Back to School Cool

It’s that time of year- back to school time!  God, I remember back to school shopping. It was awesome. I think I got like one outfit to specifically wear on the first day of school. BUT I LOVED IT!  I’d just sit and stare at my brand new clothes all pressed and neat with the tags still on. It was the best.

The thing is, I am equally excited to pick out Colin’s back to school clothes. He’s like a life size dress up doll. Sure, he’s got some opinions, but so far? He’s been loving my picks.  I knew I liked that kid.

Most of my picks are from the Gap, which I find has good quality clothes with very few cutesy sayings on them. And since the hope is that Jack will eventually wear these as well, I am learning to steer away from the cheaper stores where I might be able to buy more but the clothes start to fall apart, or fade really quickly. I get a lot of stuff on sale days, and the sale section can’t be beat, especially when they are offering an additional percentage off.

Bottom Line: You can’t go wrong with classic basics: Puffer Vests, Baseball Tee, Converse One Stars, an Oxford and a Bright Yellow Slicker. Just mix and match them with some new trends and get that kid on the bus!

back to school olio

Vest/Gray Jeans/ Jeans/ Raincoat/ Baseball Tee/ Striped Tee/ Striped Oxford/ Hi Top Boots- Gap

Rain Boots- Piperlime

Loafers- JCrew

Converse One Stars- Target

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Preschool Prep

T minus ten days until Colin starts school. Every few days we receive yet another note from the school, whether that note has a nice little reminder to send them money, or if it is just to tell me how to do drop offs in the morning, I’m getting a little overwhelmed. And then they sent me a note telling me that all of Colin’s clothes and items need to be labeled. As I thought to myself, can he get away with wearing a uniform to preschool so I only label five outfits?, I discovered these:

They are totally customizable iron-on labels from Etsy seller (where else) Lollipop Labels. I got to choose the graphic (had to be a “digger”) font and color. Lifesaver! And she carries a ton of different labels for all sorts of uses, so if you are in need, check it out.  I paid $12 for 100 little labels, which are a perfect size to fit into little shoes. Because shoes need to be labeled, too. Jesusmaryandjoseph.

Now, I just have to find my iron. Or buy an iron. Whatever.

They grow up so fast.

Here’s a little scene that has been going down more and more frequently at our house these days:

Colin: [singing] “A-B-C-D-E-F-G…”

Kate: [joins in] “H-I-J-K-“

Colin: Mommy? All done?

Now, I am familiar with the saying “Oh, they grow up so fast, don’t they?”, but this seems a little advanced, doesn’t it? I mean, the kid is not even two yet (technically!) and yet he is already embarrassed of me, his loving, selfless and adoring mother!  After all I’ve done!

I’m mentally and emotionally preparing myself for the first day of preschool, when I am positive he will tell me his new backpack is “stupid” and to “Please, please, don’t embarrass me in front of my friends, mom”. I am sure if he could unbuckle himself from his car seat, he would ask I drop him off a block early so none of his friends saw his mommy dropping him off in her dumb car. And absolutely no hugs or kisses, please.

That is of course if I understood more than 60% of what comes out of his mouth. That’s probably for the best, really.

Grand Party Central Station

Well, Colin’s second birthday party took place on Saturday. I think it went well. Unlike last year, I didn’t yell at any of the guests and Colin didn’t have a meltdown, and we had a bathroom readily available, so I consider it a success.

I spent most of last week getting the decorations together and setting up the house, which made my Saturday morning quite enjoyable. No, seriously. I got a pedicure and even had my hair blown out just because I didn’t feel like doing it myself. Considering last year I almost missed my own son’s baptism because I was trying to get myself dressed, I figured, hey, one less thing to stress about. So when 2pm rolled around, the house was completely ready, the birthday boy was freshly napped and we were all able to enjoy ourselves. And get pressies!

