Friday, 24 June 2011

Oh wow...temper tantrums

So the downside of having an easygoing baby, is the total shock of the overnight passage into the terrible twos and the temper tantrum.

Yesterday there were three big ones, today just a couple small ones. It's only been about a month and I hear it could be a year or two or even longer than that before he passes this stage. Oh my do you make it? :)

I''ve of course seen the temper tantrum in action with other people's kids, and even remember my brother's explosive ones. But I always secretly hoped this developmental stage would simply skip my child, or I would always have the wits and patience about me to turn into my own super nanny; quickly fixing the problem with just the right words and successful usage of a little time-out mat. Yeah right.

A toddler, that launches into a shrieking rage with his body thrashing or standing so firmly as if planted in cement, can put you very close to edge. Perhaps sometimes they even push you right over.

Now I can usually predict, explain or understand them if I know he's tired or hungry. But it's the ones that come out of the blue, or are simply prompted by the word "No" that I find the most exhausting.

I know there are many different approaches and theories out there and I have to find what works for my own child, but I'd love to know what worked for some of you.
Perhaps I will read my first parenting book since pregnancy.:) Any suggestions?

Saturday, 18 June 2011

When it rains, it pours

And lately it's been pouring in a good way. Three weeks ago I didn't have a job and the bank account was down to my last few hundred. Panic had set in. I ended up in tears on the phone (again) to my ex about my feelings of fear and desperation and asking for more money. Extremely humbling and and a bit humiliating to say the least. Then things just started happening. The months of job searching and applying, pestering phone calls and networking started to pay off.

I now have a contract to teach ESL summer school in August (and a possible foot in the door for fall), programs with Parks and Rec, and a tutor position with a company. I have also started my own little tutoring company, The Kitchen Table Tutor, which now has 5 students!

My sister jokes with all the different jobs I'll be working part time 80hrs a week, but I can't complain now. :)

It might not be the dream teaching job I was hoping to have, but it's doing things I love and bringing home the bacon for my little man. I feel my independence returning and self esteem rising.

There's a light at the end of this tunnel.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Missing my best friend

I rarely say it and think I should 't even feel it, but I miss my ex. I miss my best friend.

I miss talking about our days.
I miss his kisses hello and goodbye.
I miss his calls to see if I needed anything.
I miss watching basketball together.
I miss cuddling in bed.
I miss having beers on the patio.
I miss being altogether as a family.
I miss having a big tough guy in my corner.
I miss going out to eat and to the movies.
I miss hanging with our friends.
I miss his hugs.
I even miss going to the gym.

I miss what we had. I miss my best friend.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

On the road again

Living 6 hours from my son's father and my former life means we are on the road a lot. And here we ago again today. We've been visiting our old town Portland for the last 2 1/2 weeks. I had some tying-up-loose-ends appointments and wanted to see friends. Luckily my little man is a great traveller and I think adapts very well to his new surroundings; perhaps too well. He calls pretty much any house we drive up to home now. He also might have referred to my firend's husband as 'daddy' once or twice.  I'm not sure if he's actually quite confused or if this is just his limited language skills shining through. Anyone else experienced this?

However being away for that long tires the best of us. And more than most this trips this one has been especially emotionally and physically exhausting. Just as I was coming to the end of my rope a few days ago, his dad returned to town and has been with him the last 3 days. So now I am rested, rejuvenated and ready to get my baby and hit the road home.

Keeping a toddler entertained during car rides is always a challenge. As recommended by other mamas I keep a large bag/basket in the front seat stocked with books, toys, snacks, soothers, sippy cups etc. ready to hand back when needed. This is especially helpful. However there are times when my son thoughtfuly passes, I mean hurls, them back when I obviously gave him the wrong thing or he's done. :(  Another question... What do you do in this situation when going down the highway at 70mph?

My son's favorite car activities are a magnetic drawing board, busy books and a shoebox roadmap. The last one is an easy-to-make project I found online. Using a large shoebox, you just flip it over, and draw roads, train tracks, buildings etc. with markers. The edges of the lid keep the cars from falling. So far he likes it .
I also take his little push bike, bubbles and a ball, so we can get outside and excercise at parks or rest stops.

Especially as summer approaches, I know many of us will be on the road again. Please share any tips for travelling with toddlers. :) Happy trails!