Tomorrow, my daughter turns two. This is when I should be running for cover, and believe me, these past few weeks I have felt like I need to.
Little D has always been a force to be reckoned with and it seems with each passing day she becomes even more willful. (Translation: Her way, or the highway.) But I’m realizing that her fighting spirit is just the kind of toughness she’ll need as she deals with what’s happening in her near future: preschool.
When do you think a kid is ready for school?
Is two too early to send her to school? I’ve been struggling with this decision, wondering if she’s ready. So I’ve been taking her for an hour or so each week to ease her into it. I wanted to see how she does in that setting, going from a home daycare of maybe 10 kids tops (the majority of whom are younger than her) to a preschool with 30 kids where she’ll be the youngest.
And, after three visits my almost two-year-old Little D is doing great. How did I make that assessment?
She stood her ground with her peers. When a much bigger, older kid, who I’m sure will be her frenemy — Audrey, I have my eye on you — tried to take a toy away from her just to be mean, Little D took it back and said, “No.” Audrey gave up. No adult had to intervene.
She didn’t argue with the grownups . . . like she does at home. When one of the teachers told her not to lean back in her chair, because she could hurt herself, Little D listened. (Though, I should note, I didn’t particularly like how that request was delivered. It’s difficult to see someone else discipline my child!)
She followed her peers when she was supposed to. When snack time arrived and all the kids were to grab a chair and sit around a table, she did the same. While she didn’t sit very long with them — like a minute — at least she got a gist of what she should be doing.
She wanted to use the bathroom . . . though she didn’t really use it. I believe she was particularly thrilled to see things sized for people of her stature.
She didn’t cry when she arrived or when we left. I always consider that a good sign! I’m hoping that will be the case every time.
So with that, I’m no longer fearing the terrible twos people speak of and declaring this year the year of the tough, terrific twos! Bring it on. Preschool . . . you’re about to be Little D’d! Besides, she decided she’s skipping age two altogether. When we ask her how old she’s going to be, she says, “Four.”
Happy Birthday, Little D!
P.S. No, I’m not buying or making you a house like this, but you can visit it at preschool.
You love to rock out on (fill in the blank with your instrument of choice)… Question is: How do you choose the right instrument for your child? I’ve been trying to figure that out since our daughter got her pincers working, and the instrument is always changing. She has shown me a lot about what is right for her when it comes to rocking out, so I thought I’d share what Little D has taught me about choosing the right instrument for your child.
Have more tips on how to choose the right instrument for a child?
Share below! And for some great music to play along and sing and sleep to, check out some of our releases below.
My daughters are almost exactly two years apart in age-in fact, there are only two days between their birthdays. Which means that either they are going to have joint parties for most of their childhood or I am always going to go crazy the first week of May.
I love kids’ parties. I love birthdays. I love putting them together and, while most people groan and roll their eyes, I am amped up long before the sugar consumption sets in. Uninhibited dancing! Magicians! Arts & crafts! Puppets! Snacks galore! Adult parties seem stale by comparison. And while I’d rather have my face painting done at Barney’s, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a good grown-up party where you can arrive barefoot and drink a beer or hold a boa constrictor in one hand and a glass of wine in another.
But this year-which, mind you, is THE FIRST birthday for the baby-I was too tired to throw a “real” party for either of my girls. Our home has been under siege by viral infections for the last three months (the girls split at least seven between them); one of our dearest friends was getting married the same week as the birthday blitz; and I had a major work deadline. Even as I outline my reasons, I feel a nagging tug of guilt that I am a lame-ass mom for not getting my act together. Oh, well.
I took cupcakes to preschool for my 3-year-old’s birthday (from the grocery store, too, I couldn’t even be bothered to make cupcakes) and my husband brought his guitar and sang songs with her class. She got to sit in the birthday chair and then we painted birdhouses. Then she had a play date with her two closest friends after school, another round of cupcakes (this time with ice cream), our LA family came over and we ordered pizza for dinner. And while you won’t see any of it on Pinterest, it was perfect.
For the baby, two days later, I downsized even more: just the four of us. I made carrot muffins with her in my arms that morning and we stuck a candle in one. Her big sister opened all her presents and we took some cute pictures of her wearing a birthday hat (her sister’s, btw). Then, my brand-new one-year-old passed out for three hours. I went down with her for my own nap. Now that’s a party.
