Sunday, November 10, 2013

Why is it even called potty training?  It should be called potty & poop on the floor week. Whatever you call it isn't not for the faint of heart.  Can you tell what we've been doing at our house the last few days?  Our youngest son turned 3 last month & up until this point we haven't tried potty training.  Like at all.  We knew early on that he did things only when he was good & ready to do them. This goes for crawling, rolling, walking, talking.  Seriously he didn't utter nary a word until we were at a well-check appointment & his pediatrician started mentioning speech therapy & how we should probably look in to it.  I kid you not he started to speak later that day.  I don't know if it is just because he works on his own time table or that he doesn't want to try something until he has mastered it, but we knew that if we tried to get out of diapers before he was ready to do it then we would be miserable.  And if you have potty trained before you know that you don't need to add anything else to the experience to make it more miserable.

Am I being too negative?  Nope.  Not unless  you enjoy setting a timer or asking a kiddo every 15 minutes if they need to go potty?  Like from the time their eyes pop open until their head hits the pillow again that night.  Do you get a thrill out of slipping in a puddle of pee that you forgot was still on the kitchen floor?  Do you enjoy running to the bathroom with a crying child in your outstretched arms who is soaking wet from the waist down socks included.  Perhaps you get a kick out of picking up pieces of poop that have fallen through your child's pant legs on to the living room floor?  Doesn't sound that fun to me yet I am choosing to live it, because that is what we do.  We help our kids learn how to move on to the next step in life even if that step is a slippery one.

And I know that he will eventually get it & that we will be done with diapers.  Hallelujah.   I know that it could be worse.  Really it could be. Our oldest son would just stop playing long enough to say "there is some poop over there by the train table that needs to be picked up, mom." Awesome.   I know that most kids don't want to go to the  bathroom in their very cool Jake the Pirate undies.  I know that nothing is fun about your mom all up in your face all day asking if you" want to squeeze some potty out of your penis."  And yes I said that.  No one ever tells you you are going to say stuff like that when you are in your birthing class.  It is like all modesty has left the building.  Seriously we currently have our potty seat set up in the kitchen because it is more central to where we spend the majority of our time in the house.  There it sits and there he sits reading his pile of books while I do the dishes or whatever else needs to be done.  Classy. Convenient.

This is an exciting time when every success gets applause & candy & there are stickers & it is so great.  Why would any kid in their right mind want to rush this process along?  He is smart.  He sees his brother goes to the bathroom day in & day out without any fanfare.  He realizes the accolades come to a stop at some point so why not take advantage of the candy before bedtime & the hanging out naked in the kitchen reading books phase?

I know that this is just one of the many phases of raising kiddos that the days are long, but the weeks are short.  I know that he will spend more time in life out of diapers then he ever did in them.  I also am pretty sure that he won't ever thank his father & I for the time & effort & cleaning products we put into potty training him.  I don't believe American Greetings makes that card.  So for now I am thankful that today's "training" is over, that we didn't have any accidents in public & that even though I sent him to church in a pink pull-up he still loves me.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Oh, how I love words.  I always have.  I believe it started early for me as I had a brief run as a spelling bee competitor.  Yes, you read that right.  Competitor not champion.  My run ran out early at Trentwood Elementary.  I wish I remembered the word I misspelled that ended it all for me.  Now even I almost can't believe that I was in a few different spelling bees as I am the one when writing, typing, texting who calls across the house to my husband "How do you spell spectacular?"  I am so thankful to now have a grown-up phone ( I was one of the last people I knew without a smart phone until just the other day after loosing an hour of life at the Verizon mall kiosk) with spell check! I am pretty sure it is going to change my life.

I have also always loved putting words to paper.  I was the little kid who spent summers sending in poems & short stories to Highlights Magazine. I remember typing away at my sister's electric typewriter (which was her luxury purchase back in the 80's when my dad won the lottery & they gave each of us kids a small portion to do with what we wanted) I just loved hearing the whir of her typewriter start up & the loud tapping noise it would make as  you selected each letter.  I was so thrilled when she finally let me start using it a few years later.  Some of the shine was gone but that machine still (literally) hummed. I remember spending later summers working on my "Great American Novel".  Creative writing was always my favorite class in school & at one point after high school graduation I had a writing assignment with a golf magazine.  That is when I realized that unless it is something I am passionate about the words don't' come.  Alas, my writing career came to an early retirement.

