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Month 34: Look Mommy, No Seat!

Hangin’ at the hotel on the way home.

At the end of last month, when we were out and about I forgot to bring our Primo Travel Potty Seat.    Our outing trips are usually pretty avereage or short length and Itty Bitty had an epic capacity, so if we made a pitstop before leaving it is rare that she needs a potty stop on an average errand.   We’d gone out to eat and I had diapers for Mini Moose, and was so used to not needing a travel seat for a 2 hour outing that I was taken by surprise when Itty Bitty announced her urgent need!     No big deal really, we’ve had to do the balancing act a couple of times before.   Off we went to the bathroom and we discovered that she had grown big enough to balance herself on the seat without needing me to offer support(the bathroom was very clean)!   When did that happen!?

After that discovery, Itty Bitty didn’t began to experiment with not using the insert on the toilet at home right away until after we returned from our annual Ohio trip (Read about it here at Brothet’s Blog — June 28 to July 9).   Once she did, however, she quickly disvcovered that without the insert she could hoist herself backwards easily without the aid of a stool and was able to balance with little effort.   She has been very keen to use the toilet this way, though if she desires more tush comfort she still will choose the insert from time to time, and if in an extraordinary rush will use the little potty though she looks ridiculous on it with such long legs!      She is no longer adamant about emptying her own potty and is more ambivalent if it is messy leaving it for me without argument.      She’s gotten quite good at self wiping and only asks for help if she notices if it is especially difficult.

We had a couple of notable toileting matters:

 Jul 10:

When I got home from work  Daddy Man said they played outside for a while and that, “I was busy with Mini Moose and when I looked up I got an eye full of Itty Bitty dropping trou to squat and pee outside the sandbox.”

Oh dear, I knew peeing the baby outside was going to come back to bite me in the butt!  I’ll need to have a conversation with Itty Bitty.   It’s a proud thing that she didn’t pee in the sandbox and took initiative, but she’s not an in arms baby and just taking a whiz outside whenever she feels like it is not necessary unless it is an emergency or where facilities aren’t available.

Jul 12:

Itty Bitty decided to play in the toy corner and got herself stuck.   As she tried to extricate herself and was almost out, her bladder let go.  I heard the waterfall and she was standing there like a deer in headlights.     It got cleaned up easily and I made a mental note to remind her occasionally to assess bathroom needs–only after it has been a couple of hours.    She’d gone to the bathroom successfully several times today and even had a big poop, so it was just a situational accident.

I came home to a too quiet house.   Turns out that Itty Bitty went back to attention seeking behavior.  Had a tantrum when they got home because she wanted to stay outside but the baby was wanting to eat and was hot.  Daddy Man let her stay in the jeep for 15 minutes to try to diffuse the situation but the baby was too hot and was really wanting mommy milk.    He said it spiraled from there because he couldn’t give her attention.     G-Ma stopped by and not even that changed things because Itty Bitty wanted Daddy Man.    I guess, now that the Mommy situation was corrected she was seeking to fix the Daddy situation.   After G-Ma left and Mini Moose was on his second bottle and was just about asleep Itty Bitty apparently had had enough.     I am told she stood by him on the couch, lifted her leg, and peed.

She’s done that once before with him (“War and Pees” from Cause and Effect Month 21).

He cleaned it up calmly and ignored the behavior (he held it together — he wanted to spank but knows that’s a big no no with me–that’s a big loss of control and he’s a strong dude who can hurt you when he’s just playing around even when he’s being careful ).   Daddy Man put some water in the tub and left her to it.   She cleaned herself up and that was that.  She was mellowed after, he said.    Perhaps she felt mortified with herself or realized it was an impulse move that had the opposite effect of what she really wanted.    Too bad toddlers don’t come with sim thought bubbles.

There were no other errant pee incidences or acting out this month.   Funny how two incidents were unrelated to the situational pee, but had the common thread of wanting to be acknowledged.      Another attention seeking moment unrelated to pottying did happen another day: Itty Bitty’s Trip to the ER Jul 18.  and the Aftermath.

