This Saturday my son will be one years old. While I know he'll still be a baby, I find myself cherishing these precious remaining days of official babyhood as though he'll be asking for a car and applying for college come Sunday. I've also realized that with one year comes not all the answers, but instead more questions about the newness of all that is to come [and other random questions that manage to squeeze their way into my stream of consciousness]. I share them here in the hopes that perhaps y'all may have advice. It's been five years since my last random assortment of questions, any advice [and/or commiseration] much appreciated!
1. While I've expanded my cooking range these past few years, outside of daal and a handful of other desi dishes, I don't know any vegetarian main dishes. Waleed eats way more table food lately [despite the fact that he's still toothless] and I want to learn some vegetarian recipes so he doesn't grow up thinking meat is mandatory in main dishes. I just have no clue where to begin. And as a complete novice I don't feel comfortable engaging in andaza se methodology nor picking a random recipe only to put in the effort to find it doesn't taste too good [which we learned the hard way with tofu. We don't like tofu]. Since I know many of you are avid cooks: What's your favorite vegetarian recipe? Could you share? Pretty please?
2. I am a runner. In my head. In truth I'm a hopelessly horrible runner. I can power-walk 5.0 on the treadmill for five miles, but for some reason, jogging at the exact same pace? I'm out of commission in three minutes. In seventh grade, last in the one-mile run, I asked my PE teacher, how can I improve? To which he responded, maybe you just can't. Since then I've wanted to prove him wrong. But haven't. I heard of the couch to 5K program years ago and I begin it faithfully only to give up. It probably doesn't work anyways, I told myself. Except my friend Yen is now a runner thanks to the program. I need to do this. I need to be able to run a mile without ending it like an exceptionally slow turtle. I need to show Waleed that if you stick with something, no matter how hard, its possible to succeed. And I need to prove my PE teacher wrong. In the spirit of believing in myself I've ordered a jogging stroller and plan to beat this obstacle once and for all. Avid runners, advice? Anyone start like me and now runs, no problem? Have any of you run with a jogging stroller? It seems bulky and tough to navigate hills. Tips, advice, much appreciated!
3. Lately Waleed enjoys smacking me. He thinks its the funniest. thing. ever. After a lunch of smiles and babbles as I lean in to give him a kiss- smack. While it doesn't hurt and I know its just him being silly as I look at my soon-to-be budding toddler I wonder when does disciplining begin? We do tell him not to touch things and he mostly listens but we certainly don't do time-out or any other form of repercussions if he decides not to listen. When did you begin disciplining your child? How did you know your child was old enough to? How did you do it?
4. I wrote about how difficult it was in the early weeks for me to nurse so I'm shocked at how difficult a task it seems to stop nursing now. While I always planned to wean him at a year, now that its here, I have no clue how to do it. Nursing is how I put him down for naps, for sleep, and how I coax him into staying in bed with me a little while longer when he's up like a perky bunny at 6:45am. He won't take a bottle, and while he'll drink milk from a sippy cup, it doesn't leave him drowsy. How long did you nurse? How did you break the nurse-to-sleep association? and how on earth did you wean?
5. Speaking of first birthdays, I'm getting him a cake, an outfit, and will take an unseemly amount of photos but I wasn't planning to get him an actual gift-wrapped present until I saw this and really want to get it from him [a more affordable version available at Target]. Do you give gifts for your baby's first birthday, perhaps the only birthday of their lives when they are not demanding such things of you? What did you give your child on their first birthday?
6. His upcoming birthday reminds us of the fact that we have only one more year of free baby flights. Pre-baby K and I delighted in this whole 'fly free til two!' concept until we realized that its not so simple to travel with a baby. We've flown at least five times post-baby and each time makes me vow it will be my last. Still, I miss our vacations, we used to take one big one a year, and I'd really like to try it. Now that he'll be older, perhaps it will be more manageable? Is travel with a toddler easier than with a wee baby? Anyone traveled far with a toddler and find it a relaxing and rejuvenating experience as opposed to one that makes home seem like a paradise oasis? Would you recommend it?