Parenting WIN

This is probably only worth reading if you have a child but I wanted to share a parenting victory I had tonight with Aliana while Lilly was working late.

"Daddy's Little Angel"

“Daddy’s Little Angel”

When we got home from daycare (school) I broke down a rotisserie chicken I picked up with Aliana and made a pot of rice (yes, I can make a seasoned pot of rice on the stove). While I was tearing it apart I asked Ali if she wanted some chicken to which she replied,

“No dad, no chicken. I want bar (Earth’s Best). I want cone (sugar cone). I want a orange. I want fishies (Goldfish crackers).”

I told her no, it was time for dinner, and chicken and rice is for dinner. She wasn’t thrilled, she’s never thrilled with dinner time. I don’t think it’s the food, I think it’s just the word, dinner.

Then she got louder (because that’s effective right?), “No Dad! No dinner! I want special snack in the living room!”

I ignored her request, then repeated myself. Once her plate was ready I put her in her highchair and after a lot of screaming and squirming, I won (this is not the victory, just a battle). During this process and many others she has recently learned to flat out YELL at me. Her NO’s get progressively louder, “no, No, NO! NOOOOO!!!” Then she yells a deep “AHHHHHHHGG!!!” and does this until she gets thrown, I’m sorry, I mean placed in space. After a few times of yelling a verbal warning from me, she took space as expected. I slid her chair to a corner in the kitchen and told her to let me know when she was done. After about a minute went by I asked her if she was done.

“No,” she replied.

“Okay, you let me know,” I said.

After about another minute I walked over and, face-to-face, asked if she was done and wanted to come back to the table with Daddy. I told her that I really wanted her to join me for dinner. She still muttered a “no, no dinner,” but then I told her if she took one bite that she could get out of her highchair. She agreed with a smile and took her bite of chicken. I asked her if it was good, she said yes. Go figure, chicken being good. I asked her if she wanted more, she said yes, and so she joined me at the table and happily ate her chicken and rice with Daddy. We had a great talk and enjoyed each others company.

The notable thing here is even though I was 100% annoyed/frustrated by her resistance to dinner, chicken, rice and even the fresh Poland Spring water I put in her sippy cup, I didn’t let her know how I was feeling as I have previous times. I didn’t once get loud or even a little loud. I spoke calmly, quietly, and followed through on everything I said. This really set the tone for the rest of the evening. She has been happy and playful since dinner and was super excited when mommy came home. That, I call a VICTORY.

Conversations with Aliana, 21 Months

February 22, 2013

Ali’s learning about the ocean and the animals that live in it at “school.” This was our dinner conversation last night:

Me: so, Aliana, what did you learn about the ocean today?
Aliana: ummmm….
Me: can you tell me what lives in the ocean? (Makes ALS sign for fish)
Aliana: fish!
Me: what else? What about dolphins?
Aliana: yeah, dolphins!
Me: what do dolphins say, how do they speak?
Aliana: (after thinking for a moment) “hi! Hi! Hi!” (Waves her hand in the air)

10 Months Old!

Aliana is now 10 months old! I still cannot believe I’m a father to one of God’s children. I’m not sure if it’s encouraging or downright jaw-dropping to think God has given me sole responsibility, along with my wife of course, to care for her; to tell me plain as day He has enough faith in me to turn Aliana into a kind, loving, follower of Christ who will be a great contributing member of the world. It’s been a challenge though for me to share God’s confidence in myself, as I’ve quickly learned I’m an overprotective paranoid father who fears everything from dirt to her own baby poo is going to hurt her. It’s difficult to take a breath sometimes, but Aliana never fails to show me regularly she is a big kid who can handle new experiences. I bet she looks at me thinkging, “take a chill pill dad and watch me figure things out on her own. Support me, don’t stand there in a panic.” Needless to say I’m a work-in-progress.

Aliana on the other hand, is perfect. She’s surpassing any expectations I thought I had about who my daughter would be as a 10-month old. She has a high tolerance to pain, can control all sorts of foods in her mouth, and repeat actions like, “If I bang this it will make noise.” It’s been eye-opening to see the wheels-turning, really watching her learn something she didn’t know just moments before. It’s something new each week with her, I hope it never ends. Until I’m old and senile I hope she’ll continue to call me telling me what new thing she learned that week. Heck, even after I’m senile, she may even have more fun telling me then!

First Family Christmas

I know we have seriously lacked in keeping up with our family blog, but it’s safe to say we have made it to our first Christmas as a family. Aliana turned 7 months last Thursday and is learning more and more each day. Lilly and I are still working our Mon-Fri day jobs and Aliana still attends the same daycare.

Parenting has been an incredible experience thus far. Our precious Aliana is an amazing little girl who always finds new ways to make us smile. She’s a thriving social butterfly who smiles at nearly everyone she meets and is not only a joy to us, but to those around her. She turns heads when we we’re out and about, loves exploring her surroundings and snuggling with mommy and daddy on Saturday mornings. She loves walking and isn’t interested in crawling. She’s learning how to better her motor skills and tries so hard to put EVERYTHING she gets her hands on into her mouth.

I will make a blog post of just Ali pictures soon to catch you all up on the past few months.

As with all families we too have been experiencing the common family struggles with regards to minor injuries, illnesses, finances, neighbors, etc. They’re usually short-lived, are quickly forgotten and easily left in the past.

There are more details and in depth stories to follow, but right now it’s time to get back to eating and Christmas movies.

2 Months of Fatherhood Down, Infinite to Go

We’ve survived. Me, Aliana, and Lilly have survived the first few months are parenthood. It’s been quite the trip so far, with the birthing experience, the NICU experience, the family, the friends, a reunion, a wedding, the day care search, the acid reflux, and the real fear of job loss (mine). My momma never said life was like a box a chocolates, but she has always said, and still says to this day, that “it will all work out in the end.” I’m 25 years old and so far it has all worked out. I can only assume another 25 years of trial and tribulation are ahead of me with everything ultimately working out in the end.

I wouldn’t be surprised if I have taken well over 1,000 pictures of Aliana since her birth. I was just going through some of them yesterday and I can’t help but smile at nearly all of them. I’ve even made a few separate folders for the dark and blurry pictures. I don’t want to delete any!

Here’s to being a daddy!

My Aliana