Category Archives: Parenthood

Adventures in Potty Training

Rydia is a very stubborn child. Especially when it comes to potty training.

I started this lovely adventure almost 2 years ago. My mom got her a potty for Christmas and basically said “have fun.” Thought that this would be easy. Everyone I spoke to said that girls were much easier to potty train. So why is mine being so damn ornery about it?

I went gun ho. She had no desire to go near the potty. In fact, she ran the other way. Literally. She kinda screamed as she ran away from it. So I thought that maybe she just needs to be ready. She was showing ready signs, so we started again. She would go number 1. We cheered. Made it a big deal. Almost threw her a party, but realized that would be too expensive. Then I would start asking her. A typical conversation would go something like this:

Me: Do you need to go potty?
Her: No.
Me: *picking battle* okay.
*a minute later*
Me: Are you sure?
Her: Yes.
Me: Let’s go potty.
Her: OKAY!
*10 minutes later*
Nothing.

By “nothing”, I mean no pee, no poop, but possibly her covered in lotion, body wash, or toothpaste. Sometimes I’ll observe her and notice silent grunting. Impending number 2.

Me: Did you go poop?
Her: No.
Me: Are you lying?
Her: No.

This is frustrating, considering that she’s already in 4T-5T training pants and those are the biggest they go up to. Furthermore, you get no more than 20 in a package that costs no less than 7 bucks. Assuming she goes through a pack a week, that’s almost 30 bucks.

That’s fucking crazy.

One of the suggestions I was given was to let her go without anything on her. This wouldn’t be a bad idea if we didn’t have carpeting, let alone light carpet. Poop ain’t easy getting out of carpet. So another suggestion was to get her underwear as an incentive. However, seeing as we can only do laundry once a week if that (it’s too expensive to do laundry in my complex, so I do it at the in-laws), and hand washing actually really sucks for someone with achy wrists. I’m kinda at a loss.

But I’ll never listen to anyone who said that this would be easy. I will gladly say “bullshit” to that.

Don’t you sass me!

I swear, ever since Rydia turned two, she’s gotten more vocal with what she wants. She’s always been vocal, but now it’s turning into actual words rather than just incessant whining.1 I have to keel over when I hear stuff like this from her:

(Loud noise)
Rydia: What the hell is that?
Me: Hey, watch your mouth! Say “what is that?”
Rydia: No, no no, it’s “what the hell is that?”
Me: (bursts out laughing2) No, it’s “what is that?”
Rydia: “What the hell is that?”

This is where you pick your battles. I lost. Miserably. But she at least doesn’t say it as much as she did before!3

This is a new thing with her.

Rydia: (grabby hands for something while whining)
Me: Say please.
Rydia: (whining)
Me: Say please.
Rydia: (whining) …FINE! (btw, she never said please)
Me: Well, excuuuuuse me, princess!

She wins again. Because my brain hurts when she whines like that for 20 minutes straight. But despite it all, she is very polite, and when she does say “please”, it’s the cutest thing ever. I thought they don’t say “fine” until teenage years. Or is she practicing?

  1. She still does that, don’t get me wrong
  2. Really hard not to when a little 2-year-old voice is arguing with you
  3. And at least it’s not the F bomb–that’d be 10 times worse

The case of the wild sleeper

I have a 2-year-old who refuses to sleep in her own bed at night.

I’ll do one better.

She refuses to fall asleep in her own bed at night, then when she gets moved (usually by Zombie Mommy), she goes back to sleeping between her parents in the middle of the night.

It’s quite funny really. She’d climb on top of me (I am Mt. Mommy after all!) in semi-darkness1 and roll over snug in the middle. We have a king sized bed, so it shouldn’t too snug, right?

She’s a wild sleeper. She sleeps SIDEWAYS. Remember, she’s a tall one, so either one of us gets her feet, and it’s pretty unfortunate for the person who does. Then sometimes she’ll sleep normally, but try to take over one of our pillows (usually mine) and lays on my blanket. This makes it extremely uncomfortable for whoever gets her feet (once again, usually me), because she’ll even kick at times, and holy shit, that’s painful, ESPECIALLY when it’s feet to the already-jacked-up back.

