Parenting Henri

this is about henri, and the parenting thereof

Working it out/Eavesropping 2010/09/03

Henri at Play

H: Listen, bugs. You better get outta here. You’re going to get a big time-out from your mommy.

*What can I say? We have a fly problem.


H: Are you a BIG boy or a little, little boy?

*I swear; I have never, ever, ever said those words!!


Henri at Breakfast

{ignores me for a long time, like 3 minutes or something}

H: You’re working on your ‘puter and You’re Going to Pay Attention to Me When. You’re. Done.

M: (thinks) I love you.


Born Into It 2010/08/08

Filed under: change is good,great kid,like mother like child,suburbia — lee lee @ 8:50 am

Yesterday was my second garage sale with Henri (that we put on), and I have to say: I’m quite the lucky mom.  He didn’t complain about being bored or even get that upset when some of his {old} toys were sold to another little boy.  He also does a great job “hooking the buyer” with his good looks and cute antics.  One day, he’ll make a very good salesman, though I hope he makes the same pact I did and disregards that as a career option.  (Uh-oh; just made the connection between a love of cars and a knack for selling things. CAR SALESMAN??? Say it isn’t so!)

In fact, yesterday was one of the best days I’ve had {with Henri}.  I can only imagine how some kids might find sitting out on the driveway in the blaring sun all day less than appealing.  Add to that the kid inclincation that everything you’ve ever owned is holy and should not be sold for less than $1 to strangers, and you have a Big, Brewing Disaster Stew.  But not H-Man. Garage Sale-ing, like all other things Moving Related, are in his blood. Once he gets over that nap-a-day thing and gains some muscle, he’s going to be an even more invaluable component of Team Lee Lee.  Of course, by that point, he’ll want nothing to do with me, and no customers will want to buy his pent-up-aggressionified rock/movie star posters with matching black t-shirts.

Nah, I can’t picture it.  Henri’s not going to be that kind of teen…  Right?  Mom-Mom and H-Man 4-evuh.


Thursdays with Henri 2010/04/09

Filed under: great kid,rhetoric of a 2-year-old,start your cognitions — lee lee @ 7:10 pm

A few weeks ago, I documented what it’s like to be Henri for a day.  So, today, I decided to do the same thing–only through dialog.  Luckily, Henri didn’t let me down.  He had quite a lot to say.

  • Upon waking up:

H: You wanna play?

M: I’ve gotta get dressed, buddy.

H: You got dressed on your own in your closet on hangers and I got my closet next to a tree in my home a house.

  • At Breakfast

M: What are we going to do today?

H: Play. (pauses) And eat.

  • Going Down the Steps

H: There’s a guy in the curtain

M: What? I hope not!

H: My hope — yep.

  • After Nap:

H: My just a baby again. My cried about you.

M: That’s why you were crying?

H: Yep. My got sores. (rubs eyes)

M: You have sleepers?

H: Yep. They cut my eyes.

  • Late afternoon, after snack:

H: My want juice.

M: You need water, after that big poop you just had.

H: My want juice.

M: (thinks about whether she will give in or not)

H: It’s water in it.

M: Yeah!! That’s right!!! Good critical thinking, H!

H: And ANTS are in it TOO!


fisherman boots & bravery 2010/02/27

Yesterday afternoon, Henri & I had to get ready quickly to pick Dada up.  As anyone with a 2-year-old knows, getting ready “quickly,” is pretty much a rare and beautiful thing.  What ends up happening is either the parent rushing-rushing-rushing while the child ignores, resists or flat out defies you; or, the opposite–if a parent tries to coax their child into getting dressed quickly, well, we’ve got the Universal Healthcare “talks” (e.g. disaster) on our hands: tons of negotiation but no product.

So, you have to come up with a scheme.  The scheme must include something like an incentive (“if you hurry up, we might get to ___________”) and a theme.  For Henri, both of these things must include something that has a Very Big Motor that goes Vrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrroom.

After I’d grabbed his rainboots and stuffed them on his feet, I could see a scheme was going to be necessary.  Right away, he didn’t like the boots; in fact, he didn’t want to wear shoes at all.  Shoes are for the weak.

M: Hey!” (holds him up at just the right angle as to prevent the boots from being kicked off) Do you know what these boots are called!?!  They’re called galoshes! And they’re what fisherman wear!!

*all time stands still, for about 27 seconds*

H: And boats!

M: Yes, and fisherman drive boats!   Yay, yay, yay, yay, yay.  I’m such a clever mommy. Yay, yay, yay. Thank you, Jesus.  For boats.

H: My a fisherman!!

M: Yeah, you’re a fisherman.

