Diaper Duty

Erin and her son Lincoln

Diaper Duty - Join Erin on the journey of a lifetime.  Along with her first born, Lincoln, (born in 2010), Erin is learning the "art of being a baby mama"




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Siblings and activities before/after their time

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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For Lincoln, we planned a lot of his "firsts" carefully. First movie, first time to Kennywood, first bowling trip, etc. were all done at an age we felt it was appropriate for him and when we thought he could handle it (physically and/or mentally).

Reagan is nine months old. She’s already been to the movies, Kennywood, Idlewild, and will soon be on her first plane ride.

What can you do?

One of my friends said a while ago that her youngest at the time didn’t watch "Sesame Street" or Disney Junior shows because his two older brothers were always watching Sponge Bob or another show meant for older kids. He had to do some "older" things because of his brothers, and I’m sure they’ve had to participate in things that were "too young" for them because of him.

That’s just the way it goes, I guess. It’s not a bad thing. You can’t hold the older one up because you think the younger one can’t go somewhere or do something. It’s not like we’re putting Reagan on the Jack Rabbit or expecting her to follow the plot of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." Also, I know Lincoln will have to go to participate in some things that may be too young for him. They are four years apart.

We are very lucky Reagan is so easy going. Hopefully, when Lincoln is in Storybook Forest when he’s eight, he’ll allow his four-year-old sister to get the same enjoyment out of it that he did at her age.

I'm not leaving anyone behind or holding anyone back. We'll just keep doing things that Lincoln wants to do, and he'll just have to do it all over again for his sister. (And she'll just have to behave herself at the movies and karate class.)

What experiences have your kids had that you thought were “too old” or “too young” for them because the activity was for another sibling?

{Side note: My brother was almost nine when I was born. I wonder what “baby” stuff he had to do because of me and where I got dragged to so he could do something.}

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'Mommy, what if you die?'

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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“Mommy, what if you die?”

Yep. That’s what my sweet four-year-old asked last night in the quietest little voice.

“WHAT?!” I said surprised. “What would make you think of that and ask that?”

He started to cry. I started to cry.

I was shocked! How does he know about death? Why would he worry so young about that? Were my efforts to keep him somewhat in the dark about my father-in-laws situation failing?

Well, after a few minutes I remembered how many “family-friendly” movies and TV shows mentioned or alluded to the death of someone or something. Think about it. It’s practically impossible to watch an animated movie these days without a little death in it.

Anyway, I knew exactly what he was feeling. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had what were sometimes overwhelming fears that my mom was going to die. Because of that, I don’t mention things I think might trigger that in him. My efforts were no good obviously.

Poor thing.

I can’t lie. So, I did my best to tell him that I was doing everything I could to be alive. I told him I eat good food, exercise, go to the doctor, wear my seat belt, and drive under the speed limit. I also told him that no matter what happened to me, I’d always be with him in his heart. Those were the things my mom told me. Those things made me feel better, and I hope they worked with him last night. We cuddled, talked about his favorite things (pepperoni pizza!), and he fell asleep.

UGH! I felt so sad for him. I couldn’t give him a guarantee and that sucks! I wish we all had the guarantee of long, healthy lives with our kids.

Have your kids brought up you dying? What did you say?

 

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Oh Crap! Am I raising a brat?

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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A few weeks ago, I surprised Lincoln with a trip to Monster Golf, an indoor, monster-themed mini golf course that also has a few arcade games.

Lincoln LOVES playing games, however, I had zero cash on me that day, and I wasn’t taking him to play games. I was taking him to golf, the activity he’d talked about doing for at least a week. So, I didn't stop and get any cash.

I "warned" Lincoln in the car I had no cash for him to play any games there and that we were going to play golf, not games. I actually told him in the car on the way there, in the car in the parking lot, walking into the place, during our golf game, and right when we were done and would be passing the games on the way out. He never did ask, I just kept tell him "Now remember, mommy has no money for games. We won’t be playing any arcade games." To which he’d reply, "OK, mommy." "Well good," I thought, "he gets it."

Nope.

