Saturday, September 10, 2011

Who ya gonna call?!

So like I said, Max is terrified of the monsters that live in his heater vent. We tried everything to prove to him that monsters do not exist... Though having monsters literally staring down at him from his walls really wasn't helping our case. Max spent the last few months camped out on our floor. Not the best arrangement, especially when Joey would trip over him getting up for work in the wee hours. During one of my many calls to my mom, she had the idea of vacuuming up the monsters out of the vent. Immediately the Ghostbusters theme was playing in my head. I was skeptical, but desperate.

So Joey got out the shop vac, or Monster-Vac, as Max now knows it. We made Max watch Joey suck up the monsters. It took a lot of self control on Joey's part not to pretend to get his arm dragged into the vent by a monster. Who knows what consequences would result from that trauma. Max then had to watch Joey dump the canister in the dumpster. Joey came up with the idea that the Monster-Vac also turns the monsters into dust (you gotta be quick on your feet with logic when it comes to monsters). Luckily, the next day was trash day, so Max was sure to watch the garbage truck take the monsters. Max explained to me that the monsters would meet the same fate as in Toy Story 3.

Wouldn't you know it, he has slept in his room ever since. He even grabbed Joey's face in both hands and said, "Thanks, Daddy for getting rid of my monsters." Sort of broke my heart he was so traumatized by these monsters that seems so real to him. Sometimes I forget what it's like to be a kid and have your own sense of reality. Those monsters were definitely real to Max, and definitely gone to him now! I wonder what else the shop-vac can get rid of? bad attitudes? Tantrums? Maybe QVC has a spot for us.

Here's another thing we're trying around here: a chore chart. I found this pocket chart for a buck at Target! Ok... so it was one of those times when I saw something super cheap and thought, "What can I make out of this?"
I'll be honest, it's hard to think of real work for a 3 year old... who is easily distracted... and doesn't always follow directions...the first 3 times I say them. But that's exactly my goal- a tangible way for Max to learn responsibility and a tangible way for him to see what he's accomplished. I put visual cues on the card so he could decipher them, and put the chart at his level to give him some ownership of it. I didn't realize how warm of a response I would actually get. He was excited to move over each card, and as I was shutting his door at bedtime he asked to "move his cards" tomorrow. Of course, the honeymoon period has worn off somewhat, but it's SOOO much easier to tell him to move his cards than say over and over... and over... and over... to put his dirty clothes away. Oh, and the "pray" card never moves to the "done" side, I mean, you should always have a prayer in your heart, right? :)

I came up with this idea because I learned Max is much more receptive to visual cues rather than speech. We're learning how to communicate with him better, and I think it's making our house a little calmer. Oh, and I already bought another chart for Luke. Gotta put 'em to work young!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011 usual.

So Luke turned 2... over a month ago. Here's a little post about my little 2 year old... ok, maybe not so little. He's actually kind of big for his age, especially in the cranial area.Luke is a great little talker. He loves to tell me the same "knock, knock" joke every morning which I'm still waiting to hear the punch line to. He has a lisp that is completely endearing. I don't know how cute it will be as a teenager, but for now, it makes every spit-filled word adorable. He wakes up every morning (well, almost every morning, unless it's earlier than 8:00am) with a big smile on his face and asks for Masth (Max) or Daddy. He then will run out to the living room to find Max and say, "Hi ya Masth!" over and over until Max acknowledges him... which can be a long time.He's a pretty active little boy, but I sure am glad he moves a whole lot slower than Max! He has some short, thick, inflexible little legs that don't allow for fence climbing or crib climbing. He usually laughs it off when he stumbles or bumps into things. In fact, he's pretty tough when it comes to wrestling or tackling his dad or brother. He's been known to run full speed (again, not really all that fast) into Max, knock Max down, and pin him until we pull him off. All the while, giggling.Luke has a big, kind heart. He really gets a kick out of sharing things... except with Max. He's actually pretty shy until he knows someone. He loves to grab my face with both hands and plant a big wet one on me... over and over, no matter how hard I try to escape. He loves his daddy too and loves to go bike rides and rides in "Daddy's truck"(I'll spare you what "truck" sounds like with his lisp, it's a little inappropriate). We never would have guessed Luke would love riding in the bike trailer or the car so much considering as a newborn he was in continuous cycle of screaming until he threw up in the car.
Luke certainly has his 2 year old moments when he is incredibly stubborn and throws fits like nobody's business, but more times than not, he's remorseful afterwards and just wants to get back to enjoying life... and food... lots and lots of food. I can't believe he's already 2, but I love that his personality is showing through more and more each day.