Talking Back

Reese <eyeing James while we are in the kitchen>: Let’s go to my room and lock the door.


Reese: <before going down for rest time>: Let’s read “The Monster at the End of This Book.

Me: Ok.

Reese: Actually, let’s read “The Frog Prince” because its longer and I don’t want to be locked in here with no books.


Reese: I’m princess Aurora and I don’t have milk in my breasts anymore.

Reese at Three Years

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Three years old as of November 29th.

Sometimes when she wakes up in the middle of the night and I see her silhouette in our doorway, I can’t believe that that little person is our baby.

We celebrated three years with a birthday party at an indoor playspace near our house with pizza, cake, family and a bunch of her little friends. She had a blast.

She is asserting her independence fiercely and readily. She is suddenly very into clothes and most mornings include an argument over what she will wear. My suggestions of jeans and shirts are met with tears and wails of “those aren’t fancy!” I was hoping we had skipped this stage because, I must admit, I loved picking out her clothes. Now I just have to deal with the fact that while I would love for her to look like she stepped out of the pages of a Boden catalog, she would rather look like she’s a regular on Toddlers in Tiaras.

Ironically though, she hates actually wearing the clothes. Once her outfit for the day is selected it stays on for 20 minutes or so, then she strips down to her underwear and refuses to put anything back on. At first I thought I should fight this, but I have decided that this is a battle I will not pick. Now the rule is, you must always have underwear on and if someone is coming to our house, or we are leaving our house, you need to be dressed. Otherwise, do your thing.

She loves eating but still eats only a small variety of foods. I now understand the whole kid/food battle thing that I am constantly hearing about. There was a period of time where I dreaded dinner because we started enforcing the “I made it, you’ll try it” rule. It helped a little, and now she is used to it, so she knows she has to try things but there are always some dramatics involved (gagging, choking etc.) This, along with the fact that we now all eat as a family, has broadened her horizons a bit. She shows interest in what Andrew and I are having and will sometimes ask for a bite. After starting this, we discovered that she likes soft shell crab sushi (obviously the most expensive roll on the menu), but she is still a PB&J girl through and through.

She still does a 2 hour “quiet time” in her room (in lieu of a nap, which she stopped taking long ago) and sometimes I stand outside the door and listen to her playing. She runs around and narrates her actions in the third person and it is hilarious. Sometimes she’ll run by me saying, “she ran into the kitchen to get her snack.” I think she is constantly living in some sort of story that she is writing in her head. I would love to read it.

Reese is the Laurie Berkner Band’s number one fan right now. She listens to the CD everyday during her rest time and when she goes to bed at night. She also asks detailed questions about Laurie daily. “What color is Laurie’s house?”, “Where is Laurie right now?” “Does Laurie know me?” Stalker alert.

Swimming lessons are the only scheduled activity that we do and it suits us. I’m not big on schedules and it is nice to have flexibility in our day, especially when I am toting a nine month old around with me.

We haven’t had her three-year checkup yet so I don’t have her stats but she is now 35 lbs and I can tell that she is starting to stretch out. She continues to talk my ear off all day, every day, and anything I say is still met with a “why?”

She has fully embraced her role as big sister and loves to use it to assert her assumed authority over her brother. She makes sure he doesn’t get any of the toys that are “too little for babies,” which equal all toys.

In September she will begin preschool and I’ll no longer have my girl with me everyday. Let’s not talk about it.

Here she is on vacation this summer, asleep with her brother who was in desperate need of a bigger bed. And one more below that; in all her glory at her third birthday party.

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I Hope This Is My Last Post About Potty Training

Lately, I could talk for days about potty training. That’s how boring and annoying I am.

I am happy to report that Reese is completely potty trained. We think. It was a rough road and involved some light force at times, but we did it.

Sharing the story of how we potty trained Reese is a little embarrassing because it makes me sound pretty mean, but whatever.

As I have said before, Reese took to peeing in the potty pretty easily but refused to go #2. She took it so far that if we skipped nap time (her time of choice for going #2) she would hold it in, sometimes for days, until she had another nap time. Then, when she finally would go it would be a huge nasty explosion that I would have to clean up, often with a crying baby in my arms.

About a month or so ago, she went #2 in her diaper during her nap time. She then proceeded to smear the contents of her diaper all over her room. The walls, the windows, the shades, the rug etc. (we had to pull up the rug in her room because the smell would not go away.)  I took a picture of the mess on my phone and sent it to Andrew. “Come home please!” (I will spare you by not posting that photo here.) He came home early, we cancelled our dinner plans and spent the next 4 hours cleaning.

After this, we both had major anxiety about where/when this could occur again. One day I was about to tell Andrew something funny that Reese did at swimming lessons and I said, “You’ll never believe what Reese did today at swimming.” He said, “Don’t tell me she shit in the pool.” It was on our minds.

