Parenting Henri

this is about henri, and the parenting thereof

Snapshot 2012/07/31

I can’t seem to muster up the brainpower/ambition to write a real blog post about Henri, despite the fact that he continues to be the most amazing kid ever… However, I figure I can at least handle a bulleted list so we have some record of what he’s like during this critical “almost not an only child anymore” time period.  So, here goes:

HENRI at 4 years, 109 days, 6 hrs & 42 minutes

  • Physical Appearance.  Well, most notably, Henri currently has a shaved head.  A week or so ago, he took it upon himself to cut the front of his hair himself, the natural consequence of which was that we shaved his head that night.  (I’ve also hid the scissors for the time being.)  I can’t say that either Dada or I were very surprised; after all, I did the same thing when I was Henri’s age.  And I’m pretty sure Henri learned his lesson as he later stated, and I quote, “With my head shaved I look like an alien. Damn, I shouldn’t have shaved my head.”
  • Favorite Pastimes.  I’ve been working with Henri to play independently for most of the day (good transition for the coming days/years when my attention will no longer be solely focused on him), and I find that he {still} chooses cars & trucks 95.5% of the time.  However, he does love to dress up–yesterday, he was a character named “girly girl” who wore pink high heels, a turquoise beanie, and a raccoon sleep mask as a headband.  Very metro.  When he does have Dada’s help/attention, Legos are the favorite along with board games coming in a close second.
  • Bedtime Routine.  Another facet of independence (read: bone of contention) we’ve been working on is Henri getting himself ready for bed–pajamas, teeth & pottying.  At the beginning of the summer, I came up with the plan for us to help him with “one” task, while he did the other two.  This proved to be quite a challenge because–until very recently–he was scared to go in either the bathroom or his bedroom alone.  Well, we followed that plan for a while, which was like pulling out our own hair strand by strand.  But, magically, after being gone on vacay for a couple of weeks, we returned home and basically just started saying it was time for bed, he needed to get his p.j.’s, etc. and–he does it!  Most of the time.  Sometimes he does it without us telling him ten times or more, too!
  • Speaking of Pottying…  Henri still refuses to bear the responsibility of putting his pee “where it goes.”  Though he has a little more success with the pooping.  Emphasis on “little.”  Seeing as we’ve tried all known approaches to potty training this child, we’ve now resorted to literally not caring whether or not he’s successful in any way.  (Note: this is *almost* the polar opposite of pretending to not care” whether or not he’s successful, as–in that instance–you’re still in supercharged “I care more about this than my kid does” mode.)  Seriously, my only strategy at this point is reminding myself daily that I shouldn’t worry about something that will eventually take care of itself.  <–still one of the best pieces of parenting advice I’ve ever taken.  While this doesn’t make potty training go by any quicker (or at all), it does keep me at a safe distance from the issue, if not sane.  Worst case scenario, we will still be bargaining with Henri well into his teenage years when the stakes are much higher. *If you stay dry all day today, we’ll let you borrow the car!*
  • Wit & Intelligence.  I’ve backed off quite a bit on the workbooks and “learn something new each day” mantra, but–safe to say–Henri continues to be quite the smarty.  He can read & write about 15-20 sight words, and can sound out many more.  His concepts of time & money are coming right along, and he can count to a million thousand or higher.  More importantly, he comes up with the best knock-knock jokes and makes up songs that last for hours.  He loves to read books, both to learn and to fantasize.  Sure, he still has PTSD from having to–gasp!–leave the house to go to school 3 days a week this past year, but–hey–so do I. 😉
  • The Immediate Future.  With us buying a house in Boston, which we’ll be moving to shortly after Baby Wayne is born, Henri’s got quite a few changes coming up in his fifth year of life.  However, he seems to be taking it all in stride.  He’s excited about having a new room & playroom and living where it snows, though he continues to persist in his plan to take my mom’s dog, Roxy, with us when we go.  As for being a big brother, I decided Henri was ready to take on this role when he announced his new career goal: being a baby delivery guy.  You might think this means we have to start saving money for medical school, but, actually, I understand it to be more like a UPS truck driver who only works for diapers.com.  I was so proud when I heard this–for Henri, driving a truck is equatable to winning the megamillions for the rest of us, and him combining this with the smelliest part of his new baby brother seemed to indicate more than willingness on his part to be mommy’s helper.  Then I realized that, for a 4-year-old, this is probably just the way his brain works. Reality: baby brother’s coming; Fantasy: I’ll then be old enough to drive a truck.  Put those two together and you’ve got the perfect career: baby delivery guy.