But of course, first some obligatory close ups of the party. As you may remember, the theme was “Trains, Planes and Automobiles.” I didn’t have to do much scavenging around the house to come up with additional decor, so we supplemented our own stash with lots of tissue paper balls, stolen paint chips and decal stickers and imaginative menu labels. I apologize in advance for the blurry photos, I wasn’t wearing my glasses, and, oh yeah, our camera is broken and so we have to manually adjust all photos. Which is not easy when you are blind.

“My 396th viewing of Cars, which is something, considering I had never seen it before my 1st birthday.”

Goodie bags held a balsa wood glider, a squishy toy, goldfish crackers and a fruit snack from Trader Joe’s. I just used Target gift bags ($1 each) and placed a sticker with each child’s initial on it, so they could claim it easily.

Paper straws were purchased on Etsy from Lollipops & Pussycats.  Amber was great to work with.

Train silhouette cupcake toppers were purchased on Etsy from Two Sugar Babies

When the guests arrived, we even let some of them in. But some, not so much. Because they had a pressie that needed to be opened immediatamente!

“Oh, right. Thanks for coming guys. Food is to your right. Uh, help yourselves.”

Some party guests had to stay outside though. But they had refreshments in the wagon.

It was a wonderful day with friends and family, some of whom traveled pretty far to spend the day with the birthday boy. We are so lucky to have so many people around us who love Colin and are just as enthusiastic about him as we are. This enthusiasm scared the bejeezus out of him as he blew his candle out on his cupcake. He literally jumped backwards as we all screamed “YAY!!!” But it didn’t scare him off too bad, because he said “Fire?” and insisted on blowing out his candle two more times.

Hey, I was just happy he made it to the cake this time. 😉

Friday Find [Preschool Day, Hooray!]

I just realized in less than a month and a half, I will have a 2 year old (!!) who will be in preschool three days a week. WHAAAA? Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to him heading to preschool, getting the socialization and skills he needs, but I’m still left wondering, “How did this happen?” I’m certainly not old enough to have a 2 year old, let alone one who goes to school. That’s crazy talk.

But he is going to school. And I need to prepare. And I suppose he needs to be prepared too. So I went to my bookstore (also know as Amazon.com) and ordered this cute book, “Preschool Day, Hooray!

I decided to order this particular book, because it runs through the day from the child’s point of view, from a hassled and harried mom (I guess that’s supposed to be me?) getting her sweet little boy to school, to greeting his teacher and friends, to the activities throughout the day. It ends with Mom coming to pick up her little guy and a big hug that I will now expect from Colin, as it is clearly detailed in the book.  Anyway, it’s adorable and Colin loves it. He brings it to me at least once a day for us to read together.

It doesn’t hurt that the little boy in the book closely resembles Colin, and I, the harried mom. I am sure that helps Colin wrap his little brain around the whole concept:

These are a few of our favorite Apps….

When the dog bites, when the kid screams, when I’m feeling tired, I simply pull out the family iPad and let Colin loose. He has learned a lot from these, which is surprising to me, and they hold his attention and require a fair level of interaction in a way that Super Why just doesn’t.  Here are a few of our favorite Apps for the 22 month set (and younger). Check them out if you’re looking for some new apps!

1. Peekaboo HD. 2. Baby Touch Peekaboo* 3. Baby Touch Happy Babies* 4. Peekaboo Barn 5. Baby Aquarium (Letters and Numbers)  6.  Interactive Alphabet  7. Letter School 8. Little Fox Music Studio** 9. Nursery Jams

(not numbered:)

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox

My Very First App

*Colin’s very first apps. He started using these well before he was 10 months old.

** Colin’s new favorite. You gotta check this one out.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

As we plan the remainder of our summer, it dawned on me that August is just around the corner. And that I might want to get started planning Colin’s birthday party. Last year, I think I started planning in early May, which means I am already behind. 😉

Last year, we packed a whole lot into one day. That was a rookie mistake. I seemed to forget that my sweet one year old would need a nap at one point. But with family in from out of town, I tried to make the day as seamless and convenient as possible. Which is how this happened:

Woopsie daisy. You live. You learn.

