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  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.


in which i defend my use of a store-bought costume 2009/11/11

Filed under: ideals schmideals,in the flesh,memorabilia — lee lee @ 9:33 am
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{Just another way in which my “ideals” of parenting have changed since actually becoming a parent}

Not only did I expect to make my child’s costume from scratch before becoming a parent, I even looked down upon those who didn’t.  How lazy, I thought, of those parents.  But I also saw it as a creativity problem; what are we teaching our children by allowing them to “order” their costume online?  Isn’t the point of Halloween (other than the massive amounts of candy and something about the devil)  to be creative??

Then, I became a parent.

Also, I’m a big fan of “theme” costumes.

Last year, after deciding on the theme of Little Bo Peep who’s lost her Sheep, complete with scary Wolf-Daddy, I knew that I could not even begin to make a costume as cute as the little lamb I found online.

little lamb

only costume worthy of henri's cuteness factor

I mean, come on.  This costume is so cute that when I tried to resell it online, all I got was emails from random strangers about how cute my kid was.  And, yes, he’s cute by himself–but with The Lamb Costume on…this is “shit your pants” cute.

So then, my ideal had been broken and it was perfectly okay, nay, desirable, for me to order a Curious George costume that costs $20 this year.  I didn’t realize how quickly my scruples would drop, nor how low…

Luckily, my mother-in-law saved my poor Henri from this {potential} debacle by finding a Very Expensively Made tiger costume at the Weston Dump  (Read: Untapped Resource).  The only problem with this is that as the cuteness factor continues to rise without any creative input from mom-mom, the ideal–or the possibility of Ever making a costume for h-man–sinks lower and lower and lower.  Oops…there it went.  Lost it!

tiger costume

Tigers Do Not Smile


Feeling Nostalgic for Vacation 2009/08/27

henri's first "truck" coaster

henri's first "truck" coaster



he's a natural

he's a natural


old school henri 2009/07/24

Filed under: in the flesh,pictures,they grow up quick! — lee lee @ 2:21 pm

this week, 2 people have sent me old photos of henri, confirming–yet again–that he was the cutest baby ever.

NYC Picture 105

it also made me realize how hard it is to get a good picture of him now that he can run away from me…

henri's back henri's side

henri hallway


cousins 2009/07/15

Filed under: cuzin luvin,in the flesh,pictures,they grow up quick! — lee lee @ 12:52 pm
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and the clothes go on…

Henri (2008):

David (2009):


confirmed 2008/05/22

Filed under: in the flesh — lee lee @ 3:44 pm

after doing some blog-surfing, i have indeed confirmed: henri is the cutest baby ever. i will spare you any links (how mean would that be?); just Trust Me on this one!

taken by auntie kay-kee