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I’m calling on all the Hudson Valley Parent readers to help in this my intervention. Yes, only a control freak like me plans her own intervention. You see, I have a very real phenomenon known as baby fever. It’s very difficult for me to deal with this “condition” because being the control freak as I just mentioned before, I just can’t make it go away. It’s been on my mind so much that I’m even going to ask for your comments and advice in this “blogger-vention” to help me with my research on baby fever for an upcoming article I’ll be working on.
Ok, so it’s not like I don’t vividly remember pregnancy or having an infant. My son just recently turned 3 and thanks to his stubborn refusal to “go” on the potty I’m still changing diapers. I have a 5-year-old daughter so having both a boy and a girl means that this baby fever was not caused by my desire to have a child of the opposite gender than what I already have. I don’t pretend hovering over the toilet for 9 months was fun and no I don’t think my stretch marks are so sexy that I can’t wait to add more to the bunch. So what is causing this?
It could be one of several things. It started in the first month I became a stay-at-home mom. The idea sort of popped into the back of my mind one day like, “Hey Erin wouldn’t it be cool to have another child and actually not have to juggle child care and work outside the home (I phrase it this way because I wholeheartedly believe that all moms are working moms). I mentioned it to my mom one day at lunch and she seemed excited at the prospect of another grand baby. If you had asked me six months ago, I was completely unwaveringly ready to retire the old uterus here. I was caring for 3 babies along with my own kids when I was running my daycare with a friend of mine. Let me tell you, my hat is off to those of you with multiples. It was like having triplets for 6 months and it was so exhausting. Then once I stopped doing daycare and starting focusing on just my own kids it made me truly appreciate them more. I can honestly say that bringing them into the world is the best thing I ever did.
Then factor in my age – I’m 32 and although that’s not old, I realize I’m headed toward the end of my baby making days. Then there’s the obvious reason for my spike in baby fever – my mom just passed away in September. I miss her terribly and although I know there is nothing I can do to bring her back, what I want in a very selfish way is to create more love in my life. I’ve lost my mom, dad and grandmother and I feel an obvious wane in the world of people who love me. It’s selfish to the core, but isn’t that really the inherent reason we have kids in the first place – to love and be loved and to live on through the next generation? I guess I just want to have something beautiful to look forward to. There has been so much sadness and loss in both my life and the world lately and I just want to have something amazing to say, “see this is why we keep going.”
So now you know all the reasons for my symptoms, now what I need is a cure. Any ideas? I have tried my best to throw logic at it. I’ve used the money objection – having a baby will make it harder financially for my family, my two bedroom house would require some remodeling to accommodate another child, and it would prolong the number of years I’d be staying home with my kids and therefore not able to contribute financially to my household. These are all things I know with my head and if I ever forget my husband is all too quick to remind me. So since he doesn’t want any more kids, I’m calling on you Hudson Valley parents to help me. Please tell me, does this feeling go away in time? Have any of you had a baby fever baby? How did you know when you were truly “done” having kids. Did you convince your spouse to have more or was it the other way around? I truly hope to find a cure for this soon.
October is, by far, my favorite month of the year… Sweater season gets ushered in by the cooler weather, trees are adorned with colorful leaves, candy apples and cider make their first debut of the year and the Yankees are in the playoffs.
There is no doubting the fact that I’m a sports junkie. After all, my first word was baseball. I’m passionate about several things, but baseball and hockey top the list. Major League Baseball has been running the same postseason commercial for the last million or so years… The theme of the advertisement is “you can’t script October,” meaning that anything can happen in playoff baseball.
From Don Larsen’s perfect game, Reggie Jackson’s three homer game to Aaron Boone’s walk-off homerun against the Red Sox (please don’t remind me of the 2001 playoffs)… it’s true, you can’t predict what’s going to happen in baseball. So last night, my boyfriend, Bill, and I went to Game 4 of the ALDS (That’s the “American League Division Series,” for all you Mets fans that aren’t sure what the playoffs are!).
Last night’s game was speeding right along. Neither the Yankees nor the Orioles were doing much offensively. It was a 1-0 Orioles game going into the bottom of the sixth. Luckily, Robinson Cano was able to get the Yankees’ first RBI of the game to tie it up at 1 going into the seventh. At this point it was 10:30pm. I remember looking around and seeing tired faces of moms, dads and school age children.
Eventually the game went into extra innings… 13 of them to be exact. Not a single person (that I could see) left the game early. It was [almost] reminiscent of the real stadium. Everyone was on their feet each time the Yankees stepped up to the plate. The one thing, besides the game itself, that stuck out to me was this little boy, who was cheering right along with the best of ‘em the entire game. He couldn’t have been more than 7 years old.
The game ended well after midnight, but there the little boy was, sulking in defeat after the game. He and his parents stayed for the entire game! I wondered how tired the little boy would be at school today. If he’s as tired as I am, shame on his parents.
