April 13, 2009

Insightful Parenting Tips

The day has finally come.

My baby is now old enough to whine when he wants something from the pantry. Graduation has come. There are tear tracks on my face at this graduation, but not the happy tears of: “You are my greatest achievement EVER, and I knew you got your intelligence from me.”
Nope-a-roo. They are tears of: “Ah crap! The precious months of raising a sweet endearing baby boy are gone, leaving me with the upcoming years of pure - - ” *Beep, beep, beep*

Luckily for you—the timer for my cookies just went off.

And yes—this is my 4th batch this week. You read that right.
Monday was chocolate chip. Wednesday was a new variation of chocolate chip—I was adventurous and added nuts. (“You go girl!”) Thursday was a small batch of chocolate cookies…..too small…which led me to Saturday…and…um….Saturday was a new Wolfgang Puck recipe….

I’ve gotta be honest. They were SO TASTY DELISH!!!

(I get it, I get it. Help will only come if I admit I have an addiction….yada, yada….Yes, My name is Camryn.” *sigh* “And, I’m a cookie addict.”
“That’s very nice, sweetheart. You can be seated.”

I sit back down at my computer and continue writing the rest of this blog post and pretend that the counselor I heard in my head was real, because I am so glad I admitted my addiction and got that off my chest.)

Okay, back to the story.

I was complaining (which is FAR different than whining) that my baby boy has now turned from baby—to ToDDleR. My little guy has had excellent training. It’s like whiner’s boot camp here. How could my son not take his cues from 3 older siblings? In his 18 month-old eyes, it’s gotta be the coolest thing next to eating ice cream to use your voice like a weapon and screech out your innards, just to see your mama claw at her ears as if someone set a hive of hornets free.

So my little man wants a snack. He now can grab my hand, squeeze my finger like a blood pressure cuff, and doesn’t let go until I follow him. He then directs me to the cupboard—the one where I keep the chocolate.

He knows this cupboard well. This is my “cupboard haven,” the one I visit frequently. He KNOWS this is where all the GOOD snacks are.

My son has the universal pre-toddler babble down to an art as he points and says, “EEEHH!”
“You want some chocolate chips from the cupboard?” I say, toying with him.

His face lights up and he giggles. He then proceeds to give me the “I am a happy toddler” dance as he performs for me, because he knows I am a sucker for cuteness—and he has an abundance of it! (Hey, I’m biased—he’s my son)

I purposely stretch my hand S-L-O-W-L-Y toward the cupboard and then stop within an inch of the door, watching his ever-hopeful expression, like he’s anxiously awaiting Santa Claus…or something.

“Do you really want something from here?” I taunt.
“EEHHHHHH!!” he shrieks, clapping his hands and nodding.

“Say a word for me,” I encourage.
“Uh Huh.”

Okay—that counts.

I exaggerate my movements and slowly open the door. All the while he’s clapping his hands as if waiting for the chocolate to burst from the door. I dump a handful of chocolate chips in my hand and then proceed to eat one. There is nothing cuter than watching an ity-bity baby tantrum—but only when you’re anticipating it. (It’s never “fun” when your kids go bizerk and you wonder where the heck their meltdown came from—I don’t like those tantrums. Just the ones I start. *insert evil laughter*)

At this point, the child wants the chocolate chip so badly, he grabs my leg like a cabbage patch doll gone wild and squeezes hard, shaking his little body and screaming, “RAGH RAGH AHHHHH!”

I’m sure that’s a word in the pre-toddler dictionary—but I’m too lazy to study Tasmanian Devil Dialogues—I’m already a pro at knowing what he wants—even if I can’t understand the language.

“Mamamamama,” he stomps his little foot and I can’t help but laugh.
“Oh, sorry, did you want one?”

“UH HUH!” He laughs and turns in a circle. He looks like a good little puppy performing tricks. I have the sudden urge to attach a tail to his rear….
I deliberately take my time picking up a chocolate chip. I’m testing his patience—and having a little fun for myself.

(that was him by the way, not me…)

“Mamamamama! EHHHH! RAGH RAGH!!!!!!!”

Wow. That was a mouthful. It sounded like a train wreck. Forget the sudden urge to attach a tail to his rear, what I really want to do is reach for the whipped cream can and spray it around his mouth to make it look like he’s foaming at the mouth……he’d probably like that.

