April 30, 2013
Milo: Oh no, the airplane is flying away! It’s scared of us.
Milo: I didn’t sleep so well.
Nic: Why not?
Milo: I had a dream. And there was a finger.
Nic: Can you say it in German too?
Milo: No, I can’t
Nic: Why not?
Milo: Cause I’m not Mommy yet.
Milo totally out of context: A rocket.
Milo: No, mommy be quiet. I’m talking to Felix. Felix, a rocket, yes or no?
(No idea what he wanted from Felix)
Nic: Please stop it, Milo. You are hurting me. (He was playing cars on my head)
Milo: And then you be sad and cry real loud and wake up daddy?
March 14, 2013
Milo: “The wind is not moving today”.
Milo copies Lilia and says: “Watch this, Lincoln.”
Linc: “Who is Lincoln?”
Milo points at me (Nicola) and says “him”
Milo is trying to pump air in the tires of his bicycle: “I need to put punk in my motorcycle.”
I take Felix’s rectal temperature. Milo says: “I want fever in my butt too.”
Milo: “Stop squishing me, Felix. Mami, Felix is squishy. Like Ava. Ava is ssss … smart.”
Nicola: “You are smart, too.”
Milo: “No, I’m not smart, I’m a big boy.
Milo: “Mami, you are Superman.”
Nicola: “And what is Felix?”
Milo: “Felix is a real small Superman.”
February 12, 2013
People who think that sleeping like a baby is a good thing clearly have no clue what infant sleep really is like. Unless they mean to say that they wake up every few hours, want to sleep anywhere but in their bed, and can only fall asleep with the help of pacifiers, white noise machines, or by sucking their thumb.
When such clueless people (aka me 3 years ago) have a baby, they will try to apply their adult sleep habits to how their kid behaves or how they expect them to behave. Especially when babies are out of the newborn stage and start resembling a human, it just happens naturally to expect babies to follow common sense sleep logic. After only a few weeks of disappointment and sleep deprivation you begin to understand that they don’t. But you still wish they did. Then, when you finally gave up hope that they ever will sleep like a normal person, for some reason you still instinctively treat them as if they did. Only when you have fully and totally accepted that they just don’t make any freaking sense, is when they will surprise you with sleeping like a pro. Only for one night, of course.
After months of frustration, I compiled this 101 of baby sleep logic to keep reminding myself that kids aren’t just small versions of us. As a parent of two ultimate sleep fighters, I might have dealt with some of these issues to the extreme and I am sure that other babies follow different nonsensical patterns. Luckily our babies were pretty good night sleepers and only had problems with naps during the day. And – I just broke baby sleep rule number 1:
1. Don’t jinx yourself. The day you brag about how well your child sleeps, it will be over. It’s like they want to prove you wrong and practice their rebellion early on. So do your happy dance quietly, but never ever post any sleep success on Facebook.
2. Babies only sleep long / deeply / independently / (enter your happy word here) when you don’t expect it or it’s super inconvenient. Not when you need to get something done or at their regular bed time, only when you actually have places to be.
3. On that same note – kids only sleep in on weekdays when you already have a tight morning routine, so you will end up having to wake a sleeping baby (=#1 parenting sin).
4. Babies wake up earlier the later you out them to bed. The natural bed time for most babies is earlier than you think / than it is convenient for going out for dinner. So, you might have the genius idea to try to push their bed time later. Sure enough the kid will wake up at 5 AM the next morning. Trust me, don’t you ever mess with a bed time that works for your child!
5. Also, the less / crappier a baby sleeps, the less / crappier a baby will sleep. Unlike an adult, kids won’t make up for sleep deprivation the following night. Once their regular sleep pattern is disturbed, it can only get worse and takes at least two days to go back to normal.
