5 tricks of a Boy Mom
Well, the title is pretty self explanatory. If you are a boy mom, you will need tricks up your sleeve! I am new at the "boy mom" thing...mine are still little, but over the past 2 years, I have figured out a few things to turn around a situation that is headed in the wrong direction. These will without a doubt change as they get older, but for now, the toddler boy tricks.
1. Hating the Carseat. If your boy is throwing a fit while you are trying to strap them in for safety, so much so that all of the sudden you think you might have an octopus son instead of a human one, meaning that suddenly his arms, legs, and head are all moving at once....bring out the sound effects. Machine sound effects are the best. It automatically gets there attention, and they are so puzzled as to how those noises are coming out of their oh-so-feminine mom, that it will buy you enough time to buckle and tighten him right in! End with a kiss, so they know you are still a mom, and not a construction truck. LOL.
2. Whiny and Bored. If your boy is standing at your leg, inevitably repeating, "mama, mama, mama, mama," I would say to pull out the ol' "wear a puppy out" theory. So, there is this theory, that if you give a puppy your full attention for 15 to 30 minutes, and play really hard, that they will be okay for the rest of the evening. If you don't pay attention to it, it will bug you incessantly for the rest of the evening. The same is true for toddlers I have found. Given the situation, I look at what time it is, what our schedule is for that day and decide how I am going to deal with this whiny, bored little guy for the rest of the day. If it is early, I stop whatever I'm doing and play with him. Give him my FULL attention, because that is what he wants, and that is going to help me have what I need later, (time to do whatever needs to be done that doesn't involve him). By "play with him" I mean really play, chase him, crawl with him, make him laugh, tickle him, play hide and seek, go outside, or go for a walk, etc. That 30 minutes of full attention is really going to go a LONG way later.
If I'm in the middle of cooking or doing something that has to get done immediately, I start involving him in whatever task it is, even if he can't really help. 1) I give him one sock at a time to load the dryer. 2) I give him the salad spinner on the floor and let him spin his toys around in it. 3) I give him a bowl and a huge plastic spoon to stir his air, while I stir whatever is on the stove. 4) I give him empty envelopes and stickers to pretend he is the one addressing and mailing the bills....and if there is nothing that he can do beside me, I hold him, or set him next to me, and explain EVERYTHING I'm doing in a VERY animated way, so he is captivated by what I am saying for the moment, until the task is finished. :) If all else fails....I sing...that's right, I bust out the musical numbers and it always gets a smile.
3. Still awake and not happy about it. This is where whispering and singing quietly reign supreme. Talking softly in their ear will calm them down and get them to stop crying because they are trying to hear what you are saying. If they are already in bed, I try to rub their backs and hum a lullaby. If they are not yet in bed, holding them close, reading a book or rubbing their feet can really help calm them down. Sometimes I'll get a little lotion on my hands and rub their feet. They both love it. I think about that verse that talks about a quiet word will turn away wrath, and I think staying calm and talking quietly will automatically promote the same behavior in them.
4. Too late for a nap, too early for bed. Bubbles and bath time. Yes, a late afternoon bath can be a nice change of scenery when your precious boy is at his whit's end and tired. Boys love to be naked, they love splashing, they love bubbles, and it honestly relaxes them too! I have gotten the CUTEST pictures/videos when the boys are taking an afternoon bath because the nap just wasn't long enough that day. It's amazing what a little change of scenery can do in turning a situation around. Also, outdoor play works with this too. We go on "scavenger hunts" for rocks, acorns, rolie-polie bugs, sticks, horse apples, and whatever else I can think of on the spot!
5. Out in public and they give you the "get me out of here" look. So, this is a tough one, because it kind of depends where you are and what you are doing. BUT...for the most part...this is where I pull out the silly faces. In the grocery store, they are staring at you anyway, so why not try to make them laugh instead of thinking how long it's taking. Sometimes I'll start asking Noah, where his eyes, ears, cheeks, mouth are while simultaneously making a silly face involving that, so it's reinforced and so laughter will follow. This will buy you about 10 minutes or so. Also, talking to them about everything you are buying or asking about what colors they see, usually gets their mind on something else for a few minutes. Usually, if they are giving you that look, there is some reasoning behind it, so I would try to wrap up whatever you are doing. Obviously, you can't put them in charge of your errands, but you can schedule them at a better time usually.
That's it for now! I'm sure these will be ever-changing because they are ever-changing!! (oh, and so am I)