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WORST TIMES AND PLACES FOR TODDLER TANTRUMS

I know you are wondering if there are any best times and places for toddler tantrums? and I agree with you that there aren’t. But sometimes they hit you on the wrong times at the wrong places. They are the worst and I am talking about the likes of these, helpless hopeless situations.

  1. Public Transport: You can pull over the car to cool down a child and convince him not to eat the blueberry he dropped. But there is no way I can do that when in a bus or train. As you try to distract him you can almost hear people screaming in their heads “Blueberries could have waited till you got down this damn bus”
  2. Planes: You are have lost sleep dreading that day and preparing for it, but it’s not going to be easy. You know it and by the looks of it, you could tell that all the passengers who saw you both, while boarding, knew that this was going to be one hell of a journey.
  3. When guests are over: You don’t know whom to attend. The screaming toddler or the guests. As every attempt of your conversation and hospitality is interrupted, you worry they will never visit you again.
  4. When you are visiting someone: Especially if it’s because he wants to play with their expensive vase or throw blocks at their TV. You end up making them feel guilty or worse yet, worrying if they are judging your way of parenting
  5. On a guided tour of a museum or anything similar: I know you are going to ask me why the hell did you take him there. I agree it was a wrong decision and I was being insanely optimistic.
  6. When you are out having fun and you receive that call from home to come back because nothing is calming the screaming child. You wonder if you have super powers as you head back.
  7. When you have to walk from the supermarket to the car with your handbag, 3 shopping bags  and  your toddler. It would have taken less than a minute with a docile toddler but today you are going to drop and trip.
  8. At his grandparents deserves a special mention because now you have to endure at least one full hour of lecture about parenting and related stuff from your MOM! Brought back the memories of teen years, didn’t it?
  9. Any place that’s meant to be silent like temples and other places of worship where people come to find some peace from the noisy chaos of the world. You know that they are going to have to continue that search for peace thanks to your toddler.
  10. At a restaurant especially in the middle of the meal where you have to take the child out to calm him down (otherwise he is going to break one of those plates) and then handover the child to one of your party and gobble up your food alone. More worse? Eating, holding a screaming struggling child.
  11. When you are absorbed in something very interesting and your toddler just wants your attention right now. Think climax of a movie, conversation with a bestie or choosing between pink and red tops.

What was your worst do let me know.

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DIY STORY SEQUENCE CARDS

THE THIRSTY CROW

Once upon a time somewhere in the world a crow was really very thirsty and you know what happens after that. My toddler doesn’t. So I tried to introduce this story using cards. I did them myself.

Well, It started something like thisIMG_20160828_233229.jpg

and went on to be like this.

I stuck the drawing to some cardboard and made these cards to make a sequence.IMG_20160903_151619IMG_20160903_151625IMG_20160903_151636

Now I am not a real good artist or something even close, but I did try my best.

 

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THE INTERNET AND THE MOM

The Internet has an unlimited resource on motherhood, newborns and everything connected to it. Just googling anything from burping a baby to sleep training it is bound to return a gazillion pages of myriad methods of doing it. Its easy to get lost in the web of information that is sometimes guiding, motivating, reassuring and also sometimes misguiding and confusing.

During those first few weeks of motherhood, the internet was my best friend. It almost never disappointed me. It gave me the answers I was looking for and much more. With time however, I realised that the more time I gave to the internet, the less to my child. And, though I spent time learning about babies and toddlers, I was actually not applying them because, a. lack of clarity due to too much information. b. lack of time and rest (because I spent a lot of time on the internet).

Of the may things I used internet here is a description and its pros and cons

Looking up on taking care of the baby: So, when I looked up burping a newborn, I had two options. Glance at few top results, apply them and come back if they dont work, or go on and on reading about burping a baby like which parts of the brain is involve in burping, and the evolutionary explanation for it and so on. Needless to say, I chose the second option.

I spent a lot of time in front of the laptop or hooked to my phone. I got lost. Every link led me to another crosslink. Occasionally I would come across a new terminology and I would go researching on it, forgetting where I started in the first place. It was so addictive. I was bloated with information.

