Top 3 Tantrums of the Week 20/5/18

TOP 3

Its the End of the week which means its time for another Top 3 Moments of the week gone by. This week has been what parents would know as a ‘long’ week so to finish it off, in no particular order, here are the Top 3 Tantrums from this week.

We only just arrived, I don’t want to leave yet

After a 2 and a half hour car ride I wouldn’t want to hop straight back in the car either, thankfully that’s not what we were doing.

We had arrived at a park for a friends birthday and wandered over to where they had set up. Once we placed our things down we all needed a toilet trip and someone needed a nappy change, unfortunately the toilets were in a similar direction to the car. By similar I mean away from where we were.

The standout was when our child decided

to hop off his little ride on car and proceed to flip it over in outrage.

I know the sun is up but I still want the light on

The unfortunate nature of toddler sleeping patterns is that they are forever changing. The unfortunate nature of living in Australia means twice a year we change our clocks by 1 hour. As an adult this doesn’t mean much, as a toddler when you wake up at a similar time most days, that time has now changed.

How does this relate to our tantrum? well when our child decided to wake us up this morning it was still dark enough to put the light on. As the morning passed the light was then turned off.

How Dare We! In response our toddler stood in front of the light switch pointing at it, demanding it be turned back on. Trying to save money on our power bill we tried not to give in. I say tried, because sometimes the easiest way to avoid another tantrum is to give in.

No I will not let you try and wipe the chocolate off my forehead

Now I’ll start this off by saying we don’t consume a lot of sugar in our household, and neither does our child. However the occasional chocolate biscuit is enjoyed, and our child is never far away.

Anyone who knows chocolate, knows it can melt quickly and become sticky. Anyone who knows toddlers, knows they can make a mess out of just about anything. The other thing about toddlers is they generally don’t like being cleaned up. Mix the 3 together and you get chocolate on your child’s face.

The unfortunate thing about chocolate is it looks a lot like your child has dirt all over their face (parent of the year). Depending on the location and severity it can also look like a bad scratch. Both of these were the first things I asked when my wife showed me the picture.

 

Just to clarify, by no means are these the only tantrums that occurred this week. I would be writing all night if I listed them all, but after careful deliberation between my wife and I, these were the best. To narrow it down we used the criteria that they needed to be a classic toddler tantrum, that is, they needed to be for a ridiculous excuse that no amount of reasoning would have helped the situation.

Enjoyed this list? Got some stories of your own to share? Tune in this time next week for another Top 3

TOP 3

Swimming Lessons Part 2

Swimming Lessons should be a fun experience for your child. While they might stress out at first, this is part of the learning and isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You want your child to not only be able to enjoy the water, but also understand its dangers.

If you have been following for awhile you will know why we chose to teach our child to swim and how it has created a bonding experience for both of us, if not see Swimming Lessons. If you have then welcome to Part 2 – current situation.

swimming lessons

Slowly Getting Better

It has been a slow process I feel like we are finally getting somewhere. Our son is starting to pick up on the actions and match them to the instructions we give him. He is learning something! If I’m honest for awhile there I thought he was never going to get any better.

Do we kick our legs every time we are asked? No, but we do kick them from time to time which means we are getting used to the action.

Do we hold our breath when we go under the water? Sometimes yes, others we forget and come up coughing and spluttering.

Can we lie still and float on our back? Yes, actually we do this every time we need to (take the little wins where you can).

While he won’t win any races anytime soon, it is nice to see progress. As a Dad you want your child to be the best and you try everything you can to get the most out of them. Weeks and Weeks of following the same routine did work out in the end! I think the main part of it boiled down to your child being comfortable in the water, which leads me to. . .

Gaining Confidence

No one told me this at the start but this needs to come before any real skill development. If your child is stressed out even just being near the water then there is no way they are going to focus enough to learn anything from you. The old ‘Sink or Swim’  (Dad Joke!) piece isn’t going to work here. As a toddler your child still looks towards you as a parent for comfort, especially when distraught. This is where you need to spend the time building that confidence in the water.

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Now no doubt some of you are going to argue that isn’t it better that your child is at least a little afraid of the pool, if they’re afraid then they won’t go near it which reduces the chance of drowning. While there is some logic to your response, one day your child is going to be curious enough to go near the pool, if something happens and they fall in, wouldn’t it be best if they have some sort of skills in the water?

Ultimately you need to think back to why are we trying to build this confidence, that’s right as part of swimming lessons. Its not like we are just going to get them interested in the water and then take it away without giving them the skills to survive.

Moving Forward

Are the lessons going to continue? absolutely! now that we are seeing progress we know he is learning in this environment so its not a complete waste. While we aren’t going to push him into becoming an elite swimmer (although we would be pretty damn proud), we do want his confidence to continue to build and his skills grow so not only can he survive in the water but can enjoy it as well.

