Oee’s New Nemesis

Howdy parter! Shirtless is how I roll!

Howdy parter! Shirtless is how I roll!

Recently Oee decided he hates wearing shirts. I understand hating pants. They are tight around the waste and give me muffin top and hurt my tummy. But shirts? They are warm and unoffensive. Regardless of my opinion, Oee now hates wearing shirts. He hates getting them on and insists “No shirt. Shirt off, shirt off.” every time I put one on him. Even if it is green!

Now he knows how to take them off. I have found him shirtless in many situations; during parties, going to sleep, when we are getting ready to go outside. None of them appropriate, but some are less appropriate than others. Especially with the winter we have been having! Today, I went to check on Oee during his nap, to find one arm had manouvered it’s way out the neck hole of his rather snug shirt. On some occasions he has managed to get both arms out that way and wears a sweater as a tube top.

When I correct the renegade arm, he usually gets very upset with me, knowing that he was part way to freedom from his evil jail of a top. Fits of crying and flailing normally ensue. I have learned to handle this. The newest trend is the one that concerns me. Oee thinks Wossy also needs to be freed from the constraint of shirts. Now, in addition to protecting Wossy for Oee’s kisses, hugs, attempts at carrying or trying to share the baby’s seat, I need to make sure he isn’t forcbily stripped naked by his well-meaning brother.

Well, I predict a naked summer in this house! For the boys. I will remain very, very clothed.

Pronunciation Disasters

Oee is doing very well with his communication skills. He loves talking, and never stops! Lots of things are sung to the tune of the wheels on the bus. Whenever a person or animal does something, apparently it should be set to “Wheels Bus” as he says. But singing isn’t Oee’s only language quirk. Like most toddlers, he has pretty interesting pronunciation. Unfortunately, he inherited his mother’s ear structure, so his hearing isn’t great and his pronunciation suffers. Here are two of the most unfortunate words we are working on.

Clocks. Oee loves them. The giant and I each have a clock on our bedside table, but since being a stay at home mom, mine isn’t even plugged in. Oee loves pointing out “mommy’s clock” and “daddy’s clock” and letting us know that “mommy’s clock is broken”. The issue is Oee thinks the L is silent. The bigger issue is he loves telling us about this in public, any time he sees a clock.

The other notoriously silent letters are the first 4 letters in shampoo. Again, the shampoo always belongs to mommy, and he loves talking about it in public.

Oee, loving his bath time with "Oee's poo and mommy's poo"

Oee, loving his bath time with “Oee’s poo and mommy’s poo”

I have learned my best coping mechanism, which I am sure is the way of most toddler parents. Our public conversations start with Oee pointing and saying “Look, mommy poo” in his normal volume. Then I respond “Yes, Oee, that is like mommy’s shampoo. Just like mommy’s shampoo!” In a very loud voice. Thinking about it now, I don’t know why I care that much, but in the moment it is apparently very important to me that the other mom’s and retirees in the drugstore during the day know he is talking about haircare, and that I am not doing anything inappropriate in aisle 3.

Then there is another favourite; “mommy pee pee”. But he is just actually talking about me peeing (I have 2 under 2 and rarely do I have a moment alone, even in the bathroom!), so there is no way to correct that one, and I just have to laugh!

Awesome or Ruined?!

A rare moment of Oee crying, the day Wossy was born.

A rare moment of Oee crying, the day Wossy was born.

Darwin rarely barks. In fact he is scared of barking. He will happily run wild with any big, ferocious dog. Bring on the dobermans, mountain dogs, great danes; the bigger the better. They will beat the snot out of eachother, playfully of course. But if a dog barks at him, he is terrified, thus teacup poodles are his nightmare! I always thought it is awesome that Darwin is scared of barking. He is a quiet dog and I like it that way. I assumed it was something bred into him. Now I am questioning if this is instead a neurosis that I have created.

Oee isn’t much of a crier and he never really has been. Again, I thought this was awesome. When Oee was still in the infant class, it was pretty routine for me to come in to pick him up from daycare to find all the other kids crying, and Oee to be looking around quiet, confused, and a wee bit nervous. It was adorable.

Now, Wossy is an even quieter baby than Oee. I can actually still count the number of times he has ever cried since he was born. And yet again… AWESOME! Or so I thought.

At the WONDERFUL family get together we attended over the weekend, Oee’s second cousin cried at nap time. Like a normal, healthy child. Oee was more than a little concerned. Now I am worried that the same fear of barking instilled in my dog has manifested in my children as a fear of crying. The question in my mind, is have I made my children even more awesome as a result, or have I possibly done some real psychological damage!? It’s not like it was intentional, and we never scold them for crying. It’s not like we trained our dog to be scared of barking either, but boy he is!

I think a lot of parenting (for me and the giant, at least) is about worrying how much you have damaged your kid. And sometimes it’s pretty nerve-racking. Until I take a pen or marker away from Oee. Then he is not afraid of crying at all. And I think we’re doing ok.

Colours, the Dr. Seuss Way

Oee in his "Green Eggs and Ham bum". And cowboy boots, cause he's cool like that!

Oee in his “Green Eggs and Ham bum”. And cowboy boots, cause he’s cool like that!

Recently Oee has learned about colours. He loves telling you what colour things are. He likes restarting my laptop so he can tell me that the windows logo is red, green, yellow and blue. (Yes, he knows exactly what button to push to restart my computer, and he has fast little hands when he wants to get to something!)

