Sometimes You Gotta Play the Game

This was advice I heard early on in my career.  Sometimes you gotta play the game. It’s so true!  Even though I may have thought that something should be done or approved much sooner, I have learned that sometimes it comes down to timing, or making your boss think it was his/her own idea!  Whatever works!

In my own personal life as a parent, I too must play the game at home!  I talked before about the rebranding I do for my kids to try to encourage cooperation and good listening, while making it fun. Sometimes this works well, and sometimes I’m just plain annoyed, tired, and too focused on getting the task at hand completed.

We had one of those times recently, when I was trying to get my son dressed.  Since he’s three years old, he thinks that all of his clothes should be a size three.  This logic works for big sister, who has pretty much been true to her size and age as she’s grown.  Little brother is still wearing some size two clothes and often boycotts wearing size two because it doesn’t match his age.  Before putting on a soccer t-shirt, he said, “Wait, I want to see if it’s size three.”  It wasn’t, so he was refusing to put it on. Frustrated, I walked away.

Daddy O. stepped in with a genius move. He took the shirt and asked little brother, “Do you want to see the number three on it?”  He nodded, yes. Daddy O. took a sharpie to the tag and wrote the number 3.  Upon seeing it, little brother GLADLY put on the newly labeled shirt.  AMAZING!

Thanks to Daddy O. I’ve learned to play the “numbers game.” Here’s the picture of the shirt I recently re-labeled so my son would wear it. Whatever works, right?!

changing little brother's shirt to 3T

Play the game while getting dressed – a new size!

How do you play the game as a parent?  Are there any other sayings you’ve heard at work that also apply to your life at home?

Related Posts

Dr. Jekyll & Ms. Hyde – The Pinterested Parent – this post applies to ANY toddler / preschooler!  It’s a good one (and an all-around fun blog to follow), so go check it out!

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Reading Machines – 1000 Books Before Kindergarten

“Read me a story,” my two year old says throughout the day in his sweet irresistible voice. I love that he and my four year old daughter are in love with reading together or can simply occupy themselves by paging through books (for awhile anyway).  It’s one go-to-activity that I pull out to calm everyone down.  Plus, when my daughter is too wound up to sleep, we can tell her to go to her room to look at books by herself, which she’ll gladly do.  Downstairs we’ll hear the occasional clunk as she finishes a book and drops it to the floor. These frequent reading requests and “clunks” are happy noises for parents.

We have some book loving, reading machines in our house.

Naturally our local library’s challenge – 1000 Books Before Kindergarten – was a good fit for me and my kids. It’s a nationwide program with MANY libraries participating. Check out their website to see if it’s offered near you.   It’s basically a program to record every book that is read to your children – at home, school, babysitter’s, storytime – whenever and however many times they hear it, so YES, if you read a story five times in a row, you can write down that same book five times.  The library makes it easy on parents to fill out the reading logs.  There are recommended authors and literacy tips to accompany the reading log and program materials.

1000 books before Kindergarten

Snapshot of my daughter’s reading log

Plus there are incentives at varying levels – bookmarks, book labels (“this book belongs to” sort of thing), and a few free books. Our library received a grant to give a free book after 300 stories are read in addition to other levels.

1000 books SOUNDS like a lot, but it breaks down to reading 3 books a day to your child to hit the 1000 mark in one year.

I’m a fan (if you can’t tell already). As an organized, overachiever type, I get satisfaction writing down the books read and filling up spaces on the log.  It’s a nice record of something small we accomplished that day and can help us remember our favorite stories and authors.

It’s a good program for libraries too, as it encourages more frequent visits to check out more books and obtain the next set of reading log pages.  No, they wisely do not handout all pages at once.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of my kids during storytime:

reading to our kids

Sometimes it’s fun to listen while in a storage ottoman!

Mama O. reading to a whole crowd on a play date.

Mama O. reading to a whole crowd on a play date.

Reading Car & Driver Magazine together

Daddy O. and Little Brother reading Car & Driver magazine. The headline is Corvette Goes Topless!

Some of our recent favorite reads typically involve trains, dinosaurs, princess stories, or animals. Here a few we’ve recently enjoyed:

Related Posts:

5 Favorite Kid’s Books – so Good You’ll Cry

Books Your Child Should Hear Before Kindergarten (1000 Books before Kindergarten site)

Book Lists from Turtle & Robot

What are your favorite children’s books?  What do you think about the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Program?

