Thursday, January 31, 2008

Windshields & Toddler feedings

It snowed a bunch last night, kept me from going out for Moms night out with MOMS Club. Very disappointing. Today, I learned all about the de-icer stuff I'm supposed to have in my windshield wiper fluid. It snows, the snowplows roam about dropping de-icing stuff, most road snow melts, making muddy slush thrown up in car-wakes just like when it rains. Driving on the highway with a really dirty windshield, into the sun, the vehicles ahead only resemble shadows...I got off the highway. At every stop I hopped out, grabbed some snow and wiped the drivers' side of the windshield. When I found a gas station, a really pleasant humor-driven exchange between me and the classical gran'pa behind the counter took the edge off my ignorance. Alas, whatever remained of my original wiper fluid was frozen in the bowels of my car, clogging the intake for the wiper sprayers. Would that I had a $100k car that had the pipes wired with the defroster, I know they exist. By the way, can you guess what a snurd is?

Toddler feedings can be intense. This of course depends upon your level of involvement. If one has reasonable expectations then all will be well, damage is minimized. Otherwise, a giant mess, a toddler that hasn't eaten, and a terrible headache.
We recently revamped our strategy switching from separate all-inclusive high chair to table-side high chair (just like those in the restaurant) with a splat mat. The Peg-Perego we had been working with was just fine for the house on Maui, and the house in California...but it was just too cumbersome for this place. Splat mats are fantastic, everyone should have one, I might even slip one under Gary's chair. When something spills it's easier to clean up if it has fallen on a plasti-coated canvas mat, instead of our less-than-a-year-old-rug. Now, I just need to work on my spill reaction---meaning my reaction to the Toddleator's self-feeding antics. (Her latest is taking sips of milk only to spit them into her water cup.) I just haven't gotten comfortable with the notion that whatever she spills won't be too hard to clean up, 'cause it's on the splat mat! My reaction is still geared to "o-sh*t-there-she-goes-again-another-big-mess-I-have-to-clean" or the ever simpler "g'dammit!!" Which really isn't the best impression to give someone trying to learn how to feed themselves. I worry that I might instill some ridiculous fear in her of spilling things, or worse yet, teach her to think less of herself and worry too much about me. Along those same lines I try to react reasonably to other normal toddler antics, like tantrums, semi-messy explorations, and dangerous explorations. The fact is, I've done well enough so far that when she's exploring something she shouldn't be, and I react too harshly, the little girl just goes to pieces. Now that may be a phase, but I'm hoping that some of it sticks around. I think all children innately want to please their parents, looking for acceptance from the first humans they know and love. "Mother, is the word for God on the lips and hearts of all children."

I hope that we're able to show Fiona consistency with love and acceptance, and discipline (the teaching, guiding kind, not the spanking kind if we can help it). How would you feel if someone hit you just because you were having a bad day and needed to show it? (Now this refers to very young children who aren't developmentally capable of intentional misbehavior) *sigh*

An aside, if mother is the word for god, is it any wonder masses of people agree with vengeful god ideas when they were taught at such a young age to fear their personal gods, their parents?

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