He did it.
He pooped in the potty.

Sixteen months after his first pee on the potty, almost four months after moving into big boy pants, and two months after I first considered throwing in the poop towel, he finally did it.

It went like this: he started making his high-pitched whine that he does when he realizes that poop is near, and more importantly, that he cannot hold it back any longer. This is very stressful to him because he doesn't want to use the potty, but he knows that using his pants is "bad." We have been in this bad place for so long.

So I picked him up and carried him to the potty, which I have done before, and which always results in disaster. What happens usually is he freaks out that he is being "forced" to go on the potty, and he holds it in. Or he just has such a huge tantrum that I can't get him to actually sit on the potty. So I don't know why I tried this tactic again.

We got there, and I told him it was OK. He freaked out. I hugged him a little, offered more kind words. He continued to freak out. I pulled his pants down and he freaked out some more. Man, I feel like I am doing some horrible thing. Then we stood there for like 20 seconds as he squatted over the floor, me afraid to move too suddenly, him looking quite uncomfortable, and then I just put him on the toilet seat. Literally 2 seconds later, he got this weird look on his face, then turned around and looked into the potty. He said, "I did it mommy!"

Hubby ran into the bathroom, and the three of us jumped up and down for like 10 minutes. I could see a tear in hubby's eye.

We let Charlie pick out a Hot Wheel car from the box of dusty new cars that were waiting for this very day. He was giddy. We called nana and Aunt Katie. Every few moments, all evening long, he giggled and looked so proud of himself.

Our poop intervention finally worked.

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Our kid is getting the best of us.

Last July on his third Birthday, Charlie was 90% potty trained. He peed in the potty, stayed dry all day for about 4 days in a row and would have the occasional accident, but wouldn't poop on the potty. That part was frustrating, but at least we knew he could pee on the potty, and pretty independently.

For the last couple months he has been regressing in a major way. I know they say that this is normal, but is this normal?

He will hold it forever. When it has been 4-5 hours, I'll suggest he go on the potty. He says no. So I use the Love and Logic approach: "Do you want to go now, or in 2 minutes?" He always says 2 minutes. So I set the timer. I tell him that when the timer goes off, he isn't allowed to whine or scream or cry or complain. He looks me straight in the eye and says OK.

The timer goes off. He complains and whines, I remind him that he isn't supposed to do that, he reluctantly says OK.

Fast forward 10 minutes. We are now on the hallway on our way to the potty.

Fast forward 10 minutes. He almost has his pants off. I tell him I will help him, but only if he helps me (i.e., don't play with your truck with your pants half off while daycare kids are in the next room unattended, and then freak out and scream when I go to check on them, only to fart around again when I return).

Fast forward 3 (feels like 10) minutes. His pants are removed by him but only with much drama and whining.

Ten minutes later... standing at the potty, semi-playing with himself, giggling, and saying, "mommy, yook."

I say that I'll be right back when he is ready to go pee.

Three minutes later, he announces he has gone. I have to remind him to wash his hands.

Five minutes later I check on him and he is washing his train in the water. I threaten that "candy time is almost over" and will be over if he continues to play. Whining, some odd high-pitched noises, some grunts.

I end up putting his pants on. He is capable of doing this.

Regardless, he gets a fucking gummy bear.

Five hours later he pees himself with a grin on his face. I forgot to remind him to go, but I know that I shouldn't have had to.

Later he is put into a time-out for, like, stealing a toy or something, so he pees himself.

Hubby says we have made this too much of a battle. We have made it too clear that we care about this. Charlie is regaining power by peeing on himself when he is capable of doing otherwise.

So today we asked if he was ready to return to diapers, he says no, but at the same time, he doesn't seem to care much. I put size 5 Huggies on him (no fun pull-ups, even). I feel this is the perfect solution - after all, he can choose to use the potty like a big boy, or he can choose to have his diaper changed like a baby. I don't care anymore -- at least on the surface that is true. Mean? Manipulative?

