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.
For all workshops, pre-register by calling 425-4412.
Unless otherwise noted, all sessions are for parents and caregivers of young children.
Here’s what’s in store for this summer:
Terrific Two’s: Learn about your 2-year-old. Focus is on their developmental milestones. All are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
June 1, Choctaw Library
June 16, Midwest City Library
June 22, Southern Oaks Library
June 19, The Village Library
Sibling Struggles: Learn methods to prepare children for the arrival of a new sibling and how to deal with sibling squabbles. Find out about sibling rivalry and what normal behavior is. Both are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
June 2, Midwest City
June 30, The Village
Just for Fun: Games People Play(for children ages 8-12): Includes active games, quiet games and brain teasers. Kids will play games from the past and games from other cultures. Both are 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
June 14, Southern Oaks
June 21, The Village
Toileting Triumph: Toileting doesn’t have to be a major challenge. Focus is on signs of readiness, why it can be frustrating and much more. All are from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
June 16, Edmond Library
June 29, Warr Acres Library
July 20, Ralph Ellison Library
Making Your Morning Manageable: Time to eliminate chaos and come up with a routine. Focus is what parents can do to make this part of the day more calm and enjoyable.
June 25, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Warr Acres
Lullaby & Goodnight: Find a routine that includes reading to your child, to ease bedtime and naptime challenges. Sleep challenges will also be discussed. Both are 3:30 to 5 p.m.
June 30, Edmond
August 17, Ralph Ellison
Look Out, I’m Three!: Learn more about your 3-year-old. Focus is on developmental milestones. All are from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
July 7, Southern Oaks
July 8, Midwest City
July 13, The Village
July 20, Choctaw
Toddlers at the Table: Turn common concerns about toddler’s eating habits into opportunities to teach healthy habits. Both are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
July 12, Midwest City
July 21, The Village
Those Playful Preschoolers:Focus is behavioral characteristics and developmental milestones of 3- and 4-year-olds. Activity ideas will be shared to keep little ones busy. Learn it’s OK for your preschooler to be “out of bounds.” Both are 3:30 to 5 p.m.
July 27, Warr Acres
Aug. 25, Edmond
Baby Basics: Main focus is typical concerns of parents. Colic/crying, separation anxiety, sleeping through the night and other issues will be discussed.
July 28, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Edmond
Reading Readiness: Workshop will explore the necessary reading readiness building blocks and parents’ roles in helping children become readers. Both are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 4, Midwest City
Aug. 9, The Village
Fun to be Four: Learn about your fascinating 4-year-old. Workshop focuses on developmental milestones. All are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 3, Southern Oaks
Aug. 4, Midwest City
Aug. 10, The Village
Aug. 12, Choctaw
School Readiness: Facilitators will talk about support, encouragement and opportunity all children need for school success.
Aug. 10, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Warr Acres
Tripping Through Toddlerhood: Topics include, tantrums, biting, sharing and other common toddler challenges. Parents will learn how to minimize frustrations.
Aug. 11, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Edmond
Teaching Children to be More Cooperative: Focus is on when to discipline or ignore unwanted behaviors. Learn guidance techniques used by experts.
Aug. 27, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Warr Acres
To see the Oklahoma City-County Health Departments newsletters, including schedules for upcoming play groups, workshops, and health and child guidance screenings, click here .
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced the voluntary recall of more than 2.1 million Stork Craft drop-side cribs, including almost 150,000 bearing the Fisher-Price logo.
Because of the danger these cribs can impose, such as as suffocation, concussion, bruises and even death, parents and caregivers are urged to stop using these cribs IMMEDIATELY, wait for the free repair kit and NOT attempt to fix the crib without the kit. The drop-side to these cribs will need to be converted to a fixed side.
The drop-side hardward can break or deform, causing the drop-side to detach in one or more corners, creating a space where infants and toddlers can become entrapped, leading to suffocation.
In the Oklahoma City area, these cribs were sold at JCPenney, KMart, Walmart, Sears, Target and online at Amazon.com. Cribs were sold between January 1993 and October 2009 for between $100 and $400.
For the repair kit, call Stork Craft at (877) 274-0277 or go to www.storkcraft.com (although word is the phone line and Web site is on overload right now, but keep trying!!).
To sign up for immediate recall information of children’s products, go to https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx.
The milestones seem to come and go so quickly. There’s the weaning off of bottles. The “disappearance” of the pacifier. Getting rid of dirty diapers … for good! And then there is …
THE TODDLER BED.
For two hours last weekend, I converted my son’s crib, Transformer-style, into a toddler bed. My son was ecstatic. I was relieved. “A big boy bed!”
I dutifully padded the floor around it, just in case of an accidental roll-out. I tucked him in for a nap and he did great. No major injuries, no crying fits. Then came the real test … sleeping through the night. I put him to bed, woke up the next morning and my first thought was “Wow! That worked! How easy is this!”
Not so fast.
There they were. Two little feet nestled next to my head. My son sound asleep next to me. A middle-of-the-night escape.
OK, I thought … so maybe it would take a night or two for him to get used to his bed. Maybe he got scared. Maybe there’s dinosaurs in his closet. But now it’s Friday. And I’m still waking up every morning to a visitor in my bed.
Now, I’ve seen all the nanny shows on TV. I’ve seen parents repeatedly put their kids back into their own beds, where they belong. But what do you do when they sneak out of their bed every night and you don’t know until you have a knee in your rib or an arm draped over your head the next morning?
If you have any ideas, short of deadbolting his door shut, please let me know!
-Erica Smith, Copy Editor