Friday, June 3, 2011

So I Ran, and Little Updates

It's Friday, and I'm feeling a little down this morning. Not sure why. It could have something to do with the fact that Yelly Mama already made one appearance at 7:30am as we waited for Sweet Lifesaving Babysitter to arrive. Some days, I just can't seem to manage the kind of consistent parenting behaviors to which I aspire. I need a better action plan for the next time my 20- month-old (today!) daughter starts beating the ever living shit out of her 3.5 year-old big brother. When they fight physically, I tend to yell and try pulling them apart. Ugh. Probably not the best response. Suggestions welcome. Honestly, I wasn't expecting these fights to start happening until they were older; and I certainly wasn't expecting my daughter to be attacking my son physically at least once a day. Is it effed up that I'm kind of proud of her for being so powerful and so tough? Wait, don't answer that.

On a related note, I'm really proud of the emotional restraint and the budding logic that DS has shown lately when dealing with DD's and other kids' tantrum-y aggressions. "Use your words!" and "Hands are not for hitting" are two of the gems he's recited recently when his sister crossed boundaries on him. His friend, A, is a girl a few months older who he played with this weekend. There came a point on the playground when I was about to intervene as I saw and heard A hit DS in the face with a plastic jumprope - but before I could, he totally regulated: "Say you're sorry and give me that jump rope NOW!!" -- and she acquiesced! "Hey, A, we don't hit people with jump ropes."... "Ok, I'm really glad you said sorry. Let's shake hands, and go play." Voila! Problem solved without any adult intervention. Go, DS!

Yesterday, DD was particularly vehement about not wearing her disposable diapers (per her lifetime hatred of diaper changes). We also have a bunch of all-in-one cotton and plastic training pants that we used to potty train DS at age 2.5 (because in our experience, pull-ups are expensive, are seen by the kid as identical to diapers, and don't allow the child to feel actual wetness - so we only used pull-ups at night). She has been wearing the all-in-one training pants during the day lately - but yesterday she didn't want to wear those either. So we let her run around half naked, and made the extra effort to take her to the bathroom with us and showed her how we use it. We've had potty chairs that convert to kid step stools in each bathroom of the house since before her birth, so she's been sitting on them from time to time. Until yesterday it had never been her own idea.

Finally, for the very first time, DD went into the bathroom all by herself, grabbed one square of toilet paper, sat on the potty, and urinated. Then she yelled "PEE!!!" and called one of us in to show us. Then she did it again 2 more times that day. Pretty cool that she is showing such a keen interest before age 2. (Suck on that, Brazelton.)

I've already mentioned my favorite potty book that I recommend to everyone and their mother who asks what method we used, but it bears mentioning again: "Diaper Free Before 3" by Jill M. Lekovic. Worth its weight in gold, although it may not be as valuable to you if you are grappling with a 3.5+ year old's power struggles. I love it because it is not one of those silly, ubiquitous guides about "how to train a kid in 48 hours by giving them craploads of sugar!" (N.B. I know of one kid IRL who 'trained in one day' and he was almost 4, and there were no candy or presents involved; only a calm, 'Start Using The Potty Today, or We're Leaving You At An Orphanage'-type of heartfelt, parent-child discussion.)

Lekovic's method involves getting started with "potty learning" when the kid is 1, by having a potty chair in the house, suggesting they sit on it occasionally, reading books while they sit on it, plus using nudity, cloth underpants and training pants to let them feel wetness, etc. It worked well for us, and we were particularly in awe of it because it doesn't involve bribery with gifts, and/or using food as a reward or punishment - tools that I personally never want to include as part of my parenting.

Ok, RUNNING UPDATE. Let's hear how you ran this week. I'll go first.

Goal: run 3 miles each day, 3 mornings this week. Actual: ran 5 miles, only 1 day this week. What effed me up: Overslept one day, and had a work project I needed to spend extra time on one of the other days, and it cut into my running time. Now you go.


mom2boy said...

I haven't been yelling as much, I thought, but apparently Stern Mommy voice counts as yelling to Tate. But in my book as long as Scary Mommy doesn't show up, I'm on the right track. Although I would LOVE to be able to handle minor annoyances without snapping a response back. You know, like on the 4th "but mommy..."

I am sad today because the person I've been dating for the last year and I have decided to call it quits. And one of my best friends is taking her mom off of the ventilator tomorrow which means her mom is going to die tomorrow. How bloody awful is that?

Don't you love it when you see some of the good stuff you've been pouring into them come back out? That's a great story about DS! And go DD with the PEEE!! I'm sooo thankful that potty training really wasn't an issue here, either.

I've held the couch down for all you exercising go getters this week. :)

NK: Style-ING w/ Children said...

don't get me started on bribing for potty. my mother in law gave my child CHOCOLATE to congratulate her for using the potty. We don't give her any sweets unless it is homebaked and occasional spoonful of cake when we are at friends' houses. I was livid for D-A-Y-S, still am. Can you tell??!!!

anyway, sorry, deep breaths.

we've been running (around 1-2 miles) 4 days this week so far. It's much easier to get out in the morning for 10 min than to schedule a longer time slot. The benefits of continuity should at least somewhat compensate for shorter distance, because there's no way i can manage 5 miles.

Good luck with running!

Got It, Ma! said...

Hi Hush. I clicked over here from Ask Moxie. I love your post about the little sister on attack mode. Totally reminds me of my two, also younger sister, older brother. I wrote a piece about it several years ago when they were 3 and 6 ( I don't think it actually contains any advice or helpful suggestions, but it's proof that it's not just you. Sometimes I think all the parenting strategies out there are just ways of distracting yourself until your kids move out of whatever phase they're in all on their own! Now at ages 6 and 9, my girlie has, for the most part, stopped whacking her brother, but likely not because of anything I did. I like your blog. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

YES on Diaper Free Before 3. And sucking on that Brazelton!

