I am a writer and a Mommy. I am a devout Jew. These are the most important books I have read: The Tao te Ching by Lao Tzu, Stephen Mitchell translation. Spiritual Divorce by Debbie Ford. Living Inspired by Akiva Tatz. My kitchen would suggest I'm a closet carny, as would my love of Branson.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Wild Card

I remember thinking I'd have an easy delivery with Jacob.  I'd had a very easy one with Chaya.  The Doctor did warn me though.  She said that the third baby is a wild card.  You had a quick labor with #1 and a quicker labor with #2?  That doesn't matter, she said.  Third kid's a wild card.

Jacob has been different in most ways from my first two babies.  To sum it up, he always keeps us guessing.  I worried a lot when he didn't say Momma or Mommy or anything like that for the longest time.  I knew it was probably because he hears Spanish 50 hours a week and then English the other 40 he is awake.  But still.  It was a huge relief when he really started talking - just over a month ago.

I love the way he sings and appreciates music and dancing more than I would ever expect from a 1 1/2 year old.  And I love the way he jumps in the air even when it's on the couch or off the back of the couch.

My dear, beautiful wild card, he is the biggest joy - but Jacob is 20 months old and I'm having a lot of trouble accepting that he has zero interest in using the potty.

Potty training is one of my favorite things to do with a little kid.  I don't know why but I love teaching a kid to part with diapers.

I can't remember how my first child got interested in it or even when but I know he was practicing by the time he was this age.  He was in underwear (having a lot of accidents) by this age and he was completely done with diapers day and night by age 2 1/2.

With my daughter, I wrote down the day she said to me: I go pee potty.  She was exactly 18 months old.

The only thing I really did with those two was talk about it.  Day in and day out from the time they were 1 I would say, do you have to make pee pee?  Want to pee on the potty?  Oh, you went poo poo. Should we put it in the potty?

Sorry this is gross.  It's free therapy.

I feel like it might be that I haven't been around much - I didn't work full time when Noah and Chaya were babies.  For Noah I was there part-time and for Chaya I was there full time.  And I'm all about potty training.  It was so easy with them.

I have no idea what happens with Jacob and Rosa in terms of trying for the potty but I think she does try.

The thing is, I really thought Jacob would be even easier than the first two to potty train.  From the time he was born he would cry when his diaper was full of poop and sometimes even when it was just wet.  I couldn't believe a tiny baby would care but it really made him happy to get a clean diaper.  In fact, by the time he was just over one he was bringing me the wipes the minute he finished pooping!

I thought this kid would be so easy to train.  Just start telling him all about it.  You don't like poop in your pants?  Poop on the potty!  You don't want poop on you?  Poop in the potty!

As soon as I started telling him this he quit telling me when he was poopy.  Instead he would go hide to poop and run screaming if he said I wanted to change him.  Is this my fault?  Am I mean?  Did I sound like pooping was awful and make him feel bad about it?

One day I tried something.  I said, I know you want to keep your poops.  You made them after all! But you can make more later.  He calmed down and let me change his diaper.  Does he really want to keep his poops?  Who knows.

I just don't know what to do now.  I kind of gave up even asking him about peeing on the potty.  We have potty seats upstairs and downstairs and a tiny urinal next to his bathtub where I show him his rubber duck peeing and he just says, agua!

At this point I am feeling quite a bit of despair.  Do I buy him the potty books?  Do I get potty elmo? Do I get another potty seat?  Do I leave him alone?  Switch to cloth diapers.  The truth is I have become one of THOSE Moms.  The ones who do nothing because it's too hard so they miss the window.

I don't want to miss the window!  That's my entire and complete theory of potty training.  That when a kid shows any interest in using the potty you train them and you put up with any and all accidents because the kid is ready to pee in the right place.  If you miss that window, the kid learns it's just fine to pee in their pants and then it is so hard to train them, especially at night.

I know Jacob knows when he goes to the bathroom and that is all that is needed to potty train. Nothing else.  If the kid knows when he is going to go, you train them.

So, you don't believe me?  Well, every night before bath when we take off his diaper he will happily pee on the floor next to the tiny urinal.  And if I leave him with his diaper off for five minutes he will poop on the floor.  Every time!

The kid knows how to pee and poop when he wants....  Do you get my agony here?  I feel that I am in the window and I'm floundering around and going to miss the window!

Maybe it's because he is behind on his language skills.  He speaks Spanish better than English and I don't understand the sentences he says in Spanish.  I know some of the words and I know the English words he says but when he says sentences I have no clue what he's saying.  He could be saying, I need to take a shit right now.  Take me to the bathroom.  I would not know.

What do I do?  Do I just take all of Saturday to hang out with him diaperless and when he starts to pee bring him to the potty and then give him candy?

Oh, that's the most important step in potty training.  Give the kid candy every time they go to the bathroom until they are all the way trained.  Kids don't go back to peeing in a diaper when you stop giving them candy.  They just think you are a weirdo for a day or two and then they forget about the candy.

I'm really torn.  I feel like Jacob totally gets the short end of the stick in all ways.  I am not home with him, I barely have the energy to play with him when I am home (the kid knows how to use an ipad - that's how bad of a Mom I am).  And the most incriminating evidence of all - he has not even started potty training.

I can't make peace with this.  Next week my parents are coming out to watch him for 7 days.  He better be potty trained when I get back!

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