The grandparents bought a bike for Damien to ride on, so when they took him out to the back ally to ride on I went and got the camera. When I got outside Damien and Sergey were already coming back into the back yard.
Grandma was following them looking disseminated. She said that Damien did not really try and that he gave up too fast. I looked around at what a nice day it was, and the nice bike they bought, and at Damien happy and having a good time, then I decided he is getting his butt on that bike right now.
Damien was taking his cloth off while Sergey went for a dip in the pool.
Sergey in mini pool with pienis cropped out, for modesty
But I soon convinced Damien he should put his cloths back on and practice riding the bike.
Parenting Tip: How to form a compelling and logical argument to convince you child to do what you want.
Me : Damien it’s time to get your cloths on and ride your bike.
Damien: But I wanna go in the pool.
Me: You are going to because it is a great day to ride your bike.
Damien: But I don’t want to.
Me: You are going to do it.
Damien: But why?
Me: Because I said so, and I am the Papa.
See what I did there with my two pronged argument.
“Because I said so“, which is 100% true, I did say it, and “I am the Papa“, also 100% true.
The reason it works is because Damien knows that I when I start to say certain phrases like the ones above that I will drag his but over there and make him do it if I have to.
Parenting Tip: Sometime you have to be the taskmaster, but go back to being their buddy as soon as possible.
The tendency for me is that once I get mad, and go into Taskmaster Mode, that I stay there too long, and everything starts to fall apart. I find it is best to lay down the law, then embrace the child (literally), and move on as if nothing had happened. Kids are smart, they know when they have done wrong, any corrective action should be short and sweet.
So in no time were out in the alley and Damien was riding his bike, with Grandma holding him up.
Grandma helping Damien ride a bike in alley
I took a turn holding him up, and what I realized was that to help Damien the most, I needed to do the least effort I could, be there to catch him before he falls not there to push him along or steer him in the right direction. I am not very pro training wheels, because that was I was doing really, but I am sure he liked me there more than training wheels.
While we were there Grandpa came back with Xavier from a walk up and down the alley.
Grandpa walking Xavier in the stroller down the alley
Once side of the back alley borders a park, and no cars are supposed to use this area though one self centered neighbor does, (but no one likes him,) so it is almost like a nature trail.
Well I made it to Russia.
Apparently if I didn’t go then the kids couldn’t go either, so I definitely had to go.
Problems started before the plane left the gate.
There was a freak thunderstorm that hit the area, my first clue was that the plane was shaking and rocking. While this is fairly normal behavior in the air it is quite surprising on the ground when partially protected by the airport and boarding ramp. That is when we got our first delay for about 40 minutes.
Then after the storm, there were no workers allowed on the airfield far an additional 15 minuets after the last lightning strike.
Finally we made it to the runway and we were third in line, then second in line, then first in line and we just sat there. Apparently it was OK for the other two planes to take off but not for us as the tower was not giving us a flight number, so the plane could not take off.
By this time I was already on my second bag of candy just trying to keep the kids under control.
I had a special harness for Xavier to wear that made his seat belt secure (since yes he did have his own seat, it’s an 8 hour flight. The extra seat came in handy for sleeping and wrestling.), Xavier just screamed his head off the entire takeoff, so I lifted up the armrest between us, and hugged him as best I could and sang songs to him as best I could, it worked more or less.
After that I just asked for a lap harness for Xavier since that is where he wanted to be anyway.
The lap harness is like an extra belt that loops through your belt and can be buckled around the child to keep the secured. Mine kept slipping off, which is a real pain trying to recover from the floor while holding a baby on your lap. My suggestion is to loop your belt through the lap belt twice this will stop the lap belt from slipping off, it may seem awkward but it much easier than fishing it off the floor every time you undo your belt.
Damien spent the time either drawing, watching movies, drawing, sleeping or drawing. Thanks honey, for packing the colored pencils and coloring books and drawing pad. Sergey didn’t want pencils or crayons, so on one of his journeys throughout the cabin he found a marker (yellow highlighter), which he proceeded to use for coloring purposes, and then complain that (under the low light of the cabin) it didn’t look like he had done anything. Xavier was a pain most of the trip, yup that is about as nice as I can put it.
When going to the bathroom I would have to take Xavier, so after waiting in line, then sitting there doing my business, I hear Sergey wandering up and down calling for me. That was a fun conversation I am sure.
Sergey: Papa, Papa where are you?
Me: I am in the bathroom.
Sergey: Papa what are you doing?
