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A Mydal Moment

bedSo in the crazy world of raising two boys things happen fast. This Saturday things happened really fast. We had previously removed bins from the boys room as BB was using them to get on to LTD’s bed. We didn’t really care that he was getting on the bed but it was concerning that he was going from the bed to the changing table/dresser. However, this Saturday we discovered that BB can get on to LTD’s bed without the aid of any bin or object. The Mommy and me thought we could just move the dresser away from the bed and this began a chain of events that in retrospect was predictable. We placed BB in his crib so we could move the furniture around and he quickly let us know that you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. Thankfully, we stopped him but he basically was prepared to re-enact The Great Escape as he put one leg over the crib wall. Throughout the day as The Mommy was researching options, he tried to summit the bookcases. To make a long story short, we made an emergency trip to Ikea and now the boys have bunk beds. 

If You Build It…He Will Take It Apart

hotwheelsBB consistently says the word, car and very little else. So for that reason we give him a lot of cars to play with and when he isn’t throwing them at my head he seems to be enjoying them. The other day I saw that they sell race track pieces separately. BB is still a little young to do anything with a track piece besides whip it back and forth and use it as yet another object to try and hit in the head with. The real reason the individual track pieces caught my eye is that it is very cool to be able to custom your racing experience to your environment and it is the kind of thing that is so simple, I can’t believe they didn’t have it when I was a kid. Of course, they probably did but the only thing I used my matchbox cars for when I was young was to re-create episodes of Chips. I don’t know if BB will still be into cars when he is old enough to build his own track but if he I will be excited to see what cool thing he designs and hopefully his race track will not involve anything hitting me in the head. 

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Story Corps

storycorps_logo_10_yearsI always enjoy listening to Story Corps and today I heard one about a pretty cool dad. Here.

 

Hell No I Won’t Go

distraction-quoteBB has taken to the belief that the sixties still exist and the time to protest is now. He isn’t trying to stop a war or get the vote. He simply does not want to go in his car seat. He has taken a page out of the Gandhi playbook of using non-violent forms of protest. His signature move is to go rigid as a board requiring the use of not an insignificant amount of force to bend him. Another tactic is to grab on to the side and employ a jaws of life style grip on the arm of the car seat. Finally, he uses his sonic scream to try and drive off anyone who tries to simply take him anywhere via automobile. However, all of these methods eventually fail when any one of a 1000 simple counter measures are used. That’s right folks, I’m talking about distraction, the scourge of the toddle protest. I now never go near the car without a toy in my pocket or frankly anything in my pocket. The only draw back is that the same idea loses its power and can only be used a few times before it is taken out of rotation. I have the best luck with Matchbox cars but have used a bottle of sunscreen, house keys, empty iced tea bottle, receipt and a shoe. He puts up a good fight but in the end nothing can compete with something new, no matter how valueless to a grown up it is. Unfortunately, I still lose to his stubbornness one time out of 20 when I simply have nothing to distract him with having exhausted my usual rogues gallery of items. In those cases it is time to walk.  

The Listen in Bed Contest

solrelEnter Beyond the Car Seat’s Listen in Bed Contest. Winner will receive Sol Republic Relays. If you watch as much Netflix in bed as I do, than these will be perfect.

Sure you missed Father’s Day, but now is the perfect time to make it up to the dad in your life. He can drown out the children’s yells with nice headphones. The lightweight in ear buds are also sweat and water resistant (and yes that covers baby drool). Perhaps the best feature is that they don’t fall out like most of my gym headphones (which are really TV watching headphones, but the stupid movement of the cross trainer keeps pulling mine out while I’m watching the screen). However, if you are anything like me, the primary use will not be at the gym or jogging, but watching The Blacklist on my iphone in bed while the whole family sleeps (and snores).

Sol Republic can be found here, Facebook and @solrepublic.

The Fine Print

How to Enter:
Enter your information using the contact form. Please fill out all the information and don’t forget your email address. Winner will be chosen at random. Sol Republic graciously provided the prize. Any opinions I might have about the headphones remain my own and have not been influenced by Sol Republic.

Eligibility:
Contestants must be at least 18 years of age at the time of entry and legal residents of the 50 United States and District of Columbia. Void in Puerto Rico, and where prohibited by law or regulation. All entries become the property of beyondthecarseat.com.

The Contest begins on June 19th, 2014 and ends on July 6th, 2014. Contestwinner will be announced on July 8th, 2014.

Copyrights:
By entering into the Contest, each contestant agrees to grant beyondthecarseat.com and its owners/operators permission to copy and publish to beyondthecarseat.com any and all writings submitted by the contestant. NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.

