Friday, April 29, 2011

Public Restrooms

We started potty training the kids in early February.  I had a referral from a friend for a three day potty training method.  Basically, on day one, the kids threw away all of their diapers and we weren’t going to turn back!  It was a disastrous few weeks as I felt like I was doing laundry all the time.  Now that we are almost three months into it, I can look back and see the leaps of progress that we have made.

After about a month of potty training, I felt comfortable taking them to the library for a short outing.  Brooks and Adlyn enjoy going to story time so I felt like this would be a perfect test to see how they would do with their potty training in public places.  About half way through story time, Adlyn needed to go.  So, I rounded up both kids and we went into the family restroom.  I thought this would be a good choice since it was spacious and felt more like a bathroom than a bathroom stall.  I put Adlyn on the toilet, and big mistake, Brooks flushed it.  This wasn’t just a normal flushing toilet, it was a super flushing toilet that was as loud as a freight train.  If a toy were to drop into this toiled, there would be no getting it back.  Adlyn started bawling, not crying, as she leapt off the seat.  Brooks was as scared as Adlyn was.  I think I actually laughed because it was funny, and all I could do was think that I have completely ruined their bathroom experience for life.  I traumatized them on their first outing!  Needless to say, Adlyn didn’t go potty. 

I took them into the ladies restroom located in the hallway.  Adlyn came in with me but refused to sit on the toilet surrounded by partitions.  She was not going to have anything to do with these toilets.

Adlyn continued to hold it in through the rest of story time.  Next, we needed to drop off something at a building next to the library, so we walked over to the Court House.  Once we got inside, I knew Adlyn had to go, so I thought I’d try to have her go in this building.  Maybe a new building and a new bathroom would help put her at ease.  I walked her towards the bathroom, and this time, she refused to go in the door.  I couldn’t even drag her in, she was putting up full resistance at the door.

Great, now I have a kid who really has to go, but refuses to use a public bathroom.  We go outside to start our one block walk to the car, and then we would go home.  About half way down the block Adlyn stops.  She can’t hold it any longer.  She walks the rest of the way to the car with wet pants.  We didn’t make it in time.

I was hoping this was a one-time incident, but it wasn’t.  Last weekend, now two months after this initial event, she still refuses to go to a public restroom.  I tried to take her in with me last weekend at a gas station, and she won’t even enter the door.  But, if you ask her if she’d like to go potty on the rocks, on the grass, or in a ditch, she doesn’t have any issues.  She will go potty outside without a fight!

Our little girl fears public restrooms.  I’ve had a fear of snakes for 20+ years.  I am hoping Adlyn can at least overcome her fear, as I can’t!

Ear Gum

I was cleaning Brooks and Adlyn’s ears the other day with a Q-tip.  They don’t really like it when I clean their ears, but I have found if I continue to talk to them and ask them questions while I do it, the situation tends to go smoother.  I told them I was looking for ear gunk and they were going along with it.  I went to show them the ear gunk when I was done, and they instead thought I was telling them it was “ear gum” instead of “ear gunk”.


Brooks and Adlyn are very good helpers around the house.  They help unload the dishwasher, put away the groceries, clean and vacuum.  This weekend I had the vacuum upstairs and Brooks likes to push it around.  He can push the release button with his foot and lower the handle with ease.  We heard Brooks crying from the other room, the type of cry that you know means something hurts.  I go into the living room to see him standing by the vacuum, I’m looking around him trying to figure out what might be the problem.  Then, Zach and I realize his big toe is caught between the release button and the vacuum.  Ugh!  Just looking at the situation makes your stomach flip.  I’m not for sure how to get his toe out.  I fear moving the handle will make it hurt worse, and I didn’t want to pull it out.  We pushed the release button and freed his toe.  Poor guy!  It looked so painful!  Even though he was crying, he wanted to go right back to playing with the vacuum. 