Looking Up on Symptoms: Do I have to explain? Anyone who has dealt with colic or eczema will tell you.We will just do anything to ease that. The only problem is there is some contradictory information there. The best idea here was to just stick to my paediatrician’s advice.

Shopping: Shopping for a newborn itself is enticing. Online shopping takes it to a different level. Be it clothes or toys or gear.  There are hundreds of options. There isn’t anyone judging you if you are looking for clearance or only top brands. As I glanced through various online shopping websites, I got lost in the reviews. I read and re-read. I added something to my cart, removed, added something else and son on and on and on. The problem was by the time I decided on buying something (after a thorough research oof course, my child had either outgrown it (babies grow fast) or had too little time for it (rattles dint intereset my son much after he started crawling)

Networking: with other moms is good. That been there done that talk is good. Only if you are not doing that all day or at the expense of taking your child for a walk.

That’s pretty much what kept me hooked on to the net. I use my smartphone mostly to take pics of my child and though I still spend time on the internet, I do it mostly when my child is asleep or when someone else watching my child.

Let me know your thoughts.

 

4

7 CONSIDERATIONS BEFORE BUYING TOYS

I am one of those moms who loves to stock up on toys! I get as excited as my toddler on the toy aisle. No, not the developmental toys that claim to make kids geniuses. I believe in unstructured play with a wide variety of stuff ranging from kitchen utensils to store bought legos. While I definitely pass it through a cost and benefit analysis (weigh the cost v/s features),  I buy a toy only if it meets some criteria. They are

  1. It should keep the child engaged for at least a few  minutes: I wouldn’t complain if my child was engaged with a toy for half an hour or even more. A toy should intrigue the child, and hold his or her attention at least for some time, say until I make a quick escape to the bathroom.
  2. Must be safe: I mean free of chemicals like BPA, lead and similar toxins and also not be too loud lest they harm sensitive little eardrums.
  3. It should not pose any danger: While babies and toddlers need close supervision when they play, it’s always possible for an adult to get distracted once in a while. (hello! I need to answer the door bell). Therefore toys that can easily detach into small parts that can choke, batteries and magnets that come off  easily are a strict no, no in my house.
  4. They must be portable: This is why I love board books.I like toys which I can take along with me on a vacation. I like toys that can be attached to strollers. I prefer toys that don’t take up a lot of space and need a whole corner of the house to themselves, barring our playhouse of course.
  5. Easily cleanable: One fine afternoon my child may as well decide to dunk them into the toilet bowl. Or might bury them in mud. Or might puke accidentally. I don’t want to be struggling with brushes, washcloths or tooth picks to take out something gross stuck inside the horn of plastic yak.
  6. Must not be useless after a while: Think soft toys. A sensory stimulation for a baby and pretend play for the preschooler. Think cars and trucks. Think balls that are timeless and can even amuse adults. Okay, that’s too much expectation. Anything that serves a specific purpose (like teethers) or that grows with the child and be of use for a couple of months (rattles for example) if not years is welcome.
  7. Must be able to withstand toddler torture: Obviously they must be durable since I mention that I want to use them long term. But, they must also be able to withstand some rough handling. This is one reason why I chose wooden toys like stacking blocks and wagons. After all, they are not just going to fill sand and drag that wagon around, they will want to sit in it and be dragged around.

That’s pretty much it except that I do check the labels, warnings and read manuals and reviews before buying toys especially the expensive ones. Will soon post reviews of some toys.

2

BE NICE TO OTHER MOMMIES

Dear Mommies.

A few tips for a peaceful relationship with your mommy friends.

1. BE SLOW TO JUDGE or better yet, don’t
I have done it myself. When I watched this lady get stern at her 3 year old who was persistently coaxing her to pick him up, I wanted to give her a lecture on attachment and psychology and what not. What I didn’t know was that she was dealing with the one-hundredth tantrum of the day. What I didn’t know was that in an hour she had to pick her daughter from ballet classes. What I didn’t know was that she couldn’t finish any chores because she had been picking him up all day. She had laundry do and dinner to prepare. What I didn’t know was the reason the lady came to the park was to distract her son from asking her to hold him. It’s easy to judge someone when we believe that their behaviour isn’t right. Often it is because we think in the given circumstance we would act differently. The problem however, is that we don’t know the others circumstance fully enough to make that assumption. So next time when you judge a mother to be old fashioned or insensitive make sure to check how her day was.