We cloth diaper. Now that we have two boys in diapers, it creates A LOT of laundry. As a result, the diapers are rarely put away anymore. They are washed, hung to dry, then picked directly from the drying rack (aka, hung around the outside of the playpen) and put on a baby or toddler bum. Oee has access to the diapers and he loves telling me what colour they are. He loves picking the colour he is going to wear. The problem is he always wants his favourite colour and only that colour; green. We do have more green diapers than any other colour, but eventually he has to have a yellow diaper, or black or brown or whatever. All Oee cares is it is not the green diaper he asked for. Most times that is ok. Sometimes it is a disaster. Sometimes putting a blue diaper on the kid causing screaming, kicking and tears. Luckily, a lot of the time, Oee gets to wear a “green bum” as he calls it. And, like everything that is green, if he really likes it, it is not just “green” it is “green eggs and ham”.

10 Rules for Buying Toys

So, it’s a month past Christmas, and after clearing out under the couch (aka the collector of toys, shoes, garbage and terrifying quantities of cereal and raisins!) I decided to organize the toychest before putting everything in it. This made me identify the numerous flaws in my previous toy-buying decisions. Here is my new list of rules:

It was organized for 5 minutes, before O-E destroyed it again

It was organized for 5 minutes, before O-E destroyed it again

10. Toys that go in other toys are awesome. Never buy blocks, etc. unless they come in a container. The easier to clean and organize the better.

9. “Pieces” cannot be necessary. Never buy a toy that is no longer useful or fun if one piece (or even multiple pieces) go missing. It will go missing. Most pieces will go missing and when a toddler finds part of a toy he wants to play with, you try to to explain why it isn’t working properly!

8. Books rock! But you better be prepared to read anything you buy literally thousands of times. If you aren’t willing to read it 10 times a day, you are setting yourself up for a lot of frustration. Also, be very careful with voices. Once you do a voice while reading a book, it is expected every time. There are no takebacks with voices.

7. Books shouldn’t move. Pop-up books, or books with movie features is like giving your child an elmo doll made of fine china. They can’t help themselves. Paper will tear, tears will flow, you will be frustrated. Stick with bright pictures and words. That’s what books are for.

6. If they make noise, the off switch should be parent accessible. And only parent accessible. Sometimes elmo doesn’t care if he’s tickled and the kids should not be able to change that on their own.

5. Little pieces should survive the dryer. Toddlers discover their pockets, and it’s a whole new world of what you find in the laundry. Mr. potatohead tongues, blocks, cutlery, the pieces of pop-up books they have destroyed. And those are the things I am not too embarassed to write about.

4. Age appropriate doesn’t just refer to choking hazards. If your kids are safe with a toy, but need your help to play with it because it is too messy or complex on their own (I am looking at you markers!) it is not ideal!

3. Don’t get excited. If you buy an awesome toy that you know they’ll love and they are happier with the box than the toy itself, get over it. Don’t try to show them how awesome the toy is and get frustrated when they don’t care. They’ll love the toy at some point. But never on your terms or timeline.

2. Just go with it. If it’s clean and safe, it can be a toy. There is currently a cleaned out Sunlight Dish Soap bottle, and an old cell phone carrier that snaps on to your belt (it came with the charger, neither me nor the giant are douchy awesome enough to wear cell phones on our belts. Ever.) in our toy chest. If they make your kid happy, and keep them entertained; AWESOME!

1. DO NOT buy toys that you want to play with. Your kids won’t play with them properly and it will piss you off. Mister potatohead’s ears do not belong on the top of his head, but O-E doesn’t understand. Maybe this one is just me. But seriously there are so many toys that he just doesn’t play with the right way!

Just 'cause he was looking too cute while I wrote this.

Just ’cause he was looking too cute while I wrote this.

Growling at Babies!?!

We spent 2 weeks over the holidays with my parents. O-E couldn’t pronounce “GR” noises, so his grandparents were “poppy” and “amma”, which he came up with on his own. Despite his inability to say “GR” when speaking, he has been able to tell you that a bear or tiger growl with a ferocious “GRRRR” since he was just over a year old. On Christmas day, Poppy tried to get him to say “Gravy” at dinner by saying “Grrrr-avy”. O-E picked this up very quickly, complete with a demonic voice that you couldn’t imagine coming out of a 20 month old boy. The only problem was that he thought poppy was saying GRRR-Baby. So, for weeks after, O-E would walk around saying “Grrr-baby” in the most terrifying toddler voice he could manage. Including to his 3 week old baby brother. Not surprising, Wossy is not so sure about his big brother, even to this day!

I can just imagine what he is whispering to Wossy here!

I can just imagine what he is whispering to Wossy here!

* He really does love his brother, and just wants to hug and kiss him, though you can’t tell by his vocalizations! Or the mildly possessed look in his eyes in this picture.

Injured Moustaches

IMG_8043

Not actually today’s runny nose, but you get the idea!

O-E is 21 months old and has an average vocabulary for his age. Which is to say, he understands a ton, says a lot and has horrible pronunciation. He knows what a moustache is; he points them out on hipsters and old men. However, he thinks “moustache” also refers to all upper lips, therefore mommy, grandma and even O-E have moustaches. Today he was playing and hurt his “moustache”, so of course he sought out mommy for a kiss to make it better. The problem is he has a horrible cold, and his nose has been replaced with a faucet that produces a constant stream of green slime. How do you handle your adorable toddler running up to you saying “Moustache hurted, mommy kiss!” expecting you to make it all better? Do you kiss the slime? Kleenexed or not, there is no end to the slime! Do I try to rationalize with my toddler; “Look dude, I love you and all but your nose is snotty and gross?” Do I just ride out the fuss and hope it passes?

Today’s method: A quick kiss on the forehand, and soft finger touch to the “hurted” area, and before he realizes he has been tricked, the number one, all time, best parenting tool ever: distraction! “Hey O-E, is that Elmo on the floor?” Worked this time! I’ll have to think about how to handle it next time, when I might not be so lucky.