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Wednesday, 05 December 2012 22:45

Embarrass Your Children

It is my job to embarrass my children.  I'm pretty sure that's what my Dad was thinking when he got our car stuck in the parkade when I was a teenager in the backseat trying to hide so that no one saw me.  I should clarify this - the car was not exactly 'in' the parkade, it was stuck at the parkade entrance (or exit, I really can't remember) with the barricade arm (you know the ones with the big red and white stripes?) stuck INSIDE his window so the car couldn't move forward or backward.  Don't ask me how he did it...

I always wanted to be the 'cool' Mom.  The Mom that my kids WANT to be seen in public with, and the Mom that my kids talk to about personal things, and the Mom that my kids invite to hang out with them while they're watching a movie with their friends... k, that last one might be pushing it.

Maybe I still will be, but it seems I am already embarrassing Clara. I mentioned a few posts ago how I love to sing and dance around the living room/house/garage/public places - and Clara has started responding by giving me this blank stare:

And saying 'No, Mommy!'.  Every time I start singing. 'No, Mommy! Don't! Sing!'

Maybe it's a good thing to embarrass your children... it gives them a sense of humour about life, doesn't it? Maybe not... but I think there's no way around it for me.  I WILL embarrass my kids.

Published in Blog
Monday, 26 November 2012 08:59

Can You Pat Your Head and Rub Your Belly?

When I was a kid, it used to be some sort of braggable accomplishment to be able to pat your head and rub your belly at the same time. 

I'll admit I still feel a little bit like I'm somehow a better person because I have always been able to do this :)

I have decided that this is a useful parenting skill.  Really. As a parent, you may someday be required to pat the back of one child while rubbing the back of another.

For example:

One child is an infant who occasionally requires someone to swaddle them, hold them at exactly a 12 degree angle while patting their back at 96 beats per minute while standing on one foot and bouncing around in a circle in order to fall asleep or even stop crying. Ok, the last two are slight exaggerations...

The other child is a toddler who has always had 'poop issues', and now requires a parent to cuddle them while they are pooping and to have their back rubbed repeatedly in a downward motion.  Also, the toddler is potty trained, so keep in mind this takes place with the toddler on her floor potty while the parent is squatting next to it.

Now, imagine that one parent has to fulfill both of these roles. That was me the other day, and I couldn't help but be grateful for the ability to rub my belly and pat my head at the same time.

 

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 21 November 2012 13:09

T-G-I-Naptime!!!!

This is not my best day ever.

There were monkeys.

Terrifying space monkeys, perhaps...

Today started with a temper tantrum about going to the potty.  Clara has this obnoxious way of curling herself up into a ball if you try to pick her up when she's having a fit, so that you can't put her down - or do anything else with her.  She has been having a lot of accidents lately, so I didn't really want to trust her 'I don't have to go pee' statement, and wanted her to at least TRY.

I managed to wrestle her onto the potty, but by then she was so worked up that there was no way she was going to go and kept throwing herself onto the floor anyway. By this time Audrey had also decided she was starving (or something) and was screaming violently from the other room.

Ok, fine.

Ten minutes later, Clara was sitting at the table eating cereal when I hear a stream of liquid hitting the floor.

Me: "Clara, are you peeing?"

Clara: "No"

She continued eating her cereal.  This one was strange to me for two reasons - first, she has never before acted like she didn't care about being wet and normally gets really stressed out when she pees herself. Second, she lied to me and normally even though she knows she's done something wrong she will tell me the truth.

I know she hasn't been feeling well lately - this one brought her total accident tally for the last 24 hours up to 6. Maybe she has a bladder infection, I'm not sure, but I pretty much flipped out.

Brian and I were talking last night about how my fuse with Clara is so much shorter because I feel like 'she should know better.'

That moment, when there was pee all over the floor and Clara didn't seem to care and lied to my face, I fell apart. Suddenly I felt completely defeated.  I hate the concept of yelling, but I have to admit that I yelled at her.  I was angry.  I used my 'angry voice' and told her repeatedly (as I was cleaning up pee from the kitchen floor) that it was bad to pee on her chair, and that she needs to pee in the potty, and blah, blah, blah...

And I'm ashamed to admit that I stayed mad at her - and continued lecturing her - until she cried.  And I felt ok about this in the moment, because I WANTED her to be upset about what had happened.  And yes, I realize that I just made her upset about something else, but for that moment it made me feel better anyway.

I feel like a terrible mother.

I'm ashamed of how often I've gotten short tempered and irritable with Clara.  How often I've told her 'don't' to things that aren't bad, but just annoy me for some reason.  I feel more like I've become more like an older sister somehow than a mother... and she just gets on my nerves.

I have this voice in the back of my head telling me that she desperately just wants my approval, and to know her Mommy loves her, but then another voice pops in and says 'Then why is she being so belligerent???'.

I love her immensely - I know that, but sometimes by the time I've finished dealing with her tantrums or cleaning up her accidents, I'm physically exhausted and too overwhelmed to just BE with her...

Does anyone else know what I mean? Or am I just a terrible person..

Published in Blog
Sunday, 18 November 2012 22:00

Life with Audrey

Audrey is 3 weeks old this weekend (since Friday morning), and I think we're starting to adjust to being a family of four!

A couple of weeks ago, I did a post on Clara's reaction to Audrey, and how we tried to prepare her for being a big sister.  I also talked about how my feelings about Clara had changed and suddenly I felt as though I had to protect Audrey from Clara and that Clara was suddenly a threat.  Clara also seemed to 'grow up' overnight, and I suddenly seemed to expect her to behave in a much more 'grown up' way than I should have expected from a not-yet-2-year-old.  I'm not proud of these feelings, but I think they are probably normal and I have been trying really hard to combat these feelings by putting Audrey down at certain times a day so that I can spend some proper one-on-one time with Clara.

Interestingly, Brian's feelings about Clara have not changed at all, but his feelings toward Audrey are different than his feelings with Clara were. He has never been a 'baby' person, and he wasn't excited about doing the 'infant' thing all over again - I can respect that.  When we had Clara, however, he didn't have any other children to compare her too and despite the fact that he didn't really LOVE dealing with her colick, and diaper changing, and the fact that she didn't react at all when he made funny faces at her, he loved her to bits and she was his DAUGHTER.  With Audrey, however, he feels more irritated by her fussing than he ever was with Clara, because now he has a super-fun-and-exciting toddler to compare her to, and Audrey just really isn't as fun to him.  I get that also, and I know that he still loves Audrey to pieces.  I think it's good too, that we both recognize these differences so that we can make a conscious effort to spend our time with each daughter, so hopefully if we have an obvious 'Daddy's Girl' and 'Mommy's Girl', it won't be because we treated them differently.

Clara still loves her baby sister.  We were having some behavior issues with her a week ago, but since Brian has gone back to work and I began babysitting again (so she had her friend to play with), and her routine has started to return to what she knows, she has actually been a lot better.  She talks about Audrey all the time, and constantly wants to touch her and hold her.  She does sometimes struggle with 'sharing' things with Audrey - like her crib and high chair, and is a bit overly concerned over whether or not something is hers (That's Mine!!!) or Audrey's, but she has never asked us to put Audrey down or seemed jealous if we are spending a lot of time dealing with Audrey.  I am sooo glad for this!

Audrey is definitely turning out to be 'suckier' than Clara ever was.  Although Clara was colicky until she was six weeks old, we learned quickly that there was nothing we could give her that would help her.  It didn't matter how much I fed her, how much she was held, whether she was burped constantly or given oval or colick medications; she didn't want to be swaddled, and didn't seem to care if her diaper was clean or dirty - she just cried.  Audrey fusses predictably for a couple of hours in the evening, but it seems directly related to gas and although it's often difficult to get her to pass this gas, she will settle down afterward and be relatively amiable until the next day when her fussy-gassy time comes again. 

Unless we put her down.

I recognized when Audrey was still in utero that she was probably going to be a 'cuddlier' kid. How did I know? Well, I didn't 'know', but I suspected partly because I was hoping for a 'cuddler', and she did some things differently than Clara did.

1. Audrey didn't stretch out as much as Clara had in utero.  Clara was often stretching in such a way that seemed as though she was trying to make herself as straight as possible.  Audrey would stretch a bit, but it would involve just her legs - I assume she remained bent at the waist, and only stretched her legs out a bit.

2. Audrey didn't seem to mind having her space crowded.  I remember with Clara, if I sat too close to a table or something, and my belly was at all pressed on by anything, Clara would continuously kick at that location until I moved away from whatever was crowding her space.  She also responded quickly if I pushed on or poked at my belly.  Audrey didn't do this - she didn't seem to care if my belly was leaning against anything else, and I even caught myself sleeping almost entirely on my belly a few times, and she never seemed to mind.  She was also much more difficult to 'wake up' if I was concerned that she hadn't moved in awhile and tried to wake her by poking and prodding at my belly. 

Now that Audrey is 'out', my suspicions have been confirmed.  Despite the fact that I don't actually carry Audrey around as much as I expected I would, I do wear her in a carrier occasionally, and she is perfectly comfortable in it.  If I tried to wear Clara in a carrier, she would freak out about being held too tightly and never settled down.  Clara was also more comfortable from birth on a flat surface than Audrey has been.  If I lay Audrey down in her crib or bassinet, she doesn't completely settle, whereas she is better in a car seat or the high chair (which sits her in a similar position to her carseat), and she is always MOST comfortable if she is being held.  I've actually given up trying to make her sleep in her bassinet for the time being, because I get much more sleep if she sleeps in bed with me. I NEVER thought I would do this, but I'll get into that maybe another time.

Audrey is also much less concerned about noise than Clara ever was.  When Clara was born, I was advised to continue life as usual, and not to do things like 'keeping the house silent' when she was napping, because then she would always need silence to nap, etc. and we would always be walking on eggshells.  I think this was great advice, and definitely true for families who often listen to music and don't want that to change.  I wish I had maybe been more attuned to this when Clara was an infant, because our home is actually quite musical - however, after she was born, I found that finding music to play, creating a playlist or choosing cd's was just another thing to do and so our home actually remained quite silent most of the time and after awhile we found ourselves actually trying to 'not make a sound' after Clara was put down for a nap. It became nearly impossible for Clara to sleep if we had company because she did become used to silence.  This was annoying, but I had to realize that our home really was generally quiet, so I couldn't expect her to expect anything different.  Audrey, however, has become very accustomed to loud, sudden noises and doesn't seem bothered by either.  I know that now she is an infant, and this could change - but I suspect that the noise level in our house will remain louder than it ever was when Clara was a baby, and Audrey will adapt to that.

I could probably blog forever about the differences I've experienced with parenting both girls at this age, but for now I'll end there. I have heard some mothers say their babies were like night and day different from birth, and some mothers who say their babies were actually very much the same.  In some ways I can say both about my girls so far, and in some of these ways I think their differences/similarities are affected by how we are treating them the same/differently, and in some ways they are affected by their personalities.  And some things I have absolutely no idea about!

Can you tell I'm on Cloud 9?

The one thing I think at this point - when it comes to parenting, I will never be an expert, and it doesn't matter how many children I have or how long I have been a mother.  I think I could have 12 children and although some things would get easier, and I would get better at recognizing certain things - there would always be things that would be so much different because of each child's personality and because of the circumstances each child is born into - nothing is ever really 'the same'.

How were your babies the same or different? Did you recognize their differences or similarities as being part of their personalities, or a result of how you parented them, or their situation?

Published in Blog
Sunday, 18 November 2012 10:32

Schedules, Naps and Potty Training

Last week I did a post on how Clara is adjusting to the upheaval in our home with the arrival of Audrey, and outlined my plan to create a schedule for her to at least be a general framework for creating a routine for her, as well as to keep me 'on task' as it were.  Being new to the Mom-of-2 'thing', I know it will take me awhile to really figure this out (hopefully less than 18 years???), but here I begin..

This past week wasn't really typical in a lot of ways, because although Brian and I were both back at work (he was out of the house, and I was back to teaching piano), my Mom spent the week with us which made it way too easy for me to slack off. Thanks Mom :)

So, anyway, my Mom and I got a lot of 'prep' work done - meals made, etc. - for the upcoming few weeks, which will help tremendously when I'm trying to reorganize my life, but the schedule for Clara was almost completely non existent. I did manage to actively sit down with her to do at least one activity each day that required my supervision - on Thursday we strung red, green and gold beads onto pipe cleaners and made 'candy canes' to hang on the Christmas tree!

I will keep trying though - keep ya posted!

Over the weeks Brian was off work, we began to experiment with Clara's nap schedule. I had always put her down for a nap in the afternoon, but Brian began to suspect she didn't need a nap.  The trade-off was that if she napped in the afternoon, she seemed to spend that amount of time playing and singing to herself in her bedroom before falling asleep at night.  If she did NOT nap, she fell asleep instantly at bedtime, but we may or may not have to deal with a really fussy toddler from about 5pm until bedtime (finally) came. 

So, I decided that I would rather NOT deal with that fussy toddler time, and considering my situation would really appreciate the hour or two in the afternoon to either rest or get some house work done. So, I will start encouraging Clara to nap again on weekdays.  I will not, however, necessarily push her to sleep from now on.  I will let her stay in her room for awhile, and if she doesn't actually 'nap', that will be ok.  We will also not stress about her having a nap on weekends if there are things going on. 

This chair faces away from my desk in the Living Room regularly, I just spin it around to use - and I was just quickly getting something when Clara crawled up behind me and stood there.  Brian managed to snap a picture to show me.

Potty Training Update. 

Having 'potty trained' Clara so soon before Audrey was born, I knew we were risking some serious reverting after Audrey was born.  For the three weeks before Audrey was born, we were having occasional accidents - and often they seemed to happen all at once.  It would seem as though suddenly - for half a day - she was no longer potty trained, which could be really frustrating because more often than not it happened when we were busy.  On the day Clara met Audrey, she had two accidents - one in the hospital as she was leaving, and the other in the restaurant her Grandparents took her to for supper afterwards.

So we thought, maybe, we would have to watch her a lot more closely for awhile.

This wasn't the case, though.  It must have just been a minor setback, which she had experienced before Audrey was born, and possibly had less to do with Audrey, and more to do with the excitement and busy-ness of life at the moment.  We still have accidents occasionally, but rarely any puddles on the floor and usually we take some responsibility for not hearing her request to go potty, or not responding fast enough. 

She is really doing great for a little girl who is not yet 2 years old!

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 21:37

I Don't Want to Nap!!!

Where did our naptime go?

Over the past two weeks, when Clara's schedule was completely destroyed - Mommy and Daddy were BOTH home, there is now a new little person in the house, people were coming over to visit all the time, but not the people who normally come to visit, like the little girl Mommy babysits or the super-awesome teenaged babysitters who come to play while Mommy is teaching piano and Daddy is still at work...

Amongst all of the chaos that had become Clara's life, she seemed to suddenly no longer need a nap. 

Some days, we would put her into bed at the usual time shortly after lunch and we would hear her playing and talking to herself for up to an hour before finally falling asleep. I didn't really question this, because I had always been the sort of kid who took forever to fall asleep.  I remember getting stacks of books out of the library (chapter books, too), to keep beside my bed because just a chapter or two wouldn't cut it - I would fly through 4-5 or even more volumes of the Sweet Valley Twins books before finally nodding off.  I just assumed my daughter would be the same.

When Brian was home, however, he asked questions.  And after a couple days of skipped naps just because that was how our schedule worked out those days, and then returning to a few days of naptime, Brian noticed a pattern in her sleeping. 

If Clara took a nap during the day, it seemed to guarantee 1-2 (or even more) hours of play time in her room after lights out at night.  This meant she wasn't falling asleep until 10pm sometimes.  However, if Clara skipped her afternoon nap, she seemed to fall asleep within 5-10 minutes.

Yikes. I wasn't ready to be skipping that afternoon quiet time...

Brian informed me of his theory (that I had not noticed, because I had never questioned why she was staying up so late - she was just being like her Mommy, wasn't she?), and we spent a few days experimenting.  We allowed her to skip a nap one day, and then put her down for a nap the next afternoon.  The pattern held - the first day, she fell asleep nearly immediately and the second day she was up for hours.

This Monday was a holiday, but today (Wednesday) and yesterday, I have been home without Brian continuing the 'No More Naps' experiment. (Not to make my children into lab rats or anything, but that's often what parenting is, isn't it? Just one big experiment...?) Yesterday worked out pretty well, although I didn't do a very good job of keeping Clara occupied so she was a bit more fussy than I'd like by the end of the day. 

Today, was ridiculous. She definitely should have had a nap, which we realized at supper time when she threw a tantrum about not being allowed to stir her water with a fork, and then immediately forgot when she looked down at her plate and started happily eating, and then saw her water cup and started tantruming again, and then forgot when she looked down at her plate...

Anyway, I'm not really sure how to handle this.  I would like to try to schedule her day a little bit more predictably for her - but if she doesn't need a nap every day, this seems to just make our lives less predictable... how does this work for toddlers?

For those of you whose toddlers only have a few naps a week - do they nap on certain days, or only when they show signs of being sleepy? My daughter often seems sleepy when she really doesn't need a nap, so this could be difficult for us.  Our 'telltale sign' (Bo on the nose, and soother in her mouth) has become a much more frequent necessity, and certainly doesn't indicate a need for sleep... I don't think...

How can you tell if a toddler is ready to start skipping naps, or to eliminate them completely? Is it acceptable to ask your toddler to have quiet time in their room with the door closed - partly for you to get a rest, and partly to see if they might actually need to sleep?

Published in Blog
Sunday, 11 November 2012 20:51

Daily Schedule for a Toddler

Lately we've been seeing some (minor) behavioral changes in Clara.  Nothing huge, and nothing we're panicked about, but enough that makes us realize that she's quickly getting to the point where 'if we let that behavior slide, she's eventually going to be a really difficult kid!'.  So, we've had to think about ways to deal with this, and both Brian and I have been spending time online looking for ideas on how to raise an obedient toddler.

Largely, we've come across a lot of the same thoughts repeated over and over, so when I recently came across the concept of scheduling a child's day in order to encourage good behavior, I was a bit surprised.  The theory being that a child whose daily routine is regular and predictable, at least to some degree, will be easier to manage and will all around be a happier child.  It makes sense to me, especially since I assume Clara's struggles right now have a lot to do with the fact that any amount of 'routine' she had before Audrey was born was thrown out the window on October 26th.

This was a little bit hard for me, because I think I had abstractly assumed that teaching a child to be well behaved would require work on the child's part - not on mine.  So seriously, I have to work for this? Would this come as a shock to anyone else? :P

I am seriously bad at keeping a routine, and I'm not overly good at 'the toddler years' as far as planning activities and such - I'll have to do a lot of research and get a lot of help!

But ok, I'll give it a try. With Brian returning to work this week, it's a good time to start figuring out some kind of routine for Clara and I, and it would probably help me get through the day also.  Here is what I have done so far.

  1. A lot of internet research - I've perused every 'daily toddler schedule' and 'daily activity list for toddlers' that I can find online, and using some of these ideas I have made one of my own.
  2. Created the basic schedule - basically, I listed the day in half-hour segments and filled in each activity one at a time. I began with things like snacks and lunches, which usually (and should) fall at a predictable time. 
  3. Made a list of Activities - after considering Clara's typical list of activities, I sorted these things into 4 categories: 1. Activities I don't have to even be in the room for - like when she looks at books by herself - I called this 'Free Play'. 2. Activities I need to supervise, like stickers and colouring - to make sure she doesn't sticker or colour the house. 3. Activities I need to be involved in, like craft projects and baking ('Hands on' activities), and 4. Activities that involve leaving the house (and a vehicle, which we typically don't have during the day on weekdays).
  4. I then filled in the remaining time spots with either 1,2,3 or 4 depending on what made sense to me at that moment. 

Here's a basic idea of what my schedule (for Clara) looks like:

8:00 - wake up, pee, make bed, eat breakfast & get dressed

8:30 - Free play (1)

9:00 - Supervised Activity (2)

9:30 - Free play, after Supervised activity ends

10:00 - Snack time

10:30 - Hands-on activity (3)

11:00 - Free play, whenever Hands-on activity ends

11:30 - Clean up toys, read a book or sing songs together until lunch?

12:00 - Lunch time

12:30 - Quiet activity, maybe read books together?

1:00 - Nap time, quiet time in room, or watch a movie time?

2:30 - Read stories together, cuddle on the couch

3:00 - Snack time

3:30 - Supervised play

4:00 - Free play/ help with chores (must learn to be creative getting her to help with things)

5:00 - Independent Playtime while Mom & Dad have some chat time, and/or make supper

5:30 - Eat supper

...

7:30 - Bathtime/story time, brush teeth & hair

8:00 - Bedtime

This is all I've got so far, and I have to figure out how to actually stick each activity into each area.  Also, every recommendation I've read encourages you to have a schedule, but not to be really strict about it, and let things fall where they will after you've basically set the routine.

We'll see how this works for me... I'll check in again in a week!

 

Published in Blog

When I was growing up, I knew a family that planned 'Daddy-Daughter Dates' for their daughters once a year to go out on a special dinner-and-a-movie type date with their Dad.  I always loved this idea, and it came from the concept that 'Mommy' spends a lot of time with her children, but sometimes 'Daddy' doesn't get this sort of special one-on-one time.

In addition to this, however, I think it can also happen that because a SAHM spends so much time with her children, the 'special, one-on-one' time can also be lacking, so I thought it would also be a good idea to plan 'Mommy-Dates' for kids.  After Brian and I had decided that we were probably going to be done with two children, we talked about choosing a Saturday a month, and each taking one of our children 'out' - for a playtime in the park, shopping date, coffee at a cute little cafe, dinner and a movie, or whatever we felt like.  Definitely for something specially and one-on-one.  Then we could swap children for the next month, which would mean 6 dates with each kid each year.

I'm really excited about this plan, and I think it could be a lot of fun - planning things to do, and having a chance to really talk to my kids. 

Yesterday, Brian had a couple of hours 'out on the town' all by himself.  He had a couple of errands to run, and ended up being distracted just by wandering around downtown.  He grabbed a coffee and wandered through a second-hand music shop and the library, and really enjoyed his little window of 'alone time'.

After talking about our Parent-Daughter date days, we decided it would probably also be a good idea to give ourselves a few hours each month (at least) to disappear on our own to go for a walk, go for coffee, or whatever. 

I love 'planning', and thinking up 'great ideas' for my family's future - I hope we actually DO these things!

What are some great family traditions that you have, or ways that you deliberately connect with your family?

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 15:07

Parent of the Year...

I was just having a conversation with my cousin on Facebook...

Cousin: What's Clara doing?

Me: Playing in her room with the lights off, and the door closed.

Cousin: And the Parenting of the Year Award goes too...

Me: Hey! In my defense, I was sure she was sleepy!

Cousin: YOU!!!

Me: She was lying on the kitchen floor with a bear under her head as a pillow!

Anyway, it's funny because I think it does sound pretty extreme, I guess. She WAS lying on the kitchen floor with one pink Bo on her nose, soother (or 'gummy' as she calls it) in her mouth, and her other pink Bo under her head as a pillow.  She was also getting irritatingly cranky and fussing about everything.  But, when I put her in her bed, does she go to sleep? No, and I didn't really think she would - but she's happy! She is probably playing with her stuffed animals, or her clothes, or maybe reading a book that she stashed earlier under her bed...

I think my kid is weird.

She has often dismayed me by being exactly the opposite of what people would tell me 'babies are'.  When she was an infant - she actually preferred NOT to be held and cuddled, and she's still this way.  When she was colicky I would try for hours to rock and cuddle and sooth and swaddle in every way suggested everywhere I could find, and after weeks of this, one day I became frustrated and simply put her down on a hard surface and walked away.  I just needed a bit of space from this inconsolable crying thing... and what did she do? She calmed down, almost instantly.  I was shocked.  I went back to her, and suddenly she would smile and giggle at me - she just wanted me to let go of her! Seriously, kid?? From then on I knew that if she was crying for seemingly no reason, the first thing to try would be to set her down somewhere she could lie and kick her feet and move her arms.

Not what I was ever 'told' to do, because evidently this is not normal baby behavior?

And this being in her room thing? I discovered a couple of weeks ago, after confusedly thinking she was showing all the signs of needing a nap (particularly the extreme crankiness) - only an hour after she woke up from her nap - that she really enjoys being shut up in her room with her stuffies and blankets, with the lights off.  I tried putting her down for a nap again, and then heard her happily playing and talking to her stuffies for almost an hour before I opened the door and she happily came back into the real world again. 

Some days she seems to need company so badly, she'll wander around the house seeming a little bit lost because she has no friends to play with, and other times she seems to want to be shut up in her bedroom all alone. 

My daughter likes her 'me time'.

So curious about how this next one will be...

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 25 September 2012 18:17

Potty Training Begins... with a Method?

It felt like it fell out of the sky - a Sarah from Nurse Loves Farmer sends me a link to her post on how she potty trained her son in 3 days. 

Nurse Loves Farmer

I had heard of methods like this before, and after doing a bit of research (reading a couple of online articles about it), I decided that these methods were really only for children who were old enough to talk clearly, and to pull down their jeans by themselves.

But the method she speaks of claims to work at 22 months - guaranteed.  You can read her thoughts on the process here.

Here are my struggles and questions in regards to when to potty train - or, more specifically, whether to do it before or after baby arrives:

I am due in about a month to have another baby.  So, I wonder if we should wait until after baby, or get potty training over with now.  There are a few general pros and cons to both of these. 

If we train now, Clara could revert after the baby is born (this seems to be a relatively common occurrence among older siblings who are recently potty trained), and then we would have to spend more time and energy on the process afterward anyway. 

She isn't even quite 22 months yet, so what if she's just too young? If we wait, she may have to wait longer than just a month since I will probably have my hands full for awhile and won't have the energy to pick up potty training as well.  Also, then we would have two children in diapers, and it would certainly be nice to not have to wash that many diapers...

After thinking about this a little bit more, I realized something. 

Clara is READY to potty train.  She has been using the potty since she was 8 months old for pooping - almost exclusively - so she knows what it is and what it is used for.  We have casually attempted to make her comfortable with the potty, but she seems reluctant to actually pee on it - I've decided that this is more out of frustration than anything.  She KNOWS that peeing in the potty is somehow connected to not using diapers anymore, yet every time she pees in the potty we put another diaper on her! I think she may be wondering 'What the !@$# is the point?'

After I realized that, I decided that it's probably really aggravating to her to keep her waiting.  So - it's time to begin, I suppose.

Tomorrow I will post on how we have gotten ready for this, and the plan is to start on Thursday morning.

Wish us luck!

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