Archive | June, 2010

“Potty time!”

30 Jun

… the words a mother waits to hear.

I have been sitting the Turtle on the pot since we got to the U.S., when he was about 10 months old. Just at obvious times, after meals and naps and whatnot. And if I saw a poo face. He has the best poo face. You could spot it from a mile away. I had a vague hope there for a while that he would be “trained” by Christmas (last Christmas). But Christmas came and went and he didn’t seem any closer to being trained. He did seem to know that he was peeing, where it came from and that it was wet. Not bad for a part time trainee. And when his “trainer” lost heart and set the whole training thing on the back burner a little (dejected), it didn’t seem to phase him. He still went when I took him and told me after he had pooped and/or peed on the floor (cream carpets in a rented house, anyone?) If you asked him where pee went he would say “Pee in the potty”.

We took a couple of months off while we moved here. Dragging a potty across the country didn’t seem feasible. You can’t ignore them when they ask to use the potty. And if they ask when you’re on the interstate? Well, “hold it” doesn’t really cut it for someone who is under 2 (or even 32). So we decided not to bother. We even ditched our g-diapers because we weren’t sure we’d be able to access a washing machine.

Now that we’ve been here for a couple of weeks, I thought it was time to break out the potties again. And the fact that Monday was sunny and warm? Even more of a bonus. I’m sick of big, sticky, smelly poos blighting my days. Cries of “My God, what have you been eating?” have been punctuating the day. That and “LIE DOWN!”;  “Aaargghhhhhh! Now there’s poo on the WXYZ.”

So, it’s potty time in the Turtle household.

Monday, he pooped on the potty twice. Peed once. And asked for the potty two of those times. Numerous pees were made on the floor and outside. But outside doesn’t count, because Mammy didn’t have to clean it! 😉

Tuesday, he asked for the potty first thing in the morning – I thought he was pulling my leg, but lo and behold, he was not. He asked again after breakfast. Success! Then Mammy got complacent and there were a couple of accidents. The nappy went back on for his nap. After lunch, the nappy was off again  and I unearthed some Spiderman knickers. The key to my success. Spiderman knickers. Brilliant. “Don’t pee on Spiderman” became a bit of a refrain. And he would take himself off to the potty. Spiderman doesn’t like getting wet, him being a spider and all.

Wednesday, the same Spiderman knickers went on again. The same ones. They lasted until naptime, when they were taken off. We went to the zoo this afternoon, so no mention was made of the potty, but when we got home he went straight to it. Then after his bath, when he was already in his nappy and PJs, watching Thomas (Thomas, the Holy Grail of telly in our house, never to be interrupted for anything) he hopped up and said “Poo! Potty time! Pottyyyyyy!” And off he ran.

And he did it!


I think we’ve cracked it. We may have taken that last step, the one from “I’m making a poo” to “I need to make a poo.”

Potty trained by two? It is possible isn’t it? I’m not jumping the gun again, am I?


28 Jun

Go on, be honest, how much time a day do you spend at it? Me? I would say less than an hour, especially if you don’t include cooking. I just can’t be bothered. See, if everything is shiny and sparkly I get upset if someone messes it. And with a small boy and a sand table full of green sand (GREEN sand! What was I thinking? Plain old sand isn’t half as visible to the naked eye, but GREEN! Man, I’m a fool!), things are bound to get messy. So I save myself the heartache and tend to the necessities. We all have clean clothes, the beds are made, the dishes washed, and the floors swept. The glass has smudges all over it. There’s always a pile of laundry to be done. There are usually dishes “soaking” in the sink. The mirrors could do with a cleaning, as could the baths. Dusting, what’s that? And the hoover? Well the Turtle is mortally afraid of it. Still. He starts to shake and cry, and tries to rescue me. So that isn’t done unless he’s out of the house. The one thing I do like doing is mopping the floor, but that’s only because I have a steam mop, which I lurrrrve! The problem is that I have to sweep first. There’s always something though isn’t there!

So my house isn’t a show house. But I wouldn’t be ashamed to have visitors. This is our home. We live here. And we’re too busy living to tidy. I don’t want to be remembered as “the woman with the clean house”. And I won’t be!

Excuse This House

Some houses try to hide the fact
That children shelter there,
Ours boasts it quite openly,
The signs are everywhere.

For smears are on the windows,
Little smudges are on the doors
I should apologize, I guess
For toys strew on the floor.

But I sat down with my child
And we played and laughed and read
And if the doorbell doesn’t shine,
His eyes will shine instead.

For when at times I’m forced to choose The one job or the other,
I’d like to cook and clean and scrub,
But first I’ll be a mother.

(Not mine, but apt, nonetheless.)