BRADY CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT GUN VIOLENCE LAUNCHES 2014 NATIONAL ASK DAY

ask-logoThe Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence – in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics – announced today that the first day of summer, June 21, is National ASK Day (Asking Saves Kids) to remind parents and caregivers the importance of asking if there are unlocked or loaded guns in the homes where children play.

Nine children and teens are shot each day in gun accidents.  Nationwide, one out of three homes with children has a gun, many kept unlocked or loaded. Approximately 1.7 million children in the U.S. live with unsecured guns.

To help encourage more parents to ask this potentially lifesaving question, the Brady Campaign is launching a social media campaign that includes online advertisements.  Parents and caregivers will be urged to sign a pledge to spread the ASK message in their community.  The pledge can be found at www.askingsaveskids.org.  In addition, the Brady Campaign is encouraging parents to host ASK-themed play dates throughout the country on June 21st.

Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign, said “Parents worry a lot about mass shootings that are outside their control; however, parents do have the ability to prevent unintentional shootings by asking about guns in the homes where their children visit and play. We routinely ask other questions related to our children’s safety. Every parent should simply add this one to the list.

The campaign also includes testimonials from moms who wish they’d asked this question.

“We never had guns in our home, and we still don’t, but we are the ones without a child in our house,” said Ann Marie Crowell, of Massachusetts, who lost her son in an unintentional shooting.  “One question asked is one child’s life saved.  It could have been my son’s.”

Ashlyn Melton, of Louisiana, said she taught her son how to handle a gun and always locked up her guns.  “I never thought to ask other parents about their guns because I assumed they were as responsible as I am.  I wish I had. My son died on a playdate when his friend playfully fired a gun at my son’s head because the friend didn’t think the gun was loaded.  That gun should have been locked up and away from kids,” she said.

To help parents broach the subject, Jennie Lintz, the Brady Campaign’s Director of Public Health and Safety, suggested parents ASK by saying, “In the wake of all the terrible violence in the news, I’m worried about guns—I’m sure you are, too.  Please don’t take it personally, but can I ask you to reassure me that you don’t have unlocked guns in the house that might unintentionally hurt our kids?”

For more than a decade, the ASK Campaign has partnered with over 400 grassroots organizations to spread its message in neighborhoods nationwide.  More information is available at www.askingsaveskids.org.

The ASK Campaign is a collaboration between the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has promoted the ASK message to its 62,000 members across the country.  The ASK Campaign has successfully inspired 19 million households to ASK if there are guns where their children play. Parents and individuals are encouraged to visit askingsaveskids.org and Pledge to ASK.

The Hose

FireHoseStreamsLTD never did it, but BB wanted to make up for lost time. After 5 years of children without projectile vomiting last week, BB took the crown for best converting food into a riot stopping weapon. I picked him up from school and everything was fine, the teachers had nothing to report about how he was feeling, but when I opened the door of the car to put down their lunches and bags all hell broke loose. The only warning was a slight hiccup/burp and before I could react the spray was free. He shot it out like he was trying to qualify for some gross new Olympic sport. He covered himself, me and the front seat of the car. The worst part is that this was only my first trip as I was just dropping things off before going back in to get LTD. I used the boy as a human shield covering my soaked shirt and quickly got LTD outside without anyone asking me what happened. Once at home I was able to calmly address the situation. BB’s behavior was fine and he ate a little dinner but no one ever found out the cause of the eruption. In the end, I simply chalked it up to another parenting milestone and one more thing that I get to check off my bucket list.  

ADHD Info

istock_adhdMay is Mental Health Month, and a time to bring awareness to the many conditions that make up mental illness.  ADHD, in particular, has taken the brunt of misinterpretation from our nation’s parents and educators, seeing a 41% rise in diagnosis in the U.S. in the last decade.

Dr. Prakash Masand, a psychiatrist who is a former consulting professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University, and is president of Global Medical Education, says it’s out of control, with children being prescribed powerful medications that in many cases they don’t need, and parents and educators blaming simple misbehavior as ADHD.

For Mental Health Month, Dr. Masand offers the real facts about ADHD that most people don’t know:

-          ADHD is more than just bad behavior; it is a psychiatric illness with a well described constellation of symptoms and proven treatments.

-          Pre-schoolchildren with ADHD are more likely to present with hyperactivity, while adults with ADHD are more likely to have inattention rather than hyperactivity.

-          Some children can outgrow ADHD, but 40% will continue to have symptoms as adults.

-          ADHD is not caused by watching too much TV or eating junk food.  The exact cause is not fully known, but brain injuries, genetics, and environmental factors like alcohol and tobacco use in pregnant mothers, and preschoolers exposed to lead have a higher risk of developing it.