Me: What do you thing I am doing?
Sergey: Papa I want to go somewhere?
Me: We are going to Russia?
Sergey: But Papa I want to go outside?
Me: We can’t go outside it’s against the rules?
Sergey: But why?
Me: Because we are in an airplane, at 37,000 feet, and if we go outside we will fall to our death, and if for some reason we don’t die from the fall the sharks will get us?
Sergey: But I wanna?
Me: Can’t this wait till we get back to our seats?
There were lots of other children and babies on this flight and mine were the quietest (go me), I was actually getting compliments from other passengers and attendants on how well behaved my children were. One thing I did do is really crack down on the boy when they put their feat on the chair in front of them, since that is a peeve of mine being kicked in the back for hours, I thought I should try to spare other the pain as much as I could.
Luckily our second flight was after a two hour layover, so we didn’t have to rebook.
The worst part was that in Stockholm, the airport proper is much higher than the plains which means that there are escalators used to get down to your plane. We were the only people in sight when we entered the boarding area. I noticed the escalator and was in the process of gathering my things so I could carry Xavier down, when I turned to look at the boys, Xavier (the brave one) had decided to step on while the other older boys looked on, not sure if it was safe to enter. So I ushered the other boys on in front of me so as not to leave any stranded at the top. Now Damien had been doing a great job with his own carry on that was sized for kids and it was light as it mostly had his coloring supplies and jackets. When Damien got on the escalator it nudged his bag at him, as he tried to correct the problem, the bag came loose and headed down the escalator right at Xavier’s head, there was nothing I could do but swear, so that is what I did. Xavier had through the escalator was a ride so he had sat down to enjoy it, you could tell he was happy as he was singing to himself and bopping his head. Then SMASH the little carry on that could blasted him right off his perch and sent him face first down the last few stairs of the escalator, lucky for him that he had a big head start as there was not far to fall, but it looked awful. Damien was immediately apologizing and say it was an accident, but I knew it was and let him know that I was not mad at him, just at what happened. Xavier just lay there crying as the escalator churned on. He has some scrapes on his chest, but they look like they will heal, and he was acting fine before I buckled him into his seat.
I’ll pick up here later.
I decided to take notes on paper about what the kids do, because as soon as I go on my computer, they they start acting out. So with a note book, I can just jot down some things while I am watching them, and the note book in much more portable, and takes less time to set up, no spell check but those are the breaks.
Currently (as of this writing) the boys are acting great. Damien is reading a book to Sergey, while Xavier is spinning himself silly in the swing. When the story that Damien makes up is over, they sings songs, such as the ever popular “ABC’s”.
Sergey is actively encouraging Damien to read to him, he often takes several of Mom’s books off the shelf and sneaks them over to Damien for translation. Being as the books have no pictures, Sergey has no idea what the books are about, but that doesn’t stop Damien he doesn’t need pictures to make up a story, just a book.
Xavier did make a big mess by grabbing a container of crayons and dumping them on the floor, then trying to spread them around evenly. It is partly the other boys fault as well, as one of them did not put the crayons far enough out of Xavier’s way (this is something that we have been working on with them for some time, so it is expected).
Since they are so good now, I don’t feel like busting them at the moment that would send the wrong message, I just wait for them to act badly, I don’t expect it to be a long wait.
Everyone was given a plastic container, and told to pick up the crayons. After a brief legal battle with Damien and Sergey, cleaning did take place, even Xavier helped pick them up.
So I let the kids out to play in the snow, after they got in their snow suits.
A short time later I hear an “Ow!” First from Damien then from Sergey, then alternating back and forth.
When I check to see what is going on the are both standing under the eves of the garage, and looking up.
Me: What are you guys doing?
Sergey: Icicles are falling and hitting us in the head.
Then the both laugh as water drips onto their faces.
After that they wanted the colored chalk, so I got that out for them.
That is when Xavier wanted out, so I had to get him dressed, in his snow suit.
Of coarse that is when Sergey wanted to come in, so I told him to ask his brother to open the door for him.
Sergey: Damien open the door for me.
S: Damien! Opeeeen the doooor for meeeeee!
Damien: I hear you, I’ll be right there.
Damien open the door for Sergey.
S: Thank you.
D: Your welcome.
Then Damien and Xavier color with chalk outside.
Damien was doing a very good job making a picture of a tree house, I think it is form “Go Dogs Go”, do to the giant ladder that he had going to the top of his tree. He also used lots of different colors, in making the pictures, and was able to tell me a (very) brief story about the picture.
