Potty Training: Take 2

So, I started out strong back in March (or so I thought) when it came to potty training Davey. He had just turned 18 months old and seemed to exhibit some signs of it being time to start the potty training process. I don’t want to say I was wrong with that, but perhaps I overestimated Davey’s willingness and underestimated his stubbornness.

Of course, then I found out I was pregnant and I’ve since suffered from debilitating migraines and near constant nausea. Potty training quickly took a back seat, as did most everything else. I still did my best to hold my resolve strong that the two things I wanted and needed and would (will) accomplish before Doser 2.0 gets here are: 1. getting Davey into a toddler bed and 2. getting him potty trained.

At first, I thought the toddler bed would be a bigger issue, but fortunately for us this child has slept every single night for 10 + hours in his toddler bed WITHOUT getting up. Some mornings he gets up, grabs a book, and then climbs back in bed and actually lets us sleep until about 7. That’s huge! So, toddler bed transition was pretty flawless, not so much the case with potty training.

I’ve read all the blogs, magazine articles, Twitter tips and Facebook posts about knowing WHEN your child is ready to be potty trained. For those of you who are unsure, here are just a few samples:
1. has “dry” periods of at least two hours or during naps, which shows that his bladder muscles are developed enough to hold urine (some nights, Davey can make it all the way through without a wet diaper!)
2. urinates a fair amount at one time.
3. can pull his pants up and down.
4. shows interest in others’ bathroom habits (he’s always following his daddy into the bathroom and even me).
5. takes pride in his accomplishments.
6. demonstrates a desire for independence (oh, he’s done that from day one!)
7. gives a physical or verbal sign when he’s having a bowel movement (Davey squats behind the chair and grunts).
These are all just ways to know if your child is ready to begin potty training.

Well, at nearly 21 months, I’ve decided to give it yet another go. Once again, I re-read some blogs, pinned some interesting tips on Pinterest and even bought the book “Toilet Training in Less Than a Day” by Nathan H. Azrin. The book hasn’t worked for me, but I’m not exactly following it verbatim.

Today, I decided to take the approach of one of my other mom friends who suggested that I just let Davey go naked. When I told my husband I was going to do this, he said to not do it when he was around. So, I waited until this morning to start the new potty training agenda. I stripped Davey down, put him on our porch, brought the potty along for the ride and we hung out on the porch all morning. There were no poops, but two pees (both of which did not make it to the potty in time). I purposely did this on the porch because I knew it would be easier to clean. I just kept a squirt bottle of Clorox and water on hand to clean the messes.

Lunchtime rolled around and there was a poopy, but Davey didn’t show the signs (and by this point I had put a pair of training pants on him since I was bringing him into the house to eat lunch) and he pooped in his pants. I put him down for a nap, with a clean diaper, and he slept for 3 hours with no accidents. This evening, after dinner; however was our true breakthrough.

After eating, I put him down from his highchair and let him run around. Within a matter of minutes, he ran to his potty and sat down. I pulled him back up quickly unsnapped the onesie he was wearing (probably not a good idea), helped him pull down his training pants and put him back on the potty. As I took a step back, he began to pee. Most of it landed in the potty, but he did accidentally spray the floor, it’s to be expected. But I suppose the best part for me was after he finished peeing he put both hands in the air and yelled, “I did it!”

Yes, you did, my boy. Of course, as I’m writing this, I hear my husband groan because Davey pooped in his pants and not on the potty. Maybe that’s my fault for being in here writing and leaving the potty training to my husband. 🙂

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And With That Flyover….

Any doubts, guilts, or feelings of inadequacy became vapor.

I spend a decent portion of my time as a mother questioning if I’m doing a good job. I often ask myself if I’m doing more harm than good by being a stay-at-home mom? Would it be better to be in the working world making money? Would Davey be better off in a daycare facility? All of these questions and many more roam through my mind on a daily basis, but never moreso than on the days when I’m confronted with people who question the fact that I have a Master’s Degree and choose to stay home.

Today I was able to put a big black “X” on all those questions. Today, I was able to create one of the coolest memories to date with my son. Today, I did something that I likely wouldn’t have been able to do if I were still a working mom. And, today, I made a memory that’s more valuable than money.

Our local downtown airport has recently opened up a new aviation themed park and playground. It sits right on the runway and right outside one of the greatest little cafes around. ***Quick Plug for said cafe: The Runway Cafe in Greenville, SC**** Davey and I have been numerous times to enjoy the food as well as the little planes that come in and take off from the airport. The experience is always fun and we’re always looking for an excuse to go there, que the new park. It’s wonderful, with a miniature runway and playground equipment in the shapes of various planes.

