Monthly Archives: April 2012

Potty Training is Making Me Fat

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I have dreaded potty training (or potty learning, if you prefer) since, pretty much, the day the twins were born.  Here’s the thing.  I’m pretty sure PTing one child would be a gigantic pain.  That’s what I’ve heard anyway.  But two children?  At the same time?  And they aren’t even same gender.  AND, we only have one bathroom, inconveniently located on the second floor.  Yeah, yeah, I know, First World Problem, I should stop whining.  But still, I think the odds of this ever working are very slim.  Hey, are kids allowed in kindergarten if they still wear diapers?

I’m just not sure how to go about it.  Maybe I should have bought a book.  Instead, I sort of paid a little bit of attention to friends who have gone through this recently and picked out little things to try.

We actually started putting them on the big potty when they were 18 months old.  They never did anything besides read.  They actually learned the whole alphabet during potty time!  But pee?  No.  Poop?  No way.  Once, Eliza pooped by accident and the look on her face was priceless.  She was beyond mortified.  And it hasn’t happened since.

Our latest strategy is to keep a little jar of M&Ms on the shelf behind the toilet and if they pee they get an M&M.  We are on our second big bag of M&Ms, which sounds great except for one tiny detail.  Between the two of them, there have only been 4 pees on the potty.  Yeah, that’s 4 M&Ms between my two kids.  Guess who ate the other bag and a half M&Ms.  Uh.  Yeah.

I’ve been sneaking in there and grabbing handfuls!  It’s my favorite candy.  Yesterday, S was leaving to run an errand and he kissed me goodbye.  He was all, “You smell like an M&M.  Stop eating the kids candy.”  Caught!  Maybe I should have picked something I don’t like as much.  But to be completely honest, I’d probably eat whatever we picked, whether I like it or not.  I have such an enormous sweet tooth, I will eat anything sugary, ANYTHING.

UGH.

My only incentive to get them out of diapers is to free my house of M&Ms.  I need help.  I wish there was a service I could call to come in and at least get me started.  I’ve toyed with the idea of taking away the diapers and hoping they don’t like the feeling of wet pants enough to start letting me know when they have to go.  But I haven’t been able to psyche myself into dealing with that level of mess.  We also have the plastic potty seats but they treat those more like little chairs – sometimes they pull them in front of the tv and watch Dora from the comfort of their own personal potty seat.  Nice.

Okay, so I don’t even know the point of this except that I’m a little lost.  And I’m getting fat.  And I’m thinking about the M&Ms that are upstairs right now…

Dress up

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I hit a consignment sale the other day and got a couple really cute tutu-type dress up things for Eliza.  A friend of mine was asking a few weeks ago why we had no dress up stuff – her girls love dressing up.  I didn’t really have an answer for her, other than I didn’t want to spend $30 on a dress that would only be worn around the house.  But after I saw Eliza prancing around in a ratty princess gown at one of the indoor play places, I made a mental note to try to find something for when we’re at home.

I got what looks like a purple fairy costume, minus the wings.  Her eyes positively lit up when she saw it and as soon as she tried it on, she started leaping around saying, ‘I’m a princess!’ over and over.  I also got her a little tutu that could be worn over jeans or leggings, which Jack pointed to and said, ‘My turn!’  Oh yeah, maybe I should have gotten some dress up stuff for Jack  because of course he’ll want to play dress up with his sister.  So I put the tutu over his pajamas and they ran around squealing with happiness while I took pictures to post on Facebook.

A couple friends ‘liked’ the picture and then came the comment from my mother.  “You would post that on Facebook.” And then from my brother, “Not cool.”

Ever been around a toddler?  There are tantrums that are unavoidable – no, you can’t taste mommy’s boiling hot coffee or you cannot go out with bare feet in the middle of winter.  But when my son sees his sister happily playing and he can’t join in because…well…why, exactly?  Fact is, I don’t have an answer that follows logic any more than I have an answer why it’s perfectly fine for Eliza to grab one of Jack’s sports ball pacifiers (never mind the fact that NEITHER of them should be using a paci – another issue for another day) but when he grabs her pink flowery one, just about every adult in the room lunges to pull it out of his mouth.  Why?  Why is it such a double standard?  I’m getting the message that it’s better to reduce my son to a crying heap on the floor than let him play with anything girly, lest it somehow influence his future sexual identity.

