Thursday, May 04, 2006

Dumbo-- and other toddler stuff

so, i'm gonna ramble about purely toddler things...

I'm reading a book about toddlers; its quite entertaining and fun to read and full of cute stories, but still has lots of good information. Anyway, i got done reading a chapter about magical objects/rituals. Think of the Disney cartoon "Dumbo." He had the wonderful ability to fly-- but he thought he needed his magical feather in order to fly. In the end, he realized that he could succeed without it.

Toddlers are like that [or so the book says.] Childhood examples are: pacifiers, blankets, stuffed toys, and even actions such as picking their nose, banging their heads [thats really odd], nail biting, sucking thumb, etc etc etc. Whenever they're feeling scared, sad, or just plain bored, they turn to this thing for comfort. It has the magical power to make them better.

And so i was thinking: Erica doesnt have anything like this. I count my lucky stars that she doesnt use a pacifier-- b/c i think it looks silly when a five year old is still using one, and i didnt look forward to having to break my child of the habbit. She doesnt have a favorite blanket or toy. We dont even have a fancy type of bedtime routine. I always felt happy about that too, b/c i can basicly put her to bed at any time and she'll settle right down. She could be running around the living room, playing and laughing, and i'll take her up to her bedroom while singing a simple song, lay her down, and she's out cold.

The problem is when we are away from home. Whenever she needs to sleep somewhere else, she'll cry and cry and cry. So i'm thinking: Maybe she DOES need a magical object. But again, i dont really want to get her started on anything.

Well, i noticed today that there's something she does when she's really tired. This is really odd-- she plays with her tongue. She'll pinch it, pull at it, flick it, etc. She's just started doing this recently. So, maybe thats gonna become her thing. And it has the potential of being rather embarrassing for me to see her doing it in public. Ah well.

The new chapter i'm starting is about eating habbits. Yes, toddlers can be extremely irritating when it comes to food. They'll love something one day and then hate it the next. I've finally found a way to get her to eat some vegetables: put them on a fork, hand her the fork, and let her feed herself. But she still goes thru days of like/dislike. Yesterday she wouldnt eat carrots, but today she gobbled them up.

The one thing i feel passionately about is the TYPE of food she eats. I DONT want her eating a lot of junk food. its not healthy for her. the more she eats now, the more she's gonna want it in the future. And, if she's gonna have snacks, there are so many healthier options. And i definitely dont want her eating crap at fast food places. I saw a thing on the Today show this morning about a new book: "Chew on This." The guy was talking about how grownups are making awful choices by giving their kids unhealthy burgers, french fries, fried foods, etc at fast food restaraunts. And its really true. Now... i do take erica to fast food places. After our swimming class, a bunch of mothers go out for lunch. But, i try to make the best decisions possible. NO FRENCH FRIES!!! my favorite is wendy's, b/c we get a baked potatoe and mandarin oranges. At McDonalds, we get a fruit and yogurt parfait. I just really want my daughter to be healthy.

I have a Parents magazine from a month or two ago; there was a big article about raising healthy eaters. I'm gonna make andrew look over it with me. I just really really really want her to be healthy. She loves fruit, so we should stick with that for desserts.

I did make banana bread today-- my bananas were getting yucky. But i found a pretty good recipe. There's no oil or butter in it, which makes it much healthier. And i used splenda instead of real sugar. [is it safe to give toddlers splenda? i know nutrasweet isnt really good, but i think splenda should be okay.] And i used whole wheat flour instead. Oh, and i did add some unsweetened applesauce to add a bit of moisture. It turned out really good.

Well, i guess i talked about enough today.


Clairissa said...

To answer your question, I don't really think it is a good idea to give toddlers Splenda. Since my Splenda kick a year or two ago, lots of info has come to my attention. The process they put the sugar through ("it's made from sugar so it tastes like sugar" ... BAH!) is so crappy for you. They use chlorine and stuff. My dad was a science major and he explained it all to me... it is NOT good for you. At least SUGAR, regular sugar was created by God. In MODERATION, sugar isn't bad to give to Erica now and then, but if I were you I'd stay away from Splenda, aspartame, etc. ... all the fake, not-made-by-God things. Also just remember Dr. Sears' (from the American Academy of Pediatrics) 80-20 rule. If your child is eating HEALTHY food 80% of the time, you (and he or she) can afford to throw caution to the wind 20% of the time.

Reagan actually had ice cream (or frozen custard at Rita's rather) for the first time the other day and after a few licks and some "mmmm"ing wasn't interested because he PREFERS healthy foods. THAT is what you want! He even had fries the other day (gasp!). But you bet that 80% of the time he eats ALL NATURAL, ORGANIC, FRESH, HEALTHY food.

Sorry, long explanation, but yeah, I would stay away from "imitation sugars" such as Splenda DEFINITELY!!!!!!!

(Am I going to get sued by Splenda now?!)

Tickneen said...

The simple fact you are reading about how to raise your child tells me you are an awesome mom! I'll never forget when my wife gave my son a hard bread thing for babies (forget the name). I thought he was going to choke!!! I learned so much from my wife. I would not be the parent I am without her! Cheers to you mum!