Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Battlefield that is Our Home

I am a typical mom.  I love my little boys to no end and I therefore let them get away with murder.  My husband will often comment on this weakness of mine.  It has been the supposed reasons for many of my son's flaws.  Not taking naps for me, not eating for me, not using the potty for me....keyword, me.  My little guy will do all of these things for my husband with the smallest of glances.  For me, he will push every button you could imagine.

I have been telling my husband that I am building a far thicker skin these past few months, and believe me, I am.  Is it really thick enough though?  All I need is one simple cry from my little boy and my heart breaks.  I have all sorts of things flowing through my mind.  Should I just give in?  One cookie before dinner isn't going to kill him....

Today was not one of those days.  My darling little boy had gotten into our piggy bank.  Yes, the one that we leave out so we can drop any of our change into it, hoping that one day we will get a much needed vacation.  The one of many glass items that are on our living room shelves in disregard of our 2 year old and 3 month old, who I am sure will both make it their life's mission to destroy.  Anyway, he got into it...again.  This time, though, his game ended early and he did not put back the coins after spilling them all over the floor.  He insisted that, "mommy dood it!"  Meaning, I was supposed to pick up his mess.  No way.  I wasn't having it.  So, there went our hour long battle.  His grandmother was coming over to take a trip to the store with us.  I tried effortlessly to convince him that he would be staying home if he did not pick up his mess.  Well, sure enough, Grammy came and all the coins were still on the floor.  I was holding my ground.  I told her that we were not leaving until this crying little boy had picked up all the coins.  The second he saw his Grammy, he knew I was for real and wouldn't you know it? He started picking up those coins!

Was it my standing my ground that led to this....doubtful.  It was probably just the prospect of him not getting to venture out with his Grammy.  I am sure I just looked like the cruel mother who doesn't want her son having any fun. At least I know that is what my son thought.  I remember feeling the exact same thing when I was young.  Whatever the case, it is one of the hardest things to stand your ground when you know you are upsetting your little boy, who wants nothing more than to just play and be happy in life.  But, I guess that's motherhood sometimes.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

3 Day Potty Training

Going with the theme of potty training, the 3 Day Potty Training pamphlet that I spoke of has reached tens of thousands of parents.  It has been seen in various parenting magazines, and I hope to bring you a glimpse of it through this post.

Before I got my hand on it I had heard about it from a bunch of my mom friends and also on various message boards that I frequent.  I was able to track down a copy via email and quickly read it.  After reading it I definitely agree with many of the principles that are discussed but I just don't see how it is that different from the other books that are out there on potty training.

The premise behind the 3 Day Potty Training is that you basically must commit yourself to not leaving your home for three days.  When I read that, the first thing I thought was, you've got to be kidding me.  Anyone that knows me personally knows that this is just not something that I could do.  I gave birth to my son and went out to dinner two nights later.  I get a little stir crazy by being inside too long.  This aside, I figure there are still tons of families that have tried this technique and ventured outside their house in the process.  It just so happens, though, that when we started potty training, we got stuck in our house by default.  Another blizzard in the Northeast.  So my little boy didn't actually have to be dragged that far with his mother.

The author of this book emphasizes that her process involves dedication, consistency, love, patience, positive reinforcement, and focus.  I can't say that I disagree with this approach one bit.  What better way to teach our children a new way of doing anything without our utmost respect and love.  I honestly feel this is how we must do all things with our children.  After all, this is how we should be teaching them to deal with others around them and themselves.

The part of the book that I wasn't so sure about was completely getting rid of all the diapers and pull ups in the house.  I like a slower process and I believe that a lot of children deserve the time to adjust to this new way of living. Sure, it might take a little longer if you are going to be only potty training during the day and leaving diapers on at night, but I think that this is a huge change for your little one and something that might not come that easily.  For now, we are just putting little guy in undies during the day and keeping him in diapers for nap and nighttime.  When he gets increasingly better and has less frequent accidents then we will transition to naps and nighttime.

I also don't agree with loading your child up on liquids.  This could lead to more accidents, and yes, this will help them realize how to use the potty, but it could also lead to a lower self esteem.  With the increased liquids you are most likely increasing the incidents of accidents.  I know with my son, he gets very stressed and down when he has an accident, so I don't exactly think this is for us.

Overall, I think it is a great read, and I will definitely use some of the principles, but I will use a hodgepodge of various methods to find what works best for us.  I definitely recommend the e-book though, if you can get a hand on it! 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Potty training

I tried coming up with a clever title for this post, something gripping and exciting about the topic...but then I realized, it is what it is.  There is nothing exciting and gripping about potty training; it's just something that every parent has to tackle at one point or another, just another step forward in our journey.

We started potty training this past weekend.  My little man decided that he had enough with diapers and refused to put them on.  Well, before his brother was born he had just about every possible sign of being ready to go diaperless.  You know, telling you when he was going to go, going longer hours without wetting his diaper, being "private" when he was going...we had it all.  That is, except an eager mother and father.  We had our hands full, we still do.  The prospect of running back and forth between a peeing toddler and a screaming newborn just didn't sound appealing.  Well, it still doesn't, but we decided that there was probably going to be no better time.  The only thing worse than the former scenario is a crawling baby who is bound to get into everything.

So, alas, we have begun.  I don't know what I thought, but I definitely thought that my son would be the 2 year old trained with the "3 day potty training."  Yeah, not so much.  I read the book, being passed through email from one mom to another.  Sure, he's got the pee, you get a sticker.  Getting there in time is the problem.  We've had quite a few shrieks of, "Mommy, pottttttttty."  The look on his face says it all, he's already gone.  Let's just say things are a lot messier at our house this past week.  And what is it with the fear of using toilets at other places??  This little boy refuses to pee at my mother in laws house, same potty seat and all. Patience is key with all things in parenting and I guess this will just be another notch in my belt.  Someone, please pray for me.

For those of you thinking about partaking on this adventure with me, here are some signs of readiness:

  • Your child stays dry at least two hours at a time during the day or is dry after naps.
  • Bowel movements become regular and predictable.
  • Facial expressions, posture or words reveal that your child is about to urinate or have a bowel movement.
  • Your child can follow simple instructions.
  • Your child can walk to and from the bathroom and help undress herself.
  • Your child seems uncomfortable with soiled diapers and wants to be changed.
  • Your child asks to use the toilet or potty chair.
  • Your child asks to wear grown-up underwear. 
I plan on picking up Elizabeth Pantley's "No Cry Potty Training" book tonight.  I'll keep you all updated.
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