Working in a classroom of 24 kids that are all at the age of 2 should be a zoo right? Screaming, crying, getting into everything and mouthing back? Well, I tell my parents that have kids turning 2 the same thing everytime when they tell me they’re dreading that stage… I don’t believe in terrible 2’s. If you ask me it can be terrible 2-19! (Scary isn’t it?)
Let’s break it down, at the age of 0-1 all they’re doing is eating, sleeping, pooping and playing (what a life). They’re learning to lift their heads, crawling, standing, making sounds and walking. Things that sound easy enough right? So this is where it gets confusing for parents TERRIBLE 2’s where they’re learning to express themselves (use your words, no hitting or biting), manners (always say please and thank you), eating (learning to only use your utensils), school (always listen to your teacher and be nice to your friends), when you’re at home (tidy up all your toys) and also family & friends (say hi to everyone & give them a hug). See what I mean? It’s a tough life they have after 1. Where did all these rules and self help come from!!?? Sorry but I’m on their side. 

It’s not terrible 2’s. It’s the fact that they’re no longer listening to their parents as they would when they’re 0-1. They’re developing their own personality and choices. This stage is basically prepping you as a parent to be understanding, firm and consistent with your parenting beliefs because trust me… It only gets harder. So yep, in return they’re actually helping you. 

Funny story: My aunt asked me a couple of weeks ago “Does Monster need to see a doctor?” “Why is she crying all the time?” “You guys weren’t like that.” LOL so I explained to her, kids nowadays are very smart (not to say that we weren’t) but technology has pushed them to understand things at a much younger age. We never had iPads, iPhones and all that jazz! Mind you Monster doesn’t get much of that stuff already. So there are things that they want and don’t want and when they don’t have a choice or understand why they can’t have it = melt down. But all you need to do as a parent is to explain things to them and always be at their level when trying to get them to understand the situation. They don’t always want to hug or kiss someone, tidy up, go to bed or eat with utensils. Show them, reason with them and understand them. After all, it’s a tough life they have. 


Don’t state the obvious 

When a parent is disciplining a child and you’re watching from the side line, unless the child is getting hurt please keep your comments to yourself. Don’t be standing there asking… What’s wrong? Is she ok? Why is she crying? Because clearly the parent is talking to the child and clearly the child is upset and most likely crying their eyes out. 

It’s ok, you’re allowed to cry and be upset. No one likes to be corrected but there’s a lesson to be learned in every situation. If you keep asking them questions while a parent is standing there and trying to be authoritative then you’re just prolonging the whole situation. The child will think about the problem again and most likely in my experience cry even harder and longer. So just step back and let the parent handle it. 

I have no problem disciplining my child in public. I won’t yell and embarrass her but I like to state the problem when it occurs, so she can relate to it right away. Just remember there’s no problem with kids being upset sometimes. They have emotions too and they’re allowed to show it. 

Single Parent 

Monster is 3! Wow… Time flies when you’re having fun. She is now talking up a storm, reasoning with you, asking “why?” every two seconds, wants to do everything on her own, taking swimming lessons, gym classes and sassier than ever. 
When I tell people that her dad and I are separated the first thing they’ll say to me is “that must be hard.” But then again what in life isn’t? I’m no supermom, I’m just doing what any other parent would do. Trying to raise a happy and healthy little monster. And that is exactly what she is. 

I want to clearify a couple of things to people… Just because a mom and dad are not together it doesn’t mean we have a “broken family.” What is a family? When parents are together for the sake of the child but no longer sleep in the same bed, love each other or argue non stop? You think you can fool a child and they won’t know? Trust me… They’ll know. Or is it parents that aren’t together but civil and are doing their best to raise their child and giving them nothing but fun and happy memories that will last years to come? I don’t want my child growing up remembering arguments and fights or to even think it’s something that she did, it’s not fair to them or anyone else. As a parent I think our happiness matters too, we deserve to be happy, feel loved and appreciated. With that it’ll reflect back onto the child and how their personalities will be formed. 

No, I am not raising her on my own. 
I have the most amazing and supportive family and friends in the world that is raising her with me. They’re always taking time out of their busy schedules to come see her, they tell her how proud they are of her, spoiling her to death, giving her all the hugs and kisses in the world and MUCH MORE. With that much support I am confident that she will be able to overcome anything in her life and become anything she wants.

Don’t feel sorry.
Just because the parents aren’t together you don’t have to feel sorry for the child or parents. Yes, things didn’t work out but it beats being together yet no one is happy. Life sometimes doesn’t go as you planned but you have to keep going and eventually things will be better.