What about outside the pool? we have enjoyed the beach on multiple occasions. The water is a lot colder then we are used to (that goes for both of us). Living Down Under means the beach is going to be in the majority of our lives so we will definitely return, but for now we are almost in winter so that’s a few months away.

Until then the lessons must go on

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Having the Time

A friend recently asked me how I have time as a Dad to: Be a Parent, Work Full time, visit the Gym a couple of days a week, and still have the time to Blog. While there is no simple answer, my only advice is that if you commit to it you find a way to make it happen.

If you stop for a minute and break it down honestly, you will see you have more time then you would have thought. The below list was taken from my crossfit coach (slightly adapted),

There are 168 Hours in the Week

56 Hours of that should be sleep (8×7)

40 Hours of Work (8×5, average working week)

5 Hours commuting (1 hour a day)

10 hours Eating (just under 1.5 hours a day)

10 Hours Preparing (Cooking, Toilet/Shower, etc)

3 Hours Shopping (groceries and adhoc)

14 hours being Active (2 hours a day)

30 hours a week for Family time – on top of the above (5 hours a day)

But that doesn’t work for me?

While the Above is just a guide, it will look a little different for everyone. Work a longer week then that? that’s OK, have a longer commute? that’s OK too.  The amount of time you need to allocate to weekly tasks may vary, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the time to do the things you are passionate about.

Having the Time

Make a Plan

Every day is different and we need to prioritise each day to make the most of it. You just need to make your list of priorities and make the time to get them done rather then sitting on the lounge.

Depending on whether or not you have all your ducks in a row, making a plan for the week might work, otherwise make a plan for each day. As a parent I know that even the best made plans can go haywire depending on (A) how well your child slept last night and (B) what side of the bed they woke up on. If you need to, adjust your plan on the run.

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Do I spend 2 hours being active every day of the week? No. Do I work on my Blog every day of the week, I Try. Do I get 8 hours sleep every night? I don’t think I’ve had that since becoming a parent.

So when do I Blog?

Whenever I have free time! I’m not saying I write posts start to finish in one session each time. While that would be nice, it would also mean I get very little free time which if you look at the above isn’t true. Technology these days means I can blog just about anywhere from my smartphone. I record ideas as soon as I have them, I write when the creativity strikes, and I put the finishing touches on when I can sit and spend the time doing so.

The only way you can make time to do everything you want is to stop making excuses about why you didn’t do them.

It’s not always about having the time to do everything you want, Its about making the time. Don’t tell me “I don’t have the time”.

 

 

11/5/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

Dad Joke of the day

simple tasks can sometimes be the hardest. . .

I got a job collecting litter at our local park.

I asked my boss if there was any training,

He said, “Nah, You’ll pick it up as you go along”

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Pop Culture Ruined??

When kids come along your Life changes for the better, but some habits are hard to let go of. Pop Culture is a part of everyone’s lives and that includes your kids, but what’s relevant to you as a Dad and how often you can enjoy it will vary to that of before parenthood.

I read an article on a site I follow titled “Direct Advice for Dads” which is exactly what it sounds like. Their recent article 6 Ways your kid will ruin pop culture forever by AndrewPStreet was one I was really able to relate to. The article summarises 6 key points around just how Popular Culture streams change now you are a parent. Below ill list the same 6, with some helpful tips on how to reduce the impact.

1. You’ll never sit through a movie uninterrupted again

Blockbuster Movies these days just keep getting longer (2hrs 40mins for the latest Avengers movie), as parent with young kids you will find the chances of you having this amount of time unbroken is rare. This doesn’t mean you have to miss out, instead make sure you see these types of films when they are still at the cinema, a great idea for a monthly Date Night.

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The other option as listed in the article is the volume turned down and subtitles on. Something my wife and I have started doing recently, and find it funny some of the lines you pick up on when you can read them rather then listen to them.

2. You have new nightmares now

Those Liam Neeson movies will become a whole lot more realistic when your child has wandered into the next aisle at the grocery shop. The Punisher’s children being murdered feels like justification for his vengeful actions.

These action movies might have seemed a bit far fetched before parenthood, and you may have thought you were over the nightmares you had as a kid, but all of a sudden you will feel an emotional connection to the characters in these movies.

3. Things get horribly visceral

While the Star Wars prequel movies have always been a hot topic of discussion between fans (i’ll save that for another day), The scene in Revenge of the Sith where Anakin slaughters the younglings may have made for a powerful scene in the movie will now have a different effect on you

Its scenes like that which when you first watched them would never have hit so close to home. Now your watching your favorite movies doesn’t seem like such a great idea.

4. Your kids have their own nightmares

If you think back to your childhood, nightmares often came from movies or shows with reoccurring characters, completely harmless and there for entertainment. The same goes for your kids, we are all guilty of watching the same movie over and over as it keeps our child quiet. Any character or scene that gets stuck in their head could easily turn into a nightmare for them.

No real way to avoid this one, sorry Dads. What were the focus of some of your nightmares? Clowns?

