Friday, April 24, 2009

Where's the Bunny?

Easter Sunday was a busy day for all of this year. We started the day with the Biscuit's Easter basket... full of candy and toys. I knew it wasn't a great idea to let him have a little crunchy chocolate bunny before church, but how could I refuse it when I had just given it to him in his basket? So he ate the bunny.

Then we all got dressed up and headed off to Easter Mass. Church started a little bit later than usual and ran a little bit longer than usual, but the Biscuit was faring very well (his new dinosaur coloring book was a big help with that).

After church, we headed over to the Biscuit's Starenka and Grandpa's for Easter lunch. As lunch drew to a close, the Biscuit learned that the Easter Bunny had also visited his Starenka's house and had left him another basket and some other gifts (one of which was a toddler-sized Thomas bed... a story for another post). In addition to the gifts in the basket and the bed, the Easter Bunny also left the Biscuit a 12-inch tall, solid chocolate bunny. The Biscuit was enamored instantly.

Me, being the silly mommy that I am, decided that this was the right time to take Easter pictures. Please remember that my almost 3-year old had been up all morning, sat through church, lunch, and had just gotten chocolate and toys... pictures were the last thing he wanted to do. Somehow, though, the Biscuit's Starenka managed to convince him to go outside and take some (pretty terrible) Easter pictures.

It was now almost 1:00 and the Biscuit was cranky and well beyond nap time so the Biscuit, daddy, and me packed up the car so we could head home. The Biscuit was given a small taste of his huge chocolate Easter Bunny (the left ear to be exact) and the rest of the bunny was put in a Ziploc bag. The Biscuit insisted on carrying the bunny in the bag along with his companion (Ou Ah) and an M&M man. We put him in his car seat, started down the road, and within about 2 minutes, he was out (holding tight to his chocolate possessions).

When we got home, the Biscuit was still fast asleep. I whispered to his daddy to carry him into his bedroom and put him down for a nap. The Biscuit peeped his eyes open for a minute, spoke a weak "I'm tired," closed his eyes, and put his head back on his daddy's shoulder.

Daddy put the Biscuit down and then we headed outside for about 5 minutes to chat about how well Easter went. I then went to change when I heard some rustling in the kitchen.

I walked into the kitchen where I was surprised to see the Biscuit (whose back was to me) putting something in the trash can under the sink. I said to him, "What are you doing?"

"I had some trash from the bunny." he replied. I went over to the trash and saw that he had put a small (and I mean small) piece of chocolate bunny in the trash.

"Where's the Bunny?" I asked the Biscuit.

He smiled sheepishly and said, "He's in my mouth."

I walked briskly to the Biscuit's room expecting to find a mess of chocolate everywhere, but there was none to be found. All that I saw was an empty Ziploc bag in the middle of his bed.

Daddy and I had been duped. The Biscuit had it all planned the moment he got in the car seat. That bunny didn't stand a chance... 12-inches of solid chocolate, gulped down in 5 minutes.

Thanks Easter Bunny! (bock bock)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Like Fingernails on a Chalkboard

I am NOT a morning person. I am fully capable of sleeping in until 3:00PM if left undisturbed. There is absolutely nothing finer in life to me than to sleep in on a Saturday until I just can't take it anymore and force myself to roll out of bed. I have not, however, slept in on a Saturday morning for the last 3 years (coincidentally, since the Biscuit was born).

Now, when I decided to have a child, this was one of the things I knew I would give up, and I was glad to do it. I didn't realize how much I would truly miss it though. And, honestly, I think I am not as nice of a person as I used to be because of it.

I write this... as my husband lies in bed asleep as he does every Saturday morning. And so our story begins at 6:30 AM on a Saturday morning...

"Maaa-om!" says the Biscuit lovingly.
"Whaa-aaat?" I reply.
"Mom. My car won't fit under here," he says.
"Sorry," I reply.

6:31 AM on that same Saturday morning...