Sorry that this post was late and backdated nearly a month, I totally forgot about it!

Visit Brother Blog:  Pottytunities for Two

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Quotes and favorites of the Month:

“Come on Mom, Let’s go!”

Itty Bitty enjoys watch a math centered cartoon called Cyberchase (Sigh-chase!), enjoys My Little Pony:  Friendship is Magic  (Po-nee!).   Wild Kratts, Dinosaur Train, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse have fallen out of favor.

Month 33: Unperfect Practicality

Sometimes we need someone to say that dirt is okay and to show us that mud is awesome.

So, I was reading a blogger today expressed that she felt like she needed to be a perfect parent and resentment over the choices she made to breastfeed, cosleep, homeschool, baby wear, EC, etc. under that “perfection” and the pressure and added stress from a controlling husband.  She felt like she was trained to be at everyone’s beck and call.

Oh my.

It’s a awful thing to have a spouse and community and/or family putting a lot of pressure on someone to be “perfect”.  That can suck the happy out of Disneyland no matter what you do.    I don’t think there is joy in that situation even if one strollered and never babywore, diapered 3 years, bought the latest in baby fashion, or bought into the best exclusive preschool.   Soul suckers in one’s life still find a way to steal  or spit in your cheerios.

Children in general take a whole lot of commitment and an enormous amount of time no matter what!    The investment of time just comes with the territory.      I don’t mouth feed my baby like Alicia Silverstone because it wouldn’t make me happy to do so,  not that I think anything is wrong with it or that I think I’m better or she’s better.  It makes them both happy, it harms none and that’s what matters.  Though, I admit, I share grapes out of my mouth with my kids (I peel the flesh away from the skin with my teeth while in my mouth  and would give my then under 15 month old daughter the meaty bit with my fingers, and I occasionally still do it if  I am getting begged and I refuse to give up my whole share to the food hoover).  No one told me to do that and I didn’t read about it…I just did it. No reason other than it was easier than getting up for a knife.

Babywearing, EC, breastfeeding, BLW, cosleeping, unschooling…these aren’t strange dogmas…they are merely lost arts modern parents are trying to reclaim in a world that thinks it is weird and assumes you want to be perfect.   They are things parents of yore did because it was practical, free, and made them happy!     Children learned through play and watching adults , EC in a world without diapers just made sense, breastfeeding was something everyone did because that’s how babies eat, families slept together for warmth and safety, they wore babies to keep their hands free and keep them safe.

I don’t do things because I want to parent perfect (what does that even mean!?) or because I am pressured to, but because babywearing is easier than lugging around a heavy stroller packed in my teeny tiny car and it keeps my hands free  (I have a jogging stroller specifically for jogging because I am not getting naturalized exercise); I breastfeed because I can, it is free and doesn’t require me to wash bottles, buy or carry formula;  I use old fashioned cloth diapers because I hate the smell of disposables, they are low cost, and have multi-uses; I EC because I can see when my babies have to pee and it is just easier than changing a diaper or trying to later wrestle a 30lb 2 year old into one, it lightens the load I have to carry, extends the baby wardrobe and extends the functionality of my cheap prefolds, and I hate poop scraping;   I follow babyled solids and don’t do purees because frankly I am lazy and cheap…I don’t want to buy jars, don’t like how they taste, and don’t want to spend an afternoon pulverizing mush in a blender either — so I give what we eat.    I co-sleep because I don’t want to get up in the middle of the night and I…like it — simple as that.

It’s not a spiritual ritual for me.  It’s not a philosophical set of rules I follow.  I am not trying to please anyone. It’s practicality.  It feels good.   I get strange looks sometimes for putting my baby on the floor rather than in a bouncer — I don’t have room or money for those things (to unforeseen benefit).  The floor works nicely and they can’t roll off.  LOL!   I don’t think I do “more” than your average parent or invest more time.      I am always looking for ways to make my life less complicated.     Learning something new might be complex at first, but experience tells me that short term investment nets long term gains.

It’s complicated only if we don’t let it happen.

