Tag Archives: toddler

Head wounds bleed…a lot

In case your kid should lose their balance on your bed, fall down and crack their head on the headboard of your bed you should know that head wounds bleed a lot.

We witnessed this point again Saturday morning. I was in the bathroom. The Girl, Boy and Mom, were all on our bed chatting and generally waking up. Suddenly I heard this awful crunch, followed by screams for The Girl, and a panic call for me from Mom. I ran out of the bathroom only to be met by a trembling Mom and even more trembling Girl in her arms, crying hysterically, blood gushing down the side of her head.

There is nothing that makes the bottom of your stomach drop to your feet like the site of your kid in pain and bleeding.

Mom hands The Girl to me. Into the bathroom we go and begin administering first aid. The gash just above her right eyebrow is nasty. The Girl is trembling, sobbing and crying as we begin to clean out the wound. I’m talking calm, quiet and doing my best to calm her down while getting a handle on the situation. I’m trying to be as matter of fact about the whole thing, knowing that my reaction fuels her reaction.

Here we are, in full blown crisis when suddenly, through her sobbing and crying she says, ‘I love you, Daddy.” It was the last thing I expected to hear from her at that moment and it struck me so hard that I had to take a second to pull it together before getting back to the task at hand.

I give her a cold cloth to hold over the cut while I start cleaning her up. She asks if she needs a bandaid and I said yes. She loses it again and start winding up. The Girl has had a thing about bandaids for awhile now. She had one that was an old school fabric one that got stuck on her skin a year or so ago. It hurt to get pulled off, and she’s been anti-bandaid ever since.

Mom thinks we need stitches. We have a brief conversation about how head wounds typically look worse than they are, and that the bleeding seems to be getting under control. But the cut is wide and nasty. So, because we can’t use a bandaid, I get some gauze (which is okay with The Girl) and a tensor bandage and wrap her head like a mummy. She thinks this is funny and laughs thru her sobbing.

However, the tensor keeps slipping. We need to get a bandage on her. She gets extremely upset when we mention bandage until my wife hits upon the idea to have her uncle and aunt put one on. They are nurses and seem to have some cred with The Girl and she agrees. So we call up my brother-in-law and his wife and ask if we can bring The Girl over and see if they can help out. They say of course (family is a wonderful thing) and The Girl and I hop into the car and drive across town to their house.

We get there and my brother-in-law meets us at the door with his stethoscope, hospital emergency room ID and other assorted medical paraphernalia and starts his work on The Girl. A few minutes later, the wound is closed, bandage is applied and everyones blood pressure begins to come back down to normal levels.

This is the third head wound for The Girl in the past year and a half, all just above the eye and all have been nasty bleeders. So, if you take anything from my adventure it’s this. Head wounds bleed…a lot. And, while this one was bad enough that we should have probably gone to the hospital for stitches, it looked a heck of a lot worse than it actually was.

Making Meatloaf Fun

We’re lucky. The Girl is usually a “good eater”. She’ll always try new things and usually will sit with us for meals. But, like most Toddlers, she does go through fussy phases.

Fortunately, The Girl has a very cuisine creative Mom who knows that when it comes to food for toddlers, fun = fed. And the fun comes in the presentation.

Last week we got to experience one of Mom’s new creations: Meatloaf Cupcakes.

Right away, the word “cupcakes” peaked The Girl’s interest. Mom cooked the meatloaf in cupcake containers, set them down on the table and gave us some potato “icing”. After The Girl iced up her cupcake, she got some peas, corn and green beans to decorate it. It was a smashing success. She gobbled up her cupcake, and then asked to decorate another.

Cook and serve the cupcakes in a few of these Silly Feet Silicone Baking Cups and you’ve got yourself a laughing toddler.

By the way, if you purchase something from Amazon via dadventure.ca, I get a little love back from them. So, if you do, thanks! I use the little bit of cash to pay for things like web hosting for the site…and the occasional beer.

Monsters – The Sequel

Over at Daddy Daze, Dave has blogged a nice piece in response to my post from a few days ago called Things We Tell The Girl to Keep the Monsters Away. Continue reading

Things We Tell The Girl to Keep Monsters Away

  • That’s why we painted your bedroom pink. Monsters hate pink.
  • Monsters don’t want to eat us. We taste awful.
  • When we bought the new house, we told the Realtor we wanted to live in a no-monster neighbourhood.
  • Monsters won’t come into your bedroom. Monsters are lazy and don’t like climbing stairs.
  • Monsters can’t come down chimneys because the people who make chimneys know how to make them to keep monsters out, but let Santa in.
  • Mom and Dad’s protect their kids from Monsters. That’s one of our jobs.
  • Bad monsters don’t like coming into houses with love in them. Bad monsters don’t like love.
  • Maybe the monsters are lonely? Maybe they want to be your friend?