6. Most babies don’t just close their eyes when they are tired and magically fall asleep by themselves. Those hilarious videos on Youtube where a baby falls asleep with his face in the food bowl only happen to 1% of us parents and only when you let your baby get seriously overtired (see rule #7 for overtiredness). The other 99% need to be put to to sleep by your active effort. Rocking, Singing, holding for 30 minutes have been reported in our house only to lead to a 30 minute nap.
7. When toddlers get overtired, they don’t voluntarily go to bed, but go nuts instead. They will run in circles, throw toys, yell at the top of their lungs, and go deaf as far as your reprimands are concerned. Afterwards they are so amped up that they will take twice as long to fall asleep as usual.
8. Most babies need to learn how to fall asleep independently. In one way or another. After dealing with putting your fussy baby to sleep for a few months it is very likely to get fed up and just let them cry themselves to sleep. It happens to the best of us. And then magic – suddenly your kid knows how to fall asleep. For Felix all it took was one time of crying for 3 minutes until he realized: “Wait, I can do this.”
9. It takes only one day to untrain good sleep habits, but a full week to retrain. Typically happens when your kids are sick or teething, that you just have to rock them to sleep again even though you know they are perfectly capable of falling asleep by themselves and you have already done everything you can to alleviate their pain.
10. Night terrors are very different from nightmares, and you won’t know which one your kid has when you hear them crying in the middle of the night, until you go into their room. If you are able to calm them down, then it was a nightmare. If they freak out when they see you and then continue to scream the house down for the next 20 minutes, it was a night terror and the best approach would have been to stay the heck out.
Well then, good night everyone!
January 23, 2013
Location, location, location – Milo’s main concern these days, seems to be about where things are. Here are some of his recent outtakes:
- I’m offering Milo to carry him piggy backed to his room. Accidentally I walk into Felix’s room instead of his. Milo totally concerned: “Where did my room go?”
- After not having gone potty for 4 hours and before getting into the car for our ride home I am trying really hard to get Milo to pee at the mall. So we go into the ladies room together and I go potty first in the hopes that he will want to copy me. Milo: “Mommy, where did your penis go?”
- This morning Milo walked into my closet that is currently undergoing renovation, then runs to me in the bathroom to announce: “Mommy, my house is broken.”
January 18, 2013
That’s Milo’s favorite sentence these days and he can’t seem to stress it enough. Notice how he is not only big, but bigger? What he is trying to say is that he is a big boy and trust me, we are holding him up to this statement as often as needed. I think he got it from preschool, where the older class is allowed certain things that the little ones can’t do.
In some aspects Milo is really becoming a big boy. He goes to preschool 5 mornings a week and is learning so much. His speech is exploding and now 80% English and in full sentences. He is holding conversations with his friends and they can play totally self sufficiently together. Also, just like a big boy, Milo has a girlfriend. Actually, one in school (her name is Veda. They show each other their lunch boxes if you know what I mean ;-) and a different one in his free time (Lilia). He is definitely into older, dark haired girls. And they love him too.
Milo is now also using the toilet big boy style. About three months ago he started to become interested in the potty and voluntarily used it every time before bath or bed time. Sometimes also in the morning. Since he showed interest, knows how to pull pants down, and can say what he needs, I figured we’d give official potty training a shot. For Thanksgiving I had 4 days off and with united efforts Linc and I started mission potty training:
- Day 1: Put Milo in underwear or without pants and sit him on the potty every half hour to get him into the routine of going potty and avoid accidents. Successfully even through the Thanksgiving party. We still put on a diaper for his nap and at night.
- Day 2: Spacing potty visits out to every 1 hour. One accident. Milo had been holding his poop for two days because he doesn’t want to do it in the potty, then it plopped just out on the floor when he was without pants.
- Day 3: Milo is tarting to say when he needs to go potty, but you gotta be fast because it comes out the same minute. So, we still put him on the potty eery hour. Another poop accident. This time in the pants.
