Wednesday, November 18, 2009

When it just "clicks"

I think as a parent you often wait for the moment when it just "clicks". When you're waiting for a baby to sleep through the night. When you're waiting for a toddler to drink from a sippy cup and give up the bottle. When you're waiting for a child to learn how to use the potty. When you're waiting for a child to learn how to read. Or add.

There are many things you can do to encourage them and guide them but until it clicks, it's a struggle. It's a lesson in patience and working with your child's personality while also maintaining your status as the parent.

It clicked today for Rachel.

Yesterday, she was a drama queen every time I told her to try to go potty. She'd cry and stand up right away, insisting she was done when she hadn't "done" anything. I was gentle but also insistent that she sit down for a few more minutes.

Today, when I told her we'd try using the potty in a little bit, she calmly said okay. Then she went in and sat down and all of a sudden, it clicked. Her eyes lit up, she gasped out loud and said, "Mommy, Rachie peeing!" And we all sang the Hallelujah chorus. Now, she has gone on the potty several times. But it was under much duress. For some reason, her body just tried to hold it in instead of letting it go. Sorry if that is too much information. Today she was able to let it go. And oh, the joy that brought to this house.

Every time I told her to try, she didn't even bat an eye. She just went in there and did her business. And then, wonder of all wonders, she started going without me even asking.

Ladies and gentlemen, you are now free to leave the house and go anyplace you would like. As long as there are public restrooms available. (and please don't forget a plastic bag and an extra change of clothes - just in case)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What to say

My life is consumed by potty-training. This does not make for good blogging. I don't want to go into details (my poor family has been getting very detailed emails about everything). I don't have much else to say! I am reminded of how I felt when Rachel and Owen were tiny. I never left the house during the day unless I absolutely had to because it either messed up feeding times or naptime and it just wasn't worth the hassle. Once again, I'm home and we're not even going outside to play because they'd have to put on pants. I think it's getting to me though. I need to get out more - either outside during the day or at night for a little bit.

So, what else is there to say? I did read two really good books a couple weeks ago. One was The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and the other was Look Me In the Eye by John Robinson. The first was our book club selection for this month and the second was on my shelf at home and looked interesting. It was kind of funny how they were both memoirs and both so different and yet similar in some ways.

Randy Pausch found out he was dying from cancer and wanted to give one last lecture. He decided to also make it for his kids, who were fairly young, so they would have something to remember him by when they were older and would know what he thought was important. He had a very upbeat, positive attitude and worked hard to fulfill many of his dreams. He talked about how great his parents were and how much of an impact that had on his life. He encouraged others to develop good people skills and learn to work in group settings to be successful. He also emphasized caring for others and not things.

John Robinson had just about the opposite childhood. His father was an alcoholic who abused him. His mom had mental problems and would see things that weren't there. He was on his own a lot and learned to take care of himself at a very young age. He wasn't socially accepted and never knew what to do or say in social situations. The one thing he had going for him was that he was incredibly smart and taught himself about electronics and amplifiers. At one point he was creating special effects for guitars for KISS. After a series of others jobs, he started his own business repairing certain cars. It was at this point that he discovered he had Asperger's, a type of autism. He finally knew why he had trouble with social conversations and had to work so hard to respond acceptably to others. The interesting thing is that he stayed away from group situations and had horrible people skills but still was successful in life. He had dozens of excuses to not succeed but he didn't let any of those stop him.

Both of those books made me think about what my dreams and goals were and what excuses I am using to keep those from fulfilling them. So often, the only one standing in the way of what we want is ourselves. And maybe I won't be able to fulfill all of them but I don't want to say it's because I didn't try or gave up.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Brain Freeze

I was trying to post at least once a week but time really got away from me. Our family spent last week at a condo resort in Sheridan, Il, about one hour away from Chicago. It was a lovely week - sunshine, fairly mild temps for November, an indoor pool, spacious condos and time with family. I could not get my computer hooked up to the internet so there was no chance for blogging.

We got back Saturday late afternoon and unpacked and did laundry and raked leaves Saturday night and Sunday. Monday, I started potty-training.

I don't know why. I was tired of putting it off and just wanted to get it over with already. I was getting low on diapers and knew I'd have to buy more by the end of the week. So I just did it. It's gone okay. Owen has caught on very quickly and has only had two accidents since yesterday morning. Both were in the evenings when daddy was home. I'm not blaming daddy -I just think he's too much fun and Owen can't tear himself away. We'll have to take breaks during playtime.

Rachel is not having an easy time. She does not want to wet her pants and she understands what she needs to do. But she really doesn't like to go on the potty for some reason and tries to hold it as long as she can. Yesterday I was very frustrated with her. Today I was more calm and patient and expected it. I'm hoping that by being consistent and gently encouraging her, she'll eventually settle down and accept it.

With all of this going on, I haven't really wanted to think about coupons or finding deals this week. I hit up Aldi on Sunday and was once again thrilled with how cheap I can get a cart full of groceries. There is only so much energy and brain power and sometimes it must be allocated to different areas.