Monday, August 30, 2010

Adventures in Potty Training Part Two

In the last few weeks, we're really made a lot of headway on the potty training front. I can say with about 95% confidence that we are #1 trained, and that went pretty smoothly. The only problem we sometimes run into here is that my brick-headed child will sometimes refuse to go for long stretches of time when she's either "too busy" or too crabby to stop to take care of business. She doesn't go in the pullup, though... she just won't go. Thankfully, even that has gotten better recently.

However, we're still waiting to get #2 on board... I can't wait to be able to use the big girl panties and ditch the pullups. I tried to force the issue, but after having to clean a few pairs of the panties, you can forget that. Pullups it is...

And for some reason, Amber got stuck on "5 M&Ms" as the reward. They all need to be counted out in her hand and she shoves them all in her mouth at once like a shot of tequila. And don't you dare give her anything other than 5... even if you're trying to give her MORE, she gets mad and holds to her 5. Five sounds good to me--NOOOO problem!

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Amber

After reading an article written by a friend, I was able to identify the perfect description of my Amber's seemingly split personality--Jekyll and Hyde. Even when she was really young, I used to jokingly call her my "bipolar baby," as she seemed to have periods of being fun, loving and obedient which would quickly crash down into tantrums, screaming and misbehavior.

I swear sometimes it's as if something possesses her whenever we go out into public. And I'm sure people think "Oh SURE she only acts like this in public. I bet that kid's a real troll at home..." But honestly, she seems to do a 180 whenever we go somewhere!

Take this morning for instance... she woke up unusually early, but was in a surprisingly good mood. She actually ran up to me and hugged me saying "I love you, mama!" when I opened up her bedroom door. She was pleasant and polite all morning, passing out the "thank you, mama"s and "excuse me"s in a sweet little voice... I could have just eaten her up!

But THEN I put her in the car, and the transformation began. By the time we'd reached the splash pad, she was in full-on scream mode. Over the course of that late morning, she had innumerable screaming fits, pushed a few kids, kept taking her bathing suit off, and ran away from me twice. The second time around, she actually ran OUT of the park into the parking lot and one of the other moms had to chase her down because I was up to my elbows in a dirty diaper. Oh, if ever there was a time I was ready to drop her off at an orphanage...

So we loaded her back up in the car and headed home, and she transformed again--sweet and loving Amber was back. She even stayed calm when Audrey climbed into her bed and started playing with her stuff--a rarity around here.

I just don't understand it... but I can almost guarantee that leaving the house means arriving at our destination in meltdown mode. I know these first few weeks of 2-day preschool are going to probably be rough--particularly on her teacher. But I'm hoping it will help her to be able to "go with the flow" a little better and be less dependent on me!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Adventures in Potty Training Part One

In the last week I've decided to make a valiant attempt at potty training Amber Claire. Notice I've entitled this entry "Part 1." This ensures that there will be a 2nd part, and very likely many more with this brick-headed child.

I kept waiting to start with the potty till she showed all those infamous "signs" I read about on the internet. She showed most of them quite some time ago, but that first attempt was a total flop. After about 2 days, when I'd ask if she needed to go, she'd slam the lid down on the potty and scream "NOOOOO" at the top of her lungs.

And so we begin again. However, I'm not sure who's really getting potty trained here--me or her. I'm the one who keeps popping up every so often to put her little fanny on the pot, and she's done well (I'll spare details). BUT, she has yet to tell me on her OWN that she needs to go BEFOREHAND. Am I dreaming to think she might just walk up and say "I need to go" or better yet, just go in there herself?? Maybe if I wait till she's 13...

You can't just ASK her if she needs to go--according to her, she never has to go. But my favorite part might be what she does when you ask--She holds up her fingers and says "In 3 minutes, mom." And when I ask again 3 minutes later, she gives me the fingers again.

She's very big into the number 3 right now, and counting in particular. But she hasn't yet grasped the concept of higher numbers meaning MORE of something--like that 10 apples are way more than 2. She just LIKES certain numbers better than others. I know this will be short-lived, but I can enjoy it for the time being.

ME: Amber, what a good girl for going on the potty! Would you like 5 mini-M&Ms? (My bribe of choice)

AMBER: No, mom. THREE! (with big smile on her face.)

ME: OK, then. If you insist! (With even bigger smile on my face)

Poor kid! I know this will be short-lived, but I can enjoy it for the time being.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Excuses, excuses

It amazes me time and again how these little creatures (my children) are seemingly born with the ability to manipulate. I sure hope that's the case, anyway--...I really they aren't picking up on something they see me doing, because I never thought of myself as manipulative.. but I digress..

The majority of Amber's manipulation tactics are centered around her not wanting to sleep. We tried not making her nap midday, but that did not work. The child NEEDS a nap to make it through... but she's going down swinging.