"Maaaa-om!" he shouts again.
"Yes, love" I say, though my patience is beginning to wear thin.
"Mom. Did you move my candy?" the Biscuit asks as if this is an important question for this early in the morning.
"No, love. I didn't move your candy. You ate it." I respond.
"My sweet-tar-tarts?" he stammers.
"Yes, love. You ate your sweetarts last night. Let's not talk for a little while okay?" I beg.

6:32 again, the same Saturday morning...

"Maaaa-ooom. Did you touch my cars." the Biscuit asks.
"Biscuit. Mommy doesn't want to talk anymore this morning." I demand.
"But Maaaaaa-om!" he screams.
"If you have something to say, go tell your daddy." I implored.
"But Mom, Daddy's sleeping." he responds.
"Yes, Daddy IS sleeping." I say.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Give Me My Body Back!

When I was pregnant with the Biscuit, obviously I had to give up a significant part of my body, that being my uterus-ish area. Of course I was oh so happy to do it, but as his stay in my belly got longer (and my waistline vanished) I was certainly ready to get my uterus back. He obliged (though he certainly left a path of destruction upon exit) and replaced my uterus with his crib.

And just when I thought my body was my own again, there he goes claiming my boobs. 13 months later, I finally demanded my body back. And, once again, the Biscuit obliged and replaced my boobs with his bottles and sippy cups.

One thing, however, that I haven't managed to get back from my son is my shoulder... my left shoulder to be exact.

The day I brought the Biscuit home from the hospital (forever a photo-memory as evidenced in our first picture together at our house), I made the crazy mistake of asking the Biscuit if he needed "mommy's shoulder." It's a simple thing that I have no doubt every mother probably does with their child. I put a burp cloth on my left shoulder, sat in his rocking chair/glider, and plopped him on my shoulder, and started rocking.

Almost 3 years later, the Biscuit still asks for "mommy's shoulder" every night and any time he's sad, upset, or sick.

When he was younger, almost anyone could do mommy's shoulder. To the Biscuit, the burp cloth was mommy's shoulder. As he got older, he's started to correct people (like daddy) who, mistakenly, tried to put "mommy's shoulder" on their own shoulders.

I do adore being needed by my son (and that's probably why this has sustained for so long). Tonight as I sat with him before bed (the Biscuit, on my left shoulder of course), I felt the only 2 minutes of true peace I get in the day.

but... I want my shoulder back. Well, at least I want it back part-time. 40-lbs every day is making mommy's shoulder a bit weary.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Trapped by the Biscuit

The Biscuit can, at times, be quite the stubborn little boy and it doesn't help that he can overpower me pretty easily. Just the other day, the Biscuit and I had just finished up a 20-minute reading session in his cozy spot (his indoor, 3-ft tall playhouse where he goes to "calm down" or read with his stuffed animals)... or so I thought we had finished up.

I told the Biscuit I was going to unload the dishwasher as he was on his way out of the little playhouse (apparently to get another book to read). As I got up on my knees and attempted to knee-walk out the little red door of the playhouse, the Biscuit quickly ran back to the house and said "No mommy. We not ready to go."

I insisted that I was ready to leave and started out the door. The Biscuit and I were almost eye level with each other (with me on my knees) and he literally blocked me from leaving. To my surprise, I was actually no match for his strength when I was on my knees.

After several attempts to get around him, I did manage to distract him, however, and quickly sprung up to full height and got out of there (whew!). Who knows WHAT I would have had to give him (an entire Hershey bar probably) if I hadn't figured a way outta there.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Price of Grooming a Toddler

Some of you may have already read my post on the many values of candy with toddlers, but my bribery technique goes far beyond candy these days. I learned early on that there are 3 main things that can be used to get just about ANYTHING you want from your toddler:
  1. jelly beans
  2. goldfish
  3. M&Ms
No need to retell the jelly bean uses so I'll skip to the other 2 winners for you. For the Biscuit, goldfish are an excellent bribe for fingernail and (sometimes) toenail clipping sessions. I will caution, though, that you have to be very careful on the second hand's fingernails that you clip because they are often soggy from the goldfish eating that's been going on during the first hand's fingernail clipping, and if you're not careful you may clip too much (ouch).

