I usually blog about what we do on the weekends here in small-town Newfoundland, but lately I have been feeling like writing about what we do on work days. Like, did you know that the Canadian Dental Association recommends bringing your kid to the dentist before their first birthday? This is totally something that was pounded into our heads in dental school, but I think a lot of people have no idea that the first dental visit should be so early.
Now that I have a child of my own, and my friends are starting to have kids too, I am more interested in getting the word out about that first dental visit. Cohen was 9 months old when he had his first checkup, and I am seeing more and more under-one-year-old kids at the clinic, and I love it.
This is what I do at the first visit:
Ask a bunch of questions. I want to know if you are brushing with a toothbrush at night. I want to know what kind of toothpaste you use. I want to know if we are using a bottle, a sippy cup, or a regular glass to drink from. I want to know if your child drinks milk, juice, water, pop, formula, breast milk, etc. I want to know if you have a picky eater.
Have a quick look at the mouth and teeth. Sometimes this look is super quick because baby is crying/screaming. Mostly I want to see how many teeth are there, and if there are any signs that they are drinking too much milk or juice. I also want to check to see if they are tongue-tied (surprisingly common) and if the teeth are spaced out or crowded.
Give some basic advice/recommendations. No more bottles after 1 year of age. Only water in sippy cups. Etc.
That's it! Most first dental visits are under 10 minutes, and you get a toothbrush at the end. Totally painless.
Wednesday, 30 March 2016
Monday, 21 March 2016
(Actually, this was from a week ago when we belatedly celebrated Jon's 35th birthday with a cake that Cohen decorated by dumping half a bottle of sprinkles on it. He picked out the sprinkles himself at the grocery store. They were stars)
(When we play in the snow, I always get all serious and want to make sculptures. This day I made a sofa and armchair. Cohen dismantled while I built. We both had a good time)
(Selfie. I sometimes buy all three of us matching clothes. Not embarrassed)
(Breakfast family date)
(Cohen's first egg hunt. He loved it, especially fishing for eggs in the snow. We were told to bring a basket, but apparently Cohen's basket was not what they had in mind. Hehe. We will know for next year.)
(Cohen got a stick-on mustache in an egg, and was pretty thrilled.)
Saturday, 19 March 2016
So I think we might be into those "terrible twos" that everyone told us about. I totally thought I had it covered, because since Cohen has been 1.5 years old, he has flipped out every other day about something small for like 5 minutes. Like if he can't get his jacket zipped up all my himself. That zipper is hard, but he absolutely insists on doing it himself, and gets even more mad when we try to help. But then after a couple minutes, he just forgets about it or gets over it. No biggie. I was like, this is easy!
But. Now, he has complete and total breakdowns lots of days. This morning it was because I suggested he put on his slippers because it was a little chilly. He snapped. And it takes him over half an hour to calm down. He screams and cries and falls on the floor and is completely inconsolable. In those moments I honestly feel like he must be in such extreme pain because he is screaming so loudly. We have tried a million different methods to deal with it, and it sucks. I am definitely not looking for advice right now, I more just want to remember this, because it's just part of the complete life experience. And I am proud to be a parent and get through it. Anyway, this is how the meltdowns usually end: half an hour after they started, it's like a switch flips in him, and he is back to normal. He asks us to read him a story, and we do, and then he is a perfect angel for the rest of the day. Jon and I are sometimes so shocked by how insane and angry he seems for those 30-40 minutes, and how great and sensitive and aware he seems for the rest of the day.
I know we have it so easy. We have one child. We are both home every night. But parenting. It's tough. And then we get to hang out with a sweet, kind, gentle boy most of the time. I am definitely not complaining. We are so lucky.
Thursday, 10 March 2016
(reading at YYT)
I definitely cannot do a "Things to do in Ottawa with a toddler in winter" post because we were just so sick the whole time that we were lucky to do the few things we did. In typical toddler fashion, Cohen's absolute highlight of the trip was going on the elevator numerous times a day in the building we stayed at. Also jumping from our bed to his blowup air mattress a million times a day while yelling various words including "geronimo" and "to infinity." And watching lots more TV then he usually gets to because Jon and I were pretty much out of commission. And eating more junky food than usual.
(en route from the airport in Ottawa*)
(the Airbnb host had left out a few toys and a play mat. The best)
(at the public library**)
(also at the library: Jon found about ten half crayons in another tupperware)
(Children's Museum in Gatineau)
(Jon wants one of these for our house)
(driving the mini in the museum)
(loved the elevator ***)
*Our Airbnb did not have parking, and it seemed annoying to get a rental car anyways for downtown Ottawa, so we had planned to just do the bus thing so we didn't have to worry about car seats. And then we got to the airport and we were exhausted and the taxi stand was so convenient, and they didn't seem to care/notice that we had a toddler in the backseat with us who was not in a carseat. Sooo we took a taxi. No car seat. I had spent the week beforehand worrying about lack of carseat and checking the bus system for the best route. I was so against toddlers in backseats with no car seats. And I still am. And I did it. To make myself feel better I recalled times when we were traveling as kids in Mexico, and our entire family crammed into a backseat with no seat belts or anything. But really, I would recommend for anyone visiting a city to do the bus thing or rent a car with a carseat. Wow, I seem to have a lot to say about car seats and traveling and toddlers.
**When we have visited Halifax before, we have loved spending time in the library. Ottawa public library on Metcalfe was pretty sad in terms of kids play area. They had a few lego in a Tupperware and that was it. Jon and I were like, oh wow, ok, let's head out. But then Cohen proceeded to be thrilled by the small amount of lego and allowed Jon and I to sit on the floor/on that sweet loveseat for an hour while he played. Perfect.
***The Airbnb we stayed in was really nice. The building was pretty new, and everything was awesome. They had 24 hour security at the front door, which I love so much. But the elevators were hideous. Maybe undergoing construction? I dunno.
Wednesday, 9 March 2016
(our little traveller had his 43rd flight*)
We just got back from a five day trip to Ottawa, and we are pretty exhausted. We all came down with wicked colds while we were there, and basically just felt sick the whole time. We still managed to check out a few museums, visit a friend, and go to a few restaurants, but we mostly hung out at our Airbnb and relaxed.
Being really sick on a family trip is one of those bonding experiences that make Jon and I feel closer than ever. Something to add to our list of mildly hard things we have done together. We napped when Cohen napped, and we were always back to the apartment at 4 or 5, when Jon and I would have a beer and talk and read magazines while Cohen watched a show on the apple TV. That 45 minute time period was so great. Cohen decided not even to try to get used to the time change, and just got up at 5 am every single morning. Not even the coffee shops near the apartment were open until 6 am. He would then be ready for a nap at 11 am, and ready for bed at 6 pm. Jon and I would have a second supper after he was down, and watch House of Cards, of course.
More pics later...
* Our Ottawa friends were asking us if he is a good traveller, and we told them that he was excellent on planes, and his flight count. They were like, oh wow, what cool places have you gone?! But all those flights have been domestic, and most of them have been within the maritimes. Lots of them have just been to get off the rock. So maybe it's not as cool as it seems:)