-          ADHD medication will not cause your child to become a drug addict, does not increase his risk of sudden death and will not turn him into a zombie.

-          There is treatment outside medication.  Proven non medication treatments for children with ADHD include behavioral parent training and summer treatment programs. Proven non medication treatments for adults with ADHD include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy and time management training.

-          If managed properly, children can go on to be extremely successful in school and adult life.  Some famous people with ADHD: Ty Pennington, Jim Carrey, Will Smith, Justin Timberlake and Michael Phelps.

What You Pointing At?

bellyBB may not eat solid food yet, but he is maturing in other ways. He can now say, “car” and by car I mean, “caaa.” But at least he says it while pointing to cars. He can also say, “Erica” the name of one of his teacher and again I mean, “Err-ca.” But I’ll allow it. The most mature thing he does is point to his belly when you ask him where his belly is and he mostly points to his nose when asked where his nose is, but the belly is a lock. He has a 100% success rate with that one. He can say da-da and ma-ma but so far has been stingy in the application. Once when I picked him up from school I thought he called me Daddy but if called under oath I’m not sure I could back it up. So BB is growing up and stayed tuned for news of eating with a spoon but still not solids. At least he is ready for beer in college. 

Terrible Ones

nov32004Terrible Twos” Misnomer, According to Research

Research shows that the so-called “terrible twos” don’t need to exist when it comes to child development. In fact, the behavior often associated with this stage – tantrums, moodiness, nagging and an affinity for the word “no” – begins shortly after the first birthday. For parents, it is important to jump into action at this point so they can prevent the “two’s” from becoming terrible and turn them into something tremendous.

International research on infants has shown that 64 weeks after due date, or at roughly 15 months, a baby’s brain makes a gigantic leap forward. Babyhood is over and life as a toddler begins. This leap is significant as it is the basis for the person your child has the potential to become as s/he grows.

According to Frans Plooij, Ph.D., author of the international bestseller The Wonder Weeks and one of the world’s top specialists in infant/child development and parent-baby interactions, in order to make toddlerhood easier for both parent and child, parents need to understand what’s happening in their child’s brain and embrace what he is going through. By understanding what is going on in the brain at the age of 64 weeks (ninth mental leap) and 75 weeks (tenth and last mental leap in infancy), you can moderate the behavior of your “teenaging toddler” and help him navigate this period of development.

This stage, including the supposed “terrible twos” is cause for celebration, says Dr. Plooij, and needs to be approached as such. In the years since the publication of his original book, Dr. Plooij continued to research the developmental leaps in infants together with numerous national and international experts. The results are found in The Wonder Weeks, which explores how the ninth and tenth are key leaps to form the basis of a well-educated child in cleverness and in well-raised person.

These leaps are tremendous as it is during this time that a child begins to learn about – and set – values and norms that will carry him through life. This period, which Dr. Plooij refers to as “teenaging toddlers” is similar to a first adolescence.

“Temper tantrums, manipulation and a healthy ego are all part of a baby’s sense of self as they enter toddler-hood,” according to Dr. Plooij.  “Much like a teenager, a toddler will pout, push buttons and challenge to norm in order to get his way.” For both the toddler and the teenager, it amounts to learning how to assert himself and separate himself from everyone around him.

For the first time, a child understands he is a different person than mommy and his family is a different family than another family. Once he comprehends these differences, he learns to “play” with them. How? By tempting the rules and even acting out. At this age in development, the now-toddler has figured out how to push the right buttons until he gets what he wants.

According to Dr. Plooij, and the premise of his research, this doesn’t have to be a dreadful time between parent and child if the parent is prepared. “If you know what is going on in your child’s brain,” he says, “you know what you can demand from him. If you don’t know this you ask too little, giving no challenge to the child and allowing him to “be the boss,” or you demand too much, which can be frustrating for the child because he is simply not able to meet the too high standards. So the key is to ask that what they can handle, no more, no less, and setting reachable – but still challenging – goals.”

“Your toddler is now learning to be himself in a group,” he continues, “and all the nagging and temper tantrums are just his way of saying ‘Hey, Mom, give me some guidance here!’”

A child doesn’t need to act so “terrible,” as long as you know what to do and, more important: why he is acting this way. By understanding these leaps you can make the transition into toddlerhood, and the subsequent stages including the “terrible two’s,” into the “tremendous two’s” and beyond. “Tremendous,” says Dr. Plooij, “because it is with these leaps that a huge part of socialization is set for life. And tremendous: because good values and norms start now. If you invest in your toddler in this time, it will pay off for lifetime and especially in puberty.”