Chocolate makes the Biscuit go nuts so I try not to give it to him too often. (Even in the womb, I had chocolate only 2 times and each time I did the Biscuit would start kicking and acting up.) The Biscuit just loves chocolate though so I could probably get him to do anything for an M&M. These little tasty treats came in handy when the Biscuit desperately needed a haircut recently. The deal was 1 M&M each time I clipped. Worked like a charm.

Now, I know it's not the best idea in the world to negotiate and bribe your child, so I will go ahead and say that if any of you have a better idea, by all means: enlighten me. Else, I will continue to use my little tricks to keep him well-groomed (and full-bellied).

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Beans and Tantrums

The Biscuit is, for the most part, a very well-behaved 2-year old. He's very laid back and doesn't often have tantrums. When he does have a tantrum, it is a marathon event.

Last week, we were winding down the evening. The Biscuit already had his bath and his teeth brushing and we were just about to turn the TV off to head to the bedroom for story time (folks, please spare me any comments about how bad TV is before bedtime) when the Biscuit began to protest.

As usual, when I am challenged by the Biscuit, I gave him 2 options: either you turn the TV off or I will. The Biscuit stood in front of the TV blocking the controls like the little defensive tackle that he one day will probably be. I, being much bigger than my 40-lb toddler, leaned over him and turned the TV off. He wailed.

Then he reached around, turned the TV back on, and looked at me with a smirk. Game on, buddy... Game on.

I again gave him a choice: either turn the TV off and walk to your room for story time or I will turn it off and carry you like a baby into your room. He stood there, motionless glaring out me as I counted 1... 2... 3... So, with all of my motherly superpowers in tow, I leaned over him once again, turned off the TV, and whisked the Biscuit down the hall into his bedroom before he even knew what had happened.

At "wheels down" the Biscuit let out a scream, which turned into a garbled ranting of things he was upset about in toddler-lingua with the occasional breath followed by unending sobbing. As the tantrum progressed, he began to beat on the door to his bedroom, which was strategically blocked from opening by his daddy.

Next, he fell to his knees (not quite to full-blown, hand and foot kicking phase) and started shaking his hands uncontrollably. His dad and I exchanged sad-faced glances (poor fella, we both thought). The Biscuit is so unused to this full feeling of emotion that his little hands show the inability to calm himself as he shakes them, while he looks at them wondering why they're shaking.

I try everything in the book from a consoling pat on the back, soothing voice, arms outstretched to comfort my little one's out of control fit. He's not having any of it. He continues to beat his hand on the floor and on the wall and door and screams at the top of his lungs. And then, out of nowhere, the Biscuit lifts his body up as he sits on his knees, and silence...

and then he poots (passes gas) once, silence for a moment, and he poots again. The three of us look at each other and all start to laugh at the same time. Tantrum over.

So, I guess the lesson learned is that if your toddler is having lots of tantrums, perhaps adding some beans and extra fiber to his diet will help end the tantrums a bit sooner.

P.S. When I was prego with the Biscuit (and before I knew he was a boy), I wished and wished for a little girl who I could dress in frilly clothes, paint fingernails, and play Barbies with. Instead, I got a smelly, dirty, tackling, mud puddle finding, gas-passing little fella... and I am ever-grateful and blessed for my little boy.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

From Trash to Compost

"Daddy, let's go compost." What a proud mama I was to hear my 2 1/2-year old say those words for the first time today. Yes, I know I'm a green freak, a "crunchy" girl (as 1 of Biscuit's pediatricians called me), or perhaps a run-of-the-mill environmentally conscious 21st century realist. Truth is, we're living in a different world today from the 1 our parents raised us in and just as technology shaped our lives differently from our parents' then, for our children, their worlds will be shaped by an environmental mindshift (and technology changes of course.)