I think the blogger was so right in saying that parents have lost their way in being confident in themselves and enjoying their kids and do things in a way because they like it and it makes sense for them, not because they are told to do it, or that’s the way it is done, or feel like they have no choice or support.   We’ve lost the ability at times to hear advice neutrally and take it or leave it as we like at our leisure.

Why the competition aura?  Most of it is artificial and taking things the wrong way.  Happy people like to spread the news of what they learned.   Humans love to share and enjoy attention.   Take a look at any playground and listen for the, “look at what I can do!”   from little excited voices.  Do we ever really outgrow that?    A child doesn’t mean “I am better than all of you,”  they are saying, “look what I have discovered, I have learned something new, who will join me, I can help!”

I think most of us are just lonely and feel like if we express joy in what we do, we might sound like a goody-two-shoes, know-it-all, perfect-parent-wanna-be.  We don’t often get a chance to grow up in the company of other women as support and most of us learn parenting on the fly.  We gain experience isolated, silently observing, whispering, and with trepidation.     That pressure often bursts out online in one topic rambles the moment you find like minds because the relief is just so great!    It changes from feeling like you are selling illegal goods in a seedy alley, to a collective,  “Ahhhhhhhh!  So you pee in the shower too!?”

I think learning and following your instincts is a good thing, but there is a lot of static out there getting in the way of letting us … dare I say … play it out.

It’s a pity that the joy is sucked out of everything these days.    I hope my blogs on EC shows just how delightfully unperfect it is and that I am far from perfect!   There are days I want to make my reader’s laugh, or be less skittish.   Sometimes I want something crazy to happen so I can use a phrase like Poop de Grassy — it’s a shame such a cheesy pun hasn’t been used yet in context.  I just want to ramble, share my toys and pass it on.

Tag. You’re it!

Visit Brother Blog:  Pottytunities for Two

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Month 33: No Problem. I Got It Covered

I Got This!

And indeed she does.  I only notice Itty Bitty’s pottying habits when she calls upon me to assist with “Messy Poo” wiping, if the fan needs to be turned on because she left a toxic cloud, public toileting, or to clean up an epic mess she can’t handle herself.   There were two mishaps this month:

Jun 7
Itty Bitty had a gigantic miss today.  The thing is she was in the bathroom in the middle of getting on the toilet when the sphincter let go on her!    She removed her underwear, got in the tub, and called me.    The girl can hold  a lot of pee, but at least it was in the bathroom and she remembered not to wade through it like a creek.     What can you do except be a little cross about waiting too long, but also be so pleased that she followed a planned protocol all her own!     If I hadn’t been so tired and on my last nerve, I would have been much less annoyed at clean up!    Isolation can do that, because if another adult were around to take it all in with me, I would have been chest puffing and bragging while sopping up mega pee with a smile.

Jun 16
Itty Bitty had a big miss late in the day when we were home.  She was on her way to the bathroom but miscalculated the distance to the door because she had to go the long way around since Daddy Man blocked the short way through the garage … again… with his tools in front of the door.  We don”t have a back door direct to the backyard.   She realized too late that she didn’t have the extra 30 seconds and as the dam burst she leaped off the walkway into the flower bed!   I have to commend her efforts for trying not to leave a big puddle in a walking path.  She look a bit mortified, but I was proud of her just the same for trying to find a solution!      I now know to bring out her potty seat so that she doesn’t have to trek so far and I don’t have to disrupt her brother to follow her because there is no direct site line to the front door (she can open the door herself, we just don’t have a fenced yard and I don’t like not being able to hear or see her exit or enter the house).

Getting Out Even in the Rain is Key to House Harmony and Mommy Sanity

And that is all there is to report on Itty Bitty’s potty adventures.  She is still dry all night long, waits to go to the bathroom downstairs in the morning unless it is urgent and she uses the potty I have out upstairs for just such an occasion.  She takes care of her clothing, wipes her self (unless it is really messy then she asks for help), empties her potty, flushes the toilet, washes and dries her hands.   She also empties her brother’s potty bowl, cues him when I do,  and brings me fresh prefolds if I need them for him.

