Right now we’re in the midst of what I like to call a “parenting sweet spot” — those weeks or months in which there aren’t any major behavioral problems going on, most-to-all of the balanced meals are being eaten, and my child’s general disposition is one of a curious, sweet, and incredibly polite little boy. To me, these sweet spots are evidence that the hard work you put in weeks or sometimes years prior has paid off: your kid has actually learned something from you, and that something is good.
I’m completely deaf in my right ear, and I’m a parent to a toddler and a preschooler. I need to be able to read lips to most effectively hear people when they speak, and preschoolers are notoriously unintelligible in the best of circumstances. I try to teach my kids to look at my face when they speak so I can hear them, but it doesn’t often work.
We had waited until our son Ben turned four to talk about adoption. We wanted him to be old enough to begin to “get it”, knowing we’d build on it more and more as he was able to understand everything it meant. And like the “Where do babies come from?” conversation with our oldest son, the “What does adoption mean?” conversation was brief and age-appropriate, with most of the grownup details left out.
Our son Noah had been getting fussy sometimes during our family walks, especially if he wasn’t walking our dog. It took a while, but finally it occurred to me that he’s sometimes excluded from our conversations.
Our four-year-old was recently gifted Race to the Treasure!, a self-titled cooperative board game from Peaceable Kingdom. Prior to playing, I wasn’t familiar with the concept of “cooperative board games” — being of the “it’s healthy for kids to learn to lose!” mentality, I wasn’t sure if I would be on-board with the idea.
I don’t want to raise my daughter thinking that this is what it means to be a lady — that the prevailing pink culture is what defines femininity. I want her to know it’s okay to get muddy, that it’s alright to wear Mutant Ninja Turtle shoes if she wants because these things won’t make her any less a girl.
My almost four-year-old recently achieved a huge milestone: he finally has his own room. When I asked him what color he wanted his room to be, he said black (it’s his favorite). When I asked what he wanted on the walls, he said black things. When I asked if he still wanted his thrifted Harry Potter blanket, he said ok, but he wanted black everything else. I politely and sweetly smiled at him, told him there was no way my preschooler was going to have an all-black room.
I have been travelling since I was nine months old. My parents took me to England and South Africa to visit my relatives five times between the time I was born until I was about 11, and I only really remember the trip at age 11. Some memories I have from the previous trip are the kind where I’m not sure if I actually remember it or if it’s me remembering photos.