Potty Training, The Easy Way!

It was a funny coincidence that Ean decided to stop peeing in the diaper right at the time when I wrote the previous article, asking for advice about your experiences with potty training. I got a lot of response and feedback from people both in the comments and especially in messages and I thank you all for indulging me with your experiences and giving me more knowledge and feedback to weigh into my own ideas of how to get this done and this is how it went.

Let’s start at the beginning. On purpose, for as long as I’ve been able to hold Ean with one arm, I’ve been taking him to the bathroom with me to see and understand the connection of how to use the toilet. Once he had started to walk, which was quite late, about 1 year and 3 months, I thought it would be time to start working on the toilet skills. At about 1 year and a half I started putting him on the potty and the toilet on a regular basis but he was very reluctant, simply because he hadn’t developed the muscle control needed yet. He was still heavily relying on the diaper and didn’t have control over when it was time to pee or poop.

Once summer came around the bend and it got hotter, I let him run around naked in hopes that he would be more inclined to just run to the potty and do his business, but I could have him on the toilet for 5-15 minutes and still as soon as he got off the toilet, he could have an accident somewhere around the house. I was stupid and thought I could teach him by making negative associations, not scolding him, but showing disappointment and frustration with his actions, as I do with behavioural discipline to teach him when he’s doing something bad but here is the key point……

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One Sweet Moment Out Of Many

Pretty much since Ean was born, I’ve sung and rocked him to sleep for all his naps. Since about 1 month back though, he prefers to be put down in the crib directly, or like for the past week, to fall asleep next to me in bed and then placed in the crib.

Today he modified his request again and it was the most adorable thing. First I had to lay down next to him, then he wanted to face me and hug me. He kept shifting position, kissing my shoulder, my cheeks, holding my face in his hands and looking into my eyes, saying mama, papa, Ean.

Then he turned to his back and continued, mama, papa, Ean. Finally he took the position his mother finds to be heaven on earth, the spoon.

And there, while continuing to kiss my hands and arms and repeating, mama, papa, Ean… he slowly closed his eyes and drifted to sleep.

What a privilege it is to go to bed with your heart so filled with peace, love and happiness. To be wrapped up in your maker whose embrace and gentle breath gave you life not too long ago. To be in a cocoon of your own flesh and blood, your limbs woven tight with mine, like the DNA that binds us.

These days that pass so fast and slow, weaving time, experiences and memories into a person who will one day go out into the world and make your own mark on it with tools honed with the souls and minds of the people who love you the most. And long after we’re gone, that gentle breath that gave you life, comfort and peaceful sleep, will be yours to pass on in every word you speak and every action you take, for the rest of your life.

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It Starts With, Hello!

Being a parent can be quite isolating. Most of your time goes to fulfil someone else’s needs and your needs and wishes become second priority (if even that!). A simple way to break out of that monotonous pattern is to simply look up from your mobile device or helicoptering around your kid for a moment when you’re at the playground and see what’s going on around you.

There are tons of people in the same position as you, or similar at least, and if you have a regular schedule of going to the playground, most likely, so do the people around you. So, if you’re there and they’re there it probably means you have the same schedule.

This is the case with us and these two lovely people in the photo. We started chit chatting once we started recognising each other coming to the same park regularly and one day I told them we’re going to the beach for a swim. They decided to join in and since then we see each other every day and the kids love to play together. We go to the park and play and then we go swimming. Whether on the beach or the park they love to play and learn from each other in a natural, socially mature way.

I see parents complain all the time about their kids and their obsession with mobile devices but kids learn from us and if we ourselves can’t be bothered looking up from our phones long enough to interact with the people around us, why do we expect our kids to be any different? It’s easy, fundamental, rewarding and it all starts with, hello.

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Throwback Thursday: Giving Wraps A Bad Rap

Throwback Thursday: Ean, just a few weeks old and already a giggle feast, while I was experimenting with the wrap to carry him in various ways. This photo in particular got the wrap purists all up in arms because this particular way of wrapping a baby didn’t have their stamp of approval.

The reason being, someone had carried their baby like this, not paid attention and the baby ended up suffocating. Several babies have died in water accidents due to negligence too but you blame the parents, not the water. Personally I am of the opinion that there is no possible place or position that you can put an infant and not pay attention, that’s just bad parenting. You always, always, pay attention.

I loved that wrap but once the real summer heat hit in July and August it was unbearable and it got sweat soaked in a matter of seconds. It was provided by the lovely people at Oscha Slings​ and I still feel guilty for not writing the review which was why they sent me the wrap in the first place! It depends on body type as well but for someone like me it’s impossible to wear a wrap like that in the humid Mediterranean summer of Malta.

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Help Me Help Him Get Potty Trained!

About 6 months ago I started trying to potty train Ean after he had started indicating when he needed to go. Cool, I thought… it’s time to get rid of the diapers. It continued for some time but after a trip we did and came back home, he had reverted back to his old ways and no matter how hard I tried, and because of his irregular eating habits (eating like a monster one day and nothing the next) it was impossible to predict the approximate poop schedule. I gave up at that point and thought to myself I’ll wait it out until he’s ready to tell me again.

