Thursday, February 25, 2016

with a wink and a smile

I volunteered in Babs' classroom the other day. As I was getting ready to leave, she smiled and said "have a good day, honey."

It was a good impression of me, I have to give her that.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

now I know my a, b, c's...

The boy is loving his alphabet (even if he does call them "numbers"). For a long time he only knew "O" (and would spot it everywhere). He now knows, well, more than I think he does, but less than half. He also does a fantastic rendition of the abc song, thanks again to nursery.

So we read alphabet books. And talk about what starts with the various letters. He may know some of his letters, but he has no sense for the sounds and correlating that with words. (Which is fine. He's two. I'm in no rush.) I have two stories about this:

The other day I was reading a magazine article about cattle, well it was actually about big animal veterinarians, but because most of the pictures were of cows, that what we called it, the pictures of the cows. Like any good article, the first letter was in a large font, followed by the tiny letters. "Whatz that?" the boy asks as he points at the letter. "A 'T'" I reply. "Oh, T for tows!" he happily announces, because he can't yet pronounce the "k" sound. I have no answer for that one.

As we were going through the alphabet, "B is for baby," "R is for rhinoceros" etc., until we got to the end. "Z for seeping!" he tells me. I pause, about to say, no z is for... until I realize he told me "z is for sleeping." It most certainly is.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Magyk and brave boots

I've been trying to make sure I have time for Kiddo these days. Between her good temperament, her sister's slightly more demanding personality, and the fact that I have a 2 year old, sometimes there feels like there's not enough time for her.

But then at the library the other day, she showed interest in a book that is at the right reading level for her, but I was concerned the content might scare her (everything scares her...). So we checked out the book with the caveat that we had to read it together.

Which is awesome. It's been years since she's willing let me read just to her (and it's so important!). More importantly, I now search for time to spend with her, so we can read together. She wants to read over my shoulder, so she sits right next to me. And since we're trying to read a chapter, I often put off the desires of her brother and sister so I can be with her. (What sweeter words can a child hear than, "no, I won't do that with you, I'm with your sister right now?)

The downside? It's a good book (Magyk, by Angie Sage), and I want to know what happens next. Instead, I have to be responsible and send her to bed. (If it were just me, I would totally let myself stay up.)


Speaking of everything being scary, she is still reluctant to go downstairs (to our finished basement) by herself. This is a problem, because the door to the garage is there, so coats and shoes are usually there too. The other day she needed something, but was scared, and I was out of patience, so I said "Put your brave boots on, and go get it."

That phrase has entered our lexicon. Some days she can find her brave boots, and some days not. But she at least knows she has some.

small person in underwear!

still working on it...

Thursday, February 11, 2016

the last two weeks

This is what the boy and I have been doing for the last two weeks. We really are making progress. Ups and downs, but progress. What a sweet little boy.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

we love trucks

Surely there is nothing more adorable than a little boy who gets excited as the mail is delivered.

"It's the mail bus!"

oh, yes it is.

Monday, February 8, 2016

"what happened to my parents?" - a post by the boy

Just two weeks ago my parents and I had a robust relationship. They read me books, played dinosaur, helped me find my trucks 10 times a day, and mom took me shopping multiple times a week (I love shop-ping!) but recently everything has changed.

They have taken away my diapers and insisted that I wear these underwear things. Don't they know they get wet? And when they get wet, so do my pants and socks! Talk about uncomfortable.

But I can't wear them all the time, no, multiple times a day I have to take them off and sit on a small green chair with a hole in it. Sometimes they read me stories there, or let me watch videos on the phone, but sometimes they look sadly at me, and sigh heavily. They also try to feed me M&Ms there, but how many M&Ms does a boy really need?

And now the only thing they talk about is the potty. "Do you have to go to the potty?" "Come sit on the potty." "I'm so proud of you for using the potty." "It's time to use the potty."

When do things get back to normal?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

girls and boys

Many years ago we got some fine socks for Babs, with grippers on the bottom, that stayed up, were just the right weight; frankly, I loved them. While they are "girl" socks, with their scalloped edges, cupcakes and butterflies designs, they are not pink with glitter. I almost didn't let the boy wear them, even though they were in good condition, until I thought, I would have totally put my girls in boy socks that were still usable. Let's be fair here.

