Mountain View Mommy: Sand, Trucks and Testosterone

December 11, 2007

Goldilocks & the three potties

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 7:47 am

Andrew – aka Goldilocks – has been potty trained since his 3rd birthday. It’s been about 6 months now, and for the most part we have made amazing progress.

But there is a sticky little issue that no one warned me about before I dived into potty training….. that is night time training.

I was under the impression that once you start training, that it’s balls to the walls and you pretty much take the diapers and throw them out all together. So that is what I did. I went cold turkey. One day they were there, one day they weren’t. No diapers at naps. No diapers at bed time.

Andrew’s little friend Brody was doing it that way – so I guessed that was the way to go. I didn’t factor into account that Brody is the youngest of 3 brothers, and had a lot of big brother help showing him how to get it right.

Little did I know that most 3 year olds still wear diapers to bed, because it’s a long time to hold it. Over the past months we have made great strides, from accidents every night…. to accidents occasionally…. to waking up and walking into the hall and asking for help before accidents… and even walking to the potty in mommy’s room and taking instructions from me, while I continue to lay in bed (yes, that one was awesome: ‘pull down your pants, go potty, pull them up, now go back & tuck yourself into bed, I love you)

In any case, it seemed time that he figured out how to do this without waking us up every-night for assistance. We don’t do anything but stand there for support; so why not. We started the discussion with him.

Why won’t you go in your bathroom by yourself? It’s too dark.

Why won’t you go in Mommy’s bathroom by yourself? It’s too bright.

Why won’t you go in the other bathroom by yourself? It’s too far away.

Who knew he was so picky.

So yesterday we had an electrician come over, drill a new outlet into his bathroom, install a special light with the exact amount of brightness that would appeal to Andrew Goldilocks.

Sure enough, night one… he got up all by himself, went potty, and went back to bed. Not a peep asking for help. Granted I woke up because I heard him, but I wasn’t involved… that is progress. I am telling you, I almost danced a jig! I was already counting the days that I would be getting a full night’s sleep. God Bless Carl the Electrician!

Unfortunately my victory dance was short-lived. The next night it rained, and though the lighting was right, the rain falling on the skylight in the bathroom freaked him out so bad that he couldn’t even pee in the bathroom with both mommy & daddy standing by.

Who do I hire to fix the sound of rain in the bathroom?

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December 9, 2007

Ironic

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 8:18 am

There was a song by Alanis Morissette a while back called ‘Isn’t it Ironic’. My friend Joel would always listen to the song and say … “Those things aren’t ironic, they just suck.” Since then I can’t hear the song without both laughing, and also contemplating what is actually ironic.

So, Joel, tell me if you think this is ironic.

We have this game at home for the boys. It’s called Cranium Cariboo. They love it. You need a key to open up little boxes to see if there are balls inside. If you find 6 balls, you can open the treasure chest. Honestly it’s the best game I have ever seen for kids 2-4. My kids have spent hours finding those balls.

I have spent hours trying to find those balls too.

Every time they play the game, they end up bouncing these little balls all over the house. Some end up under couches, some under curtains, some hidden in toy chests, and some on top of the china cabinet (yeah that one was particularly hard to find). So after about a year, I thought I knew all the hiding spots.

But we had the neighborhood kids over 2 weeks ago. They are 8, 6, 5 and then my 3 & 2 yr old. The game of losing these balls got a bit more complicated. After they left, I only had 2 of the 6 balls left. For the life of me, I couldn’t find any more. I even called the kids to find out if they had hidden them somewhere – to which they responded no I was playing with the egg carton, and no I just bounced them around the room. Helpful.

So after a week of searching, I finally gave in & did an internet search to find replacement balls. I found them & ordered them on the spot. Today they arrived and I was thrilled that we could play the game again. My kids have spent the last hour losing 6 more balls all over the house.

HOWEVER, at one point I noticed that there were now TWO green balls. Hummm… if one was lost… how come there are two now?

