26 May 2009

I'm a cheater

I've been engaged in a relationship with another site. My new photography site. Please check it out!


And - sorry for my absence! I will return soon!

14 May 2009

Chronciles of Potty Training

When my children hit the age of 2, I recoil from potty training for as long as possible. It's like Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, I have a knee jerk reaction due to my horrible past experiences with it.

My first child potty trained at the age of 3.4. I felt like I certainly must have been the worst mother in the world to have a child p.t. so late in life. All her little friends were having potty success by the age of 2.5, with few exceptions. There was nobody there to tell me that each child has their own unique time frame and temperament, and that all of these must align in order for p.t.'ing to lift off without a hitch. Nobody was there to tell me that whether or not my child potty trained before the age of 3 was in no way a reflection on my parenting skills. Of course, I kept company with other first time moms, so that explains it right there. But I pretty much hid under a rock whenever the topic came up. And when she was finally p.t.'ed, I joined the other living, breathing, bragging moms and basked in the glory of having completed my task.

Jonah potty trained at age 3.975. Unlike Adriana, he refused to even SIT on the dang thing. He'd go stiff as a board every time I carried him into the bathroom, singing dumb little ditties about how fun using the potty is through my gritted teeth. I was a sweaty, bitter mess by the end of the day (actually for MANY days, on end), and had only a pile of wet undies to show for it. I threw in the towel quickly, and asked periodically, over the course of probably a year (yes, you heard that right), if he'd like to try and go potty. His teachers at preschool were vigilant as well. But to no avail. Alas, one Saturday afternoon, my husband decided to take Jonah in the bathroom, shut the door, and insist firmly that he pee. Just a drop would do. And there'd be a party in his honor, with a present, and plenty of praise. And it worked. And he had not a single accident from that day forward. It was like a switch went off and he just decided to do it. FINALLY. Here I thought maybe there was soemthing wrong with him, that he indeed might be the first Kindergartner to wear a Pull-Up to school, and he'd just not yet decided that he wanted to do it! Stinker!

Drew comes along. He hits 2.5. And I have a 5 month old baby. A very easy 5 month old baby, I might add. But nobody else needed to know that. ;) It can wait, I thought. He asked a few times, to which I retorted "I know what you've got up your little sleeve! What do you think I am, stupid?" He'd look up at me confusingly and go back to playing with his trains. Poor kid. Had no idea how much therapy his mother needed. But I knew that boys trained later than girls - Jonah had certainly proven that theory. And I wasn't ashamed of my laziness any more than I was reluctant to face the hardships that lie ahead for us both. Then around his 3rd birthday, I suggested he use the potty. I knew it was time and I wanted to get it over with quickly. Like ripping off a band-aid. By now I had heard and tried all the theories - let him go naked, buy him a doll, give him potty treats, make him a potty chart, blah, blah, blah. I just didn't really care for any of the hooplah anymore. I only wanted to stop hoisting my 35 lb. preschooler's legs over his head to wipe his bum. And so every 15 min., for 3 or 4 days in a row, we marched into the bathroom and sat on the porcelain throne. 3.975 came and went. I was shocked. Drew DID want to use the potty. He went whenever I asked him to. But he never went on his own. Was he not sensing the urge, I wondered? Because he was willing and able to do it. And I found myself hiding under that dang rock of shame again. It didn't help that he is big for his age... as tall or taller than many kindergartners. So I felt much scrutiny whenever he declared loudly in public that he'd peed his pants again. The road to success continued to meander for a few months. But around 4.4 he was finally trained.

So by now I am really beginning to feel like this is my lot in life, right? This and laundry. I couldn't seem to get a handle on either one.

Well, Sasha is currently 2.8. She has hit every milestone much sooner than her older siblings. So, 2 months ago I decided to buy her a pretty pink Baby Bjorn potty (the old one surely had a bad omen placed on it). Last week I decided we'd begin the process. Yesterday was when I actually started. ;) Baby steps, ya know? You don't go jumping head first into a landmine.

I am proud to announce that she was succeessful. On her very first day. She knew when she had to go. She simply told me, we walked into the bathroom together, she sat down and listened to a few songs, and voila. Peed. I almost didn't believe it. Had all those moms been telling the truth? Was this actually possible? I had to peer into the potty to be sure. And pinch myself a few times. She's broken the mold in so many ways (rarely has temper tantrums for one thing), and I hope this continues to be one of them!

Ironically, I am hearing from other moms this time around how hard this potty training gig is. And I shake my head emphatically along with them that yes, potty training deserves some kind of great reward. Move over Oscars. I just may be done with diapers, and my biggest parenting challenge to date, FOREVER. Where, oh where, is my gold trophy?

10 May 2009

Mother's Day

"All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."

--Abraham Lincoln

My mother is not here for me to say "Happy Mother's Day" to. While I had a difficult childhood and rocky relationship with her, I can honestly say that I owe who I am to her. Completely. And I do wish she was here so that I could thank her. There are some things that you just don't "get" until you are a mother yourself. Your eyes are opened in so many ways. And I am grateful for the sacrifices she made for me, and the ways in which she encouraged me to grow and reach for higher things.

I also wanted to repost my sentiments to all you mothers from a post dated back a couple years:

If I had to describe motherhood in one word, it would be humbling. Lying naked on a table and pushing a baby out in front of complete strangers. Missing your shower or rushing around without noticing you have peanut butter on your face. Having your child repeat something embarassing you said when you were certain they were out of earshot. Having to ask for help or admit that you are overwhelmed while everyone else seems to be handling it just fine. Forgetting something important. Realizing it's not about you. Giving something up. Learning from your children. Having their best interest at heart. Fighting for them. Accepting the bitter and less frequently sweet days.

So, here's to mothers... humble, modest, selfless, real, virtuous, forbearing, patient mothers that sacrifice a bit of themselves every day.

Happy Mother's Day.