Tag Archives: Toddler

Momnesia!

Standard

funny pic

I have become famous in my family and friends for my terrible memory. While I never had a photographic memory to begin with, it has gotten really bad after the birth of little H. So much so that three months postpartum I went to the doctor especially complaining about my poor memory. The doctor, a wizened old lady with kids and grand kids of her own peered at me for a few seconds. And then asked do you forget to feed your baby, do you forget to wash her poop, do you forget to give her medicine when she is sick. When I answered no to the all these questions she said my memory is perfectly fine and I am just suffering from mommy brain. I still insisted she give me some supplement for my memory but she just brushed me aside. To my credit the only serious blooper I committed was forgetting H’s three month vaccination. After that my family was diligent about asking me and reminding me about any upcoming vaccinations. When I googled about poor postpartum memory I realized researchers have coined the word momensia for it.

forgefulness

Two and a half years down my memory fails to show any signs of improving. And I just have one kid! I am often found standing in front of the open refrigerator thinking what I came to get. According to my mom this happened to her only after four kids. Guess it is the ‘asli’ diet in their childhood which gave them an edge in the memory department. And of course whenever I leave the house to go for a sleepover at my mums, I often come back after five minutes to retrieve the very important thing that I forget. Both my mother in law and mother now know not to lock the gate till at least fifteen minutes have passed from my departure! I have forgotten my phone charger countless times, not to mention stuff like keys, wallet all because I changed my handbag. And the  most important forgetting diapers! There is an unspoken rule of poop, the only time you forget to bring the diapers and an extra change of clothing that is the time your child will have a major poop disaster right in that very important family wedding or dinner. You and your husband will exchange worried glances each time a loving uncle or aunty would want to pick up your toddler. Once on an outing, I made my hubby stop at a mall, buy diapers from the supermarket and then changed H’s diaper in the mall’s changing room. I have a mantra for dealing with such accidents, pause, take a deep breath, tell yourself you will be laughing about this in a few years! And then tell your husband this also because you can tell he is thinking about his expensive car seat covers!

forgetful image

So over the last two years I have collected a few tips to counter momnesia:

  • Download a to do list app like astrid on your phone. There are also many family apps which you and your hubby can use jointly like cozi. But it never worked for me because hubby dear would just ask me to remind him instead of upadating and setting a reminder on his cozi account. So personally I like astrid. It sets you make multiple lists e.g. you can have a grocery list so when you find yourself at the grocery store unexpectedly and cannot think what you needed, you have the list. Similarly it lets you set recurring reminders like I set one for my daughter’s and my vitamins. There is also a list for today, you update it for everyday. I like to make my to do list for the next day before bedtime, or in the morning after Fajr. That ensures I do not forget any important tasks for the day. And ah the sweet pleasure of ticking off tasks off my to do list.
  • You know how random things to do occur at the most inappropriate moments. Make a master to do list on a piece of paper or cardboard and stick it on your dressing mirror or someplace where it is very obvious. Then attach a pen too. And whenever a random thought occurs write it down IMMEDIATELY. I repeat write it down immediately. Do not wait to finish the task you are currently doing because for sure it will leave your brain the minute you finish the current one. Also have a separate to buy list, you could have it on your phone on astrid. Being a pen and paper girl, I also like a nice big list on my dresser too, one column showing things to buy and one column showing things to do. From that master to do list and to buy list I transfer things to my daily to do lists on my phone. Also a good idea is to plan your whole week. That ensures you do not forget any important event like doctor’s appointment or vaccinations.
  • If you are a desi mommy like me and live in pakistan, you might also want to have a list of things to tell your maid. In the mad preschool drop off and pick up rush I often forgot to give instructions  to the maid and would later fume when she would do things the wrong way or I would have to do her errands just because I forgot to tell her. With the maid instruction list this problem was solved.
  • Plan your menu especially your breakfast menu with a few alternate plans if you have a fickle toddler like mine and limited time in which to feed her. I have a weekly menu of dishes which I know my toddler likes plus there is always one simple backup plan. So if H refuses to eat the omelette I lovingly prepared for her (wrings hands in frustration), I give her a simple cheese sandwich or raisins and bananas. Plan your daily lunch and dinner menu. That prevents you realizing at the last minute that you have forgotten two ingredients for today’s dish. Once you have the weekly menu, you can do the weekly grocery. See easy peasy.
  • Another important one which I learned after many mistakes. Always have your diaper bag ready. Replenish your diaper bag as soon as you come from a trip or at least the very next day. This tip usually prevents the diaper forgetting the disaster!
  • If your mum lives in the same city and you often go for sleepovers or just spending a day then you would have to lug a whole bag of clothes for your little ones. In that case have a handy checklist to make sure you do not forget anything. A sample checklist could include stuff like onesies, socks, shoes, caps, sweaters, vests, phone charger etc. Of course an easier options is to keep some clothes there. Usually this does not work for me in winters because I often keep a limited stock of clothes for the short Karachi winter and cannot afford to leave clothes at mums too. But it works great in summers.
  • If you have a toddler and often go out then keep some ready to grab snacks handy in your fridge. This minimizes the chance of you forgetting them and countering a middle of the trip car tantrum fueled by hunger.
  • Last but not the least, embrace your forgetfulness and kick guilt out. You are only human and among a million things that you have to keep track of, it is ok to forget a couple. Remember as long as you have a healthy, happy child the rest is all ok.