I noticed that Justin had stashed some of his balls in the egg carton….. WAIT A SECOND… egg carton.

Ohhhhh, the 5 year old hid the 4 missing balls in the egg carton. When she said that she was playing with the eggs, she meant the balls. Of course.

Isn’t it ironic that the day that I get the new set of balls, I would find the old ones?

November 21, 2007

15 lousy minutes

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 8:18 am

Every time we come home from Andrew’s preschool, it’s a mad dash to get lunch on the table. The kids are usually super hungry from being outside & playing. And I am hungry, and trying to get them fed so that I can eat. Usually things are a bit on edge until their bellies are fed. Today was no different. Except for the following 15 minutes…..

When getting out of the car at home, Justin stepped on Andrew’s bear. His bear is his snuggly and he can’t sleep without it. Since Justin’s shoes were full of mud, that meant it had to get washed… but had to be done before nap time which was in 1 hour. Thus that became priority #1 over food. Into the wash it went, then I went off to make lunch.

But I realized that Justin needed his asthma steroids pretty soon. Since it makes him a bit hyper-active… he needed it to take it now so he could wind down in time for his nap. So I got that into him, and proceeded to make lunch.

However then Andrew insisted upon helping me make lunch – so there was an argument about him washing his hands: he didn’t believe me that I would wait until he was finished, thus didn’t want to go to the bathroom. After negotiation, he finally went.

That was when I heard the gagging. Justin was standing over one of the floor rugs, and looked like he was going to hurl. I tried to talk him into taking a few steps to the hardwood floor – to avoid barf on the weave carpet. I didn’t want to run over to him, for fear that me being excited would make him lose it before I got to him.

‘Luckily’ he took 5 steps and hurled everywhere. At that point, I was trying to reach him without touching the mess. But then he slipped in it, and fell down and banged his head on the floor. So now he was bawling because he was hurt, and bawling because he was covered in barf.

So much for keeping myself vomit-free. I ended up plopping myself right down in the middle of it so that I could pick him up off the floor and try to stop him from from crying. While I was doing this, I was trying to stop Andrew from coming over and stepping in it too. Likewise, I am trying to strip Justin & I from all the clothes we are wearing.

Clothes off, time to clean him up … then I realize he has a poopy diaper. So now I have to figure out whether to clean up the poop or the barf first. And I am still yelling over my shoulder at Andrew to stay away from the mess on the floor.

Justin is now getting hosed down in the sink, naked. I am getting wiped down with a paper towel. A diaper and pants are put back on him, and he is placed on the couch. I turn on a show to distract the kids, while I pray that he doesn’t barf again on the couch. Really I just need five seconds to focus on cleaning the floor before anyone else gets hurt.

While I get started, Andrew decides to unload a bucket of sand onto the couch. As I yell at him to stop taking off the shoes covered in sand… sand spills everywhere on the couch and is now sticking to Justin who is still a little wet from his recent hose-down. Now I have to stop cleaning up the barf and focus on cleaning the couch, the floor, and my kid up from the sand.

Sand is now cleaned up, back to the vomit. Justin is now crying because he’s hungry. Floor is cleaned up finally. I am still in my underwear & bra… and I move to the kitchen to finish making lunch.

At this point Andrew remembers that he wanted to help me, and freaks out. He starts running towards me, yelling at me to stop & wait for him. Of course he smacks his head into the cabinet and starts screaming.

It is at this moment when I chose to lose it. It had only been 15 minutes since we arrived home, and frankly everything was demanding Code Red Priority #1 attention. I excused myself from both my screaming kids… walked upstairs… put some clothes on… and came back down in mismatched clothes… still smelling a little like the poop & barf… and finished lunch.

It is moments like these when words don’t do parenthood justice. There is simply no way to make you feel the same way I felt during those 15 minutes: confused, frustrated, disgusted, overwhelmed, desperate, sympathetic, worried, and all together like a failure as an adult who is supposed to be able to handle situations like these – because for goodness sakes I am the MOM.

