Sunday, May 13, 2012

potty training & pacifier weaning...done!

I skipped this post at the time BIG things were happening but it seems like if I'm keeping a record of everything else in B.'s life these were pretty important milestones.
It was our second attempt at getting rid of the paci so for anyone else who's tried and failed, don't feel bad. Just try again a few months later. This time was all about the lead up...every day for weeks before his 3rd birthday we talked about how he would be giving his paci to a neighbor's baby who really needed it. So the day after his birthday we made the swap, he gave away the paci and in return she "gave" B. a couple of trucks I bought and secretly dropped off the day before.
Nothing really registered until that evening when he realized what had actually gone down. He cried for a few minutes, cursed out the neighbor's baby (she's moving soon anyway so he'll never actually get to be friends with her and discuss this little bit of parental trickery) and then went to sleep. The same thing happened every night for 5 days. And then it stopped. He still doesn't like the baby but seems to have forgotten all about the paci.
As for the pee, we went cold turkey the week before his third birthday. No diapers. He had a week off preschool so it gave us the time we needed to spend at home. The first two days were probably a 50/50 ratio of pee to toilet versus pee everywhere else. And the livingroom rug will definitely be in the trash by the of this year. (At this point, it's probably twice as toxic as a hotel comforter). But he started figuring it out by day three and we were 99.9 percent there by day five. Now he's peeing exclusively in the toilet except for at night when I put him in a diaper. He's waking up dry but I'm not rushing the overnight bladder control just yet.
The most helpful thing for me was keeping a schedule of when he peed. The accidents and the successes. It helped me figure out that B. only pees every two to three hours. So when I was pressuring him to go every 30 minutes he would just get annoyed and refuse to go to the bathroom. Once I had his timing figured out I just left him alone until at least a couple of hours passed.
Now we're tackling poop. It's been a month since he started peeing in the toilet and he's just agreed to sit for number two due to massive bribery involving chocolate and trips to the toy store. Before this week he would tell me when he needed to poop, I'd put on a pull-up and then put him back in underwear after he went to the bathroom. Fingers crossed we're completely out of daytime diapers in the next week or two.

why preschool is so important...

It's not just the socializing and the learning, which is obviously a major component of sending your kid to preschool. Sitting outside today and watching B. play with the neighbors it just made so much have such a particular type of play that grownups can't duplicate (at least without being paid, going nuts or being a grandparent). Why is it funny to shriek, run around the courtyard, flop down and then repeat six times? Why take the hat off the doll where it belongs and try it on every single toy around? This type of stuff just doesn't mesh well with my practical (boring?) side. I do art, I do books, I do outings. But I don't really do silly fun. It's just not me.
I agonized forever before sending B. to preschool and still not even sure we settled on the right one. (More about that later.) But I am happy we sent him to preschool instead of having a babysitter around while I work. Kids definitely need lots of other kids around...especially once they get close to 3. (Suddenly it makes so much more sense why a lot of Santa Monica preschools won't accept kids until 2.9 months).
Of course if you have tons of kids available for playdates or lots of children of your own, this is all moot. But here in SoCal the playgrounds are empty except for infants and very young toddlers during the day.
As for the dreaded preschool wait list. I feel so bad for the parents who agonize over their applications. We did and then ended up being accepted at all 3 preschools we applied to. I think the economy probably has a lot to do with it (preschool is effing expensive!) plus it's a mythology the directors need to maintain so they can keep the upper hand in the relationship that lets them charge ridiculous application fees and insist that you attend their parenting workshops.
I don't happen to like our preschool director because she seems to be shifting kids around like chess pieces to fill her classes. I also wish our school had more parental/family involvement. So I've been touring preschools again trying to figure out if it's worth the transition trauma to send B. somewhere else. We'll probably stay put but it does give me a whole different perspective going on these tours with a kid who's already happily enrolled at school and seeing wide-eyed parents going through the system for the first time and taking this all so earnestly. Don't worry, I want to say to them, your kids will pretty much be happy wherever you send them as long as there are books, toys, paint and other kids around. You'll be the one with issues.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

we had a moment

I have not been in the mood to blog lately even though some awesome and not so awesome things have happened at casa Haberman. I'd rather go to bed early or sneak a nap than sit at the computer but yesterday was so blissfully wonderful that I had to record. Daddy was at work, we'd been up since forever so I took B. to lunch at the Counter at 11am since I couldn't think of anything better to do. Out of the blue he said, "I'll try my burger but I don't want it with ketchup." Woohoo! I don't even eat beef and I don't really care if he winds up being a vegetarian. But this is a kid that doesn't ANY meat or fish and hasn't tried anything radically new in FOREVER. Usually when we go to the Counter he just eats the sweet potato fries and I kid myself into thinking he's consuming a super food. So I ordered burgers and fries and unprompted he picked up the burger and started eating. Time slowed. For some reason I noticed "Hey Soul Sister" was playing in the background for this little montage moment. Everything was just dreamy and great, like the expression on his face. And I don't know why. And I don't know how to recreate this scenario at home. But it was great while it lasted.