Want to throw your own nap party? Let us Rockabye your baby to a very happy Z-day with lullaby renditions of songs from some of your favorite artists.
We’re so grateful to Rockabye Baby for letting me, a first-time mommy, and, my partner in parenting, a daddy in training, share our journey with her. I have learned so, so, so much from documenting her different milestones here.
We’re throwing her a big birthday party tomorrow, with planning semi on par of our wedding and totally us: everything last minute, a little DIY and a little reckless spending (because there’s no one talking mama out of online shopping at 2 AM).
Little D may have no memory of the party, but as I mentioned earlier this week, honestly, it’s not just about her: It’s also commemorating our first year of parenthood-and we deserve a party. A funny hat party!
We’ve made a Rockabye Baby Birthday (After) Party Playlist for her to take the edge off after what’s sure to be a hectic weekend. If you read the titles closely, you’ll see that it also reflects what this year has meant having this little Gemini -Year of the Dragon baby, now toddler, in our lives.
Here’s to you, Little D, and everyone whose life has been transformed by little spirits like you.
My daughter, D, is turning 1 on May 24. The year’s gone by so fast! Way too quick for me to even have much time to think about throwing a birthday party to commemorate her first year of life. So I’ve had to act fast to start our birthday plan of attack-even if she won’t remember any of it. Mama likes to party.
So we’ve done what most parents in this day and age do:
Sent out an electronic invitation/notice of some form. I’ve counted 4 so far: family e-group list, Facebook event, email, text message.
That’s as far as we’ve gotten. Yeah, we have a long way to go. But I did also consult an expert, my 5-year-old niece, Natalia, for advice on how to throw the ultimate birthday party for her cousin. Here’s what was on her checklist for D’s party, which she shared via telephone, in the order she relayed them to me:
KID’s GUIDE TO THROWING A BIRTHDAY PARTY
Here’s all you need:
1. “One of those big things that, y’know, hangs from a tree and is filled with stuff!” (translation: piñata) 2. “M&Ms…lots of them.” 3. “Um, cake, cookies, cupcakes. CHEESECAKE…yeah, one of those, too!” 4. “Maybe a little pasta.” 5. “Decorations…like those things you throw into the air.” (translation: confetti) 6. “Oh, yeah, and it has to be a surprise!”
That last tip kills me: a surprise party for a 1-year-old. I asked her, “How do we surprise her?” She said, “Just have her papa roll her over!” Anyone care to translate?
No party is complete without a little music! When things need to wind down, turn up our lullaby renditions.
We know many of you across the country can’t wait to start peeling off your winter layers and really enjoy the longer days. To warm you up this new season, and to welcome new life-whether you are expecting or someone you love is-we put together this special Spring Fever Playlist just for you. Share it at a baby shower or just chill outdoors with your little ones and give it a listen.
Listen to our Spring Fever Baby Shower Playlist now!
Like what you hear? Then you’ll love these full-length lullaby renditions!
We were pretty excited when she started crawling just before her seven “monthaversary” (as my mom likes to call it). But she followed that milestone with figuring out how to stand up two days later.
Now standing is all she wants to do. Little does she know that when she gets much older, all she’ll want to do is find ways to sit down or lie down.
Little D had her little discovery not long after we finally set up her crib. She saw those rails and bars and some light bulb went on in her head and made them her standing friends. Now when she’s in her crib she thinks it’s time for a walkabout instead of treating it as a haven for sleep.
And the milestones keep coming like wildfire. I’m particularly fond of her pincer grasp in BOTH hands. Having her self-feed is nothing short of awesome. Peas, beans, little pieces of toast… It occupies her time so Mommy and Daddy can actually feed themselves. And it’s the one thing she thinks is even cooler than standing.
But combine those skilled thumbs and forefingers with happy standing legs and my little girl is clearly no longer the helpless little baby who could only see the world beyond her Moses basket if I picked her up and who could only grab things I put within her reach.
But my sweet baby still needs to hold onto something when she stands, and when it’s not the rails of her crib or some other (hopefully) stationary objects, it’s more often than not me, or something I’m wearing.
And what does D do when she’s standing using those pincers? Grabbing on to what’s around my neck. And what happens when baby falls down when standing isn’t fun anymore? She takes my treasured keepsakes down with her 18-pound frame.
