Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Parenting a toddler is friggin’ exhausting at times. It is very apparent today. Parenting a toddler solo is even harder. What is even more difficult is when Eric gets home from sea and steps in and takes the tough parent approach and we butt heads on parenting. Aaron hasn’t been the easiest lately. He doesn’t eat, he fights sleep, he has a tantrum the second something doesn’t go his way (this is what toddlers do, I know) and is always pushing our buttons.

For me the most frustrating thing about Aaron is the fighting sleep and the no eating. I went to our doctor two weeks ago to discuss Aaron’s eating habits and I was told that I needed to take him off of formula pronto. I give it to him because he’s eats so poorly. My doctor said that toddlers are smart and they will hold out for that bottle. I haven’t cut the bottle (formula) out completely as I don’t do things cold turkey with Aaron. He still gets a bottle before bed. I am doing my best to get him on a schedule. I’ve resisted it for so long being a stay at home mom to a non school age child allows for me to be flexible with our days. I realize that this isn’t in Aaron’s the best interest and am trying to rectify this.

Today I attempted to feed him breakfast of cheerios, fruit juice and a peach, at 8am. He barely ate anything. On the way to play group he had some grapes, and some bread. He didn’t have a snack there as he grazed. I tried to feed him lunch at 12-1230 of rice pilaf with mixed veggies something he eats as well as yogurt. Both went untouched. I had to force the first bite of yogurt on him as I often do have to force him to taste something then he realizes “Hey I like this.” And then he’ll eat it on his own. Today he got so pissed off at me when I did this and made a horrible exaggerated gagging noise that my ears have never had the displeasure of that noise befalling them. I don’t know what his problem the yogurt was sweet enough for his palate.

I don’t force him to eat, I am not that parent. When he is older I will not force him to eat his dinner before he is allowed to leave the table. If he isn’t hungry he doesn’t have to eat, but I will expect him to sit at the table until he rest of the family is done and he won’t be allowed to eat anything else until he eats what he was served for supper.

So I am trying to put him on a schedule… it isn’t easy at the moment he is fighting his nap. He was lying on the floor before lunch with his blanket and soother which he does when he is tired. I wanted him to eat first and he didn’t. I am beginning to wonder if I should’ve put him top bed then, but that doesn’t help him getting on a schedule. I know he wants a bottle, but I am trying to get away from this.

He goes to bed at 9pm. I know this is way too late, and we are trying to whittle it down. Sometimes when he is lying on the ground at 7-730 so we start his bedtime routine, and his bath perks him up. And then by the time we put him to bed he fight sleep for an hour or two. By the time he is asleep I am exhausted and don’t get to do what I intended to. In the last week I have wanted to complete a unit in my biology and apply for a job that requires more effort than hitting submit of an email with my cover letter and resume attached. I’ve done neither.

Said job looks as though is were tailor made for me, and I want it. I think the time has come for me to go back to work, I am just waiting for the right the job and I am being choosey. When I was in Vancouver last week, I applied for 3 jobs off of CL and I had an interview. The job market in Vancouver more penetrable than here. I never took the job nor was offered but it never hurts to have interview experience.

Bottom line is I need this boy on a schedule so I can have my life in more order. If anyone has any advice/assvice pertaining to this or how long it takes to put a strong willed two-year-old on a schedule please enlighten me.


S.I.F. said...

I'm sorry you're having such a tough time with him lady. And I know it is even harder doing it on your own. I wish I had some words of wisdom for you... Keep doing what you are doing though. You are doing a great job, even if it doesn't feel like it!

SciFi Dad said...

I completely agree with your doctor about cutting out the formula bottles. As long as it's there, Aaron will continue to eat less solids. What if you replaced his dinner milk with a cup of formula? Would that work?

As for routines, they only work if you follow them, in my experience. Pick a routine that works for you, that you can follow and enforce. You mentioned Aaron is in bed at 9.00pm; does he wake around 9.00am? Are you ready for him to be up two hours earlier (if you're putting him to bed two hours earlier, he'll eventually wake two hours earlier). Just be sure about that. We've tried shifting bedtimes before (our daughter goes to bed around 7.00pm because no matter what we do she's awake at 6.00am) and it hasn't worked; let me know if you figure it out.

If bath wakes him, try doing that immediately after dinner instead of right before bed.

What winds him down? With my kids, books and reading work well, and if my daughter is worked up sometimes a 30 minute Treehouse session does wonders.

The bottom line is to do the same thing every night: bath, then jammies, then teeth, then books, then snuggles, then bed (that's ours for my son who's 20.5 months).

Ginger said...

You know I live and die by the schedule and routine. It is something we have worked on since about 5 months old. I agree with SciFi Dad. Whatever routine you set up make sure it is something you can and are willing to do. Every. Single. Day. We very seldom break from routine. That means we sacrifice on our end. Plan to do the same thing for 2-4 months consistently with very few breaks in the routine. I think routines take awhile to build, especially when the children are older. We are working on shifting to an after lunch nap so we can push bedtime back by 30 minutes or so and hopefully they will sleep a little later in the morning. It is tough going right now and their sleep is screwed up completely. But we are getting there! Be ready for some hard days or moments. But stick to it and know that you aren't hurting him. He may resist, but you are right that toddlers do that regardless. I don't think the details of the routine matter as much as the routine itself. If an 8:00 pm or 8:30pm bedtime work for your life then go with it and build the schedule around it. It will take some time but kids adapt well and if they know you aren't going to give in they will get it.

You can do this! You are a great mom!