A day without TV

26 Jun

I’ve been pressuring myself to go TV-less with the Turtle, just for a day and I can’t seem to manage it. I mean, I managed just fine when the TV wasn’t connected and just wasn’t an option. I’m not sure what we did on those days, but we managed just fine. Now though, I feel the need to “do things”. To plan activities and whatnot.

On Monday there was an early start, a couple of hours pootling around and cooking breakfast “together” – scrambled eggs, the Turtle helped by eating the butter and touching the cooker (the cool part) and saying “Hot!”. Then we went to the park, on the way to the shop. Well that was the plan, but there was a nappy disaster and we had to turn back. Out the door again and the Turtle fell asleep. I took the opportunity to go to the craft store (2 miles away), the dollar store and the used book store. All of that took over two hours. The Turtle slept until I got to the used book store, where I got so discombobulated that I bought a book I had just read. We stopped at the park on the way home, by which time I thought I was going to collapse. Home again for lunch. Then we did some painting. And play dough for about 3 minutes because the little sod insists on eating it. He’ll say “Don’t eat the playdough”, eat it and laugh. Then there were puzzles. Followed by the paddling pool. I got a bit over excited because it was the first time it had been warm enough for it since we got here. almost an hour of that and it’s getting cool again. But it’s not even 3:30. And I’m ready to fall down, having wasted naptime wandering around town. Sesame Street time.

Tuesday, we cook breakfast together. Then play trains. After nap time and lunch, we played “treasure hunt” – I had buried some of those fancy, shiny stones that people use for decoration (?) in the sandbox. Then himself demanded the paddling pool out again and seeing as it was warm enough, who am I to say no? It got cool again though so I had to bribe him with promises of TV…

Wednesday I begin to wonder about myself. Why is this so important anyway? What am I trying to achieve? No idea. But I carry on regardless, baking banana bread and making mac and cheese (from scratch!) with the Turtle’s “help”. Who knew you could make banana bread in under 10 minutes? I thought that it would take longer. Especially with all of the cleaning I had envisioned, but it turns out that (almost) 2 year olds are as neat, if not neater than, me.

Thursday I gave up. A half an hour of TV here or there isn’t going to put him up or down, is it?

A big boy?

23 Jun

We’ve been in this house almost a week now. And life is looking good. The Turtle is even in a “big boy bed”. I We decided we were as well to put the crib back together as a toddler bed now as waiting a few months and doing it then. The words “as good a time as any” were uttered. The hubby was unsure. The Turtle likes to throw himself around the place with abandon when he’s sleeping you see. What if he fell out? The hubby is very protective, which can irk me a bit, as I think that’s my job, but I have to do the “He’ll be fine” line all the time. It kind of works out though, because I like to be right. And I was right. He was fine. The first night was a dream. No bother. The next day he played “sleeping”, discovering, in the process, that he can get in and out of the bed, no bother. THAT night was a nightmare. Four nights on and we’re going strong. Well, there was one little falling out of the bed incident, but he slept through the entire thing.

Now the question is whether or not to put the stair gates back up? He’s becoming quite proficient at going up and down under his own steam (while supervised, of course). Then again, he moves at the speed of light and could be up or down the stairs in a flash while I wasn’t looking. And I don’t want that.

When’s the “right” time to remove stair gates? After they leave home?

A snapshot

17 Jun

Dear Turtle,

Ever since you came into my life time has whizzed by and I’m finding myself forgetting the little things. Things that mesmerized me. Poof! Gone. So here’s a snapshot of you, aged 23months. I love everything about you, but these are the things that melt my heart right now.

  • “Play-ning with me Mammy. Come on. Play-ning time.” And you take my finger and pull me with you. You’re very strong. Inevitably we end up playing trains. And really you don’t want me to play “with” you, you want me to sit beside you while you play rather imaginative games. Trains have full conversations, crash, fall down, get into trouble and toot away for ages. Until my bum gets sore and I try to get up. “No. No. No Mammy. Play-ning time.”
  • “Time” gets put on the end of a lot of activities. Is this something I do? I’m not sure, but I suspect so. There’s “play-ning time”, “eating time”, “sleeping time”, “colour-ning time”, “snack time”, “bath time”, “(tooth) brushing time” on and on and on. You know your mind and tell me all about it.
  • “Mammy” – you don’t overuse it, and I love to hear it. I know that one of these days I’m going to be “Mommy” so I’m cherishing this chance I have to be “Mammy”.
  • You sing about everything. Your favourite song is “Thomas the Tank n-Engine, roll-ning along, do, do, do,do”, but you also sing about random things you see (Granny says I used to do this too) and you put me and Daddy into your songs too. Sometimes a “song” is just that “Mammy and Daddy and Turtle….”
  • You’re trying to figure out your place in the world. You know your surname and you add it to the names of the people you love, seeming to claim them as yours. And “Mammy Turtle” is me and you, different people; “Turtle Mammy” is me and you together, one person (?), inseparable.
  • “Sorry”. You say sorry to everything. You bump into a table? “Sorry table. Turtle sorry.” You also use it as “Excuse me”, so if people are in your way “Sorry people, sorry”. You hurt yourself, “Sorry Turtle, sorry.” It’s so cute. It either makes us look like the best parents in the world – “Such a polite little boy” – or the worst – “That poor boy is afraid to do anything, always saying sorry, the poor fella”. I’m not sure. I still think it’s cute though.
  • “Hug time”. You love hugs. “Family hugs” is also an order that is often issued. Family hugs are cool.

