He Pooped — Kid’s a Genius

Yup. I’m that mom who’s going to tell the whole world about her child’s potty behavior. If you find fault, please get over it. It’s not like I’m going to get graphic or show pictures (um…which I DO have…I’m clearly a first-time parent ;-)). ANYhoo, welcome!
Hadman is just over 18 months old. If my very shoddy math is correct, that’s a year and a half. Firstly, I can’t believe the time has gone so quickly from his first birthday to his “half-year” mark, but I guess time in general does whatever it wants when children come along. This is my excuse for pinning 2nd birthday themes, and I’m stickin’ to it.

Over two weeks ago, while at his grandparents’ house (and Mommy and Daddy were enjoying a wicked meal at The Tailor and the Cook), he let Grandma know that he wanted to go potty. Mind you, he’s verbal, but not
that verbal — he has cues and he knows how to use ‘em. (Grabbing a pillow and a dipe, which means he wants his diaper changed/potty’s happening; pointing at the potty. Nothing too vulgar…yet.) He proceeded to go both “1 and 2.” Whoa.

I wasn’t totally shocked, although the fact that he “did” both was astonishing. Santa had brought him a super sleek, super comfortable potty (yup, Santa went with the deluxe “has a higher back and even spots for him to rest his arms on” model; he looks like an old man leaning back, I swear). We only got one since we weren’t sure if we’d need one both upstairs and down (the bathroom is upstairs, but we’re keeping it in the kitchen since we spend most of our non-sleeping time downstairs, and let’s just say that the flooring’s not carpeted).
“How ya like the chassis on that one, guy?

From the moment he saw it, he decided to lug this kinda clunky “chair” around and simply sit in it. We didn’t see any issue with him using it this way since I wasn’t sure when we’d officially start the potty-training process. Well, I’m guessing that he’d noticed his cousin using her potty, because he started showing cues that he was ready. He would sit on it and make noises and look like he was “pushing”. Eventually, he would just come and point to it, so we’d ask if he’d like to use it and he’d immediately say “uh-huh!!” (I wish you could hear it; it’s a very high-toned, adorable sound that occasionally borders on “of course, why didn’t you know I wanted to do that this very moment?” annoyed.) So, he went a little. Then, the next day, he went a little more. It’s been sporadic since then, but he’s gone a TON more at his grandma’s house (she’s his daily sitter, too).

Okay, so maybe this is getting a little graphic. Sorry!

As I see it, he’s kind of potty-training himself at this point. If he wants to, great (and we celebrate with a potty dance and high-fives and lots of praise), but if he wants to use his diaper, no big.

We didn’t push him into it. He showed us he was ready and quite interested. I’m going to get some poster paper and make a “chart” (just a half-sheet of poster paper that says something like “Hadley’s Chart” or something inconspicuous…y’know, for when we have the Fancypants family over and don’t want them to know we’re keeping track of his poops and tinkles) where we can place stickers every time he goes. It’s basic, but I don’t want to do a calendar (I may start jotting down on the family calendar the number of each that he does to keep track, though) to make him feel like he HAS to do it EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Now, as far as M&Ms or anything like that…well. Hmm. How do I say this? I don’t want to offend anyone, since I’m pretty sure I might have had a “treat” for going potty (although when I was fully trained, it was a let-down not to get something anymore…since pottying is pretty much a toddler’s only job, aside from not biting — which I’m told I failed at), but we’re not keen on using food (especially the dye-laden kind) to reward behavior. I might consider using raisins or his organic graham cracker bunnies if he falls off the wagon (er, potty) and starts needing additional encouragement, but for now I’m hoping to stick with the positive praise and stickers that he can put on himself (stickers are his thing…actually, they’re almost every toddler’s thing).

I MEAN NO OFFENSE TO THOSE WHO CHOOSE THIS METHOD!!! I’m also not judging you. Just don’t judge me for using something as boring, er, wonderful as stickers. Every parent’s different; there’s no right or wrong way here!

