Archive | August, 2009

Potty training

27 Aug

No one tells you how “political” parenting is. It’s a minefield! People who wouldn’t tell you what to do with your dog seem to think they know what is best when it comes to your offspring. Opinions are offered on breastfeeding, napping, sleeping through the night, solid food and pottying. If ever the phrase “Go and shite for yourself” was useful, it’s worth its weight in gold now that I’m a parent. Not that I would actually say it, I’m too scared polite. I just think it and seethe quietly.  Why do people think it’s ok to tell me what to do? Offering opinions (when asked) is a different thing. Telling me what’s best is a pain in the bum. And it’s not going to sway me. I tend to do what I think is best, then perhaps find a book to help me along.

Our current “step” on the parenting ladder is pottying, which we’ve been at fairly consistently for the past three months or so (in secret, so there’s no judgment!) No, there’s no “potty training in a day” or even a week here. I wouldn’t expect him to learn anything in a day! He’s thirteen months now and I would like to have him “trained” by the time he’s two.

What we have been doing is pooping on the potty. I notice his signs that he’s going to poop – grunting, red face – and we make a mad dash for the potty where he sits and poops happily, only getting up to wander off when he’s done.  Now, he comes up to me and grunts. I say “Are you pooping?” and we make a mad dash for the potty. Only because he likes the mad dashes and laughs his head off. There is no real need for the mad dashes anymore. He holds it until we get there.

What we haven’t been doing is peeing in the potty. He won’t really go near the potty unless he has to poop. If you say “Let’s pee”, more often than not he will pee on the floor. But he can’t be convinced to sit on the pot to pee. And his peeing signals either don’t exist or I’m just not able to see them.

So I bought a book. It’s called Diaper-free before 3. Now personally, I’m a little appalled that the need for such a book exists. I thought that the majority of three-year-old children, if they were not “trained”, were at least out of diapers. Either way, I like the author’s ethos and emphasis.

  • Be flexible
  • Make sure your child is comfortable and content
  • Going to the potty should be its own reward – there is no real need for elaborate reward systems, not sitting in your own excrement = reward enough!
  • Pottying should be natural, something to get used to like eating
  • Build it into your day

A tip so simple that I have to wonder why I didn’t think of it myself is “Instead of cleaning up immediately after meals in the kitchen, go to the bathroom, sit on the potty, wash hands and face, change any clothes that are dirty. Look for those types of associations and opportunities” (p. 102). Why did I not think of that?

Part of me bucks against the whole routine thing though. I wouldn’t characterise our lives as routine-based. How and ever we shall give it a go, because, as Dr. Lekovic reminded me “we should not teach our children to rely on urgent signals from their bodies…before they go to the bathroom. As an adult consider how often you wait to get really uncomfortable before you empty your bladder… you go to the bathroom long before you feel a terrible sense of urgency. It is an important and almost totally overlooked part of toilet training to teach children to do the same” (p155, my emphasis). When I was pregnant I was often “bursting” to go to the toilet. It was awful. Not being able to find a toilet when you really need one has to be one of Dante’s circles of Hell. So the little turtle will be routinely brought to the toilet after waking and after  meals. And gradually he will learn to pee in the potty. (We actually had one successful go at it today!) By this time next year, diaper-free! That’s the plan anyway.

One more word of wisdom from Dr. Lekovic before we go: “Parents should not measure how successful they were at potty-training by how little time and effort they invested in it” (p.182). So there!

This is me!?

26 Aug

INTP (Introversion, iNtuition, Thinking, Perception)
You seek to develop logical explanations for everything that interests you. You are theoretical and abstract, and are interested more in ideas than in social interaction. You are quiet, contained, flexible, and adaptable. You have an unusual ability to focus in depth to solve problems in your area of interest. You are skeptical, sometimes critical, and always analytical. Famous people with your same INTP personality include: Socrates, Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Rick Moranis, Meryl Streep, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the Olsen Twins
. – Myers-Briggs Personality Test

This is me!

Is this me?

I’m not entirely sure.

