Monday, April 7, 2014

17 reasons my 17-month-old has had meltdowns!

M has been showing us her fiery side more often than not. Her temper tantrums aside, we have lately had some tearful meltdowns for the silliest of reasons - I mean I have wanted to shake her and tell her that life is much more cruel and worse, and tears should be saved for that. (Yes, I try to remember that she is only 17 months old :(.) 

Here are some of the most inane crying episodes by our feisty lady in the last couple of weeks:
  • She pinched me so hard and I shouted, "Ouch, that hurts so bad!" That's it, she started howling, "hurt", "hurt", with spurious tears rolling down those cheeks. Apparently, I can't say I was hurt. Only she can get hurt. And so, even though I was hurting, I had to say sorry! WTF!
  • M plays a lot with her soft toys and walks them and pats them to sleep. Now, she has this big plastic ride on puppy toy that has wheels - she spent some 15 minutes trying to place it in a sleeping position but obviously couldn't - imagine putting a tricycle to sleep. After that she cried in frustration, shouting, "shleep, shleep", and looked at me with tears in her eyes, "peppe no shleep". Gosh, I wanted to tell her that's exactly how I feel when you don't go to sleep. 
  • At some random time during the day, she brings the phone to me and says, "call". I was like there's nobody to call - I don't want to talk to anybody. That was enough for a tantrum to happen. She burst into tears, "call, talk".  I spent the next 15 minutes talking on a phone with nobody on the other end while her highness kept on looking at me and smiling. Seriously, WTF.
  • The brat just needs an excuse for a crying session so that she can abandon her meals (read more about this in my post here). She wants me to feed her doll. And I always oblige. But the other day, she threw a fit because the doll was not eating. I had put some of her food on the doll's mouth, and she was crying at the doll - "eat, eat." (looks like she clearly understands the emotion I go through when she does not eat :P).
  • The dog that she came to look at, at the window, left without saying "bow bow" - so the next 10 minutes were spent crying "bow bow, bow bow"
  • She got up at 4 in the morning and shouted "bath bath". When I firmly said "no bath", we had a 15 minute crying session.
  • She cried when I was walking with her in my lap, patting her to sleep, because she was shouting "hug, hug" (more hug stories here). And I was shouting back, I am already hugging you, you silly goose".
  • Another tryst with her toys: she cried because "Polo" wouldn't "shit (sit)", only "shleep". The soft toy ( a baby polar bear) is made in such a way that it looks like it's on all fours - but she was trying to balance it on its non existent bum!
  • Her highness has a skewed fashion sense. She cried her heart out because I did not let her wear mismatched pair of shoes - on hindsight, I could have avoided this meltdown by just letting her wear it - big deal, no?
  • One more crying session because the heart shape wouldn't go through the triangle shape in her activity toy. I tried showing her the slot for the heart shape but no, she was going on trying to put it through the triangle slot (and crying and crying).
  • She also cried because I did not let her put her sippy cup upside down and spill the milk on the carpet.  
  • A violent crying session happened because Vish had closed the door on her as he was working from home and had to take a call.
  • We cry everyday because we don't want the bath time to end - ever because ducky or a leg or an arm would still be "dirty".
  • Another recurrent crying session is because mommy refuses to read the same story for the 159th time in the day.
  • And also because the mean mommy refuses to sing that stupid nursery rhyme for the 248th time in the day.
  • One big reason for an at-will meltdown is because the trash can is locked away before she can get her hands on it.
  • And finally, we end up crying, because we have been crying and because we have forgotten the real reason why we started crying - and so there is so much confusion, so we cry some more.

At this rate, I might just go bald pulling my hair in frustration, even before the terrible twos begin!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

HUG!

[Warning: This post is loaded with the "awwww" factor" :D.]

