sharing my life experiences, reflections and insights as a mother, a writer, an Occupational Therapist and and a spiritual being having a human experience

Posts tagged ‘toddlers’

The Gift of Life: Reflected in My Children

Happy Birthday to me!

I prepared for today’s post by reflecting  on my entry from last year: My 42 Year Journey

This year we celebrated at home the day before my birthday.  My husband and three children shared their cards with me as we enjoyed homemade gluten-free and egg-free chocolate cake with coconut milk ice-cream   And my amazing 10 year old daughter wrote this story for me.  She has been doing a lot of writing and I really enjoy hearing her stories and poems. She has also been collaborating with her PA cousin via Skype to write stories.   All of this has been her idea and her initiative– aka- unschooling at it’s best.  It is exciting to watch my children develop their interests and really take off with something that they enjoy doing.  It is also a great reminder to me that my actions do affect my children and one of the best things I can do for their “education” is to show them in my actions that I am pursuing my interests and following my passion!  

This has been very clear with my oldest child, Harrison as his personality is one of concentrated persistence.  Many of his interests have been easy to nurture with trips to the library and home made items.  His focus on achieving what he sets out to do has enabled him to find a way to build a computer and obtain software as well as purchase a digital camera.  It was really cool to get a handmade -with paper and crayons- card from him this year.   A pleasant variation on his recent 

computer generated  cards and picture compilations.  It helped me to remember that despite having an “old soul” beyond his years persona and the fact that he will soon have a driving  learner’s permit, he is still in his  childhood and his younger self is so much very alive in him in a new teenage form.  I can see similarities in my youngest and oldest. Maybe having a three year old and a fourteen year old simultaneously is the key to seeing the similarities between teens and toddlers as well as being able to appreciate that they are their own person at every age.

We think of our youngest as the busy, full of energy, and action kid, yet I keep getting reminders how much he loves to sit with art supplies.  We spent time together last night coloring with markers in a coloring book and also with blank paper and he said to me, “I’m good at drawing. I’m supposed to be an artist”.  One of those moments when you feel like you are getting a big glimpse into their soul.  He has also made a similar comment to me some time ago about sailing.  I have to wonder if these thoughtful responses are coming from a deeper place than just his physical three-year-old self.

I hope I am able to nurture all of my children’s passions.  I know I began my parenting journey with that focus and see it clearly with my oldest child who was an only child for four years.  I feel like my daughter has been given more and more opportunities to pursue her passion since we adopted our dog and now that she is  able to act more independently with pursuing her interests.  Jason’s future remains a mystery and their is something exciting about that.  Sure, I don’t know exactly what paths any of my children will take in their adult lives but I have a much clearer picture with the older two who are almost 15 and 10.  At three and a half years of age, Jason’s future has yet to unfold.  He loves food and helping to prepare food.  He is also very nurturing and I could see him in a helping profession and he has a very physically engaged side and does love fire trucks.  It is possible that having had the experience of fireman coming to the rescue of his dad while he suffered a heart attack, might influence his future career path.  He also has a very imaginative and creative side and loves taking pictures and videos, an activity likely inspired by his big brother.  And I aim to not put any expectations on who he will become but rather spend time nurturing who his is now.  Who knows how these early years of his life could shape his future.

I decided to homeschool my children because I wanted to nurture their love of learning and empower them to nurture their interests.   I have chosen to work less hours in order to be there for them and with them in the process and my husband choose to leave his former work which involved regular travel and too many hours away from home.  Making that choice has involved financial challenges (Note to Universe: I am open to abundance and  moving away from that experience! ).   I would like to believe that despite our limited resources,  my husband and I have been able to at least expose our children to different experiences and help them to further their interests.  Maybe the fact that we have limited financial means will only further their passion to pursue their interests.  There are times when I doubt this.  Yet, I am very aware that childhood is a short period of time.  I am happy to celebrate another year of my life knowing that I am giving my children something more valuable than anything money can buy, my time.   Being a mother is the greatest gift of my life.  I know I have made mistakes, more than I would like to admit, yet, I can be an example to my children in my failures as well as my successes.

I look forward to another year with a renewed focus of being not only with them but present in their lives and available for them emotionally, spiritually and mentally.

 

 

 

Where is the key?