Well, that’s all for now.  Though not as eloquent as I typically strive for, I think this list will at least serve as a reminder that the awesome Henri remains to be just that.  Awesome.

 

Henri’s going to be a big brother! 2012/04/14

Filed under: change is good,siblings happen,something to report — lee lee @ 10:47 am
Tags: , ,

I guess since we’ve posted the news on Facebook, it’s only fair to update Henri’s blog as well… Yes, you heard right: We’re Having a{nother} Baby!

ETA ~ September 15th

That puts me at about 17 1/2 weeks right now.  I’d love to say that this is my second pregnancy and it’s much easier, or even that this is my second trimester and it’s much easier…but it’s not and it’s not.  So far, this pregnancy sucks as worse as or much, much worse than the first. I can’t decide which is true because my mommy memory just doesn’t go back that far.  Honestly, I keep trying to stretch it back to those days when Henri was still the size of some sort of fruit, but I can’t remember what it was like.  However, the few memories I have are of eating at Qdoba, so I must have felt better than I do now!

The real question is, though…how does Henri feel? A 41/2-year-old only child, about to become a big brother? I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me nervous.  But Henri really seems excited. Just this week he has decided it’s a boy (we’ll get an u/s in the next week or so to confirm his prediction).  And he’s helped us come up with some great names, my favorite of which is “Stick.”  We’ve also had some “real” mommy/son conversations about what the birth will be like, such as:

H: Mom-mom, will it hurt when the baby comes out of your vagina?

M: Yes. Yes, it will.

Most likely, Henri has no real clue how his life is going to be turned upside down and shat upon (multiple times a day) and he won’t have a clue until this thing happens.  Hey–neither did we until Henri came along (see the first four years of this blog)…But we’ve taken the “Is Your Child Ready for a Sibling?” test and I’d say we’re doing pretty well in balancing preparation with continuing to spoil him so that he feels like no one can ever replace the special place he holds in our heart.  <true story>

As for the next child…I’m sorry, but I do not envision little baby Stick having his/her own blog. To be honest, it might not even have a bed or diapers.  (Thinking of going au natural this time around.)  The one thing we know for sure that it WILL have is a mom who knows exactly what it feels like to be #2.  That’s got to count for something.

 

Big Dreams 2012/01/19

Yesterday in the car…

H: When I grow up, I’m going to be a jail-locker*, a police man, a rock guy**, a golf attendant, a baseball player and a construction worker.

M: Thinks: Golf attendant? How cute is that??

M: Wow, that’s a lot of things.

H: Yeah.  AND…I’m going to go to Kindergarten!!!

 

*I assume he means guard?

**Rock Star, of course

 

Preschool: That Wasn’t So Hard 2011/09/06

Last Tuesday was Henri’s (MY BABY!!!) first day of preschool.  Not surprisingly, I was a wreck, but managed to hold it in until he’d been dropped off.  McKnight accompanied us, which was a good thing–otherwise, I’d probably never have left (MY BABY!!!).

In typical Henri fashion, he was absolutely fine.  His only sign of distress was when I told him Mommy & Daddy were leaving. Sort of under his breath, in his crazy voice, he said: “That’s cra-azy.”  But he was fine!  This is the kid (MY BABY!!!) who was grateful for his own room at 9 months, so, yeah.  Not surprised.

Teacher’s Note from the first day: Henri “quietly observed” what we did today. That’s my cautious guy. 🙂

When I dropped him off today, new faux-hawk all spiked up, there was another kid–a 2-year-old–screaming like hell for his mom.  I had to thank the Lord that my child doesn’t do that. Truly, I wouldn’t be able to leave.  Also, it made me proud. Way to go, H-man!  No need to freak out when the mom-mom leaves.

Last night at the dinner table: “Why do I only go to school 2 days when I want to go right now?”  Whoa, now.  That’s taking it a little far…  Mom-mom needs to work up to this full time separation thing.

