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Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy New Year!

The holidays have come and gone and I’m ready for spring! I’m not a fan of winter at all, so I take note each day of the slowly increasing amount of daylight, hoping for warm days when I can get the boys out of the house. Luckily we get warm days here and there, so I was able to take them to the playground over the Christmas break and they enjoyed swinging in the infant swing.

I began the New Year in the emergency room with a nasty case of stomach flu. It was horrible, and I had to have an I.V. for rehydration. My main worry was that the babies’ would get it, but luckily they didn’t. But then we had to take one of the twins to the emergency room last week when he had a 101 fever. It turned out to be the “Hand/Foot/Mouth” virus, which I’d never heard of . He has blisters in his mouth that are obviously painful, but he’s doing much better now. Two nights in a row he was up every one to two hours crying, so we had a difficult weekend. He slept through the night last night, so he’s getting better. The doctor said the other twin would most likely get it too, but so far, no symptoms. We’re keeping our fingers crossed!

As the boys have become mobile, parenting has begun a new phase. In the beginning, it’s just about feeding, changing diapers, - basically, keeping them alive and healthy. Now they do things we don’t want them to, like pulling leaves off a houseplant (I looked up our plants online to make sure they weren’t poisonous), pinching the dog, harassing the cat, finding tucked away cords to pull on, turning over the dog’s water dish, messing with the remotes, etc. So far neither boy seems to understand “no”, but I’m sure they’re beginning to recognize how often they hear that word! We say “no” and take them away from the situation, trying to minimize the temptations along the way with a minimalistic landscape in the house.

It’s amazing to see how fast they’ve grown from helpless newborns into little people who watch our every move and react to us. I believe leading and teaching by example is important, so I’m already working on my own behavior at the same time. For example, anger control. I grew up in a home where my mother raised her voice and yelled at us. I’m not talking about abuse, but sort of like George Costanza’s parents on Seinfeld. Sure, the Costanzas were funny, screaming back and forth at each other over nothing important, but that’s not something I need in my home! I’m practicing a calm demeanor in challenging situations and have already noticed that a calm voice helps sooth a crying baby. All parents experience anger toward each other at times, and again, remaining calm and keeping an even tone in the face of anger will set an example. “Serenity now”, and hopefully no insanity later! Parenting is a skill, and like all skills, practice makes perfect.


Tim and Louie said...

Guys, thanks for the update! Sorry to hear about your stomach flu, those are not pleasant at all. And that hand/foot/mouth illness. Glad to hear that everyone's recovering well.

When you were describing your "parenting by example" part, I couldn't help thinking about some really excellent books that my husband and I recently finished reading. Even though we don't have kids, yet. We are doing what we can to prepare ourselves for the future.

Anyway, look these books up and give them a shot. We both really like their methods:

"How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk" - By Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

"Siblings Without Rivalry (How to Help Your Child)" - By Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish (We haven't read this one because we don't believe we'll be having multiples, at least as of right now!)

"Between Parent and Child: The Bestselling Classic That Revolutionized Parent-Child Communication" By Dr. Haim Ginott (Faber and Mazlish's works were basically inspired by the works of Dr. Ginott. So, why not go straight to the source!)

"Parent Effectiveness Training: The Proven Program for Raising Responsible Children" - By Dr. Thomas Gordon (Dr. Gordon's method are very similar to Dr. Ginott's and Faber and Mazlish. Except that he presents it using a totally differnt style. My husband Tim liked Dr. Gordon's style the best. Somehow it made better sense to him using his style vs. the others.)

Anyway, enjoy those warm sunny days!

While here in Phoenix we enjoy the cool temps. of winter before the dreaded firestorm of heat coming to us in summer!!!

- Louie

GayDad said...

Thanks Louie! I'll have to check thse out. It's hard not to second guess your every move when you want to be a great parent. And they definitely have different personalities, so what works for one might not work for the other.

More warm weather this weekend, so plenty of time for the swings and enjoying the outdoors. We're in Denver, so we take advantage of the warm winter days when they happen to fall on weekends!

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