Potty Time!

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Ahhhh… the sweet years of potty training…  The stuck in limbo phenomenon of having to choose whether the headache of diaper changes and their expense are less than the hassle it takes to train another human being on how to make it to the toilet in time. And who the hell are we anyway? Most of us can’t even giggle without letting a drop or two go and WE are supposed to instill the importance of no longer making pee pee in your pants to our children?… Blasphemy.

So what is the best way to tackle this milestone? Depends who you ask. First time parents are going to say that a strict structure and poo poo schedule need to be in order. Toilet training books neatly placed in the magazine rack next to the singing potty chair…..a chart with star stickers on the wall to keep track of progress and to encourage more….. special treats to be given after a successful trip to the bathroom…

Great plan! I envy you people. If you are a parent that is capable of this style potty training and can consistently stick with it, more power to you! For the rest of us and/or second, third, fourth time parents… Stick a pull up on the kid and hope for the best. Thankfully, if the potty trainee has older siblings, your job is a LITTLE bit easier. And I emphasize a “little” bit. If your dealing with a brother/sister combo, you’re going to have your little princess attempting to pee standing in front of the potty “like brother does”… Yeah…not very helpful.

It’s hard to decide if you want to encourage your child by allowing them to try big boy/girl pants for a day. In the back of your mind you are thinking about the added mess that will be attached to said encouragement. Number 2 smeared into a pair of training pants is a lot different than just dealing with an average filled diaper. Scrubbing the massive wet circle of pee off your living room rug isn’t quite as convenient as simply wiping a tush and applying powder.

What do we do? The answer is simple. THE BEST YOU CAN. Our goal, as parents, is to prepare our children for their adult years and using the bathroom is pretty important. Make it seem as fun as you possibly can and remember that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel. Added savings from not having to purchase diapers, wipes, powder and diaper cream can give you a little encouragement of your own.

Keep up the good work! Before you know it you’ll be banging on the bathroom door, yelling for your kids to “hurry up… Mom’s gotta pee!”

 

 

This thing called “Voot”.

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I just can’t handle it!

We are all crazy about our kids, right? So much so that we have difficulty finding words to express the overwhelming mix of emotions we experience when looking at our children.

Well ladies.. there IS such a word and that word is “voot”.  Back on July 31 of 2008, 2 young women added this word and its definition to our world wide webs urban dictionary (definition #3). Clever gals! There’s no doubt in my mind these women are mothers and use this word often.

As referenced in the link above, you may experience an uncontrolled grinding of your teeth when voot strikes. A smile so big that your face hurts is not uncommon either. These precious little creations of ours are just too darn adorable to contain any sense of normalcy. Why do you think Grandmother’s are so famous for pinching cheeks? VOOT!

Voot is an emotion that can strike easily and often. Pride goes hand in hand with voot when focusing strictly on our children. “Look Mommy, I finished the puzzle and I did it all by myself!”… “I helped my brother with his homework, Mom!”…The sight of your kids exchanging hugs and I love yous.. Or when your infant baby giggles while blowing spit bubbles. These are all examples of what will cause voot for parents.

As wonderful as it sounds, voot can also be a frustrating feeling. There’s a struggle to place the build up of energy in body. Your hands on your cheeks or clenching of fists in collaboration with a high pitched squeal leaves you feeling only semi-satisfied.

It is what it is. Our ability to produce the most incredibly cute, adorable, funny, talented, smart, beautiful and amazing kids requires we learn to cope with this interesting stew of emotions.

Let the voot in! Go with the flow, embrace the sensation and accept there’s no controlling it. The sum of all it is to love these incredible gifts = voot.

 

Order Up!

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Picture this… A gorgeously juicy fillet mignon… grilled asparagus drizzled in olive oil.. roasted potatoes with parmesan and rosemary.. a tall, icy glass of raspberry iced tea.. Ahhh, a decadent meal. You’re in a state of zen as your mouth absorbs the first bite. So many delicious flavors gliding against your tongue all at once.

Then… like a slap across the face you are warped back to reality with the sound of your children’s complaints. “I don’t want steak for dinner”…. “Ewww, what’s this green stuff?”… “I am NOT eating this”…

“What the heck is wrong with you people?!” These words may almost (or actually) escape your mouth. There couldn’t be a better dinner on the table than this. Why do our children insist on possessing such a small menu of accepted foods? How exhausted are we by all the chicken nuggets, pizza rolls, hot dogs, and mac-n-cheese meals we have prepared for our kids. It feels like a lottery win when they ask you for an apple for snack or banana slices on their cereal. Thank goodness for Nutella because they THINK it’s just chocolate on their waffles.

How do we break the chain of unhealthy classic kid meal requests? The answer is simple. Don’t give them a choice. Ever heard of the expression “take it or leave it” ? There it is. Your children WILL eat whatever you have prepared for dinner if they are hungry enough. Stick to your guns and make it clear that alternative requests will not be accepted. This isn’t Denny’s kids.

We want our children to be healthy and giving in to the ease of quick, microwavable meals all the time is not good for them. Make these favorite options a once in a while treat. It’s unrealistic to think that we don’t rely on these convenient options but everything in moderation.

It’s always successful to remind your kids that they will turn into a nugget if they eat too many of them. Also, sing the opples and bononos song to help encourage more fruit eating. Humor is the perfect outlet here. Celebrating, cheering and praising healthy choices will conclude with a healthier way of living for us all.

 

Hide and Don’t Seek…

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Have you ever found yourself teetering on the edge of a breakdown that you had no control over? I think we all have. That moment where you’ve had one too many interruptions, tantrums, doors slammed, over due bills, or simply forgot your sons dentist appointment and you are drown by emotion. That lump in your throat chokes you, your lip and chin quiver and you try your damnedest not to let the tears fall. If you are capable of getting it together in these moments, give yourself a hard pat on the back. It’s almost impossible.

So what do we do when struck by a boo hoo fest?..  HIDE. You want to avoid your children seeing you in this state. They’re going to think they’ve done something wrong and/or be worried about their Mommy. This isn’t about them or anything they’ve done, it’s about a release of pent up stressful emotion that can not be contained. It happens to the best of us.

So, back to hiding…not only is it traumatizing for your kids to witness their Mother having a nervous breakdown, it’s just plain unattractive in general. Unless you look just like Kate Upton, snotty noses and puffy eyes aren’t flattering. Find a place where you can be alone for a few minutes to collect yourself. I know, I know, alone time is a joke. But you CAN go in the bathroom, lock the door and let the flood gates open. Timing is key here. You can’t blat like a blubbering fool for too long. Remember, your kids are on to you. Keep the release short and sweet. Get enough out to where you can jump right back in to Mommy mode and your children won’t be the wiser. There’s always going to be a next time to attempt to let some more out. Baby steps.

Hope your kids don’t find you. In fact, best to designate a hiding spot now in preparation for these kinds of episodes. Much like the fire drills you remember from grade school, it’s important to have a plan of attack. X marks the spot.

Hang in there and acknowledge that feeling this way is unavoidable when you’re a Mother. Do your best to focus on the positive things in life because there are SO many. Blow your nose and get back out there! Let’s do this!