On Trying Not to Raise an Asshole

This past week has been a bit rough for my son Henry.

He has struggled with with his behavior the whole week, which has ranged from being ungrateful, to rudeness, to outright defiance.  

Last Sunday, J and I took him to a trampoline park to meet up with some of his schools friends. It was a nice chance for us to get out of the house and get some pent up energy out. The plan had been for us to only buy 2 jumping tickets (it’s expensive). So, Henry would jump, and J would jump, and I’d hold the baby, and then J and I would switch. Well, we quickly found out that our plan wasn’t allowed. And, because we’re both poor teachers, we couldn’t afford for all three of us to jump, so I volunteered to sit on the sideline and watch. So, for an hour, I watched J and Henry bounce all over the place, and run, play and bounce with his schools friends, and it seemed like they were all having a great time.

Fast forward to when we were driving home, and Henry just keeps talking about the fact that he didn’t get to do any of the arcade games (we had no money for it), and how he’s so sad because he didn’t get to play, and how that’s all he wanted to do, and we wouldn’t let him. I’m just stewing in the front seat, and then I start to really get mad, because this kid won’t drop it! When I just can’t take it anymore, I whip my head around and let loose on the kid. I told him that he was being ungrateful. That mom and dad had to scrimp and save and pinch pennies to take him to the play date, and instead of saying “thank you,” you’re telling me how your experience is ruined because you didn’t get to play a video game? I go on to tell him that I didn’t jump because I didn’t want to, but because we couldn’t afford for me to. And, we didn’t say no to arcade  games because we were being mean, it’s because we didn’t have the money to do it. Be thankful for what you did get to do!

I’m not sure if any of that sank in for him, as he’s only 4, but it sure made me feel better to say it.

Then, during the week, Henry got 3 time outs at school (in one day) because he wasn’t listening to the teacher. That’s unheard of for him. One time out is odd for him, let alone 3. He’s usually the silly, yet respectful kid….So, more punishments ensued at home….No electronics for the day (no computer, tv or ipad – that caused major tears).

Then, on Saturday, we were all sitting down to dinner – having homemade cheese steaks, and Henry pretty much refused to eat it. This is a hot button for me. We spend a lot of money on groceries, and spend a lot of time cooking and planning meals, so telling me that you don’t like it and you don’t want to eat it, is a no go. I’m not saying that we make him clean his plate, we let him eat until he’s full and then stop, but he is going to be respectful to me and appreciative that I spent time and money to make him a delicious meal (and most of the time it’s healthy too – cheese steaks notwithstanding). I can’t abide comments like “that’s disgusting,” “ewww,” “I’m never eating that.” etc. Comments like that turn on my rage in 0.3 seconds. So, after giving him multiple chances to eat, he only ate about 1.5 bites, which is unacceptable. So, Henry left the dinner table and went straight to bed, 1.5 hours early. He cried and was upset, and he and I had a long talk about why this was happening and what to do in the future (when someone makes you dinner, you eat it, smile say “thank you,” no matter how much you hate it. It’s called manners.)

My usually sweet, sweet boy, was totally bordering on being an asshole all week, if not actually being an asshole. I really want to be a present mom, and to raise my boys so they are polite, respectful and grateful and to take into account people’s feelings before they make an off the cuff remark. I’m hoping that I’m on the right track to do that….Parenting is hard.


Month 7

Dear Benjamin,
You are now 7 months old! I can hardly believe how big you are and how much you’re growing. Babyhood really does fly by, and while I’m a teensy bit sad that time is flying by so much, I’m also amazed at the little boy you’re becoming. You’re one incredible little boy. You smile, talk, laugh, and chuckle all the time. You really are a very happy baby. That’s not to say that you never cry, you do. You have a really solid pair of lungs on you, and you know how to use them. You have three big triggers for crying: 1. Being tired, 2: being hungry, and 3: tummy time. Of course you cry at other times, but these are the biggies.