You know your mind and are a loving little soul. I know that things will change as you grow. Try not to change too much.

I love you.



15 Jun

The hardest part of this move  has been being confined in such small spaces. First the car and random hotel rooms and now this place, the temporary lodging facility.I just don’t feel comfortable here. And I want to go “home”. Where we’ll have more than one room to roam around in, a safe garden for the turtle to play in, and our “stuff”. I was under the impression that I didn’t care about stuff, but parenting a toddler, you do need at least some “stuff”. I can try and keep him occupied as much as I want, but when you can’t really do any “messy play” or “arty” things, you have toys and DVDs (or deebeedeebees as he calls them) and I’m sick of playing with trains and watching Thomas. I long for just one day with no TV. It’s hard to distract him when it’s the biggest thing in the (one) room.

And my stuff. I want my sewing machine. Fair enough, I’ve barely used it enough to get the newness out of it, but I miss having it there in the corner, waiting (to be ignored). Oh and my rice cooker. I have learned how not to burn rice from My Daddy Cooks, but a rice cooker to me is like the deep fat fryer was to my mother, an everyday fixture.  Cooking is a different experience when your kitchen is the size of a postage stamp and joined to your living space. Shouts of “Turtle cooking, turtle cooking” mean that himself is fiddling with the knobs.

It’s just two more days though. The “stuff” arrives on Thursday. We might even be unpacked by the time the weekend is over. Might. The hubby says the movers will help us to unpack. Here’s hoping!

In the meantime, I’ve gotten myself a pair of knitting needles (or three) and some yarn. And I have knitted my first ever jumper. For the turtle. It’s a bit wonky but he seems to like it. At least he didn’t eschew it the way I did with the jumper my mother knitted me – to be fair, it was itchy, really itchy. He likes fiddling with the bits of thread peeking out of the sleeves. He says “Mammy do-ning it. Cozee. Cozee.” (Can you hear my heart melt?)

I’ve started another one. With a hood! I even have a tape measure now, so this one shouldn’t be wonky.

And I got some crayons for the turtle, so cries of “Thomas” are now interspersed with cries of “Cray-nons! Colouring!”. The TV is even ignored sometimes.

Soon. Soon. Just a couple of more days. And we’ll be “home”.


11 Jun

It’s swings and roundabouts, isn’t it. Especially when you have a toddler. Personally, I think they eat what they need,so if they don’t eat, no biggie. It’s certainly not worth an hour and a half of cajoling and aeroplanes for one more teaspoonful of food. Teaspoons never put anyone up or down, did they?

It’s different when you’re in it though. The turtle ate sh*g all while we were driving across country for two weeks. He’d have some sausage and a yogurt for breakfast and that would be about it for the day. He might eat a few chips or some chicken or something, but that was it. I mean he was offered all kinds of everything, to no avail. Not even corn. And he loves corn. Pasta. Nothing.
I didn’t really pay that much attention while we were in the middle of it. “He mustn’t be hungry…Can’t force him…We’ll try again later…” Then, we got here and I was cooking again and he ate and ate and ate. Everything in sight. And the guilt set in. “Oh my God, he was hungry that whole time. He just didn’t like the food. I’m such a bad mother. I should have known.” But now we’re almost back to where we were. He’s eating sh*g all. He might have an egg or some cereal in the morning. Maybe a bite of toast. And a yogurt. A few berries – blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries (goodness but they’re cheap here) – perhaps. Lunchtime – leftovers or something, usually shunned. Dinner – last night he had spaghetti with parmesan on it, completely ignoring the bolognese. So just spaghetti and cheese. And not much of that. A banana and a cup of milk before bed and that was it.
I’ve started offering something before bed because he has started asking for things when he’s in bed. And I’m conflicted. I don’t want him to go to bed hungry. And I also don’t want him “delaying” bedtime. Supernanny et al have me in a tizzy about this. It seems to be one of the worst things you can do. Although surely sending a child to bed hungry is worse? So a pre-bed time snack seems to be the way to go. That way I can brush his teeth before he goes to sleep and let go of that guilt and the fear that all of his teeth will fall out of his head (before they’re supposed to).
So I have to trust him that he’s eating enough. He’s certainly pooing enough. And he has the energy of ten Duracell bunnnies. But it’s hard. Oh so hard.
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