Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Great Potty Training Saga*: Part 1

*I assume it's going to be a saga; we've only just started.

A couple of months ago, we bought the monster a potty chair, just to get him used to the idea. Sitting on it with his clothes on, before baths, whatever.  He didn't hate it, but wasn't that into it, either. I hated it, because it has a closing lid which I always worried would pinch his fingers and it isn't very grippy on the bottom, so it slid around every time he got on or off.

A couple weeks ago, we bought him an insert (I was so excited that along with Dora and Paw Patrol, Walmart offered... plain white with green (Sesame Street green, but not a Sesame Street seat) handles.

He loves this thing, and asks to sit on the toilet multiple times per day.  He hasn't actually used the toilet yet, but there have been a couple of near misses.

The first, he asked to go on the toilet and I thought he just wanted to sit up there for (if you'll excuse the pun) shits and giggles.  He had food in his hand and I don't want him thinking he can use the toilet and eat at the same time (ew), so I didn't put him up.  Turns out he needed to poop.

The next time, he asked to go on the toilet, I put him on there (properly, with no pants or diapers) and (as per his demand) sat on the lid of his potty chair, while he babbled and kicked his feet.  He decided he was done, I helped him down and went to get a clean diaper.  I came back to him standing in a pile of poo (yay!)... it was also on the bath mat, his pants which I had removed and his socks.

Last night, he asked, I took to long getting his PJs and diaper off - he peed on my hand, my pants, his socks... and like 2 drops in the actual toilet. So... progress?

The thing is, he knows what the toilet is, and now he lets us know pretty much right away when his diaper is dirty.  He even says "diapuh" and will go and get one if he wants it changed.  He also will run to the bathroom to ask to sit on the toilet.  

I posted on my birth board and while a lot of people are training already (he's 15 months), I got my fair share of naysayers.  One person said she wants her kids to be potty trained, instead of herself becoming parent trained. I mean, I'm going to be taking him to the bathroom for the next five or six years when we're in public, and I'm trained to change his diaper every time he dirties it, so I'm pretty sure I'm already parent trained - and so is she - and so is anyone who has kids who are too young to use a public restroom alone.  The same woman had a lot to say about kids being emotionally ready, that they should feel remorse when they have an accident - which I think is a horrible way to try to avoid accidents which the kid may have literally no control over.

Another lady started talking about how in her house, kids aren't sitting naked on the potty chair in the living room, watching Barney.  Pretty sure she's projecting and that comment had nothing to do with me, since 1) The potty chair and all toilety stuff is in my bathroom, 2) I don't own a TV and the monster doesn't get screen time and 3) Didn't Barney go off the air like... 15+ years ago? I'm pretty sure no child is watching Barney whilst on the potty.

In terms of readiness, I don't want the monster to "hold it" (yet).  I want him to recognize the urge to go and communicate it to Mr. Wolfman or I, and it's our job to get him to the toilet on time. Honestly, I think he's getting it.  It'd be nice not to have to wipe poop off my bathroom floor, but hey, gotta start somewhere.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Dear People Without Kids:

7pm is not a good time for dinner, when you're meeting a family who has a one year old (or when you're meeting two families with 3 kids 3 and under between them). That's an hour before bedtime. He should be in the bath.

Dear Mr. Wolfman: instead of agreeing to whatever time people suggest and then informing me after the fact, how about you take a second to remember when our kid's bedtime is, and consider the fact that I do the entire bedtime routine alone.

Le Sigh.


A disgruntled, queasy and very tired Mummy.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

What is it with Boys and Sports?

...or, more accurately, boys' stuff and sports.

Probably about 75% of the monster's clothes and toys are 2nd hand. Which means that it's not always about style when I'm shopping for clothes; it's about what condition something is in, whether or not it will be comfortable, and how long it will fit.

I look everything over before I buy it, but I don't really look at it. I'm looking to see if there are stains, tears, worn patches, etc.

So I bought the monster a pair of fuzzy PJs.  A little pilling, but in otherwise good condition. Plus the nice guy was working at the thrift shop, so them, the other pair of PJs I bought, 9 pairs of socks, 1 pair of mittens, 2 decorative spoons and a book only cost me $4. The PJs are cookie monster - pretty cute.

And then I got them home and noticed... football helmets?

The fabric is seriously: baby cookie monster eating a cookie, baby cookie monster in a diaper eating a cookie, jugs of milk, cookies on their own... and random sports equipment. Helmets, sneakers and whistles.
They're sadly not footie pajamas, so I grab the monster one of his new pairs of socks.  Giant 9s on the side, in the same font you get on the back of football jerseys.

And this isn't even the first time it's happened. Not long ago, he outgrew some great quality PJs that were covered in various sports paraphernalia and had numbers and a baseball applique on them; when he was a newborn, I bought a set of hats on sale, only to get them home and find out that the cute little bulldogs were surrounded by footballs.

I could pay closer attention, if it bothered me that much.  But it's not so much that some of his clothes are sports-related, that gets to me.  It's more the insidious way that sports and construction themes get sneaked onto boys' clothes, and the glaringly obvious way they're omitted from girls'.