Reading words has to be one of my favorite ways to interact with them.  I have devoured books every since the Sweet Valley High days (I can't be the only elementary school girl who LOVED those twins)  & have continued gobbling them right up to now when I read things like Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See & Dr. Seuss to  my tiny people.  Nothing thrilled me more when my eldest son started having the reading bug. He was so excited about getting his library card & having the ability to be able to select & check-out his very own books.  I am thinking that my younger son may not share our enthusiasm for all things written.  I was trying to motivate him with rewards for potty-training & even told him he could even get his very own library card if he would.just.go.on.the.potty.  Turns out for that 3-year-old the library card was not the way to his heart (shocking).  Looks like the way to his heart is paved by chocolate chips.  

The spoken word is a little more elusive to me.  It isn't that I have a lack of words to say (just ask my husband) it is more like words that come out of my mouth are sometimes shrouded in mystery. I don't always know where they have come from where they are headed.  Maybe it is just me, but sometimes I wish I could delete words that I have just said kind of like how you can delete your status update on Facebook.  If you are my friend on Facebook you are aware that I don't' have much of a filter.  I like to endearingly call it "keeping it real" but to be honest pretty much any emotion or thought that I have near a computer just pops out.  I am so incredibly thankful that the only social networking that was around when I was a teenager was my parents rotary phone, because that would have been a disaster to share a permanent record of my teenage drama with the world.  

I have been more sensitive to the words I speak as I am realizing that my boys are going to be able to remember everything from this point on.  No longer can we laugh & say good thing he won't remember, because they.will.  Everything.  Isn't that a frightening thought?  Situations & exchanges that I have with my boys are something that they may someday share with their friends, kids, co-workers!  I was remembering that with fresh awareness the other day when I was forcing my child to take a shower so we could wash his hair with tea-tree shampoo the second he walked in the door from school since I had just learned that his school was having a lice outbreak.  For this first time elementary student mom the very thought  So what does any freaked out mom do, but throw their kid in the shower before he had a chance to even take his backpack off (not really that would be a little much) frantically scrubbing the thought of lice away.  He didn't & doesn't have it, but hearing it was in the same county as his precious head was enough to set-me off.  As we were both crying in the bathroom I was struck with the thought He is never going to forget this moment.  Yikes.  I so wish I could remember that each time I was about to open my mouth & let a sigh, a frustration or a nag out.

Words have the ability to be so encouraging & uplifting.  A kind word from  someone can change the entire course of your day.  Just as quickly a damaging word can give your shoulders a slump & have your giddy-up loose it's giddy.  Thinking about the "power" of words is nothing new to people.  I know this.  But, for me I think the thought of being mindful before I open my mouth is.  I have the verse from James about being "slow to speak" on a post-it & that is something I really want to practice. I want to model that for my boys. I want to be able to not say "No!" right away without really even hearing what they are asking.  I also want to model how with some words it is okay for them to come quickly. Words like "I'm sorry & please forgive me."  Those are words that I want people in my house to be able to say with quickness & with ease.  It's the other 20, 000 words a day that I say that I think I would be wise to speak at a little more of a leisurely pace.  A friend & I have " a thing" (all good friends should have a thing) where we try & count to 10 after the other person has finished their thought so we don't run the risk of interrupting them because we both have such fabulous things to say that often our words end up tumbling over one another.  Wouldn't it be great if we all started waiting 10 seconds before speaking, replying or scolding.   What if we really thought about what we were saying & the impact we wanted our words to have?  What if we took that few seconds to think about whether we wanted our words to give life to the other person or if what we were intending to say would have the opposite effect.  What if we took those moments to wonder what we would want to hear in that same situation?  Maybe it's just me but that " 10-second delay" sounds like one that may be well worth the wait.