Afraid of the Dark

September 29, 2006

Is this just something kids her age (26 mos) go through?

I don’t think we’ve ever pretended or suggested that the dark is scary. Yet lately, my daughter has been afraid of the dark.

It started with just having to have the night light on her sound machine at bedtime. It is on a timer, so it goes off after a while. But even with it on, when we turn off the table lamp, which is already on the lowest setting, so it isn’t a big difference, my daughter tells us, “don’t want dark!”

Fortunately, once the light goes off, she is fine for the night – probably because she is asleep. We have a very dim nightlight that we’ve always had in there. It is one of those green glowing things you plug in the outlet. It doesn’t do more than allow us a little tiny bit of light if we need to go in there at night.

We don’t want any more than that. Ms. Kaz read that it isn’t good for kids to have a light on all night (Brazelton??), and we don’t want her to become dependant on something like that. Especially if we are on a trip and we have to sleep in the same room as her.

afraid_of_the_darkNow, the last couple of days, at night or in the morning, she’s started doing a few new things. The first is to point out that it is dark outside. Sometimes, she’ll follow this with, “have to go inside,” alluding to a time I took her out at dusk to look at geese flying overhead and she started saying, “dark outside. have to go inside.”

The other thing is her refusal to go in a room which doesn’t have a light on. She’ll tell us, “no wanna go in there. it’s dark in there.”

Like I said, we’ve done nothing to encourage, suggest, even pretend about being afraid of the dark. Mostly for fear something like this would happen.

It isn’t really annoying or wrong. I just wonder where she picked it up from. Is it normal for kids to just develop fears like this?


The Big Talk (Part VII)

September 27, 2006

Unity Delux Double Stroller

My wife doesn’t know it yet, but, if we have another kid, I’ve already got our double stroller picked out — this sweet double stroller from a new outfit called Baby Planet. The stroller is the Unity Delux, and it is billed as lightweight (good), and ultra-compact (really good).

It has a neat, “easy steer” handle, and those little bars across the kid which they can put their drinks in or some goldfish or something on (which isn’t something I’ve seen on non-butt-ugly strollers before).

They are due in stored in March ’07, but that’s okay, because it would take a miracle for that to be too late for our second kid.

[Thanks to daddytypes for the heads up on this stroller]

[Kaz: Man, I almost forgot to include another important part (below)]

The company is also dedicated to earth-friendly manufacturing, use of recycled materials, and “post-use” recycling. Furthermore, they use organic, hypo-allergenic materials, “green” (eco-friendly, not the color) dyes on fabrics, and avoid using PVC. And they will continue to research how to make their products even more “green,” which is something us “green parents” like to hear!


I “Broke” Our Daughter (again)

September 27, 2006

Okay, the first time may have been my “fault”.

This time, not so much. I think… I was holding my daughter’s hand outside, she stumbled a bit, then began to cry. Her arm hurt.

We went inside, put a boo-boo buddy on it and sat on the couch. After 10-15 minutes, it still hurt her. We gave her a drink and a slice of pizza, thinking maybe she was hungry and a bit tired (it was around her naptime). “Still hurts,” she told us.

Of course, this happens on a Sunday, when our only option is the E.R. So, into the car we go for another “adjustment” of her arm, which would cost us $20 if the doctor’s office were open on Sunday. Instead, it will cost us $80 at the hospital.

As we are driving there, she starts to use her arm and eventually tells us it is all better. So we go home.

At this point, I have to mention a couple things. First, my daughter has been saying, “ow” a lot. If we just move her, or pick her up or even look at her funny. So, we are a bit skeptical to begin with, but she was really crying about this. Second, she is very suggestable. If we ask her if her arm still hurts, there’s a good chance she will just say, “yes” whether it is or not.

Everything was fine. Until last night… Read the rest of this entry »


Conversations with…: Playing Doctor

September 26, 2006

My daughter got a toy doctor kit for her birthday, which she loves [Kaz: on a side note, our neighborhood is almost exclusively girls when it comes to infants and toddlers. One of about 2 boys in our neighborhood gave this to my daughter. I'm keeping my eye on him...] and plays with often. She likes to put the stethoscope on our chests and say, “boom boom”.

