Saturday, November 10

AP Parenting moment of the day ~ Play builds connections

I am moderator of an online AP reading list and we are currently covering the book Playful Parenting by Lawrence Cohen PhD. I have read this book a couple of times and I really did enjoy it. I am finding myself loving it all over again this time around. Today I had the chance to spend some playtime with Captain Destructo and found myself seeing it in a whole new light. This morning my boy wanted to play cars ( really?!!? GOSH I am shocked!!!!) and so, in a new spirit of "playfulness" I "willingly" agreed!!! He likes you to sit on the floor and he sits across the room and sends his truck to you, then you have to send it back.... and ... so... it .... goes.... on......!! ;D Actually it's not a tricky game and if he doesn't get it right to you then he jumps up and gets it and sends it to you again!! LOL!! :D I sat on the floor, wrapped in a throw, sipping tea and playing with the little guy!!! I remembered in chapter one the author described how the act of throwing a ball back and forth builds a connection with your child and I know this is a big deal for my guy. His language skills are not the best, sometimes he is quite hard to understand, but he can say "Play Cars" very clearly! The game of "cars" doesn't involve a lot of speaking, the rules are simple and don't require much in the way of clarification or debate. He sends me the car, I send it back. It's his language. It's how he "talks". He really loves to have folks sit and play cars with him and frequently insists his Daddy plays cars with him in order to stop him leaving for work in the mornings!. This isn't cars anymore, this is I love you and you love me too.

... maybe he'll let me play again tomorrow....

Kids say the darndest things...

Poor Daddy has had some recent dental work resulting in one of his teeth looking unfortunately rather terrible. He has a temporary crown until next week but the darn thing keeps falling out and he hates to worry about it, so at home won't wear it but he is rather sensitive about it. We were out today running errands and he wanted to stop in at our favorite Organic Food store to pick up some milk. He jumped out of the car and headed off when I suddenly called him back....

"Your TOOTH honey... remember, you don't have the crown you want me to go in instead....???"

"Nah," he shrugged, "it's alright..." and off he walked, bravely, into the store.

From the back seat I hear our daughter..... "Oh no.... will people think Daddy is a lunatic?"


AP moment of the day ~ Respect your child's feelings.

Captain Destructo was being trouble. He'd had a long day and is weaning himself from naps. This is a good thing.... aaaand a bad thing! The good thing is he goes to bed and is sleeping by 8pm at the latest. The bad thing is he can be veeeeery tricky for the last three or four hours of the day!!! Today was one such day. He didn't wanna, wasn't gonna and I couldn't make him do very much of anything but he was pretty darned SURE he wasn't going to eat dinner. Now, I'm not the best cook, not the more creative chef, but still, it was good food, lovingly prepared and, heck, it was dinner!! (The fact that he had eaten not one but THREE bananas only an hour earlier not to mention cookies and crackers that his Daddy had been doling out with abandon was totally beside the point. ** sigh **... It shouldn't have been beside the point, but my generally cranky mood lately made the fact he was full and irrelevance. Way To Go Mom. I digress. I do that!! ) ANYWAY... he wouldn't eat his dinner and wanted, instead, to read some books and not stay at the table. I don't so much mind if kids eat, but I do like them to stay at the table with us until everyone is finished. Sooooo... I tell him that he must eat his dinner at the table or go to his room. He didn't want to eat so I told him to go to his room. Poor guy... he was heartbroken and began to cry and sat, with his back to me, sobbing in the hallway. I heard him mumble something and asked him to repeat what he had said ..... "I'm MAD at you..." he cried. I was SO proud of him for being able to recognize and state his feelings so clearly. My heart softened immediately and I went and sat by him.... "I'm mad at you too, aren't I?" I said. I told him why I was mad and we talked a little. I asked him if he would return to the table or did he want to go to bed. He said he wanted to go to bed and so I had him say Goodnight to everyone and off we went, his chubby little hand in mine, step by step up the Apples and Pears. He certainly knows how to make me run the gamut of emotions on a daily, heck, hourly basis that one!!

Friday, November 9

AP moment of the day ~ Listening to your child....

We were all sitting at the dinner table tonight and the phone rang. I got up to answer it and the caller promptly hung up. I was pretty steamed and stomped back to the dining table railing against "The Veterans" who had called earlier today asking for Daddy and hung up on me the moment I said he wasn't home.

"And they didn't even ASK about Brecon ( the dog ) and Shadow ( the gerbil ) " pipes up Beans.
Her Dad and I turn and look at her, confused...

"Well..." she said...."what sort of Veterinarians call and don't even ask about the pets!?!?!?"

AP Moment of the day ~ patient parenting.....