It's all the: this is for boys, this is for girls bullshit that's still going on, even though it's nearly 2016. You know what you never see on boys' clothes? Horses. Unless there are cowboys involved. You never just see a horse, on its own, on a boy's sweater.  Or a cat. And you're equally unlikely to see a dump truck on a girl's shirt.

It's like, at some point, there was a secret meeting, and not only did all the various activities, professions and interests get divided by genitals, the fucking animals did as well.

Dinosaurs? Obviously for boys. Dolphins? Girls. Cats and horses are for girls, too.  Lizards and sharks, boys. Dogs can go either way, but need accessories to gender things up.  A bow or a sparkly collar indicates a girl-appropriate dog, while a surfboard or suspenders make it for a boy. Nerdy glasses are a bit too ambiguous, so a second accessory is usually required.

Seriously, people, what the crap are we teaching our kids?

Friday, December 18, 2015

I should be sleeping.

The monster is sleeping.... and I am damn tired.  Instead I keep taking those annoyingly unhelpful early pregnancy quizzes online.

A bunch of symptoms that could be otherwise explained (including fatigue and tender breasts), 2 negative HPTs, nausea, lightheadedness, gas, constipation, lemonade cravings, brain fog, 3 weeks late. And a partridge in a pear tree.  My appointment (with some rando doctor, as Dr. Illegible is on vacation) is on Xmas eve.  It's so far away.

Except nowhere near far enough away, in another sense, because I have yet to finish making DH's present and I'm too queasy to work on it atm.  I also have to finish making my niece's present and make something for my nephew.  At least the monster is taken care of.

I should be sleeping.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


You may be thinking from my last post that I'm some sort of Christmas-hating Grinch.  Not so. I love Christmas.  In fact, my tree has been up since the middle of November.

In all that time, the monster has noticed the tree, kinda glanced at it, but not, surprisingly, tried to pull it down from the high dresser it sits on, or been particularly interested in general.

Today, I plugged in the lights, and he looked up, wide-eyed, with this huge smile and said, "Aaahhh!" He was just so amazed.  Then he looked at me, to make sure I was looking and did the open-palm gesture he reserves for pointing out really big or amazing things and said "Aaah" again.

And this is why I love Christmas.  That feeling of total wonder and awe, that pure, unsullied magic.

This year, all our gifts are either homemade or secondhand and we don't have money for much of anything - and I'm so damn excited, because my monster is noticing Christmas for the very first time, because he'll be able to eat Xmas dinner with us, maybe have a taste of pie, play outside in the snow. I'm so happy.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Mall Santas Suck and So Do You

Mall Santas. I effing hate mall Santas.

Perhaps not the individuals, who I suspect by and large are just looking to make some extra money and/or bring joy to children - but the whole concept of mall Santas in general is just... gross.

It's that time of year when my social media gets flooded with pictures of people's small children, crying their eyes out on the lap of a stranger - and every time I see it, it makes me want to puke.

And, of course, there are the captions. Not a fan of Santa, lol.  What? You mean to tell me your toddler didn't enjoy being thrust into the hands of a funny-smelling stranger in a cheap polyester suit while an artificially cheerful elf took pictures? How surprising (and sooooo funny)! Then there's: We were expecting him to cry but... But what? You're an asshole, so you didn't care?  The picture was worth more to you than your kid's comfort and ability to trust you? It may be time to face the fact that you're just not a very nice person.

I came across this gem today: It'll be a good memory.  FOR FUCKING WHOM?  Your one year old won't remember crying on Santa's knee (at least not this year) - and I'm guessing, if they somehow did remember, it wouldn't be something they'd look back on with fondness.  Ooooh, you mean it'll be a good memory for you.  I can just picture you, snuggled up by the fireplace* one Christmas many years from now, looking at old pictures.  "Hey Honey, remember this? This is from that time we gave Billy to a strange man and he didn't know why and thought we were going to leave him so he cried. What a great day that was." "Oh yes, Honey, it was the best."

I want a Santa picture every year.  Why?  What are you going to do with those (let's be realistic) seven or eight Santa pictures? Especially if your kid is crying in the first three?  Hang them on the wall? No, I know: post them on Facebook so everyone can see them.  Of course.  (Hint: no one, except maybe your mom, cares about your shitty Santa picture.  They'd much rather see a picture of your kid that was well-taken by a professional, or a candid shot of your child happy or doing something cute.  The zoomed out photo of your red-eyed, snot-nosed child crying on some dude's knee is not something any of your friends care to see.  Trust me).

I haven't even gotten into the issues surrounding mall Santas and older kids. The teaching-kids-strangers-are-safe, the lying to kids about Santa in general, the issues that arise when the mall Santa is a fucking creep (not saying it happens often, but it happens) - I'll leave that for another day (and possibly another Christmas).  Right now, I just want to mention (in case you missed it) that giving your toddler to a weird stranger and taking pictures of their misery as if it's cute is plain messed up. Please consider starting your own, non-creepy tradition instead.

*You know what? No. You don't get a fireplace. You get an electric baseboard heater. Fuck you.