November 19, 2007

Follow the path

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 4:10 pm

A tip to the wise:

When your children tell you … “don’t come in here, we are building a garage for you & don’t want you to see it”…..Be sure to go in there.

Do not let the hammering in the bathroom continue without checking it out. Do not assume that just because they were hammering on the floor, or on the rubber mat, that they have continued to do so.

So when you go into the bathroom 20 minutes later, and find a hole in your bathroom wall, just know it was your fault.

Do not be surprised to see the plaster on the ground.

You took the shower, all the while patting yourself on the back at how wonderful your kids were playing together without your supervision. You bought them the plastic hammers. They are boys for goodness sake. What did you think would happen? Sure they didn’t do anything in the past year with the hammers; that was because they were storing up their creative juices for one big construction site with your name on it.

So don’t yell. Smile calmly and explain how we don’t make holes in the walls, and then have them clean it up.

And when you ask where else they built… and they reply nowhere. Don’t believe that either. They are just afraid you will make them clean that up too.

Instead, just follow the path:

* the indents in the railings on the stairwell,
* the chipped paint off the banister,
* the holes in the wood next to the carpeted stairs,
* and the grey plastic paint from the hammers… now forever etched in your walls.

Know these were all done in love, to build you the best dang garage a mommy could possibly need.

November 17, 2007

Midnight with my baby

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 3:52 pm

The other night Justin had a cold. This is not unusual, but with his asthma it results in hours of humidifiers, Tylenol, inhalers, nebulizers and oral steroids. This can, and did, go on into the wee hours of the morning.

This particular night though, he remained in quite a good mood. Instead of being upset by all the frantic action to keep him from coughing, and help him to breathe… he revelled in it.

Justin spent those hours when he should have been sleeping, talking up a storm. I think he was taking advantage of the fact that Andrew was asleep & couldn’t talk over him (or for him). He told me about all the things he liked. He particularly listed everything that he was currently ‘in love’ with, which included a stuffed cow, a dresser, a power cord, and the clock with the little numbers. He asked hundreds of questions about all the interesting things he could see in the dark. And particularly liked the lights on the walls when cars would drive by. Frankly I had never heard him talk so much.

Unfortunately, though, he showed no signs of improving from the variety of medicines we were giving him, and showed no signs of sleeping. I was starting to lose steam.

We were rocking in the chair together (trying to calm down after another asthma treatment) when Justin looked at me, held up two fingers, and said: “I am two, Mommy.”

Sure enough I looked at the clock and it was 12:30 am … the morning of his birthday. Yup, he was officially two. How he knew, I am not sure.

For weeks he had been insisting he was one. When asked how old he was going to be – he would hold up both hands, with just one finger, and adamantly say ONE. In fact, he had never even held up two fingers before without help (and that is quite a feat for little hands and uncoordinated fingers).

But at that moment he realized it was his birthday, and he was now officially two. He smiled proudly at me because he KNEW he was right; he wanted to share the moment just with me, while we were quietly sitting on the rocking chair in the dark, hugging each other.

Happy Birthday sweetheart. Sorry you are sick, but I am glad I got to snuggle you on the instant you figured out that you were two. There are so many more things to come, so many things to look forward to, so many things to enjoy right now in this instant. I hope we can talk about it again, just the two of us, at midnight on the rocking chair.

November 9, 2007

Stupid Silicon Valley

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 10:17 am

Okay, so there is a lot to love here in the Bay Area. The weather, the opportunities, the ocean, the mountains, the country, the city, the shopping, the restaurants, the farmers markets. You name it, it can all be found right here.

I was born here, married here, and still haven’t moved away. So I guess that says about all there is to say about my current position. To all outside appearances, I have loved living here. And that was the truth until about a year ago.

The truth is that I don’t want to live here anymore. I don’t. And it’s for this only reason: the parents here are crazy. And by association, they are making me crazy.

