Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Open wide...

Logan's armed and dangerous with a dental tool.

Today, we had a not-so-successful first trip to the dentist. Logan was afraid and didn't want to open his mouth. Finally, he let the dentist take a quick peek.
Prior to the visit, we talked extensively about what it would be like and read a book to him about the subject. But he was still scared and agreed to stay in the chair only if he could sit on my lap.
I remember feeling the same way when I made my first trip to the dentist; I guess I was about four. They didn't allow parents back in the treatment room back then, so I screamed and cried as the hygenist pried me away from my mom, hauled me down a hallway and wrestled me into the chair.
The inside of that office was decorated in a cheerful tropical theme, but to me, even the smiling toucans looked scary. After several attempts to calm me down, the frustrated dentist said he'd spank me if I didn't knock it off. That did the trick.
During today's visit with Logan's dentist, I thought about the kinder, more gentle approach we now take to child-rearing. Then, the dentist told me it was time to start flossing his teeth each night.
The dentist told me Logan probably won't cooperate. If he doesn't, I should pin him down with my knees on his arms so he can't flail around. With one hand, I should grab his head and hold it steady. He'll likely be screaming, but that will work to my advantage; I'll then have full access to his teeth, the dentist said.
Sounds like a job for Papa.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Surveying the Loot

Todd looks like he has Tilly in a headlock as he puts together one of Logan's new toys. He claims he was just hugging her.

Today was Logan's birthday party at The Little Gym, and boy did he have a great time playing with his relatives, not to mention scoring some neat gifts. Thankfully, Todd got cranking with the assembly as soon as we got home and I haven't had to install a single battery or wrestle with a zip-tie.

We've promised Logan a Power Wheels ride-on vehicle once he's fully potty-trained, and it looks like the milestone will coincide with this birthday. That means we'll kill two birds with one stone and incorporate it as his birthday gift as well as his reward.

It's not a cheap conquest; in fact, I used to walk past these vehicles in the store and laugh to myself. How could someone spend nearly $300 on a battery-powered toy when there were perfectly respectable bicycles on the same shelf for 1/8 the cost? I didn't grow up that way, and by golly, neither would my kid. Something with pedals would have to suffice or he could just do without.

I ate my words once he started inching toward age 4 and showed no interest in shucking his diapers. First, I tried to use candy as a reward, but it quickly lost its appeal. Next, it was Hot Wheels cars, but that didn't work, either. Everything I read warned against using punishment as a potty-training tool; experts said it would just backfire and prolong the process. Knowing how strong-willed my son can be, I don't doubt it.

So we dangled the promise of that car like a piece of bait, and he wasted very little time in biting. That's unfortunate for our bank account, but if I don't have to buy any size 7 diapers, or even worse, Depends, you won't hear a single complaint from me.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Birthday Bustle

This sled belonged to my Bee-paw when he was a little boy.

I can always find things to do when I'm cooped up inside.

Here in Missouri, we're treated to a frequent weather phenomenon known as the "wintery mix." This is the second day in a row that school has been closed because of the ice, so Logan and I are house-bound. That means we have to look for creative ways to entertain ourselves. For Logan, that sometimes means trying to score a trip to the emergency room by sticking foreign objects in his ears(see photo).

We spent yesterday making favors for his birthday party. I thought it would be nifty to put some of his favorite songs on a CD for party guests, then decorate the case with pictures. That turned into an all-day project.

Logan is about to turn 4 and thinks flatulence is the funniest occurrence there is, followed closely by burps. So when he heard a line from one of the songs we'd chosen, "The horn on the bus goes toot, toot, toot," he insisted on a dozen replays so he could sing along and laugh. The CD was a hit with him; I think the other kids will like it, too.

Todd and I were talking the other day about the difference between kids' parties now compared with when we were young. In the 70s, the neighborhood kids and some cousins came over, you ate cake, opened presents, then played for awhile.

With today's parties, the planning starts months in advance. First, you choose a venue; will it be a party at home or will you fork out some dough to have it elsewhere? What will the theme be? Safari? Outer-space? And how will you incorporate the party favors into said theme? It's right up my type-A alley.