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The Father Factor:
Fatherhood Matters

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The Spider-Man Sleep Solution

My son has been sleeping in his own bed every night, all night since a new room “opened for business” in our house. Yes – he has his very own Spider-Man room, and it is the greatest solution to toddler sleep issues ever invented by a father, humbly speaking.

He is 3 now. From when he was an infant until about a year ago, he slept in his crib pretty much every night, but he never wanted to fall asleep in his crib. He would have to fall asleep on the couch with mommy and daddy nearby, or in our bed. Then when he fell asleep, we’d whisk him away to his crib. For the last several months, matters had been worse. Not only would he not fall asleep in his own bed, but when we would place him there, he would inevitably wake up in the middle of the night and come to our room, seeking a comfy spot right in the middle of mommy and daddy’s bed.

The Night My Son Came Home With Diabetes

Last Thursday night at around 7:30, my wife and I took our two-and-a-half year old son, Vinny, for a walk. It was a beautiful night, warm with a cool breeze. The sun was just starting to set.

Is Your Child a Match or a Torch?

My son was sitting in his car seat as we drove home from day care at the end of a long day. He was holding his lunch bag in his hand. He always has to have something in this hand… Then, something about the lunch bag suddenly annoyed him, so he frantically threw it down, it landed on his legs, and he kicked vigorously to make sure it ended up on the floor of the car. Then he was quiet. We listened to music in silence for the rest of the 15-minute drive home.

This happens a lot with Little Vinny. He is a bundle of emotions, needing only the slightest prompt for him to erupt into an emotional – happy, sad, angry, annoyed – storm for the next… 5 seconds.

The Hunger Games... Or, Trying to Get a Two-Year-Old to Eat

I have a two-year-old. Which means I spend most of the day worried that he is suffering from malnutrition as a result of eating nothing but ketchup for the last two days.

Apparently, two-year-olds are notoriously picky eaters. According to this article, "being a picky eater is part of what it means to be a toddler." That makes me feel a little bit better about my son's desire to eat pancake syrup, but not pancakes.

In all seriousness (too late!), it is a challenge and a stressor for my wife and I to make sure our son is getting the nutrition he needs. We have tried several of the tips in the above article, and some of them have worked. However, some have created comical results.

For example, the notion of using "dips" to hide "undesirable" foods like vegetables usually results in Little Vinny dipping his vegatables in ketchup and then licking the ketchup off the vegetables. At least tomatoes are good for you...

We have also tried to place his food on "fun," colorful plates with things like pictures of Elmo on them. The only result this often achieves is that when he angrily tosses his plate to the floor, it looks nicer as it soars through the air than if we had used a boring plate.

But not all hope is lost. He is certainly not losing weight, nor does he lack energy or brain power. He likes carrots, rice, and some chicken. And when desperate, we can always get him to eat corn chips, peanuts, or Nutella on wheat bread (maybe we should try Nutella on corn chips). And he has no problem drinking milk, water, and fruit/veggie juice. I guess I would just like to see him sitting at the dinner table with an elegant napkin tucked into his shirt eating a chicken cutlet and a mixed greens salad with fancy silver cutlery. He would also be wearing a tuxedo.

Then I remember he is just a toddler, and there is more to his life than eating. There is pooing and sleeping, which are two things he is also terrible at. I guess I will have to blog about those next week...

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