It seems that everyone came here for the jobs. They were competitive. They got paid well. Everyone has some sort of money, and yet everyone seems to want and need more. We live in the land of the ‘haves’ and ‘have mores’. Then all these people had kids. And now they want everything for their kids.

Now what good parent doesn’t want their kid to have everything? I can see the need. I feel the pressure. I fit into that description in one way or another.  However, here in the Bay Area, the opportunities are endless – and so is the pressure and competition it seems. At age two, you can go to drop-off preschool, go to soccer practice, swim practice, art classes, music classes, farm lessons, hiking camps, language class, gymnastics, and the list just goes on.

It sounds ridiculous. And anyone looking in on this warped little scenario would have the perspective to say… yes, that is looney toons. However, most people that I meet here seem to be signed up for about 3 or more of these scheduled activities a week.

Today I took my youngest son his Mommy & me preschool. It’s once a week and only for 2 hours… and all that it involves is parents playing with their kids and learning about 2 year old development. While I was there, I figured that it was time that Justin got some playmates that were his own age (rather than just being dragged to his older brothers play-groups all the time). So I went around the class trying to find someone else who was free on Tuesday mornings.

I am telling you honestly… no one was. They are previously engaged with Spanish class, soccer lessons, french class, daycare, whatever… they were at it. In fact, they rattled their whole week off to me and there was some sort of class or structured activity that they listed for 90% of their days.

I have to say that I left a little disheartened.

I don’t want my kids to grow up in an area where they have to join every stupid class there is, just to feel normal. I want them to be around other kids who value spending time playing in their neighborhoods with the other neighborhood kids, spending time with their siblings, going to a few fun extra-curricular classes… but mostly learning to play without the aid of a teacher or hovering parent.

I had expected this school where the mom’s go with the kids to be different. I figured there would be more people like me in the group… but there wasn’t. And it disappointed me.

I read more & more about people who over-schedule their kids and I try really hard not to get sucked into it. But what do you do when there are no neighbor kids to be found because they are all at gymnastics class? Or what do you do when every preschooler is joining the after school language program, so there are no opportunities for play-dates with class friends?

If we move, how far do we have to go before this isn’t an issue?

Or is this everywhere now? And I just don’t realize it?

Today I am frustrated and disheartened.  Tomorrow I will go back to loving living near my family, who all live here.  But today I want to move and I don’t care to where.

September 12, 2007

Just say no

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 4:16 pm

If you are a parent living in the Silicon Valley, you are blessed with anything you want, anytime you are looking for it. It seems that if you need a playgroup that lives around a particular park – there is one. If you need an art class at on Wednesday at 10:30 and a Music class in the same building that starts at 11:30 – there is one. If you need a 2 day, 3 day, 5 day preschool… that offers after hours… with drop off early… with organic snacks… and mom’s nights outs…. there is one.

It is hard not to get caught up and try to do everything. This is especially true if you are Type A and don’t like to miss out, or don’t want your kids to miss out.

I find it very difficult to gain perspective living here. I have always been one to do everything that I can cram into a given day. I love being with people. I love ‘doing stuff’, especially with groups that fit into my hobbies, or current daily routines. Before kids, if people are offered me multiple social engagements in one day – I would find a way to attend all of them. My family often said I was ‘burning the candle at both ends’. But honestly I didn’t care. I wanted to get as much as I could out of life & not miss out. I loved being busy and being with friends.

Now with kids, more options abound. It’s almost overwhelming. But instead of just being social, they are touted as ‘educational’, or ‘supportive for stay at home mom’s’, or ‘key for development’. I had no idea all the things that I could & should sign my kids up for.

When the kids were babies, we tried hard to make sure that we didn’t over-schedule the kids. We wanted playgroups to be unstructured and fun. Park dates are fine, but there was no need for back to back music, gymnastics, and YMCA daycare. Likewise, if we did sign up for a class like music… it would be the only thing that we scheduled for that day. We tried to balance our time, because they are only kids once and childhood is fleeting.

