Saturday, December 27, 2008

Pee-pee Chronicles

I am primarily blogging this so I will remember what it was like when Jambuca's time comes to potty train.

SNG and I both really, really dislike the process of potty training. It's miserable. Luckily, it's no more miserable than I had expected it to be, once we got past the initial motivational phase. But it is just plain miserable.

As I've said before, diapers just don't bother me. But I know that e-baby has to potty train before she's 3 (daycare rule) and I know I don't want to go through this process while also managing the needs of a second child. And now, being in the thick of it? NO WAY do I want to do this with a second, younger child around. I'd have to check myself into an institution.

Christmas day we put a complete moratorium on training and just let her wear diapers. That was good because she didn't want to be distracted away from her living room full of new and wonderful presents, so we'd never have convinced her to sit on the pot for even a second. The day after Christmas she wore pull-ups and used the potty a few times for stickers, but still her heart wasn't in it. Today, I went cold-turkey and had her use the big-girl panties. That did the trick. She loves to wear them. We went through seven pairs with accidents (usually peeing on the way running to the toilet, yelling "I want to pee-pee on my potty!!!") and one poop mystery ("I have a big, big poop, I need go sit on my potty" well, the poop is already out, so I'm not sure what she was trying to accomplish). She had a dry naptime, and by the end of the day, she was able to make it to the potty three times without leakage.

The big difference? 1. Actually putting on the big-girl underpants, which unfortunately means a LOT of mess to clean up but also a great tactile lesson and 2. (most importantly) every trip to the potty means reading at least two books while sitting there. You can bribe that child into almost anything with books. She doesn't care if it's a book she can quote cover-to-cover by heart. As long as she's being read to, you could probably give her immunizations, brussels sprouts, and a hair washing all at the same time.

Tomorrow will mark the second day of potty-training in earnest. I'll let you know how it goes. There's certainly no turning back now, and this is definitely the best time for us to do it, but honestly? I hate this. Cleaning pee and poop off my floor is just so nasty. It is the reason I prefer to adopt older dogs rather than getting puppies. I can't wait for this to be finished. I am already dreading potty training Jambuca, and he hasn't been born yet.

Just as there are dog people and cat people, perhaps there are diaper people and potty people as well.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Cheer!

(poopoo and peepee post warning)

We just got home from a 10-day trip to Austin which was mostly business for me and all vacation for e-baby. SNG was there for the last 3 days of the trip, and we all had a great time.

Some of the things we did in Austin-- several trips to the Mother Ship (um, the Whole Foods world headquarters- a sight to see if you've never been), two trips to Central Market (another grocery marvel, as only Texas grocery stores can accomplish), one trip to IKEA (we REALLY need one here), a trip to Austin Java Company (where e-baby had a fit of the Two-Year-Olds and had to be unceremoniously taken from the restaurant to think about what she'd done. I won't say more of her indiscretions, except that they involved a brick, a basin of water, and pre-masticated spaghetti). We saw lots of family and opened a few gifties, and relaxed.

The flight home Monday night was uneventful, and yesterday we went to work. Can you believe that? One day at work, with (of course) nobody there, and e-baby was one of only a handful of kids at daycare that day. My campany is closed from noon on Christmas eve until Jan 5, so naturally everyone needs to extend the holiday by a day or 2.

And, against my laziest wishes, I've finallydecided that it's really time to move e-baby into big-girl underwear. She's been playing with a potty seat for almost a year now, and goes on it at least once a day, but seriously? I've never felt too strongly about making the transition for real because changing diapers is just not a big deal to me. I don't mind it much at all, and in a lot of ways, diapers are so convenient. I am not at all excited about the prospect of having e-baby use public toilets, for example. Ick-ugh. But Jambuca will be here in about 2 months' time, and I don't want to go through all the cleanup and effort of potty training when I also have a newborn to wrangle. So having 12 days off for Christmas seems like a perfect time to make the transition.

Now I wonder if I've waited too long. I know friends who tried to potty train too early, and spent months cleaning up accidents, so I figured I'd just wait until she was 2. E-baby can tell me when she has to go and no longer pees in her bathtub (hallelujah!), but she's just not all that interested in big girl underpants. We bought some. She picked them out. We took them home. She doesn't want to put them on.