The other day, she was playing with it (“doctorin'” as she calls it) with me…

Daughter: Daddy feelin’ sick?
Me: oooooohhhh, I don’t feel so well…
Daughter: Daddy, check your ear? (as she puts the.. uh… ear looking in thing up to my ear)
Me: Is there anything in there?
Daughter: Yeah. A beaver in your ear.
Me: Beaver? or Fever?
Daughter: Beaver. (she holds the stethoscope up to my ear for a bit)
Daughter: Took beaver out. Daddy all better now?
Me: Thanks, sweetie. I feel better now.


Adventures in Babysitting

September 25, 2006

We got stood up the other day.

We found a babysitter who is wonderful. She works during the day at a daycare center. She’s nice. Our daughter loves her, and looks forward to her visits. And she’s reliable.

But the other night, we found ourselves worrying. We had a dinner to attend at 7pm, so we asked her to show up at 6:30pm. At 6:35, we were really nervous. “She’s sometimes late,” we said. “She’s always been reliable in the past.”

At 6:50, “Should we call?”

At 7pm, we called. No answer. Leave a message. My daughter starts asking questions about whether she’s coming or not.

At 7:15, we got a call. From really bad cell phone reception land. Turns out, she was waiting for us to call to confirm. Hmm… that DOES sound kind of familiar. Turns out we talked to her last time she babysat (3 or 4 weeks ago), and told her we were pretty sure we’d need her that day, but we’d call to tell her for sure. Of course, we never did. Turns out it was our fault afterall.

Finally, around 7:35, we called our daycare provider, because her daughter sometimes babysits for us, as well. “Just bring her over!” our daycare provider insisted, “we would love the company!”

Our daycare provider is old enough to have grandchildren, but she doesn’t. She and her husband (who usually gets a 1/2 hr or so after he comes home from work to play with our daughter), ADORE our daughter. They are pretty much a 3rd set of grandparents for her. They spoil her (in terms of gifts, mostly, but maybe occasionally allowing her to get away with stuff we don’t) rotten like grandparents. And she loved them like grandparents.

So the day was saved. We showed up a little late, but before dinner was served. Our daycare provider never allows us to pay them for this kind of thing, but we won a year’s worth of bread at a silent auction, so we were able to get them to take that as payment.

My question is — what is the etiquette for confirming a babysitter? Our’s is always reliable, and we never really have confirmed in the past. Is it rude to call and just sort of say, “you’re coming tomorrow, right?” or is that par for the course?


What we are reading: Oh, No! Not Ghosts!

September 22, 2006

[Kaz: sorry I've not had a lot of book reviews lately, but we've been getting good mileage out of the ones we already have.]

Oh, no! Not Ghosts! Oh No, Not Ghosts! by Richard Michelson and Adam McCauley is this year’s pick for a Halloween book for our daughter. I must say, it is far more fun for us to read than last year’s SpongeBob Spookypants (although, I do enjoy doing SpongeBob and Patrick voices).

Although, as you may have read in an early post about Elmo (and many, many of you apparently have – welcome, Elmo seekers!), you know I made a mistake you don’t make with a 2 year old, and that is to suggest the book might be a little scary. It isn’t. But it took me a couple days to convince my daughter it wasn’t.

The story is a quick read (3 minutes?), which is good for a two year old, and is fun. My daughter loves to read shout (okay, I encourage her to shout it) the “Not ____” parts of the book (Me, reading: “Ghosts?!? Oh, no! …” Daughter: “Not Ghosts!!”).

The drawings are fun (what do you expect when the illustrator dedicates the book to Maurice Sendak), and not too scary.

It was a good pickup. I’m glad I finally convinced my daughter to go with this one over the My Little Pony halloween book!

Now, we just gotta work on choosing a Halloween costume this year…

Oh No, Not Ghosts! can be had at bn.com for just $12.80.


New Pages

September 20, 2006

Okay, one of my goals here was to share some information on being a green, treehugging parent. At least to get my readers to try a few things to make their child healthier and their child’s world a better place.

To help me accomplish this, I’ve added two new pages at the top there (look up) — Things We Love, and Places We Love.

Things we love will hopefully grow to include many of the products – natural, green, etc. – that we ourselves use and think everyone should use. Or consider using.

