Happy Father's Day!
This picture says it all. I am so grateful to have a husband who is patient, strong, kind, firm, willing to learn new things, and who loves us both so fiercely. Thank you.
5 admiring his lovely smile after his very first trip to the dentist.
Yeah, so let's talk pediatric dentistry for a minute...
There are so many things here that I have mixed feelings about.
The dentists say that babies should come in as soon as they get their first tooth, our pediatrician said we could wait till he was 3 or 4- kind of crazy with the mixed messages. I decided to bring him in because I noticed plaque on his teeth and he's ground them hard enough to chip two of them- seemed like a good time to see a professional.
I was really pleased to be able to take him to the same pediatric dentist that I saw for almost all of my childhood (I have good teeth and no traumatic dentist memories).
Talking fluoride, toothpaste, and "nursing habits" left me feeling a bit unsure though. I know that fluoride is beneficial to kids under 7 or 8, but that it is also terrible if you get too much. Since 5 still swallows all his toothpaste we use fluoride-free stuff. Besides, we live in a city with fluoridated water. The dentist recommended we start using fluoride toothpaste though, even though he's going to swallow that. Just not sure how I feel about that.
We also use hippie toothpaste that doesn't have harsh abrasives in it (like the sodium laurel/laureth sulfides) because that stuff in nasty. But. I'm also noticing that it can be difficult to get all the plaque off of his teeth when we brush. Hmmm.
Lastly, the dentist said that I should wipe his teeth off after he nurses. Every time. Even when he's (and I'm) sleeping. Now, I'm not a lactation consultant, but I'm not sure how the breast milk gets on his teeth. I've seen the diagrams, that stuff barely hits his mouth at all. Just kind of confused about that whole thing.
So, all you mamas and other protectors of children's teeth- how do you navigate these waters? What worked for you? What didn't? Thanks!
It's been two years. Two years with the sweetest, funniest, smartest little boy a mama could ask for. Definitely the two best years of my life.
This boy enjoys the simplest of pleasures.
Balloons? Coolest thing in the world.
Breakfast smoothie followed by getting to do the dishes? A real celebration indeed!
We celebrated with a little party for family and friends. There was bubble wrap to run on, tamborines and kazoos aplenty, and a cardboard tunnel leading to a balloon pit. 5 was into it. That alone made every minute of planning and cooking etc so very worthwhile.
And, there was, of course, cake. Chomp!
You know how once in a while, ever so seldomly, you have a day that is so perfect in every way, it's like from a storybook? We had one of those this weekend. It was sooo great. I seriously felt like I was in some kind of movie, or instructional book on what childhood is supposed to be like. Okay, enough with the reflections.
We took 5 to an apple orchard for the first time on Saturday. I know, right? So picture-book-y! The weather was warmish, but with a wind that had just enough bite to let you know that Fall is coming.
The strange weather we've had this year meant that the crop was really small, but luckily for us, we were there on the perfect weekend when everything was good and ready and not gone yet.
As a pretty serious apple-lover, 5 really got into picking apples. The hard part was getting him to not take a bite out of every single one he picked.
Dad taught him how to look for bad spots and not to pick the rotten ones up off the ground. Important stuff.
There were wagons. There was uneven terrain. For a boy who loves "bumps", this was his idea of heaven.
We packed a little picnic lunch and 5 regaled us with tales of apple-picking heroics while we ate.
This was such a special orchard- not only were there many varieties of apples to choose from, there were also sheep! 5 did not want to put his hand ANYWHERE NEAR that sheep's mouth, but he encouraged Dad to feed the sheep a grape. This is something we are still talking about. Yesterday, upon waking in the morning, 5 says to me "sheep. grape, dad. bite. chomp!" and so on...
There were also grapes to be picked! We weren't going to get any, but 5 wandered over after lunch and sampled one and freaked out at how good they were. So naturally, we picked some grapes.
I feel like I'm ready for Fall now. School's in, apples harvested, bring on the cardigans.
There's also hair, arm, leg, hand, knee, foot, bellybutton, and, most importantly, boobs.
Yup, we talk about body parts all day.
We also talk about animals, the sounds they make, and who is wearing a hat.
I am so loving this whole conversation thing.
We also have a lot of conversations on completely indecipherable subjects.
Sometimes very contentious conversations- this one is quite opinionated.
In the past, I have totally dreaded the sound of a sniffle, mainly because it means I will have to choose between hearing my child choke on his own snot and using the bulb syringe.
5 would always cry with that mixture of anger and betrayal that makes me feel like such a horrible mother even though I knew I was helping...
With the onset of this cold, however, when I pulled out the bulb syringe, I did have to trick him into letting me do it the first time, but after that he offered up his nostrils willingly! He even brings it over to me in the morning. I'm a little confused as to how two obstinate, non-lesson-learning people such as Fred and myself could possibly have produced a child with the capacity to understand that the discomfort of the bulb syringe is cancelled out by the regained ability to breathe.