A few hours later, I tell him it is time to change his diaper. He puts up a huge fight, fusses, screams on the changing table, successfully kicks me and wriggles away a few times. I tell him if he continues to do this, he will have a time-out. He sorta stops. I change his diaper after 5 minutes.

So no matter what we do, there is still a power struggle? What is the solution???

P.S. I also find it very sad and frustrating that if this were not my child (like a daycare kid) this problem would have SO been nipped in the bud months ago.


How hard is it to pick up the phone, really?
We are having a Halloween party this Saturday, and I can already feel myself getting sorta mad. The invitations said RSVP, which means "répondez s'il vous plaît" which in normal words means "please respond." Fewer than half the invitees have responded yet. Now, they still have two days to respond, so why am I mad?

I threw a baby shower for a friend last month, and the same thing happened. Fewer than half responded. On the day of the shower, some of those who responded "yes" did not show, and a few others decided to stop by even though I hadn't heard from them, and at least ten did not respond or show up. An hour before the party, I had no idea how much food to put out. So I set out a huge double layer cake and a three foot subway sandwich, four inches of which were eaten. (I won't complain about the leftover cake I had to eat.)

Now, as far as the Halloween party is concerned, I know they aren't failing to respond because they don't like me, cuz for the shower, none of the invitees even knew me. They were the guest's friends, really. So let's get that option out of our minds. I'm afraid this failure to communicate is more a reflection of our society's tendency toward flakiness.

So I guess on future invitations, I need to be more clear. Some options:
"Please RSVP whether or not you plan to attend, or not."
"Regrets only"
"Hope to see you. Please fucking respond."
Crazy dream
Last night I dreamed that a man contacted me for a job interview to wait tables at a golf course. Hubby said, "Oh, that's how you make the best tips." So I went to the interview and the first thing he asked me to do was step into the photo room. I sat down on a bed and then he cuddled up next to me and some stuffy photographer took our picture. "When is the interview?" I asked. "Now," he said. So he asked me questions like:
"So you like the Gap underwear, the low waisted ones?"
"Um, yeah, I guess."
"And the batgirl costume. You gonna do that this year?"
"Your son really likes that red motorcycle, huh?"
"Yes.... what about the job?"

Then he wrapped up the interview. I walked back to my car and realized he was following me.

The next week he called me again to ask more odd questions. I realized all the questions had one thing in common: they had to do with my blog.

Then I asked, what was the name of your restaurant again? He told me, I googled it, and it did not exist.

Think this has anything to do with my deep-seated fear of one of my daycare parents discovering this private, quaint little blog?


I loved my job today.

After many days of feeling that things were not working with my easily-tantrumed, extremely loud, stubborn and often-incompatable group, things finally clicked. For two days in a row.

Today we talked about the five senses - smell, in particular. We read My Five Senses, and the girl in the book smelled a horse (who writes this stuff?) I looked at the kids and asked, "What do you think a horse smells like?" One boy said, with total confidence, "grass."

Later I let them smell all sorts of things in little Dixie cups: honey, basil, lemon juice, soy sauce, onion powder, marjoram, crushed black pepper. Although they were brimming with excitement over such a hands-on activity, after each sniff, each child laughed, "eeew, yucky!"

My new shy boy, who is the youngest and smallest of the group, and who has spent the last four weeks on the sidelines watching cautiously, opened up this week. Not only did he let a boy hug him, but he leaned into him a little, and smiled. He ran after the other kids with glee as they ran through the house. He walked up to me and, when I was looking elsewhere, poked my thigh, then smiled slyly as if to tell me he liked me.

Even "Lucy," the passionate, tempermental, future high-paying executive finally responded to my conditioning. When she started to tantrum over silly stuff and I said, "Oh, we aren't going to cry about that," she put her shoulders back, stuck her lower lip back in where it belonged, sniffed, and then went about her day, happily.

And Will, my baby. Today was the first day he was part of the daycare. Not just a passive baby who sat on the outskirts. He sat in the little chair that attaches to the daycare table and watched the kids with total fascination as they stabbed and pressed their papers with crayons. He looked truly happy.

Dude, we were on a roll today. Dare I hope this is permanent?