So this year’s birthday will be all about the despot. After his nap, that is. Colin’s a sweet kid. He loves lots of stuff. Elmo, Cookie Monster, baths, singing, trucks, cars, construction sites. He’s a well rounded young man with various interests, let’s say. But nothing, oh nothing, can beat out cars, trains and planes. If my little dude is having a “moment” all we have to do is drive by the nearest construction site or pull out his matchbox cars for him to quickly move on. As I write this, he is playing with his new ride on buggy, and squealing with glee. Bottom line: if it’s got wheels, it’s got his attention. So while I scoured Pinterest for months and was inspired by Sesame Street and dinosaur parties, I knew they weren’t quite right.

So I decided to work backwards. I decided to start with the invitation first. What I really wanted was something like this, which didn’t have to tie in a theme anyway.

via

Isn’t that great? So I got on Etsy, and clicked and clicked and clicked. And then I remembered Minted.com from looking for personalized Christmas Cards. Which we never ordered. Or sent out. Whoops.

But here was a perfect opportunity. As I perused Minted.com for some invitation ideas, I spotted this:

Yup, it’s a save the date card. But the beauty of Minted is everything is customizable. And the best part is it’s two sided, so the front has all the party information, while the back has a sweet picture of Colin and a list of his likes, favorite words, and dis-likes. Just to keep all those non-blog stalkers up to date. Seriously. My own family doesn’t read my blog all the time. Some at all. Rude. Anyway, you’re welcome, family.

But the real reason I chose this card? Uh duh. Planes, Trains and Automobiles? Not to mention, the color scheme is pretty awesome. And thus, a birthday party was born.

The moral of the story? Pinterest and Etsy are great. But sometimes you gotta think outside the box to really get just what you want. It’s easy to get caught up in theme parties, but remember, there is always a good chance your kid won’t even make it to the cake cutting.

This is the first pass, and of course, I am open to any and all ideas you’ve got. Like, any locals know of a great cake shop? Or where I can rent a navy bounce house? 😉 Let the recommendations fly! Pun totally intended.

(PS! Minted.com did not pay me at all. Quite the opposite in fact. Sadsies.)

Feeding the Monster

A couple of weeks ago, Colin and I made the rookie mistake of stepping foot into a Barnes and Noble. This never ends well, you see, because most stores have a Thomas the Tank Engine play table set up and my son evidently is studying the fine art of shoplifting. When his plan goes awry, we hastily make our exit and I laugh off the pitying glances from other toddler mothers.

Luckily, or unluckily, depending on your point of view, this particular store did not have a train table. They did however, have Sesame Street characters. Like this guy:

Colin loves himself a Cookie Monster. If you a parent who diapers your child in Pampers, you may have used the old trick of “Who do you want to wear today?” to get your child to lay still for 15 seconds in order to change his personal landfill. We know Elmo and we know Cookie. We could care less about Grover, which pains me to no end. And Oscar who?

So we snatched up that Cookie monster and Colin left the store without an ear curdling scream. As we were getting into the car, I asked Colin if we should buy some cookies to feed to Cookie. He responded with an enthusiastic “Yes!”

Now let me just tell you a little something about my pantry. I am unable to keep delicious items like cookies in my home because I have no willpower to not sit down every.single.night and eat an entire bag of Oreos. Or Chips Ahoy. I can’t stop myself. So we don’t keep them in the house.

However, the other day we were at Trader Joe’s and I just had to have me some cookies. So I picked up a tub (yes, a TUB. WHAT?!?) and looked forward to a night of Greys Anatomy with a side of chocolate chip goodness. I packed them away in the pantry.

A few hours later, Colin comes over to me and hands me the entire tub of cookies.

“Cookie?”

“Hmm, okay sweetie. You can have one cookie. Here you go.”

“No!”

“Fine then. Mommy will eat it.”  (Do you see why I need to instill a strict no-cookie/easy-mac/pizza rule in my home?)

“No! Cookie!”

