Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Happy Child

"A happy child smiles, plays, exhibits curiosity, shows interest in other children, and doesn't need constant stimulation."

(Jill Storey on babycenter quoting Edward Hallowell, psychiatrist and author of The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness)

"A happy child smiles, and doesn't need constant stimulation" ah, the root of my insecurity about Raccoon. Even my mom comments that he is a solemn child and catching him with a smile for pictures has become pretty much impossible. Up until the last few weeks or so, "needing constant stimulation" describes something that is a struggle. Supplying his voracious appetite for learning is a challenge. Those seeds of doubt are probably why I read the the whole article in the first place; I do wonder if Raccoon is happy.

I'm not a super smiley person myself. The years right before Raccoon were very hard for me and I didn't have much to smile about. When Raccoon was born, I remember my cheeks hurting from smiling so much; I was so out of practice. Now I smile and laugh with him everyday, and I like that. But I also agree with a mom who said, "...when you have an intense baby it beats your self-esteem down and makes you feel like a failure."

Recently Raccoon saw me holding a friend's baby for the first time at a morning playgroup, and later that afternoon I asked him what he thought, not really expecting an answer. He was quiet for a minute, then said, "Give baby back his mama. Hold me."

I like to ask him what he thinks, just because I'm curious if he'll respond, and what he might say. So as we were snuggling before naptime today, I asked him, "Are you happy?" He looked up at me and said blissfully, "Yes."

At least for a moment, all is well in our world.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

One of THOSE days

Reading an article on children and sleeping, I had to laugh at the statement, "Parent has the option to lie down beside the child for a predetermined number of minutes. The parent should not fall asleep in the child’s bed, but rather get up and leave after the set number of minutes." (Bold emphasis mine, ha ha ha). I usually figure out that I've fallen asleep when I wake up just enough at 1 am to crawl under the covers, fully dressed.

I also laughed when I read this blog entry because all of us have had one of THOSE days, or maybe one of those weeks/months/years as the case may be, although we probably have not run out of a beauty salon on fire. (You'll have to forgive the little bit of swearing.)

I needed those laughs because today, nothing has gone as planned, or even as remotely hoped for, in toddler world. A friend of mine once said something like, "I love naptime, it's like starting the day over." May our afternoon be more peaceful and joyous than the last few chaotic days.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Turning Two

Today was Raccoon's birthday party. He had a wonderful time and enjoyed all of it - games in the park, the clowns, playing with his friends and cousins, blowing out his candles, eating cake, and opening presents. He participated really well, didn't have any meltdowns, and went to sleep early (for him) at 8 pm.

Tomorrow is Sunday, which we save for church and family time, but on Monday, I plan to launch into learning, hopefully more consistently. If you'd like to follow our learning adventures, click on over to The Imaginary Country of Celosia.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happy Birthday!

I am starting this blog to celebrate that my son, whom I shall call Raccoon (in honor of his intelligence, dexterity, memory, and hopefully adaptability), turns two today. Our adventures began when he was born, but I would like to be more deliberate, reflective, organized and consistent as a mother and as a person. There are many blogs out there, but I decided to start this one as a record of our unique adventures and trials.