Jr. High Part II
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Although my Charlie is not the alpha male of our group, his best friend Mikey is. Charlie and Mikey, the two oldest ones, are totally inseperable. When Mikey and Charlie are naughty at the kitchen table, the three younger ones follow. When they think of an imaginative way to play with Play-Doh and rubber bands, the other ones think it is genius and copy. But let's be clear: Mikey is the leader. Charlie is happy to follow.

When Mikey went on vacation last week, the group dynamic changed. Charlie became the leader. The others followed him around like he was the best thing since Tater Tots. They did whatever he said. One girl in particular was his new best friend, and he seemed to thoroughly enjoy her company. For a full week, she was his official sidekick.

But when Mikey returned, things were not pretty.

They were outside playing on their ride-on bikes as usual. It seemed like a normal day, the five kids playing together happily. I noticed Lucy seemed very emotional, and mysteriously burst into tears a few times, which is not terribly unusual for her. Each time I looked at her, she appeared to be uninjured, so I told her, "you're OK.”

But a few minutes later, she was once again devastated, practically drenched in tears. I approached her to ask what was wrong but she was so hysterical, she could not talk. So I sat back and watched. I watched her ride over to Charlie, and in her nicest, sweetest voice, say, “Hi, Charlie.”

He grunted. A deep, long lasting, gravelly grunt that said, “I am not interested in this right now.” Then he rode away.

Immediately she burst into tears again, this time throwing herself onto the grass and sobbing.

I could not believe my eyes. No, this is not going to happen. I took Charlie aside. “You hurt her feelings. When she says hi to you, she is being nice. When you grunt, it makes her very sad. You need to use nice words with people.”

Nice words. That is the thing I ask for when they whine and I want them to say, “more please.” Nice words is what I ask for when they say, “go away,” or “you stink.” Mostly, I ask them to use nice words when they are tantrumming or sobbing or acting otherwise very dramatic and unattractive when a few choice words would sound so much prettier.

Charlie agreed to use nice words, likely afraid that I would take away his bike if he did not listen, and he ran back to play. Moments later:

Hi Charlie.
Hi Lucy.
Hi Charlie.
Hi Lucy.

This went on for quite some time. He would say hi back and then ride away. She would quickly follow him and say hi again.
Hi Charlie.
Hi Lucy.
He would ride away again, she would predict his destination, go a different way, and beat him there so that she could say Hi. “Hi Lucy,” he would say.

Finally, he couldn't take it anymore. He heard the voice in his head telling him to use his words. So he turned to her and firmly said, “Lucy, no more hi's.”

She thought about this for awhile, then said, “ok.”

He was free. For three minutes. Then she approached him again, letting him know she still existed by saying hi. He said hi back, clearly afraid of losing his motorcycle.
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I was so saddened to see how early the junior high stuff begins, and sadder even to realize that some day he will be on the receiving end of obligatory hi's.

Things I love about winter
1. Everything looks fresh and clean
2. The air smells good
3. Our weeds and twig piles are covered up
4. It's something different

The not-so-good stuff
1. Occassionally housebound with five toddlers, a baby, and a cat for nine hours
2. Constant runny noses
3. Forty-five minutes to get ready to spend 5 minutes outside
4. Wind chill
5. Kid mittens that fall off constantly
6. Falling on your ass in cold snow and crying for 10 minutes straight
7. It melts and then re-freezes (see #6)

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You know things are bad when...
...you fight over who had the worse day.
Husband: I love when it takes me an hour and a half to get home.
Me: Or when it takes an hour to get sick baby down for each of his three naps.
Husband: Lots of accidents from the first snow today.
Me: He had diarrhea today.
Me: I have bad news... regarding the cat poop in the bed.
Husband (looking at me): I guess this means you want me to clean it up?
Me: I cleaned up human poop all day. Your turn.
Husband: I need to get all the snow out of the tree outside first, before the snow breaks off anymore branches. I'll get to the bed later.
Me: Did I mention (client) is pulling her son on her maternity leave? My income will drop in two weeks.
Husband: That's nice.