The Olsen twins!

I’m not entirely convinced that people can be categorized in this way. A myriad of things combine to make me who I am on any given day. Some days I’m lovely 😉 Other days, belligerent. Quite often, shy and quiet. Sporadically, opinionated.

And who I am depends on where I am and who I’m with. You can’t be all things to all people, but you can certainly be different things to different people.

Maybe that’s just me.

I’m a crocheter!

24 Aug

We had a sick little boy this weekend (diarrhea) , so plans to go to the pool at the zoo were scuppered. He was fine otherwise, and we maybe could have gone, but I’m not sure how swim nappies hold up to diarrhea and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to find out! But being partially confined to the house gave me time to finish this:crochet turtleDon’t look too closely, it’s my first ever ‘amigurimi’ and I wasn’t entirely sure what half the pattern was about.  As a result, his head is a bit bigger than it should be and had to be sewed to his shell. He’s in the fruit bowl because he’s not really able to stand unaided. How and ever, he was made with love and my little turtle recognised him for what he was before I had the legs and eyes on him. He stole him and ran off saying “Turtleturtleturtle”, which certainly did my heart good. Maybe now he’ll stop stealing the granny squares for the interminable and dreary blanket I’m making! But then who’ll do the dusting? He’s mad for dusting, brushing his hair and closing cupboards after me. Three things I don’t do. There’s no doubting he’s his father’s son!


21 Aug

I blitzed the house today. Like a new pin. Floors washed. Glass sparkling. Kitchen and bathroom done. Laundry folded.
And I got a great sense of satisfaction out of it. For all of about 5 seconds. The mayhem a naked little boy can cause is astounding. Oh well, I can try again next week. Or when he’s old enough to help. For now, it’s going to have to be enough to know that the house was clean for five seconds. Once.


20 Aug

I have a thirteen month old boy and I’m still breastfeeding him! I never ever ever thought that would happen.

When I was pregnant and idealistic, as most first-time mothers are, I thought “I’ll do it for as long as I can. Six weeks at the most. He’ll be grand then.” We had a very down-to-earth ante-natal teacher who said it would be hard, but that generations of women did it, so we could too. She also said not to bother with pumping (at least at the start) as it was an awful lot of effort for very little return. I’m not sure how true that is, having never tried it.

Anyway, when we got to six weeks, very sore nipples and a bout of mastitis behind us, I thought “Six months, I can do this until he’s six months. I’m not going to start faffing around with bottles now.” The ante-natal teacher had given us a five foot long flow chart on how to prepare a bottle. It looked like an awful amount of work. Especially in the middle of the night. (I do wonder if all of the ‘rules’ on preparing bottles are a conspiracy to ‘encourage’ more women to breastfeed?)

Six months came and I said “I’ll keep going until he gets teeth. No way I’m feeding him when he has teeth. No Way!” He got teeth a week later. It didn’t make the difference I thought it would. Feeding him when he had teeth was not really very different to feeding him before he had any. And so we continued.

And still we continue today. My deadline now? Maybe Christmas. Or whenever he’s ready. I’m not sure I need deadlines anymore. The hard part is behind us.

I’ve found that the journey through breastfeeding has been pretty hard (rewarding, yes, but definitely hard). And that the journey was easier when taken in baby steps. If we get the chance to add to our family, I hope I will be able to take this journey again. And yes, we will be taking baby steps.

Eyes Wide Open by ~no-existence87 at deviantART

Turtle wisdom

19 Aug

When I was out and about on Sunday, having “Me” time I bought the little man a ‘turtleturtleturtle’  (tortoise). I know he has too many toys, I’m the one tripping over them! But I couldn’t resist. Anyway, the little tortoise had a label on him which said:

“One cannot but be in awe when one contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.” – Albert Einstein

Who am I to argue with a turtle?

Look at him.turtles 013He looks as if he knows what he’s talking about! (Of course Einstein knew a thing or two too!!)