Ok mamas, that is all for now, though I am sure I am forgetting something crucial! 😀

Advertisements

Parenting my High Needs Toddler

Standard

I had never heard the term high needs baby. It was when my baby turned eight months old and developed separation anxiety that I started googling the term clinginess and separation anxiety. All the websites talked about how it is a phase and it will get better with time, once your child realizes that mama always comes back. Interestingly I hardly ever left my child, the first time I left little H was when she was 3 months old and my husband and I decided that we really need some time for ourselves. So we left her with the very excited and doting grandparents and went to Dolmen City Mall. Now those of you living in Karachi must know that cellphone signals often disappear in Hyperstar. So while we  were happily doing some grocery shopping our darling daughter was causing an uproar and driving her grandparents insane with worry by her incessant crying. Oblivious to all this drama once we exited the mall, both hubby and my phone started ringing madly. And so we returned to a distraught little girl who only stopped crying once she was comfortably snuggled with mama and having a late night snack 😛 After that I only ever left her when she was napping in the afternoon for a quick shopping trip.

The next time me and hubby decided to go out was on our anniversary and again we were rewarded with a repeat performance where little H refused to be consoled by either grandparent. After that we just accepted that we can only leave her if she is sleeping. Little H was around 1.3 years old at that time.

One interesting thing which I observed was that since little H was a baby, if I  had to go somewhere and was trying to make her sleep she would never sleep. She would get the vibes that oh mama has to go so let us pretend to be really fussy and not go to sleep or keep waking up so she is not able to go.

It was not only that H had an issue with me leaving, in fact she had an issue with me doing anything which took away my attention from her! That involved going to the bathroom, showering, cooking or any chores. And she wanted was to be carried ALL THE TIME. From the minute she woke up to the minute she went to sleep, she constantly wanted to be with me. And so I mastered the art of cooking a three course meal, doing laundry, cleaning while balancing a toddler on my hips. Thank God little H was always on the skinny side or I am sure I would have developed a hump on my right hip 😛

Anyway all the websites proclaimed that it is just a phase and will go away on its own usually by the time the child is two years old. So I waited eagerly for her second birthday. She was also starting preschool once she turned 2 so I was hopeful that that will also help make her less clingy. I should have known better. Four months of going to school and although she is well settled in playgroup now but her clinginess at home and when we go out shows no sign of abating.

I of course have been given all sorts of advice, that I should just leave her, should not pick her up, be more assertive with her and blah blah. Her teacher told me to just tell her that mama’s hands are tired and she cannot pick you up. I tried that for a week, but it just ended up with a limp noodle stuck to my legs, howling her head off. And she had the stamina to keep crying for ages, if I removed her from my legs, she would just follow me and hold me tightly. A week of this and I just started wondering what I was doing to her self esteem, as trust in the primary caregiver i.e. mother makes up the foundation of a child’s self esteem. I being a firm proponent of attachment parenting never believed in the crying it out method, but was willing to try anything by that time out of sheer frustration. When that failed I again turned to my best friend, Google. It was then I discovered the high needs child and a great article by Dr. Sears. Here is the link http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/fussy-baby/high-need-baby/12-features-high-need-baby.