There is Only One Spot to Go Potty and One Way to Get There

During our early phases of potty training this year, I feel like the phrase listed above reflects what I was constantly thinking.  There is only one spot to go potty, and that is in the toilet.  No, you can’t go to the bathroom behind the door, or in the living room, or anywhere else in the house.  There is only one way to get to the potty, you must run.  The kids will still say, “Run, run, run,” as they go to the potty when I prompt them to run.  One would think a child would take the shortest route to the bathroom, but they don’t.  Brooks, especially, likes to go the long way around to the bathroom.  Every second counts, and I want them to get to the bathroom quickly!  There are also times when they pretend to be puppies on their way to the bathroom.  They get down on all fours, and crawl to the bathroom making short, happy barks.  I’m sure that I’m rolling my eyes while saying, “Hurry!”. 

I can’t wait to be past this potty trainng phase.  I would love to go somewhere for an afternoon and know that I don’t have to bring an extra pair of pants or undies just in case.

New Milk

We always buy the same brand of milk.  On a weekly basis, we go to the store, and stock up on several gallons of milk.  They consume about a gallon of milk over the course of 36 hours.  We should just invest in a milk cow and tie it up in the backyard.

When we travel we always have a cooler with their drinks and snacks.  While traveling this month we picked up a gallon of milk at a gas station, a brand that was different from the norm.  I filled up their cups and gave them a drink.  Both of them looked at me in disgust and said, “Yucky.”  I thought by chance the gallon of milk was expired and spoiled, but I looked at the date and ruled that out.  I took a drink out of their cup and it did taste a little different, but not bad.  Brooks was very unhappy about the situation, and by this time in the trip, I had also run out of apple juice.  I put water in his cup which was ok, but it didn’t satisfy him completely. 

Once we got to our next destination we stopped and got a different gallon of milk.  I filled up his cup and I assured him it was new milk.  It took some prodding to encourage him to try it.  He continues to ask me for “new milk” and wants to make sure I'm not giving him the other kind from the gas station! 

Out of the Fridge

Last week Zach walked upstairs and noticed Brooks and Adlyn eating what he thought was cottage cheese in the front room.  Brooks and Adlyn were sitting on their bench next to the window, eating butter in the tub.  Yuck.  Adlyn has always liked butter, but Brooks hasn’t been that interested in it. 

Twice this week I have noticed a silence, which immediately means they are up to something.  A few days ago they were eating jambalaya straight out of the fridge in the Tupperware container.  Tonight, they grabbed a Tupperware of refried beans and were eating them cold.  Yuck! 


We were traveling home one evening this month and Brooks looked out the car window, saw the moon, and said, “Cool.”  Zach and I looked at each other and wondered if he just said cool.  Neither of us had heard him say that before, so maybe he was saying something else.

The next day, we were all down in the basement and Brooks looked at Zach’s new bow and said, “Cool.”  So, he must have said the word cool the previous night.  I was wondering how he knew what that word meant, and how he decided when to use the word.  I thought it was pretty cool myself!

Perhaps he’ll call me a “cool” mom someday!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Copy Cat

I'm starting to hear an echo.  Brooks and Adlyn now know my common phrases, and it is scary to hear myself in them!

I first noticed it when they started to say "no, no".  Perhaps I am saying "no" too much!  Yikes!

Last weekend I yelled for Zach from another room.  Adlyn copies by saying "Yak".  She uses the same tone as me and everything.  Maybe I should just use the word Dad from now on. 

Since we've been working on potty training, I've been trying to get the kids to understand when I'm happy or mad.  So, if they make a mess, I will say, "Mommy is mad."  Or, when they do a good job, "Mommy is happy."  They must understand.  Now when I get flustered, they will say "mad" before I even realize it.  Both of them are watching my body language.  Or they say "happy" when I see them do something good.  I now realize they are watching and observing me at all times.

Adlyn is typically buddies with Mom, and Brooks is buddies with Dad.  At night time when we are ready to read our story, I'll call for Brooks from the top of the stairs and say, "Brooks, time to come up and read a story and drink your milk."  Adlyn also stands at the top of the stairs and says, "Brooks, Up, Milk."  She'll keep calling for him like that until he comes up.