You'd think this sort of day would mean Will would have a good night's sleep. You'd think.


I need to be more like a car salesman.
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One of my daycare parents/clients has become a good friend. Her son, who I have watched for over a year, is my son's best friend. She always tells her friends how happy she is with me, and I often feel like he is my favorite daycare child. I know him well, we trust each other, he is eager to learn and bright, and, well, I just like him.

The mom is pregnant and she told me she isn't sure if she can have Mikey here during her unpaid maternity leave, but she would think about it. I told her I could only guarantee his spot would still be open upon her return if she would pay half the normal tuition, and in exchange, I would watch him three mornings a week. Today she told me her decision: she will keep him here only one day a week and I'll get about one-quarter of what I usually get for watching him.

When we were discussing this, and before she made a firm decision, I told her that I wasn't sure I could hold his spot if he only came one day per week. I watch four kids, so his tuition is one-quarter of my income. While I'll try to find a temporary kid for the three months that he is gone, those kids are hard to find this time of year. Who looks for new daycare in between Christmas shopping and hanging red and green house lights?

But at the same time, I was also completely honest with her. I told her that I don't want to fill his spot with some other kid. That I care about him, I enjoy watching and teaching him, and I don't want to see him go. I told her I will try to do what I can to find a temporary kid, or whatever else it takes, to make ends meet so that his spot is still open. This is not just a business decision, but a personal one.

Today when she told me her final decision, I was surprised to find myself feeling sorta angry, or duped. I have no right to feel this way. After all, she gave me two weeks' notice for the schedule/rate change, she is within her rights, and she has her own financial concerns. And it isn't even about the fact that we are friends; after all, I hoped that she, my friend, would have made a decision that would benefit me financially. I just had this feeling that she opted to save money because she knew that I would take him back regardless. I made it so very clear that I want him to stay.

So my immediate instinct is to post his opening. I know that instinct exists because I am bitter, not because it is the best thing for my daycare. But I still might do it.

FIrst I'm going to have a kid-free moment with Seinfeld and coffee ice cream.

(c) 2006 Red Rollerskate. Don't mess with a pissy girl.
No Sharing
I am neurotic about Will having some things just for him, no matter how impractical this desire is. Maybe the problem is that 99% of his clothes and toys are hand-me-downs from his big brother. Or that all of his bibs have sweet potato stains on them from 2003, a full 3 years before he was born. Or that he has to share his mommy, even when he is sick and should have me all to himself. Or that even his bedroom is not his own – it is also a nap room for daycare kids to sleep in.

I try to not to be resentful toward the kids. After all, if it weren't for them, I would not be “staying home” with my baby at all.

But it does lead to my neuroses. For example, there is this gumby-style cloth flower that has a bendable stem and a bright, happy face on it. I used to wrap the stem around the changing table for him to look at while I changed him. Once, one of the daycare kids got a hold of it and put her mouth on it. I almost lost my mind and scolded her, then reminded myself that her action was totally innocent and the problem was mine.

But every time it falls into one of their hands, I feel myself watching it like a hawk, waiting for a sneaky moment to steal it away and return it to its rightful place.

It is this anal retentiveness that made me buy him three new outfits at a semi-expensive clothing store last weekend, despite my tight financial situation. The clean stripes and cargo-pocketed pants got the best of me.

I do not listen to the practical voice inside, reminding me that Will would not know or care if the big kids played with his circus train until he was old enough to appreciate it. Doesn't matter. I want his toys to have no spit, snot, marks, or wear of any kind once he is ready for them. It is the least I can do.

© 2006 Red Rollerskate. I'm not sharing that either.


Just to re-confirm my love for him...
My baby was hurt today, and I almost killed the on-call doctor. He has been sick a couple days... high fever, throwing up a bit, with a red ear. I had his beloved pediatrician paged, and she said she wasn't terribly worried, but that he could possibly have an ear infection, and to go ahead and take him to Urgent Care if it would make me feel better.

