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Playing Second Fiddle

My son was top dog at daycare from the moment he arrived nearly a year ago.  I mean, at 9 months of age, he was by far the youngest.  Besides him, there were two 3 year-olds and two 4 year-olds plus the daycare provider’s 6 year-old (who was there before and after her school day).  He immediately found his place in this setting of older kids and became the center of attention pretty quickly.

Oh mom, daycare was so fun!

He learned very quickly how to play with older kids and even now, a year later, he has prefers to play with three to five year-olds when we go to the park than toddlers his age.  Of course, that’s to be expected since he has only rarely been exposed to kids his age and younger.

A part of this frightens me somewhat.  I mean, he’s going to be a big brother soon and though I know he’s full of love, I’m anxious to see how he will react to sharing attention with a tiny human in the house.

Luckily, I now have a snapshot of how he may react.

You see, the two four year-olds that were at daycare during the last year are starting school this year and one of them has been replaced by an adorable ten month-old little girl who started attending the in-home daycare my son goes to last week.

The first day she was there, the baby was a curiosity.  Charles found her presence amusing at first and was as enthralled by her coming as the other kids were.  He seemed quite ok with her presence and went about his usual business, even allowing his sitter to give her some attention 😉

On the second day, though, when he realized that the baby was probably there to stay, Charles started acting out.  The sitter described him (not without a smirk) as having a good arm and a great aim.  Apparently, Little Dude took to throwing things at the baby when he became frustrated with her.  Oops!

Of course, we talked about this and I was really happy to hear about how she handled the situation.  I have absolutely loved this sitter from day one.  Besides the fact that she very clearly loves the children in her care, she is quite laid-back (she had no problems with the cloth diapers or baby-led weaning approach) and, as I learned last week, we are very much alike in our visions of discipline and child-rearing.

Since she does not believe that a toddler Charles’ age understands the concept of a time-out, she decided to use what she described to me as being the “velcro method” in which she had Little Dude follow her around and help with various tasks.  This worked wonderfully with Charles as he loves to help around (ie: set the table, take the clothes out of the dryer).

On a side note, we actually do use time-outs at home, which we started a couple of months ago when Charles decided to start hitting when he was unhappy.  Though we don’t put him in his room for a set number of time, we do have him go to his room.  We try (I say “try” because, well, we are only human and sometimes just react) to use positive language instead of negative language (ie: “be gentle” instead of “no, don’t hit”) and try to put into words what he is feeling (“I know you’re angry/sad/frustrated…, but please be gentle”).  Then, we tell him that he needs to go calm down and bring him to his room (he’s usually fine after a minute).  After, we remind him of the behavior we want him to have, give him a hug and tell him we love him. 

Things have now gotten to a point where when he starts acting out (ie: before a meltdown happens), we ask him if he needs to calm down and he generally nods, goes to his room on his own, turns on his white noise machine, closes the door and comes back out a minute or two later after turning off his noise machine in a super good mood.  When he’s in full meltdown mode, or has an inappropriate behavior (like hitting), we tell him we think he needs to calm down instead of asking him and he generally goes to his room on his own.  Sometimes, when he feels that he’s losing control, he’ll look at us, say “sleep” and go to his room on his own to calm down. 

*Here’s to hoping I didn’t jinx myself by writing all of this out*

Anyway…back to daycare…

The next day, Charles was much more forgiving with regards to the 10 month-old.  Instead of throwing something at her when he became irritated, he would start repeating “no, baby!” over and over again (in the tone one would use to scold a dog).  Whenever his sitter heard him, she would ask him if he wanted a hug.  He would, of course, always accept the hug and then go back to playing happily…until the baby annoyed him again LOL.  Things are getting better and better every day and Charles doesn’t get annoyed with the baby as quickly now.

I’m actually really happy that a younger child has started daycare as it has given me an idea of what to expect once Peanut arrives and has given me some ideas as to how to deal with Charles when he’s going to act out.  I know that he will be an awesome big brother, but am still expecting him to not be pleased with the crying baby that will be frequently attached to his mom.  I’ve already started to think of some of the things I will do to try to help with the transition:

  • Wear the baby so that I can play with my son while nursing and holding Peanut.
  • Keep sending Charles to daycare 3-4 days per week (we pay for daycare whether he goes or not anyways) so that he can play with his older friends.
  • Have Little Dude help me around the house (grabbing the baby’s clothes, putting the baby’s diaper in the garbage can, helping out with meal preparations…).
  • Restarting swimming lessons so that Charles can have some alone time with one of his parents once a week.

How did your toddler/child react to the arrival of a second (or third…) child?  What did you do to ease the transition?  What have you found to work with regards to disciplining your toddler?

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Me? Author of a Beautiful Mama Blog? You Bet!

About a week ago, I received a comment on one of my posts from Valerie, author of the wonderful blog: atlantamomofthree, telling me that she was nominating me for a blog award she had recently created: the Beautiful Mama Blog Award.

ImageTo accept this award, I must do three things:

  1. Use the award image in my acceptance post.
  2. List three things that I love about motherhood.
  3. Nominate other deserving mamas (as many as I want) and notify them that they have been nominated.

Top three best things about motherhood!