That being said, I can’t say that I blame his parents. When I was in school, my parents allowed me to stay up for sporting events. I never really had a “bedtime,” mainly because I loved to sleep. There were several school days where I was sluggish because I stayed up watching sports the night before, but you know what… I enjoyed myself.
When I was in high school, the Yankees played their first game in Japan. I woke up at some obscure hour in the morning just to watch the game. It was unforgettable, but I thought I was going to die of exhaustion during math class. I always wonder how parents decide when late is too late. If the little boy was at home last night instead of at the game, would his parents have made him go to bed or did they want him to witness legends in the making?
“But mom, it’s only the sixth inning!” What would your response be if your child said this to you on a school night? Personally, I’d let my child stay up to watch the game and bet on him falling asleep on the couch before the final out.
I was feeling the JetBlues yesterday. It just so happens that my family has plans to fly JetBlue, and have you heard the news? A two-year-old had such a fit on one of their flights right before takeoff, the plane’s pilot removed her and her family from the plane.
My two-year-old often has mini tantrums and the occasional full-blown booger-spewing tear tornado too. If one of these seismic events occurs on the flight, will we have to land prematurely on a grassfield in Kentucky? Chances are all will be spared. Nonetheless, life is a mixed bag these days, and, now, it is possible we will alter a plane’s trajectory and be kicked off a flight.
So, is this all my fault?
Yes, according to Kimberly – 2068293 on the discussion board following an MSN-video about the incident . She writes, “This is nothing more than a lazy parent who has no better sense. And a child that’s use(d) to getting their way through the practice of tantrums,” and let’s not forget how “Parents are so permissive with their children that they do not listen and do not know how to behave in public. I understand that a two-year-old is very young, but even at two the child should have been taught how to behave and to listen to her parents,” writes JS in SD in the same discussion.
In fact, seventy-one percent of people side with JetBlue for its decision to remove the parents from the plane, according to a poll on MSN.
Personally, I liked DrainBramages comment:
If you have a two-year-old that can actually process your demands to calm down and oblige – you should either be extremely rich from selling/teaching your methods - or just got damn lucky.
But really, the story has shaken me up, presenting me with a worst-case scenario for our upcoming flight and the realization that people really are judging me when my child is having a tantrum.
I’ve been asking questions like “Why won’t he listen to me? Do I need to set firmer limits and am I too soft on him? I know underneath it all, he is supersweet, so what am I doing wrong?” I have asked all of these questions before, but, hey, why not ask them again?
Who am I angry at? JetBlue? The 71%? Myself? How angry can I really be at people who just want to sit quietly on an airplane? I happen to be one of those people too! Truly, mostly I am angry at my two-year-old for having tantrums. I wish I were a better, more loving parent, but he is just so demanding sometimes. Will anything be different from now on? I will try to be firmer in the coming weeks before our upcoming flight, but he can be tough, and I don’t know if it will work…
I spend a lot of time with two-year-olds these days. We frequent sandboxes, jumping emporiums, and playspaces, and I have witnessed pretty much every two-year-old in our circle crash and burn at some point. The fury of toddlers varies but every one I know well has been unreasonable and completely self-centered at some point.
For our flight, we will bring the requisite toys, snacks, distractions, etc, but there still remains the superslight-hopefully infinitesimal chance that he will go ballistic. If he does, we will do our best to calm him down, hope we are not escorted off the plane, and have to chalk it off to one of those moments he is supposed to be having. I wish we wouldn’t have them, but when you have a two-year-old, life will sometimes throw you a tantrum.
On Saturday, we were lucky enough to have one of the leading scholars on adolescent development speak at the 2nd Annual Conference on Adolescence on the campus of Mount Saint Mary College. Dr. William Damon, who is Stanford University professor and researcher, talked about how young people find purpose in their lives.
Damon said that most parents feel that they should help direct their kids to find themselves, but his study shows that kids naturally find things of interest. Our role as parents is to provide the resources for our kids that support their interest rather than foist our own ideas on them.
But how do you do that? Say Mary comes home interested in a presentation at school on animals that are becoming extinct. Ask her who does she think takes care of these animals? Would she be interested in meeting a zoologist or a local vet? Are there clubs in her school that relate to this area of interest she would like to join? Or go to the library so she can take out some books on the subject.
But we have to be careful not to create stressful situations where our kids are so busy doing so many different things that eventually the tasks have no meaning.
Damon also suggests that we should talk about our own experiences. Show our kids that getting to where we are in life does not necessarily happen in a straight line. Share the failures along with the successes.
The issues that Daman brought up hit close to home for me. I left college after 3 years, got married and had kids. I was in my thirties before I went back to school. My kids saw me go to classes, struggle with homework and finally graduate. The world of work was not any easier for me. After college, I had a job for 2 years but was let go. My kids knew that I was going out on interviews to try and find another position. My boys saw that it was not always easy for me to move forward.