She’s not baggage.
I work hard for everything I have and things that my Monster needs/deserves. I’m not pawning her off to someone else and letting them raise her for me. Never once have I regretted having her because she made me the person I am today. I no longer spend my money on partying and going out with my friends. I rather stay in and make dinner, pop in a Disney movie and cuddle on the couch. She didn’t just change me but my friends too. They would always pick restaurants that she would enjoy too, they like staying in to play with her or taking her out for the day… Sometimes I think they rather see her than me! Some of my girlfriends that didn’t want kids before are now telling me that they can’t wait to have one. She made me see the little things in life that truly makes you happy… And her smile makes me happy. I fall in love with her more and more each day and she’s everything to me and if others can’t see it, than its their lost. 

Lastly, theres nothing to be ashamed about. I’m a single parent that has an amazing daughter that I’m proud to call my world and I’m happier than ever.

Sleep Overs Are Fun, When They’re Done Right

Some parents that I’ve spoken to are either overly excited for their kids to be old enough to go for sleepovers and for some, not so much. A lot of my friends give me a pat on the back for letting my 17 month old go for sleep overs already. She’s been to about 3 all together. Let me tell you, the first time I heard those two words when someone asked me and she was only a couple of months old I realized that it gave me anxiety. When a mother is not ready, don’t force it.

The thought of someone else taking care of your child and not knowing their needs (telling someone and experiencing it daily is totally different) scared the shit out of me. Her daily routine and what she likes and dislikes, no one knows better than me. No matter how many times my mom can tell me how to raise my child, I tell her “you’ve raised us, now it’s my turn to do things my way.” And thankfully she respects that and follows everything I say to the T! It’s no longer cute or funny when you’re trying to discipline your child and someone’s in the back ground laughing. When she’s not little and cute anymore would it be as funny? Not so much. I’m not about to raise a child with no manners. How if she doesn’t eat? Would it be ok to just leave her to be hungry or just give her junk food and call it a meal? So now that I’m slowly experiencing this, I have found things that make me feel at ease when this sleep over business does happen. Things that would make both her and I comfortable and in return it would be an enjoyable experience. It’s not fun when you’re out and all you do is worry about your child. Also not much fun when they’re crying in the middle of the night.

1. A Place That Is Somewhat Baby Proofed:
Now that she’s walking (even running at times) and curious nothing scares me more than to have her grab dangerous objects, stick things into electrical outlets or fall down stairs.

2. Following Our Parenting Rules:
Let’s just say kids aren’t born to lie and that’s a big no no for me. If at any point I catch a lie from my daughter there’s no way I would let her sleep over again. Honesty is key. Also don’t be afraid to say “no” that word doesn’t make you a bad person. When allowing a child to do something that he/she is not suppose to do, in the end the child suffers because you’re confusing them.

3. Good Hygiene:
All I ask for is my kid to simply wash her hands before/after she eats, brush her teeth and take a bath (you know, things that normal people do).

4. Baby Common Sense:
How do I explain this? Keep your eyes on the child at ALL TIMES especially if you’re out and about. Know your surroundings and make good judgements.

5. Don’t Be Afraid To Call:
Call the parents if things get out of hand or if they’re crying non stop. You don’t want the child to be scared of sleeping over the next time.

Comfort and safety is key to a child’s sleepover. When all of that is out of the way, there’s nothing there to stop you from having all the FUN in the world!! 🙂

What To Expect When You’re Expecting For Dads

10 things that dads can expect to go through when they’re having a baby:

1: If you get more than one hour of straight sleep throughout the night, consider yourself lucky because some babies wake up every 30-45mins

2: Your wives/girlfriend will most likely become clean freaks after the baby so try and help put stuff back where you found them

3: When your wife/girlfriend is stressed out please don’t tell them to “relax” because that’s probably no longer in their vocabulary

4: I know it’s frustrating when you want to sooth your baby and nothing works but just know that you’re still one of the most important person in their lives

5: You spend hours at work, when you get home try to make up for the time that you’re gone. Even though you’re tired because I’m sure mommy’s night isn’t over yet

6: When your baby wakes up throughout the night and your frustrated know that it could be teething, gas, growing pains or they’re just not feeling well, so their night is worse than yours

7: If you feel as though you just can’t change that dirty diaper, over come your fear because one day mommy might not be there (remember practice makes perfect) 😉

8: Don’t know what to say to a baby? Talk to them like they’re a grown up, tell them about your day, your favorite sport or even complain to them (they’re really good listeners and they can keep secrets)

9: If you don’t want to do things mommy’s way, do it your way! (Just make sure mommy’s not watching)

10: Keep a positive mind set and HAVE FUN! Time will go by really fast and you don’t want to miss a thing.

It’s hard being a mom but at times it’s even harder being a dad because you want to live up to moms expectations. Just know that you’re her side kick so just try your best. If you feel as though you’ve failed the first time, you’ll have plenty of chances to make it perfect.