 

Bye Bye Baby Gear

Bye bye bouncer.

Bye bye activity mat.

Bye bye burp cloths, diaper bag, and butt creams.

Bye bye baby washcloths.

Bye bye pacifiers.

Bye bye sleepless nights (mostly), and newborn screams.

Bye bye white noise machine.

Bye bye music & light projector.

Bye bye touch & feel book, sippy cup, and baby toy.

Bye bye infant car seat.

Bye bye onesies.

Bye bye crib, bib, and my little baby boy.

Image of my son two years apart.

My baby boy is growing up for sure. As I pack away the baby gear, I can’t help but reflect on the past two years and how much we’ve all grown. 

Inspired by Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (another “baby” book that we don’t read as much anymore).

Talking with a Toddler and a Pre-schooler

Over the weekend I read The Sadder But Wiser Girl’s Weekly Wrap Up, and the Fly on the Wall post reminded me that I should share some of the random things that I hear around my own house. If you haven’t checked out Sarah’s blog, you should! She will make you laugh, sing, dance, and nod your head in agreement!

Okay – onto talking with a toddler and a pre-schooler.  Big sister is just past 3.5 and little brother is quickly approaching age 2. They are talkative and funny, surprising me almost daily in their sweet little voices:

Big sister says

  • “Big sisters don’t like to be copied.”  As a younger sister, I’m SURE my big sister said this to me numerous times.  No truer words have been spoken my dear.  I told her that her brother only copies her because he loves her, but she was not buying that.
  • “I am old enough for school now.”  She said this when I went back to work at 3.5, so the transition went well!  YES!
  • Daddy O – “Kids stop harassing your mother.”Big sister – “But we harass Mom because we love her.” Awh, thanks?!

Little Brother says

  • At 20 months, “Wear the orange one.” when helping me pick out his clothes.
  • “Mama come here.”  Sometimes he screams this!
  • “Be right back. Just a second.”
  • He took my book (at the time it was “Mad Women: The other side of life on Madison Avenue in the ’60’s and beyond” by Jane Maas), turning the pages, told me, “It says no wrestling.”  Given how much I say that, I can understand why he thinks my book would say that!
  • “Sumo (our cat) puked.”  This is a common occurrence in our house, but he really had me convinced that she HAD puked again…somewhere. Fortunately, he was wrong!

Now picture these cuties below saying these phrases.  No wonder why they crack me up!

Big sister, Mama O, Daddy O, and Little Brother

The best family picture we’ve had in a LONG time!

Thank you, dear children, for blessing our house with a lot of laughter and love!  I am sure you will continue to surprise us with the creative statements and questions that will pass your lips.

For more words from Big Sister, read Choose Your Words Carefully.

I’ve been keeping track of the crazy things my kids say by using notes on my tablet (and reviewing some Facebook status updates).  How do you record and remember what your kids say?

Related posts

I really enjoyed these memorable posts from some of my favorite bloggers.  Check ’em out!

The END of Napping as We Know It

It has happened now for good.

The END of NAPPING for big sister.  At just about 40 months, she has said goodbye to her afternoon nap and hello to an earlier bedtime!

The end of napping as we know it is tough for me.  I CHERISHED coordinated nap schedules with big sister and little brother snoozing peacefully, freeing me up to do my own stuff.  I talked about how I love quiet time in this post.

How do I know the end is here?  Well, she hasn’t napped in over a week.  Today I tried my best to tire her out, complete with running around at open gym, more climbing and playing at the Y, and over an hour of reading together.  I successfully left her in her room for quiet time, and when I checked on her, it was clear she was just playing and chattering to herself.  Sigh….

According to the BEST sleep book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, M.D., naps disappear between ages three and six.

“On their third birthday, most children (91 percent) are still napping every day. At age four, about 50 percent of children nap five days a week, and by age five, about 25 percent of children are napping about four days each week.”

With naps out the door, I think I will still continue about an hour of quiet play in her room after reading stories together, secretly hoping she will decide to nap on some days.  Other parents, what do you do when the napping stops?

Big sister sleeping at 10 months old

Big sister sleeping at 10 months old