Today marked the grand opening of the park and to make the opening even grander, it was scheduled with the same time a Boeing 727 from FedEx’s Express fleet was to make a landing. Quick side note…FedEx donated the 727 to USAeroTech’s school, as they are replacing their fleets with 787s. Plus there was free Kona Ice snowcones as well, what kid wouldn’t like that?

So, I decided last week I would load Davey up and take him out to see this huge plane up close and personal. What I didn’t expect was for me to be just as overwhelmed and excited by it as he was. Within 10 minutes of our arrival, the crowd was notified that 727 was 7 miles out and that the Tower had just cleared a low flyover. Minutes later, we were all turned around facing the direction of the plane. I tried to zero in Davey’s attention in the faroff distance above the tree tops. I could see the lights and the exhuast fumes coming out, but he wasn’t able to see it just yet. As it got closer and became more visible, I threw Davey on top of my shoulders. He pointed and tried numerous times to say “plane”.

Coming in Low and Slow
Coming in Low and Slow

The plane drew closer and you could hear the loud engines. Davey began bouncing on my shoulders with excitement and some how I managed to click away with my camera and take pictures as the plane flew past us, a mere 20 yards away. Its engines vibrated the ground and all of us. You could see the pilots as they waved, and you could feel the exhaust as it gained altitude and climbed back into the sky.

Touchdown!
Touchdown!

We watched as it circled back around the airport and were notified that this was the official landing. Once again, I braced Davey on my shoulders, painfully feeling his kicks of excitment on my clavicle (note to self, take his shoes off next time I’m going to do this). I got my camera ready and began clicking away as the plane came in for its official landing. We watched it taxi down the runway and I eventually took Davey off of my shoulders. In the minutes that I put him down and we watched the plane pull into its new home, I was overwhelmed with a level of happiness, excitement, and exhilaration. It wasn’t much, but seeing something like this was pretty spectacular or to quote the words of my son, “Cool, Mama!” And yes that’s all he kept saying.

Davey checking out the plane.
Davey checking out the plane.

As we walked back to the car, Davey once again looked up at me and with his free hand, he pointed back at the plane and said, “Cool, Mama” and then offered me up a high five. So, for me, this experience definitely washed away any of the doubts I may have had. If I were a working mother, it’s highly unlikely I would have been able to take my son to this. Money comes and goes, but memories last a lifetime. And I’m thankful to have made one of the coolest ones to date with my son.

Cool Mama!
Cool Mama!

The Screaming Banshee

I’m not a sadistic person. Let me just get that out there before I continue on with this post. I don’t necessarily like to see people tortured and suffering, but to have my husband have to deal with one tenth of the drama I deal with on daily basis does bring a smile to my face.

Yesterday, I had my Nuchal exam and since my husband was in town, he decided to tag along. He didn’t know what to expect since he was travelling the last time I had one while pregnant with Davey. It was also a plus since the appointment was right after Davey’s swim lessons and I had zero time to get him to my aunt’s house (she normally watches him when I have a doctor’s appointment).

Being the good mother that I am, the one who thinks ahead, I made sure to bring some toys along in order to keep Davey occupied. I knew my husband could also entertain him, but again since I’m not a sadistic person i don’t want my husband to necerssarily suffer through our overly rambunctious child while in a doctor’s office. I suppose I underestimated Davey and really had perhaps relied too much on swim lessons to wear him out because the fiasco that was about to occur rivaled most anything I’d ever seen and the only thoughts running through my head were, “thank God my husband has to deal with this and not me” and “oh my, what could the doctors, nurses, and patients in the waiting room be thinking?”

First, as we sat in the ultrasound room, I listened and watched with tension as Davey slowly walked around the little room inspecting his surroundings. For the most part, he was fine, but of course that was only for the first 30 seconds that we were in the room. Once he realized all the gadgets and doors and drawers didn’t have locks on them, it quickly became a free for all. My tension soon faded to relaxation as it then dawned on me that I truly couldn’t do anything, since I was laying on the bed with the doctor and nurse trying to get the latest version growing in my womb to move around. I actually decided to lay back, hands behind my head, as my husband was forced to deal with a child more squirmy than a fish out of water!

Eventually, my husband took him out of the room and I smiled at the nurse. I said, “I don’t mean to sound ungrateful or nasty, but I’m so happy that Davey is behaving this way for his daddy.” Was that wrong of me to say? Perhaps, but it was just nice to see my husband have to frantically chase after our demon child for once.

Of course, when I walked out into the waiting room, what I saw rivaled anything I’ve ever seen. My son was running around the chairs, mouth wide open, arms out wide, screaming like a banshee. I looked around the room to see the other people cringe especially when Davey decided to climb on all the chairs while still screaming like a banshee. At first, I looked at my husband as if to say, “what are you doing? Can’t you control our child?” But then, I just shrugged my shoulders. If he didn’t care, neither did I.