“Colin, do you want the cookie or not?”

At this point, my toddler just walked away from me, clearly disappointed that my doltery has failed him again.

Instead, he decided to climb all the way upstairs unassisted. I caught him at the top. I’m a good mom like that.

“Cookie!” Pointing to his crib, stuffed Cookie Monster lays despondent.

“Colin, did you want to feed Cookie some cookies?”

“YES!!”

And so, we fed the monster.

Please don’t call the muppet equivalent of CPS. I didn’t know you actually needed to feed Cookie Monster. I’ll be better now.

Wussdis?

Colin’s verbal ability has really taken off lately. And while we still can’t understand about 60% of what leaves his sweet little mouth, there has been one phrase on repeat lately: Wussdis?

Colin points. “Wussdis?”

“That’s a truck.”

“Wussdat?”

“That’s a flower.”

“Wussdis?”

And repeat.

I especially love it when he asks me what something is, and after I (correctly!) identify it, he laughs and says, “noooooo!”

You’re right, Colin. I must be wrong. I don’t know what a bunny rabbit is. Mommy’s so dumb.

Is it normal to challenge a 21 month with the official Scrabble dictionary and Wikipedia references? Is that taking it too far? I want him to respect my authority.

In other news, Houston, we have a new favorite book. Kase picked this up one day while at work. Always thinking of Colin. I get presents on my birthday. Colin gets presents just because he’s cute and blonde and has a perfectly round face. I’ve got a double chin, but what does that get me? Fine. I’ll deal.

The book is called, “Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site” and is pretty much the perfect book for any kids who love trucks. It enthralls to no end and requires at least 112 “Wussdis’s” We learned the word crane yesterday after approximately 43 “Wussdis’s”. We’re still working on “Excavator.” Also? Colin had the book for no more than 12 hours before he ripped a page out. He loves it that much.

“Wussdis?”

The 18 month appointment

Assume the position.

We met Colin’s new doctor this past Friday at Colin’s 18 month appointment. This is his 3rd doctor. We’ve loved them all. And usually, it’s a pretty painless experience, save for the shots. The 2 day appointment, the 3 month appointment, the 6 month check up, the 9 month, 12 month, you understand. Every three months we go through this drill, shots and all. And then there is the fresh hell that is the 18 month appointment.

Colin’s officially pre-gaming for the terrible twos. I know this is a fact because the doctor told me so.  That’s what we call an official medical diagnosis.  She came to this conclusion as my son writhed on the floor, screaming his little blonde head off.

But let me back up. We had such a promising start after all. Since the weather was gorgeous, we decided to walk over to the office.  Colin happily hopped into the stroller, we strapped ourselves in, and headed off. On the way, Colin pointed to flowers and trees, identifying each. We arrived to our destination, and the obstacle course began.

First, it’s a three story building. With no elevator. Whose bright idea was that? So, in my fitness fever, I decided to lug the Bugaboo up two flights of stairs to the office. I only almost fell backwards once.

Once I arrived, I was told pleasantly by the receptionist, “Dr. Whositwhatsit is on the third floor.” Super.

One more flight of stairs, we check in, Colin happily taking to the floor to play with the toys that abound. The office is pretty much empty, so I don’t have to referee sharing. This is great. A nurse shows almost immediately (no wait!) and we are ushered to our room. Colin is allowed to bring one toy, and happily follows the nurse. Until he sees the new toy-less room. At the same time he turns around and makes a run for it, I realize my child is actually quite clever. I coax him into the room, which will now be known as the seventh ring of hell. Not only because it was hot and miserable in there. But because this is where my child transformed into Lucifer.

Immediately he assumed the tantrum position: head face down, arms and legs splayed, kicking and crying, sometimes working his way around in a circle. I answer the nurse’s questions when I can understand them, screaming my answers. “HE SLEEPS THROUGH THE NIGHT!  WHOLE MILK? YES!” She assumes he will quiet down within five minutes. We all know what assuming does.