I have missed just one day of gratitude posting and that was Saturday when I wasn’t feeling good and took the day off from many things.  Today, I am grateful for being able to “take the day off”.

I am grateful for…

This opportunity for daily blog posting and gratitude posting.

The ability to write and submit a blog by email….

Which means..blogging by blackberry!

 

Today

Time with my youngest son

To the train station museum

In downtown Matthews

Visiting the old caboose…

First the museum inside, pictures

Memorabilia

Questions

Finding answers to my toddlers endless questions

Waiting

For the person to return from lunch

Who might have the key for us

To go inside the old caboose…

So we went to the library

Played a computer game

And looked for books on trains

Checked out some books together

Walked around on the brick wall

Jumping and flying from one section of wall

To the next

Back to the train museum

Even though they lost the key and we couldn’t go inside

Funny, yea, they lost the key to open the caboose for us

Enjoying time with my toddler

Just him and I

Paying attention to him

In the moment

Having fun

Enjoying the warm, sunshine filled….

Fall day

Together

Did you know they make boxer shorts for toddlers?

A little more than a week ago, my 2-year-old son, Jason, who is 2 years and 9 months to be exact, decided that he did not like having a diaper on anymore and began refusing to wear one.

At first we tried many methods to get him to allow us to put a diaper on him.  After he had several “accidents” around the house, I decided to bring the potty chair to the kitchen. (Our bathrooms are both upstairs in our split level house.)

I encouraged him to use his potty chair to go the bathroom.  He agreed to do so and began using his potty chair.  He still did not want to wear anything on his bottom, not even the underpants I had for him.  It seamed to me he did not like the tight feeling around his legs or body.  Leaving the house was a challenge and for a while we did not take him anywhere.

A few days later, I went out shopping and decided to find him some underwear.  I first thought of finding character underwear that he might like and in a bigger size then the pair we had at home.  Low and behold, I found something better.  Did you know they make boxers and boxer briefs for toddlers?

I debated briefly on which size and decided to go with the larger 3T-4T but worried they might be too big on his waist.  When I got home, I discovered that I had made a smart move.  Jason really liked the boxers and the waist was not too big!

He soon began wearing the underwear to leave the house and even while in the house- much to the delight of my other children who were bothered especially at meal times by the sight of their 2-year-old bare -bottomed brother.

And so now before his third birthday, and earlier than either of my other children, much earlier- I might add, than his older brother- I have a toddler who is potty training.  Along with the underwear, I had bought a different style of diaper as well as some pull -ups.  He did not like the pull ups I had at home and had tried, which I figured might just be too small.

It took some effort the first couple days to convince him despite using the potty during the day, that he needed to wear a pull-up or diaper at night.   Now he is in the routine of putting on his own pull-up before bed.  He even gets them on correctly!

It is funny, because with my older two children, potty training was the one thing that I did not like at all about parenting.  My oldest had held out for a long time and we “forced- potty trained him” when he was 4 and I was 6 months pregnant with his younger sibling.  I wasn’t about to change a 4-year-old’s diaper and a newborn’s.  Looking back, sure, I would do things much differently now.  I know for one, that potty training can become a power struggle and my insistence on him needing to be potty trained, didn’t help the situation.

So hear I am, older, wiser and  with no expectations  that my youngest boy would potty train anytime before 3 -and yet he has done just that- in his own way.  He is strong-willed like that and shows much independence in wanting to do things for himself and by himself- he has always been that way; from talking early and walking at 9 months, and in countless other ways like  pushing a chair into the living room to reach something up high when he was not even one.

He even just takes himself over to his potty chair when he needs to pee and lets us know that he has gone.  Going “number 2” is a bit more challenging but I am totally at peace with all of it.  For here we are easily passing the hurdle of what I previously considered the most difficult aspect of parenting a young child.

He is so eager to be like his much older brother and sister.  For once, his “wanting to be older” has been a blessing.  Sure, I find having a toddler who needs to use a potty more work than changing a diaper but I am happy to help him navigate this monumental aspect of toddlerhood.  He is my youngest and my last child and with a son about to turn 14 and a 9-year-old daughter, the challenges of potty training now seem so much less stressful and simple than they did to me in the past.  And so I appreciate my toddler for the simpleness of life with him and for his making what might otherwise have been a dreaded aspect of parenting to be one of joy and ease instead.