- Day 4: Discouraged by the poop accidents and the fact that Milo doesn’t seem to be able to hold stuff in, I put a diaper on him in the morning. But he doesn’t want it, so I explained to him how he needs to hold the pee in when he feels it coming and that he can use his hands to hold his junk if needed. He totally got it! (Sometimes I still underestimate this child’s brain growth and tend to give up instead of explaining things. Gotta get rid if that habit. He’s a smartie after all.) From then on we only put Milo on the potty before leaving the house or sleepy time and relied on him to let us know when he needed to go. No accidents! He’s successfully holding everything in until we get to a potty. even when out and about.
- Day 5: First preschool day without diapers. I deposit 3 extra pants and underwear, but he doesn’t need them.
- Day 7: After one week with diapers only for sleeping, the nap diaper is now staying dry. So we skip it and only keep the night diaper.
- Day 30: Night diapers have been dry for two weeks, so we ditch them as well and never looked back.
That’s how Milo became completely dry within only a month. Much easier than anticipated.
He IS my big boy.
July 12, 2012
This is Milo’s idea of a modern and somewhat functional art installation. Whenever he helps me put clothes away in our closet he asks for a good amount of hangers and makes sure to hang them all the same way on our dresser. Hopefully this is a sign of his sense for organization.
Now that Milo has sufficient words to tell us stories all day long, but not quite enough language to always be coherent or precise, there is some pretty funny stuff coming out of his mouth sometimes. It kind of gives you an idea what an almost two-year old’s logic looks like. I will collect those random outbursts of genius and share them here with you.
#1: These Milo says “this” or “this one” to anything that he does not know the word for. So, the other day at the park we ran into some friends that we don’t see too often. Their kid is called Alex and Milo played with him for about an hour. Apparently that was not enough time for Milo to learn the kid’s name, so when we left Milo waved at Alex and said to him: “Bye, this one!”
#2: When in Germany Milo started digging the typical Marmeladenbrot or Butterbrot – a slice of bread with butter and or jam spread on it. After we got back home, I was talking to Milo about his brother and asked him what we should name his brother. Milo said “Brot” (=bread). Apparently Bruder / brother sounded similar enough to Butter / butter, so that he immediately connected it with Brot / bread.
January 27, 2012
If I ever said before that Milo was becoming a big boy I was lying. Because he is a big boy now! I mean, look at this kid. He is not even 18 months old and totally keeping up with all his older buddies. He is running, climbing, jumping, doing forward rolls, singing, dancing, and talking non stop. While I am writing this I absolutely realize that it is pointless describing all of these cool things when I could just post some self-explanatory videos instead.
Unfortunately it isn’t quite that easy, cause that kid has a serious iPhone addiction and as soon as you pull the phone out to shoot a video Milo just drops whatever he is doing and there is no way captioning anything but a kid running towards the camera with both arms reaching for the magical device. Of course it is our fault that this mini person has the iPhone completely figured out by 17.5 months of age. It’s the curse of the clever telephone. Instead of reading a newspaper, we read the news on it. Instead of calling up friends at unsuitable times, we just post something on Facebook. Instead of getting a book at the library for advice, we google the heck out of the phone. So there we are – a really bad role model for Milo showing him that phones are the most desirable toy in the world.
Anyway, we still limit Milo’s phone usage to half an hour of videos and half an hour of games a day and so far it doesn’t seem to have any negative effects on him (except for his addiction problem). He is still developing ahead of his age group, has way more fun playing with older kids and talking the days away. Lately his words have become more defined. Instead of just doubling up the first syllable of every word (wa-wa for water, ba-ba for bath), he is now very clearly saying “water”, “juice”, “car”, etc. He understands pretty much everything we say in any of the three languages and communicates clearly what he wants. I gotta admit that I am guilty of letting him go through with things I should probably say no to, just because I find it so cute how he communicates them.
So, tomorrow I will attempt another video shoot of all those fun things he does and then hopefully update with some footage here.