Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Well, we've been terrible bloggers lately, but it's really just because we've been so busy. I cannot convey just how much busier I am now that I'm department chair, and indeed I seem to be forever 10 steps behind. This week is spring break and I'm just trying to catch up on very basic things.

Added to that the little poppet is sick. He's actually been really sick, though mostly just at night (of course!). He burned up with a fever Sunday night and was essentially up the entire night. We have to work out a way to manage nights like this as I do 99% of the night-parenting as it is, and when a night hits like that I don't seem to have the reserves to pull it off graciously.

Oh, so far from gracious! Last night was better but still up a lot... Tonight, well, I am hoping for more than an hour of sleep at a time.

Despite being ill, Rad continues to be a little delight. He of course definitely has what might be called tantrums, but so far they've been very minor (famous last words...). You can see them coming, primarily because there are reasons behind the behavior, so we've been working hard to prevent frustration, which seems to be helping, though it's inevitably not always possible. We're trying not to sweat the small stuff, but, such as tonight, we hit a snag as Raf is just refusing (and I mean REFUSING) to brush his teeth. I have no idea what to do. He purses his lips tightly and turns his head away, no matter what I try. He used to like it, but then we lost his finger brush. Any ideas? I think we'll try and buy another finger brush as he's not liking his big boy brush at all.

One thing that almost always brings some tears, however, is me trying to pry dog food - yes, dog food - out of his mouth. Raf is clearly no longer vegan...

IN other news, and another reason for the intense busyness, is that we're house-hunting. All being well, the town we currently live in will be buying our house this coming June. There are a few hoops to jump through but it looks like things are moving forward. Consequently we're on the lookout for a house. The primary goal is to move to an area with a decent school district. The second is to cut my commute, which, at the moment, is really, really long. The third thing we're wanting is to move to an area with some sense of community... I have visions of us walking on sidewalks to the park or to the store, of Raf having friends in the neighborhood to play with, and so forth. Right now, though, we have to make some decisions about specific location (we're pretty sure we know which town we'll actually move to) - i.e. more country or more in town, and whether we're going to sacrifice house for location, or vice versa. The exact area we want to move to is pretty pricey. We're in talks with a contractor who is trying to workout a housing package in a lovely spot for something we can afford. Mind you, we'll be the poor house in the neighborhood!!

We're seeing a couple of houses this weekend.. so we'll see how it goes.


  1. Poor you--it sounds like you've had a very difficult few days and nights. I am so sorry! I hope the Raf man is feeling better soon--so you can feel better.

    I so know the toothbrushing thing. Sometimes you can just give them a washcloth to chew on--at least it's doing *something.* Have you seen those tooth wipes with xylitol? We used those, too, as Sage liked the flavors. But novelty is the thing, right? So new equipment will likely do the trick.

    Good luck with the house hunting. So much to think about!!

    Sending you lots of hugs.

  2. The Happiest Toddler on the Block has some teeth brushing ideas. I will look them up tomorrow. But I think you just start really slowly until they're agreeable for a second and then build up. Dr Karp claims a few days of no brushing isn't a big deal in the long run and then soon you will have an toddler willing to have his teeth brushed. Overall I do like Dr. Karp and he and Dr. Sears quote each other and both very AP.
    I hope all goes well with house hunting!

  3. When Will went through his no toothbrushing phase (at about age 2, almost exactly!), I started pretending that his toothbrush was a superhero on the lookout for sugar bugs - then I would make random "Kapow!" noises while brushing. I looked ridiculous, but he thought it was hilarious, and it made toothbrushing much less of a chore. Oh, and I would have him growl at me at the end (to finish up brushing the outside of his teeth), which he also liked - largely (I think) because he was annoyed that I was brushing his teeth to begin with.

    ...Of course, his mother took a different approach and told him that if he didn't brush his teeth, the cavity bugs would eat them and he would have to go to the dentist for painful fillings :-P. I suppose it just goes to show that different people deal with it differently, haha!