It is fun to start hearing them talk.  We have two little copy cats running around the house.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Easter is Near

Earlier this week the kids and I were reading the newspaper.  Actually, it is more like I am trying to read the newspaper before Brooks and Adlyn start tearing it up.

I noticed something caught Adlyn's eye in the K-Mart ad.  She was looking at some kids in their Easter clothes, and one boy was wearing a neck tie.  She was trying to figure out what it was, and it made me realize, perhaps she didn't know.  It is not like Zach wears a tie very often, and I couldn't think of anything she could associate it with.  I went to the closet and grabbed a few of Zach's ties and had to have him help tie one for her.  She thought it was pretty neat to wear a tie!

It made me laugh because there was a little bunny in the ad next to the boy.  She liked looking at the bunny, and kept saying the word 'ride'.  Little Adlyn wanted to ride on that bunny! 

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Not-So Fluffy Bedtime Routine

Since early this year, we have noticed a not-so fluffy bedtime routine, let me explain.

Just before we put the kids to bed, we'll ask if there is anything they want to take to sleep with them.  Most people would picture a small child choosing a soft teddy bear, something high on the snuggle factor.  Our kids prefer items more along the odd sort.  Brooks especially enjoys non-typical items.  We have let him sleep with a few items of choice, including, a wooden puzzle piece, a Matchbox car, a Fisher-Price Little People animal, etc.  Other items that we have told him he can't take to bed include the couch, ottoman, TV stand, coffee table, rocking horse, tricycle, you get the idea.  You'd be surprised to know that I can check on him hours after he has gone to bed, and his hand is still clenching the puzzle piece or car.  They must provide him some sense of comfort.  If he's happy and sleeping, then we are happy.

Long Lunch

On March 21, 2011, I glance out my office window before I head home for lunch and notice the bumper on my car seems to be hanging low on one side.  I wasn't really surprised.  My car has 200,000+ miles on it, and its been around the block more than once since I got it the summer before college.  I could write a few stories about my car, but I will spare you for now!

So, I hop in my car to come home for lunch, after a few blocks, I hear a noise so I turn of the radio to pay closer attention to the sound coming from the front bumper area.  As I drive a few more blocks, it is getting worse.  By now, something is dragging, I'm picturing the whole bumper is dragging but I decide not to look.  I'm almost home, I can't stop now.  Then as I turn up the hill, there is definitely some metal dragging, and then, snap!  This time I do stop so I can pick up whatever fell off.  Luckily it was just a strip of metal that must attach the bumper to the frame.  By now I am just a few houses away from home and I pull into the driveway.  Yikes, my bumper is hanging low, and I'm going to have to show Zach this metal piece that fell off.  I'm convinced he'll tell me that I should have stopped several blocks back and walked home.

Before I get out of the car, Brooks is already out on the driveway.  We have a little problem with them being able to unlock the front door and they can escape in a blink of an eye.  Zach solved that issue by cutting some wedges out of wood.  One issue solved!

Then, I walk into the front room to tell Zach about my car.  But, I'm easily distracted by a puddle that Brooks left me to clean up, probably right before he went out the door to greet me.

Zach is in the kitchen so I advance to the next room, but am distracted once again.  I look at the leather couch and I don't like what I see.  Brooks and Adlyn have scratched all three seat cushions with their fingernails.  You'd think we had a cat, but we don't - we have two two-year olds that can do damage very quietly, only to be discovered by their parents at a later date. 

When it rains, it pours.  Which problem do we solve first?  Well, Zach cleans up the puddle made by Mr. Brooks, I proceed to find the leather conditioner to try to save our couch, and then all four of us head outside to assess the car. 

Luckily Zach was able to fix the car with a simple bolt that he had in the garage, and he had two little helpers to carry all of the tools needed to the car. 

By now my lunch hour is over, I think I grabbed some pretzels to eat on the way back.

I'd really like to come home for lunch sometime without anything to discover, fix, or solve.  You know, just sit down as a family and eat a meal.  I don't foresee that happening anytime soon.

Just to note, the couch was scratched again on March 29.  I'm thinking about looking into declawing.