Drawing a blank on what tunes your dear friend might want to share with her little bundle of joy?
We’re here to help! Check out the first installment of our Baby Shower below with the perfect collection of tunes for every mama to be. Just choose which mama you’re shopping for!
Who it’s for: She’s the soon-to-be “rock-mama” who’s outspoken, free-spirited and even a little rebellious at times (yep, she’s hopped a fence or two in her day and was the first in your circle to get a tattoo).
Music has always been a huge part of her life and will continue to be in her new life as “mommy.” The tunes she loves aren’t for the faint of heart but we think she’ll be willing to turn them down a little bit for her mini rocker with these lullaby renditions:
Who it’s for: She’s girl next door, the darling with the big heart who hasn’t sworn since middle school (on a dare). In her spare time, she finds homes for homeless pups and will bring over soup at the drop of a pin when you’re sick. She’s basically like the best grandma ever but . . . closer to your age.
Give her and her little cutie this collection of lullabies that are just as sweet as she is:
Who it’s for: The close acquaintance, friend of a friend. . . of a friend of a friend. You’ve met on more than a dozen occasions, but only by way of mutual pals. Since friends of friends can loosely be considered your own friends, you’ve been invited (perhaps by obligation) to her baby shower!
Since she’s not one of your closest gal pals, you don’t know her well enough to pick out her favorites. So what you need is a little bit of everything :
One of my favorite pastimes, especially when I am traveling, is visiting museums. Now with a baby in tow, I assumed this would no longer be the easiest or most pleasurable activity. How long can she go without crying? How long could she go without eating? Would I have to take a stroller?
There are several baby- and kid-friendly museums in most big cities. Here are links to introduce you to some great ones in the States and abroad:
Do you have some great kid-friendly museums you recommend?
Granted most of the museums on these lists weren’t on my destination wish list pre-Little D. And when I was in San Francisco recently and saw that the “Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk” exhibit, was at the de Young – definitely not a kid’s museum – I told D, “Whether you like it or not, you’re going.”
Interestingly enough, my husband and I found the museum experience even more exciting with the little one compared to our visit to the de Young last year. (BTW, do check out Gaultier exhibit. It’s awesome for all ages.)
May 29, 2011 July 3, 2012
de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA
Bringing a baby added a real dose of adventure to the visit. Apart from the fact that it was incredibly fun being stealth about snapping pictures of D in front of various art to record her first museum visit, there was always a risk she was going to break out crying or make inappropriate noises (you know what I’m talking about) at any moment. Oh, the small thrills of parenthood. Really living on the wild side, right?
Just leave the stroller at home to avoid pissing people off at the more grown-up museums. Or, better yet, bring it.
Think first Fridays of the month are just for cool art and music happenings? Well, sure they are, but here at Rockabye Baby, we’re also using them to spotlight what’s happening with your little ones.
When you have a child, witnessing their “first” anything is a precious moment… and even better when you can record them. We know how proud you are of your kids’ firsts, so we’re taking each first Friday of the month to celebrate just that!
We’re kicking things off with this video from Janet of Dunblane, Scotland, of her son, Magnus.
“Magnus’s First Word,” April 2012
Magnus began saying the “m” sound at around one year, and then he started using it when we he wanted something — pointing and saying “ma” really clearly. (This replaced the previous shrill squawking that he did when he wanted things, so we were pleased!) Then he started making it sound like “ma-nu,” and we realised he was saying his own name. So the video clip shows us encouraging him to say it. He now has different sounds for Maisie, his sister, Mummy and we think also Bounce, Bang and Book (a small insight into our lives!!!). He’s now 14 months.
(If you’re in the UK, like Janet and family, don’t forget to check out our UK site!)
Share your kids’ firsts with us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org your photos, videos and stories. Your child can be our next First Friday spotlight!
Does your baby think they were born to run? If your little Boss isn’t tired and wants to prove it all night, tuck them in with these blissful versions of Bruce Springsteen’s classic rock anthems. We promise there will be lots of sleeping in the dark.
Does your baby move like Jagger and keep you up all night? Here’s the secret to a blissful evening - put on these calm and cozy bedtime renditions of Maroon 5. Your baby will never want to leave that crib.