Xavier had fun adding to the picture as best he could.
Xavier didn’t last long, but it was a start. It is always good to get the kids moved to different activities and if possible a different local.
Well we are all feeling better here at the house.
Last week Thursday, we had hot dogs for dinner, and the kids really loved them, even Xavier, for him I cut them into small pieces, so he wouldn’t have to chew too much.
Later that night, he threw up. Apparently he really liked his hot dogs, because he didn’t even take time to chew them, because the pieces he up chucked were mostly whole pieces. So I gave him some water, and put him to sleep on the floor next to me, while I was on the computer. A while later he threw up again, with more unchewed hot dog pieces coming up.
This went on for several hours.
Xavier was tired and would sleep between bouts of vomiting, I stayed by his side, so I could pick him up and hold him over the sink at an angle so as not to get anything in his lungs.
He last case of vomitting was around 2:30 AM, and I stayed up with him for another hour, to make sure he was really done before I put him down.
The good side is that since it was just unchewed food that he was barfing up, I could put him into daycare the next day, since it obviously not a virus (ominous music plays in the background).
Xavier’s day was fine, and everyone was feeling good, Damien didn’t eat much of his lunch, but maybe his growth spurt is over.
Saturday, we are all fine in the morning, and the kids go to Gymnastics, and there is no barfing, not that I would expect any because it’s obviously not a virus. But by mid afternoon, Sergey is not feeling too well.
Then he threw up, and he seemed really hot to the touch. so I gave him some water and he took a nap on the floor, laying on his back. Later I heard some gurgling coming from that room, and went in to investigate, there was Sergey vomiting while on his back, and looking up, with and perplexed expression on his face, so after a moment of freaking out, I turned his head to the side, then I cupped my hand, and caught as much vomit as I could (because cleaning vomit from my hands is much easier than cleaning it from the carpet) while carrying him to the bathroom to finish up in the bathroom sink.
Sergey continues to vomit for several hours, and I start to realize that I am not feeling all that well myself, neither is Olya. I went upstairs to start my barfathon, in the private bath. Damien came up to see what I was doing. On his way out he stopped and looked at me and said “Are you not feeling well papa”?
“No I am not” I told him. “Would you like me to get you a soda” he asked? (That was probably the best thing that happened all day.
Olya managed to avoid the brunt of the attack, but I was not so fortunate, and was up until 3am making several trips for barfing only.
On the plus side, it looks like it’s over, and I hope we dont ahve to do that again any time soon.
The boys have been back from Russia for awhile now, and we are starting to settle into the new routine.
All three have had a growth spurt over the summer, Damien can now walk into and ot of the bathtub on his own, where as before he would need help. All of Damien’s pants look like high waters on him, but he was wearing 3T pants, so it is a good sign that he will need some 4T pants. The other kids are also moving up a notch, but we have clothing for all of their clothing needs, up to 3T, so no worries.
One of the advantage of having all boys is that we have highly reusable cloths, and most of them are not worn out, with the exception of shoes.
Sergey is so big now that I didn’t recognize many of the kids in his class, because I am used to many of them being a head taller than Sergey, but now he can look them in the eye. His size never got in his way, he was always very active, and popular with his class mates, and more than one girl has had a crush on him. I have met more than one mom, who wanted to meet this “Sergey” their daughter was been cooing about at home.
Xavier, is not fully walking, but he can take a few steps, and crawls very fast, but he has to to keep up with his brothers. His new trick is to go on hands and feet, then put his head on the carpet, and crawl arougn the room, like a mini snow plow. He is also very talkative, he can say (Mama, Papa, Damien, and Sergey), but he doesn’t do it all the time. Definatly the most cereabral of the bunch, but the least physical.
Damien has started 4K, five times a week, for half a day. He is going to a different school, so that he can be in the same school, and time slot of his previous Early Childhood teacher, so that she can shadow him, for part of the time, and help him with interactions. So far he has had two green days (days are rated Green to red, where red is bad, originally Damien was trying to “earn” a red face, because he liked that color the most).
Yesterday when picking Damien up he was actually playing with other kids at a sand table, which is a good start for him. One of the points of emphasis in 4K is interacting with others, which is something he needs help with so I am looking forward to more improvements with him. We are still looking for a Speech Therapist in our plan for him, but should find one soon.
