Archive for the ‘toddler’ Tag

Growing Up (Too Quick)!

 

Toss Your Toddler dance class

Toss Your Toddler dance class

Today I taught a creative movement class for preschoolers, 2 1/2 years to 4 1/2 years. I do this on most Mondays. The class used to be a Toss Your Toddler dance class which was a lot of fun and both parents and toddlers participated. (I still teach this class but it has now been moved to Wednesday mornings at 10:30 am). In this class there is a lot of running, jumping, falling, rolling and partnering with your toddler. Mateo and I loved this class; loved the partnering parts, the rolling together, climbing on top of me. I miss not having him participating in the class when I teach it on Wednesdays, but he’s getting too old, he’s growing up, the other kids are so young. He’s a preschooler now, not a toddler. But we have the Creative Movement class now….

 

It’s not the same. It’s me and a whole bunch of wonderful other kids and Mateo, who I have to treat as just another student. Which I can’t do of course, especially when he says, “Mama, I want to eat.” Luckily that was just two minutes before class ended. But today was difficult, sad really, even though it was a great class and I had a blast teaching. Mateo wanted to partner with me; he wanted to ride on my belly when we did the crab crawl, he wanted to come up and waltz with me for the waltz music, he wanted to roll with me instead of by himself, and a couple other times. It was sad to have to tell him that we couldn’t do those things together.

He understands that I’m the teacher and that there aren’t any other moms in the class, but soon he will really understand and stop asking me to partner with him in the class. Will we make enough time or the effort to do those things at home? By ourselves? Without the dance class? As my belly gets bigger and bigger?

Ah, but we did slither on our bellies this week. I kept my weight mostly on my arms and knees to keep the pressure off the belly, but it worked. For how many more weeks?

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Toddler Demands

On Sunday, (December 21) Winter Solstice, I was busy. Cooking brunch, dishes, laundry, wiping Mateo’s nose, cleaning. But mostly I was wiping Mateo’s nose. All morning all I heard every minute or two was “Kleenex!” He can wipe his own nose, but this time, being really sick he wanted me to do it, not Grammy who was visiting, not Papa, just Mama. so I did, over and over, while I also tried to get things done and meet all the other demands of juice, water, or just to hold him. 

Then came the time when my husband kept on calling me over to the computer where he was trying to look for Christmas gifts. He would call me over to look at whichever potential gift he found, then Mateo would call me back to the table where he was needing a kleenex or juice, kleenex again, more chips (tortilla chips, baked, not fried). Back adn forth I wnt lik a pin pong ball, over and over. Finally I gave up trying to meet both of thier demancds for my attention and I sate down on our table that holds our TV, from there Mateo could see me, which is what he really wanted. But he still called me, then my husband called me.

“Mama!” (As he looked towards the desk where his father sat.)

“My Honey!”

“Mama!”

“My Honey!”

Back and forth, louder and louder. A new game had been born and I could sit and relax, while they hollered back and forth.

Vacation

We returned from a short vacation on Monday. After four days of riding around in a car, it felt great to be moving again: right back into a whole lot of walking and teaching the Toss Your Toddler dance class, with all it’s running, jumping , falling and rolling, stretching, and then walking more; this was the same day that we spent on an airplane coming home.

On vacation it was really difficult to keep active. It was hot and not at all like here in Brooklyn where we walk to get everywhere; Miami was all about driving. Driving to the beach where I did light exercise: Mateo and I jumped in the waves, ran from the waves, swam in the waves (well I sort of swam with him firmly suctioned onto me like a starfish.) One day we went to a pool and I swam a bit more, both with Mateo and without. Mateo challenged both myself and Guillermo by having us dive to the bottom of the pool and retrieve a toy. He thought that was a lot of fun, Guillermo also enjoyed it. I however, am a bit fearful of my head being under water and get a bit panicky, so I only dove to the bottom twice.

The day before the pool we didn’t get to the pool or the beach, we got lost on the Miami highways and  went many miles out of our way. Mateo had a nice long nap, but woke up ready to get out of the car and run around. We decided to pull over and let him out for a few minutes at, what I believe was the Ziff Ballet Opera house. Mateo wandered around a bit, then I started doing a little jumping to get him jumping. It was a brick sidewalk with names of patrons every few bricks in a predictable pattern, so we jumped over the names of patrons. Then Guillermo joined in and we began to compete to see who could jump the furthest from a standing still position(Guillermo). Then added a run and jump. We did this as a family for about 15 minutes, maybe more, we had a great time and then Mateo sat in the car so we could go to a restaurant and eat delicious Cuban food at Versailles.

Centering


This morning as I was running by myself I had the pleasure of letting my brain run and as I was heading home I began thinking over the past week. My mom had come for a visit so she had spent a lot of time with my son giving me lots of time to “get things done.” I did get a lot done, but I also spent very little time (compared to the normal amounts of time) with Mateo. I saw him for just over 2 hours on Friday. That is nothing to a two year old and Saturday morning the effects were felt: toys were thrown, water spilt with gusto, and he refused to put a shirt on. When we asked if he wanted to go outside, he said, “No.” He knew he would be going with Grandma; Mama and Papa would be staying home. They did finally leave and we continued to “get things done.”  