The kids are older are older now, and there are even more options than before. And since Andrew is potty trained, he can be dropped off for hours at a time; the classes aren’t just 45 minutes. Since starting Andrew at preschool we have had about 5 offers to join multiple groups that all sound fantastic. They all sound educational. They all sound beneficial. And frankly I want to join. But I haven’t because the adjustment from no preschool… to 2 days a week preschool… is hard enough on Andrew. He is learning new rules. There are new friends and new teachers and a new school. He doesn’t need other obligations on top of what is already on his plate. He doesn’t seem ready, and neither am I.

So we said no.

However, there is this one group. This group is for mothers. It’s hosted by his preschool, and it sounds wonderful. They provide childcare, so that you can go and actually converse with other adults in a setting that is not a play-date. It is only 2 hours, every other week. During the meetings the mothers discuss things about being a mom… issues that really matter to ME, not just my kids.

I really want to go. I really want to join. It’s the first time that I have wanted to do something just for me since having the kids … in a setting where I know that I could make it happen and the kids would be well-taken care of. Additionally, it won’t cost me a million dollars to pull it off. What is not to like?

Well, it would mean that the kids would be in childcare or preschool for 3 out of the 5 days a week. Also, on the other two days they would have social obligations, but those would be with me. Thus there is no ‘down-time’ day. Likewise, they are still small. This is still a key part of their childhood that I don’t want to miss. And since Andrew seems to be adjusting slowly to the two day preschool as it is – why push him to three when we purposely didn’t sign him up for a three day preschool to begin with.

Ahh the logic makes sense. But it’s so hard to say no.

I know my kids. I know what is right for them. I know this is right. However, in a place like this… when you are bombarded with excellent choices all day long … how do you stick to what you know? How do you stick to your core values and not get swept away with the excitement of it all?

I don’t know. I am just trying to figure it out.

September 6, 2007

Mommy Forever

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 6:37 pm

I just read a blog by another mother talking about “mommy moments”. A mommy moment by her definition is: the moment that you realize deep in your soul that you are a parent… and you feel that you understand the significance and HUGENESS of being a parent and how it will affect the rest of your life. Some people have a moment like this …. some people don’t. She was complaining that she never had that epiphany, and just was a parent from the beginning.

I can’t say that there was ONE moment which stands out. But lately preschool has been one of those events for me.

My eldest started his first drop-off school this week. It’s preschool. He is three. I thought I was ready, but I found out that I was kidding myself.

Leading up to Tuesday, the orientation day, I found that I was stressed out and emotional. I couldn’t actually talk about preschool without almost crying. I kept worrying about Andrew finding friends, and meeting the teachers. Would they like him? Would they love him? Would he find another friend to pal around with? What if something happened, would he remember how to communicate how he felt to a teacher? Is he mature enough to come home and tell me if something bothered him during the day?

On Tuesday when I went to school with him and got to sit in on the first class.. he seemed happy enough. However, he was definitely aware of where I was at any given moment. The teachers were great. The other kids were great. The other parents were great. I even sat in on both of his current teachers’ classes last year, and they were great teachers. I should have no worries. Yet, I did.

When we left he was exhausted. He took a nap for 3.5 hours… a record in our house.  On Wednesday he didn’t want to go anywhere. No where out of the house. Not even to the grocery store. So we stayed home.

Last night he had fitful dreams. He ended up sleeping in our bed which is a very rare situation. When he woke he looked at me, and told me that he didn’t want to go to school. He said that he wanted to stay home, in my room, all day long and not leave. At breakfast he insisted that I sit next to him… not 1 foot away… but practically sitting on top of him. I about burst into tears.

I didn’t want to stress him out. He is only three & he’s my first born. I haven’t done this before. I haven’t grown the callouses that I need to drop my child off at school yet.