His fever of 102.6 had gone down to 99.4 thanks to Tylenol, but he was still rosy and refused to smile, totally abnormal for my happy-go-lucky boy. The Urgent Care doctor checked his ears and they were clear. She checked his nose and said it was only slightly congested. She listened to his lungs and they sounded great. She pricked his heel and took his blood, and before she read the results, she warned me that if the white cell count was high or even borderline, then she would "cath" him to check for a bladder infection. She said something about how she would be "negligent" if she didn't check for an infection with such a high fever.

Cath as in catheter. As in sticking a tiny tube up his penis while he is being held down. I convinced myself it was only a cold and the cell count would be low.

The results came back, and they were borderline. I knew that although it would hurt, it would be no big deal really... they do it all the time and we can be strong. Plus, it would only last two seconds, she said.

The two doctors held him down and I was instructed to talk to him to keep him calm. I did this and sang a little while they prepped him, let him look at me and hold my hair innocently, and then he burst into tears. It was the same kind of cry he has when he receives his shots, and I think that although it is heart breaking, it is tolerable. I have had shots before, and they hurt, but, you know.

Then two seconds passed, then ten, then what seemed like twenty or maybe even thirty. And suddently, his cries were frantic. I had never seen him like this. It was like he was out of his mind in agony.

Then she said they were done, and she walked away with the sample she came for. And I tried to comfort him but he was too hysterical to know that I was even holding him.

A minute later I went to breastfeed him in the chair. He finally calmed down for a moment, seemed at peace, went to suck, and then seemed to remember the terror and burst into tears again.

I cried the entire time. I tried to sing or talk to him, but the tears were going down my face.

Later she came in and said the urine looked clear, so he was probably OK, but she would give him meds anyway since we wouldn't really have the results back for 3 days. Ok, whatever.

A couple hours later his real doctor called to check on him. I told her about the catheter. She asked what his white blood cell count was, and I read her the scribbled writing off the sheet they gave me. She said it was hardly borderline, and that they could have gotten urine without a cath.

I know he doesn't have anything serious, and there are moms out there dealing with much more serious stuff. There is just something about seeing your loved one in pain that makes you realize the intensity of your love for them. I didn't really need to be reminded of this. I've been a wreck all night.

On a positive note, here is a cute shot...
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Halloween Costumes for Normal People
Every year it is the same thing. I have grand ideas about the Best Costume Ever and husband has no interest in dressing up. Last year we were new to our neighborhood, so we threw a Halloween party, which forced us to dress up (though in slightly lame costumes). This year we are once again throwing a party, and we agree that we need to try a little harder. Our costumes need to look like we tried.

And then the idea came to me. Charlie wants to be Spiderman. Will is going to wear Charlie's old Superman costume. How cute would it be if we were all different super heroes? We could be like the Drawn Together family, all living under one roof, except not all perverted and weird.

Hubby was totally on board. For the first time ever, our costumes were gonna rock.

Then we started shopping online, and this is what we found.
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Do you see the way it is hugging his package, so gently, yet firmly?

And for my costume...
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... Am I going to save the world, or feed them?

Other options?
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What are those spikey things on her arms? This one really bothered me. Let's look at the real batgirl.
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While she is sexy, there is no vinyl involved. She actually looks respectful. Classy. But still totally doable.

Hubby says, "Why don't they call the costumes what they really are? Like Brazen Whore?"

Now don't get me wrong. I have no problem with sexiness. There is a part of me that likes to dress slutty sometimes (it helps rectify many days of wiping noses and butts). Showing off what you have can be freeing. And since I'm a nursing mom, I could just go, like, 5 hours without nursing, and BAM, I can overflow just like the rest of them (hopefully the belly fat won't cancel that out). But why? I mean, on one hand, most of the people coming over are thirty- to forty-somethings with kids and normal jobs, and half our guests will be under the age of four. So really, it would be a little embarassing.

Even if (and this is the other hand) the two of us went out as a couple, with normal people, what is the point of participating in the who can be sluttiest competition? I am over it. I just want a decent costume.