My oh my how times have changed. I used to be that person who cringed at other kids who behaved the way my son did. Now, as long as he’s not mutilating someone or something, then I really don’t care. Again, that may be the wrong idea. I should perhaps be more authoritative with my child and restrain him, but again he’s a 20 month old. He’s really harmless….I hope.

Weaning Myself

As each day passes by and we become one day closer to welcoming Version 2.0 into our house, I’ve started trying to find ways to perhaps make myself more independent from Davey. This is a bit of a touchy subject and I know all of you moms out there will have different views on what I’m doing, but lately it seems that I can’t even go to the bathroom without Davey grabbing hold of my legs. It has me slightly worried especially since once the new baby arrives, my attention will be divided.

My entire day revolves around Davey. Some say that’s a bad idea and that I’m doing damage to both of us by involving him in everything. Perhaps that’s so, but I feel that everything I do everyday can somehow be turned into a learning experience with Davey. Things such as folding clothes (he likes to match up his socks and put away his own clothing) and putting up the dishes (I give him the silverware, minus the knives, and let him sort them into their proper cubicles in the drawer) all seem minor to me, but to some seem to be a lot. My hope with doing this is to help him learn some responsibilities, but am I just making him more attached to me? After all, I can’t even seem to do minor household chores without Davey wanting to “help” which really creates more work for me.

The only way I’ve found to really give myself a break with Davey is to put Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on and let him watch it for about an hour. I hear the gasps from all of you out there who don’t believe in any form of television right now. Well, judge away, I don’t care. I need to give both of us a break from each other and right now these seems to be the best way.

My worry is that he may rebel once the new baby arrives. Yeah, that could be a bit crazy, but he’s also never really had to share me with anyone. I don’t want him to resent his younger brother or sister, and he may very well not. Either way, I just feel that these days he’s much to clingy with me, and only me.

Lately, I’ve begun to research various toddler activites that he can do alone. I’ve cleaned out his toys and gotten rid of the “baby” ones so that he can focus more on the toys that are age appropriate to him. I’ve actually found that just doing the latter has really changed his attitude alot. The other day I bought him five Matchbox cars at Wal-Mart and so far those have been the greatest toys ever. He’ll spend hours driving them around on the hardwood floor.

So, am I wrong to try to wean myself from Davey? For those of you moms who’ve felt the need to do this, what did you do and how did it work?

What is Normal?

The spawn of Satan? My child? I may never openly admit it, but there’s a part of me deep down that’s starting to wonder if he is perhaps some sort of evil incarnate. Am I going too far? Perhaps, but this child is testing every ounce of patience I have in my body.

I’ve begun to dread Mondays, much like I used to dread them when I was in Corporate America. It meant my blissful and happy weekends of fun were over which is still the case these days. Mondays always meant something was going to go wrong, which is still the case. Mondays were always the most tiring day of the week for me which I never could understand, but still holds true to this day. These days I don’t just dread Mondays, I dread EVERY DAY that I’m alone with my child. I count the minutes until my husband comes home.

I’ve listened to every ounce of advice possible. I’ve pinned and read every blog on dealing with the Terrible Twos. I’ve sought my own methods and I swear my child is completely immune to everything. People tell me to reason with Davey. Really?!?!?! You try reasoning with an independent, self-absorbed, stubborn, and strong willed twenty month old. Let me know where that gets you!

I’ve spanked him, I’ve popped his hands, I’ve put him in time out, I’ve pleaded with him, I’ve tried to bargain and bribe him, I’ve taken away his toys and still this child is defiant. Instead of him suffering through a punishment, I’m the one that must suffer when my child looks at me and cries with real tears streaming down his cheeks. I’m the one who must suffer when he looks at me and says, “mean, mama”. I’m the one who must suffer when I spend the better part of my day taking away toys which is very time consuming.

I’ve thought of drugging him. Yes, I have, and don’t one of you judge me until you’ve been in my shoes! I’m not talking about hardcore drugs. I’m talking about a little Tylenol. I’ve thought about locking him in the coat closet, but then I have this vision of opening up the closet only to find that he’s turned all of the coats into actors in his own little puppet theatre. Then it won’t be a punishment anymore especially if he enjoys it and purposely does things just to get thrown into the closet.

What I’ve actually considered is just letting him have the house, my dream house, my house that my husband and I built and designed. I’ve considered saying, “screw it, Davey, just demolish the house,” as I’m popping a Xananx or two. I keep telling myself it won’t be like this forever and maybe since he started the Terrible Twos earlier than the age of two, then perhaps it will be over sooner. Am I dreaming? Probably.