So Manya has really been picking up words - she's still ofcourse on the one word at a time communication stage - no phrases yet (and I believe that is a long way to go) but she sure has mastered the skill of getting her point across. For example, "Out", "Walk", "Play", "Book" (which means I should read to her), "See" (This is when I exasperatedly ask her what do you want to do - the cheeky brat says "See".), and so on. 
The cutest of these is of course is HUG, which basically means she is asking, nay, demanding to be hugged that very moment. This happens several times a day, and please note the smart pants' timing:
  • She wants a hug when I am putting her to sleep - now try hugging a baby when she is already in your lap and you are walking with her. I explain (rather scream) to her that I am already hugging her but no - looks like there is a difference.
  • She definitely wants a hug if her sleep gets disturbed at some god forsaken hour in the night.
  • Just when I begin to eat or drink something, her highness comes demanding a hug.
  • If I am at the laptop, hugs shall be needed every 3 minutes.
  • Hug is also a topic changing strategy. If I start telling her a story that she doesn't want to hear or engage her in some activity that doesn't interest her, she cuts me midway and says hug.
  • If I am talking on a phone, there is no way she can stay without the hug.
  • Hug is also apparently a symbol of peace - a white flag that she hoists. If she is upto something that she isn't supposed and I happen to catch her, she quickly, in the cutest of tones, will say, hug. Ditto if I raise my volume or say NO.
If that is not all, the hug is said in the most endearing manner that try as much as I to convince myself that she is faking all the cuteness to get her way, I still cannot resist hugging her. What a drama queen we have, I tell you!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

6 reasons M abandons her meal midway...

I am beginning to realize motherhood is the craziest job ever. I swear to god I have aged a few decades in the last few months. Here is an example post. My size zero daughter who is a very poor eater, comes up with new tactics everyday to abandon her meals. And no, it is not lack of hunger, I am sure.

Here are the top 6 reasons why my 16 month old has to get up and leave her high chair/place of eating (and ofcourse, stop eating):
  • She wants a hug. I'll be approaching her with a spoon and she will scream "HUG", "HUG" - and it cannot be a sideways hug. I must remove her from her high chair, hug her nicely - and that's the end of the meal. (P.S. I am with her 24/7 and we have all the time to hug but looks like such affection is needed most at meal time.)
  • She says she has done potty. A couple of spoonfuls, and she will hold her diaper and say "potty", "potty". I take her off the chair and check - and as expected, there is no poop! She squeals with joy as she knows her trick has worked for the umpteenth time!
  • She feels the food is too hot for her. And before you even attempt to justify her shouting "HOT", "HOT", at every bite - let me tell you she does that even if it's yogurt!
  • She wants to read a book right then. And I try to work around this, by placing the book on her tray and reading it but she squirms - she wants my full attention - no stealing spoonfuls here and there.
  • She is sleepy. It doesn't matter whether it is her nap time or not or whether she is really sleepy or not. She'll start saying, "shleep, shleep", and patting herself - Her eyes will be drooping and no way will that mouth open for another bite. And voila, once out and about, the freakin' "shleep" goes out of the window!
  • She is hurt. She holds some random body part - and points to one tiny area and keeps saying in a very emotional tone, "hurt, hurt". I swear, there is never ever any hurt.
At this rate, I will soon be asking for best hair dye options :( :(.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Oh my cutie, what should I feed thee?

Breast is best, they said.
But others insisted formula must be fed.

Solids after 6 months, many were sure.
Others, after 3 months, raised a furor.

And how we sorted the first foods:
Rice cereal was empty carbs;
Fruits would encourage a sweet tooth;
Veggies too tasteless for those tiny buds;
Lentils on the new plumbing would be tough.

That was not all,
Organic or not,
Boiled or steamed
Blended, mashed, or bites.
Oh no end to the sugar, salt, n honey fights.

Then the stage was set at one -
Cow's milk to be fed to the hun.
Some claimed that was unnecessary;
Vegan upbringing was the best.
Others said fresh from the cow's shed.
Pasteurized milk had no good bacteria;
Raw milk had the good AND the bad bacteria.

Good lord, I had never imagined solid feeding
Would be a constant battle I'd be fighting.

So the question is, with all these confusions - this and that
What does my lovely daughter have for meals and snack?
Well, she's made my life fairly simple -
Her highness refuses to eat at all.

She thinks meals are a waste of time,
And she'd rather toss a ball outside.
And then on some days, she's under the weather,
Or it is the infamous teething monster.
If nothing else, my doc insists,
It is the fussy toddler phase!

(No, I haven't lost my sanity yet
Though I think I am tempting fate.)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Bath!

I had done a post when M was just a couple of months old - on how she really enjoys her bath times. This is Version 2.0 of that. 

A couple of weeks back, we moved her from the baby tub to the adult tub, using a transitional inflatable bath tub. I was not very confident of her going into the main tub all by herself and I really really enjoy bathing alone, so sharing a bath with her highness would be just making a watery mess of myself. So, I searched around for reasonable inflatable options and did manage to find a fairly decent one. It blows up without much effort and can go weeks without needing more air, has a pleasing blue background with yellow ducking printed all over, and fits snugly into the main tub! I swear to god, you go online looking for any tailor made requirements, everything's available!