Places we loves are websites we like to go for news and information (and sometimes just for fun).

They are still in the early stages, so check ‘em out now, and check ‘em out often, and let me know what you think.


Conversations with…: Creativity in Children

September 19, 2006

I don’t know a whole lot about child development. It is interesting to see how my daughter develops in certain ways, such as her language skills, her sense of humor, her motor skills. Tonight, I think she took a big step forward in development of creativity. Creativity of excuse, that is.

No more, “I don’t wanna!” for her. Oh, no. Instead, after spilling some pretzels on the couch, she began to clean them up (not on her own, of course, but with repeated asking telling in loud voices prompting from us). Halfway through, a car beeped its horn outside, and she stopped.

Daughter: Can’t clean up. Car beeping.
Me: I think you can finish cleaning up.
Daughter: Can’t clean up. Car beeping.

Of course, not only did she need to stop cleaning up, but we had to call my brother-in-law and mother-in-law to tell them, “Can’t clean up. Car beeping.”

I can’t wait to use this excuse myself.


Tickle Me Elmo TMX Popularity (or Does My Daughter Like What I Tell Her To Like)

September 19, 2006

Elmo TMXSo, the wonder and amazement of the new Tickle Me Elmo TMX was released today. I’m not going to go into the specifics of what it does — you know how to use Google.

To me, it is, well.. I was going to say a total letdown, but I wasn’t really expecting much to begin with. But, from a technology standpoint, it is kind of interesting. But, as I commented on DaddyTypes, are kids going to be impressed by this, or do they come to expect toys to do everything a human can (and then some!) ??

Greg made a good point to my comment, and that is that the sales of this toy may be driven solely mostly by parents anyway. Afterall, Greg points out, “what hands-on user of TMX was even born when TME came out? No one”

All this made me wonder about the things my daughter likes, and my influence on those things…

Read the rest of this entry »


Conversations with…: Brutal Honesty

September 18, 2006

My daughter is very honest. About the only thing she’ll lie about is if she’s pooped.

Most often, her honesty is about her intentions. Especially after a Time Out:

Us: Now, why did you get a time out?
Daughter: pullin’ kitty’s tail
Us: Are you going to do it again?
Daughter: Yeah.

or:

Us: Why did you get a time out?
Daughter: Jumpin’ on couch
Us: Are you going to do it again?
Daughter: Yeah.

But sometimes it is just general observations. As she grows older, she’ll learn about such things. But, for now, we have to deal with conversations such as this:

Daughter: Daddy have teeth
Me: That’s right. I have teeth. Do you have teeth? 
Daughter: Yeah… Daddy have yellow teeth.
Me: Yeah… thanks for pointing that out. What color are mommy’s teeth?
Daughter: uhmm… yellow!


On Organics

September 15, 2006

We’re very fortunate that we’re able to provide as much organic foods as we can for our daughter (and ourselves!). We feel really good about allowing a little chemicals and genetically modified junk as possible.

Maybe we can afford it because we are just offsetting the grocery bill savings from not eating meat?

Anyhow, I’ve been wanting to add a page about some of our favorite organic products for our daughter, but I haven’t gotten around to collecting the links.

One thing that I have noticed is that I sometimes sacrifice taste (or maybe just the taste I am used to) for natural and organic. For example, we bought some natural version of Coco Krispies for an ocasional treat. I once tried some and they were just awful to me! My daughter loved them, though.

I guess that’s the good thing about raising her on natural products — she doesn’t seem to know that there are better tasting alternatives out there!

Anyone have any organic foods their kids just love?

[Kaz: see also the lively discussion on organic milk at Daddytypes]


It’s a small, small world…

September 14, 2006

The wonderful thing about the internet is that, if you search hard enough, you can find several links telling you that you are a bad parent. It might be some product you use, or it might be some product you don’t use. It might something you do for your child, or something you don’t do for your child.

Better yet, if you have a blog, and post something to your blog, there is a good chance that those people telling you are an idiot will come to you to do it!

So, here’s your chance to tell me I am an idiot (or, hopefully, tell me I am not an idiot) because we are seriously considering taking our daughter, who will be two-and-a-half at the time, to DisneyWorld this winter.

Our thinking, or lack thereof after the jump…

Read the rest of this entry »


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