So parents, how do you keep a stubborn kid in her own bed? I’d like to have a good night’s sleep without getting kicked and prodded. Just saying.

  1. We always have a nightlight on

Disciplinary action.

Fair Warning: I understand that children discipline seems to be a hot topic among moms. I’m not out to offend or anger anyone.

So what do you do with a 21-month-old whose terrible two’s have started prematurely? What if the word “no” is no longer enough, and she also mocks you when you do say it?

How does one stay sane?

Let me tell you how I was raised and you’ll understand my stance on certain disciplinary actions towards children.1

I was raised by a West Indian family. There was no such thing as time-outs. If I looked at my mom the wrong way, I got a slap. If I took my voice even one decibel higher than normal, I got a slap. For the more serious offenses, I got the belt. Or a slipper. In an extreme case, a metal spoon. I don’t even remember what I did, but it wasn’t anything that justified using that weapon. I have a fond memory of being in the middle of potty training and my mom not only screamed at me for pooping my pants and beat me. I was 3.

Needless to say she wasn’t quite patient about potty training.

As the mother of a near-two-year-old who is a professional at testing the waters, I can understand what my mom went though. Raising kids are frustrating, regardless of age. Rydia is almost at the age where I can start potty training. It’s gonna be fun. But it’s gonna suck. More laundry to do, but less diapers? That’s a plus since she’s almost in size 6’s. But I can’t imagine being reduced to beating my girl for pooping herself. Accidents happen, right?

My daughter is also an adventurous one. If we tell her not to do something, she looks dead at us and does it anyways. She gets into dangerous stuff and she gets a stern “no” and a slap on the hand. Nothing more. She doesn’t like hearing the word no. She even mocks us at this point now. Frustrating? Hells yeah. But she either goes the other direction or flops on her bed.

But Ronnie tried a mini time-out. He sat Rydia on a chair and told her to not move. Now, what 2-year-old will stay still for any period of time unless they’re asleep?

She did. It was for 2 minutes, but she sat there and did not move. My mouth dropped.

But it worked. This isn’t to say that it will all the time, but it worked at that time. And no belt was harmed in the process.

  1. Or maybe not, but it should be said anyways

The Terrible Twos are the ultimate test of your patience (and sanity).

Rydia will be 2 in a few months and I think her Terrible Twos have started prematurely. Of course, this could just be her being adventurous; checking out everything and anything that looks remotely interesting. At least to her. These items may include:

  • Hangers
  • Boxes, regardless of size
  • Video game cases
  • Gift bags
  • Mommy and Daddy’s phones
  • Other random shit that I have NO CLUE where she gets em from.

She is not deprived of actual toys, by the way. She plays with her toys in fact–a couple of them that soothes her to sleep1. But sometimes, she finds the most mundane of things, like hangers for example, and is completely entertained by it.

However, sometimes her “alternative toys” drives me up a wall. She loves things that make sound. Empty cans are in this category, as are hangers to a certain degree. If she can bang them against something, she LOVES it. So she bangs cans on her crib. I tell her “no, don’t do that”, and she says “no” back2 then continues banging. It only stops when I take it away.

Then the tantrums start.

Great. Now when I tell my mom that she has my temper, she says “good luck”. Good luck indeed–if she’s like this now, I’m doomed when her Terrible Twos do come into swing.

But when she has the tantrums, they consist of crying, throwing stuff3, and screaming. SCREAMING. Did I mention that Rydia has awesome lungs and can hit notes that can rival Mariah Carey? Yep. And if I tell her not to throw things, it makes it worse. She eventually calms down, usually when I hold her or if she has a drink, but tantrums? Do not want.

If I make it through her Terrible Twos without going completely insane4, I can breathe a sigh of relief and know that she should at least be calm until her teenage years. I mean…3-12 shouldn’t be too bad, right…

RIGHT?!

  1. Always a good thing
  2. At times, she knows that she’s not supposed to do it, and even “disciplines” herself, by saying “no no”
  3. Many toys have been thrown at Ronnie’s head
  4. I already have gray hair, so that stipulation no longer works