When we got to school he confirmed again that I wouldn’t be coming. We had talked about all the fun things he would be doing in the car ride over, and he seemed to be relaxing. By the time the teacher pinned his name tag on at the door… he didn’t even look back as I tried to reach for him to give him a hug and kiss.

My heart broke.

That whole experience that was one of my ‘mommy moments’. I could see me feeling this way every time he has a new teacher. A new school would raise up all my concerns for his future and happiness. Each new friend would make me question if he was being treated kindly and fairly. Each new girlfriend would make me wonder if they loved him enough and realized what a wonderful person he is. Would I love his future wife… and would she love him like I do? Seriously…. these were my thoughts. These still are my thoughts.

My mother-in-law told me about how she cried all the way home from dropping Nathan off at college at Stanford. All the way home for her is from California to Utah. It’s a long trip. I thought she was ridiculous.

Now I know that she is not.  I can understand now when my father says… I am your Daddy forever.   Because I am Andrew’s mommy forever. The feelings that I have about being his mom are so HUGE that they sometimes overwhelm me. And I don’t think time will mellow them… I think it will only make it stronger and expose themselves in different ways and different feelings. Hopefully by the time he’s having kids… I can figure out how to let go. Because for the next 30 or so years…. I am going to be a wreck because I love him so much.

July 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Andrew!

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 1:36 pm

Today my first born turns three. It is so hard to believe that I created something three years ago that has become the boy in front of me today. Everyday I love him more. Is that possible? Yes, most definitely it is.

Today we celebrated by having about 20 kids over to our house for a party. Yup, 20. It was a crazy fun mess… and I think I may have had more fun than Andrew…. who by the way had the most fantastic time of his life.

To make the party a success, we made it a play-date, not a gift-giving party. There were no gifts, and no meals. Just 2 hours of snacks and fun. We had mounds of applesauce, apple-juice, water, yogurt, bagels, veggies to dip, jugs of coffee, fruit salad, and other assorted munchies.

For the adults, the food was the party itself. Every parent knows that you usually go starving while running after your kids. You often find yourself 4 hours later remembering that you didn’t eat your breakfast, you didn’t finish your coffee, and all you ate were the crusts from the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches you made for the kids lunches. So that in and of itself made the parents as happy as clams, which made them calm while their kids ran around like sugar-crazed-banshees.

But the kids… oh the kids… it was like it was everyone’s birthday, not just Andrew’s. At the age of three, everyday can be like that if you have some fun things going on. I had such a great time watching it all, that I almost didn’t want it to end. They were all so cute, and so happy. It was Andrew’s birthday gift back to me.

The kids passed the time squeezing blue icing in shapes on the top of their cupcakes. They were fishing in the coolers for magnetic fish with fishing poles. They were painting the fence with paint brushes… (because there were houses drawn on the fence in chalk). They were making HUGE bubbles with all the big bubble wands we had set up all over the yard. They were drawing on my dining room table (which was covered with white paper) with crayons. The sandbox and the construction trucks of course were well utilized. And of course, there were sprinklers involved. Lots of squealing with delight and jumping around in swimsuits or diapers.

It was a beautiful day.

Andrew loved it. Never before had his backyard turned into a preschool full of his favorite friends. He didn’t know whether to open the door and escort more people in, or run to the backyard where all the new fun things were going on. His eyes were as big as saucers the whole time, and I could hear him yelling with delight.

And his face when we brought out the cupcakes was priceless. He stood there, surrounded by 30 people who were singing happy birthday, with the biggest grin that I have ever seen. He was so proud, happy and content. It was like he couldn’t believe so many people came to our house just for him.

I was so proud of him at that moment for the little man that he has become. I was proud that he is nice to other kids, and that so many would want to come celebrate with him. I was so proud of him for sharing all his toys. I was so proud of him thanking people for coming. I was so proud that he was mine. How did I get so lucky?

Happy Birthday Andrew, I love you. Thank you for giving me the gift of you on this very special day.

