At the risk of exercising your patience, there is one last thing I must add to my potty-training series. And I promise you, this will be the very last post about potty training, because I can confidently say that we’ve made it. 4 months since we’ve started and Eric is managing his toilet needs just fine.
But here is a thing that I’ve done wrong and I hope you don’t follow my footsteps - I bought him a Weeman toilet trainer, and it was an annoying mistake. At the first glance it looked great, and both I and my friend who’s got a two-year-old fell for it, but we both regretted the purchase.
Weeman is a piece of plastic that clips onto the toilet, and the great idea was for the boy to wee standing up, unaided. Sounds great, ha? Any busy mum would appreciate it - if it worked, that is.
This is how it’s supposed to work - clip it to the toilet, let your boy do his thing, fold the Weeman into the toilet bowl, flush, you’re done.
This short video is showing it all in action, click below to play:
In reality there are quite a few bits that don’t work.
First, the thing falls off the toilet. It will stay on if you clip it and leave it, but if you try to slide it to the side, so that you could sit on the toilet yourself, it will fall off.
Second, if your boy tries to empty it himself, everything will get spilled on the floor. Only an adult can manage to carefully lift the plastic pocket and place it above the toilet bowl before tilting it.
Third, when you leave the plastic pocket inside the toilet and flush, the plastic pocket is supposed to get flushed, but in reality this doesn’t work well and disgusting yellow stains are left on the pocket, forcing you to remove it and wash it every time, just like a potty.
All in all, Weeman was a waste of money and time, and a disappointment.
The verdict: we like peeing under trees better :)
Assuming that you already know why I am hesitating to get pregnant again, here is why I’d do it anyway:
A life-long family connection
I have a brother. I love him with all my heart and would trust him with my life. This says everything about our relationship. My husband, on the other hand, doesn’t have any siblings, and says he always missed having a brother or a sister when he was a kid. How can I deprive my kid of having a sibling, a play-mate, a soul-mate, the closest family he’ll have after Rob and I are gone from this world?
I’ve read an article about this actress, she was telling her life story and talked about a tragedy that she was unable to cope with - her 2 brothers died unexpectedly when they were in their 40s. Normally I am not that easily influenced or moved by the stuff that I read, but one thing she said I will never forget. She said “Most of us on different levels expect to lose our parents, but when a sibling dies, it comes as a huge shock because subconsciously we expect to share our whole life with our siblings”. If that’s not a reason to give Eric a brother or a sister, then I don’t know what is.
My biological clock is ticking. Right now there is a window of choice and I can decide whether or not I want to have kids, but soon - maybe even sooner than I think, it will not be up to me any more. And the chances for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby are reducing with every passing year. There’s a deadline on this decision and waiting too long to say “Yes” can mean that I said “No”.
To live those moments again
When I got pregnant the first time, I had no idea what to expect. The pregnancy and the first months with the baby were quite stressful, because I simply didn’t know whether or not I will be able to cope with it all. That’s why I was too preoccupied to enjoy the moments with Eric. Rocking him, holding him, his first smile, first laugh, the first tooth. These moments will never return, and for some reason I can’t bear the thought that I will never experience that again. Too sentimental? Maybe.
Because we make good parents
Before we had Eric I thought I’d be a hopeless mother. I imagined myself being negligent, ignorant and unfit to be raising a baby. Not kidding. Parenting was never something I was interested in - well, my feelings towards marriage were the same before it was my turn to become a wife :)
Now I can see that I do a pretty good job, being a mother and a wife. And I enjoy doing it, most of the time. So why not do even more of it? It might be fun!
What are your reasons to have or to not have another child?
My loyal readers, I apologize. A lot has happened. Eric got very sick and proved to me once again that I am capable of a lot, to help my baby get better. That I am a Mom first, a wife second, and a blogger third.
But now he’s all better (in fact our whole family is a lot better) and I can ‘blog happily ever after’ - which I intend to do starting tomorrow! I’ve got so much to tell you, so many things to share - tough times are great learning opportunities.
See you all soon!
This question has been on my mind a lot lately. Maybe Eric’s second birthday triggered it all and maybe it’s the endless questions of everybody we know (and don’t know!) “So when are you having another child?”.
It’s funny how people feel completely free to ask you such a personal question - especially the perfect strangers. Hello, my dear cashier lady, thanks for putting my groceries into the nice plastic bags, can you please tell me why you’re so interested in the number of children I will - or will not - have? I don’t even know your name and might never see you again. Actually, from now on, I will make sure I never see you again - and if I do, I will go to another register.