We come to the conclusions that my son is about 26 pounds, give or take 5, and could be anywhere from 31 inches tall to 34 inches tall. Good enough, I’ll take it. Just so I can buy clothes for the kid, if nothing else.

He continues his wordless tirade for the next 35 minutes, as the doctor visits with us. I am simultaneously impressed with his fortitude and morbidly embarrassed.  She and I speak loudly over the din about my concerns, one of which may surprise you: my son’s tantrums. He very rarely has a tantrum of this magnitude, though, and I am rightly horrified. The interesting part is that he has positioned himself directly under the doctor as he tantrums. I am perplexed. As we discuss how I believe his comprehension is far beyond his verbal skills, he actually takes a quick breath break to say “No, no no no.”  And then? He abruptly stops his tantrum. Apparently he is unhappy with my take on his development.  It’s time to intervene.

He takes the train toy he was playing with and begins to show off. “Train! Coo- Coo!” And then he talks a blue streak to us. Of course, we have no idea what in the world he is saying, but at least he has proven to the doctor that he has some verbal skills.

Check ups are stressful enough without tantrums. You meet with a doctor every few months, and sometimes even that frequency seems too spread out. Colin changes daily. His behaviors, his skills, his appearance even. I will put one kid to bed in the evening, and I am greeted by another in the morning, brightly greeting me with a “HI!” You visit relatives and their innocuous questions leave you reeling, wondering if your child is challenged in areas.  Having a 30 minute appointment once every three or six months is overwhelming. There are issues you need to address and answers you seek when the inter webs isn’t helping. You need that time. You need that attention. You need to be comforted.  Much like a toddler.

One of the things I have learned from being a parent is that there are two words that every parent longs to hear from medical professionals: “Totally normal.”

As our doctor bids us goodbye, Colin enthusiastically returns her farewell.  When she hands him stickers of Lightning McQueen and Mater, he responds “Oh WOW! Tow truck! Cah!”

He has calmed down just in time for his shot and for us to leave. Terrific.

We are told back at the receptionist that they will see us for our next appointment when Colin turns two. I nearly pass out on the spot. But then I remember I need to lug my 26 pounder with his stroller back down three flights of stairs. I square my shoulders, trade some stickers for the lobby toys, and tell them, “I’ll have to call you.”

Our Kid, the Dog

We live on the corner of a busy street. This is great for Colin, as he loves to watch the cars zoom by, and every now and then, we get to watch an ambulance go by, siren blazing. Someone else’s misfortune is pretty much the highlight of my son’s day.

Though our street itself can be pretty quiet, it’s become clear to us that being on the corner provides a less than ideal yard for us to play outside with Colin. Especially, when we have a partial fence. Yup. Partial. The missing portion? Turns out it’s vital.  So that kids don’t run onto Main Street.

And would you believe? Our town doesn’t have a playground for kids. Or at least, none that I have found. And I’ve asked around. The closest one is in the town over. All I want is to open our back sliding door, put the dog on the long leash and run around the yard. Preferably not into oncoming traffic.

We are trying to teach the despot to follow our rules for playing outside. He must stay on the grass. No going onto the sidewalk. We try and guide him, asking him to hold our hand. This is met with flailing, and eventually attempts to run into the street. Which is only a marginally worse outcome than the tantrum that is sure to erupt. So even though the weather has been GORGEOUS, I find myself dreading stepping out the door.

So I did what every good mother does. I bought my kid a leash.

Yes, our child has a leash. Yes, so does our dog.

The simple fact is we need to teach Colin how to walk with us, holding our hand. And since I am by my lonesome during the week, and would rather keep tantrums to a minimum while Kase is home, I figured it’s time to “teach” Colin how to walk in public. And for that, I need backup. The leash is my backup. If Colin unlatches himself from my death grip, then the leash will act as a safety tether of sorts. Until we can get the handholding while not running into the street under control.

