Archive for the ‘ Milestones ’ Category

Potty Training Part Deux

I recently started the process of potty training with my youngest son, Biz, though I can’t say it was a conscious decision. He’s 21 months old and was giving the ladies at daycare a hard time on the changing table. (He’s particularly stubborn and squirmy.) They gave him the option of going on the potty instead of having his diaper changed, and he went for it.

Initially, I was thinking that he wasn’t ready for potty training. I’d go along with it for consistency-sake, but I didn’t think it would stick. So far, I’ve been wrong.

My oldest son, G, was fully potty trained by the time he was 2 1/2. We had no issues with him. Not even bed wetting at night. He was actually trained closer to 2, but he put off buying the underwear for a little while. When he was ready, he told me.

Back to Biz, I figured I couldn’t be that lucky twice. Especially with two boys. (That’s what all the potty training articles tell you anyway.) And though Biz could certainly go the other way if he decides to, I really feel like he’s going to be even quicker than G. He readily tells me when he needs to go, and he’s already gone potty in a public bathroom. (G took longer to do both these things consistently.) He’s one determined child and when he makes up his mind, that’s it. He also has a killer potty celebration dance.

There are a lot of articles out there that tell you when to start (or not start) potty training, what to do and how to do it. I’ve never listened to any of these. Frankly, most of them don’t seem to work for me or my family. (I’ve never been good with charts.)

And, I think that’s the key to successful potty training. Find what works for you. We bought a potty for G at around 18 months, when he started asking for us to change his diaper. We simply talked to him about how when he’s ready, he could go to the bathroom on the potty like a big boy. And, yes, we modeled for him by letting him watch us go to the bathroom. (I do find that it’s a lot better for the parent of the same sex to model for the child in the bathroom. There are some things you just don’t need to explain at that age.)

I’m sure other parents think I’m starting too early. My response to that is that it’s not my decision. It’s for Biz to decide. I didn’t do a thing for G to get him potty trained. I just provided him the tools (i.e., the potty) and the encouragement to do it himself. And when he didn’t want to do it, I didn’t make it an issue. I’m doing the same for Biz.

Here’s hoping for a new year without diapers.

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Not So Traumatic Kindergarten Transitions

My oldest son, G, started kindergarten this week. I fully expected it to be a traumatic experience for both me and him.

It was not. In fact, it feels like just another week.

At barely five years old (he turned five mid-July), this child continues to amaze me. I keep waiting for the event that’s going to really throw him for a loop. It hasn’t come yet.

G was an early talker and was fully potty trained by two and a half. (I mean really potty trained. No transitional night time diapers or anything.) When he decided to ride a bike without training wheels this summer, he got on the bike and never looked back. In nursery school, he would call the teacher out if she said anything incorrect.

The key to G is talking and prepping. While I was pregnant, my husband and I agreed to never use baby talk. It’s just not our style. So, from the beginning, I’ve always talked to G. I tell him what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, what’s going on around us, what’s about to happen, etc. And, we talk every night before he goes to bed about how our days went and what’s happening tomorrow.

For the big transitions, as long as I tell him what’s going on and what’s coming up, he knows what he needs to do. (The one hiccup I made was in his first year of preschool and I forgot to tell him about picture day. He freaked out a bit, and the teacher told me he wasn’t good with change. Fast-forward a year, and she told me he was taking over the class from the teacher. Go figure.)

Kids are human beings, and a lot smarter than we give them credit for. While I freaked out a few times this summer trying to figure out how to navigate the whole kindergarten thing, I never let G see this. We talked about how fun it would be and how his schedule would change. He was so excited this week, he’s been up around 5:30am every morning. He had a ball riding the bus with me and my husband on the first “mini” day with parents. And on his first day (without parents) when he had to wait for the bus to loop around the block because the bus driver didn’t see his daycare provider who was there to pick him up, he wasn’t phased one bit.

G’s one complaint so far? Having to sit at a table to wait for his bus number to be called at the end of the day. Apparently, that’s too boring for him. I’m thinking this will change once he goes to a full day next week. Hopefully he’ll be more tired after a full day, and the table sitting won’t be as annoying.

Now I have to transition into leaving work on time so I can be at the bus stop for G in the afternoon. I’m thinking I can handle it, with a little prepping from G.

Graduation changes everything, at least for Mom

The graduating class

My oldest son, G, graduated from preschool yesterday. It was quite the event. The preschool has been in existence for 50 years, and this was their 48th and final graduating class. Miss Nancie, at 71 years old, decided to take the plunge into retirement. Needless to say, there were a lot of emotions.

