FaceTime calls with children

I wonder why some of us hang our heads when we grieve

geralt / Pixabay

Today, I talked to my son on the phone (FaceTime) the who is currently 9 hours ahead of me. It was incredibly hard.

 

He asked where I was. When I told him I could see the wheels turning behind his eyes. He looked away. I asked him where he was, how the flight was, what he watched–all questions which he deferred to his mom for the answers. I could see that he was getting a little frustrated. At the mention of bed, he began to get upset. Tears even.

Not atypical young child behavior, right? Right…

Connection lost…retrying…

At this point I’m feeling guilt well up within me. Guilt is a monster that is always rattling its chains but at times like these it takes over. It pulls at my clothing and squeezes my internal organs.

After reconnecting, it is clear that he is trying to talk to me, to do the “right” thing, but just wants to end it. As he cries–through the buffering, freezing segments of video–I look at his face and I just want to touch him and tell him it’s ok. He’s not on a hot seat of any kind and he doesn’t need to be polite for me. It’s hard not to think he is rightfully upset about circumstances. I am sorry for this. I tell him again that I love him and I’ll see him later. Have a good time. Eventually I hang up on the spinning “Reconnecting…” graphic.

Now the monster screams and berates me. It pulls at my hair and punches me in the teeth. I sob uncontrollably.

Eventually

Zauberin / Pixabay

 

One day I hope he will understand, and forgive me. Some day soon I hope that I can reassure him. I hope that he will feel my hope for something better on the horizon. I hope he believes I love him so much. It won’t always be like this.

 

30 Seconds of Vulnerability–What a child can do

I love reading Twinfamy.com. This is a pretty good list, and makes me appreciate the exponential power of having two little, wonderful “folly machines” at once. 😉

What My Kids Do During the 30 Seconds It Takes Me to Leave the Room and Pee: A Non-Exhaustive List

Feminism: Blaming isn’t Helping

I saw this comment on Huffington Post and I’m glad it ties up the problem so succinctly. It’s in response to Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s question to Nick Adams about men in decline because of feminism.

“How, specifically, are men not allowed to “be manly”? Not allowed to get away with rape? Not allowed to beat up other men without being arrested? What are the benchmarks here….Are men not being allowed to play football? Hunt? Curse? Drink beer? Good grief. Tell us, Elisabeth – how are our men “less masculine”. Because I see men working hard every day. Being good husbands, fathers, and friends. They’re providing for their families. They’re always learning new technology. They’re traveling. They’re reading, creating, being imaginative. They’re enjoying life. So…tell us. How are they “not masculine’?”

We’re men, we’re men in tights

Here would be my response to Phyllis T (if I wanted to sign up for Huff Post, which I don’t):

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Toddler Courage – Sonoma wine, Thanksgiving, & Jack Daniel’s Honey

This past Thanksgiving my family visited the Kunde Family Estate Winery in Sonoma. It was a beautiful place and we really enjoyed it. I was excited to see the “Biodynamic” growing policy signs around the property. I’m proud to be clued in on that and participating in that kind of business. But what first got me bent on visiting Kunde Winery was hearing about their caves.

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More entries from my Toddler-speak lexicon

By the way, "beast!" is another good word to get kids to smile for pictures

“Booty ana Beast!” Outside the Lego store at Downtown Disney

Since I did get a few requests after my Blup blups post, I had to share a few more entries from my son’s Toddler-speak lexicon. As he continually expands and refines his language usage, I try to write them all down. [Read more…]

Amazing Comeback

First,

 

 

Second, I love this commercial.

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Camping with a toddler is a GO!

I was blessed to go camping with my family–my wife and son–this past weekend. I want to highlight this great little getaway and my joy in being with them. Also, I ignored a warning against camping with a toddler (specifically a 2-year-old), and I’m glad I did.

 

Fire! I have made fire!

alexis / Pixabay

 

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Blup blups

“Dada! Blup blups!”

When he has a blup in is hand, he wields it with deadly force.

When he has a blup in is hand, he wields it with deadly force.

This is perhaps my newest favorite of my son’s phraseology. It means golf clubs (or flip flops, or bathtub, depending on the context.)

For a long time now, I have been writing down all of his verbiage to develop a personal lexicon for those who wish to speak with him. It’s helpful for family and babysitters, but mostly, I just treasure it. I love adding everything I hear to it and it’s getting quite impressive. By my count my son regularly uses at least 175 words/phrases. I don’t know where that is on the bell-curve, but people are often impressed how well he uses language and expresses things. He conveys emotions and ideas well, even at two years of age and without the articulation.

In my experience, a lot of parents are hyper-concerned about the language and cognitive abilities of their toddlers. Especially with boys.

He’s struggling with language so we’re putting him in speech therapy.
Me: How old is he?
Sixteen months.
Me: [Pause] Give him time.

I tell all of them pretty much the same thing: don’t worry. I’ve worked with children with officially diagnosed delays, like autism; that’s a different situation, and there’s a lot of hope with those. But every child is different, and the most important thing is guarding their environment (which parents CAN do something about) and giving them a place to learn well, rather than directing their language (which parents really CAN’T do much about.)

For example, challenge them to speak so that they really get what they want. When my son just whines for something, I tell him clearly, “I don’t know what you want. Tell me. Try to use words.” He virtually always makes a go for it.

Maybe I’ll share more of his words as time goes along.

Jim Henson on Attitude

Jim Henson on Attitude

Sometimes you read something that hits your Truth button like a savage blow to the solar plexus. This is one of those things. (Thank you to my wife for sharing it on her timeline. 😉 )

Those Who Flee: North Korean Refugees

Those Who Flee: North Korean Refugees.

Just came across this and am posting to remind myself that I have an obligation to be happy and push myself to succeed, because there are people that need help all the time.