5. Styles have changed, Grandpa

Movie styles and camera shots have definitely changed. When I was young, movie scenes lasted a lot longer, individual shots could last over 10 seconds. These days camera shots are much shorter and the average scene would be close to half of what it used to be.

This change in pace makes for a very different experience. Kids don’t have the patience we do and a longer scene without much action is not going to engage them the same way it used to for you.

Every Dad has seen Star Wars, think back to A New Hope. What kid these days is going to watch 40 minutes of a couple of robots wandering the desert?

6. Speaking of evolving tastes

Our kids are always learning, and there is no way to limit that. They pickup things from the way we act and respond, their environment, and what they hear. How many times has your kid repeated something back to you that either you just said or they heard on a song.

Now look at your playlist, unless its already full of kids sons, how many of those songs feature lyrics about topics you probably don’t want your kid repeating. I suggest creating another playlist for when the kids are around, and enjoy your 90’s Hip Hop when they are not around.

Pop Culture Ruined
Pop Culture Ruined

 

Popular Culture covers many topics and comes in a wide range of media. These are all made for our entertainment, however not necessarily for our kids. How and if you choose to alter your habits is entirely up to you, but having a child sleep through the night without waking up to nightmares is lovely. Listening to your child repeat words from your old playlists probably isn’t.

Month in Review – April in Numbers

30, the current age in years of me AKA Down Under Dad, also the amount of Days in April. What other numbers were important in April? Here is a quick run down.

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937 – The number of times one of my pages was viewed by you.

359 – Unique visitors to my site. Were you one of these? did you make up more then one of these, how many pages did you view?

132 – how many times my posts have been ‘liked’ by readers.

30 – fellow bloggers I have connected with since since starting this Blog (i cheated here, this is total, not just for April)

85 – Facebook Page likes, the wider non blogging world who enjoy (I think) getting notified when I’ve posted.

85 – Also the number of times my most popular post Choose your workout buddy was viewed

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56 – Instagram, Those who like to keep up to date daily (mostly) purely in image form.

37 – Individual comments on my posts. Why it may seem like something simple, these really mean a lot, its always nice knowing my posts have made a connection with you.

23 – Different countries that had people view my page. May seem like a lot but as you can see there is still a lot of white on the map. Share the word, lets get this colored in.

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19 – Number of individual posts. If I’m honest this number could have been higher, I definitely had the time to. Being relatively new to blogging means my efficiency isn’t quite there yet. looking forward to growing that number. Watch this space.

So there you have it, a month in numbers. While this probably won’t be revisited every month, I look forward to doing it again down the track. I do need to thank stomperdad who gave me the idea to review where April led me.

For those who have engaged with my Blog so Far, Thank You! Its nice knowing you are out there. If you like what you have read or you know someone else who might, let them know! Tag, Share, Email, do whatever the cool kids are doing these days to spread the word.

 

8/5/18 – Dad Joke(s) of the Day

dad joke

Two for the price of one

Why wasn’t the child allowed to go to the pirate show?

Cause it was rated ARRR.

 

What’s a Pirate’s favorite letter of the alphabet?

R? no the C!

 

Dad’s Best Friend Pt 2

Dad's Best Friend

Dog has always been referred to as Man’s Best Friend, but what about Dad’s Best Friend? A lot of the time when Families grow, relationships change. Dog doesn’t always understand that, how can you make sure everyone feels like part of the family?

If you haven’t already check out part 1 Dad’s Best Friend to get some background into our household and how it changed once kids came along.

Now that child and dog are the best of friends (most of the tine). We have started involving our son in everything to do with dog

Feeding

Probably the easiest to teach but one that can go horribly wrong. While we can’t yet leave this one entirely to our son, he does make sure we don’t forget. Its become a routine now and if our son is left out he generally makes us feed the dog again.

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Bathing

We have only recently involved our son with this. He didn’t quite know what to make of it, and at the end he wanted to hop in the dog bath too.

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Grooming

Another one that was easy to teach was to brush our dog’s hair. This is handy as our dog malts a lot and we have floorboards (tumble weeds of dog hair anyone?) The only one to watch with this is that they don’t try to brush their own hair with the dog-brush.

 

Watching Clean Up

I can’t wait until we can pass this onto our son as his chore. Apparently a 2 year shouldn’t be left alone to clean up a dogs mess. They are quite happy to watch though. Just make sure they don’t try it when your not watching.

 

Dad's Best Friend
Dad’s Best Friend

While these might seem like simply every day tasks that we as humans can do ourselves. It will take some work for your child to understand why we need to help our 4 legged friends out with them. Bonus is in the long run its one less thing for you to worry about.

If your kids came before your dog and they won’t stop asking for one. Maybe show them this list as a starting point for the responsibilities they are going to have.

4/5/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

dad joke

Everyone has heard this story before

My Girlfriend left me because I never put the toilet seat down.

To be fair, I’m not even sure why I started carrying it.