I didn’t think I would be so emotional. It was only preschool, after all. It’s not like G’s going away to college next year. But, as I listen to parents of older kids, I realize it’s not that far off.

Once children come into our lives, we, as parents, all come to the realization that it’s not about us anymore. Whether we like it or not, we are suddenly responsible for another human being. We must feed them, shelter them, keep them clean and teach them how to get through life. Up to this point, I’ve had control over everything that G does. Now that he’s about to turn 5 and go to Kindergarten in the fall, everything is changing.

Suddenly, I have to be at screening appointments for 10:00am on a Tueday. (Not so convenient for a working mom.) He’s eligible to sign up for various activities, and he’s expressing interest in said activities. This summer, we have tennis, tee-ball and swimming lessons.

My husband and I, luckily, have pretty flexible and family-friendly jobs. So, we can adjust schedules and juggle things pretty well. It’s interesting to take a glimpse into the future though. As we took pictures of he and his best buddy, his buddy’s mom commented that the picture we were taking was for their future high school year book. That’s when it got a little emotional.

I’m so proud of everything G’s done in his almost 5 years of existence, and I can’t wait to see what he can accomplish as he gets older. G lead his class down the aisle yesterday. Unbeknownst to me, he also had a duet with another girl in the musical performance part of the graduation. (I mentioned it was quite the production. There was a cowboy theme and an intermission involved.) The other performances involved 4 – 8 kids. After his performance, I think I might have to add musical theatre camp to his activities.

G took it all in stride, as he always does. He is so ready for Kindergarten. I realize, now, that it’s me that’s going to have the toughest transition.

“I can’t understand a word he’s saying”

The boys and I were at the Curtis Memorial Library the other day in the kids’ play area. My 14 month old was chattering away in his little language that only I and Miss Lori from daycare can decipher. A boy my older son was playing with said to me, with a frustrated look, “I can’t understand a word he’s saying.”

This comment made me laugh. I explained that Biz (his actual nickname) was still learning to talk, and that he probably talked like that when he was little. It made me think about all the funny things G, my 4 1/2 year old, has said in the few short years he’s been talking.

He was an early talker, and I wrote down every word he would say until he said so many new words that I couldn’t keep up. All kids say funny things at some point. Here are some of my favorite quotes from G in no particular order:

  • While in the waiting for an ob appointment: “Is her going to pee in a cup?” (re: every pregnant woman who walked by us)
  • After my dad asked me to get a fork for him while I got up from the dinner table to tend to his baby brother: “My mom has two hands and not four.”
  • While watching a Bruins v. Flyers hockey game: “That orange guy just beat up our Bruin. That’s not good.”
  • After telling him to “hold his horses” because he was rushing me out the door: “I can’t mom. My horse ran away.”
  • Loudly and assertively: “Doing?!” (his way of asking what we were doing before he could put an actual sentence together)
  • When he wanted something as a baby: “Habit!” (instead of “have it”)

Some of his best quotes are actually interpretations of songs he hears on the radio. Here are a few fun ones:

  • “Go nothing, Go nothing!” – Kings of Leon’s “Notion” (instead of “So don’t knock it, don’t knock it”)
  • “You know that I could use some bad air!” – Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” (instead of “You know that I could use somebody”)
  • “Mommy, he’s singing about diarrhea.” (with a disgusted look on his face) – Breaking Benjamin’s acoustic version of “Diary of Jane”

Unfortunately, I haven’t been so good with writing down words that Biz says. I think it’s partly because he’s the second child and partly because Biz isn’t as verbal as G was at the same age. (However, Biz definitely has the facial expressions and hand talking down more than G did. Must be the Italian in him.) So, I thought I’d end this post with all the words I’ve deciphered from Biz at some point over the past few months that I can remember. Here goes – yay, mama/mom/mommy, dad/daddy/da, dog, woof, meow, up/uppy, moo, uh oh, bird, lolly (for lollipop), no, hi, hello, bye, nigh nigh (for night night), dat (for that), light, sssssss (snake sound), oo oo (monkey sound). Judging from his babbling, I have a feeling we’re going to have some pretty good quotes from him in about 3 1/2 years.

P.S. (3/3/10) I have to admit that I’ve come back to this post several times since I wrote it to add words I remember that Biz has said. I guess I’m not giving him enough credit for being verbal. Sure, some of these words have only been uttered once or twice and most have only been heard by me or Miss Lori. I hear them, though, and others will eventually.