    Now (at age 3.5) he knows it is just a part of our evening routine and has to be done before we do the good stuff like reading stories or playing the Thomas the Tank Engine game on my iPod. I'm sure much of it was just due to age, but he did enjoy the sound effects :).

    Good luck finding a house - I look forward to the housewarming party!

  4. Oh hope that Rafi feels better veryyy soon. I have no idea but just wanted to say that Raami HATES to brush his teeth everyday everytime. While brushing his teeth I will sing all his favorite rhymes, make faces and do what not to keep him happy but that lasts for seconds...he cries top of his lungs throughout and I continue to bursh those tiny little teeth. The very second I take the brush out of his mouth he will do fine!!
    Good luck with the house hunting :)

  5. Oh yeah, I forgot about all of these toothbrushing tricks! We used to have a "tooth brushing song." We also used to pretend we were fishing and pulling all sorts of crazy stuff out of her mouth.

    Parenting certainly challenges your powers of imagination! And I second the recommendation of Karp and Sears on this topic.

    Also wanted to say that I feel your pain re. the tantrums. We always feel like we want to prevent or fix them. But sometimes--and this was and still is hard for me--they just need to vent all of the big feelings that they cannot yet control. And so sometimes I would just sit with Sage and let her have at it, telling her that it is fine to rage and scream and get all of those feelings out of her body and into the air, and that I was there for her. Once I started that approach, it was much easier for me. No sense of panic anymore--panic that I have to get her to stop, you know? But still, it's never fun. :-)

  6. Teeth cleaning . . . tricky! I remember discussing with Clare when Carmella was just one and Ewan about to turn two - we were both talking about a no-more-mrs-nice-guy approach! It was so frustrating - Aunty Clare was allowed to brush Carmella's teeth, while Aunty Cath was allowed to brush Ewan's - perfect if we didn't live 2 hours away!
    We bought Carmella an electric (aka buzzing!) toothbrush for her last birthday (Cinderella) and she was SO happy, she actually started to enjoy brushing - now she's on her second electric toothbrush (shortsighted mummy didn't think it through and the first one didn't have changeable heads), she's fully accepting of it as a chore that just has to be done.
    Hang in there - it does get better.
    Hope Raf is better soon - I have no idea how you do it all on so little sleep - you amaze me! xx

  7. Hi you guys! Thanks so much for your feedback. I cannot even remember when Raf last properly let me clean is teeth (blushing in shame). He has at least been playing with the brush in his mouth - sort of brushing his teeth as he does. We found out yesterday that he does have an ear infection and I do wonder if that's making it really uncomfortable. The trouble is because he's not super developed in his communication, it's really difficult to bribe (i mean reason with) him. But I am going to go to the store today and find those wipes you mentioned, Jen, and Cath, the electric toothbrush is just genius! Louisa did buy him a peppa brush which he likes to play with, at least.

    Jen, that;s our strategy, too, when tantrums do arise.... I try to empathize (oh, Raf, I know you really loved playing on the stairs), it's okay to be upset, and then, if he's up for it (which he usually is as he's a very cuddly boy), try to calm his little body by stroking his back or cuddling. Mind you, in the Drs yesterday he just lay on the floor crying when I took him away from the stairs! poor little fella.

    Cath, what a treat to see you here!

    Can I just say that Raf sort of slept through the night!! From 9;45 (he had some milk when I went to bed) until 4:30ish this morning! I may have been so tired I didn't notice waking up in the night, but I really think that he slept staright through. He was so tired after 3 nights of basically not sleeping, and the medicine really has helped relieve his earache already. Oh, may this be the beginning of a beautiful new routine!!

  8. Ah, a little bit of success with teeth brushing this evening... I used infant tooth paste for the first time and he let me have a mini-brush!

  9. Little by little and he'll be a teeth brushing champ! I agree with the empathizing when they're really upset. Dr. Karp calls that toddlerese. I say something like "wash hands, wash hands, I want to wash my hands!" pause and then in nice soothing voice "but no, all done washing hands." then give her a choice of 2 things we can do next. She used to just love playing in the sink washing her hands and now is doing much better with transitions but also really benefits from having a 1 minute warning before we're done with something she really enjoys.