Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Month 22: Potty Training Treacheries

We're slowly wading into the treacherous waters known as "potty training". Maybe "wading" is a bit too graphic a word for this particular entry, but brutally appropriate.

On his own, over the past few months, Daniel has expressed interest and understanding of the... proceedings... of using a potty.

A few times, I have found him attempting to pee standing up at a grown-up potty... which involves him pressing his stomach to the basin and peeing on the floor at the foot of the toilet. Hilarious. But certainly a product of him watching "how daddy does it". On a daily basis, Daniel notifies us when he needs a new diaper and frequently tells us right before doing #1 or #2. Additionally, we have received notes home from his preschool that he has occasionally accomplished both #1 and #2 in the potty.

All that to say, we decided to make a concerted effort at home to begin the potty training process. We went to Babies R Us and (using gift cards STILL left over from our baby shower!) purchased a nice Baby Bjorn lime green and white potty... very stylish. Daniel was excited to sit on it and quickly named it "Nano's potty". We got home, stripped his lower half and said "let's go potty!" He ran over, sat down and clapped for himself (without actually using the potty).

Success. Kind of. Because then he stood up and ran over to the new bathtub frog we also got at Babies R Us. Unfortunately, it's about the same size as the potty. Also lime green. Also brand new.

In a slow motion moment I will remember forever, Daniel threw a leg over the frog, squatted carefully, and emptied his bladder. The frog is a "bath frog" with a convenient draining system underneath in the shape of a rectangle... a perfect rectangle of pee on my bedroom carpet.

Anyway. It's progressing slowly but surely with the help of "potty snacks" we keep close by for when he sits bare-butt on the potty and counts from 1-10 and 10-1 in English and Spanish.

We've had lots of close calls (and the bathroom rug has been washed many a time) but none compare to the "Green Poop Incident" of 2009. Allow me to paint the picture for you, as graphic as it may be...

In an effort to build excitement and something of a "team spirit", I frequently use the potty at the same time as Daniel. He says "mama's potty, nano's potty". On this particular day, I had just taken off his diaper, and sat down to use the potty myself. He walked to the bathroom door, turned around, clenched his legs together and said "Uh oh! Poo Poo!" He starts walking slowly... legs still clenched together... towards his potty.

By now, I am... in the process... of using mama's potty, and Daniel is out of reach. So I start yelling for Fernando to come help us. He comes running, but too late... as he lifts Daniel by the armpits and swoops towards nano's potty, green poop starts flying everywhere. A really impressive amount, too. All over the carpet. The two of us trying desperately not to breath, and Daniel arriving at his potty in time to squeeze out two teaspoons of pee.

We collected the... treasures... and together clapped and cheered as we flushed them. I think the whole commotion scared Daniel as for the next few days he wanted nothing to do with the potty.

This next year will be an adventure, to say the least!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Month 22: Random Recollection

Excuse the cryptic title, but I can't think of a better way to explain it (I'm sure plenty of better ways exist...). "Random Recollection" has been Daniel's theme as of late. He can list off all kinds of things randomly, without them being present or even in his recent memory.

For example.

1) Prayers. Yes, he prays. Before bedtime and meals. It is one of my favorite things to watch. Daniel gets ready by folding his hands together, scrunching his face up, squinting his eyes (probably because he watches us, watching him, with "pretend" closed eyes...!) He begins his prayer with "Jesus, dadoo (thank you)..." and then he lists off a bunch of stuff, starting with the food in front of him: "dadoo... hah cog... strahbewy... hamp... shoclate milky..." and then he starts looking around the room (with eyes still squinted) for other things to thank God for. Lights. Window. Mama. Dada. Max. And THEN he looks towards the fridge for photos of other friends and family and names each one. Recently, he has incorporated requests into prayers... "mama... dada... bobby... more bobby... watch the bobby...." Bobby is his way of asking for Veggie Tales. At this point in the prayer, we just say "amen!" and move on to eating.

2) Old McDonald. Actually, Old McDonald is out of the picture. Once I sang "Mister Daniel had a farm..." it became Daniel's farm. Every time. He won't have it any other way. In fact, he runs around asking me to sing it, but as he cannot pronounce "farm" correctly, he ends up asking me (loudly, in public places) for "Nano's Fart". I kid you not. But back to the point... when we get to the "and on that farm he had a..." he lists of what is on the farm. Just an example of one of Daniel's farms: alligator, fan, ouch, cow, dada, eight, yellow, knee. It is always that random and hilarious.

3) Morning Songs. Thanks to his amazing daycare, Daniel loves singing group songs. His two favorites are "The Morning Song": Hello Daniel, how are you, can you tell me, who's sitting next to you? And so on and so forth. In the absence of a big group, he will make up who is singing. Last week, we sang through all the characters on his diaper (which he could not see). Ernie was sitting next to Cookie Monster who was next to Bert who was next to Zoe. We ended with Elmo. It was amazing that without visual cue, he recalled the whole Sesame Street gang. (His other favorite song is "The Jumping Song" but that's just because he can jump around like a maniac!)

Anyway. His little brain is developing in ways I cannot predict or understand. He's smarter than I imagined he would be at this age and honestly, that's a little scary. I want to be the mom who always has the answers... and at this rate, I'll be useless by the time he's in kindergarten. :)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Month 22: Feliz Navidad

It was a lovely Christmas... Daniel's second. We spent a few days in Flagstaff with some family and passed the time sledding, shoveling snow, watching the snow and talking about the snow. There was SO MUCH SNOW. Daniel initially refused to wear his mittens but after a quick encounter with snow and his bare hands ("ouchy! ouchy!") he amended his previous decision.

Perhaps as a result of the weather, Daniel wound up with a cold and was kind of in his own little world for a few days. He wasn't interested in unwrapping presents (but he was interested in playing with the new toys). He didn't eat all that much at mealtimes (but he was a garbage disposal when it came time for cookies and cake). He didn't sleep well in his pack and play (but he was very comfortable in Mommy & Daddy's bed). :) So maybe I indulged him a few times too many... I'm weak!

Sledding was a blast - he cried at the top of the hill, held his breath on the way down, and at the bottom begged for "more! more!" It was bitingly cold outside however and the sledding excursion didn't last all that long. At those temperatures, curled up on the couch by the fire was a much more appealing option.

The days after Christmas were spent in Phoenix, taking advantage of the gorgeous weather. Daniel was feeling better, so we spent quite a bit of time at local parks, just messing around. The rest of the time we worked on the house - moving our current guest room furniture to new locations to make room for Daniel's new bedroom. The goal is to move him in by his 2nd birthday to leave plenty of adjustment time before baby #2 arrives!

We're trying to narrow down decor ideas for his new room... right now it's between "space station" and "new york city park". Any ideas?