This continued over the whole weekend. Mid-day Sunday Mateo had had enough. I was busy trying to clean up the lunch dishes and finish putting books back onto the bookshelves that we had moved, he began to pull all of his books off the shelves while sending sly, devilish glances toward me. He wanted my attention. 

He got it.

I had run earlier that morning but had not stretched; the yoga mat was still open on the living room rug. “Let’s go to the yoga mat,” I suggested. This was met with great enthusiasm. He loves when I stretch on the yoga mat.

We went to the yoga mat and had a bit of a role reversal: he lay down in the middle of the mat and wanted me to climb on him. I’m not heavy, but he would have been squashed if I really climbed on him. So I modified, I supported my weight in a reverse table top (like in a crab race, hands and feet on the floor hips

pressing up), Reverse Table Topbut then I lowered down on top of him so he was getting a bit squashed. Then I came up and suggested we get his stuffed monkey instead. So, his monkey climbed on him (with my assistance), then we switched and his monkey climbed on me. Then Mateo climbed on me and the cat climbed under my legs, then Mateo followed her under the tunnel of a pelvic lift. 

This physical bonding and physical play together is so important to young children. It centers them, helps them center physically with all the movement, and emotionally by being close to a parent. As parents we are the center of the lives of our children and we are where they can come back to when they need to be secure, or just to organize their busily building brain, a place where they can center themselves and be comfortable. 

So we played tunnels and it was great fun, for the stuffed monkey, the cat, the toddler, and me. And I finally did a little extra stretching and physical activity for myself.

Tips on Scootercise

Brief description of “Scootercise”:  Exercise that occurs while chasing a toddler or older child who is riding on a scooter. (My first day of scootercise occured on August 15, 2008, for a full account go to my website and click on that blog and the entry titled Scootercise.) 

1) Wear a good pair of shoes, preferably running sneakers. This is not the time to worry about fashion!

2) Bring water or know where the water fountains are located; it’s hard work chasing a scooter and the driver of the scooter will also get thirsty, eventually.

3) Be prepared to yell: “Stop,” “Slow down,” and “Wait for your Mama” are a few phrases that I use and they sometimes work.

4) Choose a path without many roadway intersections: a bike path, a running path, or a park are good locations.

5) Be prepared for bumps in the road or path: bring bandaids.

6) Remember to have fun, even when you are carrying a tired child and a scooter!

I found a running partner!

7:55 am August 2, 2008

 Today I will go for a run with a new running partner, if I can coordinate meeting with her at the correct time. I will be great if we can, for both of us. It always helps to have a partner especially when winter arrives and it’s cold and dark outside, very difficult to motivate for running and especially when I haven’t slept enough. She is a mother of two cute little girls, I think her second one is close to 6 months now. I will finish the log when I return. 

Later….

Okay, that was a hard run, too fast, and plenty long. My new running partner is very good; an endurance runner. We did a loop around Cadman Plaza running loop (which I adore, the rubberized surface is fantastic), then we headed down Middagh Street to the Promenade, and up Montague Street with a confused turn onto Clinton, to Pierrpont Street to get to Cadman Plaza West, turned onto Tillary Street, then onto the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge (I didn’t realize we were turning so there was a momentary collision of two sweaty, heavy breathing mothers as I went straight and she turned), then the difference between the two of us really became apparent as we reached the stairs going down off the Brooklyn Bridge that would allow us back into our neighborhood of Dumbo; she was ready to keep going, I was ready to call it a day. 

We called it a day and went down the stairs; I still ran the rest of the way back to Bridge Street (“ran” may be a little strong a word, “jogged slowly” is more accurate), then walked up the two flights of stairs. When I arrived home, Mateo was awake, so we said good morning, got out the yoga mat and I did a round of the sun salutation. My son decided it was time to poop, I changed the diaper and then finished the rest of the sun salutation… Okay, finished is not quite the most accurate word: 

The rounds were not consecutive, many poses became tunnels for Mateo: downward dog, plank, the step backs. Then Mateo climbed on top  of me in the middle of a round and I held plank position with him on top; 25 pounds of toddler is a great challenge for the stabilizing muscles of the torso and shoulders. I attempted Vashisthasana, but Mateo decided it was time to climb on me again.Mateo climbing

I think Vashisthasana is one of the most challenging poses to do with a two year old climbing on top, but I could really feel my oblique muscles working, more than the usual amount. Then he wandered away to play with cars and I began to prep for a headstand, which I have not done consistently since before he was born. That was when Mateo decided that I had exercised enough, “whine, whine, cry cry.”

It was time to end the session, Time to just be, no more trying to get in one more pose.  

Mateo cuddled up in my lap, resting his head on my belly. Arms wrapped around my waist.

Inhale.

Exhale. 

Rock, rock. 

Inhale. 

Exhale.

Inhale, “do you want breakfast?” 

Inhale.

“No.”

Exhale. 

Inhale.

Exhale.

Rock, rock.

Inhale, ”you just want to sit with me, right?”

“Yes.”

And so we sat.

First entry!

So, this is my new blog. I am just figuring out how this works, so bear with me while I get things up and running here.

Attempting to do pushups with 25 extra pounds of toddler.

Attempting to do pushups with 25 extra pounds of toddler.