For the Biscuit, the mental model that he has for the word "light bulb" doesn't look like the image on the left, but the image on the right below.
since all of the bulbs in our house are CFLs, it's all he sees.

And (soon) his concept of grocery bags won't look like the image on the left, but the image on the right below. (I'm still working on the shopping bag thing... I get a 50/50 on it.)

The Biscuit lives in an environmentally conscious home where we turn everything off when we leave the house (the router, cable modem, TVs, phones are all unplugged when we aren't there), and where we have low-flow everything, where we compost, recycle, reuse, and don't waste. We eat organics and use environmentally friendly detergents, cleaners, and other products. He is learning that we are given the gift of living on this planet, that we don't own her, but we must protect her.

The Biscuit knows words that I never knew at 2, like compost, recycle, and Mother Earth. And he's learning that most plastic is really bad for him (as we've tossed all of his sippy cups and plastic cups and replaced with glass). Maybe some will judge that I'm raising an environmental geek... for me, I'm raising a responsible, loving child who will be prepared for the "Age" that he's already living in. An age where the word "trash" loses its meaning (and use) and is replaced with compost and recycle, or where the word "trash" at least becomes as unusual to readers of this blog who find the word "compost" unusual today. Here's hoping.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Healthy Sleep Habits Boot Camp

Well folks, this post is a bit out of the norm of my postings (since I just posted on Friday and typically don't post until Wednesday), but I had some helpful mommy news I wanted to share. I stumbled upon (thank you Noggin) some fantastic access to renowned infant/toddler sleep guru, Dr. Marc Weissbluth's boot camp site on the Web.

You can get started now with his 4-week sleep boot camp for your child to try and get your child's sleep habits under control with his personal tutelage (courtesy a discussion board). Now, I am (obviously) a Weissbluth devotee thanks to many of my friends who recommended that I read Healthy Sleep Habits Healthy Child before I had the Biscuit. I followed his guidance and raised a very satisfied and well-slept infant and (until recently) toddler.

I forgot, though, that his book also offers guidance on toddler sleep habits and the boot camp is all about that! So, take a look at the site (am sure you probably have to register to use it, but it's free) and, if you're inclined, sign up and follow the weekly guidance.

See you all at boot camp!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Just Give Me The Meds

"I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV." Well, not really, but I do play one every single day of my life as a mommy who is raising a toddler. For mommies of toddlers who are in daycare, it seems that every week during the wintertime (especially during these early months in the year), we are either fighting 1 virus or another or attempting to fend 1 off.

Last Friday night, the Biscuit started showing the signs of an upper-respiratory infection. It hit him overnight and the severity of it caused me to move into action pretty quickly, considering the Biscuit's history with RSV. He had a progressing congestion, coughing, lack of sleep, and his 102 fever rounded out Saturday night. By Sunday morning, we were in the doctor's office for a checkup and remedy (and, oh yes, the Biscuit's pediatrician has Sunday office hours for sick visits). And by remedy, I mean meds. "Gimme the scrip Doc!"

For those who know me well, you know that I truly don't like to resort to medicine unless the situation truly warrants it. I prefer natural remedies, TLC, good food, etc. whenever possible. This time... not a practical approach.

If I've learned anything as a toddler mommy (much less in my own life, with my parents, and friends), I know that you HAVE to be informed about medicine and health issues. You truly ARE your toddler's own best advocate. If you are relying on your doctor to figure it all out for you, you are way behind in the game. Not only do you need to keep yourself up-to-date on toddler ailments, but you should walk into your doctor's office for sick visits with a couple of possibilities of what you suspect your little one has.

Any decent doctor will respect you for the research you've done and for the "legwork" you've already put in the game to attempt to diagnose. Now, this is not to suggest that you will be right, but you know your little one better than anyone (including your doctor) and you know the nuances of things that are not right and can offer the best holistic picture of everything that is wrong, which will help your doctor to diagnose and suggest the "right" type of treatment. So educate yourself and advocate for your toddler.