Next idea: the nurse from Kill Bill 2. The costume is basic but still interesting and not prepackaged. Spooky but not dumb. Just a nurse's outfit with few blood splatters, eye patch, knife behind the back. Perfect! But one of the neighborhood moms dressed as a nurse last year, and all the men were all atwitter about how they could see through to her thong. Shockingly, she won the costume contest, even though she only wore a plain white nursey dress and heels. So that option is out for me with this group, even though this nurse is way cooler.
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Next and perhaps final idea: Napoleon Dynamite. He can be Napoleon, and I can be the 80's girlfriend. I need the fold-down acid wash jeans, the nurse shirt (?), homemade bracelets, pink Reebok hi-tops, fanny pack, sideways ponytail. I love the idea but that means I need to go to like 4 Goodwills in order to accomplish all this. Who has time for this? Let me rephrase. Who with children has time for this?

I need ideas. Anyone?


So This is Where Junior High Begins
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I used to think that I would like all kids equally well. After all, they are kids. While they have different attributes, they all have cute voices, say funny things, get easily excited, and are special in their own ways.

But I think about past jobs that I have had. Jobs with adults. I have not been equally compatible with all of them. Some people made me feel smart and funny. Some made me feel angry and vicious. Some made me feel small. Others grated my nerves like a scared cat on hardwood floors. So why would I assume that all kids would be equally likable to me?

I feel so guilty admitting this. After all, I provide care to people's children for a living. I think about how I felt when I needed to return to work and leave my child with someone else. I had found an excellent provider for Charlie when he was just over a year, and even though I fully trusted her, I also knew that she would not treat him as I would. I gave her a two-page, single-spaced list of his preferences and dislikes, hoped and prayed that she could get him to sleep like I did, and called a few times a day to check up on him (she must have hated me). My trust was so fully in this one person. I really needed her to love him, or at least make him feel secure and happy, and she did.

So how dare I not relish another person's child? I cannot help it. My preferences don't make the child any less lovable as a person (or any less happy here, as her parents tell me); it just means that we are not as compatible as we could be. If the two of us met as adults, we would probably not hang out.

Today was Friday, and Fridays are the worst. All the kids miss their parents, are on edge, act up, are less likely to share, act wild. Even Charlie, who is at home all day with me, went up to me today and was acting very funny and mumbling a little. I got on his level and asked him what he wanted. And he took his long Uncle Sam finger, pointed it in my face, and said, “I want you, mommy.” So I sat down and held him for awhile. Fridays are when all the kids realize that they want their mommies (and in Charlie's case, his mommy all to himself).

But back to my original point. There is one little girl here who I have to work at loving. She is so emotional. Like today when she took someone's toy and I corrected her, she lied down flat on her stomach and let out mind-altering screams. Later, she was standing on a chair, so I asked her nicely to get down. Again, high pitched banshee screams. Moments later she was fine, but put herself into a handstand (yes, a real one), just inches away from baby Will. I asked her not to do that, and again, another blood-curdling series of screams. When she was done with that round, she decided, for the twentieth time that day, that she really missed her mommy, and then she screamed about that an absurd amount of time. Screaming that I could not comfort away and that made everyone in the room feel uncomfortable.

And then there are the moments of her just being mean. Today, she was looking out the window waiting for her mommy to come, and a little boy decided to stand next to her to wait for his mommy too, and in a very mean voice, she leaned in real close to him and screamed, “NO, MY MOMMY!” The little boy walked away, looking crushed and confused. Sometimes when I redirect her mean behavior, she gives a certain expression which brings me back to 1988. It communicates only one thing to me: screw you. I didn't learn how to give that look until I received it myself in junior high.

I know I'm not taking about anything new here: tantrums, dirty looks, yelling at others, freaking out over things of little consequence — this is the life of a toddler. If I include my own Charlie, who has had his share of temper tantrums, I have watched ten kids over the age of two. No one has been quite as emotional as her — not even close. (She is also the only girl I have watched, a very odd coincidence, and I am not sure if her gender is related to her being so emotional. Being that my sample size for girls is only one, I won't draw any conclusions there.)

