I Have a 42″ Little Man Who Has Mastered the Poker Face

So my 4-year old has taken on the role of an impressive little liar.

I was discussing this newfound behavior with a friend who has a 4-year old daughter.  He said that he can always tell when she is lying to him because her eyes dart around and she can’t look at him.

Not my little guy.  When I ask him if he is lying, or if he is being honest he plays the game well.  He gives full on eye contact accompanied by the most incredulous look as if he is thinking “I can’t believe you would even question me”

We were at my parents the other day.  They were going out to dinner with friends, and it’s tradition that they rotate hosting after dinner drinks and dessert.  This time up my parents were the hosts.

On the counter lay a very delicious looking pineapple upside down cake.  Fresh from the oven yet to be topped with cool whip.

I was upstairs and came down to the kitchen to see Noah standing in the middle of the room.  His eyes dart from the “cake” on the counter back to me.  “Mommy can I have a piece of that cake?” he asks in a voice as sweet as I bet that cake tasted.

Something about the look on his face, or perhaps the way he asked prompted me to ask “Noah did you put your finger in the cake?”  Mind you, I hadn’t even looked at the cake yet.

His eyebrows shoot up, immediate eye contact.  “No mommy, no, no, no.  I did not put my finger in the cake.”  All the while his arms moving emphatically as if to be backing his statement.  Now if he wasn’t my son, and I didn’t know that my son LOVES anything sweet, I think i would have believed him.

But as I have told him many, many times.  Mommies know EVERYTHING.

And yes we do.

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DIY PVC Fort

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Okay so I said I wasn’t going to get all crafty on here, but I am.  Noah is always wanting me to build forts.  I would have begged my parents to help me, but fortunately I had a younger brother to boss around.

At our old house everything was closer together so it was easier to throw sheets over random pieces of furniture.  Now that we have moved to a larger place, which I am DEFINITELY not complaining about,  there just hasn’t been much “fort time” since we moved.  So I decided to build one.  Not going to lie, little disappointed that this didn’t turn out anything like the whimsical looking fort in the photo I was trying to recreate.

Today consisted of two trips to Lowe’s, a lot of cursing under my breath, cursing at the blogger whose instructions I was trying to follow (she left out some very important information such as “pieces” and directions), but HEY we are all human.  After all that I finally got the “fort” assembled.  So if you have a little one that needs his or her own “space” or frequently requests you build a “fort” then you are capable of making this!  Tomorrow I will post instructions for the fort, and hopefully if anyone reads this and decides to build one they won’t be cursing me under their breath 🙂

Oh and BEST PART is this whole deal costs only $22.  I used some sheets I had lying around, and maybe one day soon will splurge on some fancy fort sheets for that whimsical look I was going for.

Disclaimer about this blog and myself

This blog isn’t going to be sugary and sweet and me claiming to have it all together.  Rather, completely the opposite.  I am not supermom and don’t claim to be. In fact if you are a supermom or know one, send her my way to help me get all my shit together.  I won’t be posting a daily craft (although I do love some crafts),  I don’t make my son’s Halloween costumes, I forget to brush his teeth, and sometimes he is late for daycare.  He just missed a field trip because I completely forgot about it.  His daycare was going bowling, and he missed it because of me.  The icing on the cake is that he has never been bowling which I assume most kids his age have at least tried. I added that experience to my collection of “mother of the year awards” I have earned (head down in shame). Until recently, Noah has slept in my bed with me since he was a newborn.  As a single mom it was easier, at least that felt and sounded like a great excuse.  At 3 1/2 I finally got him in his own bed, with the condition that I would lay with him and he could hold my hand and rub my pinky (something he has done since he was born), until he fell asleep.  A week ago I decided to reclaim my hand and sanity.  He needed to find his own pacification system which didn’t involved me being present while my mental laundry list went nuts while I was laying there.  Pickup the house, finish the laundry, load the dishwasher, do some writing, clean, clean, clean.  Or god forbid if I actually watched a TV show or something like that.  Due to the withdrawls of “pinky” the past 5 nights have been pretty stressfull.  He cries, he pleads, he begs.  He yells “momma I don’t got this.”  Which is actually hilarious because when he is hesitant about something I tell him “you got this!”  I do still allow him to crawl in bed with me if he wakes up in the middle of the night.  Admittedly I love my snuggle time with him.  We call each other “snugglebug” for christ’s sake!!  I yell too much, am often impatient, and am very guilty of doing things “for” him because me helping him with his shoes is 10x faster when I am trying to get out of the fucking door.  Therefore this blog will include cursing, me being inappropriate and often obnoxious. After all my son does all of the above minus the cursing, and this blog is “me” time.  Any of the suggestions I offer on here are merely suggestions.  What works for me may not work for you, and I am by no means an “expert” or parenting, nutrition or anything else I discuss on here, as clearly defined by my shortcomings above.  I am a mom who is constantly striving to be the best I person, role model, and nurturer to my son.  My main concern is for Noah to grown up healthy,  and to have a strong sense of empathy for others.  Yep that really is it.  I don’t need an all-star sports player, or a son who is accepted to Harvard.  I want a healthy happy and NICE kid.  That can’t be too hard right? As I say to him “I got this!”

