I love these guys!
It is time for a break. Most of my energy, ok, ALL of my energy is going towards keeping up with my boys. I will return to my twice-weekly posts in a couple of weeks. I’m going to use this blog-break to regroup and focus more on fun. I am learning some great lessons this summer. When it comes to teaching my kids anything, outsourcing is key. My boys have become fish in a matter of days. All it took was Mom staying way, far out of the pool (almost in another county), and a fantastic swim instructor. I wish all my parenting dilemmas could be so easily outsourced. I’ve also realized spending time with your kids can alter your perspective on life. Full Speed’s heartfelt declaration that an IHOP breakfast is the best breakfast he’s ever had makes me appreciate my Harvest Nut pancakes on a whole different level.
I may make it through to the start of school after all.
If you are out their struggling to make sense of your child’s behavior, you are not alone. If you were to tell me how hard it has been for you to get your child to be potty-trained, eat vegetables, ride a bike, etc., I would empathize. I wouldn’t be the type to tell you how easy it was for me to teach those skills to my kids and tell you the miraculous way in which I did so in under five minutes.
I’m not that Mom.
I’m the Mom that would listen. I’m the Mom that wouldn’t judge you because I’ve been there. In fact, I’m still there. All you would need to see is me in the pool ‘teaching’ and ‘encouraging’ Full Speed to expand his swimming skills. It would take you under a minute to see his stubborn face emerge, frustration creep over my face and understand the only thing learned in the pool that day is that I’m a terrible swim instructor.
I get it.
I get that you’ve tried every angle, every bribe you possibly can to get your child to comply with the life skill you are attempting to teach. I get that you stress about it late at night and wonder what other Moms must think of you. I know I especially experienced a lot of angst over potty training my boys. All the ‘helpful’ suggestions from friends who had easily potty-trained their kids failed miserably for me. Eventually I learned it is less about the methods and more about the DNA of your kid. Even if you are equipped with top-notch advice and researched hours of the best solutions to your issue, if your kid is hard-core stubborn, most things are not going to work.
I am also the Mom that has faith in you. All I can offer you is a spin on the current parenting challenge you are facing. Focus less on what they are not doing and think about it more in terms of why they aren’t doing it. It is all a matter of power and control. So, maybe your kid isn’t the first one to ride a bike without training wheels, in the long run, when they learn won’t matter. What you will come to appreciate (hopefully!) is that fire inside them that fights tooth and nail against your wishes will be one of their greatest assets as they move forward in the world. I’d put money on them that they will be huge successes in anything they choose to be or do in this world.
I’m here to tell you that your kid, in all their feisty glory, is well on their way to being a strong, independent, amazing person. A chip off the old block indeed, Mom.
My day started with little T.Puzzle absolutely refusing to wear a protective cape at his haircut. He kept yanking and yelling. The poor stylist was ready to go toe to toe with him. I told her to let it go and we’d deal with the hair fall-out later. She had no idea what she was up against.
Then, as we are seated waiting for Full Speed to finish weapons camp little T.Puzzle looks at me and declares, “I have to pee-pee.” This turned out to be a teachable moment. He in fact was in the process of peeing everywhere when he made this announcement.
“No, little T.Puzzle, you meant to say ‘Look at me everyone, I am peeing all over my chair, the walls, the floor and let’s not forget my shoes.” Okay, so I didn’t really say that but man, was I frustrated.
The lady sitting next to me says, “Looks like he was really saving up.”
I look in her direction and say, “I’ve got extra clothes in the truck.” I was kind of hoping that she would help out in some way. I mean I didn’t expect her to wipe up the pee, but maybe offer to go grab the clothes, or offer to watch little Frick while I ran to the truck? Or something? Anything? Anyone?
Nope. She looked at me like I was crazy with a ‘k’.
Suddenly, out of nowhere another mom swoops in with paper towels at the ready. She hands me towel after towel until the initial mess is somewhat controlled. She offers to care for the garbage and sends me to the truck with little T.Puzzle. I get him cleaned-up and changed and when I return to the scene of the crime, she already has some cleaner on hand so I can properly disinfect the area.
And you know what? She didn’t think I was crazy one bit.
And you know why? She has three boys.
I know most moms are all about sharing advice. What works for them, what doesn’t and what is the complete undoing of one’s sanity. From the content of this blog, it is obvious that I am clearly no parenting expert. I will save you the hassle. If you ever feel the need to ask me potty-training advice simply don’t. I care about your mental health too much.
Oh, I know little T.Puzzle is mastering this potty thing and I also know it has hardly anything to do with my assistance. He was just ready. When he was ready things started to fall into place (like in the toilet and not all over my floor).
Here is an example of my questionable parenting skills. I decided that every time little T.Puzzle poops on the potty he gets a Tinker Bell fruit snack (my boys are in a huge Tink phase; I’m guessing it’s her teeny, tiny skirt and not her magical abilities). Now this poor kid is trying to poop like 20 times a day to get more fruit snacks. I’m worried for him. He looks like he might pop a blood vessel in his forehead while attempting to gain his reward.
For potty training advice, clearly I’m not your gal. And frankly anything else I have to say that is mommy-related is a real crapshoot.
These are going to be some of my good memories of the summer of 2010:
When Full Speed woke up this morning he put his hand over his chest and said, “Mom, I can feel my heart beeping!” He was so cute he made my heart skip a ‘beep’.
Little T.Puzzle has pooped on the potty three days in a row. He may actually be fully potty-trained some day. What will a diaperless existence be like? Even though I’ve never been, I’m guessing it will be like nirvana.
These things may seem insignificant. In my world they are everything. I’m glad you are sharing the ride. Thanks for reading.