It seems like it was just last week I was pushing around my little man in a stroller … able to contain him in any environment – the mall, the zoo, the arts festival.
But just a few short weeks ago, my baby turned 5 and I found myself registering him for kindergarten, setting up his big-boy bed in his room, and holding my breath as he went on the kiddie roller-coaster at the local amusement park.
Of course, it was a nonstop celebration to honor Hunter’s turning 5. It was a day he’d been anxious for and with all the begging and pleading, it still couldn’t come quick enough for him. For me? It’s always too quick.
A week full of a visit from Gwennie (as grandma is so affectionately called) culminated in the party of the century with a big dancing, talking mouse (any guesses?). A chocolate-only cake, decorated in Star Wars fashion was on the menu, topped with Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker with real working light sabres (it doesn’t get cooler than that). Friends, family and even a girlfriend (yes, girlfriend!) made the event extra special for my little guy.
And it seems things have changed overnight. My 5-year-old is already going on 15. The phrases he uses, the facial expressions, the eye-rolls … the ones that say “Mom, you are so not cool” when I’m trying to make him laugh. Worrying about giving his mom kisses in public … worrying about whether his jeans are “regular” or “skinny” and if his shirt is tucked just right. He’ll readily stick up for friends if they find themselves on the receiving end of a bully’s push. And he still manages to tell me how pretty he thinks I am and but now adds how he thinks I should wear my hair.
He’s truly turning into his own little man. As fast as it goes, it gets better every day.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has changed its stance and guidelines on infant car seats.
The AAP now advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. It also advises that most children will need to ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years of age.
The previous standard was 12 months/20 pounds as a minimum for facing backward.
To read the full report, go to www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/carseat2011.htm.
A reference guide for all age groups can be found at www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/pages/Car-Safety-Seats-Information-for-Families.aspx.
Tomorrow and Saturday (March 11-12), Verizon Wireless will celebrate the opening of a new store at Quail Springs Mall with events for kids and adults alike.
According to a news release, the fun will begin with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. Friday, during which the company will present a $1,000 check to YWCA of Oklahoma City. And for all us techie parents, at 5 p.m., the store will unveil the new iPad 2.
Festivities will continue from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the store’s Kids’ Day, with FREE family activities, such as face-painting, a moon bounce, complimentary tacos from Big Truck Tacos (YUM!!) and prize giveaways.
“The focus is around family and getting the children involved,” said Michael Perry, Quail Springs store manager.
A huge permanent tooth … nestled right behind two baby on my 4-year-old’s bottom row. I started calling him “shark tooth” because it reminded me of the multiple rows of teeth sharks have, and because he thought the name was cool.
Then the wiggles started. Those two precious baby teeth … the first ones to sprout when he was just a baby … started to wiggle. I called his dentist and in he went to get it checked.
“Ms. Smith, the dentist will need to extract the two bottom front baby teeth.” Extract?? At 4 years old? Even the dental assistant remarked at how early this was for baby teeth to come out. And I suddenly found myself unprepared. I had no tooth pillow, no little treasure box, no cash! And my son didn’t even know who the Tooth Fairy was. Not to mention the emotional unpreparedness. I wasn’t ready for anything “baby” to go … and it does go … way too fast.
In the end, it all worked out. My boy was a trooper – not one tear shed and he was all smiles, even with the huge gauze pad stuck in his mouth. The dentist put his teeth inside a little glittery tooth-shaped box for the Tooth Fairy to snap up. And I made that trip to the ATM.
It’s starting. My 4-year-old son has mastered the art of negotiation.
He’ll want to ask for something he already knows will be a hard sell. “Mom, now don’t say no. Just listen. And just don’t say no.”
I sigh. “OK, what is it.” And you know what? It works. I’m such a pushover. When my little guy asks so sweetly and pleadingly for something, it’s impossible to say no and he knows it.
The same thing happens when he knows he did something wrong and punishment is inevitable. “Mom, now don’t get mad, even just a little mad. OK? Promise?”
Sigh. “OK, what did you do?” Again, he has complete success. How could I get mad when he prefaces his confession with that plea?
Or there’s the obvious deal-making. “So if I drink all my milk, and eat all my dinner, then I get two ice cream sandwiches, right? Two healthy things means I get two treats. That’s fair.”
I’m really in for it, aren’t I.
Here’s some news from the Oklahoma City Zoo:
The Zoo’s Education department is offering a mother’s day out program beginning in February. The program will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nature Explorers Mother’s Day Out Program will run from Feb. 15 to May 26 and is for children ages 3 and 4. (Child must be 3 or 4 on or before September 1, 2010.)
The program will promote interaction skills, self direction, language skills, intellectual growth and environmental awareness.
For more information, including a program handbook, tuition costs and registration forms, go to http://zoofieldtrips.publishpath.com/explorers.
The Oklahoma City Thunder and Sprite are teaming up for a contest in honor of Black History Month, the Thunder announced in a release. Children from kindergarten through grade 12 can participate. Read on and best of luck!
