Sunday, October 28, 2007

Blurb for API Newsletter

I was asked to write a blurb for the API newsletter about how API has been important to me. Here it is:

I was very fortunate that my sister-in-law was practicing Attachment Parenting before my son was born. She lent me several books, including Dr. Sears' "The Baby Book" and The Continuum Concept. I read these and other AP books voraciously and found my local NYC AP chapter a few months after my son was born. My son just turned three years old, and I've been to almost every monthly meeting since I joined.

I am so thankful to be practicing Attachment Parenting and to be a member of API. Practicing Attachment Parenting has helped me to develop a very strong bond with my son, giving him the confidence and security to now exert his autonomy and to be very open to both learning new things and meeting new people. Through my local chapter of API, I have access to an invaluable network of like-minded parents (several of whom are now very close friends). API has opened my mind not only to the specific principles of Attachment Parenting, but also to the broad field of respectful parenting, including Non-Violent Communication (NVC), Connection Parenting, Unconditional Parenting and much more. API has made it possible for me to enjoy parenting in a way that very few parents can even imagine.


Also, I wanted to write that the other morning, Yoav said to Jeremy, "I have hair on my egs." Jeremy said, "You have hair on your eggs?" Yoav said, "NO!! On my LLLLLegs." Since then, he seems to be hitting a lot more of his Ls. It was interesting to see that he *could* pronouce Ls. Maybe he didn't even realize he could do it until then.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

On "Why?"

yoav had a funny night last night. once when he woke up during the
night, he said, "I don't want to wear shoes!" and felt his feet to
take his shoes off, realized he wasn't wearing any and fell back
asleep :)

Went to Shun Lee Cafe with Estee and Eliezer, Saba & Safta and Nahama,
Dave, Yonatan and Alex.

also, I posted this to AU about how to respond to "why?":
I often answer my DS's (almost 3yo) "whys" with "I wonder" or sometimes "I don't
know". In addition to what Vijay said, it also provides an opportunity for
creative/imaginative thinking. For instance, today we were at my B &
SIL's apartment and the other BIL left fairly early in the evening. DS
asked why he left. I said I don't know. Then DS said, "Maybe he didn't
*want* to leave? Maybe he left because he *had* to go?" (He didn't
want to believe that this BIL would just leave with my DS still there
without a pretty darn good reason! :) ) A little later still, DS found
a play phone and told me he was calling his Uncle. When he finished, he told me that Uncle Daniel had
left because he was hungry and needed to eat.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Today was fun. We started out the day at Claude's on the west side - he makes GREAT croissants, so we each got a croissant. Jeremy and I got coffee and Yoav got orange juice. Then we walked all the way to Gap/Banana at 16th St/5th Ave to buy socks and undershirts. We saw my friend Art, her husband and two kids en route.

Yoav walked almost the whole way. He loves playing "hide and seek" along the way, although he doesn't seem to understand the hiding part. He stands against a building and says, "Mommy, say 'Where is Yoavi?'" Then I'm supposed to pretend to look around, saying, "Where is Yoavi? Is he there? No. There? No." etc. until I find him and act excited to find him and he laughs and runs to a new "hiding" place.

After shopping, we went to the Farmer's Market in Union Square for plants. We were quite successful! We got a large palm tree that sits on the floor, a medium sized Peace Lily, a small marginata, a small yellow mum (Yoav picked that one out), and eucalyptus leaves that just go in water. We need to get some prettier pots and need a stand or something for the bedroom to put the Peace Lily. It should be fun for me and Yoav to take care of them.

Then, I did laundry and Jeremy went to buy a huge, 42" HDTV. I was really upset at first because it looked so big, but in the end, I think it'll be ok. Yoav was so sweet - when I was upset, he asked me why and I said I was sad b/c I need beauty and I don't think a huge TV is very pretty. Yoav said he liked it and sang some songs to me and ask if then I was happy. He actually did cheer me up!

Then we made playdough and Yoav played while Jeremy and I put together the new organic mattress. It was a pain to put it together, but Jeremy seems pleased w/ the comfort, which is great. As long as it's more comfortable than the other one, it seems worth the cost.

Yoav loved playing with the big boxes that the mattress came in. He was going in one like it was a house and bringing his animals in and driving his cars and trucks on one. We left two in his playroom for him to keep playing with.

Recent developments:

Yoav has been really into names and addresses. He asks friends' last names, discusses names of his friends' fathers and wants to know everyone's address (and remembers many of them). He also talks a LOT about his animals. He talks about their last names and where they live and who are moms, dads and who have "popped out" (been born) of whom. Like Elephant is a Daddy and I think Doggy is the Mommy in that family and Sammy Dog popped out recently. He tells stories about how Bakalac (his little wooden dog) used to be a school bus driver and now he goes to work or sometimes he goes to school. When I said Jer is home for two days for the weekend, he commented that one of his animals (he said which one) is home for 7 days. Sometimes he just yaps and yaps about details about his animals. It's quite amusing to listen to!

Namewise, he likes to think about who we know two of or which names are similar. Like we know an Eve and a Steve and an Eliza and Elias and doubles, we know two Steves (Aviv's dad and Lucy's dad); we know a bunch of Jacks (Jack and Jill, Jack jumped over the candlestick, Art's son Jack, cousin Jack) and we know a Dave (Uncle Dave) and a David (Grandpa), etc.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

after reading book, "Mommy, you tired about this book?" Me: "No I'm not tired of it. You want me to read it again?" Yoav:"Yes!" seems like it's empathy of sorts or at least that he's wanting to meet my needs as well as his...