Poop Goes In The Toilet

Potty training 101 (this is what worked for me)

Fancy potty training gear:
Pull ups are convenient to use while potty training because they’re easy to take off and on but the best way is cold turkey because they still feel like diapers to them
-You can get the potty training underwear’s that are a little thicker than regular underwear so that when they wet themselves it would hold most of the pee off your floor yet they’ll know they had an accident
Fancy/Cute potties are not needed, you can get the baby toilet seats that go right on the toilet because once they’re used to the cute potties it’ll be another thing to wean them off of when you want them to go in the toilet (plus cleaning them aren’t that fun either)
-you can get foldable portable baby toilet seats from Walmart that you can take out with you

Children Under The Age Of 1:
This is for doing poop in the potty. Please hold your child comfortably when they’re sitting on the toilet because if they feel unsafe and that they’re going to fall off, they won’t want to go on it again. Potty training is A LOT easier when you have a daily routine, try and put your child in a routine before potty training. After that try and mark down the times they go number two, it’s usually around the same time. Stay home for about a week so that your child is comfortable in doing it at home. During the time they’re suppose to poop you can put them on the toilet (I would only recommend to have them on the toilet for no more than 5 minutes). Some babies will either make a poop face where you can see they’re turning red from pushing or they’re trying to concentrate. Take them to the toilet right away BUT don’t be nervous or too quick to scare them because they’ll get scared. Make potty time fun! make up a potty song with funny faces tell them “poop goes down the toilet.” You’ll notice that when they do start to go in the toilet, they’ll only go once or twice a day. Compared to the 3-4 times in the diaper because it’s easier for them to go on the toilet. YAY! On saving diapers!! AND you’ll save on wipes too because you can just wash their bums if you’re at home. I’m still using the same large box of wipes with 11 packs in it.

With my 15 month old she is now picky in which toilet to poop in. One time when we were away she refused to go in the public bathroom and held it till we got to the hotel. When you first potty train them taking them to the public bathroom can be stressful because they’re always so clean. Just make sure you hold their hands inwards towards you so that they don’t touch around the toilet. Get diaper and wipes ready before you go. Wipe their bums right after with toilet paper and clean the rest up with wipes.

Children Aged 1 And Up:
This is the method I use with my daycare children. When the child is set into our classroom routine and is comfortable with the class I would bring them with the kids that are already potty training into the bathroom with us for about a week and explain to them that “Child A is doing potty in the toilet, pee pee and poo poo are going down the toilet and not in your diapers.” This will allow them to see that everyone is going to the bathroom and it’s not scary. Parents can take their children into the bathroom with them if they’re not in daycare yet. This is how we model for them. Then we start to take them in with us and allow them to sit on the toilet (again no more than 5 minutes) even if they don’t go we make it a positive activity. Allow them to flush the toilet and wash their hands after. Get them into the bathroom routine. Just keep to it and don’t give up. Take them every 45 minutes if you’re at home. Remember to make it fun, don’t pressure them.

Cold Turkey… Yes I said it! Just take the diapers OFF!! Don’t be scared of a little mess because in the long run it’ll save you a lot more time because most kids don’t like their pants wet or dirty. When they have an accident explain to them that their pants are wet and that pee pee and poo poo should go into the toilet. Do this in the bathroom don’t embarrass them in front of people, accidents happen.

*If a routine is kept during potty training time you’ll be able to potty train your child within a week to 2 weeks

This is what worked for me and my kiddies… What worked for you?

Then & Now

Back when I was growing up I didn’t always get what I wanted, didn’t get to choose what I wanted to eat, didn’t dare to talk back to my elders, never cried in public, didn’t get fancy clothes or shoes. You get what you get, didn’t like it? Well too bad! If I did anything that was not allowed, I would see the Chinese bamboo feather duster to my butt within seconds! And IF I even tried to hide it, my parents always knew and told me “where did you put it?” “If you don’t give it to me now it’ll be 10x worse!” So of course I would go and pull it out from under my bed. Sucked!

You didn’t want to eat vegetables? Tough luck! If you don’t eat it, you can starve. You wanted a certain toy really badly, you better wait for your birthday or Christmas… if you’re lucky. You cry in public, you’ll stay home next time everyone goes out. You talk back to an adult, You’ll get the death stare and you’ll face the consequence when you get home. You threaten your parents to tell the teacher that they’re hitting you, you’re parents will tell you “go ahead and see what happens next.” The unknown was always scary.

So that was then… Now
From what I see, as long as kids are behaving they get pretty much anything they want nowadays. Positive reinforcement they call it. Everything is for the comfort of the child. My mom tells me, cut the tags off of the babies clothes so it doesn’t scratch/itch her, get her better shoes so it’ll be better for her feet, let’s go out for dinner to celebrate her 14 months, there’s a stain on her undershirt so I’ll go buy her a new one, don’t put her into daycare because she’s going to get sick and the best one yet, don’t discipline her! She’s just a baby. Is this my mom? Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining because I loved my childhood and wouldn’t change it for anything. It’s just so different now compared to the 80s.

I just want my kids to cherish and love every minute of their lives and be thankful for everything they have. Parents try to give their all to you. Might not be what you want, when you want but it’s always for the best.