I told him to smile for the camera and he kept throwing his head back and giving the biggest smile I have ever seen, it was cracking me up! I realized after taking pictures that I should really take video ... so here it is, me asking him to smile over and over and me cracking up about it!
First, my apologies for being out of the blog world for a bit ... we have had some recent health challenges in our family. BUT, this is how I re-discovered the best fever reducer ever and added a Mommy McD twist. The awesome part is that you already have this at home and you never have to go out to the store to reduce a fever.
I remember my mom throwing me in ice cold baths when I had a temperature and HATING it! Well I didn't want to do that to my 10 month old ... he sure can't understand why he is shivering and freezing. So I did some research and found that a cool bath is still the best, but ice cold ones, no bueno! You want the bath cool enough to reduce the temp but not cold enough to make their body try to compensate by raising their temp even more (always check with your doctor first on any medical treatments).
My 10 month old had been running a fever of 102 and higher for over a week (we did have him checked by the doc and they said it was just a virus, so to keep the fever down if he becomes uncomfortable.) He already had to be on lots of medication for a bacterial infection earlier in the week and I didn't want to keep loading him with medicines ... so it was time for a bath!
1. Use the kitchen sink. It is small and cozy and you can be right there without having to bend or stoop uncomfortably yourself.
2. Make the water tolerable. I have been starting with the "average" body temp of 98.6 degrees.
3. Bring out all sorts of things they don't normally get to play with. I brought out spoons, measuring cups, plastic cups and the best toy ever ... I actually let him play with the handles on the water (BUT TAKE NOTICE THE FAUCET IS NOT RUNNING INTO HIS BATH. MAKE SURE YOU ARE WATCHING CAREFULLY TO PREVENT ANY BURNS OR SCALDS). The point of bringing out new toys is to keep them distracted.
4. I keep him on the right side of the sink so he has access to turning on and off the cold water. I take one of the cups he is playing with, fill it with cold water and dump it in the bath one slow cup at a time, continually reducing the water temperature.
5. Keep checking your water temp on a thermometer and keep a steady hand and eye on your child at ALL times to prevent any falls/injury.
Be sure to ask your doctor to approve any medical advice regarding care of your little one.
This little trick allows me to get the water nice and cool to reduce his fever and he is so distracted with the faucet and novel toys that he doesn't even notice the temp slowly going down!
Best of luck with your fevers and colds as we get closer to winter.
Former Title: Learn to Spell Without Spell Check
Former, Former Title: Military Discount at Big Lots
Veteran's day is coming up! I am on the lookout for deals we might be able to find since my husband is both currently serving and a combat veteran. (Yay, to my husband and thank you!) Just FYI Big Lots (according to PR Newswire) is having a sale for Veterans and those currently serving if you show your Military ID on Saturday. It also applies to already discounted items.
Now here is the fun part for you Twilight folk. A "Team Edward," water bottle is on CLEARANCE! That's right, you can get a water bottle that shows your love for this movie franchise and the lead broody vampire, Edward.
And Twilight haters, I haven't forgotten about you ... The product is listed as "Team Coward," instead of "Team Edward!"
Click the title here to see the item. "Twilight Eclipse Team Coward Water Bollte with Metal Clip"
Just in case they changed the link or corrected the advert - you can see a PDF of the item at the end of this post.
So what's the moral of the story kids? Spell check does not always work! (I can almost hear my friends who are professors groan in collective agreement.) While the miracle of spell check may correct your intended word to a correctly spelled word, it is not necessarily going to be the one you want to use. Also know your fonts! Someone might have thought the font on the water bottle difficult to read and mistook the "Ed" for "Co" which is entirely possible ... or someone felt like being cheeky. I would like to think the latter, but if you notice "Bottle" is also misspelled in the titled as "Bollte." As much as I would like to think someone was being cheeky, I suspect someone was just being lazy.
Might you be able to find misspellings in my blog? Sure. I do my best, but it may happen. I use spell check before posting, and usually it does not find too much. More importantly, I re-read my blog after spell check. If I have the time (which I usually don't since I have two kiddos to tend to) I will read it out loud or ask someone else to read it. Before posting this, I even triple checked my capital "L" in the title because the font I use looks almost exactly like the lowercase "l".
So since this blog is really geared toward mammas, remember to teach your kiddos proper spelling and grammar.
Will the person who messed this up be caught? Will they face any consequences in their place of employment? I am not sure, but if someone blogged about a spelling mistake as preventable as this one, I would be pretty embarrassed. So when your kiddo comes home upset that they were marked down for something that spell check corrected incorrectly or a little mistake where they felt the teacher should have known what they meant, you can empathize with them. We have all felt that pang of injustice and sting of, "it wasn't my fault that spell check did that!" Remember, the teacher is right. Just because we understand that feeling does not make it right, your kid still turned in crappy work. Don't go running to your kiddo's teacher trying to fix their grade. Turn to your kiddo and say something like, "You can't be responsible for what spell check will do, but you ARE responsible for not checking your own work, and you ARE responsible for anything you put your name on and turn in."
So mom's, college folk, high school kids: learn to check your work again, and again, even if you think everything is correct. Why? Someday you might have a career where you have to send an email, write a letter or type an advert. If someone is paying you to get it correct, there are no excuses and no one else to blame. Get used to it now.
Team Coward Bollte!
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