Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Facebook Tells All

A few days after New Year's, I was having a rare morning of "me" time while Alec was at preschool and Chase was at home with Chad. I decided to go to Panera Bread and enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee and catch up on the latest gossip in my Redbook magazine (even if the "latest" gossip is really the October edition that has been sitting on my desk unopened for four months). Being the Facebook addict that I am, I also had to share this as my status. So I opened up my phone and typed, "Alec is at school, Chase is hanging out at home with Chad, and I'm enjoying coffee and a magazine at Panera Bread. I'd say this is a good way to start the New Year!

After a half hour or so, I checked my phone to see if anyone had commented on my status. A few people had "liked" it, and a few others had offered comments telling me to enjoy the time. But the more I thought about it, the less I liked what I had really said. Was I really saying that a great way to start off the New Year is without my kids?

I've never been a fan of New Years resolutions, and this year is no exception. I've just never seen the point in waiting until a new year starts to try to achieve something you want. But I do use the start of a new year as a time to reflect on what is going on in my life. And this year I turned to Facebook to help me out. After considering the status I had just posted, I thought back to other statuses I had shared over the past year or so... "All I want for Christmas is for Chase to sleep more than 30 minutes at a time during the day...", "...looking forward to date night tonight...", "...taking a deep breath, counting to 10, and repeating over and over to myself I love my children, I love my children, I love my children...". I think you get the picture. Basically a lot of my statuses had to do with my frustrations with my children or enjoying time without them. In fact, if someone who didn't know me were to visit my Facebook page, they might just wonder why I even had children in the first place.

But just as I was about to put myself up for nomination for worst mother of the year, I realized that for every one frustrating status there were two or three statuses that showed my love for my kids. There were statuses about the fun trips we took, like to Zoo America or to see Yo Gabba Gabba. There were statuses about trying to find home remedies for my poor little guy who wasn't feeling well. There were statuses about what Alec or Chase happened to do on a particular day that made me laugh. There were statuses about not being able to believe how quickly the kids are growing up.

Before I knew it it was time to pick Alec up from school. On the way to get him, I think I figured out what I was really thinking when I made the initial Facebook post that got me onto this whole train of thought. I was thinking that I had a wonderful time on New Year's Eve day with Chad & the boys. We played at the Whitaker Center for a while before heading over to see some children's theatre and a kid's countdown to noon, and we ended the day with a trip to Christmas Candylane at Hersheypark. And while I had a blast watching Chase play in the water table at Whitaker and watching Alec on all the rides at Hersheypark, I also had a blast at Panera Bread sipping my coffee and reading my magazine (even if I barely made it past the table of contents because I really spent all my "me" time thinking about the kids!). So a great start to the New Year was actually spending some quality time with my family, while also escaping for some non-mommy time. Now if only that would have fit into a Facebook status!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Liar Liar Part 2: The Disappearing Biffy

A few months ago I wrote about Alec's addiction to his pacifier (or his biffy as we called it) and my dilemma of how to get rid of it (http://mommys-always-write.blogspot.com/2010/10/liar-liar.html). I am happy to report that we are now a biffy-free house!

Are you ready to hear my secret that worked like a charm? I simply didn't give it to him at night. I didn't say a word about it, and neither did he. Yes, it really was that easy. All the plotting and planning and scheming was pretty much for nothing. I didn't need to lie; I didn't need to hold him down while he kicked and screamed for his biffy; I didn't need to make him exchange it for a toy that I probably would have gotten him anyway; I wasn't up multiple times overnight to serve as his replacement comfort item. Now I'm wondering how long ago I could have done this!

After the first biffy-free night, I thought for sure it was a fluke. I just waited for him to ask for it the second night. But he didn't say a word about it on the second night...or the third...or the fourth... It's been over a month now, and he hasn't asked for it once. It honestly amazed me how easy it was.

I guess I really shouldn't be that amazed. This isn't the first time he has surprised me with how easily he adapts to what I consider to be a major change. When he turned two last January, we moved him into a new room so that we could use the nursery for Chase. Not only did we move him to a new room, but we moved him from his crib into a double bed. Chase wasn't due until April, and we wouldn't need the nursery right away since we would use the bassinet in our bedroom for the first few months. But thinking that our little creature of habit wouldn't handle this change well, we decided to move him in in January so that we had a few months buffer for what we were sure would be a failure at first. We were convinced that Alec would take one look at his new room and bed and have a meltdown on the spot. But again he amazed us. He was thrilled with his new Thomas-themed room. He climbed right into his bed that first night and slept in it like he had been sleeping there his whole life, never even asking about his crib. Now, almost a year later, he just views the nursery as Chase's room.

There have also been other situations that Alec handled much better than I expected: the start of preschool, the transition out of his high chair, and most recently the change to a new car seat. Maybe this little creature of habit isn't as dependent on his routine as I once thought. Or, more likely, he's just growing up. It kind of makes me wonder what else he is ready for!