Second, you should have 2 pediatricians that you see. Ideally, these should both be at the same practice (to ensure records always cross over). Why? Well, you're going to want 1 doc who is the conservative doctor (who doesn't rush to drugs, tests, or procedures every time). This doctor may be more of an alternative-type doctor or one who includes a less traditional, more homeopathic-type approach. The other doctor, is your drug-pusher and aggressive doctor. These docs are easy to ID because they always default to an antibiotic for an ear infection.

Once you've learned to be educated about your toddler's health and are truly an advocate, you'll be able to make decisions before you go in to the doctor about which 1 you want to see. In the case of the Biscuit last weekend, we needed the drug pusher. But if I'm not sure what's wrong and the Biscuit is "okay-ish", maybe nursing an ear infection, we're heading to our "crunchy" homeopath doctor, the 1 who didn't freak out when I asked about including seaweed in his diet to ward off future ear infections, but actually discussed the decreased % of ear infections in island communities due to the sea-based diet.

And for goodness sakes, if you end up like me with a triage nurse who is doc-blocking your ? about the proper dosage of OTC guaifenesin to give your toddler because she insists on telling you the evils of guaifenisen (when you know good and well that your child responds to it and even Dr. Sears says it's ok--is he a real doctor?) and wants you to try honey instead, just take a deep breath and know that she HAS to ask your doctor when you call and your drug-pushing doctor will come through for you in the end.

And, yes, the Biscuit is on the mend now... until the next ugly virus sneaks up on him at that Petri dish we call daycare. Google up folks!

The Biscuit and family want to say a heart-felt thank you to all of you who have sent us kind thoughts and prayers both publicly and privately over the past couple of weeks. We still miss our kitty, but we are healing every day.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It's So Hard to Say Goodbye

The Biscuit (and family) suffered a terrible loss over the last week. Sadly, our dear, sweet cat of over a decade was tragically killed following her getting out of the house, getting lost in the cold, and getting picked up by animal "control" officers. In the most horrific of circumstances, she was sheltered by a kind family for the night, taken by animal control (so she could be found by her family), and was then killed within only a couple of hours of them taking her into custody. Although I ran to her rescue, I was too late and never even had a chance to see her. It happened very quickly and was a terrible circumstance filled with loss, followed by happiness and hope, followed by tragic loss.

I tell you this to offer some context for the truly tragic and sudden loss and the nature of the grief and absence that we are feeling. In keeping with the spirit of this blog, I will focus less on the inhumanity and anger I have related to the cruel circumstances that befell her and focus more on the toddler issue at hand: How do you talk to a toddler about the death of a beloved pet?

I'm not a psychologist or a doctor, so I am only sharing my perspective with the hopes that it might give someone helpful hints in the event you are faced with this (and I truly hope you never are). I've done my best to read what I could on the Internet about tips for dealing with loss for toddlers, which basically affirmed what is common sense and what I knew to do: tell the truth, but limit the information and find a way for the toddler to connect to the loss at their level.

The Biscuit loved, loved, loved his pet kitty. She was "his" pet. He held her, petted her, called her, scolded her, chased her, caught her, kissed her, fed her, made messes with her, played with her, apologized to her (when he was bad), and knew her as another member of our family. She was part of our routine every day and the sudden shake-up in our routine hit us both pretty hard. I knew I had to address what had happened to her after the tragedy, but the grief of the situation made it quite hard to even get the words out.

I waited a day (after it happened) before I told the Biscuit. When I decided it was time, I held him close and said that his kitty had died and gone to heaven, and that she was happy there. I then told him that I was sad right now and that it was okay for him to be sad if he misses her too. I also told him that if he thinks about her, it's okay to say, "I miss [kitty's name]". Then I told him that we could say a little prayer together to let her know how much we love her and miss her. He hugged me after, though I don't think he was truly understanding it all... but was a toddler consoling his mommy. I talked to him about planting something in the garden that we can remember her by, but he wasn't interested.