In addition, we hung some nazar (blue eye) amulets we got when we traveled in Turkey a few years ago. We told he that those were designed to keep away monsters. So far, no monsters, so everything looks like it is working as it should.

We Have a Root!

Things my 3 year old says that crack me up. I think this probably speaks more to my level of maturity than anything else.

  • “No, that was just fireworks.” When asked if the toot she had signaled a poo.
  • “No, Dad. I want it straight up!” When witnessing her Dad trying to dilute her juice with water.
  • “Mom, we have a root!” Upon seeing her infant brother turn his head to the side and open his mouth in classic baby rooting.
  • “It’s just a skidmark.” When asked if she just had a poo.

And Baby Makes 4

It is really amazing how much calmer you are when you have a second baby. With The Girl it took forever to change a diaper. Three years later with The Boy, I’m like a Nascar pit crew.

I also forgot that new babies don’t do much more than poop, eat and sleep (during the day, not the night), which is good because anything beyond that right now would be a struggle. It’s not the new baby that we’re having to spend so much energy on right now – it’s The Girl. I guess I wasn’t really fully prepared for the extent of her adjustment period, but suffice to say it’s been difficult for her.

Not that she doesn’t love her new brother – far from it. She is overly eager to help and hyper curious as to what he is doing at every single moment of the day and night, which has led to some long nights and stressful days as we dance along the fine line of correcting her handling of the little guy and crushing her enthusiasm.

To say she has been emotionally tender is an understatement. Little things that she normally took in stride have become emotional obstacles for her. We’re finding that we spend a lot more time with her, helping he adjust to this new little person and not feel that she has been pushed aside, or that she is loved any less. Add in some Christmas hype and you’ve got a tender ball of emotions.

As for the regression to babyish behaviour we were expecting, it hasn’t really happened. She is going thru a soother phase, but she plays with it for a couple of minutes before discarding it, so that hardly seems significant. I should note that she never used a soother when she was a baby, so there is a novelty element to them. Not that we were planning on using a soother with the Boy, but some overly eager Nurse in the hospital eager to quiet him during his overnight stay in Neo-Natal gave him one.

On the upside, since she has become a big sister, she has taken the unilateral step of finishing off her potty training. The day her little brother came home was the first night she decided to sleep without a diaper, just her underpants. It’s been a week and so far, so good. And 2 days ago, I was summoned into the bathroom to witness her first #2 on the toilet – an event that almost made her Mom cry (at this point, those of you who do not have kids are bailing out of this post, wondering what the hell it is about poo and toilets that turn parents into socially inappropriate idiots). So, in terms of baby regression, I think we’ve come out ahead.

The Tooth Fairy Has Been Banished

If you come to our house, please disregard the letter to the Tooth Fairy posted on the front door.

Last night, The Girl got terrified the Tooth Fairy was going to come to our house. I’m not sure where this latest fear has come from, but she went to sleep last night saying she didn’t want to dream about the Tooth Fairy and woke up this morning almost crying, upset the Tooth Fairy was going to come.

I can’t say I blame her. The whole idea of some mythical creature sneaking into your room in the middle of the night and sticking their hands under your pillow without you waking up is a bit creepy (as I have posted about before).

So, this morning, to help alleviate a 3 year olds fear, we wrote and posted the following letter on our front door. It says:

Dear Tooth Fairy,

Please do not come to our house. There are no teeth here for you. Perhaps you could try the next house?

Thank you

I’m sure the postal worker and newspaper delivery people think we are looney, but it worked and calmed The Girl down.

Tips for Toddler Bedtime

Further to my last post about bedtime battles, I found this good video on the Parentcentre website. It has some good ideas on how to avoid the bedtime power struggles.

Also, tonight during our routine I flipped The Girl upside down while Mom brushed her teeth. The Girl got a big kick out of upside down brushing and we had the easiest tooth brushing we’ve had in many weeks. The rest of the night wasn’t quite so smooth, but it’s a start!

The Stalling Toddler

Is there a more frustrating event with a toddler than bedtime? No matter how entrenched the routine is, The Girl is quickly becoming a master of “The Stall”. And oh, she’s getting veeeeery good at it.

