Sunday, May 13, 2012

I don't do it for the fame....

 But it sure doesn't hurt to be recognized from time to time.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Random observations

Today on the car ride home from school there was a silence that lasted for more than thirty seconds. This unprecedented length of no one competing for my attention allowed Jake to get something off his chest.

"You know what's pretty high on my list of things I don't want to be when I grow up? An astronaut."


"But the top two things I really don't want to be is a fugitive or a drug addict."

Sometimes it's the little things that make a parent proud....

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Training day... potty style

I perch on the side of the tub next to my three year who is clinging to the toilet like it's the teeter-totter at the park. We peer intently into each others eyes looking for the smallest sign of weakening, tears of frustration roll down both our cheeks. Today is the day. Today we are potty training...

This is my third time on this particular roller-coaster, so I thought it would be a good time to impart the benefit of my wisdom and experience on those who haven't tackled this milestone yet. Here it is, what almost a decade of parenting and learning through trial and error has taught me about potty training. It sucks. Big time. It's frustrating, and gross, and inconvenient, and gross, and expensive, and gross. (Did I mention that it is often gross?) If there is a magic trick that works every time for every child I haven't found it.

My oldest took then a year to become completely trained. I made the usual first timer rookie mistakes. I tried to make it about me and my timetable. I was expecting our second child and thought, "No way I am having two in diapers!" (I'll wait while you finish falling down laughing...) I thought the signs were all there, the planets were aligned. He was waking up dry. He was showing interest and wanting to try to use the potty. I thought we were trained and done, then little sister was born and it was back-track city!

I read books, I talked to friends and family, I despaired and was sure that I was a failure as a mother. Everyone else's children were potty trained before they were two and it was the easiest thing ever. I finally talked to our pediatrician, sure that I had completely screwed up this major milestone and ensured that my son would need hours of intensive therapy when he grew up. The doctor was very reassuring and told me that in fact most children aren't physiologically ready to be trained until they are three, and usually closer to four years old. That they really don't have the ability to correctly interpret the signals their bodies send them when it's time to use the bathroom. I felt much better and changed my attitude. I relaxed about it all and so did my son.

I resigned myself to having two in diapers. Then we switched to pull ups when he outgrew the largest size of diaper. But once he out grew the largest size of pull-ups they made, we refused to buy Depends! Actually he got to the point where he didn't like how the pull-up stuck to him, I pointed out that underwear felt better to wear all day and that was that. Once it was his idea it was done.

My second time around was cake. Evie was one of those amazing children who potty train themselves. Having learned (or so I thought) from the mistakes I made the first time I took a completely laid back approach. I was expecting our third child and just figured having two in diapers into the budget. I knew I wasn't even going to consider bringing up potty training until after baby number three was here and a well established member of the family. I don't really remember the when or the how, one day she said she wanted to wear pretty panties with princesses on them and that was that. I can count on one hand the number of accidents she's ever had. It. was. awesome! Everyone had told me that girls were easier than boys, I thought that combined with my previous experience and chill attitude about the whole process meant that I had the potty training thing locked down. And child number three was a girl, so it was sure to be smooth sailing ahead...


I started with my whole zen potty training outlook "It will happen when it's time and  when she's ready." I still stand by my philosophy that I would rather buy diapers longer and not have to clean bodily fluids off of my floors and furniture. (I'm not saying that is the right way, I'm just saying that's what is right for me...) When she showed interest we let her use the potty. Big sister was willing to share pretty underwear with princesses and Hello Kitty on them. But we kept having accidents.  I took that to mean she wasn't able to interpret the signals her body was sending her, and as I stated above, I am not willing to deal with the clean up. I'd rather change diapers. So we stopped training.

Yesterday it all changed. She's big enough that the tabs on the diapers are to the very edge on the front, and so part of the tab is over her leg. She came upstairs crying that her diaper hurt. When I took down her pants I found the tab had cut her leg. Being pretty quick to capitalize on what fate had sent my way, I made a big deal out of the fact that she was just too big for those stupid old diapers. I cleaned and bandaged the cut and put her in a pair of underwear so she could see how much more comfortable they are. She went once, with a little prompting, but then it was time for bed. Back into a pull up for bed (because more often than not she climbs into bed with us in the middle of the night and if I hate cleaning my floors and furniture I hate waking up in wet bed even more!) which she was not happy about it at all. I promised her she could wear underwear during the day and so here we are... potty training.

I've come to the conclusion once again that true wisdom lies in knowing that you know nothing. There is no magic, one size fits all, tried and true method of potty training. Each child is different and so it stands to reason each time potty training will be different. I decided to try the one day intensive style I've read all about, but was always leery of because I didn't think I had the patience to attempt it. I drew up a potty chart and got out the gold stars. I've let her have as much to drink as she would like. We've done the potty dance and called Daddy, Grandpa and Aunt Caite after successful trips.

And even after all that it turns out I was right. In the space of twelve hours I've thrown dignity and sanity out the window with both hands. I've spent more time sitting in my bathroom than the last time I had the flu. I've allowed my child to leave the house wearing nothing but a pair of underwear and a smile because I am not willing to add to the loads of laundry lurking in my basement. And I may or may not have collapsed into the fetal position and started rocking when I realized that potty training today means that I get to do it all again tomorrow...

Heaven help us all.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pseudonyms and Spellings

One of Jake's favorite games to play with his Aunt Caitlin is the alphabet name game. You know the one... "My name is Adam, my wife's name is Amy, we live in Antarctica and we sell Apples..." and so on.

I love listening to them take turns, especially Lila because she usually says "we steal" instead of "we sell". 

Evie is getting better at it now that she is learning to read and spell better. 

Jake, well... Jake just likes to make it as complicated as possible. For instance today the letter P landed on one of his turns. He couldn't just say Peter or Paul or even Phillip. No. He said, "My name is Pay-su-de-nom-in-ous." 

"Um... what?" 

"That is not a real name." 

"Yes, it is! He's an author. I've read his work!"