And given his older sisters, the boy loves Anna and Elsa (Frozen), barbies, and dolls, and has no problem with pink. He may, but not yet. (He also loves cars, trucks, and "hulk smash." He just came that way.)

I spent effort with the girls making sure they were exposed to things that society labels as for boys or girls. It is actually harder to be equally mindful for my son. At least now I am expected to tell my girls they can be anything. The expectations for my little man are not as wide.

The other day I found myself shying away from a book to read to him, concerned that he wouldn't enjoy it because the main character was a girl. WHAT?!? my brain shouted, you've never worried that your girls couldn't relate to a boy! and so I read the book anyway.

I am frustrated that despite my best efforts through my life, that these stereotypes of what girls and boys can do have sneaked into my mind anyway. I carefully walked a tightrope today to maintain his interest in the fireman rainboots, not the pink flower rainboots. I refused to use as an excuse "those are for girls." (That would have been extra ironic given that I had just bought a set of spiderman boots for her older sister.)

I just want them to be able to be who they want to be (ideally that would also be who I want them to be).

day three

No dirty underwear today. There were two (three?) reasons for this:

1) Between helping a friend with a life crisis and nap time (plus playing in the rain time), he spent a lot of the day in diapers. I kind of feel like I'm shooting myself in the foot with this choice, but I'm also not clear how to work around it.

2) When I tried to get him back out of diapers at the end of the day he just yelled "No, no, no!" and I didn't have the emotional strength to fight back.

3) When he wasn't actually wearing diapers, he wouldn't wear underwear either. He went commando under his pants.

But, when he had no diaper, and no underwear, he was successful at getting all his business in the potty.

I am now praying for him to have a change of heart and desire to wear underwear. It is clear that he can handle it when he chooses too.
(Look- all the children have rain boots that fit and have no holes. It's a miracle! and fun... if only my winter boots that I chose to wear yesterday didn't have holes in them, it would have been a great afternoon. But my feet got really wet.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

diapers are not forever

Three weeks ago the boy wouldn't put a diaper on in the afternoon, and instead wandered the house with no pants. I asked if he wanted underwear and a potty, he answered yes. So a very happy husband (who's wanted to do this for about nine months) took his son out to Target to buy a little potty and some underwear, with "dinosaurns". Except that wasn't a good week to start. And the next week the girls had early release every day. The week after that was no school because of the storm. I told myself: once they are back in school, we're doing this!

Why am I so reluctant? Babs. We first tried when she was 2 years 4 months (aug 2012 if you want a refresher of good stories). Then we potty trained her on an off for years. We'd start and stop, and start and stop... It was then that I learned she was truly unbribe-able (which is, yeah, a good thing, but still, I needed her to take the bribe!). At her parent teacher conferences for preschool (age 4 1/2), the teachers mentioned she'd had two accidents (in three months). I replied, "I know! Isn't that awesome?!" And with new perspective they cheered along with me. (A shout out to my fellow home preschool teachers, who let me send a partially potty trained girl to their house in underwear many times.) I just can't handle that again.

So I put off training the boy. And I've fully informed my husband that if this doesn't take quickly, I'm shelving the project for another few months.

BUT- Yesterday, Day 1, he had two accidents, and both of those were my fault, because I let him go too long without putting him on the potty. We have five pairs of underwear, we finished the day with 2 left over. (Yet, his diaper from his nap was VERY wet, so obviously he was holding some in.)

Day 2, he's had more accidents (largely because of the 16 ounces of water he drank while the girls did gymnastics), no left over underwear today. But, he also successfully did #1 and #2. He insists on emptying his potty into the toilet. He was happy at the end of the day. He even happily told me about his accident, and showed me the cloth he used to clean it up. (I had to do some touch up work.)

It's entirely possible that he will be in a good place by the end of the week. I am trying so hard not to sabotage this by my ambivalence to the process. Diapers are so easy..., but, as our book says, diapers are not forever. And maybe, just maybe, they'll be out of our life very soon.