2. AVOID COMPARISON COMPLETLY
I know you have heard it. Its written everywhere. But I want to repeat it for your sake. For the sake of your child and for the sake of everyone around you. Be it milestones or parenting styles do not compare. I know when your 16-month-old gets on the slide by himself as a 17-month-old struggles, you swell with a little pride. I know when another 16 month old can say 15 words while yours can only 5 you get a little tensed. It’s only human. The more the people the more difference. Appreciate the strengths and work on the weaker skills of your child. Don’t oh please don’t brag. It’s not a competition. There is no trophy to be won.

3. BE DIPLOMATIC among yourselves and with the kids. Instead of telling your child “stop whining, do you see anyone else whining, look at her she is playing all by herself and not troubling her mommy, you should learn from her blah blah..” try ” stop whining, look at her she is playing all by herself why don’t you join her?”

4. TALK, LISTEN BUT DO NOT ADVISE UNLESS ASKED FOR: Don’t be one of those mothers who can only talk about their child and themselves. When a person delivers a monologue of experiences from the labour room to potty training, somewhere in between it becomes boring. Yes, we are all interested in each others journey of motherhood, so don’t be just about yourself and show some genuine interest in others.

Discuss. Accept that there are other ways of doing things. When a fellow mommy was suggesting the brand of milk to give my toddler I had enough. She must have made that suggestion meaning well but all I wanted to scream was that I am capable choosing a milk brand for gods sake. Yes we want to share our expertise. I know you have done your research. Let others do theirs.

5. MEET GREET SHARE AND CARE
Meet often. Set up play dates. Teach your children to get along and share. Help each other. When there is a toy sale spread the word. If you have an unused toy hand it over to the younger sibling of your child’s play pal. Be friends and do as friends do. Be each others confidants. Be each others strength. After all, we all need each other.

2

A TODDLER IN A SUPERMARKET

Supermarkets are like toddler wonderlands, any store for that matter. But supermarkets are different and special. They are fantasy lands!!! Be it the grocery section or the toys, with temptations galore, there is no stopping a spirited toddler!! So, summing up that experience of shopping for you!!

  1. She wants to run around and you are afraid she will knock down an expensive china. You will not tell her that because when you do, you are drawing her attention to it and she might pick one. You keep watching, hoping she doesn’t discover them.
  2. She wants you to buy the exact same teddy she already has at home. No, she is not leaving the store without that teddy.
  3. She finds the neatly hung clothes an awesome place to play peek-a-boo. After a while, she gets  entangled in them and cannot get out. You rush in the direction of “Mommyy” to free her.
  4. She wants to get inside the fitting room along with you. Once she is inside she wants to go out. Once she is out she wants to come in. You ignore her “Mommy, Mommy” and she knocks the hell out of the place with deafening screams. So you let her in.
  5. Now that she is inside with you in the fitting room and she wants daddy too. It’s okay if you are in between changing. That happens at home, doesn’t it? Getting your spouse so that you can shop leisurely wasn’t a great idea after all.
  6. She sees you try a top and insists on trying a sparkling maxi (adult size). You are worried she will break down the jewelry sewn into it. You point that out to her and now she wants to play with that sparkling neckline. She wants to take it home. There is no way getting out of this one
  7. She thinks it’s fun crashing the shopping cart into the neatly stacked shelves.
  8. She cannot lift the laundry detergent. It’s so heavy. She can’t even drag it. This calls for a quick trip down the meltdown alley.
  9. She sees you pick up some packets of bread from the counter. “So we are playing this game again. Let’s empty the shelf and fill our cart with bread.” You keep them back and she finds the game more fun.
  10. Oh! Wow! those are brooms? Let’s begin sweeping. Let’s throw all these balls out of the basket. Now that you said NO a little sternly she needs some hugs and kisses. “This one was easy”, you think as you oblige.
  11. Oh! The frozen food section. That’s her favorite place.So let’s slam the refrigerator doors open and shut. Oh no, she can’t reach the handle. “SCCCREEECHHH..” On second thought, this is not her favorite section.
  12. She sees another mom pushing a stroller and she remembers hers. She wants it now. You reason with her that she is grown up and can walk. She doesn’t care. She wants her stroller. You tell her that stroller is only for sleeping babies and if she wants one she should sleep quietly in it. For once,she stops crying. The lady with the stroller gives you a smile.
  13. Let’s stack these yogurt cups. Let’s try opening this milk carton. Look at that colored liquid in that bottle. Let’s shake that.
  14. She perfectly fits into the little shelf space and doesn’t want to get out of it.
  15. “Mommy, let’s not go home. Let’s live here at the supermarket.”
1