  1. What I love about being a stay at home mom:  One of the things that I love, which is made possible by the 40 week maternity leave I am entitled to, is being able to see my son evolve every day.  It’s crazy how quickly he changes and I would not want to miss any of his “firsts” for anything in the world.
  2. What I love about being a breastfeeding mom: I love looking at my little chunkster (his new nickname), with all of his rolls, his squirrel-like cheeks and double chin and know that I am the one who is responsible for it all.  It amazes me that my body is able to produce exactly what my son needs to thrive for the first months of his life.
  3. What I love about being a mom:  No matter how exhausted and sleep-deprived I can be, no matter how stinky the diapers, how explosive the blowouts, how frequent the spit-ups, no matter how cranky he can be and how frustrated I can get, no matter how difficult his tummy troubles, how intense the crying spells, no matter how much he fights sleep and how much more difficult it has become to go out, I would not trade this life with the one I had before.  Because no matter how difficult it gets, all it takes is a smile, a laugh, a squeal of pleasure, a tiny pudgy hand holding one of my fingers, the regular breathing of my son when he falls asleep nursing in bed with me in the middle of the night… to forget all of the hardships that come with being a mom.

My nominees (in no particular order) are bloggers that I have been following for a few months now, most of whom actually found me first and allowed me to discover their blog by clicking the “like” button for one of my posts or leaving a comment.

Ladies, I am always eager to see your next post in my reader.  You make me laugh, make me cry and just plain simply make my day.

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Nomination for the Liebster Award!

A big THANK YOU to Aurora at for thinking of me!


Imagine my surprise when I awoke this morning to see that I had been nominated for this award.  I had seen, on other blogs, nominations of the sort, but I never thought that I would one day receive one, especially not after only three short months of blogging.

Ok cool!  But, what exactly is a Liebster Award?

Well, It is given to up and coming bloggers that have less than 200 followers.  It is a “pat on the back” of sorts to encourage those bloggers to keep up the good work.  Nominations are given by fellow bloggers.

The rules

Of course, no award nomination would be complete without its own set of rules.  I mean, can you imagine the Grammys without any sort of structure to select the winners?

So, what are the rules for the Liebster Award?  Well, first I have to publicly thank the person who nominated me.  Check.  Then, I have to share 11 things about myself.  Thirdly, I must answer the 11 questions that were asked of me and then write up 11 questions of my own that – you guessed it – the 11 bloggers that I will nominate will have to answer!

Whew!  Sounds like a lot of work!  But, that’s fine, I’m soooo up to the challenge!

Oh!  Almost forgot.  I also have to include a copy of the award button on my blog.

Mommytrainingwheels in an 11 point nutshell!

1.  I’m a proud Franco-Albertain.  Born from francophone parents in an English province.  The best of both worlds!

2.  I am the eldest of three children.  The youngest is ten years younger than I am.

3.  Apparently, I am pretty talented when it comes to making desserts.

4.  I am a major bookworm.  I actually ended up buying a kindle because we were running out of place to put all my books.

5.  I am a flautist; I have been playing for 18 years!

6.  You will never, ever, ever, ever get me to skydive.  Ever!

7.  We have three pets at home: a leopard gecko, a sunglow gecko and a brown anolis.

8.  As of right now, I have been a mother for 3 months and 1 week.

9.  I can probably count on my fingers and toes the number of times I’ve ever worn any make-up.

10.  At home, we have elected to not have tv or a microwave oven and have only very recently (ie: a couple of weeks before the baby arrived) invested in a cell phone.

11.  I would love to have four children.  But shhhh, don’t tell my boyfriend!

My answers to the questions I was asked.

1. Who is one person living or dead you would love to meet the most and why?

I would really love to meet Jean-Pierre Rampal.  The man was an AMAZING flautist and I am certain I could learn quite a bit from him.

2. What is one talent you don’t have you have always wished you’d been given?

Drawing!  I’m very artistic, but suck badly at drawing.  I mean, seriously, a three year old can draw better stick figures than I can.

3. Do you have any phobias?

Oh yes.  I am frightened of amusement park rides.  However, it would seem that this doesn’t fall under the category of a phobia because it doesn’t affect my day-to-day life.

4. What was your favorite book when you were a kid?

Le petit prince (The Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  I read it over and over and over.

5: Hamburgers, hot dogs or bean burritos?

Hot dogs!

6: What is your favorite animal and why?

The ocelot.  First, I find that the name is really cool.  Secondly, I love the spots they sport.  I find that they are really beautiful creatures.

7. You are offered two front row tickets to the concert of your choice, who would you want to see most?

Elton John; the man has so much energy and talent.

8. You have last minute company coming over for dinner, what would you serve?

Probably pasta.  We always have spaghetti sauce on hand and pasta noodles are easy enough to make if I don’t have any in the pantry.

9. What’s the strangest thing you have ever bought for your son or daughter?

My son is only three months old so I haven’t purchased anything very strange yet.  Though, arguably, one could say that the green emery board with sparkles is pretty strange.

10: What song would you play loudly out the windows of the car to embarrass your kids when picking them up from school?

Hum, well, that would depend on their age.  Assuming they are preteens or older, and keeping in mind that I live in a French environment, it would probably be “Je suis malade” by Serge Lama; that song traumatized me when I was younger.

11: Which Hollywood celebrity would you most like to see given a one way trip to the planet Mars?

I honestly don’t know enough about Hollywood celebrities to answer this question.  But it would have to be someone who, on top of being a bad actor, was also an egotistical jerk.

Ok my turn!  11 questions to my nominees.

1.  What is one childhood object that you wish you still had?

2.  Sweet or salty?

3.  If you had Bill Gates’ bank account, what would you do with the money?

4.  What words do you live by?

5.  If you could travel through time, when would you like to go and why?

6.  What is one thing you can’t live without?

7.  Who is your favorite superhero and why?

8.  What is your favorite sport to watch or play?

9.  Are you a morning lark or night owl?

10.  If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

11.  What are your hobbies?

And the winners are… My 11 nominees.