We went for a quick walk this evening. The sun was getting ready to go down and so was the thermometer! We set off well enough, me, Beans, Captain Destructo and the dog. Captain Destructo decided to jump the sidewalk cracks "Moing! Moing! Moing" and so we all jumped along too... well... not the dog... you know, she has a smidgen of pride!!... We make it around the neighborhood and were on the final leg... We were just across from our house and down a bit...what?.... it's a measure of distance!! ... it's very technical!! All you have to do is leave your house, cross the street and walk " a bit " ... look back and you'll see how close we were to our house.... anyway, ....... We were across the street and down a bit when Captain Destructo decides to sit down. "I stay HERE!" he firmly declared. Hmmm. Well it's a bit chilly out and getting cooler by the minute. Surely his bum will get cold and he'll change his mind. Nope. Not the Captain. This guy is as stubborn as a really stubborn thing!! We play the old "OK!! Bye!!! See you next week" trick. Nope, nothing. He's staying. Meanwhile the traffic is increasing and neighbors, friends and foe were all peering at us as they cruised home. (Typical, I'm sure they thought. Crazy woman and her kids....!!) So I dig deep. I mentally scanned through all the parenting books I've read lately. I trolled the chats we've had on the booklist, rehashed conversations and dragged up past events looking for inspiration!!... AHA!!! I found some!!! Beans, the dog and I all sit down next to him!!! OK Mister! If you're not going, we're not either!!! I figured he was looking for some way to connect. He wanted us to show that we were with him, we loved him and we wouldn't leave without him!! Solidarity, Brother!!!. So, we sit. And yes, the concrete is cold. He gets up... and runs off. Sadly not towards the house, but further away.. a bit. He sits. We get up and sit down again with him. He gets up and runs further away still. We follow, but are getting a little frantic's colder still and we are FURTHER from home, and cocoa, and warmth!! :D We try encouraging words...... "Come on, we're nearly home....!!" We try bribery "How about a COOKIE when we get back?!!" We try scare tactics...."If you sit here alone a policeman will come and take you away!!!" and finally, we use the old tried and true. "I'm going to carry you home young man, whether you like it or not!!!!!" What?!?!? SOME of it was AP!! ;D I told you... I'm a WANNABE AP Mama!! :D

Ah well... maybe next time?!? !:D

What is Attachment Parenting? or Won't I go crazy if I can't put them down??

Attachment Parenting is a way of thinking. It's a style of parenting that is actually very instinctual. If your baby cries and you instantly put down your knitting and jump up to attend him, you are probably an attached parent. Of course if your baby cries and you simply sway your hips gently side to side and stroke his head as he lies wrapped in a sling around your body then, yeah, and duh, you're an attached parent... as you were!! ;D Responsiveness to your child's needs is one of the basic tenets, but there are also others... co~sleeping, baby wearing, breastfeeding, bonding, and balance in the life of the parents are some. It's pretty easy to be an Attached Parent of an infant, follow your instincts towards your particular child and you will probably do just fine.... the trick my friend comes in being an attached parent to a toddler, an older child or one with special needs. It's not hard, but it IS challenging. Your first instincts might not be the best way to go with the older child, especially if the instinct is to drive them to your inlaws house and leave them there.... and I don't mean for an hour or two! ;D ( I have never done this, but I HAVE thought of it once and again...!! ;D )

Attachment parenting is NOT having your child clinging to your legs. It is not having to give of yourself one hundred percent day in and day out when you really need just a few minutes in the bath! Attachment parenting is listening to your child, treating your child with respect, love and gentleness.

In short, it's a nice way to start people.

How can I be an AP parent if my kids won't read the books??

I don't know what sort of a parent you are, but I'd like to be a calm and serene parent who gently talks to her darling children in a sweet and loving manner at all times, particularly in times of stress......

* can you hear the bluebirds singing above my head?!?! *

...but.... I'm not!! : (

**bluebirds come crashing to the ground!!**

I tend to move very fast, yell very loud but love very hard and very honestly! :D I think my kids would get nervous now if I started to be really quiet and calm!! :D Still, I'm a nice person really and I love my kiddoes and I keep trying ( just keep swimming, just keep swimming!!!) to improve my parenting as often as I can! :D

In this blog I hope to learn how to be a better AP parent despite not having AP friendly KIDS!!! Honestly, don't they READ the books!?!?! They certainly don't lend themselves to my AP'ness..., if they would only do what the books SAY they should do!! ;D Wouldn't life be sweet if EVERYONE read the manuals?!?! :D Maybe my blog will help others along the way... and if not, hey, it's nice to have someone to commiserate with!!! ;D