Anyhoo, all that being said, I fully expect him to regress. I’m not hoping for it, of course, but I find that it’s easier to be flexible and prepared in situations (especially such unknowns as kids) if you ready yourself for possible failure. Some might call it pessimistic, but I don’t intend to be. (I’d say I’m a realistic optimist, personally.) Besides, I’ve known other kids to hit a setback and end up needing a dipe here or there (or, heck, who need to hit the “reset” button on potty training altogether), anyway. Since he’s so ahead-of-the-game on this, I don’t want to make him feel horribly if he does have a setback.

Oh, and is it weird that just about the time he started getting interested in potty-training, he started getting way pickier about food? He used to eat literally everything and anything put before him (“our little eater”); now, his favorites (like peas and corn) are left on the plate. At least he still likes things like carrots (for now), but it throws your mind and heart for a loop when you’re so used to his habits. I guess like I said before, I should prepare myself for all sorts of disappointments. 🙂

If you have a little one, when were they potty-trained? Or are you planning to start trying at a certain age? Do you have a method you tried/will try? Do share! And, remember — this is a no-judgment zone!

Side note: Given how “advanced” (early) he is on this thing, I totally expect any future kids to be wicked late and teach me a whole new lesson. Hmm. Okay, maybe I am a pessimist. Sometimes.

Gettin’ It Together

We’re on a tiny bit of a pre-holidays organizing kick. It’s kind of funny, though — this is usually the time when we have to resign ourselves (well, I do; Dave’s never okay with clutter) to the idea that “with holidays comes great messiness.” It is what it is.

However, this year I’ve already told myself that the downstairs of our house is not allowed to get cluttered beyond the norm. (We usually have an odd box of diapers or kid/kitty toys strewn haphazardly around, but it’s a quick pick-up.) Last year, I used the dining room as the dump-all for shopping bags full of gifts, wrapping accoutrements, and so forth. This year, with an active toddler about, something’s gotta give.

So, while I’m working on getting our office clean enough to then get messy (doesn’t make 100% sense to me, either, but we’ll get there) and *finally* working on our coat closet (at least I didn’t have to switch from summer over to winter…ahem….), we realized that we’d already had enough of another mess-related issue in our house — the kitchen cabinets.

Namely, our lower ones. We never put the safety things on ’em because we’re okay with Hadley playing with certain harmless items (namely anything plastic and storage containers). The under-sink ones DO have safety thingamabobbers on them, but those that have all of my kitchen prep and baking items have been open season. He’s pretty good about leaving them alone, but the one thing he’s consistently being told not to go after is…dun dun duuuuuun, the blender unit. The glass pitcher isn’t an issue, but the buttons and long cord are too much for him; he won’t take “no” (and I mean NO) for an answer.

So, instead of giving him a constant reason to be scolded, we emptied the three main cabinets (the fourth is pretty much all set…as well as it can be) and did the “what do we need/what do we use” analysis. There is a lot of psychology involved in organization, after all.

Here’s the offending blender cabinet…

 And the mess as a whole…

Yes, they look nasty. They’re clean, I promise. I’m hoping to give them a coat of paint this winter. 🙂 My strategy this time was to use the back space to place serving plates and muffin tins, and the lower back space for appliances (popcorn popper, blender, mini chopper) so that Hadley will *hopefully* find something else much safer in the front to pique his interest before reaching anything with a cord. Only time will tell whether this was a genius solution or if it will send us back to the drawing board.

And here’s the crap we were left with. How do we end up with so many plastic storage lids…and no matching containers?? Oh, and that insulated lunch bag is so thin it’s borderline useless in our household. I’m a lover of glass storage containers, and they won’t sit flat in there. I’m sure we’ll put it aside to use some day (or replace it with another much more user-friendly version).

On to the always-hated office clean-up! I’ve got a couple of ideas that may help with our wrapping craziness, if I can execute them. That makes the filing worth it in the end…right? RIGHT?? What are you gettin’ together this holiday season? Or are you just throwing your hands up until the dust (or, snow, as it were) settles?