Thursday, December 30, 2010

File this under, "Pandora's Box"

We only put Ben in time out for throwing toys and hitting. But this morning he was in time out four times before 8:00am. So between that and the fact that he's been gorging on sweets for the last couple weeks, when the manager of Subway gave us two free cookies (because Ben's just so cute and charming) I slipped them into the diaper bag before he could notice.

After lunch we stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things and about halfway through the store he started yelling because he wanted M&M's. This happened last time we were there, too, so I'm afraid we might be starting a pattern. I told him we weren't going to buy M&M's, but if he was quiet until we got back to the car he could have a cookie. And as if we were bathed in heavenly light, that kid was practically silent the rest of the trip. Bribing works, apparently.

But that's one of those things I swore I wouldn't do when I was a mother. I don't want to fall back on it too often... But it worked so well. Now it's going to be in the back of my head, "Just tell him he can have a cookie. Just tell him he can have a cookie. Just tell him he can have a cookie." I've given the devil on my shoulder extra ammunition.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010


Potential careers for Ben:

Professional Door Closer - Suddenly it's imperative that every door in our house be closed all the time, by Ben, AND BEN ONLY. Choruses of, "Ben can do it!" ring through the halls if I ever try to touch a door knob.

Motivational Life Coach - When I get up with Ben in the morning we usually let Heath sleep until about 7:30. By that time Ben's eaten breakfast and I can distract him from whining about watching Dinosaur Train by saying, "Let's go wake up Daddy!" He rushes up the stairs and climbs into bed with Heath. But only for a second, because after a quick hug Ben says, "Daddy get up and take a shower!" and he won't stop until Heath is in the bathroom. Then after the shower it's, "Daddy get dressed. Go to work."

Personal Trainer - The layout of our main floor is perfect for toddlers, because you can run a lap through all four rooms. And that's one of Ben's favorite games. He always makes us go in front of him and if we stop he says, "Run, run!" The kid is relentless.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ben can do it!

We've reached the "independence" phase of Ben's toddler-hood, which is sort of an oxymoron because he's never been a very independent kid. And really he still isn't. He pretty much always wants one of us to play with him, or at least be in the room near him when he's playing. When he's playing trains my role mostly consists of fixing destroyed track and voicing Sir Topham Hatt.

But, his newest motto is the subject line. If I try to help him put on his boots, or buckle his booster seat or close a door he yells, "Ben can do it!" Yesterday we were at a friend's 2nd birthday party and Ben wanted more grapes. So I put more on his little plate and carried it back to the couch. He threw a fit and I had no idea why. Finally between all the whining and crying I figured out he wanted to carry the plate himself. So I handed him the plate and he was immediately happy.

I guess I should be glad he wants to do things himself, and I am, but it's just another whining, crying minefield to navigate.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas dorks

 Last year we didn't set up our big Christmas tree because Ben was in Super Destructive Toddler Mode. We knew it wouldn't survive. But this year he's out of the must-knock-down-everything-in-my-path phase, so on Wednesday night we decorated the tree.

It was nice. I love Christmas decorations and though Heath hates the idea of putting all this stuff up and having to take it down only weeks later, I can't imagine this time of year without a tree. It's nice to have that tradition, and even better now that we can do it as a family.

However, this is what happens when we try to take a decent shot of all three of us:

Either Heath looks deranged, I look like a hillbilly and Ben's blurry, or...

My face is covered and Ben's blurry, or...

Ben and I look nice (though he's still slightly blurry), but Heath's still deranged.

There were three others we took that all looked similarly bad. Here's the best one. Ben's not smiling, but at least we're all in focus and looking sane.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happiness is...

...saying, "I love you, Ben," and hearing, "I love you, Mommy. I love you, I love you, I love you."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Oh *&%#!

Considering the frequency with which Heath spouts obscenities, it's a wonder Ben hasn't picked up on any yet. Until Monday night.

Our ceilings are about nine feet tall and so it's a little tricky to change the bulbs in the light fixtures. Heath was doing just that and almost dropped part of it, saying in the process, "Oh, crap!" Certainly about the tamest cuss word there is, but still not something I want Ben saying out in public. But, the next thing we know out come the words from his mouth: "Oh, crap! Oh, crap! Oh, crap!" And this morning as I was putting on his shoes, "Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap!"

I didn't react to it either time, so perhaps it won't surface too often. I actually don't have a problem with him saying cuss words, once he can understand the appropriate (and inappropriate) times to say them. But at 2 he definitely lacks that understanding.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Conversations with a Toddler - Part 5

Scene: Driving in the car...

Ben: Going to Science Center to meet friends.

Me: Yeah, we're going to the Science Center to meet our friends.

Ben: Good idea.