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Good-bye little surfer dude…

30 May

It’s about time my friends…for us to cut off Henry’s hair.

The heat and humidity arrived over the weekend and much to our chagrin, Henry’s hair embraced it with exuberance.

First, his hair went curly.

But then it got sweaty.

And then grody.

And then there was ketchup in it.

It was more than I could handle. I tried to trim it but I didn’t know where to begin. Every snip seemed perilous. It was apparent that his hair had gone out of control and it was time for it to go. So, it’s gonna get cut…by a professional. And I think we’re gonna cut it VERY short.

We’re going to miss having a little surfer dude. And I think that Henry will miss it too. Check out this face:

It’s like he’s saying “You’re gonna do what?! Say it isn’t so!”

Poor little guy.

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Boys love iPhones

28 Apr

This is what happens when a little boy spots an iPhone…

Needless to say, there are little fingerprints on my phone.

Our little baby is officially a little boy

20 Apr

When does a baby become a toddler?

Is it when they walk?

Is it when they turn 18 months?

Is it when they wear toddler clothes?

We haven’t really been able to figure out the line between baby and toddler.

But I think we’ve got it figured out now- a baby (at least a baby boy) becomes a toddler when he starts to like cars. And trucks. And vans. And tractors.

In the last month, Henry has received several small cars as presents. And while they weren’t that interesting at first, BAM!, now it’s cars and trucks all the time.

Somewhere in there, he became a little boy.

He loves to ride in this plastic car.

(Even though it’s blurry, I love this picture)

And he loves little cars too. Vrooom.

They just make him happy.

(I love this blurry photo too.)

So, little baby Henry is now little Henry boy.

American? French?

14 Apr

In our community, parenting feels like a competitive sport. Points are awarded for number of months spent breastfeeding, for co-sleeping, for baby wearing, for using baby sign language, for attending baby movement classes, for attending multiple playgroups, for buying only organic food (bonus points for local organic food), and for number of languages spoken at home.

And as a working mom, it’s hard to compete with the tactical, largely stay at home moms. I don’t have the time to plan and strategize my parenting. I’m shooting from the hip. But this is mommy smackdown and I seem to lose every time.

Thankfully…I finally got my hands on a copy of Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman, the book that details the French style of parenting. 

And I’ve come to one conclusion…I’m just not like the other moms in our area.

Why?  Because I’m French. Don’t let my English/Irish/German heritage fool you. Deep down in my core, I’m a Parisian parent.

The reason is this, at least according to Druckerman, the French are laid back parents. They don’t fuss. They don’t obsess. They don’t make a big deal about things. They don’t kill themselves to accommodate their kids. And I LOVE that!

French parents are concerned about only a few things:

1) That their child is polite

2) That their child is patient

3) That their child is self-sufficient

They’re not trying to get their two year old to read. They don’t worry about IQ points or future test scores. They don’t shelter their kids from sadness or frustration. They’re not strategizing, planning, or researching parenting techniques.

And apparently, they have very calm and reasonable kids as a result.

To achieve this, French parents define a structure, or cadre,  for their kids. For example, the kids are on a meal schedule from the time they’re about six months old, three meals a day plus a snack. They don’t get to eat outside of those times and food is never used as a salve for a crying child. Another example, the kids learn that they won’t always get their way. Parents do not feel obligated to accommodate their child’s every whim and accept that their child will be frustrated sometimes.This cadre leads to the development of patience and an awareness of social norms.

But other than a few basic rules, French parents give their kids lots of space. They don’t structure their play time. They let their kids explore on their own. And if kids go to music class, it’s because it’s fun, not because it fosters brain development. Plus, parents don’t rush in when they hear their baby whining. Instead they pause, see if the child self-soothes, and if not, then they comfort their baby. And from this space and room to grow, the kid learns independence.

At the end, what resonated the most with me is the realization that parenting doesn’t have to be so much work. I don’t need to worry so much about Henry’s brain development or socialization or literacy skills. I don’t need to fit baby classes into our already busy schedule. I don’t need to feel guilty for feeding him processed foods or letting him play in the recycling bin.

He’s a kid. His job is to play and explore his world. My job is to love him and care for him.

By design or by sheer luck, we’ve stumbled upon a parenting approach that is very similar to the French way. And we have a happy, healthy, sweet, and charming little boy. I guess I can just sit back and enjoy this time and stop worrying so much.

 

I heart Florida

5 Apr

After spending a few days with them in Florida, I think that my parents are the luckiest people.

Their lake house is amazing- overlooking the water, surrounded by forest, and enveloped by the sounds of exotic birds. Simply lovely. Totally relaxing. And the best getaway we’ve had in awhile.

Don’t we look happy and relaxed on the boat?

Okay, Henry hated the boat. Too much wind. Too much life vest.

This is a more telling photo of our time on the boat…

But it got better. He just needed his grandpa…

 

And while Deron and I spent a night near the coast, Henry got some quality time with Grandma and Grandpa.

They communed with nature and played in some mud…

Ate some delicious food…

And had some drinks on the water.

Thanks Mom and Dad for the wonderful vacation. And for the photos.

Best flight delay ever!

4 Apr

We just flew back from visiting my parents in Florida and encountered six hours of flight delays. Ugh. I’m not going into it. We all made it through in one piece. We got $400 in travel vouchers. Enough said.

BUT, the most amazing thing happened while we waited in the airport. Check it out:

 

That’s my boy! Mama is so proud!

P.S.- I’ll tell you more about the vacation tomorrow. My brain is goo and I need to rest. Good night.

Video: Henry (almost) walking in the park

19 Mar

Watch how Henry puts his walking spoon to good use: