Monthly Archives: March 2012

all set

Well this is just sad. It’s the last week of the month, and the last time I wrote was the first week of the month. Not cool, T. Not cool. Were April going to be any different, I would vow to post daily because clearly I need the exercise, but that’s not going to happen. I’ve got a month of no weekends because I’m doing this extra job that I do once a year (it’s university entrance exam scoring for nearly a month straight), and then somewhere in the middle of all of that, I’ve finally got my doula training and a few days later, my fourteenth anniversary with my wife. It’s quite a big month!

But before all of that begins, we have my wife’s spring break. Our son has been asking for a month to go to a “nice room” (hotel), so we opted to make a trip with him in mind and are heading to our state capitol to stay in a very nice room, visit some children’s museums/creative spaces, and even see some family. He was so excited today when he woke up that he grabbed his little backpack and immediately packed some books in it. Later in the day, when we gave him his suitcase, he packed that too. In it, he has a huge stack of books, some of his favorite stuffed animals, two pairs of socks belong to me and/or J, his red Chuck Taylors, every shirt from his shirt drawer, a prefold diaper, and an afghan. He asked for assistance zipping it up, and promptly rolled it to the front door. He was buzzing with so much excitement tonight that he took nearly two hours to fall asleep. While this was maddening in the moment, it is so endearing to think that these plans we’ve made with him in mind are pleasing him already. We happen to have snagged a very nice hotel through Pricel.ine, so I imagine the valet parking, long elevator ride, opulent lobby, and big fluffy beds are going to make him giddy. I love seeing the world through his eyes.

Interestingly, the last time J and I stayed at this hotel we were attending a major rally following the passing of Prop 8. It’s a place that holds a lot of memories for us because it was just before we got pregnant with BG. Seeing this again with him in tow feels particularly poignant.

And finally, a note on the title of this post. J and I say this phrase a lot. We’ll get ready to go, and say “All set!” or we’ll finish getting dressed, and again we’ll say, “All set!” A few weeks ago, I kept hearing him say “Oh shit!” and I was surprised. J and I have slipped a few times, but not this much, and not really this phrase. But again and again, she and I both heard “Oh shit!” from him. One day, I finished tying his shoes, and as he jumped down, he said it: “Oh shit!”  But no, Ms. Cynical Mommypottybrain, no, that was “All set” our sweet boy had been exclaiming all this time. I learned this as I correct him, and he promtly corrected me, very carefully pronouncing each syllable. I promptly felt like an ass–a very relieved ass.

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potty talk: a little clarification

I forget sometimes that my sarcasm and hyperbole can come across as just cynicism, anxiety, and paranoia to those who don’t know me, but let me set the record straight: I’m in no hurry to potty train. We also won’t be strapping our son to anything other than a carseat or a booster.

I’m very much of the mind that it will happen when it happens, when BG is good and ready. Right now, he’s very interested in the potty, so we sit on it when he’s interested in doing so. This is a good step simply because for some time he was very anti-potty, and was, in fact, fearful at one point, so we’re working on positive potty associations. When he’s ready to stop sitting on the potty, we get up and move on with our day. He’s got so many interests that while he enjoys being read to in the bathroom, he has his limit and eventually prefers to move on to something else. We typically only have potty time once or twice a day right now. Ultimately, he is eager to see what happens when poop or pee enters the potty because he wants to participate in the process of dumping it and/or flushing it. It would be neat for him to have a “success” so that he can associate the act with the potty, but I’m also well aware that this is something one can rarely actually schedule.

So many people feel the pressure of potty training. My wife was raised by a mom who constantly reminded her that she “shit in her pants” until she was three. Nice, I know. I think such drilling certainly makes my wife a little more aware of the fact that BG is closing in on three (sort of–I mean, we are six months away), and she’s just ready for him to be done. We have friends whose kids are potty trained in their twos, another who potty trained at the freakish age of eighteen months, but her parents did EC, which is just not something I can commit to. It’s good, though, for BG to see that these other kids use the potty, that there is something beyond diapers. He has the cognition to grasp this, and that’s where we are right now.

Believe me, though, I have plenty of fears about having a potty trained toddler/preschooler. My mom taught preschool for years, and I was her “assistant” as a kid. I can’t count the number of accidents I had to clean up (imagine, as ten-year-old girl!). I also worked with kids this age for a number of years, and newly potty trained kids were just scary to me. And now, my niece is freshly trained (at just over three), and it’s challenging remembering to take her to the bathroom, remembering to remind her that she needs to go. Once, some friends of ours came to visit when BG was brand new, and they brought their three-year-old who was having a potty regression after the birth of his brother. He had a horrific accident all over our floor. We were cleaning up for multiple days. I still think of that and feel horrible for his parents. With a child as stubborn as BG can be, I know potty training will bring with it a whole new set of challenges. I certainly don’t plan to delay it if he’s ready, but I don’t think there’s any harm in slowly introducing it, especially for a child who does not take kindly to change.