Really, is it such a big deal that my 2 year old wanted to put on a tutu?  I have two year old twins, a boy and a girl.  Each wants to do everything the other does.  Especially Jack, who seems to idolize his sister like she’s several years older instead of several minutes.  Sometimes they play with cars/trucks/trains.  Sometimes they push a shopping cart around.  Sometimes they feed their babies.  Sometimes they fight over books.  If given the choice, both would much prefer running around outside in the dirt to just about any other activity.  But why is it, if I post a picture of my daughter playing with trucks, it’s no big deal?   But my son in a tutu, that’s an issue.  They are kids!  They are TWO!

Here’s the thing.  I want my son to be happy.  I want him to play and laugh and express himself however he’s comfortable doing it.  And I’m not going to upset the kid because what he’s choosing to play at that very moment isn’t, like, manly enough.  For a two year old.  On top of that, I also feel a little strange not taking pictures of him the same way I snapped pictures of his sister in her princess costume.  I don’t know, maybe that makes me a crappy mom and maybe one day he’ll be embarrassed of those pictures.  Or maybe I will have raised him with enough confidence and humor that he’ll laugh at his silly tutu-wearing two year old self.  Whichever the case, for now?  I prefer a happy, smiling child to a whining tantrum-throwing one.

Quitter

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Yesterday, I went to lunch with a friend.  Going out to lunch used to be my absolute favorite thing to do before I had kids and yesterday totally reminded me why.  We sat outside on South Street, drank wine and martinis, ate salads and shared this awesome Greek appetizer sampler with hummus and olives and warm pita.  We chatted, watched people walk by, waved at the people on the duck boats, and sipped our drinks.  It was mommy’s day off, something I really hope to establish as a regular monthly thing.

Because we were outside, there were a lot of people smoking various things.  I love the smell of smoke.  I used to smoke but I quit three years ago.  Three years ago, today, actually.  I will admit to having a fleeting thought that a cigarette would be a perfect addition to that lunch, but I know myself well now.  I’ve gone down that road before and it never ends at just one for me.  I am, or was, a true smoker.  I would be craving another cigarette while I was still smoking one.  I was a total slave to it.  And when I quit, there was no ‘cutting back’ or ‘phasing it out’.  It was cold turkey, baby, because for me, anything else was me just lying to myself and making excuses to smoke more cigarettes.  So I gave up three years ago, and since then, the only cigarettes I’ve smoked have been in my dreams.

We must have been sitting there awhile because we’d had quite a bit to drink and had to move tables three times because the sun kept disappearing behind a building.  Towards the end of our second martini, my friend looked at me apologetically and excused herself to find a cigarette.  WHAT?!  I had no idea that she ever even smoked!  ‘Only when I drink,’ she told me.  She said she’s good at hiding it and her husband didn’t know.  I am consumed with jealousy at statements like that because I was never able to be a casual or social smoker.  I was a full-time stinky mess who planned her day around it.  But she had one, and bummed another one off a guy on the street who charged her a dollar, which she had no problem with, saying that she’d rather pay a dollar for one than buy a whole pack because she didn’t want to smoke a whole pack.  I remember finding that extremely annoying when I was a smoker.

I walked next to her, smelling the smoke and wishing I could have just one drag.  Just one.  But I didn’t because I couldn’t.  I don’t mean to sound dramatic about it.  It was just a really big part of my life for a really long time and I guess three years isn’t enough to completely erase the prior fifteen.  Whatever, I didn’t do it and today I celebrate three whole smoke-free years.  Three years without a persistent cough.  Three years without shortness of breath or smelly hair or excusing myself from work/conversations/LIFE to go out and smoke.  It’s awesome really, and freeing.

The only thing I wonder is, when do the dreams stop?  When do the random cravings stop?  How long before I go from being a ‘quitter’ to being a full-fledged non-smoker?  I thought I was there already, but after yesterday, I’m not sure.