You are doing so well on solid foods! You will pick up and eat just about anything we put on your mat. The other night you had refried beans and avocado – we were all eating tacos/taco salads, and you just dived in, and you looked adorable with refried beans smeared all over your sweet little face. You love crackers and pretzels, and we’ve noticed that if you’re getting antsy and bored, if we give you food to suck/chew on, you’ll be a happy camper for a solid 5 minutes. You dad keeps saying that you’re very food motivated.     

This past month you got your first major sickness. On Sunday, January 1, you developed a lot of congestion – like a lot, and it seemed like it came out of nowhere. On Monday, you developed a fever, and on Tuesday morning you were crying, unhappy and not nursing well, so your Gram took you to the doctor. I was thinking that you had signs of an ear infection, but the Doc said that your ears were clear and it just looked like a virus. So, you came home, and we treated your symptoms (saline, suction and fever reducer) and just tried to make you more comfortable. As the days wore on, you just seemed to get worse and worse. Your fever was hovering at over 103 without a fever reducer, and only came down around 101 with one. You became so lethargic, and were just pitiful looking, and by Wednesday night I decided you were going back to the peds the very next day.

I was literally in tears in the waiting room because I was sure they were going to send us to the emergency room with you. Your breathing was labored because of your severe congestion, you weren’t nursing well at all anymore, and I was having to pump to keep my supply up, and you looked like a rag doll with how lethargic you were…I was so worried about you. We were at that doctor’s office for over 3 hours. They tested you for RSV (which came back positive), they tested your pulse ox (which was around 94), they tested your white count (28,000). They gave you tylenol in the office. Then the Doctor came in and thoroughly looked you over. For most of the exam you were in my arms asleep, and the doctor was kind enough to keep you there while she listened to your lungs and heart, and peeked in your ears (and of course you had a double ear infection). They decided that they were going to give you two shots of an antibiotic, one in each leg, and then have you come back the next day to see how you were doing. I got a phone call from the doctor that night to make sure you were doing fine. She was also kind enough to give us a print out of everything they did and results in case you needed to go to the ER over the night. 

By the next day, you had perked up a lot. You were still pretty sick, but you had moments of your happy self that was shining through. You were then started on a 10 day course of a strong antibiotic for your ears. I can’t tell you how relieved I am that you’re better. I hate it when you’re sick. 

Your Dad and I have started to sleep train you…at least we’re trying. We need to be more consistent with it, but consistency is really hard to do at 3:00 in the morning. The good news is that we pretty much (knock on wood) have it so that we can lay you down and walk away at night. I’ll nurse you to sleep, but you usually always wake up from transitioning you from the rocking chair to the crib. But now we can lay you down, cover you with your blankets and walk away, and you’ll put yourself to sleep. Middle of the night doesn’t go so smoothly. I’m hoping that you will learn to sleep completely through the night soon….

You’re sitting up really well, and you’re getting better at tummy time every day. You’re tolerating it more and more, and I have seen you start to try to get your knees up under you too, which is awesome! You still haven’t rolled over from your back to your tummy yet, and I’m hoping that it’s just around the corner. Your pediatrician did say that if you haven’t done it by your nine month appointment they’ll look into getting you physical therapy like your brother had.

I think that you are one amazing little boy. I love every moment that I get to snuggle and cuddle you and hold you close. You are my light, my love and I’m so happy that I get to watch you grow up. You mean the world to me, and you always will.



Weekly Weigh In Thursday 

Several years ago I started doing a Weekly Weigh In Wednesday (holy crap has it been that long ago?), and so I decided to do the same thing to try to get down to a much healthier weight and make myself happy at the same time.
So…here goes….

Starting Weight: 173.8

Today’s Weight: 173.0

Goal Weight: 130

Total Lost: 0.8

I’m a bit disappointed in my weightloss already. I’ve been tracking for a week, and working out every day, and I didn’t even lose a pound….That’s so frustrating!

Last week I started the T25 program, and so far I really like it. The workouts are only 25 minutes long, plus a cool down, so it averages to be about 30 minutes total, which is doable. I’m five days into the program right now, and it’s a 10-15 week total program, so I’m excited to see where it takes me.