July 7, 2007

Yellow and Brown alert

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 6:26 am

Potty training (paw-tee tray-nee-g):

moments of absolute genius, followed by moments of unadulterated stupidity

That should be the definition in Webster’s dictionary.

One of the reasons I have not been blogging for a bit has been due to my love of summer with my kids. However, it has also been because I am consumed with pee & poop. Potty training has sucked me into this vortex where all I think about is where the next accident will be, and whether I will be prepared.

Do I have two outfits in the car at every given moment, for a play-date that might last more than an hour? If he hasn’t poop’d in a day, is he going to be constipated? Will he poop on the potty? Or will he run and hide and poop in his pants? Should I try to get him to the toilet when I see him doing the ‘grab my crotch’ dance? Or should I let him tell me? When do I back off? When do I push it?

Everyone wants to give you advice. And being a novice to potty training, I had been suckered into believing the few preachers that said, “oh it’s easy… when they are ready, you just train them for a few days and it’s done!” Voila! I am ready. He is ready. Why are we still cutting the underpants off this kid and tossing the underwear into the garbage can, because he used them like a disposable diaper!!!?

I had prepared myself for the accidents. I smile, make no big deal about it. Calmly wipe myself with disinfectant spray from head to toe and hose him down with a power sprayer. However, inside I am seething. I am not mad because I am callous mother who can’t understand this is new to him. I am mad because he actually does it on purpose. Yes, you might not believe me … but he does.

One day he was doing the potty dance, when I asked him if he had to pee. He had been going on the potty pretty well for weeks… yes, there were accidents… but he clearly knew how to do it. Well this time, he yelled NO in my face. Ran to the sandbox. Squatted, and pee’d into the sand – while looking straight at me. Seriously. How does one stay calm in the face of that sort of adversity? I about wanted to kill him. I just turned around and let him stay there. And frankly, he didn’t care. Not one bit. So those of you, who advise… ‘leave him in it, they won’t like it.’ Well, this kid doesn’t mind.

We had been at it for about 3 weeks and I almost gave up every dang day of those weeks. One day would be amazing – he would tell me he had to go and we would go. One day would be horrible – he would refuse to go near the bathroom all day, not even once. One day he would go in himself, not need my help in any way. And the next, he would tell me he liked pooping in his pants. I have bought at least, AT LEAST, 24 pairs of underwear. And we were down to 4 today.

But, after all this complaining… I think we have turned a corner. We conquered the pee in the last week and a half. He has had no accidents. I attribute this to the fact we went on vacation and he was surrounded with people every minute of the day. Thus he had no privacy to have an accident (he typically likes to hide). So he got used to asking someone to go to the potty – on planes, in strange homes, on the beach, at the park, in the middle of a wedding! It was amazing. Nothing like performing under pressure.

But the poop was still a problem. He did great on vacation. But when we got home, the first thing he did was go back to his old ways. I about rammed my head into the wall with frustration. I have talked to every woman I know with an older kid, trying to figure it out. Finally I just let it go. I just stopped trying and bought about 12 more pairs of underwear and figured… I am going to wait him out.

I think he felt my resolve to do nothing, say nothing, and just wait. It must have daunted him. Because this week, I think we have turned a major corner. There has been no more accidents. None. And he tells me when he needs to go. And he takes care of his own clothes. And he washes his hands. It was like the heavens opened up and the Pee Fairy came down with her magic wand and told him, “you shall now use the toilet and use it well.” And so he has.

With this comes a freedom I didn’t actually know I was missing. Seriously, I can’t believe that I can take this kid places and not worry about bringing the diaper bag, an extra change of clothes, wipes, and Balmex! I feel like I walk about 2 feet taller, and I want to tell everyone I meet “he’s potty training”. But I don’t have to. He does it for me. The other day he ran into the airport full of people and yelled, “Mommy I pooped on the potty” as loud as he could with this HUGE grin on his face as he raced up to me for a big hug. As we did our victory dance, I didn’t care that 100 people were watching us. They should have joined it, it was definitely something to celebrate!

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