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Transcendental Empathy

Listened to Scott Noelle's audio about "Transcendental Empathy" yesterday. He talks about how he does not think validation is appropriate in a lot of cases and how to simply use empathy to help children through upsets. He says it brings children down to validate in the form of, "Hmmm, you're really sad that xxx happened? You wanted to yyy?" Which is true. I've seen it myself and seen others post similar reactions. Instead, Scott describes a method of transcendental empathy, which is "aligning or connecting with well-being unconditionally. First in yourself, then in your child." He says that conventional sympathy or validation is essentially "joining the other person in their disconnection."

The audio is well-worth the $30/month for Noelle's Total Immersion Program.

I used it already a few times today and think he's onto something.

This morning, Yoav was upset b/c he wanted a particular shirt from Grandma - one w/ a monkey, tiger and panda on it. I only brought the one from G'ma w/ a monkey. I connected with myself, stayed positive, thought to myself that we'll get through the upset and stayed present w/ Yoav. I said something about how this shirt is from Grandma and has a monkey like the other one. I forget the exact dialog, but it was very stress-free and Yoav quickly moved on.

I used it again later, but I can't remember the details. I'll have to write it down next time right away.

Cindy and Jeff went to a wedding. Jana was here most of the day with us. Yoav and Jana got along quite well - playing w/ the dog together, jumping around, playing some outside, taking a bath together.

Yoav had lots of fun w/ Jesse - Jesse took Yoav on a walk for a while to see horses nearby. It was a great break for me ;)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

We had a really hard day today. It started off well with an
appointment with Cara. Yoav enjoyed playing with the stethoscope,
tape measure, and blood pressure tool. Then when Cara did the
diabetes test, she realized she needed a battery. I got batteries for
her and of course, Yoav wanted some for himself. Then there was an
issue about where he could put the batteries. He didn't want to put
them in a flashlight (my suggestion).

Then there were tears because he wanted more grape juice (I had to
drink 10 oz grape juice for the diabetes test, so he had some sips).
He wanted something "juicy". Finally, after looking in the fridge,
crying, etc., he "changed his mind" and said he wanted water. But
then there was an issue about how MUCH water. I poured a little, he
said he wanted lots, I started getting frustrated, poured it full, he
started to cry saying that's not where he wanted it, so I (fully
frustrated at this point), put the cup and water pitcher on the floor
and asked him to do it and left the room.

AAAHHHHH. Now, writing this, I'm wondering - did I validate? Why do
I forget to validate when I'm most frustrated? Probably I only get
THAT frustrated when I don't validate!!! Hmm. So how to remember??

Then we had our Waldorf class. Usually it's great, amazingly relaxing
and enjoyable for both of us. Today there were 7 kids (up from the
usual 4), so it was quite a bit more chaotic and noisy. Also, Cynthia
(the usual assistant) was out and the fill-in wasn't nearly as well
trained/helpful. I think it would have been smoother had Cynthia been
there. Hopefully some of the people were doing trials and won't come
next week. Yoav played for the first time with the playstand. He
enjoyed playing hide and seek in there. He also played for a while
with blocks. There are beautiful tree blocks in class. Some are cut
in a v-shape, so you can put one block on each side of the v, which
makes for an interesting structure.

After class, we took the bus down to the yarn store so I could get
some yarn for a hat and mittens for the baby. All was fine until we
were leaving and Yoav decided he wanted a pair of sz 15 bamboo
needles. AGAIN, I FORGOT TO VALIDATE!!!!!! I said we already had a
pair that size and he can use them and they're expensive, etc. UGH.
Finally, I made a bigger mistake and said let's go to the toy store (a
Waldorfy/natural toy store a block away) and we could get something
small there instead. So of course, he was happy with that, and off we
went to our downfall.

Yoav played some in the toy store with their marble run (that was
glued down so he was just running the marble along it). Then he
decided he wanted a Brio train. It was $14 and we just don't play
with trains at home. AGAIN, I FORGOT TO VALIDATE!!!! I said we
already have trains and he rarely plays with trains at home. I
suggested we write down the details and we'll think about getting it
for him for his birthday. Finally (after probably 20 mins), I was SO
frustrated, I said I needed to eat, would he be willing to come with
me? No. So I said I was going to leave b/c I needed to eat. His
lips trembled and I immediately hugged him and he said, "Me be nervous
by myself." I said I hadn't meant I'd leave him alone but that I
wanted to BOTH leave (not what I had said, but obviously I wouldn't
have left him, so it's a moot point). I can't believe I said that.
It's one of the most offensive things that parents say to kids :(
After a while, I called Jeremy with no idea what to do, practically in
tears. So now I feel like I was tattling, which, again, I despise.
Jeremy had no ideas except to pick up Yoav and go. After a few more
minutes of trying, this is basically what I did. He cried for about a
minute and then relaxed and was fine. Once later, his lips trembled a
little when he brought up the train. I really don't know how to
handle these situations. Obviously validation is a lot better than
what I did, but I have validated and failed before where I validate
and still he wants to buy the item. It's just so frustrating. My
lessons are: 1) don't go to a toy store with Yoav; 2) don't go
anywhere with him when either of us are hungry or tired; 3) don't
forget to validate!!!!!!!!!!