I’ve started to track my food on MyFitnessPal, and my goal is to track everything I eat, everyday no matter what.

I’m limiting the amount of alcohol that I drink, saving those calories primarily for the weekend. And, I’m also upping my water content as well.

Hopefully I’ll start to see results soon…

Month 6

Dear Benjamin,

You are now 6 months old!  Holy crap where has the time gone!  My brain is literally having trouble coming to terms that you are already half of a year old.  I just can’t fathom it, it really doesn’t want to compute….

A lot of has happened this month.  You celebrated your first Christmas and Hanukkah this year!  Christmas this year was kind of a let down.  Our whole family (me, dad, Henry, Gram, Bubby, Aunt Jenn and Aunt Jess) all got a horrible stomach bug, and were unable to open gifts or do much of anything except run to the bathroom to throw up, or…yeah.  Dude, taking care of a baby while having a vicious stomach bug is seriously hard.  I think your Dad and I deserve Parent Merit Badges for it.  We took 1.5 hour shifts, so while one was sleeping for 1.5 hours, the other would be taking care of you.  Thankfully, it was relatively short lived, and we were mostly able to open gifts on Christmas evening.  You don’t really comprehend this whole gift thing yet, but I’m sure it’ll be no time before you’re ready to dive into your presents.  Right now you seem to be having more fun playing with the paper than the actual gift inside…sigh.  But, you do look super cute in your yarmulke!

You’ve officially started to say “mama” and “dada.”  Your dad and I can’t be sure if you’re saying just a bunch of random syllables, or if you actually know the meaning behind those sounds, so we’re not ready yet to say they’re first words.  I do love hearing you say “mama” though, it melts my heart.

You officially have your first tooth!  It’s barely poking through your bottom gum right now, but it’s there, shiny and white and sharp as can be.  Seriously, I feel like I blink and you’re reaching another milestone and getting older!  Slow down!  I can’t keep up!

We’ve introduced you to solid foods, and you are loving it!  We’ve delved right into table food, just like we did with your brother.   The other night you had some blueberry french toast, minus the syrup (meant for Christmas morning, but we were too sick to eat it) and my goodness you gobbled it down!  Last night you ate some penne pasta for dinner and really seemed to like that as well.  So, we’ll just keep going like we’re going!

Nursing has been a lot smoother since you’ve had your tongue tie and lip tie revision.  You’re not chewing as your nurse anymore (thank goodness), and we’re not having near as many latch issues as we use to.  You’ve also started to become more and more efficient.  What use to take you 45+ minutes now only seems to take you 15-30 or so, which is awesome!  The one thing that hasn’t changed is that you still take a while to nurse to sleep at night.  I’ll usually start at 7:45, and lately it’s taken us until after 10:00 for you to go to sleep.  You fight sleep at every turn.

We went clothes shopping for you the other day.  We can no longer put you in Henry’s hand-me-downs because you’re in 9-12 month clothes, and all of Henry’s old clothes that size are for spring and summer.  So, we went and stocked you up on jammies, and cute little outfits that will keep you warm this winter.  You’re going to be one stylish little man.

As far as sleep is concerned, I wish I could say that you slept as well as you did when you were a newborn, but you don’t.  You wake up at least once a night, and up to 3 or 4 times a night.  We haven’t done any sleep training with you like we did with Henry, but unless things start to improve soon, it’s coming.  I’m hoping the more solids you eat, the longer you’ll sleep.  But, eventually we’ll need to cut out your middle of the night nursing session.  For now, it’s just the easiest way to get you to go back to sleep.

You’re usually such a happy little guy, full of smiles and you’re quick to chuckle.  You love to snuggle, but you’re also perfectly fine to play on your own.  I love watching discover everything.  The older you get the more you become desensitized to life, but watching you take such just in watching trees out the car window, or be enamored with a stalk of broccoli, it brings the wonder of the world back to me as well.

I love you so much Benjamin.  You are my light, my reason and my joy.  I hope your keep that wonder as long as possible, and I’ll try my best to help you.