How did the transition go? Fairly well. She was uneasy the first two days but that's primarily because the tap in that washroom is very noisy. The third day onwards, we have been having a blast. She has got her duckies and the rinse mugs to play with, and she could bathe all day. 

And, my stories don't usually end on a peaceful note - So here's the catch now. M has learnt how to say bath - so now every half an hour throughout the day, she leads me to the door of the bathroom and keeps pleading "bath, bath". If that was not annoying enough, she has taking such a fancy to her blue rinse mug that she slept with it for two nights! Yes, I have a crazy daughter - she has even slept with her toothbrush, btw!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Picasso's first masterpiece!

(P.S. No, I don't have any megalomaniac expectation from my progeny to become a Picasso or a Michelangelo. You get what you give and I know what genes I have transferred :D. So read the title in jest, please, lest you think I am one of those mothers who think no end of their children :P.)

So, M surprised us a couple of weeks back by taking a pen and trying to scribble on her book. It crossed my mind that I should get her a non toxic crayon set but then quickly vetoed the idea considering she is still mouthing anything and everything and non-toxic or not, I wasn't prepared to feed her crayons. However, at her 15th month appointment, the doctor happened to mention that she was showing good motor skills and it may not be too early to let her scribble! Hmm. 

I went online and searched stores for safe art work supplies but found nothing. All very clearly mentioned 24 months and above, and one can understand why - choking hazards etc etc. However, I chanced upon this fantastic stamping kit that is big enough for the clumsy grip of a 16 month old and has no coloring parts that are available for sucking or chewing. What is even better is that it works only on the paper that comes with the kit - it doesn't work on walls, clothes or upholstery - and it clearly says 12m+. Yes, looks like a perfect solution does exist :). It's a product by Crayola and you can check it out here

Manya thoroughly enjoyed the fun of having to scribble on her own. Here is her working at her first master piece...


And this is the completed masterpiece ;)...


Don't ask me what I think it is - when have great artists ever explained their work? That is the misery of the consumers :D.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Letting it go in the snow storm!

So, being a FTM (first time mom :P), I do tend to exhibit typical paranoid behaviors every once in a while (actually more often than I would like to admit) but then what the hell, all that comes with the title!

M was born in November and I have been very particular about keeping her in controlled temperatures - even inside the house - so much so that I earned the nickname "Temperature Nazi" from Vish. 
For example, in the first year, we would maintain a temperature between 68F and 72F in winters. During bath times, I'd religiously spike it up to 74F. During summers, between 76F-80F. However, this winter we are doing between 65F-68F and 70F-72F for bathing. Any variance of even a degree used to cause (I swear it no longer does) hyper blood pressure in me :D. 

Now, outside temperatures are hard to control, right? So, guess what my rules for taking M out for a walk were until November of last year. Temperature range should be 68F-80F. No winds. No bright or harsh sun. UV index of 4 or lower (yes, I was crazy enough to check it every single time for our zip code). And obviously, not at meal times/milk times/ snack times/nap times. Go figure out the narrow time range then available for the outdoors :). 

However, the polar vortex has put me in my place. With continuous cold weather and more snow storms than ever before, I have realized keeping a toddler at home 24 hours is detrimental to your own sanity. Now, M has gone for walks at even 30F, with winds at 19MPH. I even allow her to play in all that piled up snow outside and around our apartment. She even eats it! Yuck! (But maybe not so much - it's cleaner than the window sills she licks every once in a while :P.)

So, have I let this aspect go? Pretty much, except that for every range of degrees, I have a mental chart on what M should be wearing - And on that I am not compromising (errr, for now)!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Caring for the milky whites!

Another scheduled activity into Madame M's busy life - brushing teeth twice a day. Even though she has barely three teeth, the doctor at her 15th month appointment recommended we start with a finger brush and kiddie tooth paste. According to her, at about 18 months we should start letting M use a toddler toothbrush so that by 2 she is a pro at brushing. Yes, ma'am, we said :D.

And, I don't have to re-emphasize the ideal patients that we are (or rather I enforce we are as a family) - so I promptly bought her the required set and some yummy apple-banana organic toothpaste (the fuss that our generation of parents make, makes my parents eyes roll almost everyday! :P).

