Friday, August 14, 2009

our SC vacation: random shots part 3 (the henry)

Before I dive in to the next segment of our trip, I must take a quick break to discuss a little boy who goes by the name of Henry.

Henry is an extremely cute little guy. With a mind all his own.

When things go Henry's way, Henry is happy.

When Henry is happy, Henry is a pure delight to be around.

Henry is two.

And two-year-olds are amazing.

They possess many baby features, like super soft skin and chubby legs. But they have TREMENDOUS stores of ENERGY and are very ACTIVE and busy, busy, BUSY.

They are usually small and compact. As such, they are not yet too heavy to pick up and hold above your head for short stints. Although they might be speaking an assortment of words - they still don't have a full grasp on the language and so they babble a lot. They still have pudgy baby feet and on their hands, they have adorable knuckle dimples.

Two-year-olds have absolutely no modesty. If given the choice, I would be willing to bet that 99.9% of all two-year-olds would prefer to run around without a single stitch of clothing.

As the dresser of a two-year-old, you might need to tap in to your stores of ingenuity. For instance, you might opt to put swim suits on backwards so that chubby little hands cannot undo zippers, which would inevitably result in a toddler streaking along a public beach.

Sometimes the continued insistence that a two-year-old keep their clothing ON can be quite a challenge and cause much frustration for the two-year-old involved and the dresser of said child.

And sometimes, you might decide that you just don't feel like fighting and so you throw in the towel and let your two-year-old have their way. Because at two-years-old, they are still a baby and there isn't a lot of reasoning with a baby.

With a two-year-old, you need to carefully chose your battles. Of course you cannot condone bad behavior. So if your two-year-old is throwing food or hitting their sibling or having a tantrum over something that might hurt them (or others), it is best to remove them from the situation.

But two-year-olds, although they are still bordering on babyhood, they are smart as a whip and you might discover that if you give them a little room to explore, they will surprise you with what they are capable of accomplishing.

Although some might think that if they give an inch, their two-year-old will take a mile and grow in to an obnoxious brat, I disagree.

They are only this little for such a small period of time.

They still need for you to hold them and cuddle them and they still curl up and fall asleep on your lap. And sometimes, they still suck pacifiers. Which you know they won't have forever, but if it keeps them happy and QUIET, well, then, everyone is better off.

Likewise, when you are at a dinner party and your two-year-old climbs in to your lap, sans clothing, and eats chocolate cake without using their hands, you have a choice to make.

If this is keeping the two-year-old happy and QUIET, is it really so wrong?

Of course you could say NO. And put them in their clothing, assuming you ever let them out of their clothing in the first place. And you could feed them cake with a fork.

But then they wouldn't be nearly as happy. And their clothes would be covered in cake which would transfer all over their carseat on the drive home.

So you let them eat their cake in their birthday suit. And then you give them a bath. And then, you can see that they are tired and offschedule and they are beginning to exert characteristics that lead you to believe they might soon be bouncing off the walls and causing a ruckus. You know that if you nurse them, they will quickly settle down.

So you nurse them. And this keeps them contained, safe and happy. And most importantly, it keeps them QUIET.

Although, it probably makes all the people surrounding you wonder what the heck is up and when did Jenny turn in to such a hippie?

And Jenny doesn't know. Because Jenny never nursed her other children until they were two-years-old. And Jenny never imagined nursing this child until he was two-years-old.

But she is. And she does.

And although it certainly can be convenient at times ... like when you're flying on an airplane, or when your baby falls head first down a flight of 16 stairs and nothing will calm them down, or when it's very early in the morning and the whole house is sleeping and you want just a few more minutes of rest ... sometimes, nursing a two-year-old can be quite draining.

Then again: the very act of raising a two-year-old can be quite draining.

But as a mother of this particular two-year-old, you wonder if you are raising your child correctly. Or, if you need to crack down and stop treating them like such a baby and put the kibosh on allowing them to strip off their clothes and run around the countryside naked. Even if it means that by keeping them in their clothing you will severely curtail their potty training progress.

Overall, you are continually amazed at how different raising one two-year-old is from raising three two-year-olds. And well, sometimes you can't help but wonder if people are judging your totally relaxed parenting style.

Not that anyone would ever judge me...


