Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Trying times

This moment in Ben's development is what people usually refer to as a "phase." I think they say that to give you hope that your life will one day be good again. The phase we're navigating right now is an aggressive phase. The hitting, kicking, throwing and pushing are ever present. Taking him around other kids is becoming a chore. Even playgroup friends he's known his entire life aren't immune. Some of it isn't malicious. His favorite game is Chase, so if he can't verbally convince someone to play with him he'll push them, trying to start them off running. Eventually that results in pushing them down, and sometimes, tears.

Other times it is malicious and it's so frustrating because there's not all that much I can do. I take him aside, tell him not to hit, make him apologize, give him a time-out... But so far it's not very effective. I guess I'm going to have to start leaving wherever we are, but that sucks because it's punishment for me, too.

I know this mainly stems from lack of impulse control and empathy. Everyone has times when they just want to smack someone else, but they've learned to control that urge and just passive aggressively write about it on Facebook. As one of his parents, it's my job to teach him that skill. But damn it's difficult and tedious. I've probably said, "We don't hit," 5,000 times in the last year and a half and I probably have 10,000 more ahead of me.

When he was first learning to walk I pretty much followed after him everywhere we went, to make sure he didn't crack his head open. It was so nice when he became steady enough that I didn't have to mirror his every move. I could chat with my friends or just sit down for once. Now I feel like I have to revive my shadow role so he quits hitting everyone. Where did my sweet boy go?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pix or it didn't happen!

Ben had a blast in the sand

The first of hopefully many family portraits on Anna Maria

The water was cold, but he didn't seem to notice

Me as a mermaid

I thought this was a nice action shot

At the Mote Aquarium in Sarasota

Grandpa coaxing Ben into the water

So relaxing...

Sunday, March 20, 2011


For the past week Heath, Ben and I have been in Florida with Heath's parents. We went to Anna Maria Island, which is on the Gulf side, near Sarasota. Heath went there at least once a year from ages 2-15. I now know why they kept going back. It was wonderful. The weather was absolutely perfect. The island isn't very commercialized and no building is over 6 stories. The beach was white sand with calm waves and though I didn't think it was very crowded at all, they assured me it was about as crowded as it ever gets. We had an awesome time.

Ben loved the beach, as I knew he would. The water was a little cold, so we didn't do much more than play at the shore, but he had a blast with the sand. We never got very far with our sandcastles, because he would storm into them, wreaking havoc. He also loved getting to hang out with Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa for seven days straight. Plus, ice cream every night. So he was pretty much in toddler heaven. As an added bonus, he was great on the plane rides. On the way there he slept the whole time and on the way back he was pretty amused by his iPod and playing with the window shades.

So, it was a good vacation. We'll definitely be going back.

Friday, March 11, 2011

21st Century Kid

Heath has been talking about getting a new iPod for a while, so I took Valentine's Day as an opportunity to buy it for him (coincidentally I also wanted something - The Sims 3 - which is why I haven't been posting very much lately... my sims need me!). His old one still worked perfectly fine, so I'm somewhat conflicted, but... Ben now has his own iPod.

It's not like we went out and bought Ben his own brand new iPod, but it still somehow seems wrong for a two and a half year old to have a personal computing device. I know I'll be running up against this problem for Ben's entire childhood. We'll have to make that decision on when he gets his own cell phone, which again seems ridiculous to me since I didn't have one until I was in college and even then I barely used it. I suppose I'm sounding like a parent. You kids today have it so great... In my day we didn't have cell phones and iPods. If we wanted to call someone we had to find a pay phone. What's a pay phone? Oh, go play Angry Birds some more.

And get off my lawn!