In the days that followed, when there were times in our routine when we normally saw our kitty, the Biscuit would say, "I miss [kitty's name]." I would follow with, I miss her too, love. Also, I added a few photos around the house of the kitty so he can still see her. He often asks to look at the one I keep on my desktop (PC). He smiles when he sees her.

He doesn't mention her any less yet, it has only been a week, but I expect that eventually the routine we know will no longer hold her memory so close. The thought of that makes me quite sad, but I know it is unavoidable. All in all, I think he's doing great.

Rest in peace, sweet girl. I'm so sorry you were alone. Thank you for the faithful love. We miss you more every day.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

May I Have Your Attention Pees

No doubt, you are all on pins and needles anxiously awaiting an update on the madness that I had been living in (and brought you all into) following last week's post. No doubt.

Well folks, I am pleased to say that I managed to get the Biscuit's nighttime routine back into a pattern of normalcy. Okay. To be honest, that's a lie... a terrible, terrible lie. Truth is, the terrible 2s have hit home hard in Biscuitville and I am almost out of methods and tricks to try to tame this child of mine.

I did make some quick decisions to attempt to get the random acts of spiteful peeing under control. First, I removed the Biscuit's new big-boy bed from his room (leaving only his crib, with the rail removed). Second, I removed the Biscuit's nightlight from the room. I didn't initially plan on removing the light, but his repeated attempts to "play" with the light instead of going to sleep forced my hand on the issue (as it presented a danger).

As if by magic, out of the darkness came some peace. These removals did help reduce the 2-hour nightly drama (with at least 3 sheet changes and countless trips to the potty) to 15 minutes and 1 sheet change. The 1 remaining sheet change is still his effort to maintain control in this relationship, and he's still peeing out of pure spite. Need more?

On Tuesday of this week, everything within a 30-mile radius of where we live shut down due to ice and snow (maybe 3 inches). It's ridiculous, I know, but it's how things go in the South where the roads are not constructed to minimize ice and snow effects and where cities don't have adequate equipment to clear and prevent the effects of the snow and ice (not to mention folks just don't know how to drive in the weather). So, the Biscuit's daycare was closed for the day which meant that he had an extra day at home with mommy.

I, of course, had to take the day off from work (where I could normally just work from home in spite of the weather) but since the Biscuit was here, there was no way I could responsibly work AND supervise a 2-year old. Case in point...

While I did officially take the day off, there was an important conference call that I needed to attend. I let my boss know I was taking a vaca day, but that I was calling in (in 'listen-only' mode so my teammates wouldn't have to listen to a screaming toddler). Towards the end of the call I needed to offer some comments, so I left the Biscuit in the den to watch Cars on DVD and walked into another room to give a 5-minute update on the call. The Biscuit was not pleased to lose mommy's full attention.

When I returned to the den, the Underpants Gnomes had shown up (in the middle of the day no less!) and stolen his undies and pants. The Biscuit stood on my couch in all of his glory and, as I entered the room, his smile changed to a smirk.

Time slowed for a moment as I leaped toward him yelling, "Nooooooooo." but I was too late. The Biscuit proceeded to pee all over the couch... just to spite me; just to get my attention.

Well, Biscuit, you certainly got it. I may wear the pants in this family (and how I wish HE would wear his pants) but you certainly are winning the war for now. I can only hope that I figure out a new strategy to help me prevail in the end.

And of COURSE I mixed that metaphor on purpose. Don't you people know me by now?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Spite Pee

Well, as usual, I am way too optimistic about the Biscuit and his early successes. It seems he's resorted back to his old ways and worse... we've now entered the phase of peeing for spite. I thought it would be fun tonight to blog during my current nighttime drama. So let me bring you up to speed.

Using our typical toddler routine, we have given the Biscuit a bath, read 2 stories, pottied, and tucked in to bed. So far, the Biscuit has already been to the potty twice and peed on his sheets once. Ahhhh. There he is again, going to the potty.