I assume that like our dog, Fenway, Colin will pull on said harness. I hope of course, that he does not choke himself to death, like our dog sometimes does, hacking up a tongue every now and then while on walks simply because he is too excited to take a leisurely stroll. I hope that Colin does not stop at every tree and feel the need to mark his territory.  And of course, I hope that unlike Fenway, Colin does not lurch into the street at oncoming cars. But that’s my experience thus far with leashes.

Hopefully toddlers are different. But maybe not. When we were using a trainer to teach Fenway how to walk on a leash in NYC he recommended we use treats every few steps to encourage him. Maybe just in case, I should bring along a bag of Kix and toss them at Colin when he holds my hand.  No?

I remember hearing friends talk about their children and thinking to myself “Fenway does that!” But of course, common etiquette tells us we should not compare human children to our sweet canine companions. But the longer I’m a parent? It is clear to me, children ARE like dogs.  There is a reason my mother once asked me if I needed to go out and “piddle.” Well, she didn’t ask me, she asked our dog, who she referred to in that moment as Kate. My dog’s name was Holly.  Alternately, more than half of the time growing up, one of my siblings would be called “Holly.” (The other half we were called by a sibling’s name. 7 kids. You know.) As for me? I’m pretty sure Fenway still has the upper hand when it comes to intelligence between the two. After all, Colin can’t ever seem to find his sippy cup when it’s right in front of his face, whereas Fenway can pretty much sniff out week old milk from the couch cushions. Colin tries to get into the trash, much like my beloved dog. So it could be a tie. I’m just saying. Dog. Child. Same difference.

Back to the leash. It’s really called a harness, but whatever. Tomato, tomahto. The bottom line is I’ve become the parent I scoffed at in the mall. The one whose demon child looks as if he is running on a treadmill, frothing at the mouth, tethered to his parent with a scary monkey backpack, the parent looking worn down, a thought bubble over his head asking “Why did we think coming to the mall with a toddler on a Saturday was a good idea, again?”

So tell me. Leashes. Harnesses. Whatever. Ever used one? Publicly? Or should we practice in the house- the leash being my secret shame?

Operation: PACI SABOTAGE [Update]

Happy Monday!  We managed to survive St. Patrick’s Day festivities, late bedtimes, car rides and a trip to the duck pond this weekend, sans Pacifier. Mind you, I did not say sans Tantrums. But we did survive those tantrums without a paci. People, I think this crazy plan might just work.

As I discussed earlier, Thursday night I took a safety pin (it’s what I had. Don’t judge me. Everything was sanitized. Not that I should have to explain that….) and sabotage the three remaining pacifiers. As I held them, I have to be honest. I decided my pin hole pricking wasn’t doing much more than my child’s chompers already had. That thing was already compromised. But I’m a rules follower. And the little online pamphlet told me at this point my child would only tolerate pin hole pricks. So prick away I did.

As I gave the paci to Colin that night, he didn’t seem any the wiser. Sucking away. Happy as can be. Naturally, I went downstairs after turning the lights out and furiously poked more holes in the remaining pacifiers not in use. That’ll teach him to enjoy a Janky Paci.

On Friday night, he didn’t seem as happy with his new “now 50% more holes!” pacifier. He took it to bed, but upon waking in the middle of the night, quickly discarded it as a soothing tool. Fine by me. So long as he went to bed. And he did. Miracle? Maybe, but I wasn’t getting my hopes up. St. Patrick’s Day was the next day and we were headed to Foxboro for children’s activities and games. Which translates in ParentLand to “Mayhem and Tantrums.” You can look that up in the Parent Dictionary, which you receive upon discharge from the Labor and Delivery.