The professor also said that we should be careful about what we talk about and how we talk about it. For example, when we get home from work, do we complain about our boss or talk about the rotten day we had? He suggests that rather than talk about the negatives concerning work, talk about something, even if it is a small something, that made a difference for that day. Kids pick up on these cues.
Part III of this presentation on helping kids find purpose in their lives will discuss getting kids involved in the community.
For more information on help kids find purpose in their lives read Dr. William Damon’s book The Path to Purpose
I just started reading the first Undercover Kids Book, “The Trunk in the Attic.” And immediately, liked the bits of information author, Gloria Smith Zawaski, weaves into her story. It’s about two curious kids staying at their aunt’s farm, and embarking on their first adventure. How did I know these kids were curious if I only just started reading it? By the second paragraph. “Their parents are professors.” I read. “Mom teaches languages and speaks quite a few. Dad is an archaeologist and spends summers in foreign countries…” That alone lets us know right away that this book will be filled with interesting facts and details from other cultures, and these days, that’s a good thing for young readers to understand.
Gloria Smith Zawaski appears at HVP’s Cover Kid event, Sunday, April 10th at Poughkeepsie Mall; and Sunday, May 1st at the Galleria in Middletown, from 11 am – 3 pm. Come on down and say “hello.”
I was sitting in Panera this morning with Emma and my mom, just like we do every Tuesday and Wednesday and realized just how lucky I am. It was 8:30am on a Tuesday and I was enjoying a yummy cup of coffee with my mom and daughter. I live about 10 minutes from my office and about 15 minutes from Panera so on the days that my mom watches Emma, we meet up in the morning, have some coffee and try to chat but most of the time is spent laughing at what Emma is doing and picking up the toys that she throws on the floor.
There isn’t always a lot of talking going on but the time that I get to spend with my mom and the time that Emma gets to spend with her Grandma is priceless. Well …… this luxury did come at a price for my family but it is completely worth it and I wouldn’t change it for all the money in the world. I was working in Manhattan, making good money and really enjoying it but I was leaving the house around 6:15am and getting home around 7:30 every night. The train was so unpredictable and I was starting to miss things during the day that my mom or mother-in-law would get to see since they were babysitting for Emma.
My choice to switch jobs was a decision that my husband and I agreed upon 100%!!! Time with my daughter was more valuable than the paycheck I was getting in Manhattan so as soon as the job offer came in the work at Hudson Valley Parent, I jumped on it!!!! I made the best decision. I love getting to spend so much time with my family and I really love my job. Time is truly flying by, I can’t believe Emma is 10 months old and I am starting to plan her first birthday. YIKES!!! I was so fortunate to be able to see her grow up!!
Check out my recent column on my journey to loss my stubborn baby weight on hvparent.com
Has this ever happened to you? Recently, I was babysitting my niece when all of sudden she turned and stared behind the couch. I asked her what was wrong and her response made the hair on my arms stand up, “I see rabbit, Aunt Bridget!” Excuse me? What? I turned in fear expecting to see a homicidal rabbit standing behind me, but there was in fact, nothing. Phew!
When I asked my brother and sister-in-law when they got home in laments terms, “What is up with the rabbit thing?” They said that she just started saying it when they moved in to their new house. Asking around it seems that my niece simply has an imaginary friend. Does your child have one? Share your experiences (creepy or not)! In the meantime, check out this article from our own Dr. Schwartz on his insight on imaginary friends.
Children are a blessing. How often do we remind ourselves of that? Well, if you have a child at or around the age of two, you probably have to remind yourself multiple times a day. That’s the age our young lasses and lads truly begin to assert themselves, and we parents start walking the tightrope between discipline and insanity.
Our daughter turned two this past October, placing us hip deep in daily tantrums. “Here sweetie, take your vitamin” is met with the reply “no Dada I don’t want it”. “O.K. sweetie, time for your bath” can turn into a cross-country race and I’m here to tell you, for a two-year old she sure can move. Our hands-down daily favorite is putting her to sleep. She usually refuses to go to sleep in her crib, opting instead to stand up, grab the bars, and yell the two-year old equivalent of Attica, Attica!
I’ve heard that when this part of her development is over, I will actually miss these times. My response at this point is “well, if you say so”.
I LOVE this time of year. For me it’s filled with birthdays, holidays, family, friends and food. As a family our celebrating doesn’t slow down until after Valentine’s Day. We don’t have many “traditions”; we just enjoy spending time with each other. Since this is LP’s first Christmas, I did want to start something small with her on Christmas Eve that can grow to include all of our kids in the future. I want to sit in front of our lit Christmas tree and drink hot chocolate and read the Polar Express to her. I adore that book and the part where the conductor hands-out hot chocolate to all the kids on the train is my favorite part. I also love to track Santa on Norad ….. I’m the biggest kid in the family.
What traditions do you have with your family??
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!!