Now, to be fair to the Biscuit, he has had to embrace several changes in his routine this week. I let down his crib railing and introduced his big boy bed into the room (the hope was that he would choose to move from the crib to the big boy bed on his own). He typically chooses to sleep in the big boy bed now.

Last night was a humdinger for me (ahhh, another flush of the toilet. I am AMAZED at how much pee he is actually able to conjure up for each of these little visits to the potty!). First, the Biscuit flushed his pacifier down the toilet (a repeat from an accidental flush a few nights ago). The good news is that his choosing to flush it down the toilet was his way of breaking his own habit. He didn't ask for pacifier tonight as he knew he had said "bye-bye" to it last night.

So, no crib rail -- oops, had to break to go put him back to bed. No crib rail, big boy bed, no paci... that's a lot to take in all at once. I decided tonight I'd try a Supernanny approach: first time I tell him to go to sleep and escort him back to bed and from then on, no words just putting him back in the bed. I, of course, have a complicated situation in that 9 times out of 10 the Underpants Gnomes have stolen his clothes so I have to wrangle a 40-lb toddler back into undies and PJ bottoms that he doesn't want back on.

It's quite aggravating not knowing how to handle these situations. Google offered little help on the subject returning primarily results related to pets. Help folks! What's a mom to do?

40 minutes in... he's still squirming in there. I imagine we have a few more episodes left before he truly settles down for the night. And there you have it "Ma! I pee pee on my bed." back in a few folks...

50 mins in... another sheet changing, another visit from the Underpants Gnomes. I'm running out of sheets. Here we go again... another pee pee.

55 mins in... obviously I am doing something wrong. How has it happened? My toddler is now taming ME. Well, looks like it'll be a long night folks. I'll be checking back in. Got any tips for me, please share. Clearly, I need the help.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Pull Ups: Spanx for Toddlers

This week, a trusted toddler mommy gave me some advice to ditch the easy-ups/pull-ups once and for all (in response to my continuing to struggle with potty training and the underpants gnomes). She was echoing the advice I'd been ignoring from the Biscuit's teachers at daycare who refused to allow pull-ups in the door. "You can either bring in diapers or go full-on and potty train with underwear and lots of extra clothes."

I had no idea that pull-ups, easy-ups, whatever you want to call "trainers" are really just potty training failure pro-longers. It never occurred to me that Huggies and Pampers, names I had come to know and trust (and commit 30% of my paycheck to) would betray me. I guess, it makes sense. Although the trainers do get your toddler in the habit and flow of self-dressing, they still make it really easy for them to have accidents (without really feeling it like they would in a diaper) --don't get me started on the cool alert idea; that's just barbaric!

Truly, I suppose I'm to blame. Though the Biscuit is mostly potty trained, I continued to dress him in pull-ups when we went out for an extended errand run or to church on the weekends, and (of course) at nighttime.

Still not convinced that you should dump (or never consider) pull-ups? Stop being so hard-headed (like I was) and just take a toddler mom's word for it: skip the pull-ups and go directly to 100% cotton tighty-whiteys. If you're still wavering, check out this link for a subtle reminder of things we thought were a good idea at the time but have since come back to bite us in the butt.

So I bit the bullet and moved the Biscuit to big boy underwear 100% of the time (including night time). As I informed that same trusted mommy 2 days into the new pull-up-free Biscuitville, I was knee-deep in laundry for 2 nights in a row. And then, as if by magic: he got it! Yes, of course I heard "I need go pee pee" at least twice after I put him to bed every night since, but he does it and then Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz until the next morning (at his regular wake up time) where he awakes to dry sheets.

It just amazed me how easy it really was. Pull-ups for toddlers are like Spanx for us women. Yes, they make you feel better and you look better but, in the end, you're just prolonging the inevitable: lay off the fries and get back on the Pilates.

Biscuit: I'm sorry you have such a dense mommy sometimes, but she's learning.