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.