She used to use excuses like "I want socks" or "I want juice." There's also a list of stuffed creatures she has to sleep with, and don't you DARE forget one because she will notice and begin screaming for it when you leave the room!!

Now she's really figured out how to get our attention, using excuses such as "My belly hurts" or "I'm so hungry" or "I need a new diaper." She'll also play the super-responsible kid card--"I have to brush my teeth." She never was a fan of tooth brushing before, but if it means putting off bedtime by 2 minutes, it's well worth it!

None of those excuses have really been working out for her, then, so I can't WAIT to see what she'll come up with next!


So you know it's not going to be a great day when you wake up and your child's car seat is covered with ants... (I should add Mistake #4 to the previous post, which would be that I left the seat I had hosed snowball off of the night before in the driveway overnight)

But we had a doctor's appointment and I was prepared. We had snacks, juice, toys.. anything and everything to pass the dreaded hours of waiting. And we ACTUALLY got out of there in ONE HOUR! A MIRACLE!!

So we headed to Chick-Fil-A to meet up with the MOMS Club... I decided to just grab the essentials--kids and diaper bag and one credit card. I had one kid under each arm, and since I didn't want to waste time digging in the bag to find my keys, I just locked my car by hand. WHICH I NEVER EVER DO AND WILL NEVER DO AGAIN. Because, as luck would have it, I had NOT put my keys in the diaper bag as I thought I had, but instead left them next to the infant car seat.

Of course, I didn't discover this mistake until Audrey was way past tired and I tried to load them up to go home. So, Audrey is screaming, Amber is screaming because she didn't want to leave the play area, and I am dumping out the contents of the diaper bag on a table--and that sucker was packed from the dr. appt. Then I have Chick-fil-A employees looking to see if anyone turned them in, and I spotted them on the seat in the car.

So I call Jay--he just got to a patient's house in Pollock, and would be on his way to save us--after he stopped home to get the extra key. So 1 hr. and 20 minutes later, our knight-in-shining-Corolla came to our rescue.

And did I forget to mention the other "fun" aspect of this adventure? That my credit card was not working? So not only were we stuck in Chick-fil-A for 2.5 hours, but I had no means to buy anyone lunch. Thankfully, we were mercifully donated a kids' meal toy to trade in for ice cream to kill some time. (Thanks to Laura and Marci for that!)

Except the ice cream cone fell on the floor. Well, I scooped it up, and I scraped off the entire outer layer to hopefully get all the dirt off, and I let them eat it anyway. I know I must have looked like a crazy woman, but I was desperate at this point.

I guess I'll be out of the running again for that mother-of-the-year award. Maybe in 2011...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Lesson leared at the snowball stand

I've spent my whole life in Louisiana, so snowballs are no where near a new thing for me. HOWEVER, snowballs + babies is a whole different ball game and we made a lot of rookie mistakes...

Mistake #1--we let the dogs take a ride with us. They were really in the way for what transpired next.

Mistake #2--I ordered Amber a strawberry snowball. All kids like strawberry, right? Well, I should have chosen a lighter-colored flavor for the sake of my laundry...

Mistake #3--I gave Amber the whole snowball to eat while in her carseat. I knew it was hot, but I never figured that sucker would melt down quite so fast. And of course, when it melted and dripped, she freaked out and squeezed the cup. Which of course led to red snowball sloshing out into her lap, in her diaper, all over her clothes... She looked like a vampire right after a fresh kill.

But on the up side, both girls LOVED the snowballs, and the carseats needed a cleaning anyway... we ended up stripping Amber down and letting her just enjoy the rest on the back deck, and let the red syrup drip where it may!

Here's a little pic of my mini-vampire... Bram Stoker would be proud.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bathed in sweetness

So tonight I got everything all wrapped up so I could slip away and take a hot bubble bath and catch up on the book that's due back the library on Wednesday...

I get all cozy in there, read about half a page, and Amber Claire bursts in, wearing nothing but a diaper and a smile. Cute, but I didn't want cute--I wanted peace. I told her to "go play" and "go find Daddy" but she never left for long.

And then she did the cutest thing!!! She reached over and scooped up some bubbles out of my tub, "lathered" them between her little hands, and started to bathe me. She got my arms, shoulders, back, and neck--basically what she could reach from her side of the tub. I just put down my book and let her go. She just kept on going, washing her mama with her little bubbly baby hands. It was so sweet! She even got a little empty bottle to fill with water so she could "rinse" me off.

Though I was ready to start hollering for Daddy to come get her away from me and give me my break, I'm so glad that I didn't this one time. Every now and then Amber does something so sweet and it makes me realize what a little angel she is. Just a genuine little act of love--melted my heart!!