Oh My God, No One Told Us That!

No one ever told me that one night, a half an hour after putting your oldest to bed, she would literally bust into the bathroom, in just her underwear, while you are taking a bath.

Her eyes still adjusting to the light, she would immediately spot the bag of jelly beans that you were enjoying and say, “What are you doing with those?” Then, after you remind her that she’s supposed to be in bed, she’ll turn to leave, look over her shoulder and ask, “Have you seen my ballet suit?”

 

Potty Dances

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This is our Elmo potty. Note the pretend “flusher.” When pushed, Elmo’s creepy laughter echoes throughout our house. The back of the potty shows Elmo wearing a scuba mask and swimming underwater. I have a problem with this, as I feel like it is implying that Elmo is swimming in the potty which is gross, and in my opinion, sending the wrong message about how potties are to be used.

We haven’t been great about consistency with “potty training”, if you can even call it that. We put Reese on it every now and then, but up until this week she had probably only gone in it once. The rest of the time she just sat on it and read books or “magazines.”

She has also learned to use it against us. She quickly realized that whenever she would say “pee pee” or “poo poo” we would stop whatever she was doing, take off her diaper, rush her to the Elmo potty, and read books to her. She used this to escape bath times, bedtimes, naps, and basically anything she deemed unfavorable.

The past two nights Reese has done a poop (TMI?) in the potty before bath time. Each time she does it, we make a big deal. There is applause and a song and dance that includes roof raising on my part and circular running with arms raised on her part. The song goes “Reesie went in the pot-tee, Reesie went in the pot-tee. Yea Reesie yea!” You can tell she is extremely proud and it might be the best part of the day for all of us.

Reese particularly enjoys the cheering part. Sometimes, she will sit down, make a few grunting noises, then stand up, point to the empty potty and say, “Yay! You did a poop!” (there is some confusion surrounding pronouns) and clap for herself. Sometimes she’ll add a, “Good job!” in there as an extra pat on the back to herself. When she fakes it like this, Andrew and I always remind her, “No Reese, you didn’t do a poop, but thanks for trying.” The other day she sat down, pretended to go, jumped up, started clapping and pointing at the empty potty and said, “Yay, you did a poop! No you didn’t.” then sat back down.  We had witnessed an internal battle and truth had prevailed.

So this is our method. There is no real method. We sit her on the potty at the same time each night and if she goes, we have a party. If not, that’s ok too. If she pretends to go, we just remind her of the cold, hard truth,  “No you didn’t.”

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PS Please disregard the giant bruise on Reese’s head. She fell the other night in the kitchen and knocked her head on the floor. She took it like a champ but it was a nasty one.

The Lies We Tell Our Children

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Sunday afternoon Reese and I went to lunch with my younger sister Elyse and her boyfriend TJ.

We sat in front of a table with two little girls who apparently would not eat their burgers. At one point we heard their mother say, “You know what’s going to happen if you don’t eat your lunches, right? The man in the kitchen is going to come out here.”

For some reason, Elyse and I thought this was really funny. Probably because I know for a fact that if my mother had told Elyse this when she was little, it would have worked. Elyse was scared of everything and she would have been terrified at the idea of the man in the kitchen coming to our table and confronting her about uneaten food.

Will I tell my child small white lies in order to get them to behave? Probably. Sometimes I tell Reese that we can’t put Elmo on TV because he is sleeping. Right or wrong, I figure at this age she is not going to remember, and probably doesn’t even understand me anyway. Judge away people!

I remember my older sister telling me that her friends used to tell their three-year old that Spider Man would not like him if he didn’t behave, and that if he didn’t listen to Mommy and Daddy some character from a TV show he watches would “come and bite your butt.” As terrifying as getting your butt bitten sounds, the kid never seemed truly fearful or even entirely convinced that this would happen.

But what about when children get older? Will I ruin my credibility with Reese and lead her to question everything I ever tell her? Probably not. Personally, I don’t remember being super pissed at my parents for telling me that Santa brought me presents every Christmas or that the tooth fairy was leaving me money underneath my pillow. I mostly just felt stupid for believing it in the first place (it went on a little too long.)

As of late, this topic is blowing up in parenting magazines, blogs, books, etc. and there is even a semi amusing twitter from which I stole the title to this blog post. “Lies I Tell My Kid” https://twitter.com/liesitellmykid.

I’m sure this will become more of an issue when Reese is older and begins asking the hard questions, but for right now, Elmo is sleeping and I’m ok with that.

Thirteen Month Update: Us as Parents

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And now an update on us after 13 months of parenting.

On occasion, we’ve had a few mishaps which made us question our parental abilities. There was the time that Reese fell out of the bottom of the stroller as we were wheeling it down our steps because she hadn’t been strapped in, an incident with a bee while on a walk that caused me to briefly run away from the stroller, leaving Reese, so I could save myself from the bee; or the time Reese was being “changed”and the dirty diaper was put back on her instead of a clean one. I could go on. But I won’t. Mainly because I am too afraid of what people will think of us.

We are still learning and I feel like we will always be learning; no matter how many kids we have or how old they get. Most days, I still think it’s pretty hilarious that I am somebody’s parent, and I don’t think it will ever stop feeling like a job for which I am severely underqualified.

We have been parents for thirteen months and sixteen days and our list of questions is long. What do we do when Reese starts hitting us? How do we teach her to share? Is there a way to get her to stop chucking her food and her cup around the kitchen? What’s with the biting??

Things I do know: we have a healthy, beautiful daughter who smiles, laughs, gives lots of hugs and kisses and seems to have a thing for us. This makes me think we are doing something right.

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