17 Aug

I give out a lot about living in Florida. It’s too hot. Too humid. There are so many bugs (and I’m allergic to them all). It often crosses my mind that it wasn’t really meant to be inhabited by humans. Not year round anyway. The “snow birds” could be on to something. At the height of the Summer,  everyone should flee. It’s a million degrees or something (I don’t understand Farenheit). There’s all of that swamp. Alligators. So much wildlife that would kill you as soon as look at you.

Then again, I live a ten minute walk from hereBeachI walk down there everyday – heat permitting. You would never know the highway was at your back if you were standing there. It’s hard not to be awestruck by the power and beauty of the ocean. Unless, of course, you are a little boy who turned thirteen months today, then you are fearless. Even when a wave hits you in the face and your mother wonders if you’ll be washed away!

There’s beauty in all placesred flowersdune sunflowersAnd wonderJune-July 134Not to mention adventure!!Adventure

So, it’s a good place to be, for now! (The weather is cooling down a bit, after all) My tune may change next year though!

“Me” time

16 Aug

I managed to grab a draught of this elusive elixir today, and boy was it refreshing! Yes, my little turtle takes naps, and sleeps fairly well at night, so I do get time to myself. However, I tend to use that time to do householdy business, halfheartedly, it must be said. Plus I always think he’ll wake up, as soon as I try to do anything, so I can never relax!

It’s wonderful to get time to just sit. Without having to think about nappy changes, food, dishes, hoovering, washing etc etc. It’s like being two stone lighter. I think I’m going to have to work it into my “routine”. A couple of hours once a week. Sounds doable.

We’ll see!


14 Aug

When you have a baby, no one warns you that your only topic of conversation for quite some time (not sure how long, as I’m still in the midst of it) will be sleep. “Does he sleep?” “Is he a good sleeper?” “How many hours sleep does he get a night?” And my all time favourite “Does he still wake up in the night?” The “still” is usually a bit incredulous, slightly manic. Of course he wakes up in the night. Still. I wake up in the night. Because I have to pee (getting old). Because I’m thirsty. Because I’m hot. Because I need to roll over.  I’m thirty years old and cannot sleep through the night (unless I have drink taken, still have to pee sometimes though). Why would my child have some kind of mystical powers (that I don’t have) that would allow him to sleep through the night? He wakes up. We all do. Now though, he’s learning to go back to sleep himself. Soon, I’ll be under the illusion that he sleeps through the night. He was always “a good sleeper”. But soon, when someone asks “Does he still wake up in the night?” I’ll be able to answer in the negative and pick up my Good Parent Badge – Sleep. Then my collection will be almost complete 😉


Losing yourself

12 Aug

Once upon a time there was a girl who was always reading. Breakfast time – reading. Lunch – reading. Dinner – reading. On the bus/train – reading. During breaks at work – reading. Days off – entire days of reading, reading, reading. Sometimes, she even read on the toilet, but only if she was at a good bit (reading in the loo is a bit yuck!) She would read five or six books a week in this way – every spare moment was devoted to reading, especially if it were a particularly good book. Why? Because you can lose yourself in a good book. You can quite easily see life through someone else’s eyes. The whole world can look different through the lens of the printed word.

I was that girl. And last night I finished the first book I’ve read that wasn’t about parenting for months and months and months. The sense of accomplishment was unlike that I’ve felt with any other book. Not that it was a hard read, it was actually quite enjoyable. But I felt like jumping out of bed and doing a little dance around the bed, maybe sing a song. Not that I did. Sleeping hubby and child put paid to any chances of that happening!  I imagine if I ever get through more than four pages of Ulysses I might feel the same (says the girl with an MA in Anglo-Irish Literature!)

I miss reading. I miss the feeling of being “lost” in another world, not a better one, just a different one.

Now though, I can get lost in the sound of my son’s laughter, the beauty of his smile, the steely glint of determination in his eyes and the joy in his face when he manages to take a few steps without falling down. I can lose myself in the minutiae of life, as seen through his eyes.Tiernan's smile

I’ll still try to read a novel or two when I get the chance though. And dream of the day when I can read a book form cover to cover again.

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