Hey kids! I would like to extend a special invitation to you.
The Thunder and Sprite invite students, grades K-12, to participate in the third annual Black History Heroes Challenge. In honor of Black History Month, students are encouraged to submit a creative piece highlighting their hero from black history. By entering, students become eligible to win prizes courtesy of the Thunder.
Students may either submit one essay or poem that describes what makes a specific individual a black history hero or a hero in their personal life, or one visual arts piece that illustrates their hero along with a descriptive paragraph.
Please click on the link below or visit thunder.nba.com for more information.
Toddler Programs: Come experience nature in a safe and happy environment! Your toddler will delight in our animals through crafts, activities, discovery stations, animal visitors and guided zoo excursions. Ages 2-3 and 4-5. Call for dates and times.
School’s Out Safari Day Camps: Monday, Jan. 17
Looking for a unique adventure for your children while they are home on school holidays? Join us for a day loaded with arts, crafts, games, zoo tours and animal encounters. Offers flexible drop off and pick up times.
- Meet 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Zoo’s Education Building
- Cost per child per day is $35 and each additional sibling is $25
- Require advance registration (space is limited) and payment
- Snacks provided but children must bring their own lunch
- Ages 4-12 years
Saturday, Jan. 15 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Ages 3 and up
Brr! Tired of the cold weather? Our cold-loving animal friends aren’t! Join us for a cool afternoon of animal fun that is sure to warm your heart.
Oh, Pooh Bear!
Thursday, Jan. 20 or Saturday, Jan. 22 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
It’s a Pooh party! Celebrate 84 years of this willy-nilly bear. Enjoy crafts, snacks and a meet-n-greet with Pooh’s woodland friends.
Get Ready and Draw Art Classes
Saturday, Jan. 29 from 10:30 a.m to noon
Pooper Bowl Party
Saturday, Jan. 29 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
This interactive program will give families the scoop on poop through games, crafts, stories, songs, treks and other hidden surprises.
Habitat Box Teacher Workshops: Saturday, Jan. 22 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (tundra, rainforest & grassland) and Saturday, Feb. 5 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (wetland, temperature forest and desert)
Back by popular demand! These teacher make-n-take workshops allow you to create your very own set of classroom “Habitat Boxes”. Each box includes items, artifacts and curriculum specific to each habitat. You may sign up for one or both sessions. This workshop is appropriate for formal, non-formal and homeschool educators.
Saturday, Jan. 29 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
It’s a wild, wild world! Come explore some of our wild things while earning your “Sharing Your World with Wildlife” Bear Cub Achievement! (Bear Cub Scouts: 3rd grade)
You’ve Got the Whole World in Your Hands
Saturday, Jan. 29 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Our earth is in trouble and only you can save it! Join us to learn how you can help while earning your “Your Living World” Wolf Cub Achievement! (Wolf Cub Scouts: 2nd grade)
All programs require pre-registration. Call 405.425.0218 for more information or to register.
Playing Santa is supposed to be fun, right? I mean, it IS fun. It’s kind of a rush putting together toys at midnight because that’s when you know your 4-year-old is really really asleep. Getting all of them wrapped up, arranging them just so under the tree.
But I couldn’t help but feel a tad guilty. My son and I were getting all ready for Santa on Christmas Eve. He counted out 8 carrots for the reindeer and put them in a bowl on our porch. He picked out 3 Christmas cookies he made himself, for Santa, and put them by the fireplace. He even moved them over from their original position so Santa wouldn’t mistakenly step on them on his way out of the chimney.
The look on my boy’s face was enough to make my heart melt. His eyes were wide, his voice full of excitement and anticipation. But I couldn’t help but feel just a little guilty. I felt like I was putting all this false hope into him, almost lying to him in a way. It’s strange, because as a girl, I held on to my belief in Santa for much longer than my peers. And although I think it had a lot to do with my mom’s threat … “if you don’t believe, you don’t get presents” … I think a big part of me just didn’t want to let it go of the magic.
I asked my mom if she felt the Santa Guilt with me and my brother. She said “No way.” Maybe I’m being a little oversensitive. I mean, it was a perfect Christmas. And there is something magical about a little guy waking up and counting the carrots in the bowl and saying “I really need to thank Santa for my presents.”
What about you? Did you have a twinge of Santa guilt this season? Let me know!
The frenzy is almost over …
Less than 3 days away from the kids’ most anticipated day of the year.
For some of us, the shopping frenzy started the day after last Christmas.
For others, it hasn’t started yet (after all, the malls and stores are open Christmas Eve for that very reason).
Still others are going to be taking full advantage of 24-hour shopping (no, not online … at your local Toys R Us store!)
And although I don’t plan to have a hankering to shop at 3 a.m. anytime soon, I know that the early/late hours are helping people get those last wishes fulfilled.
So what about you? Are you all done or have you not even started yet? Somewhere in between? Let us know!