Crap

Today is day two of potty training Poppy. Look, I don’t love the term “potty training” either but I don’t know what else to call it. I’ve heard it referred to as “instilling toilet independence” but I dunno, seems to be more words for the same idea? Anyway, call it what you will, this week is devoted to getting Poppy out of diapers.

I don’t remember potty training Grady. I remember being lazy and letting him decide when he wanted to be out of diapers, and then when he did decide well after he turned four, he just stopped using diapers. We had some struggles getting him to give up Pull-Ups for pooping (I will never forget my Poop Doula days) but overall it was a relatively pain-free experience.

Poppy has some skin issues that would be better off not in the warm, dark, moist confines of a diaper. Her daycare is closed for two weeks so I’m home with her this week, and we’re spending next week at my parents’ house, so now is the perfect time for us to instill the crap out of some toilet independence. We figured she was physically ready (she goes long stretches with dry diapers, she knows when she’s going to go, she’s uncomfortable in a dirty diaper, etc.) but we were struggling with the mental aspect. Her tenacity is daunting. She told us she didn’t want to give up diapers and none of our attempts to frame it as fun, exciting, grown up, etc. worked to change her mind.

So I did what millennials do. I one-clicked a solution straight to my door.

Full disclosure: the book is long and my attention span is short. I made it about a third of the way through the book before our self-imposed start day but I credit what I learned in the first few chapters with getting us through an extremely rough first morning. I think my biggest takeaway of this experience so far is that diapers can provide a real sense of security. When Poppy woke up yesterday morning and her nighttime diaper came off and I reminded her she wouldn’t be wearing daytime diapers, she had what I can only describe as a toddler panic attack. There were buckets of tears (hers and mine), negotiations, confusion, anger, and regret (mine, all mine). But the book helped me stand firm while being empathetic instead of frustrated. We cuddled, read stories, coloured, listened to music, watched her favourite show, played cars, and talked about the potty a lot. We didn’t have a single successful toilet experience all morning, but it didn’t feel like a failure. My attention was 100% on Poppy for hours and to be completely honest, that doesn’t happen often.

Once we got through the challenge of morning, it was like a switch flipped. Poppy started voluntarily running to the potty on her own. We had some successes and some messes but we made it through day one.

I appreciated how the book prepared me for the first day. I didn’t expect to get anything else done, I knew I wasn’t going to leave the house, and I fully expected to be doing a whack of laundry that night. And all of those expectations were met.

We’re on day two but still in block one (the book separates the different stages of potty training into blocks) but Poppy’s confidence has grown. We even left the house in underpants and drove to the far away park, played, and made it home before Pops emptied her bladder on the bathroom floor. Progress, not perfection as the book says.

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Enjoy These Moments

It is 10pm on a school night and both of my kids are currently awake and crying because they’re “not tired” and “it’s still light outside” and I would like to bottle this feeling up so whenever someone tells me to “enjoy these moments, they go by so quickly” instead of awkwardly acquiescing, I can use it to instantly summon my rage and shut that shit down.

I love my kids with every fibre of my being but I need them to stop making noises at me and go to sleep. Hashtag: too blessed to be stressed *cry face emoji* (help)

 

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Smile

Poppy tripped and fell teeth-first into a wooden coffee table on Easter weekend. It was pretty terrible. Tears, blood, swelling, but thankfully her teeth remained intact (ish) (baby gal already had some chips from a couple bathtub incidents). We were lucky and the table absorbed a lot of the impact. 

We saw a doctor and her regular dentist after it happened, and both recommended that we see a pediatric dental specialist to rule out any damage above the gum line. I was skeptical. Poppy’s seen her dentist since before she turned one (my babies got their first teeth early) but she has yet to have an actual exam. We go and talk to the dentist, we sit in the chair, we hold some of the tools, we refuse to open our mouth, and then we get to choose a prize from the treasure chest. I don’t remember the process being as agonizing with Grady, but I can’t argue with the results. Grady is a kid who is completely comfortable in the dentist chair and I’m fairly certain it’s being we invested so much time in making the dentist a fun and relaxing place to be. 

The specialist called last week to confirm Poppy’s appointment and I voiced my concern. I wanted to give them a heads up that we would be following Poppy’s lead and I wouldn’t force her to endure an exam if she wasn’t willing. If I was concerned about anything specific, it would be a different story, but she seems to have healed well and her teeth are not wiggly, out of place, or discoloured. I didn’t consider this appointment the same as when Grady needed stitches or Poppy needed an Epi-Pen administered; in those cases I absolutely held my babies down as they fought for freedom. It had to be done. But this didn’t feel like that so I informed the specialist.   

They were receptive to what I was saying, but reassured me that their office is set up to cater to kids, they deal with kids all day long, they’re pros, they have their tricks and hacks to get kids excited and cooperative, etc. And the whole time I was very Jennifer-Lawrence-OK-gif but what else could I do but try to prepare them the best I could and then sit back and let them work?

Our appointment was today. Poppy was impressed with the office (there was a kid-sized pirate ship in the waiting room!)  but when it came to the actual exam, she wasn’t having it. The staff was amazing, and they tried so hard to make her comfortable, but in the end we didn’t get much done. The dentist did end up getting a look at her teeth but the dentist also got her finger bitten when she didn’t stop when Poppy told her to stop. I would have loved to be proven wrong, and walk out with a set of X-rays and a detailed exam, but in the end all I had was the knowledge that I know my kid really well. 

Three

Three is not my favourite kid age. When Grady was three, I’d lament that anyone who had complained about the “terrible twos” had obviously never met a three-year-old. Poppy is a week into three and she’s already outdoing her brother in the big emotions and loud opinions department. 

Three does have its perks, though. Poppy’s gone through a bit of a vocabulary boom, and the stories she tells are often hilarious. Today I picked her up from daycare and when she asked where Shawn was, I told him he got stuck in a meeting. Her eyes got wide and her voice got loud as she told me we better go save him. It took me a beat before I realized she thought he was physically stuck. 

Three is a test of my patience and my endurance, but it’s also the shortest season between toddler and big kid. I’m trying my best to savour it and focus on the funny bits so I don’t grind my teeth into dust.