Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We have a tooth!

Finally, my son got my first tooth!

Honestly, I had given up looking for it. I had even given up blaming fussiness on teeth (almost). You see, my daughter didn't get her first tooth until almost 10 months. And when her teeth did come it, they were far from perfect. So, I just expected that our children must have weird teeth genes.

I'm not sure where they would get it. I have never had braces or any major problems with my teeth. Growing up, I never had any cavities or work done on my teeth. My husband also has a beautiful smile. Of course, he does call his smile The Million Dollar Smile. I guess it has something to do with the baby teeth that never fell out or the mouthful of veneers or the FIVE years of braces.

So honestly, I wasn't surprised when every time I would check my son's bottom gums I didn't see any signs of teeth. It never occured to me to look for teeth on top - babies always get those two cute little teeth on the bottom first. I even had a friend ask me a few weeks ago if his top teeth were coming in. No, of course not, he hasn't even gotten his bottom teeth yet.

But I was wrong. His first tooth popped through just last week. And guess which one it was. The top tooth. But not even a top middle tooth. The top tooth beside the middle tooth! My son is a snaggle tooth.

I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. Weird teeth just run in the genes around here....

Not that I'm blaming anyone.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I Need a Time-Out

As a modern day preschool teacher, time-out is not my favorite form of discipline. I do believe that every now and then, a good old-fashioned time-out is in order. But most of the time, I try to use more natural consequences. You know, if you don't ask politely, you don't get what you want. If you spit your milk, you get it taken away. If you run from Mommy in the store, you have to ride in the buggy. I also try really hard to give my daughter a second chance to make a good decision; she is, after all, just learning what is expected of her. But even though I have had lots of practice with discipline as a teacher of Deaf preschoolers, sometimes I am not really sure what the appropriate consequence would be - and this is when I usually decide to try time-out.

Over the past few weeks, my daughter's "two-year-old-ness" has really been shining through. I have resorted to time-out a total of two times, and this is how that went:

First attempt: Last week, the weather was finally bearable. So, we all went to play outside. My son and I sat on a blanket in the shade, and my daughter was pretending to drive to Texas in her little red car. At this point, I can't even remember the specifics about what upset my daughter, but I do remember that she decided to yell at me. I just remember her yelling, "NO" at me. Now, because I always believe in warnings, I calmly stated, "I cannot accept you yelling at me. If you yell again, you will have to have a time-out from your toys." (sounds like a teacher, huh?) She looked at me for a moment. Then, let out a very obviously pretend yell and then exclaims, "I need a time-out" as she plopped down beside me to pay her debt. Somehow, that didn't really feel all that effective.

Second attempt: Another fantastic behavior to recently come into our household is hitting. Although, I am glad to say that I think the phase is already almost over. But for a few days last week, I got hit A LOT. So, one day when we were playing in my daughter's room, she got mad about something and raised her hand to hit me. I stopped her half-way by giving her a good mom stare and saying, "If you hit me, you will have a time-out" (there's that warning again). Of course, in a test of my parenting, she went ahead and hit me. Being that I hadn't really thought this through, I swept her up and quickly scanned the room for a good time-out spot. Nothing. The floor was covered in toys and way too much fun to be good for a time-out. So, I whipped her around the corner and sat her right outside of her door. Immediately, she begins wailing. I tried to pretend that she was crying because she was so upset that she was in time-out. At least that would mean the punishment was a little more effective this time. But I was pretty sure that on the way to the ground, I had hit her back against the corner of the door. Maybe, just maybe, she hadn't noticed. She was doing one of those cries where no words can come out, so I couldn't know why she was really so upset. But she was upset. And loud. And again, because I hadn't really thought this whole thing through, I had put her in the hallway only a few feet from my sleeping son's room. She was wailing and I wasn't willing to wake him up. So, I let maybe 15 seconds pass before I ask, "Are you ready to try again?" "NO!" she cries. Great. Now, I have to follow through and leave her in time-out. Please, don't let her wake up her brother! Another 15 seconds go by. "Are you ready to try again?" "Yes," she whimpers, while holding her back. "Did I hit your back?" Of course, I did, and I know it. So, I apologize and give her a hug. Again, not so sure that was effective.

Needless to say, I haven't tried time-out again.