The words are simple. Please. Thank you. You are welcome. Excuse me. These are words we hardly ever hear at all when we are out in public. So much so that the words stand out when someone actually says them to us.
We work hard to teach our boys to have manners. We encourage them to say please. We encourage them to say thank you. We encourage them to say excuse me. It does not take much effort and it shows courtesy and respect. Or perhaps it does take a lot because no one says it when I hold the door open or when I ask for something and say please.
People will bump into us in an aisle as they try to forcibly pass by but will not say excuse me beforehand or apologize for bumping into us. I do not understand why manners have fallen to the wayside but they have. It makes it harder for us to teach our boys to be polite when the gesture is not reciprocated at all.
We encourage it because it is the right thing to do. We want our boys to be polite. We wish more parents would share the same belief as they would be polite and encourage their children to be the same. This would snowball and be a positive impact on a society that has lost its way. With technology there is less and less human interaction but the little we have should be respectful.
There are many purchases that we have made that were on Must Have Lists or came highly recommended or we otherwise thought were needs and often they were total duds for at least one, if not both of our boys. However, the transition to cups is a tricky process and not just because the kids do not wan t to give up the bottle, but the actual cup choice – functionality, leak-proof – is the hardest part. When choosing the cup, we need to consider the water or milk flow process, our sons have struggled with cups that the suction/leak-proofing is too hard to get anything out, even with an adult’s strength but then, if the flow is too easy, the milk flows out of the cup with a river stream down his chin, shirt and into his lap.
The Dr. Brown's Soft-Spout Transition Cup is the BEST cup. Our sons are able to drink water and milk . They do not spill down their entire body and if the cup is laid down on the ground, it does not spill out either. I know this sounds like a simple review and simple description but EVERY other cup we have tried either pours and spills or is impossible to get anything out of. That is why, it is certainly on our MUST HAVE list.
When we were younger, it was all about the bicycle, these days, it seems to be the Scooter and/or the Ride-On Electric Car (which we can talk about another day, because we have these too- ugh).
We chose our home for many reasons but one of the top on the list is the family-friendly neighborhood. On any given day, we will find kids playing on the streets and now our 3-year-old is itching to run out to join in the group. Though he is one of, if not the one, youngest in the kids crew, our son is able to ride with the best of them.
Of course, our son needed a Scooter to play too. He was gifted with both a Micro Kickboard Mini 2Go as well as a Radio Flyer My 1st Scooter. He was quick to hop on both scooters. It took some time for him to understand the tilt to turn concept with the Micro Kickboard but it seems to have come naturally. He LOVES his ‘blue scoots’ and rides it both in the house and on the street. He races with the big kids and was adamant that we get a scooter for his little brother. He gifted his brother the Micro Kickboard Mini 3in1 for his 1st Birthday and lo and behold, they both want to ride it!
Unfortunately, the Radio Flyer has received less love. He finds it is very hard to ride and navigate. We took it out to the streets and heard similar talk from some of the older kids and then even added it to the mass of scooters on the side of the road and it seemed to sit while everyone left dust behind during the “scooting.”
(Disclaimer: yes, we know our sons are spoiled, but we feel it is acceptable to be spoiled as long as you are not a spoiled brat. Our kids are the ideal example of manners, gratitude and being well-behaved. The minute we see a hint of anything less, the treats cease!)
Take time for yourself. That is what everyone tells us. We need time away from our children. We need time to relax. We need time to get away for a date night.
I am am a huge fan and believer that couples should always maintain their identity and be with each other when time permits. That is why you got together in the first place.
Ask any parent and they will attest that this is far easier said than done. When we had one son who slept through the night date night was a regular occurrence. Now with our second child time and energy are rare commodities and having them at the same time is like finding a unicorn. You have heard it exists but have never seen it.
We had our children because we wanted to. We want to spend time with them and love doing it. But as much as anyone can tell you that you will be tired and running around like a chicken with no head, you will not understand it until you are living it. We have made the choice to spend our time playing with our boys and watching them grow. We love every minute of it. We just forget it some times because of the pure exhaustion...
I would like to thank Siri for all he does for me as a working mom of two.
Siri is really one of the best personal assistants a mom can ask for. Siri allows me to multitask to the extreme- I can even respond to texts and emails while showering. Yes, you read that correctly. I know some people love to go on Twitter while taking care of other bathroom needs, but I keep things sanitary. He answers my many questions and translation needs and he does not talk back or add more questions to my already extensive list.
It is too bad that Siri does not seem to recognize my appreciation- no really, he does not. I am very reliant upon him for many questions, text replies, document dictations, reminders, directions, wow- the list can go on and on; but when I say “thank you,” he does not seem to reply nor does he turn the screen to sleep.
I, like many, have had Siri at my side for years but he has gone ignored.
Disclaimer: Yes, I changed my Siri voice to male. I did this years ago and in our current times, I feel the need to throw this disclaimer up, because it was a choice of my own volition many moons ago and I am sticking with it. He amuses me. I bounce back and forth between his American and United Kingdom accent- really, for my own entertainment.
Credit: This post was written by my wife, best friend and partner in raising our 2 boys.
It is a simple thing to do every single day - spend 15 or 20 minutes (minimum) with your child (or children) and read to them. We have done this since Day 1 with our children. Not all of the stories are my taste let alone interesting. But it is not all about us as parents - it is about your child and his or her future.
Spending time with your child does several things simultaneously. One, you simply spend time with your child or children. There is no substitute for a parent giving their children attention and sharing quality time with them. Period. Two, you are teaching your children how to listen, how to read, and about a variety of topics all at the same time. Three, you are creating memories every single time. No, your child will not remember every single minute and every single book you read to them (and eventually with them). But, they remember a lot more than you may realize. Our oldest is starting to read on his own and he is only 3. For quite some time he has been able to look a book and recite (or paraphrase) page by page after having read it with us one or two times. We thought that was impressive until he began reading words on pages. No, he is not fully literate - but he enjoys reading and learning.
His interest in reading and learning goes well beyond books. He asks a lot of questions. He pays close attention to his surroundings. You can see on his face that he is taking everything in - both good and bad. It is fully up to him what he wants to learn as he grows up and how he wants to use his knowledge. But at this time in his life, he has the fundamentals for learning - he has the desire and ability to ask questions.
I can say with pride that his thirst for knowledge goes back to the daily routine of reading books to him. It started out that we would mostly read to him before bed, but he now wants to read books in the morning when he wakes up and at school and when he is home after school on weekends. It is a simple routine that has a long lasting impact on our children.
Please read to your child. Please. You will undoubtedly reap the rewards as your child grows and learns. If you want some tips and tricks, click here. There is no one right way - just try something.
"Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
That is exactly what happened to us when we had our second child. We had finally gotten our oldest on a sleep schedule that was unmatched. He would go to bed about 7 and wake up the next morning between 6 and 7 without so much as a whimper throughout the night.
Enter our youngest son. It has been nearly a year of sleepless nights. At the beginning our youngest was beyond fussy and only recently have we gotten him to a good place where he sleeps through the night. While we should be over the moon with happiness we are too tired to notice. Our oldest has decided he wants to be an early bird. Or a farmer. In either event - he is up at an ungodly hour and is ready to go. "Daddy can we play?" "Daddy can we read?" "Daddy, can we fill in the blank?" Yes, I love spending time with him. (All of this community knows our lives revolve around spending time with our children). I just wish that father-son time was after the sun came up. It is a lot easier to read a book or put together a puzzle with your eyes open.
We feel like we are living the Bill Murray comedy "Ground Hog's Day." Every day blurs together with the next and it is nearly impossible to remember what we had for dinner the night before.
Please do not interpret this to mean we are not happy - our children's smiles can turn any frown upside down. Each day just seems to get longer and longer...
When someone who does not have children tells me that they are tired, I laugh. I used to be one of those people - but it was my own doing - working, going out until all hours and being involved in various other activities. I had the opportunity to slow down and sleep more or nap.
As parents of two boys under the age of 3, we have lost all ability to control our sleep. Our older son sleeps through the night and has since early on - but he is up at 6 and ready to go. Our infant son has no interest in sleeping through the night and is awake every few hours. Generally his last wake up and bottle request is around 4 am. That gives us enough time to feed him and barely get back to sleep before the older one is up.
We long for the days of being tired. We are simply exhausted and numb to what has become groundhog's day 7 days per week. There is no such thing as sleeping in or lazy Sunday. Exhaustion is the new normal. Being tired is so far in the rearview that it is a distant memory, albeit a fond one. As happy as we are with our boys, it would be that much more enjoyable if there was a bit of sleep involved.
Our son must have been born with the gene that teaches him how to negotiate. And yes, before you ask - he always wins. Always.
There is no item too small or too big for him. Snack, bedtime, clothes, bath. You name it and somehow some way there always seems to be some sort of negotiation to get him to do what we want. We hear a lot of "one more minute" or "one more please." (Yes, our son has manors - that is actually one place where we are non-negotiable and he has excelled). It is not every waking minute of every single day, but it sure feels that way. The majority of the time it is because he wants to play longer or do something with mommy and daddy. He does not want to feel like he is missing the action.
There are certain places that we will not budge and the negotiations quickly breakdown into discord. But we are prepared for these moments and have a very good idea of what issues will trigger them. A simple distraction like pointing to a new toy or suggesting a new activity and all is right in the world.
I never thought that I would negotiate more with my 2.5 year old than I would in my professional life. And to be honest, he is far better at it than many colleagues that I come across. Then again, he is just beginning to understand the concept of consequences so he still does not realize there are any. So he can negotiate with reckless abandon and believes he has nothing to lose.
He has many years to hone his technique which can only make him more dangerous. I am both proud and scared at the same time.
As many parents can attest, when it comes to feeding a hungry baby speed is of paramount importance. This is especially true at night when you are trying to feed a crying baby and not wake their older sibling.
To this end, we purchased the Orb Bottle Warmer. It is a steam warmer so it is supposed to heat up quickly which is what we need. What we got, however, was inconsistency at best and melted bottles at worst. Some bottles felt like they were not even heated. Some were the right temperature. Some were scorching hot. It was a complete guessing game as to what you would get. There is no reservoir so you must fill it each time you use it which makes it quite inconvenient.
Ultimately we returned this product.