 

Born a Procrastinator, and other inherently lee lee traits 2011/03/14

Henri’s favorite response to anything right now is “tomorrow.”  Do you want to use the potty? “Maybe tomorrow.”  When should we go to gymnastics this week? “Probably tomorrow.” We should probably pick up these toys. “Yeah. Tomorrow.”  Actually, I lied about the first one; he doesn’t ever intend on using the potty.

This isn’t the only way in which Henri continues to live up to his mini-me moniker.  Witness a few of his sleepy time habits: Doesn’t like his feet covered up; Must have at least 1,000 blankets; Can’t stand sleeping on a pillowcase without a blanket in between (We have sensitive skin!); Generally has trouble falling asleep; Needs grace period between waking up and getting out of bed.

Next up, he likes reading, by which I mean he Loves Reading, by which I mean he READS EVERYTHING.  At this 3-year checkup, I told his doctor that Henri was interested in the way letters sound and was probably going to be reading soon, she didn’t seem that surprised.  Kids of English teachers really do have it rough.

Seriously, though. Name another 3-year-old who can read all of the words with the “at” sound in them. That Cat, who Sat on the Mat, has on a Hat.  Normally, he’s very stubborn when I ask him to do things (gasp, I know…) but he really does love reading words.  I wonder how long we have before the novelty wears off.  I’m hoping for never.

Speaking of words, my favorite thing Henri does in the language department is turning words into verbs–an accepted English practice, but there are still some nouns that haven’t yet been officially converted.  In the store today, he was sounding out some letters and I said, “Wow! Are you reading?”  “No, I”m just lettering.”

Let’s hope he also doesn’t get tired of being precise.

 

They say teaching is the best way to learn… 2011/01/08

Filed under: like mother like child,start your cognitions — lee lee @ 1:50 pm

Henri just came up and asked, “What’s similar mean?”  So, dada explained, it’s like “same,” only not quite.

*15 seconds goes by*

H: What’s same?

M: Same is when two things are exactly alike, and similar is when they are almost the same.

H: Okay, I’ve got to go tell my animals about same & similar. Bye!

 

You’ll Be Glad to Know Henri Is Still Alive 2011/01/05

As am I…

Rather than fill you in on the past six months, or fill you up with excuses like the fact that I was teaching five classes and thus responsible for 99 students (!), I’ll just tell you what happened today.

After a blissful day at home watching cartoons-on-demand (Henri) and blogging (mom-mom), we multi-tasked. Henri bathed, while I fed him and read books in preparation for nap.  I then lathered him down with lotion as I have since he was a baby, despite protests from the boy who is no longer a baby.  Next, we read a final book and he talked himself to sleep in the “family nap” bed.

An hour and a half later, he woke up.  More specifically, he sat up and said, “I slept good.”  L-U-V.  Henri is never as sweet as when he’s slept good.  So, I put him on my lap, got his shoes, and began to explain that we had to go see one of mommy’s doctors.  “Are you sick?” he asked.  “No, I just go to talk about my feelings.”

We then drive to the appointment, which took about 30 minutes thanks to 3:30 PM traffic (WTF!?!), and–after a brief stop at Payless in which mom-mom got some awesome slipper shoes that are oh-so-cozy–we went into the building where my therapist is.  “We’re just going to walk up these stairs, and all the way down the hall,” I explain.  “How do you feel?” he responds.  How do I feel? “You mean, what am I going to talk to my doctor about?”  He nods his head.  “Oh, I feel pretty good, I guess.”  (And I do.)

Later, on the way home, after a backseat exclamation of “This is fun!” (“It is? I’m glad you like it…”), he says, “I want to hear that ‘I can’t stomp’ song.”  I think for a minute, trying to come up with a kids CD that has song about stomping on it.

“The What Song?” I stall.

“The ‘I can’t STOMP song!'”

“Ohhhhhh…. the “I can’t stop song…?”

“Yeah. I can’t stomp.”

So, I find Ratitude, pop it in, turn it up, and sing at the top of my lungs all the way home, grateful for a kid who likes Weezer and those times when, really, my life is a party I don’t want to leave.  Did I forget to mention we’d also picked up cupcakes?