Picky Eater Here

As a baby Noah would eat almost anything.  All the nasty mushy baby food sent him into a feeding frenzy and he could clear three containers of carrots and peas.  He would plow through a container of peas while I stood hiding in the corner still gagging and recovering from the smell of opening them.  That smell today makes me want to puke.  At Thanksgiving he ate turkey as I smiled happily at our first Thanksgiving (he was almost 2), he loved spaghetti, chicken, and steak.  He has always loved yogurt and peanut butter.  As he grew older and pickier peanut butter became the fall back food (and hey it was full of protein).  I once walked into my parent’s to see Noah sitting in his high chair with a piece of chicken smeared with peanut butter on it.  My mom said “but I thought it would help him to eat it.”  I went a little ballistic over that.  One thing was for sure I wasn’t going to feed my child something I would never eat, let alone smell.

In the past 2 years he had gone from being a food disposal system to putting up filters for everything except for peanut butter, waffles or pancakes, sweet potatoes (but I HAD to remove the skin), granola bars, and pretty much anything else carby, sweet, and crunchy.  I swear it was like he had an alarmed sensory system for healthy food.  And by “healthy” food I mean normal food.

I tried it all.  I would put out a meal and say “this is dinner.” Everyone says if kids get hungry enough they will eat.  I call bullshit on that.  Not this boy.  If he wouldn’t eat dinner one of two things was guaranteed to happen. I was always braced for both.

Scenario 1:  He would look at me and say “okay that’s fine, I don’t want dinner.”  I would plead with “there won’t be any snacks later” to which he would turn with this twisted little grin on his face and say “that’s fine I don’t want any snacks.”

Scenario 2: After I took his plate he would start crying, begging, pleading for something else to eat, bracing for a meltdown  I would cave and say “okay but only something healthy like yogurt or a banana.” I mean he had to eat something right??  So maybe the joke was on me because I wouldn’t let him starve it out.  Something about my kid being hungry just doesn’t sit right with me.

I read articles about 80% of brain development being done by age 2 or something like that.  I thought to myself this kid is fucked.  I’ve ruined him.  I gave him vitamins, I would bribe him with treats. “Eat these four pieces of chicken and you can have a granola bar.” Because at least that was something right?  Then I would wonder did the chocolate covered granola bar cancel out any benefit of those 4 pieces of chicken?

Then I moved on to being convinced he had texture issues.  As an occupational therapy student, I became convinced he had a sensory processing disorder that made him unable to “handle” certain textures.  He went from eating yogurt with chunks of fruit in it to gagging at anything that wasn’t smooth.  I would force him to try something like spaghetti and he would gag, his eyes would water and I literally thought “my god he’s gonna choke to death!”

It was time I called myself on MY bullshit.   I would reason with myself  “I never feed him fast food, Cheez-Itz aren’t chips, chocolate laced granola bars aren’t candy bars. He takes vitamins.  I didn’t buy junk food like chips, candy, cookies, pop, or other typical kid treats. See he doesn’t eat so bad! It could be worse he could eat fast food everyday!  But I was worried about him not getting the vitamins and nutrients he really needed for growing and brain development.

Noah’s typical day consisted of MULTIGRAIN waffles smothered in HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP FREE syrup.  Lunch would be ALMOND butter and jelly, lots of jelly, some WHOLE GRAIN goldfish with NO ARTIFICIAL COLORING, and fruit snacks made from FRUIT and VEGETABLE juice.  As you can see I emphasize all the “HEALTHY” qualities of these foods.  The only thing I know now is that there was ONE thing I was giving him that was healthy.  The almond butter.  That is it.

Now don’t go thinking I am judging ANY of you.  We all do what we have to do to feed our kids. People have different eating habits and just because someone does something one way has nothing to do with how much they care about their kids or their wellbeing.  I can already see you backing away, the raised eyebrows and the pursed lips. I see you.  “Oh hell no did she just say that fruit and juice flavored fruit snacks are bad?” Yes. I. Did. But by “bad” I mean bad in that they prevent me from reaching my goal for my son, and that is removing the sugar addiction and getting the good nutrients into my beautiful 4-year-old little boy.