The big guy in the house is really hitting this parenting thing out of the park lately. Two situations recently came up and I'm delighted to say that it was Brian who produced two excellent solutions.
I know Brian tends to get a tough rap in the blog. There's just so much about him that is fun to talk about -- from garage shelving debacles to his rabid fanaticism over the Green Bay Packers, he's kind of an easy target. But at least now, know that he has some serious street cred on the toddler front.
Scotty developed an extreme and completely irrational fear of the bathtub about two weeks ago. He went from a happy sudsy-baby to a screaming-his-little-head-off-until-the-final-cup-of-water-is-poured-kid. We have no idea what triggered it. I went through an entire litany of possibilities, from the water being too hot to chemicals in the tub from when I scrubbed it, all the way to switching his shampoo and letting him bring a few treasured bop-bops in the tub. Nothing worked. We couldn't figure out a cause, and any attempt to soothe the little beast was simply met with more screaming.
Brian even donned the swim trunks and hopped in the tub with him one night. Scotty loved this a little too much. While he didn't cry in the tub, he certainly wailed his little head off when we asked him to get out. And as Brian so succinctly put it, "This is not going to be a regular occurrence." Logistically, it was just impossible to continue, since I don't think Brian's clients would appreciate him having to leave the office early so he could go home to bathe with his son.
And then one night, Brian took the bear by the horns and did something different. I was downstairs with our financial guy, waiting for the screams to erupt from the upstairs bathroom (and was mentally composing my story so he didn't think we were abusing our child or something), but all I heard was...silence. Beautiful, golden silence. When Brian returned downstairs, he looked like the cat that ate the canary. "What did you do?" I pressed, between the annuities and variable funds discussion. "I let him stand up," Brian said smugly.
Overall, a great solution. Not good as a forever solution, but you know what? It worked. Scotty, being the cautious Bear that he is, just stood gingerly in the water as Brian held his hand and scrubbed him. By Day 4 of the Vertical Bathing Challenge, Scotty was easily coaxed into a sitting position and went back to his normal happy, bathtub self.
Scotty decided he no longer wants to drink milk. This has been going on for a good month. We've supplemented with additional dairy in the form of yogurt and cheese, but the Bear will not drink his sippy cup of milk. So again, I did the parent-thing and started throwing wet paper towels at the wall to see what stuck. Changed the sippy cup. Nope. Warmed the milk. No. Gave him smaller amounts of milk. Uh-uh. Bought chocolate milk. No way, Jose. Begged. Pleaded. Modeled the behavior myself and drank gallons of milk in front of him. Made Elmo drink milk. Acted like milk was the greatest thing in the world.
And...zero. Nothing was going to convince him to touch that sippy cup. Juice and water were great, but he was definitely passing on the milk.
Finally, Brian mentioned this to Uncle Jim, who suggested strawberry milk. I had never even heard of strawberry milk. Brian promptly went out and purchased a little container of Nestle strawberry Quik and guess what?
We literally cannot keep his kid's cup full.
Scotty has gotten to the point of sucking down two cups full of milk pre-breakfast, has another with each meal of the day, and then a cup of milk before bedtime. That's almost 1,000 calories of milk per day. His favorite thing to say to me is, "More juice?" as he stands next to the fridge. And the best part? While adding processed red sugar to your child's milk is not ideal, we're down to less than 1/2 a teaspoon of Quik per sippy cup. As long as Scotty sees us with the spoon and the canister of Quik, he's happy. He has no idea he's getting a tiny portion.
Needless to say, I'm so pleased with Brian's ability to think around situations. (and Uncle Jim, too. Thank you!) I feel like those typical toddler frustrations are best handled when you work with the kid, versus against them (i.e. my way or the highway), and Brian has achieved this marvelously. And if you read his comment on the last entry, you'll know he's like, real smart and stuff.
Brian for the win!