Working with my Son

I know my kid isn’t the only one.  I have several friends, both online and in person, who comment how their 2-year-old (or older/younger) is flipping through apps on their iPhone or iPad. Obviously it’s common or why else would all these developers make apps for toddlers?  But it’s also kind of crazy how tech-savvy today’s toddlers are.

Little Man doesn’t really say much but he does know “on” and “off” and can name basically every character in The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Dora the Explorer cartoons.  He says map and bappap (backpack) and Mou and MeeMee and Dasiy and Duck Duck.  I’ve mentioned that I allow him to watch TV and have admitted that I feel I let him watch too much. But it keeps him busy while he’s at work with me (my not-so-ideal situation) and it cannot be helped right now.

I actually made my iPod Touch toddler friendly. Basically Little Man has free reign with it.  Though if there is no Wi-Fi available, he gets mad when he can’t get his apps to work. I’ve created a monster!

I guess that’s it for now. I’m trying to get back into the groove of blogging.  I like writing and maybe one day I’ll be more attentive to this site.  I’ve considered returning to another blog site (with nice follower links) but then I’d have to figure out how to move this one. Not gonna happen anytime soon.

Probably TOO much TV. But there you go. Sesame Street and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse allows me to have coffee and eat breakfast. Or at the very least try to eat breakfast since Little Man has decided he wants to have my cereal, from my bowl, in the morning. That habit actually stopped me from having Peanut Butter Captain Crunch today (yes, I eat like a kid) because Little Man hasn’t had peanuts yet. But the TV often distracts him enough for me to eat, or empty and reload the dishwasher, or throw a load of laundry in the wash.

That being said, I don’t want him to watch TOO much TV and am working to change this habit (if it isn’t too late to do so) by spending a LOT of time with him, playing in his bedroom. And as the weather gets nicer, he will be OUTSIDE as much as possible during his waking hours–when I’m not at the office. Since he’s still coming to work with me (hoping to do 2 days in daycare starting in June), I don’t have as much opportunity to take him outside. But I did manage on St. Patrick’s Day when the weather was hovering around 70 degrees.

Here’s a photo of him from that day.

Cute, huh?

Seriously, he does watch too much TV but at least it’s age appropriate. The aforementioned Sesame Street, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Jake & the Neverland Pirates (because it’s on), Dora, Diego, The Wonder Pets, The Fresh Beat Band and, on occasion, Yo Gabba Gabba, Special Agent Oso and (my favorite) Jack’s Big Music Show.

Little Man will reply to questions that are asked by Dora or Diego–usually with a “NO!” Or he’ll say “Bap Pap” and “Map” if Dora asks her audience who do you ask when ___? So I guess he is learning. He even says “tip toe” thanks to the Hic Boom Oh episode.

So I guess there are worse things he could be doing, right?

But I DO need to cut back. I don’t want him to become a couch potato.

Who knew it started so early—at 14 months?  But it does. Oh, boy.  Little Man will literally throw himself on the floor and scream if he doesn’t get his way.  And there really isn’t a good way to reason with a toddler (even if mine isn’t walking yet). They don’t understand. While Little Man understands much more than he says, he doesn’t understand that touching mommy’s computer at work isn’t a good thing.

I actually wish I made a better salary so I could enroll Little Man in daycare.  The first year, bringing him to work with me was great. He slept a lot and I had my baby with me. I was with him. What could be better?

But now I realize he needs more socialization and would benefit from an environment that is structured around children. Not that I think he’d nap better. I actually would be worried he wouldn’t. But he likes company when he plays. And most of his tantrums are because I’m sitting at my desk, trying to work, and he wants me sitting on the floor with him while he plays with his toys. He’s quite social and I think would benefit from being around other toddlers.

However that’s not happening any time soon.  There’s a lot of transition in our lives right now and no major changes, except for one that we’ve been discussing, will happen before next Spring. So for now I’m just going to have to “Make it Work” (as Tim Gunn would say) and hope for the best.

Little Man turned 9 months old on May 14th and the weekend before—on Mother’s Day, actually—he started crawling. It started off slow… he’d crawl a bit, stop, then sit and look at me or Dude. But by mid-week he was crawling quickly! Here’s a video of him in my office.

Besides crawling, he’s started clapping.  He claps and looks around for approval.  If you say “Yay!” he claps some more and laughs! It’s very fun.  So far, nine months has been quite fun!  Since I’m sharing videos, here’s one of him clapping, taken the same day at my office.

Last week was somewhat hectic for me, so I didn’t really update my blog.  But tomorrow, when I have a chance, I’ll share some photos from my first Mother’s Day.  I’m still somewhat in shock about that—I’m a mom!  I’m not sure when it will fully sink in, but after 9 months it really hasn’t yet. I guess I’m still trying to come to grips with the fact that I turned 40 last month.

I work for my family’s business so my parents, who are my bosses, are allowing me to bring Little Man to work with me.  Due to the poor economy, I’m woefully underpaid and cannot afford the high costs of daycare. So this arrangement is they way I’m going. But I have to say it’s not easy.

I’m glad I have my son with me and that he’s not being cared for by strangers—no matter how qualified and caring they may be. However, it’s really hard to be productive while caring for an infant. As I type this blog, Little Man is sleeping in his Baby K’Tan sling and I’m getting work done (with this brief break, of course). I have a Pack-n-Play in my office and a play mat. I’ve ordered a travel swing and my cousin lent me her son’s bouncy seat (he’s 14 months old now and way too big for it) and her exersaucer for when Little Man is old enough.

But I worry that I won’t find a balance between getting my work done and giving my son the attention he needs and deserves.

Is this the best way? Probably not… but for now it’s the only way.   And my parents don’t want to see us tossed in the streets without my income paying for a huge chunk of our monthly expenses, so I’m “making this work” (in the words of Tim Gunn) and hoping it all works out.

But not for me!   My aunt stayed over last night to allow me to sleep and he slept through the night!

I’m thrilled that he did but am so jealous it wasn’t for me.

I hope this begins happening more and more frequently so I feel more rested and am better able to function at work.

I actually work for my family’s business. We’re wholesalers and have an office attached to a warehouse. And since my bosses are my mom and dad, I’m able to bring Little Man to work with me.  NOT that I’m terribly productive that way. But Dude and I are not that well off and we need both of our salaries to survive.  Putting Little Man in day care would allow me to get more work done but all of my salary would be paying for it.  So I bring him to work with me and save money that way. But how to keep him occupied and properly stimulated is not easy.

Yet if Little Man keeps sleeping through the night, I will be able to function better and will be able to get more done—even with the darling distraction of my son.