The mission

The purpose of this blog is to report on my experiences with various parenting-related issues. Reviews of advice, crafts, and whatever else comes my way. (Originally this was meant to be a Glass Explorer project, but I was unable to procure funding... in case you're wondering about the title. Pending retail release..................)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I was going to write a post about sleep, but... I didn't have enough sleep this week to write it. See you next week!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

You don't like bland food and neither does your baby.

Seriously, have you eaten some of that baby food slop? And maybe you're surprised when you're kid grows up loving soda pop and chicken nuggets?!

Now don't get me wrong, the food has to be developmentally appropriate... nothing that will choke, poison, or burn your child... but seriously, just mince the stuff up as much as needed, use your blender, whatever. Don't give them honey if they are under 1, lots of citrus, or Buffalo wings... but seriously, when my lil guy was less than a year old he loved curry! With just a pinch of heat to it, even.

Also, protip... set up your own food to be safe if they steal it off your plate. Letting them steal the food off your plate is the most awesome way to trick them into trying new foods.

And don't be upset when their tastes change.. it happens. Mine loved peas, now he just lines them up and counts them or enjoys smooshing them and throwing them to the floor. It's OK. I've got shit that I won't eat, either.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

What they don't tell you about potty training

Ok, you'll see lots of books on the subject, and blogs, and articles... but they don't really answer the question of what potty training is really like. I'm going to reveal this terrible secret.

It's like training a dog (or parrot, rat or whatever pet you had and trained as a kid). You know, positive reinforcement or clicker style type training? It's like that, and honestly for many of the potty training books and advice out there you'd probably find better value for your money and cut out the fluffernutter. Of course, using a library's resources or borrow a friend's is even better. No need to own a potty training book.

Step one: make sure your child is actually capable of pottying in the toilet. That they can hold their pee and poo, that defecation doesn't scare them, and that they know the words that refer to these things, and aren't scared to death of the toilet or think you're murdering them by putting them on it. You can help them along with some of this, like letting them play on the toilet, to get comfy with it. But some stuff like being able to pull down their pants or being able to tell you they need to go may just simply take time.

Step two: find a reward system you both like.

Step three: don't give a shit about accidents. You must be calm and patient, because if you get mad your kid is not going to cooperate. And kids are not stupid, they can tell when you're pissed.

Step four: find a period of several days to a couple weeks when you and all the babysitters and relatives are ready to get going on this. Get books, videos, apps, etc for the kid to prepare. Remove toy distractions and stock fun activities around the toilet. Make you sure have a baby seat for the toilet or a potty chair, and decide if you'll need more than one for a second floor or for travel, buy underwear etc... you'll also be hyping up "big kids use the potty", the difference between wet and dry pants, etc.

Step five: in the first few days in particular, you gotta just keep putting that kid on the toilet every 15 minutes, keep the kid naked or only in undies and load them up with lots of drinks and food that induces them to drink a lot of their own volition. Have him or her check underwear for wet or dry regularly. Do not distract yourself with television or anything that would prevent you from hearing the plops or tinkles. Keep towels handy for cleanup, particularly boys will spray around the toilet.

*of their own volition is important. The minute they feel pressured it's going to be awful and not work.

Step six: get happy and goofy excited when they go in the potty, reward immediately with praise and whatever reward you've arranged and talk in simple terms about what he or she did to help your kid's vocabulary on the matter. I've heard that you shouldn't interrupt and accident on the floor. You just explain it is bad and have the kid practice on the toilet with no reward after. This might be more effective than having him or her finish on the toilet and giving a reward, probably sends a mixed signal.

Step seven: enjoy if your child "gets it" right away, and have unending patience if it takes days or weeks for your kid to understand the connection between the reward and the action. Or discover your kid isn't ready, save yourself the trouble and try again later.

*onlyy having just started potty training for my son, let me tell you it is imperative that you are consistent in your method and that you understand that method.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Too many toys

Get rid of your toys.

No, seriously,  I bet you have a zillion toys. Holdovers from when your child was younger, a bajillion stuffed toys and things given by friends, or even purchased by you, and stuff you probably don't even remember where it came from.

This is best done when the child is out of the house or sleeping.

Go through ALL THE TOYS.

Sort them, and discard any that are damaged, irretrievably disgusting or missing pieces. If you can't bring yourself to discard, box them and hide the box where even you don't go often.

Evaluate battery-operated toys. Does the toy need batteries to function best, and if so are you really replacing the batteries as needed or just letting the thing sit around?

Also sort out any toys that are just really annoying. Like, ones that require balls that always roll under the couch or ones that make really stupid noises or talk for no necessary reason. Trust me, most toys don't need to screech or talk. Even supposedly "educational" ones. If the problem is something like the balls and couch thing, decide if that toy can be placed in a different room with less chance for the balls to become lost or if you can make a barrier.

Sort your remaining toys by type.

Stuffed animals can be good decorations but do you need a lot? Blocks are good to have a lot of, but not stuffies. .. so either bag em, or find a place to use them as decoration where the child can't reach. Then, only make a few at a time accessible.

Take the sorted boxes of toys and store them out of site but in an accessible area that the toddler cannot get into (NOT THE SAME PLACE AS THE DISCARD BOXES). Have only one box out for play at a time.

If you keep the TV on all the time, or give your kid a tablet to play with... try not to. Turn off the TV for the day, and place the tablet in another room. If the child is particularly addicted to the tablet, it makes it even more essential that he or she doesn't see where you put it... it's best if it just simply isn't there that day.

Practice some patience as he or she figures out what to do with the limited selection.

You'll enjoy spending less time picking up and sorting toys, less mess to trip over, and the toys will be more thoroughly enjoyed. You'll also get a better sense of what toys your toddler really doesn't like at all.