Man, I need to finish that potty training post of ours... it just needs editing...

We used the Diaper Free Baby method because we are not organized enough for Diaper Free Before 3. But DFB43 was invaluable in many ways, especially telling people to get off our backs with facts about the science of pottying.

Cloud said...

I wonder if 2nd kids are easier to get with the potty program? Petunia is showing interest now, too. So we're going to haul the little potty back in from the garage. I'm actually a little sad about that because we don't really have room for it in our bathroom so I stub my toe on it at least twice a week.

I've got nothing on the aggression thing, though. Or maybe I do. We had a lot of luck with "play it out" when Pumpkin went through her biting phase. Basically, we had her stuffed toys bite each other and get consequences, etc. Let me know if you want details and I can dredge those out of my memory.

My weekly run was sabotaged by (1) me forgetting to take socks with me to work, so having to go for a run after I got home (where there were socks) vs. stopping on the way home and running by the bay and (2) my exercise-induced asthma has been bad so my lungs give out before I get much of a work out. I need to make time to go to the doctor and get back on meds for my asthma. But the never-ending parade of doctors visits for Petunia have sort of used up my "leave early to go to the doctor" time.

Cloud said...

Oh, and @mom2boy, I'm sorry about your relationship ending. That sucks.

paola said...

Your DD sounds like mine. One tough little cookie. At 4.5 she is the more agressive of the two and like @cloud, I wonder if it has anything to do with birth order. She tends to use crying and her hands to get what she wants whereas DS, my elder, uses sweetness. I saw that this is common amongst siblings in a doco once. DS, would rather play the victim than use violence to get anywhere. Hubby is trying to teach him to stick up for himself and demand respect, rather than have someone walk all overhim ( like his sister)

Don't overdo the runing to begin with. 5 miles sounds a bit too much for your first run. Another idea is to run 12 minutes first outing, and build by 3 every time you run. No need to go fast for a while yet.

My first week of training starts MOnday. 16 weeks, 3 times a week, culminating in a long run on Sundays. Long run being anything from 16 to 35 Ks. Yikes! Still, I think I can handle it and surprisingly, may even be able to fit it in to my life despite everyhting that will be going on here in the next 6 weeks. Wish me luck.

paola said...

Sorry just re-read @clouds post and realised she was talking about potty-training and not aggression.

Jac. said...

DS showed interest in potty training early and we jumped all over it. We did the three day naked method at 22 months and it worked (in five days though). He was still pooping in diapers at that point but he usually pooped at nap time so he was out of diapers except for sleeping at 22 months. It can totally be done! The pooping he resolved himself at about 2.5.

Running - goal is to do the Couch-5km which involves 3 runs a week. I managed a run on Wednesday. I golfed on Thursday and am still recovering (those muscles DON'T get used much). But hope to run today. I had an epiphany reading @Pariesienne's blog (she posted about being in a funk) and @Cloud commented about the possibility of PPD related to weaning and I had a total AHA moment (thank you Cloud). We've started solids AND dropped a night feed recently and I've been in some serious funk. I know that exercise is key for me in dealing with PPD, so now I must run - and not just for my vanity.

I've been pretty Yelly lately too. Am going to blame the PPD.

hush said...

@mom2boy - I'm so sorry to hear about your relationship ending, and I'm sending many positive thoughts to your dear friend's family as they cope with their mother's end of life.

"Don't you love it when you see some of the good stuff you've been pouring into them come back out?" YES! So rewarding.

@NK - Your MIL potty-bribing your DD with chocolate? Aw, hell to the no! Argh!!

@Got It, Ma! - Welcome! And thank you for the proof that it's not me. ;)

@nicoleandmaggie - Yes, the actual science of pottying is the very best retort to folks who see nothing wrong with a developmentally-normal 4 -year-old crapping themselves in their diaper on a daily basis, but in the same breath want to read you the riot act for having a potty-trained 2-year-old. Yeah, I don't get it either. Looking forward to your potty post.

@Cloud - "I wonder if 2nd kids are easier to get with the potty program?" Probably - our 2nd wants to do everything our first does and no doubt developed her interest in the potty by watching her little role model. Thanks for reminding me about the "play it out" techniques!

@Paola - Hope your training is off to a good start today!

@Jac - Yes, we must run and not just for vanity! ;) I think nudity is a very under-appreciated potty training method, but it definitely works and removes a lot of the power struggles.

the milliner said...

Yay DS! That is so great.

As for the running, I sadly have not been this week as I have yet another summer cold - sore throat, stuffed up and the like. Ugh. But! I did drag my ass out running after putting DS to bed one night last week. I really didn't want to go, but was pretty happy with myself by the time I finished.

We're in the throes of potty training here. We've been at it almost 6 months. DS is really close to day (if not day & night) potty training, so I'm cautiously optimistic. After almost 5 months of slow progress (especially in consistency), I decided we would go the reward route - in the form of a sticker chart and a potty present for every 6 pees or poos on the potty (mostly dollar store bath toys & art supplies or hand-me down books) . I kind of decided that potty training was going to be my free pass (in terms of using rewards, which I'm not really into otherwise).

I wish I'd known about the books you all have mentioned as I probably would have tried that first. But, quite frankly, we've had a hell of a year since last October, and I just decided that potty training was not going to be my holy grail. Gotta save all of my energy for weaning!

the milliner said...

@mom2boy, So sorry about your break up. I hope you find peace in the coming weeks and that the sun starts shining again very soon.