Her highness's take on this new activity? She is thrilled. She likes the rub on her gums and teeth so much (I am assuming all that pressure must be massaging and soothing her sore teething gums). Also the toothpaste flavor gets a thumbs up from her and just when you are thinking that atleast one post where I am not really complaining - I am sorry to disappoint you. She is so excited about this brushing routine that she refuses to part with the finger brush. Only two days have passed and all four times, we have had a tussle for about 5 minutes and I have had to shout atleast a hundred times, "Manya, we are done with brushing - your many (:P) teeth have been adequately cleaned!" Pssstttt.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The first quarter of the second year...

So, yes I stopped doing the monthly milestone updates at the 12th month but M is growing up so fast that I thought I should do this post to just jot down small changes at 15 months that will otherwise be left to the mercy of memory :).
  • M is growing tall at a fast pace but guess what is not increasing - her weight! she fairs down there in the percentile charts! Ya ya, a healthy active baby and all that. Yes, I console myself. Is there a size zero in babies? 
  • M may or may not qualify as a poor eater but she is definitely not a picky eater. (Touch wood, knock head). So, bring on the greens, and all the healthy stuff! Extra sweet, extra oily, extra creamy, extra rich - naah, not for my baby - how else will she maintain her size zero (bleh)
  • And, by the way, someone's not only walking, but running and dancing too! She moves her bum and taps her feet to music. Runs the minute she's let loose. Her motor skills have been good and she is onto activity centers, stacking rings etc. now. Though, I must mention she gets awfully irritated when she ends up putting the smaller ring before the larger one - she tosses the whole thing to the other end of the room (Note to self: watch out for her temper!)
  • She talks non-stop. And thus all my recent posts have only been about that!
  • She has one full tooth and two others popping out. A late bloomer but looks like, she is catching up :).
  • Some other personality traits we are beginning to discover are: she has a furious temper - and she doesn't express it by crying - she screams and bangs her head or whatever is in her hand. Gosh! Once over the initial stranger anxiety, she is quite a people's person - she even initiates conversations and absolutely loves all the attention she gets!
  • We have already had two sickness bouts - a fever and a cold - and I hate those days! I'd rather fall sick instead (and I don't even mean it in the sacrificing Indian mother kind of way) because atleast I'll feel like I have more control and not just move around with a cup of milk and a bowl of soup all day!
  • M has also started trying to remove her clothes on her own - she unzips her jackets and leaves them hanging around the sleeves like a freakin' goon, she pulls down her PJs, even attempts to undo her diapers! God save me!
  • Weather permitting, we take her out for walks and she thoroughly enjoys her new found independence. She runs towards cars (sigh) and never ever wants to hold my hand (yeah, already - I guess that's how girls are, huh?)
And on that weathery note, signing off with Manya gazing at all the snow outside! 

    Friday, February 7, 2014

    Bitch!

    I know I know. This is a parenting blog - a personal chronicle, and whatever it might include, there does not seem to be the remotest possibility of the scope for name calling. Yet, you wonder, that is precisely what I did. Yes. And No.

    Let's start at the very beginning. As M started practicing refining her sounds more and more, the buh (bus) became the bitch. The fish comes a close second (she says something like bitsch). Though the pronunciation is scandalous, anyone in context - a fish nearby, a bus nearby - would immediately correlate or understand. 

    Cut to the present, anything that her highness cannot name or rather does not know, she promptly calls it a "bitch" (much to our dismay, there is absolutely no baby accent or overtone or lisp - it is crystal clear and well pronounced) . It started last weekend when we went over to a cousin's place, M started using the word for everything - much to everyone's amusement. Even though, I had already warned everyone that bus and fish is bitch, nobody was prepared for the word being thrown around at the drop of a hat! 

    Today, during a shopping trip, she pointed at some random stuff in a lady's cart, and yelled out BITCH! Imagine the shock on the face of all the people around. (A name calling 15 month old! I wonder if somebody called Child Protection Services!) I just good-naturedly smiled and covered up saying, "oh no Manya, there's no fish here here", in the hope that people get the point. But frankly speaking, how long can I defend myself saying that we do not abuse at home :D. 

    Earlier ofcourse, we'd end up rolling our eyes whenever she'd utter the horrific word, but now I am just beginning to ignore it and dispassionately telling her the right word instead. I have a feeling she realizes the excitement she causes when she says it - her eyes lit up and there is much emphasis (the brat, I tell you!) and I don't want to feed that!