  1. That was a good one! Call me when you get a chance...

  2. Henry looks so much like Charlie with chocolate all over his face!! The chocolate is a great substitute for Charlie's mustache/beard! I love reading your blog! Thanks so much for posting about your vacation!!

  3. Haha... Though it would be totally inappropriate, that last photo would be hilarious for his "Senior Memory" in his high school yearbook. You take awesome candids of yours kids.

  4. I also have a 2 year old and I swear you just described him...and me. I can't believe how much more relaxed I am this time around. The other kids are 17,14,12.
    I love your stories!


    Forget about the hippie thing. I am not a hippie and will definitely be nursing TWO two-year-olds next year. Such a blessing, for us and for them ;)

    You can always say you are just following WHO's recommendations of nursing until at least two and then as much as pleases mother and child.

    (ins't Henry a registered copy of his dad?)

  6. How fabulous! I wish I could have been this relaxed when mine was two. I wish I had known you when mine was two. The things I'd do different . . .

  7. Henry looks JUST like Charlie in the second to last picture! Such a beautiful little boy.

  8. at least everyone can agree that chocolate cake goes down much better with milk!

  9. What a gift your beloved little Henry has given you. The ability to be more relaxed, more flexible and just generally enjoy life more. As i've read your blog over the years I've seen you grow in a different way as a mom since Henry arrived. He's a treasure

    He's so adorable, clothed and unclothed I could eat him up with a spoon

  10. I'm sending my three off to kindergarten in 10 days. BOOHOO. So you just do whatever you want with Henry. He'll be gone before you know it.

  11. I am much more relaxed with my last "baby" (5 years old) than I was with my oldest (now 11 years old). I have been wondering all this time that you have written about extended nursing-Do you really have any milk still coming in?! My first, I nursed until 13 months and my last until (sadly) only 6 months. I just ran out of milk, patience and the time to sit there for so long.
    Looks like a wonderful visit with family and friends. I would be very tempted to move back home! Lisa

  12. This was really encouraging for me. It's nice to know that I don't have to be an "uptight" parent. Some things, like running around naked and eating without a fork, are not the end of the world. Thanks for this post. Henry is really so adorable!

  13. Jen,

    PLEASE reconsider posting naked pictures of your little guys. Pedophilia is an extremely popular, rising trend and there are many that target mommy blogs. I would hate for your children to become victims of these nauseating criminals.

    Also, if you have monitoring software, like SiteMeter, please check it regularly for search terms to make sure they aren't targeting your blog. Ours is pretty much an unknown family blog and we have been hit twice by pedos, even filing charges against one from CA.

  14. "And well, sometimes you can't help but wonder if people are judging your totally relaxed parenting style."

    I can promise you they are. But no more than you would be judged for a more uptight parenting style. Once I realized this, I quit giving a damn what anyone else thought of my choices. MY kids, MY choices. Some people think I'm too relaxed while others think I'm too uptight. But that's their problem, not mine. ;-) Just keep doing what works for YOU and YOUR kids.

  15. Yeah Henry!!

    Watching Henry eat the chocolate cake was really very funny.

    Love, Marg.

    PS Your a great Mother and really so comfortable with all of the kids. It's obvious that you enjoy every moment and are able to take in stride.

  16. Mir: You are totally right. Thanks for the reminder. I actually went back and deleted some of the pictures that I had posted in this entry.

    It wasn't that long ago that I was hypersensitive to the photos I would post, because of various hits that I was receiving on my site meter. I had considered making my blog private, because I was so worried about what kind of twisted people might be viewing pictures of my children.

    But then - as it always happens - time passes. And you tend to forget and let your guard down. And before you know it, you've got a new toddler running around with a bare bottom and it's the cutest thing you've ever seen.

    Thanks again. I really need to be more vigilant.

  17. I just wanted to say that I think it is absolutely AWESOME that you are "still" nursing! Good for you-and Henry!

  18. Thank you for taking my comment seriously! I sent a similar message to another well-known blogger last week and she responded by, well, posting several more pictures of her child. It was a slap in the face, to say the least.

    There are so many people out there who think "it's just a picture", even parents, and I just can't get on board with that mentality. It's our job to protect our children, especially from pedophiles, virtual or in real life.