We have changed our daycare hours, since we pay by the hour, the biggest saving we can have, is to try and shorten their time at daycare, so now I drop them off just after 9am, and pick them up after 4-4:30 (when ever Damien’s bus drops him off). This saves us about 3 hours a day per child, or 35% savings, also Damien’s 4K is not charged. Next year, Damien will be 5K full time,and Sergey will be in 4K. Funny, only now do the kids seem to be growing up fast.
Sergey and Damien are both in gymnastics, in the same class but that is another post.
Happy Birthday to Xavier
Why it seems like only a year ago when you were Zero years old.
You were such a happy little sucker.
Remember the good old days when you were Less than Zero
Well now you are all grown up and standing so tall (relatively speaking), and doing your Tai Chi in the park.
And standing comes in handy when
stealing er… liberating your brothers toys.
Grats to you Xavier, you’re now older than zero, many happy returns.
Well maybe next year Uncle Dan will get you a cousin, but only if you’re good.
Xavier started daycare this week so good so far.
We wanted to make sure that he was bottle trained before we sent him in, since he had never used a bottle, being 100% boob fed.
So ever the organized we waited until Sunday evening before we offered him his first bottle.
Lucky for us he caught on quick and did not complain at all, unlike the other two. I remember that Damien was a multi day struggle to get him to drink from the bottle, I eventually gave up, and Olya disappeared with him into another room for an hour, but came back victorious with an empty bottle in one hand and a satified Damien in the other.
The teachers at daycare, say what a good baby Xavier is, but Olya tells them that he has to be because he’s the third child, it’s a survival mechanisim.
The other two boys are usually well behaved at daycare, Sergey is running off less (at lease for me, Olya syas otherwise). Damien noticed that I didn’t have his backpack when I came to pick him up, he said he would get it, I ended up getting distracted looking for Sergey and taking care of Xavier, when I looked up Damien was gone. He soon turned up walking back from his room at the other end of daycare carrying his backpack (what a little helper).
Xavier is very mobile for his age, he is not crawling (thank God) but he can rotate himself over 90 degrees, and can flip onto his back if he desides that he is done with tummy time.
If he keeps this up we will have to stop changing him on elevated surfaces like the changing table, or the bed.
Then the changing table will be morphed back into a dresser, because changing tables that are no longer used for chaning don’t have as much use as dressers. The bed will still be a bed, luckily it has other uses, like sleeping on (I don’t even want to know where you thought I was going with that one you sick pervert).
Sergey had a good birthday (except for the part where he decided to teach daddy a lesson and slam his head into the concrete with a disturbing “Thonk” noise) at daycare in music class he got to stand in front and everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to him while he wore a crown with a big “2″ on it. and at home he got to pick dinner and dessert (Mac and Cheese and Whipped Cream), and we sang “Happy Birthday” to him again, he and Damien joined in on the singing.
Damien is doing very well in his Early Childhood class, and has befriended a boy named Charlie. Charlie was having trouple saying “good bye” to his dad, and does not like to be touched, hugged, or even have his hand held, but Damien saw that Charlie was having a bad time, and held his hand whiled they walked into the school.
Damien starts an after school swim class next week, and a tumbling calss as well. At first we tried to get into a tumbling class at the “Y” but it was very expensive, and ONLY during the day, but Olya found a place in German Town, that we will be trying out.
Well the kids have all started in their new class rooms (except Xavier, who refuses to go to school).
Sergey is having a great time with all the new trucks and toys. In his new room, there are low tables to play on (which Sergey likes) so the kids are mostly standing to play on the tables, rather than sitting to play on the floor, this make them look much older.
Also Sergey basically doubled in size in one week (perspectively speaking) because Sergey went from being the smallest kid in the house, to being TWICE as big as Xavier. It is like he had a mega growth spurt. I warned daycare that Sergey has been bitting as of late so to keep an eye on him, so they can nip it in the bud.
Xavier has laredy grown an inch in the last two weeks, and (I think, but don’t quote me just ask Olya if you want the cold hard facts) has passed his birth weight, which is very good for a breast fead baby (I think it’s the breasts).
Damien not only has a new room, but he is back to his EArly Childhood (EC) classes, at the local school, which means he is back to riding the “Special Bus” as Damien puts it. The person who helps put him on and off the bus at daycare, said that “he is a joy to work with” he walks with her to the front, then talks and reads with her while waiting for the bus. When the bus arrives, he just gets right on, and waves goodbye, with a smile.
Damien’s EC teacher says he listens well but does not make eye contact, so we are working on that when we talk to him. Damien’s daycare teachers, also say that he is a good listener, and that they are having no problems with him, I think this is because he is back in EC.