15 WAYS TO HELP YOUR TODDLER UNDERSTAND EXPLORE AND LOVE NATURE

Get up and get out for a little adventure with your toddler, preschooler or kindergartner. A little exploring of  the nature is going to do them a truckload of good  Boost their imagination and observation skills along with developing gross and fine motor. Navigate along with the little curious mind as she indulges all her senses in a variety of experiences. Pile up those toys, lock your doors and here we go!!!

1. Take a morning walk and simply admire and appreciate

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Hand in hand..walk together

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go for that morning walk with your little one trotting by your side. Greet some people on the way.Admire the sparkling dew. Walk on the grass and make some wet footprints

2. Smell some flowers

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The beautiful apple blossoms..up on the trees!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am sure there must be plenty. Note their colours and textures. The beautiful yellow tulips and white lilies. The fragrant roses and the quiet petunias. Some grow on trees and some on shrubs. Others lay hidden in the grass

3. Hey, Look! What happened to the flower here? Did it turn into a berry?

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A little bud turned into flower and then into a little green berry and then into a ripe red strawberry

Pick the ripe ones for salad tonight and whilst you do so take care not to harm the plant.

4. Spot those little bugs, ants, bees and butterflies

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Buzz with the busy bee. follow it for sometime

Find out where all the ants are going. Listen to the bugs. Spot a grasshopper. Look at the colorful butterflies. No, don’t try to catch them. They all seem to have a world of their own.

5. Stack some stones

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stack them high

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or rocks. Learn the words heavy and light, big and small. They don’t feel smooth like your blanket, do they? Rocks are so rough

6. Get creative with the sticks

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You can make a nest like those birds

Learn the words big and small. Create something with those sticks.

7. Splash in the rain

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This is fun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wear a rain coat or grab an umbrella or, just go out and feel those fresh drops rain. Splash, splash and splash. Sail a boat. But if it thunders come inside

8. Get your hands dirty! play with some mud

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You can wash up later

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apparently, mud play is good for children. Think playdough. It’s an open-ended toy with many possibilities. It nurtures creativity. Research has proven that mud play boosts serotonin and improves immunity.

9. Take a nap under the trees this afternoon

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Feel close to nature. breathe some fresh air

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toddlers love trees. Be it running around them, climbing them or hanging from the branches.

10. Make up a silly story. All the characters are right there!

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Jay and Fay

Name those tree Jay and Fay just for fun. So Jay and Fay had a fight last night. Look at all the fallen leaves.

11. Then a squirrel came by and patched them up

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Clever little squirrel

So feed a squirrel or a rabbit. We don’t know who exactly stopped the fight. We were asleep last night.

12. Sow a seed

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They get thirsty too!

and water it. Watch it grow into a beautiful plant.

13. Watch your shadow

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Mommy’s got one too

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes on the front and sometimes back. Shorter by noon and larger in the morning and evening, this fascinating shadow imitates all your actions. Look at its funny shape when you bend!!

14. Watch the sunset

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beautiful isn’t it

Now is the time you can directly look at the sun, as it slowly gets darker and darker.

15. Say good night to the moon and stars

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Every day before you sleep. Some nights there are many. Some nights, they hide behind the clouds, nevertheless, they will come out tomorrow.