I kept interacting with him in the bathroom as I have done since his birth by showing what I do, how I do but when it came to him sitting on the toilet it was just a flat no, every single time. Letting him run around naked with a nearby potty has also not been an option because this toddler things he’s a grownup and he doesn’t want to do anything any differently from anyone of us so unless I plan on whizzing and crapping in his potty, he’s not going to use it.…

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The Magic Of Boobs

 

My fascination with boobs doesn’t stop where most men’s fascination do. As a father, I’ve seen them perform miracles over and over again and there’s no shortage of praise for boobs in this blog, this post is no exception.

This weekend Ean got a stomach bug. From out of nowhere he hurled a projectile of vomit right across the room like something straight out of The Exorcist. We scaled down on the food and what he ate, kept it simple with pasta, rice, potato. Nothing worked, it all came out flying like Steve-O from Jackass riding in a shopping cart in an empty parking lot.…

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Swimming Tool For Toddler

This thing is genius. For the past week we’ve been practicing swimming, jumping, going under water and so on. Today I introduced a new tool, this ehm… floaty thing. I noticed that when I have floatation devices on Ean, he relaxes too much and is simply suspended in the water, barely doing any work. With this, it’s an extra element of play and it did exactly what I was hoping, it got him kicking.

As soon as I instructed him how to hold it, he grabbed on and held it against his chest and started kicking with his feet. A stroke of luck? Nope, I gave it to another kid, just a bit older than Ean I think and he started kicking exactly the same way.

What was even cooler was that while the other kid was using it, Ean continued kicking on his own, with only the floaty around his torso, and this was just 10 minutes into the exercise!

After just a few minutes I let go and let him maneuver it himself which of course lead to him loosing balance and flipping it and himself under water. Every time he did, he felt it coming of course and by doing that, he was prepared to close his mouth and hold his breath.

Yes, he cried for a few seconds because of course it’s scary, but he got the hang of it really quick and it’s a tool I recommend for anyone teaching their kid to swim and to be more mobile in the water. Try it, you’ll be surprised.

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Spicing Things Up!

Cooking for a toddler can be challenging. What was absolutely delicious today, might get spit out in disgust tomorrow. One thing both me and Ana have been focusing on is diversity in taste, texture and foods, mainly because we’re both passionate about food and cooking and want to encourage curiosity for the plethora of variety the culinary world has to offer. Ean has always been curious about food and has some weird favorites like pickled ginger but food has always been more about an adventure rather than actual sustenance.

Even the delivery preference changes regularly. Sometimes he loves the pouch (I’m actually reviewing two different pouch-types currently to crown a winner soon), sometimes he prefers being spoon fed. Other days he refuses to be fed and will only allow food delivered by his own hands or cutlery.…

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Sheet Happens

Back when Ana was still pregnant, we were at IKEA one day and I saw a set of sheets for Ean that were absolutely adorable. Ana thought it looked creepy but I insisted we buy it, she gave in to my obsession for aesthetics. Today I thought it was time to change sheets, and I found them at the bottom of the pile and decided it was time to get Ean’s creepy sheets on!

After that and a bit of cleaning we went to the park and then went swimming, as we always do every morning. Ean has never been huge on eating a lot so feeding him has always been a bit of an uphill battle. Today was not one of those days as he body slammed a large portion of porridge with a glass of milk in the morning and a whole pouch of fruit puree after the swim (I prefer to not give food around swimming time because of the rigorous activity and the occasional gagging on saltwater which a few times have emptied the content of his stomach into the bay, not optimal).

On our way home he nibbled on some banana chips and after the shower, as I picked him up to rock him to sleep, as I always do, he refused to lay down in my arms and screamed bloody hell and kept putting his hand on his cheek and pointed to the foot of the bed where the top sheet was, as if to signal sleeping. I sat him up and asked what he wanted, first he repeated the motion with his hand to his cheek and then told me he was hungry! My goodness, he just ate, but he was relentless and it wasn’t the regular occasional “I don’t want to go to sleep so I’ll make up a million reasons for not to”, he wanted food!…

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Bilingual Development

When we were at the doctor the other week, we talked about Ean’s development and the doctor looked skeptical when we said he could count to 10 and actually could identify individual numbers, like showing the number five when being asked.

Since then I’ve been trying hopelessly to get it on video but as soon as I start filming, he starts monkeying around and every attempt at documenting it has failed.

Today he added yet another thing I have to film for longevity, he counts to 10 in both English and Spanish. I introduced Swedish numbers just a few days ago and I’ll admit Ana has been more on top of it when it comes to counting in Spanish so I’m feeling the pressure now .

Jokes aside, it’s fun to see that he’s able to distinguish individual languages and he already says basic things, like when he’s ordering us around he directs it at me in Swedish and then immediately switches to Spanish when addressing his mother. That’s pretty cool!

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