The things kids learn

Liam, age 3 years and 8 months, at 9pm:
"Red is a primary color. You cannot make it with any other colors. It is a primary color. So is blue and yellow. I want to tell Nathan! I want to tell him his favorite color is a primary color!"

Foodie Kids? Food and Kids

Yesterday morning Nathan came downstairs wondering what smelled so good.

Tim: "Mama's making pot roast."
Nathan: "Can I have some FOR BREAKFAST?"

Sorry kiddo. As soon as he got home from school, the first question out of his mouth: "Is the pot roast ready yet??" And when dinner was finally on the table, he was thrilled, carefully dipping his meat, potatoes and carrots into his mug of gravy (gravy on the plate? don't be silly) and then drinking the remains.

Nathan will routinely ask for savory dinner food for breakfast, often has opinions on how we should season our meal (lemon and rosemary chicken of course Mama) and is always happy to help plan out his school lunch. It probably helps that we ask his opinion on these things.

Liam, it turns out, loves to wander around the spice store, smelling the jars and thinking about what can be made with the things he smells. On a recent visit to Penzeys he took a big sniff of a cake spice.

"What does it smell like?"
"Licorice"

Wouldn't you know - the second ingredient was star anise. It probably helps that I'm willing to let my three year old wander around a spice shop smelling things...

Of course, none of this is to say that our kids aren't picky eaters. Nathan can turn up his nose at something he hasn't even tried like the best of them, and Liam routinely sits at the table insisting he just wants cracker and peanut butter (or hot dog or chocolate ice cream). But I hope that we are at least instilling in them an interest in good food, in getting to know flavors, and that someday they will be adventurous cooks and eaters.

Potty Training Week 3

Once upon a time we had a 15 month old how hated diaper changes. Once upon a time we had a 2 year old who knew when he needed to pee. Once upon a time we had a 3 year old who felt he was now old enough and potty trained well enough that he didn't always need to stop playing just because his body needed (this didn't always end well). That once upon a time was never Liam. AND YET, somehow we (I) still thought the whole cold turkey potty training thing would work. As long as we waited for Liam to show us he was ready. Which it turned out is a lot less fun when after age three he was still now showing any signs of interest or readiness. This time it was Tim who put his foot down - he was tired of diaper changes. Because we couldn't take three days off (or count on a snow storm for days off) we started on a Monday and figured we'd make the start of potty training his teachers' problem. It didn't go well. Liam was super excited about his cotton undies and happy to wear them, but that didn't mean he was tuned in to his body in the slightest. Accidents were common at home (not a problem, but not leading to new understand, so in the end just unhelpful mess) and no activity was happening at school. Oh, and of course we chose to start a week when Liam was already constipated. Oops. No wonder he couldn't tell what his body was up to.

And so, this mama who was crazy enough to switch back to cloth diapers after baby #2 became a toddler, who potty trained the first kiddo as a money saving activity, who was convinced that we'd just use the potties and seats and undies we had and not need to invest any financial resources in this new waste management endeavor, is now buying pull-ups. And bribes. Or "celebrations" as we call them. Lego guys at home (knock-off lego guys) and a new hot wheels car on the way home from school for a day with potty activity (no celebration if there is no potty activity - he can have as many accidents as he needs but I'm not going to celebrate holding it in all day).

After some help from miralax, I think we're making progress. Pull-ups never would have worked for Nathan (why stop playing if you don't have to?) but Liam wants to keep them clean and they remove the stress of lots of messes, so I guess it's working for now. So once again we are reminded that every child is different. And now we know how spoiled we were with potty training the first time.

The boys and their music

Liam this morning as we listened to Tchaikovsky Discovers America:
"Quick, turn it off! I have to sing about space ships!" (He sang a song the boys made up a few weeks ago about a space ship and astronaut and alien.) "Okay, turn it back on - Tchaikovsky please."

This sounded a lot like a three year old Nathan having a similar struggle between the world of classical music and children's nonsense.

(September 2014)
Nathan: "I want to listen to Mozart. No, the opera. No, I mean, Peter and the Wolf. (once all the instruments had been introduced) Actually, I just want Daddy Does the Dishes."

Monday night conversation with Liam

Liam: "Dada?"
Mama: "What do you need buddy?"
"I need Dada."
"Can I help you?"
"No, I need Dada."
"Why?"
"There's poop everywhere."

For the record, Mama did kid clean up - Dada only had to tackle the rug.