Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Potty Training

Potty Training, or toilet teaching, as it is now known—since our children shouldn’t be “trained”—started out so well in our house. I dutifully bought a potty and placed in the bathroom so my little girl could explore it. Then one day after lunch I put her on it to see what would happen. She went! I always knew she was a genius.

Kate used the potty happily a few times a day for about a week and a half. Then it happened. She decided not to. Not only would she not use it she cried anytime she got near it. Not to worry I thought, she’s still young. I have lots of time. Over the next months I tried to patiently reintroduce her to the potty. Then like any good parent I offered a bribe. Candy. One M&M per performance. That worked—for two whole days.

Finally I threw my hands up and quit. I was six months pregnant, looking at two moves in the next two months and I quit. She would occasionally choose to go and we praised her. The months went by, the new baby came, but still Kate refused to be “toilet taught”.

We’ve been on this journey for nearly a year now. I’ve tried all the old and trendy ideas. I’ve used training pants with plastic covers—that resulted in a lot of laundry, but she didn’t even care to tell me to change her when she was wet. We’ve tried pretty panties to bribe her. I even let her walk around without a diaper, so she would notice that she needed to go. That was probably the worst one—I was nine months pregnant scrubbing out a poop stain on our brand new carpet. We've gotten to a point that she will go when taken, but not ask to go--it's progress.

The true humor in it all is I am a college educated woman. I don’t have a degree in just anything either. I am a teacher by trade. I taught kids, some with fewer verbal skills than my two year old, how to complete job tasks. I’m not sure why it’s harder with our own kids. I know I’m not alone. I’ve talked to a lot of people, even one whom I worked with who was afraid she would send her daughter to high school in diapers.

Perhaps it’s because she doesn’t call me by my last name? Or is it because she knows I’ll love her even if she doesn’t use the potty? At least she made my mom this promise: “When I get married, I’ll change my own diapers.” Amen!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Privileges of Being a Mother

I found being a mother gives me many privileges…

to sloppy kisses and sticky hugs

to be the one she wants to soothe her even after I’m the one who disciplined her

to be the best boo boo kisser

to be the one she gives those first toothless grins

to be the one that she doesn’t tell she loves, because she knows without any doubt I love her

but the greatest privilege is

to pray for these little ones, whom God entrusted me with: for them, their someday husbands and children, even their in-laws.

Monday, February 25, 2008

My 'No Good, Very Bad' Day

One of Kate’s favorite books right now is Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I had a day that felt like that today. It started off early this morning—very early.

I’ve been trying to drop some of Gabby’s night time feedings. She disagrees with this new idea whole heartedly, but I think now that she’s four months old we should be down to one feeding at night. She argues that good things come in threes. Add to that an insomniatic two year old and you have my morning.

I will admit, unlike Alexander, some good came during my day. The baby cooperated and I got a shower before we did our week’s grocery shopping, or should I say what was supposed to be our week’s grocery shopping. Kate wanted to investigate every nook and cranny of the grocery store--often turning back, but that’s a bit difficult when shopping with an infant who decides all the detours are taking entirely too long, so we cut our list short and headed to the checkout with two upset little girls. There we join the five other patrons in our line. After fifteen minutes of calm downs and melt downs we get our turn.

Soon it will be over, I sigh. Nope. We got the worst cashier I’ve met in all my many days of shopping. She is sick so she stops twice for loooong drinks from her water bottle, but she doesn’t pause to turn her head from coughing all over our groceries. While I try to keep Kate away from the turn table where groceries are bagged, the cashier keeps leaning over to get Kate’s attention, again not scanning our items. At this point Gabby is at a full wail. I had refused small talk, ignoring her calling my pink clad daughter a boy in hopes to expedite our trip. Finally, I gave up and said, “I want to leave—now.” She finally gets the point and finishes up.

By now my eldest says she’s dying of hunger, though I’m not thoroughly convinced I decide rather than argue I’ll swing by the local drive through because the veggies that I had planned were among the things we didn’t get to purchase. This will be quick and easy. Wrong again. I get to the place to order, but no one ever takes my order. After several minutes I drive up to the window and the young lady does take my order. Unfortunately, the large group of students in front of us has to wait for quite a bit of food. Someone didn’t get their order, further adding to the delay. Finally it's our turn. Now we have our wonderfully healthy meal and head home.

It’s so good to be home! And to think when we were housebound by the weather I was going stir crazy. Maybe we’ll just stay home the rest of the week—yeah right. Besides some days are like that…even at home.