When I first read that article I felt it was talking about little H. Since birth she has always preferred by arms to anything else, nursed very frequently read every fifteen minutes, wanted to sleep with me and not in her crib, was very difficult to wean from the breast, and still awakens at night at 2.4 years.

To all those moms who have a high needs toddler or baby, I want to tell you there is nothing wrong with your child and neither with your parenting. Most importantly you are not spoiling her by holding her or attending to her needs 24/7. Your job is to encourage her to be independent but at the same time do not push her away from you when she is not ready. Her trust in your ability to meet her needs provides her with a life long sense of security and a strong self esteem. It is only for the first few years of her life that she needs you this intensely and she will soon grow up. Also read this article by Dr. Sears http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/fussy-baby/high-need-baby/12-lessons-our-high-need-baby-taught-us. It really sums up my feelings.

Happy Parenting!

Funny things my toddler said to me!

Standard

Toddlers come up with the most interesting of things that more often than not leaves you speechless!

H to me (while i was busy checking Facebook at bedtime), ‘Mama put that phone down quickly or a bug is going to come take your phone away and it is going to do bitey on your arm!’

One day when i told her to pick up her toys, she emits a long sigh and says, ‘H so tired mama, you pick it up’. Nicely played Little Miss.

On my 100th reminder to her to change her school clothes, she tells me very solemnly, ‘Kids do not do that’. That was my line 😛

When I was busy chatting on the phone and ignoring a very whiny H, she came up with an innovative way to catch my attention. Little Miss bit her finger and then comes crying to me, ‘H bit meeeee!!!!’

And of course the embarrassing part. H hates having her ears cleaned so i have to coax and bribe her to get them cleaned. Lately she enjoys pretend cleaning mama’s n daddy’s ears. I know weird. So one day in the car she looks at the driver’s ears and comments loudly, ‘Mama, there is dirt behind driver uncle’s ears.’ Mortifying.

To Nap or not to Nap

Standard

So I have been having some nap issues with little H lately. Ahh,  the beloved nap time,  the precious time when mamas get to take a shower, catch up on chores and if they are lucky enough,  even have a cup of tea and surf pinterest.

ah toddler nap tiem

Little H has always been a poor sleeper and fights naps and bedtimes till the last moment possible. But it has steadily gotten worse since she started preschool.nap boycott

I have to follow a strict nap schedule now because if I let her nap till late she doesn’t fall asleep on time and is then cranky in the morning. But despite my best efforts she takes ages to fall asleep at nap time. Often I have to spend 1.5 hours to get her to sleep. I kid you not. This involves a lot of random stories, patting, back rubbing and eventual scolding. I realized how much yelling I was doing at nap time when one day I heard little H telling her teddy in a sot-to voice ‘Teddy, go to sleep NOW, mama is getting angry!’  Sigh.

if toddler voted for president

Yesterday I went shopping with little H. By the time I got home it was too late for a nap so I decided to settle for an early bedtime. I was thinking around 7. But then this happened during dinnertime.

 Adorable-Napping-Tots-Caught-Camera-PHOTOS

Except that my toddler went to sleep on her high chair. After taking lot of pictures and videos I transferred her to her crib and then had the awesome realization that it was just 630 p.m. and I had nothing to do! Now this is something I want to do every day! So now the dilemma is either cut the nap and have an early bedtime or let the nap stay but have an hour long bedtime battle. I hear the sleep experts tch tching. Overtired children crash earlier but do not sleep soundly, also naps are important to fuel growth blah blah. I hear ya. Naps are also important for mommy’s sanity. A 12 hour day with little H without a nap does get too much. And at the end of the day mommy is often found popping a painkiller. But I am just wondering what is easier, have an early bedtime and have lots of me time or go along with a nap and have a much needed midday break. Well the jury is still out.