On the way out he told me he wanted to play this game and that game and on and on. I reminded him I didn’t have any money, but NOW it was a problem. He left with a sad face, and the whole way home he said "I really wish I could have played those games." He didn’t throw a tantrum or anything. He just repeated in a soft, kind of depressing voice that he wanted to play those games. I told him that we played golf and that should be enough for him that day. What I really wanted to do was remind him how he should be grateful he got to play Monster Golf. I wanted to remind him that he'd been talking about it all week and that I spent money for us to play together, and he should be happy with that...AND GET OVER THE GAMES!

Tuesday, we went to Chuck E Cheese's with some of his friends. He had an awesome time! We stayed until 8:30 p.m., and when we arrived at home, he told me he wanted to watch three of his shows. I told him three way too many for that time of night, and he could do two after his bath.

He. Freaked. Out.

What the heck?! I took that opportunity to tell him that a lot of kids his age were in bed at this time and that he should remember we spent a lot of time at Chuck E Cheese's.

He just kept crying. I was PO’d. How dare he, right?! COME ON!

With a stern voice I told him he was getting a bath and going to bed. NO SHOWS. I told him how watching TV, going to Chuck E Cheese's, and other things he gets to do are privileges, and we don't have to let him do that stuff. I told him about how other kids don’t do this or that and how he needs to learn how to be grateful (a term I didn’t know how to explain to a four year old). He was upset for a good hour. Then he fell asleep.

Frustrated and sad I thought, “Oh crap! Am I raising a brat?”

I preach to him to say thank you and please and religiously hold tight to my instructions that he can’t do x until he does y, and he does this?

It is clear gratitude needs to be taught at our house and that TV time and other activities shouldn’t be so willy-nilly. They should be earned more than given, but Linc is a good boy usually. To me, he does earn these special trips. It's just never said. Like, I never say "you were a good boy yesterday so you get to go today" and if he's not good, I don't take him.

What do you do with your kids to teach gratitude? Have you had this problem and were able to fix it? Is he just being a four year old? Should I be more diligent and say he earned this because of that? I don't really want to start matching things tit for tat and have him expect something every time he does something good. I want him to just be and do good!

 

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When didn't you listen?

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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I was talking to a new dad today who told me that he wasn’t enjoying waking his son to eat if he slept longer than three hours.

“You what now?” I asked.

“We wake him up to eat. You know? You have to wake them up so they don’t starve or something,” he said.

“Oh yeah,” I said remembering I was also told to do this with both my kids.

I didn’t, though. Did you? I just didn’t see right to me. They were both big babies, and I figured they’d let me know when they were hungry.

I told this guy that I didn’t do that with either kid. He looked at me half with surprise and half with a look like he had to call his wife immediately and tell her they actually didn’t have to do that.

<This is where I write my standard “do what’s best for your family and I will to” disclaimer.>

It’s funny, though. We’re told to do this when years ago new parent weren’t. Also, I’ve experienced many changes in what I’m “supposed” to do with eight-month-old Reagan that I was told not to do with Lincoln, 4, when he was a baby (and vice versa). There are foods I’m told Reagan can eat now, like eggs, that I was told (by the same doctor) Lincoln shouldn’t until after he was one. Our parents were told things that we’d be put to shame for doing, and I’m sure that goes back for generations.

What were you told differently throughout your pregnancies or from kid to kid? What were you told that you didn’t follow?

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Air travel with the littles

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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We are excitedly planning a trip to Texas (from Pittsburgh) to see our friends later this year. After talking my husband out of driving there and in to taking a plane, I talked myself right in to a panic attack.

A plane? With two little kids? A PLANE???!!!

Can I do this? Can I do an airport and a plane ride with a four-year-old and a baby?

I don’t really ever assume how the kids will act. Those unpredictable little things surprise me every time I make an assumption about how they’ll act.

“Lincoln will LOVE walking around the air show!”

Nope.

“Reagan will sleep the whole movie.”

Nada.

Sooooo. I don’t do that. I can’t. I just have to be prepared for anything.

Luckily, we’ve never had a meltdown or an issue that couldn’t resolve itself quickly (yet). I’m so lucky on that front, but I just want to make sure it’s a fun trip on the plane (and not bother the other passengers).

Any tips for air travel with little ones?

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