The Monday after the incident I decided I was D-O-N-E. I started putting Reese in underwear every day, which was mean of me, because I knew she wouldn’t go #2 in her underwear, so she held it in. After about 3 days of no # 2, I gave her prune juice, went into the bathroom with her and made her sit on the potty until she went. I promised her anything she wanted if she would go. Ice cream, candy, toys, entire cakes, the list goes on.

We were there for hours. Literally. The first day was probably 2-2.5 hours of me sitting on the tile while Reese sat, and sat, and sat. When she would finally start to go, she would freak out, try to  jump off the potty and cry for her diaper. It was so sad. I actually had to hold her down on the potty (this is the part where I sound like a fricking lunatic mom, but scrubbing shit off walls will make you a crazy person) until she went.

The next day it was another 2-3 hours of Andrew and I taking turns sitting with her until she went. She was rewarded once she went, and after that it seemed to click. She started telling us when she had to go, and was happy collecting her reward once she did. Now, about a month and a half later, we are still rewarding her every time, and we may continue until she’s 12. We don’t want to screw this up.

Here is Reese showing off one of her “potty presents.” She was promised at least 100 different presents but seems satisfied with “a toothbrush that goes buzzzzz.”

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Reese At Two Years And 8 Months

 

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Reese will be three in November. We are in the midst of the terrible twos. I agree that two can be terrible, but it can also be hilarious and fun. When kids start talking and conversing with you, you learn a lot. You learn what they really think about the way you look, the things you are doing, the clothes you are wearing, the way you talk, etc. Reese does not hold back and if you’re having a bad hair day, girlfriend will let you know.

Her first love is still all things food, but currently, other obsessions include Calliou, Curious George, Laurie Berkner, swimming, and princesses.

Two has been fun because we can do more things that she can truly appreciate. She can hang for a full day at the beach, the zoo, a kid’s museum etc. No more paying big bucks for tickets to the amusement park where she sits in the sandbox for 2 hours!

She now actually likes playing with other kids. Especially older girls. Whenever we go to the playground she asks if there will be other kids there. When we get there, if there is an older girl there she immediately runs up and says “Hi, I’m Reese, what is your name?” If they don’t answer, she asks again. If they try to leave, she follows, and asks again. She has her father’s persistence and her mother’s social skills.

Reese takes swimming lessons once a week at the YMCA and she LOVES them. It was here I learned that she has also become fearless. If I don’t have her hand in a death grip when we walk to the locker room at the end of class she will try to jump into the deep end of the pool. Every time. More than once she has slid down the kiddie slide into the pool before I was at the bottom to catch her.

She talks nonstop. Mostly to ask questions. Her favorite question is “why?” “Why is that man eating his lunch?” “Why is that girl playing on the swing?” The worst is when she asks questions about people who are within earshot as if they weren’t there at all. “Mom, why is that man talking to the girl? Why does he talk like that? Why is he holding that? Why does he have those glasses on? Where is his Mom?”

Reese’s speech is great for the most part but she still hasn’t mastered her S words yet so it sometimes takes us awhile to understand what she is talking about.  Poon is spoon, tairs is stairs, etc. My favorite is cream instead of scream.

No new news on the potty front. Should it be taking this long?

Relations with James are improving. I have caught her telling him, “It’s ok James”, when he’s crying and the other night she even asked me if we could move James’s crib into her room.

Every day is still something new and when I look at James I am reminded of how much they change in such a short time.

So we are soaking in all that two has to offer; the terribleness and the hilariousness.

 

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Potty Training Part Deux

According to mom message boards, “poop phobia” is  a real thing.

If in fact this is true, then Reese has it.

Since we began offering an M&M every time Reese went in the potty, we got her to go pee in the potty on a regular basis. I swear she can pee on command now, and the potty is now becoming something she sits on when she feels like a snack.

On occasion she will still go in her pull-up, and she still wears a diaper at night.

Number two however, is a different story. This is a gross post, just to warn you, but this is my life now.

Reese has gone number two in the potty maybe three times, and these times always involved sitting on the potty for long  periods of time. Like 45 minutes. It also involved screaming and last-minute frantic pleas for a diaper. There is clearly a fear of going in the potty but I thought if she just did it once, she would see it wasn’t scary and she would be over it. Not so.

Every day during “rest time”, which would be more aptly named “take all the books out of the shelf and throw them on the floor, knock over your hamper and kick it across the room, jump on your bed, bang your cup on the wall repeatedly and throw blocks at the door” time, Reese does her “business.” It is not pretty. When rest time is over and I open her bedroom door, she often greets me with, “there’s poop on my back.”

If we miss rest time one day, then there is no numero dos.  This is the only time she will do it; alone in her room, in her pull-up. I have even tried watching her on the monitor and when I think she is about to go, running upstairs and busting in to try to get her to the potty in time.

As I write this, I am realizing for the first time how creepy that sounds.

When I did this, she didn’t go for three more days. Pretty sure I made her feel that she wasn’t safe anywhere.

And so that is where we are with this.

I look forward to the days when there is no poop on anyone’s back but I know these are far off. In the mean time, if anyone has any ideas for dealing with this please let me know. I will try anything at this point.