It is interesting being around other parents who have kids our son’s age because we do occasionally let ourselves feel influenced by their kids’ developments. This was certainly an error we made when it came to transitioning BG out of his crib (the day that will live in infamy in the RG household). This was such an important lesson in waiting for our son to do things in his own time.

Ultimately, we’re looking forward to summer when BG can spend plenty of time outside sans pants. We plan to keep a potty out there so that he can use it when he wants. It’s a nice natural way of helping kids gain awareness without pressure, and that’s our goal for now. And if it doesn’t happen then, we’ll be overjoyed to have the preschool’s support in the fall (look at me being all optimistic!).

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what’s new?

Thanks to all of you who have helped me keep the tumbleweeds at bay around here. I’ve been seriously slacking in my posting, and I’m disappointed in myself. What better way to jump in and not feel all that mental baggage holding me back than a bullety update sort of post, right? Maybe these will serve as prompts for bigger posts later.

  • Potty Appreciation: We’re working on this. It seems our son is one of those kids who will be in diapers until he is ten. However, we have two potties now–one for the floor and a seat for the big potty. We spend a lot of time sitting there with nothing happening. BG likes to have bits of toilet paper to shove down into the potty from time to time. I now have a semi-permanent pillow and book collection on the bathroom floor. Sadly, nothing has ever managed to come out during potty sitting time, which today was a full hour (BG’s choice; we haven’t resorted to strapping him to the seat yet).
  • Meanwhile, his cloth diapers have seen better days. I love cloth diapering, but there is an issue that arises, especially with pocket diapers and microfiber inserts that drives even the most devout to the diaper aisle at the supermarket. They develop a stench. A ridiculously awful stench. Something that permeates a room. This means they need to be stripped, and we strip ours regularly, but we’re pretty sure they’ve reached the point of no return. Therefore, most of the time we endure the stench at home, and we now use disposables in public. We’re debating whether we now buy a few new cloth, assuming they could be good for a second child, or whether we just try to endure what we have, all the while maintaining great optimism that our son and the toilet will soon work together. Don’t tell him, but my money’s on the diapers right now.
  • Our latest babysitter, this woman who has been so wonderful that BG gets mad when we come home, is leaving to be an au pair overseas. We are so sad to have to go through this process of finding a sitter yet again, especially considering how much he loves this one. However, we still have our weekly therapy session, and we still need a date from time to time, so the hunt resumes. Perhaps this time we’ll get Mary Poppins.
  • BG is starting to be a little bit social! He has been known to hug other children, hold their hands, and even play with them. We are still loving our moms’ group and especially because there are lots of kids BG’s age, several of whom are reserved little boys much like he is. There is hope that he won’t be a recluse after all.
  • We are talking preschool, which really means we’re getting an application into the school at J’s university. Unfortunately, there have been some political messes that may result in J’s underemployment. There are also budget cuts that may result in this school’s closure. Were either of these two things to happen, we’d be pretty devastated. We’d find something else, but this really is THE school for us. I mean, they have a window to the kitchen so that the kids can watch the chef (no lunch ladies here) prepare their lunches made from locally grown foods. Their menu includes items like the following: Chicken, soba noodles and vegetable (carrots, bok choy) miso soup; Chicken and winter squash curry with brown rice and peas; Cuban style black beans over brown rice, sautéed Swiss chard and carrots. There are regularly items like quinoa and hummus on the menu in various forms. It’s quite impressive. Seriously, I want to eat there! On top of this, they’ll let us use cloth diapers, and they don’t expect three-year-olds to be potty trained (it’s part of their curriculum). They have ample gardens outside, places to build and dig, places to create. It takes the best of so many different approaches to early childhood education, and we can just see that BG wouldthrivethere. AND it’s really close to the building where J’s office is. You can see why we would be fairly devastated if it closes/we can’t attend because J isn’t teaching there. We’re trying to remain optimistic, but we’re also looking for alternatives, none of which stack up in the least.
  • And because kindergarten won’t be far behind, I’ve started thinking about that. However, the thinking about that led me to find out that the state of California is slowly changing the age children begin kindergarten, and by the fall semester of 2014, the year we assumed our son would be starting kindergarten, the date a child must be five will be September 1st. He was born September 5th, which means if we can’t get some sort of waiver, our kid won’t be starting kindergarten until he is six. He will be eighteen at the beginning of his senior year of high school. I can’t imagine what caused politicians to think this would make sense (actually, I can: money), but I’m oddly worked up about it.
  • Because not everything is about my son, I am happy to report that I am enrolled in a doula training course. It happens mid-April. I’m nervous and excited and can’t believe I finally get to do this.

There really is more, but I don’t want to deluge you with too much. Instead, I just need to make a commitment to blog a little more regularly for awhile. Maybe I’ll manage to get over here a few times next week for something other than video posts. Wouldn’t that be surprising?!

 

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