Now, misbehaving I can handle. If a child hits someone with a toy, the toy toes into a time-out. If a child is mean to others, they can be redirected to play elsewhere. If a child hits, they get a time-out. But constant crying? I asked a bunch of my daycare provider friends about this behavior. Is it normal? Should I coddle her? Comfort her? Ignore her? Punish her?

The consensus is this: crying excessively for no reason or to manipulate is not desirable behavior. People who cry excessively don't tend to make many friends later in life. And while the toddler years are the most emotional ones, toddlers should still be taught to use words instead of screaming, to cry in the next room when it involves disturbing, high-pitched sounds, and sometimes, just to suck it up.

So I took the advice of my daycare provider friends and, when her crying was truly for no reason, started telling her that she was welcome to cry... in the next room. It sounded mean at first. But then it didn't. After all, why should everyone else in the room have to stop talking, stop playing, stop pretending and laughing, and stop enjoying their day in general because one person wants to absolutely freak out over absolutely the lamest thing in the world?

So I started doing that. After a quick hug I started to say, “it's ok to cry, but do that in the next room.” Later, it became just, "next room, please." And when she is crying too loud to hear my explanation, I take her hand and she takes it away from me, running herself into the next room. She knows exactly what to do.

You know what? Nine times out of ten, as soon as she sees me with that “on no you didn't” expression, she wipes the tears off her face and starts playing again. When she does go into the next room to cry, she comes back approximately 4 to 30 seconds later, and tells me, proudly, “I done crying.”

In spite of those semi-successes, I absolutely hate these days. Today I was sweaty, my heart was pounding, and I was irritable with even the good and sweet kids, which really made me sad.

But I know that this is Charlie's very first glimpse into real life. We can't always choose the people we work and play with. We have to learn to work with others. And each day I eagerly await the clock striking 5:00 when I take both my boys into my arms for a very quiet, normal evening together.


Have you checked your Temporary Internet Files lately?

Something very strange happened with my computer today. Since I post pictures of the daycare kids on my business web site, I first ask the parents if it is OK to post each individual picture. So I sent one of my daycare parents a shot of his daughter to ask if I could post it. He replied with:

"Yes, go ahead. So what are all those other photos? Do you like to collect pictures of storms, mailboxes and stars when they were kids?!"


And he said that after he saw the daughter picture, he "continued to click on the other pictures and viewed the others in my collection."

Other pictures? Collection?

Frantically I went into my Sent items to see what I had sent him, and after clicking through about 40 images, I realized that Yahoo or some computer virus somehow attached all of my Temporary Internet Files to the one attachment I sent him, with a convenient arrow button for him to easily scroll through.

Just what lives in our Temporary Internet Files folder?
* Images viewed by me on my computer
* Images sent to me by other people via cheesy emails, not necessarily representing my own opinions or likes
* Ads and other graphics that live on web sites visited (i.e., blogger)
* Sarcastic graphics meant to accompany my future blog posts.

Let's review some of what was sent to my, um, client.
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At least I don't surf porn on this computer.


He really does love me!
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Dear mommy,
Did you really think I had left you? I was never too busy for you, I just had other things to do. Didn't you know that a full, open-mouthed kiss on your check is the same as a love proclamation? I actually usually aim for your mouth, but will settle for the cheek.
I just couldn't help it, what with everything -- curtains, flies, kitty cats, crap on the rug, my toes, electrical wires, tall house plants -- being so new and all. Now that that stuff is old and normal to me, I am starting to remember how fascinating you are. Especially the inside of your mouth, backs of your teeth, black nose hairs, glasses, and ear lobes. I can't believe I forgot about you a little.
Never forget i love you.
Your Will

I got my boy back last week.
Just over the last couple days he has been making eye contact with me again.
The slobby wet kisses have returned.
The sincere, sparkly eye contact followed by coos, soft eye blinks, gummy smiles, and raised shoulders have returned.
He giggles whenever he sees me.
He cries a little when I put him down.
He didn't complain when I made him sleep in our bed twice - because I was too tired to return him to his crib.
And, most of all, he is willing and even enthusiastic about consuming mama's milk instead of jar food, even doing this during daycare hours. Incredible.

I am smitten.