She is more…energetic and assertive…these days, but I know that’s because she doesn’t always get all her monkey energy out, misses her needed 3pm nap, or she wants more attention than I give or doesn’t want to wait to nurse…so it can spiral into Destructo Girl.  I am still working on finding balance in an unbalanced world.     I’m working on my volume.  Damn if I don’t hear my mom’s tone of voice flying out of my mouth sometimes!  I try not to so hard, but it just slips out like diarrhea of the mouth.  Ugh!   I’m working on finding my own words to push these negative reflexes out of service.

And…I just made my mammaries leak all over by thinking about nursing.  I am not sure whether to be amused or annoyed.

Itty Bitty has had some trouble learning about boundaries.   She is very affectionate and is a Space Invader (hahahaha) and doesn’t respect personal boundaries.     I’ve had to talk to her daily about giving Mini Moose some breathing room because she wants to kiss him, pat him, hug him, touch him, stroke him, sing to him, and has discovered she can make him laugh.      She’s having trouble expressing her displeasure over being asked to control her physical contact desires and has begun razzberrying/spitting in response.   I’m working on finding words for her to use, but man it sure gets my hackles up!     She’s only two and a half, I remind myself constantly.   Itty Bitty recently  encountered aggressive rejections of her overtures of hugs and kisses and pats and hand holding and overall “in your face” behaviors  at our first “in house” play date.   She got conked in the head by a toy and had her finger bitten.    Of course, I’m not happy my Baby Girl got hurt, but at the same time it is an important lesson for her to learn about boundaries, reading body language, and accepting “no thank you” for an answer without crushing her loving spirit.   She’s a very physical being and she just needs to develop some self-control.    The other day she poked me with a plastic piece from the stem of a silk flower (on purpose) and my instinct was to take it and poke her hard with it because it really smarted when she did it…thankfully I stopped myself and she got startled at how fast I yanked it from her fingers and growled.  Yep, I growled.  It really hurt!    She looked really upset and distressed and didn’t ask for it back.

I remind myself to find ways to express her desire to help rather than my causing a unnecessary power struggle by being Cranky Ogre Mommy.

Daddy Man barked at her once this month when she deliberately hit his laptop with a stick and scared her out of her skin (big voice he has…it can go right through you).   I couldn’t see her at the time but I felt the fear and knew the look on her face before the first sound escaped her mouth and I even got to say, “You scared the crap out of her you need to comfort her and apologize.”   before the most horrid horrified piercing cry escaped her mouth followed by fat tears!  They made up immediately and Daddy Man has been very careful about his volume.  It’s very important to me that when we screw up, that we apologize for being butts.    His patience needs some refining when he gets annoyed, and he needs to relieve me more often (or rather at the right time and for a good length of time) so that I can have a chance to refill my big, fast depleting tank–especially when I haven’t had a chance to get out of the house (getting out is so important but it doesn’t always happen).      And for goodness sakes man when you strip when you get home from work, FOLD…YOUR…PANTS!   Ahem…sorry…sometimes you got to let out a little nag.     Anyway,  when I get to recharge I have such an easier time heading off potential toddler troubles and I love seeing the two them interact listening to music, him showing her how they work, her helping him build one, or just when they hang out and play their special games.   She loves her Daddy Man and I do too!

Anyway, I think we all have a lot of learning to do!

Visit Brother Blog:  Pottytunities for Two

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Quotes of the Month:
“No problem.  I got it covered.  Alright?”
*asking me a question like what my/dad/brother/her name is*  “Yes, you’re right!”
“The baby crying, feed him!”
“Pss Pss Pss”  (to help potty her brother)
“No No.  Naughty kitty not for you!”
“I don’t want to right now, okay?”
“We will save the day!”
“It’s my turn okay?”
“Play me mommy?”
“Listen eesic on your speakers daddy.”  (she still says eesic for music)
“Pick me up.  Be careful I heavy!”
“You love me?  I love you to.”

I have to do a lot of translating but Itty Bitty can carry on a pretty long conversation.

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