Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Haiku #200


I'm writing this one
on our last day together...
...so I'll keep it short

Haiku #199


What? Is something wrong?
It's just a typical day
in a butter hat.

Haiku #198


Of all my haikus
this one is not about boys -
it's about a bear

*this awesome photo was taken by my talented husband at Maymont park

Haiku #197


Now that he's tall enough
he can play like his brother...
or not... it's his call

Haiku 196


Eli knows this well:
a trip to the train station
means it's cookie time

Haiku 195

Haiku #195

Watching for the train
they are both captivated
by the loud machine

Haiku #194


Checking out the sheep
was a new experience
worthy of rainboots

Haiku #193


While one boy bounces
the other enjoys the ride--
Well, I hope he does

Haiku #192


Climbing and rolling
among the rocket wreckage
is par for the course

Haiku #191


As the light shines down
he's drawn to the giant cow
like a confused moth

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Train Station: A Preschooler's Photo Essay

A Preschooler's Eye

We visited the quaint train station in Ashland, VA today to watch for trains. When we arrived we met a group of 4 or 5 other camera-wielding trainspotters. We eavesdropped on their train stories and they gave us real time updates they were receiving on the their train chatter devices.

While we waited Eli used my camera to take some pictures. These are his images and have not been cropped or otherwise edited.

He REALLY wanted to take pictures of the other trainspotters but I said no (mean Mama). Maybe next time.

The trains roll by fast, close and loud so they are still a bit overwhelming. Once the trains arrived he wanted to cover his ears and watch, not take pictures. We saw 4 fours train but there is only 1 picture of a train.

I took this one:

Haiku #190


How do I explain
his early fascination
with all sorts of bones?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Haiku #189


I have to be loud;
I want the clouds to hear me!
(They do, little one)

Painfully poetic, my boy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Haiku #188


It wasn't my plan
to go out and slay dragons
but he was prepared

Monday, August 1, 2011

Haiku #187


His first magic trick
is very slow sleight of hand
and a proud "Ta Da!"

Friday, July 29, 2011

Haiku #186


Peek through the windows
and you will see a beached whale
at the museum

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Haiku #185


I did not foresee
a need to pack dry, clean clothes
for library day

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Haiku #184


For a split second
he's as still as a statue
playing peekaboo

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Haiku #183


Stomping in water
will always remind me of:
He's a maaaaaaaaaniac....

Haiku #182


A wiggle of blue
runs across his reflection
for paint peek a boo

Monday, July 18, 2011

Haiku #181


We avoid meltdown
by taking a break outside
and snapping photos

Saturday, July 16, 2011

haiku #180


After seven days
the first thing he wants to do
is wallow in toys

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Haiku #179


No photo effects...
no filter or instagram...
it's just steam and glee!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Haiku #178


After a few pats
the goat returned the favor-
"Mama, he loves ME!"

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Haiku #177


A swirly soft serve
leaves behind evidence
of sticky goodness

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Haiku #176


First movie: Pt II
Yesterday's attempt went south
so we tried again

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Haiku #175


It's time to 'fess up--
I'd like to know who taught him:
C'mon Mama, pleeeeeeeeeeeease?!?!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Haiku #173


The conversation
between my two silly boys
was all about hats

Monday, June 27, 2011

Haiku #172


My little Buddha
shows off his big round belly
and his chocolate smile

Haiku #171


Quiet and intense
he slowly cuts the paper
along all four sides

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Haiku #170


My "Dear Photograph..."
is not a perfect photo
but it makes me smile

The original photo was taken Fall, 1981 at Grace and Holy Trinity Child Care Center on the 1600 block of Floyd Avenue in Richmond, VA.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Haiku #169


Flip. Flop. Flip. Flop. Flip.
Considering the options
he made a fine choice!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Haiku #168


At 6:45
I hear "Maaaaama. Hey, Maaaaama.
Eli's still tiiiiiiiiiired."

Monday, June 13, 2011

Haiku #167


I sent him upstairs
to put on clothes for dinner
and here's what he found

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Haiku #166


Baby's first words are:
"Buzz", "Yeeee-Haw!" and Rex's "Roaar!"
Thanks a lot, Pixar.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Practicing Positive Discipline

We're in an interesting place these days. It can be described as both constructive and destructive.

The little one, Lucas, has discovered a world of limitless mobility. At 13 months he can walk very steadily, has mastered going up the stairs ("climb the beanstalk" has we call it) and can climb onto the sofa and chairs. His pre-walker frustrations are gone and he's turned into a confident, happy toddler.

The world of our 2 1/2 year old (well 2 3/4), Eli, is now being invaded by a curious baby Godzilla. The tracks on the train table are thrown to the ground, the block tower is trampled and the skeleton puzzle, Mr. Bones, is butchered to bits. Nothing seems safe from his creeping fingers and Eli's only defense is to hit, kick, head-butt and push the toddler out of the way. At this point Lucas is pretty easy to topple over and does not react other than to move out of the way, if only momentarily. This development was both shocking and disappointing. I hate to think of either of my boys inflicting pain but I remember that Eli is an impulsive 2 year old and doesn't always have the vocabulary for communicating to me or Lucas that he just wants to be left alone to play.

I've consulted my parenting books of choice for ideas and I have searched high and low for parenting books specifically for parents of closely spaced children as we face challenges different from those of children 3, 4 or 5 years apart. Not harder, not easier... just different. I can't find a SINGLE book for parents of children like my boys who are 20 months apart. Using the positive discipline techniques outlined by Dr. Sears, with some strategies suggested by Dr. T. Berry Brazleton and using some ideas of my own we're attempting to build a happy medium allowing lots of toddler curiosity while giving the bigger boy the time and space he needs to work on his projects.

Here are some of the strategies we are finding have helped limit the amount of hitting and other hurtful touching:

1. It's ok to say no. If Eli is working on a project and Lucas interrupts it's ok to say "No, Lucas" using an appropriate voice. Lucas needs to learn boundaries and Eli needs to see that Lucas does not have free reign of the house. Eli also needs to know that we do respect his need for time and space.

2. If words do not work ask Mommy and Daddy for help.

3. If the toy is in Lucas' hand, it's his turn. When he's finished with the toy (he hands it over or it lands on the floor) Eli can have a turn.

4. Reward and acknowledge positive play... A LOT!

5. Be present. The hitting and pushing is at its max when I step out of the room or I am distracted. By staying present and aware we're able to work through situations as they happen instead of punishing the behavior after the fact.

As a very visual learner myself we worked on two visual reminders for encouraging positive "helping" hands.

We traced Eli's "helping" hands on a piece of paper. We talked about ways we can use our hands to help and make our friends happy. When we "catch" Eli using his helping hands he puts a smiley face sticker on his sign. At the end of the day we make a BIG deal of counting the stickers and talking about the ways he used his helping hands. Each day starts with a new piece of paper.

We made two Eli-sized bracelets using alphabet beads.

I wrote the words "share" and "hug" in large letters on a piece of paper. Eli found the letter beads to spell the words.

We put the beads on an elastic string so he can wear the bracelets like Mama.

This is all an experiment. I will modify as I go along. Do what works, change what doesn't. Updates to follow!