But it’s the question itself that is bothering me, not the people who ask it. I am pretty good at decision-making, yet this is a tough one, even for me. The outcome will affect my whole world - for better or for worse, and not only me but all the people I love will have to live with the consequences of this decision. Forever.
Why not to have?
1. The sacrifices.
For instance, Eric is 2 now. One more year and we can go travel together as a family, have fun, see new places, go skiing, hiking and camping. We’ve been waiting for this for 3 years already. The alternative? If I’m lucky, it will take me one more year to give birth to another baby and then another 2 until the baby’s old enough for us to get out of the house. By then Eric will begin school and we won’t be able to go anywhere except on school holidays. Bye-bye, our dream.
2. My time and love.
Another thing is my time - and my love. Well, love is funny - people say that you have enough love for whatever number of kids God gives you. Don’t know - that might be true. But one thing I definitely know - God won’t give me a 48 hourly day, just because I have 2 kids. Which means that every kid will only get one half of what they could’ve gotten. And my time with kids is the most important investment I will ever make into their upbringing. So basically instead of one great kid I might get two average ones. Hmmmm, I do not like the way this sounds.
3. The work.
Yet another thing is the amount of work. It is my suspicion that with the second child the amount of work doesn’t double - it triples. I have hard time as it is, juggling work, raising Eric to the best of my abilities and managing the household. Can I handle more work? Or will it be the straw that broke the camel’s back?
4. The money.
I am also thinking about the financial side of things. Raising another child will make things tougher - and the situation will only get worse. Statistically speaking, now at the age of 34 we are in the peak earning ability, which means that from now on things will only go downhill. The expenses, however, will only increase as the kids grow up, and something we could afford for one kid we might not be able to afford for two. So does it mean that one will have it and the other won’t? Or do we deprive both of them?
5. The partner.
Lastly, this is not just up to me - Rob is not thrilled with the idea of having more children. He feels that life is not exciting any more, that we’ve forgot how to have fun. There is always Eric’s routine we must follow or the alternative is to face the consequences, a cranky 2 year-old, who hadn’t slept enough or was overstimulated and is NOT pleasant to be around.
But hey - don’t go away thinking I have made up my mind. I will dive into the reasons to say “Yes” to another baby in my next post, stay tuned.
And when I say “we made it”, I mean that one month after an intensive potty-training week Eric is 98% dry through the day, wearing diapers only for sleep time. We still get an odd accident here and there, if I don’t remind him for too long that he needs to use the potty. But overall, he knows how to use the potty, can pull his pants down, sit on the potty, do his thing, get up and pull his pants back up, empty the potty into the toilet, wash it in a sink, put it back and even wipe it with toilet paper :) - all that without any help from me.
Even the child care center is not an obstacle any more. Once I figured what the problem was, it was pretty easy to solve. Apparently Eric didn’t like the potty they were using there, because it was neither stable nor comfy, and just didn’t feel right.
I spoke to the center director and asked her, how about I donate a potty of my choice and they use it with Eric, and she agreed. I got them the same potty we use at home (this awesome Baby-Bjorn), and that helped Eric to stop the accidents. His self-esteem improved too, because he wasn’t having the awkward situations when he needs a grown-up to help him change the wet clothes, and because he could manage to go to the toilet on his own.
Eric has no problems now using toilets in the shopping centers / restaurants, or using other kid’s potties (at his friends). He doesn’t miss diapers - and neither do I.
My toilet-training series ends here, and the next post will be on a completely different topic - I know you can’t wait :)
Wow. I can’t believe today is the last day of 2009. It seems like only days ago we were celebrating it’s beginning. And just in time, Simplemom.net posted some questions for me, as a parent, to think about, to look back and see how I measure up - and to make future plans.
Here’s what she asks:
How do you think your children have experienced you as a parent in 2009 and how do you want them to experience you in 2010?
Well, compared to 2008 I was a much calmer, patient and fun-to-be-with mom. I put my kid first, before my work and other things, no matter how hard it was. I still think that I could have done better on the patience font, I recon my kids deserves better. He really tries to be a good boy and I need to try harder to be a better mom.
What aspects of parenting brought you the most joy in 2009 and what are you looking forward to in 2010?
I enjoyed helping my son to start talking. I enjoyed explaining things to him, teaching him about the world. I enjoyed the feeling of being friends with him and having fun as if I was 2 years old, too. I enjoyed dancing with him in the kitchen and singing “Twinkle, twinkle, little star”, his favourite song. I am looking forward to our camping trips and taking him to ski next year.