I took another tack-- one sticker for pee, two stickers for poop (in the potty, of course, not on the floor). She really wanted a sticker, and so she sat on the toilet for a few minutes, and then announced that she couldn't go and completely lost all interest in the stickers. Now she's taking a nap, in a Pull-up (see above re: not wanting the underpants) and I wonder how you go about convincing a girl who is about as determined and headstrong as her stubborn full-grown mother that she really does want to get out of the diapers. I don't want to use candy as a reward. Associating poop with candy is just a little to icky for me, and would not work well with those public restroom trips. Besides, I have about ten thousand little stickers.

This is only the first day, with 11 to go, so maybe things will look better tomorrow.

Oh, and Santa Claus comes tonight. He'll have to knock at the back door, because there's no chimney and besides, I promised e-baby that he wouldn't just be tromping into her bedroom unannounced. But the chocolate chip peanut butter cookies we're leaving out for him should persuade him to leave some really great loot.

I hope you get everything for Christmas that your heart desires!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Girl Can Speak For Herself

This morning, e-baby was in a foul mood when I dropped her off. It was just a rough morning for some reason, normal 2-year-old stuff I'm sure. I wondered how her day had shaped up, and at dinner, e-baby said to me, "My teacher named Anna told me I a mess. I told her I not a mess, I a kid!"

And just like that, I feel this crazy reassurance that kiddo's growing up just fine.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Insert Title Here

It has been hard to get around to blogging lately, and it's been tough to think of what to write. So I'll just post an update on all of us, mostly e-baby.

Somehow my child has acquired a Carolina accent. Not a gentle little drawl, either, but a full-blown 2-syllables-per-vowel kind of thing. Egg="Aayugh." Bed="Bayud." Hands="Hayunds." Head="Hauyd." No="Naoo." When I try to direct her toward an American Standard Stage pronunciation (Sweetie, it's "egg," not "aayugh"), she laughs her head off and says "Not egg, I like aaaaaayuuuuugh!" Perhaps I should have interviewed the day care teachers for proper pronunciation rather than for silly things like a loving and stimulating environment.

She has picked up one thing from her head teacher that I looooove. Head teacher calls everyone "honey" or "sweetheart." Yesterday, e-baby and I were lying on the couch (I, outrageously, hoped to take a nap; 3rd trimester has hit me like the sandman). She started playing with my hair and said, super-softly, "Hi, honey. You're so pretty, sweetheart." I nearly melted right through the upholstery.

All four grandparents were here for Thanksgiving, so now e-baby is totally Tuti-Granddad-Granny-Grampy obsessed. Not only do all groups of objects have to have a mommy, a daddy and a baby (this applies, BTW, to dolls, flowers, spoons, packets of sugar, rocks, cars...), now there are grandparents. Grandparent coins, grandparent greeting cards, grandparent pieces of cheese... The thing of putting groups of objects into little families goes way back, and it has persisted a long time. I gotta think there's some important cognitive schema being developed and refined through all that. One shift that she has made, though-- six months ago, a lone bird in a tree was a baby bird looking for its mommy. Now, a lone bird in a tree is a mommy bird collecting food for her babies. That particular pattern-shift is interesting-- almost like she has let go of some of the anxiety of losing track of mommy. Oh, and now, whenever there's a third bird flying away, it's daddy going to work.

On my own end of things, I'm feeling pretty ambivalent about third trimester. On the one hand, I'm really sick of being pregnant, and tired, and big, and lumpy, and sleepless... on the other hand, I know that having the baby won't make ANY of those symptoms go away. The only relief will be that I can sleep on my stomach again. Sleeplessness? That'll be much worse. Feeling fat? Well, if it's like last time, I can expect that to last for an indeterminate, but long, time. Add to that the likely repeat of baby blues, juggling two little people at once, double the worry about their personal safety... you get the idea. I guess it boils down to this-- although I was madly in love with her from the first day, e-baby was 18 months old before I decided that parenthood was really a lot of fun. A lot of moms I know say that it was a full two years. So I guess I'm really excited about Fall 2010 or maybe early 2011.

Knowing the way I am, working some exercise back into my schedule would probably fix nearly everything. So far I don't see any realistic way that this will happen (outside of that whole fantasy "oh, I'll jog when the baby's sleeping, and get a double jogger to walk BOTH kids to the daycare...maybe e-baby will actually stay in the jogger if there's a baby brother next to her" -- you know, the fantasy world where everything can be made to work just right).

I haven't given up on being able to get my workouts going again after the baby is born, but I don't have a plan right now that I think will actually be workable. Hopefully something will come to me by March or April.