At Foxboro, we freed the despot from the confines of his stroller to play with the sidewalk chalk with some other kiddos. We chose this activity for the simple fact that it was down a dead-end walkway. Which means we had a little bit of control as to his wild running about. Especially if Kase and I formed a human chain link fence. Of course, we knew as we took him from the stroller that we were bound to meet a tantrum when replacing him. The things we parents do for our children. By which I mean: elevated blood pressure for 30-45 minute periods of time when anticipating tantrums. I had the sabotaged paci at the ready. Sure enough, Colin wasn’t happy to go back to his stroller, and he was even more pissed when I pried the sidewalk chalk from his vise-like grip. More than that, he was none too happy with janked up paci. He didn’t take it to calm down. The kid managed to calm down on his own. Not immediately, but he calmed down. We had a great dinner, and even after a late bedtime due to the first annual St. Patrick’s Day Dance Party (in our kitchen), paci was taken, but merely played with.

On Sunday, I took the remaining pacifiers and continued onto step two of the sabotage plan which entailed snipping the very tips off the ends. So much catharsis can be accomplished with scissors, don’t you think?  We were also scheduled to travel out to Western Massachusetts to visit with family and friends. Colin napped for 15 minutes in the car, but decided that was enough. So by 11am, I knew the day was going to be a disaster. And it was. I love being right. Wait…..

We had a nice lunch and then headed to a large park to see the ducks. On our way to the park, across the greatest expanse known to man, we encountered no fewer that 1, 374 balls- soccer, basketball, croquet, you name it. “No Colin! That is not yours!”  Colin “tebows” and begins the curled lip cry. Repeat. The whole way to the ducks.

Oh goodie! More balls.

We get to the ducks where we can take a nice staircase to the pond, or we can scoot down the adjoining hill on our butts squealing “WHEEEE!” like the Geico Pig. Naturally, Colin chose option number 2. But then he tried to catapult himself into the pond. Because? I don’t know. Maybe he thought it was bath time. We restrain him. Oh God. Holy Terror. I now understand fully why parents put their children on leashes. Kase and I are seriously considering buying one. That walk to the car was the worst four minutes of my weekend. Hand him Janki Paci. Receive a Janki Paci to the face. Repeat. The whole way home.

Naturally, he was in a great mood to take a nap. Without a pacifier. NOT. The foaming at the mouth tipped me off.  So we let him run around grammie’s house, where he dropped a can of soup on his foot and split open his toe. OF COURSE.

At this point, we gave up on the Janki Paci. He calmed down, which isn’t strange when he self inflicts pain. We decided to put him back down for a nap, sans paci. Off he went. Last night, we put him to bed, no paci. Gave him the paci at 1am when he woke, he gave me a major side eye and threw it from the crib. I rocked him to sleep. Down he went. Slept till 8am, too.

I am hesitant to say we are paci free, but I think we are well on our way. And it took us two steps out of the four. Paci Sabotage may just work. Now, maybe we can try to wean him off of tantrums. Any ideas? Bueller? Bueller?

PS: If you are interested in the Bye-Bye-Binky.Com PDF, follow this link.

Listen up all y’all, it’s SABOTAGE!

Kids, it’s time. Time to sabotage the paci.

My kid’s getting a full set of baby teefs. And with me as his mother, what with my dental history, he’s already gonna have a tough road to hoe. Let’s not start too early. The baby teefs are so innocent. What did they ever do to get all messed up?

Why now? Because it’s completely acceptable for me to pass out drunk tomorrow night and have Colin’s cries fall on deaf ears. Because I’m Irish.

Totally kidding.

I chose now because I’ve noticed lately that Colin feels entitled to the paci. And I ain’t raising no entitled brat.  Colin hides these things around the house like Kim Richards hides bottles of liquor and prescription pills. Allegedly. Even when I confiscate the pacifier after his nap, somehow when we get downstairs, he’s got another one plugged in. They’re coming out of the woodwork, people!  If he could just learn to find my keys every now and then. Help a mother out, kid. Jesus.

So last night, I got to crawl around our apparently dirty house and find the rogue pacifiers: I found fallen soldiers under cribs and play tables and hidden in corners and underneath dirty clothes in the laundry basket for crissake. Some were covered in lint and dog hair. Which you think would encourage him to give them up, but no. He’s out of control. A Paci Monster.  So sabotage it is.