What will you concentrate on in 2010?
I will devote more time to his development and will make a proper plan for it. I will help him to learn as many things as he can while still having fun.
Dear moms and dads, I wish you good health, much strength, even more patience and to enjoy your kids in 2010.
Happy New Year!!!
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. May all of you spend it the way you like it - with tons of guests and visitors, or just the closest family, the important thing is that you make it special.
Enjoy your kids, the holidays, some fun days and come back, I will be waiting here for you!
When I discussed potty training with the staff at the day care center, they assured me that there is a special procedure they follow for all the kids in potty training. They are taken to the potty every 30 minutes and that leaves little room for accidents. Sounds logical, doesn’t it? Well…
The number 1 mistake they made was to sit Eric on a toilet, not a potty. He must have felt uncomfortable or not safe or just wasn’t used to it and refused to pee. They thought he didn’t need to go, and 5 min later he peed his pants.
And then it repeated about 7 times (judging by the number of wet pants I got back).
A good thing was that the center director suggested I pack about 6 - 8 pairs of pants in his bag. A not-so-good thing was that I got back a very confused little boy and a huge bag of laundry, twice the size of the boy.
What makes me angry is that I specifically told them he was potty-trained, with emphasis on the “potty”, and asked them to use it. But all the other kids were using the toilet and my guess is that the staff was trying to save the extra work of washing and drying the potty every time. Looking at how they do it, it was quite a bit of extra work - every time after he uses it, they put silicon gloves on, empty the potty, wash it, dry it, then spray it with disinfectant.
Well, I have only myself to kick for this - mess-ups are to be expected when you leave strangers in charge of your child. I just hope they didn’t ruin the progress he’s made so far.
I am SO going to make them use the potty next time!
Contrary to what you may think, our potty training is a long way from being over. What surprises me most is that all the books I’ve read are saying “bowel motions are easier for toddlers to get control of, compared to urinating”. For Eric it’s exactly the opposite. He will go dry for an hour (or even two) and will pee when I sit him on the potty, yet he will poop his pants.
It’s like he doesn’t feel when he needs to poop. He’ll come to me right after such accident and will tell me that he did it, but never before. So now I find it more difficult to train him to poop in the potty than to wee in the potty, because I only get one attempt a day and it’s hard to predict when, his bowel motions are not regular. When I see him going quiet and red, it’s too late already, and if I try to anticipate it and sit him on the potty after meals, he’s getting sick of sitting after 10 minutes and wants to run away.
For example, today we didn’t have a single wet accident the whole day, when we were outside - he peed in the bushes and at home he peed on a potty. Then in the evening after I fed him a substantial meal, my plan was to wait for half an hour, then sit him on a potty and wait for a poo, 10 minutes after the meal was over we had a big oops which I didn’t see coming - even though I was really watching.
The only thing left for me to try was to empty his “achievement” into the potty and explain to him that he’s not supposed to do it in the underpants, the potty is the right place, and as a prize for every time he does it right he gets to flush the toilet and, of course, a star. He understood everything and every word, yet I am not convinced we will have a better progress tomorrow.
(Sigh)… I am missing diapers again….
It all began as an ordinary potty training nightmare day - Eric woke up, we tried the potty, no luck, half an hour later we got ourselves another accident - well, what else is new.
But then I got sick of feeling like such a miserable failure and decided that we go to the beach. There are times in a mom’s life when she needs some distraction, and it was one of those times. So I packed a plenty of pants and underwear for Eric, because accidents were only a matter of time (or at least I thought so) and we drove to the beach.
It felt so much better to be outside, the sandy beach, the light breeze, that I instantly felt calmer. Eric was happily playing with the sand, digging tunnels and making cookies. He was thoroughly enjoying himself and even agreed to go pee on the sand.
Next we decided to go eat some sushi, his all times favorite, in a shopping center nearby. And then it occurred to me, oh my, what have I done?! What if we’re in the shopping center and he has an accident, with everybody watching?! But once the word “Sushi” was said, there was no taking it back and we simply had to go.
And then, it was one surprise after another. Eric agreed to go to the toilet in the shopping center. They have a small toilet bowl for kids there and it looks so cute. He climbed on the toilet seat as if he was doing it all day every day and peed. Woo-hoo!
From that moment on, we didn’t have a single accident. Eric still needed to be reminded to go and sit on a potty every half an hour, but every time he went, we had one more accomplishment. And his training chart was filling up with golden stars.
I am so proud of my little boy!