I could be over-thinking it though, maybe he just decided it was fun. He certainly delights in attempting to use it on me.
I'm going to start with post by saying that 5 does not get a lot of sugar- he doesn't eat candy, dessert is not a regular thing, he doesn't even drink any juice. Really, the only treats he gets are bites home made ones that Mom and Dad are eating, but he does get those, because my parenting mantra is "it's not a big deal". I'm much less worried about him developing diabetes than I am about him having an unhealthy relationship with food/love/sugar/etc.
Okay, serious heavy stuff aside, the last few days, 5 and I have been learning please and thank you with help from pudding and bananas. It was a whim, but it's worked surprisingly well. He gets pretty excited about having little bites of Mom's treats, so he'll happily copy anything I say and then, it's just practice.
I ask if he wants another bite (as he's grunting and pointing at my bowl) and wait for him to say "yes" (I've been modeling yes please, but that seems a little difficult still), so then he gets a little bite and I say "what do you say?""Thank you!".
By the end of yesterday, I didn't have to model "thank you" anymore and today I didn't even have to ask him "what do you say?"
It was pretty exciting for me, especially because his thank yous sound like "whhaank kyeeee". Adorable.
He even showed off for his Dad today after work, sans pudding. A success I declare!
How did you approach manners with your kids?
Oh, it started out as one of those days. Actually, I guess it started out as one of those nights- last night, just as I was getting ready to turn out the light and fall asleep at a reasonable hour...
The dreaded sign of true Spring in Hancock appeared- one of our supposedly harmless but absolutely terrifying huge spiders started attempting to haul its massive self up the wall in front of my face. Early bedtime, restful night of sleep- gone, all gone!
After reading myself to the point of utter exhaustion, I lapsed into a restless sleep punctuated by startled bouts of vigilance, only to be awoken by my darling husband's alarm that had been set to snooze after he got up.
Oh, the feeling of being trapped underneath a light-sleeping baby, trying to decide which is more likely to awaken the sleeping babe- moving him and finding the offending alarm or waiting the half hour for Fred to notice it's still going off?
In the end, 5 and I were both begrudgingly awake for the day- not our best start...
We were both kind of grumbly and crabby and whiny all morning until we collapsed into a very early nap. And then, something kind of magical happened.
The sun came out.
There was no crying for a little while.
I ate a good lunch.
And then, it wasn't so bad. 5 woke up and instead of grumpy we were just kind of silly and dopey.
Not such a bad afternoon.
And as day turned into night, 5 decided to turn in early (like before it got dark early) and I'm thinking I should do my best to follow suit. If the spiders will let me....
So, this is not something I've talked about here before, and I don't plan to start- it was just a first experience for 5 that I had to share.
The band I sing with was performing tonight and my Freds came to have dinner with me in between sound check and start of show (5 doesn't usually come because it is much loud for his baby ears!).
I remember when I was very young, not as young as 5, but little, when we were out to see our friends who had a band and the lead singer brought me up on stage and held me at the microphone in front of the lights and the audience and I loved it.
Naturally, I had to do the same for 5 (although I have no intention of being any kind of stage mom), and he was super into it. Really, what is there to not be into? You walk up stairs, there are cords everywhere and breakable things too!
I wish each and every one of you the loveliest of Spring weekends!
I have found that every new adventure with 5 brings surprises we never even could've guessed at. Take, for instance, changing time zones. Probably something most of us never give a second thought, right? This is apparently something 5 just doesn't do...
We've been here 4 days already and even though 5 doesn't really do anything on any kind of schedule at home, he is steadfastly clinging to the Eastern Time Zone. Yeah, that's 5 hours difference.
On the bright side, we get to enjoy every single minute of daylight, never wasting the day away by sleeping past sunrise. In fact, we haven't really gotten to sleep past 5. In the morning.
We're also very fortunate that we're not big nightlife peeps, because it takes a lot of doing to keep 5 up until 8 (and if we want to get any sleep, we have to turn in soon after). Honestly, I have no complaints- it's much easier for me to accommodate his needs that to try to get him to adjust, (we're still trying to shift about a half hour a day though).
It's so interesting to think about how that type of shift could be so difficult. Even as a kid I remember it was hard the first night- you have to stay up until it's dark at least- but then you're fine. I wonder if we're going to have the same problem when we get home...
A note about the pictures: This morning, Fred decided to teach Five how to play baseball. Five found it quite enjoyable, but tended to get it mixed up with golf and whack-a-mole.
Happy New Week!
My name is Ansley Knoch. I am the creator of Rispok, a line of accessories for big and little people made from repurposed materials. I live in Madison, Wisconsin with my husband, Fred, and our son, also Fred, better known as 5.