Some nights I wake up wondering if my child will grow up to be a serial killer. Will he be a bully and will it be my fault for punishing him too much or not punishing him enough? Hey, I’m not looking for advice from anyone, not anymore. I’m just looking for some reassurance that my child is normal for doing everything I tell him not to do. I want to know he’s normal for antagaonizing our dog. I want to hear that he’s normal for running around the house and pulling everything out of drawers. I want to hear that he’s normal for trying to walk on the back of the couch. I want to know that he’s normal for taking his toys and throwing them instead of just sitting quietly and playing with them. I want to know that it’s normal that he tries to bite me (and only me). I want to know that it’s normal for him to pinch me (and only me). And even if he isn’t normal for all of the above, just humor me and lie to me.

What Does Davey Know?

I have a smart child. I know, I know, every mother out there says the same thing and I’m sure there are children out there a lot smarter than mine, but this mama certainly does feel that her son holds something special.

Monday, I went to my second doctor’s appointment since finding out I was pregnant. Of course, we were able to get another ultrasound with a picture thanks to the really weird uterus I have (remember I’ve blogged about this before). The nurse handed me a long sleeve of new pictures to bring home. First, before I go any further, let me just say how simply AMAZED I am as to how fast a baby grows! I mean, I know that Davey is growing quickly before my eyes, but a baby that’s in the womb? In a short three weeks time, my baby has gone from a Butterbean to having legs and arms along with a nose and even definitive eye sockets! How crazy!

After dinner that evening, I was lying on our bed upstairs. My husband brought Davey to me and I turned a little Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on for Davey as he cuddled up beside me in the bed. At one point, as I was looking at the pictures of the new baby, Davey turned around. He slid back towards my head and then looked over my shoulder. I told him this was Mama’s new baby. He pointed at my belly and said “Baby”. He learned this a few weeks back and will gladly show anyone and everyone that he knows where the baby is.

I said “yes, that’s where mama’s baby is.” Then I asked him if he wanted a little brother or little sister. He said, “sissy”. He didn’t even hesitate, he just spit it out. I asked him if he was sure and he nodded his head “yes”. I said “ok”. We, then, went back to watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. After about 20 minutes and completely out of the blue, my son did something that nearly brought tears to my eyes. It was something that just made my heart swell and reaffirmed mine and my husband’s decision to bring another child into this world. It was something that made me feel that I DO have the smartest child in the world. It was something that could be used in a Mother’s Day ad (much like the Publix one that makes me tear up every time).

My beautifully intelligent, overly inquisitive, and big-hearted little boy placed his head on my belly (which really hasn’t gotten that big yet) and said, “hey, sissy.” I certainly do hope that if this is a little girl I’m carrying she heard how much her big brother loves her already and if it’s a little boy, well I hope he doesn’t kick Davey’s butt for referring to him as a girl.

A Relaxed Frame of Mind

12 weeks on Friday. That’s Friday of THIS week, I should clarify. 12 weeks. Yep, that’s right, and what have I done to prepare for this latest addition? Nothing really.

I suppose it’s that I have the whole “been there, done that” mentality, but I’m not exactly going overboard with baby preparation. I’ve questioned whether this means I’m excited or not, and quickly decided to push that thought into the Never Never Land of Ridiculous Thoughts.

This past weekend, I reflected on my current pregnancy and compared it to my first one. I went back and read some of the blogs I wrote while expecting Davey, and wow what a narcissitic freak I was! Thank goodness that’s pretty much gone away. By this point in my first pregnancy, I was already mid-ways complete with Davey’s bedroom and I didn’t even know if he was going to be a boy. I decided to start out gender neutral and then to add more gender specific items once we found out the sex. With this baby, I’m pretty much just going to wait until AFTER I find out the sex. What’s the point of working on a nursery right now?

Maybe it’s that I’m just so much busier with Davey and being a stay-at-home mom, or maybe it’s because I’ve already rode this roller coaster or one similar to it, so it’s somewhat lost it’s luster. I’m finding that I don’t fret the little things, even though I’ve felt a LOT worse during this pregnancy. With my first pregnancy, if I felt bad, I was worried. Thoughts ran through my head about something being wrong with me or the baby. With this pregnancy, my feeling bad just means that everything is progressing and hopefully the baby is growing.

Yesterday, I went back to the doctor for a check-up. As we determined in the first pregnancy, my uterus is a bit, well, let’s say odd. The doctors can’t hear the baby’s heartbeat right now without doing an ultrasound. When I was pregnant with Davey, I nearly had a panic attack. I recall how sick I felt and how tears were rolling down my cheeks when the doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat. With this one, we had the same issue. The doctor (a different one from my last pregnancy) told me not to worry. I placed both hands behind my head and sat back and told him I wasn’t worried. We’d had this same issue before. Of course, we did the ultrasound and the baby was fine.

I don’t know if this is a normal state of mind for women who’ve had multiple babies, but I find it refreshing for me, especially since I’m a worrier by nature.

Let’s hope I can continue to think this way throughout the pregnancy.