I hand him a single chocolate chip and he giggles and pops it in his mouth faster than I anticipated.

The kid inhaled it. And I thought I was fast…

This is where the parenting tip comes in. Have you ever given your child something they want—like, for instance, chocolate chips—and then 2.5 seconds later they throw a tantrum because they want more? Experience has taught me that if you give them all of the chocolate chips at once, they are happy for only about 3 seconds while they pop the treats into their mouth.

Hence, I ingeniously created a new solution. I make my kids work for their snacks.

Parenting Tip #1- Take 6 chocolate chips and fling them across your floor.

I toss mine all over the kitchen floor—in various directions, so that he has to “hunt” for them, thus giving him something to do. And, it gives me time to run away and avoid the tantrum when he’s done. If I’m not in the room, he’ll happily “explore” the area and forget all about wanting more treats.

Ah, come on, it’s not going to kill him, plus, the floor is clean when he’s done—double bonus.

Parenting Tip #2- This only works with “little things” like: goldfish crackers, chocolate chips, teddy grahams—little items that are easy to toss. It wouldn’t work if you threw full-sized saltines—they’d break and it would be a headache to clean up.

Parenting Tip #3- Ziploc baby!

I give my son a small Ziploc baggie, so that as he “treasure hunts” across the kitchen floor, he feels satisfied as he gathers his treasure and puts it in the bag. He’s happy for at least a good half-hour.

This techniques works like magic for me.

HINT: Don’t try this when your husband is around if you haven’t updated him on your new techniques. I tried this once in front of my husband, having forgotten that he was in the room, and I tossed a handful of chocolate chips all across the floor like I was feeding chickens on the farm. He turned to me with a shocked, questioning look and said, “Woman! What?!”

Actually—that’s not what he said, I improvised. It was more like: “What the….”
“Hockey sticks, you were going to say hockey sticks, right?” I butt in.
“Heck,” he answers.
“Why don’t I help you out and say what you were really trying to say? It’s amazing what words pop into your head when you’re zoo-caged in a house full of kids with nowhere to run. At least,” I added, “this keeps the little kiddo busy. Therefore, I have completely eliminated the tantrum stage. Clever, right?”

I pointed to our cute little son gathering chocolates chips from all 4 corners of the kitchen. He was dropping his chocolate chips gracefully into his Ziploc baggie as though he was on an Easter egg hunt.

“Look how quiet he is—and happy,” I overly exaggerate my gleefulness.

These are some pretty helpful parenting tips, right? When you resort to completely non-traditional parenting tactics—there are a billion crazy-maniacal things you can do!
I would MUCH rather have this:

Than this:

I have decided to share more great parenting tips with you. This came to me in my email and it’s from the website: Cool Stuff, Time For a Laugh—all these parenting tips come from a book by David and Kelly Sopp.
The web address is: http://www.c00lstuff.com/1133/Do_s_and_don_ts_with_babies/

Enjoy their parenting tips—from one parent to another :)



AnnieAd said...

HA! Very funny! I can just see your husband's face when you did that. Ceativity reaches a new level [But I'm not sure if it's a new high, or a new low].

{jordan} said...

Okay- I HAVE to say something! I had to use my sleeve to wipe away the tears. Super Major Obnoxiously Funny. Okay, I'm done...

AaronH said...

Is that why you hide my toothbrush at night? By the time I find it, I am tired and you are peacefully asleep. ??? I wondered why you stopped getting those night-time headaches - maybe this is why?

Heather said...

LOL...at least your floor is clean! I would forget to clean my floor and my kids "treasure" bag would have little treasures that I didn't scatter on the floor. I leave to your imagination what those "treasures" would be.

I soooo wish I was there to see your husbands face when you scatter chocolate chips on the floor for your toddler to find and pick up.

Becky said...

Communication starts LONG before they can talk! Isn't is crazy how a little kid can tell you exactly what they want without saying a word. And the "10 second rule" of eating off the floor- I find that I am OK if mine extends to several hours;-)

The~Shoemakers said...

Thanks for a good laugh!! My little guy is just a couple weeks from 2. Wow!! We have all kinds of nonverbal communication going on at our house. I love the idea of *treasure hunts*!!

MOMSWEB said...

knock, knock...just dropping by to visit your blog. Enjoyed my visit and my laugh for the evening (lol).