For example, she is getting close to being potty trained, so she knows that if she says she has to go pee, that’ll be a few minutes more as we make our way down to the bathroom, stop on the stairs to pick up a wayward stuffy, linger at the bottom of the stairs to examine a dust particle, mosey on into the bathroom, with one quick pause to admire the collected stickers on her cooperation chart (which has been unused for the past few nights).

Once inside the bathroom, a few more moments are wasted while her pj’s and night-time diaper are removed. Then the big decision – potty or toilet. She examines the toilet, then moves over to the potty…then back to the toilet and continues moving indecisively between the two until my voice, lowering in frustration, growls “pick one.”

And so it goes, for the next 10 minutes, until we are back in bed …. and she declares that she is hungry. But we were prepared for this since she has tried this one before. We have been warning her in the evening, before bath, that if she is hungry to have the snack we are offering her now because there will be no more food until morning. So, we tell her this.

Let the wailing begin.

What was once a very pleasant part of our day – a time when we snuggled in warm towels after a hot bath and cuddled under blankets reading The Cat in The Hat – has become The Mother of All Toddler Battles, usually ending in tears, threats, warnings and toddler screams of “NO!”

What is even worse is the toll these night-time battles are taking on her Mom, myself and our relationship. We’re usually okay when we are in the heat of the moment staying relatively calm and working together (never let them see a crack is my motto), but once The Girl is down for the night and we do our post-tantrum analysis, I’ve noticed there seems to be a bit more of “well, if you wouldn’t have…” and “well, maybe you should have…”‘s entering into the discussion.

Fortunately, we are both good at recognizing this, usually the next day, after we are well rested and have had a night to think about what happened. But these past few weeks have been very tough, and I have a feeling it will only get tougher when the new baby arrives any day now.

In the meantime, I’m off to do more research on bedtime strategies and how best to cope with “The Stall”. And continue talking with Mom about our strategy and the importance of presenting a united front to The Girl.

Social Aggression

For me, September has always been about transition and that seems to be holding true this year as The Girl begins preschool.

Friday was day one and I had the opportunity to sit with her for a few hours on her first day. It was tough for her, as to be expected, but not as tough as it could have been. Being that I still work p/t outside of the home and am only a p/t SAHD, The Girl has been going to daycare a couple of days a week -a daycare that is affiliated with her new preschool. The two facilities are a few blocks from each other and the daycare kids often go on field trips to “the big centre” to prepare them for the transition. Additionally, a few of her chums from the daycare have “graduated” to the big center, so the place is not without familiar faces. But still, it has been a transition nonetheless, and transition is not an easy thing when you are just shy of 3.

For me, the biggest shock on the first day was seeing just how big the kids are. The difference between The Girl and some of the 4 and 5 year olds was disconcerting, especially when I witnessed first hand some of the bigger girls already practicing the politics of exclusion and other socially aggressive tactics.

The Girl and I went downstairs where the kids have some space to run around and engage in physical play. A group of older girls were dressing up and pretending they were Princesses – fun and fairly innocuous until another girl tried to join in. The small group of girls told the newcomer that she couldn’t play with them – only Princesses were allowed to play with them. Fortunately, a staff member was right there and moved in to intervene, telling the girls that all the kids at the center are friends and that all the kids can play with whomever they want. The big girls immediately backed down and everyone did start playing happily together, but it makes me nervous to think my little girl is about to enter into a massively different world.

Later that night, perfectly on cue, I open my inbox to find the latest issue of Pediatrics for Parents, a newsletter I have just begun subscribing to. One of the articles was entitled Mean girls: social aggressiveness is mainly determined by children’s environment. I was a great and sobering read and brought back a lot of childhood issues for me.

As a boy, I was a fat kid and did face my share of exclusion, teasing and bullying. It was devastating and, even though it was 30+ years ago, I still occasionally find myself feeling like the fat little kid on the playground. I have a sneaking suspicion that what I experienced is only a fraction of the social aggressiveness my daughter may experience in her life simply by virtue of the fact that she is a girl and that frightens me.

I do take solace in the fact that the teachers at the preschool are very aware of social aggression and are on top of nipping it in the bud when it occurs. And I feel confident that we are raising a strong girl who won’t rely on external validation to fuel her self-esteem. But I still worry a bit more when I send her on her way in the morning than I did when she was heading off to daycare with the other 2 year olds, full of hugs and love for everyone.