By continuing the metaphor, I was able to convince Henri to put on an additional shirt since it was a sweater with a boat on it and get him to walk to the car on his own without melting into a pile of “But I’m Cold” tears by suggesting to him that Fisherman Don’t Get Cold.  They LIKE the cold, rainy weather because they get to wear BOOTS when it’s cold & rainy.

Of course, he kicked them off in the car, which means when he insists on getting out of the car for a few minutes at our first errand, we have to put them back on and go through the initial yuckiness of the boots before remembering that fisherman are cool once again.  But that’s ok.  I’ll take it.

Later at dinner, an increasingly sleepy (and now bootless) Henri displayed his fisherman readiness by eating fish, fries and pickled onion.  He also tried some authentic Irish horseradish stuff and, despite his screwed up face, said he liked it.  Then, I asked him if he wanted to eat some lemon.

H: (hesitates; sniffs)

M: It’s lemon! You like it!!

H: (takes a big bite of the rind)

M/D simultaneously: No!! Did he eat the rind? Henri! You’re not supposed to eat the rind.  Spit that out. Here, give that to me.  Just eat this part.

H: (takes another bite, this time off the top)

M: Good job!   Let’s put your boots on.  Didn’t you have a nice day today? Being a fisherman…?

H: Yeah!

M: You wore Boots.

H: My NOT cold.

M: Nope, you didn’t get cold. You’re a fisherman!

H: My brave.

M: (tears up, realizing how smart her son is, making the connection between boats & fisherman & water & bravery…all. on. his. own.) Yes, you are brave.  *sniff, sniff*

H: My brave–my ate a lemon!


War: Declared. 2010/01/31

One thing I love about the Age of Being Two that we are now in (and by love, I obviously mean Loathe) is how whenever we want Henri to do something like eat or dispose of the detritus that was formerly a completely hygienic diaper, he’s “playing” in his room–independently, henri-like, as all good only children do for many hours of the day.  BUT, when we *want* him to play in his room, or anywhere in the house for that matter, by himself so that we can–oh, I don’t know… pee or type a hasty email or (God forbid) open a piece of mail or talk on the phone for more than 1 min. 59 sec., he instantly loses the ability to entertain himself.   It’s also at these rare, preciousest of moments that he takes on the responsibility of recording our daily activities for future generations of only children who may or may not understand these Beings who ignore them for the better part of each minute…

H: Mom-mom wanna read a book.

M: (peeing) mmm.hmmm.

H: Mom-mom wanna go POOPY in the POTTY!!!

M:  No, mom mom’s just peeing.

H: Henri wanna go poopy in the potty!

M: No, mom mom’s Peeing. Right. Now.

…roughly 15 seconds later…

H: Mom-mom wanna call someone.

M: (dialing) mmmm.hmmm.

H: Henri wanna call someone!

M: No, mom-mom’s using the phone right now. Go play with your toys.

H: (grabs phone, runs around house several times)

M: (cries)

H: (gives phone back) Hug.  (hugs mom-mom)

H: Mom-mom wanna call someone…  (proceeds to stare at mom-mom until she makes the Wise Decision *not* to call anyone right now, though maybe calling her therapist would be even wiser.)

…15 minutes later…

M: (from kitchen) Heeeen-riiiii. Come & eat luuuu-uuunch!!!

H: (from bedroom) My playing!

M: But, don’t you want to sit right in front of me and monopolize my time while I try to do things that don’t revolve around you and only you?

>Just kidding…I don’t say that.<

M: But, aren’t you hungry?

H: No.  My wanna P L A Y.  (plays.  alone.  in his room.  without anyone else around.)

Obviously, this is War.  Only time will tell the outcome.  Either that, or we’ll make it to the Age of Being Three.


Henri-isms 2010/01/07

Filed under: rhetoric of a 2-year-old — lee lee @ 5:34 pm
  • not today — a nicer way to say no
  • Inuno — “I don’t know”
  • Where’d that come from? — used for both unrecognizable people and new things
  • Whozethat? — for people only
  • Here ya go — a combination of “thank you” and “here, take this. i don’t want it anymore.”

“the poop story”

Filed under: rhetoric of a 2-year-old — lee lee @ 12:53 am
Tags: ,

Scene: Henri’s in the bathtub.  Mom-mom and dada are in the bedroom… (watching TV!!)

H:  Bubbles!!!

(m & d smile at each other)

H:  Where’d THAT come from?

(m & d smile, nervously, at each other)

H: My Pooped!

(m & d jump up and run into the bathroom, where there is, indeed, Poop in the Bathtub.  Chaos ensues.)