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.

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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.