I read about bye-bye-binky.com, a website devoted to teaching idiot parents like myself how to wean their demon child off pacifiers. You see, parents depend on pacifiers to soothe their children. When, you ask? When changing diapers, putting on shoes, putting on jackets; when taking naps, when taking the stroller and not the wagon, when going to Gymboree, when leaving Gymboree; when closing the garage door; after turning off the television before Super Why has uncovered the secret message. Just then.

I started the first stage of sabotage last night. Following the instructions of the website, I took a pin and poked little holes in the tip of the pacifier.“The idea here is for the binky to lose its ‘squeegy’ feeling in the mouth. The holes let air pass back and forth and, although it is still a full pacifier, it is not quite as enjoyable. “

Checking my handiwork, I made sure to suck on the pacifiers myself. Yup. Like a crazy person.

As a next step I am supposed to start snipping the tops off. And when my child undoubtedly gives me the ol’ sideye and chucks his janky paci at my face, I am supposed to play dumb. “Here, try another [sabotaged] paci, honey!” I’ll let you know how that goes. Generally, Colin doesn’t take kindly to my dumb girl act.  I try it often, like when he hands me the remote control and points to the TV. It usually ends in tears.

The point is to gradually remove the “pleasure aspect” of the pacifiers so that the child gives it up on his own. Apparently Colin is addicted to his “pleasure source.” I never knew paci sabotage to sound so sordid and dirty. Yikes.

So, have any of you poked holes in items belonging to the men in your life lately to get what you want? What? What’s so funny? Oh GROSS.

Colin’s Book Club

It’s like Oprah’s Book Club. But better. Because these books have pictures.

A few months back, I talked about my son’s addiction to the book “Little Blue Truck.” At least I assume it was an addiction. I base this on the fact he would get the shakes and would be very agitated when we hadn’t read it in at least 6 hours.

It was time to search for some new reading material. When simple phrases like “they clapped their hands” are automatically finished with “AND YELLED HOORAY! FOR THE LITTLE BLUE TRUCK WHO LED THE WAYYYYYY!” it’s time to move on. You have a problem. The first step is acknowledging it.

You do so by logging onto your Amazon Prime account and ordering books to arrive the next day. Because who has time to go to the bookstore? And by that, I mean, who has time to fight with their toddler over the Thomas the Tank Engine play set at the bookstore while trying to drag him away and simultaneously drop the $25 wooden block also known as a train toy. Not this momma. I’ve got better things to do, thanks. And much better things to spend $25 on. Like braided belts.

Priorities.

But back to the book club. The following get the Colin’s Book Club Seal of Approval. Which, in case you are wondering, resembles a slobbery hand print with a little bit of Kix residue.

If you’ve got a little kiddo of the male variety, then these books might be up your alley:

Llama Llama Wakey Wake. This is another of the Llama Llama series. We have the original Llama Llama Red Pajama, as well as the holiday version, Llama Llama Holiday Drama. This one’s a short little board book. $6 well spent.

Leonardo the Terrible Monster. This is a cute book about a terrible monster. No, seriously. He is terrible at being a monster. It’s cute. And more importantly, it’s short and to the point. It only looks long and hellish. It’s mostly just fun pictures. It’s by Mo Willems, who also writes the “Don’t let the Pidgeon” books.

Cars Galore. I bought this for Colin as a Christmas Present.  This books is awesome for kids who like cars. Truth in advertising, I guess. The rhymes are great, the pictures are cute. There is a lot of room for creative voices and sound effects. Parents know this is important.

Dinosaur Vs. Bedtime. This is a new addition to our household. We bought it over the weekend when we were in NJ. It’s silly, but I read it to Colin while he’s in the tub, and it’s pretty fun. He makes noises and happily brushes his teeth just like the dinosaur. Whatever works around here. And much like the Llama series, there seems to be a Dinosaur series that tackles the potty, the library and other assorted toddler predicaments.

So there ya have it. The Ulysses and Grapes of Wrath of the toddler literary canon, in my humble opinion. And I should know. I was an English Major.