Category Archive : preschool

When He Gets Older

From about the time we brought Jack home as a newborn to now, we keep using the phrase, “When he gets older…”

If I may tell a truth… the older he gets the harder it gets. I’m thinking “When he gets older” really means “When he’s 18 and on his way to college.”

My 3.5 year old child is:

  • Fast
  • Smart
  • Sassy
  • Adventurous
  • Fearless

For some reason when he was a baby we thought everything was impossible. In retrospect, we could cart him just about anywhere! How was that impossible? Why didn’t we do more? Sure we had to deal with dirty diapers, feedings and spit ups but that is cake compared to potty training accidents, tantrums and incessant whining.

No flames here, but we chose to parent our child in a very scheduled manner. From eating to sleeping, we have a schedule for just about everything we do. Are we flexible? Of course. Now that Jack is getting older, he is able to voice when he is thirsty or hungry so waiting until a “scheduled” time to eat seems a little cruel and unusual not to mention, there are just nights when he is most definitely not tired at 7:30pm. 

One of the hardest things for us to do is let someone do it for us. I finally talked my husband into going on a real date night. One where we go to dinner and a movie at a normal date time (like… not the middle of the afternoon), stay out late and drink a ton. Despite 3.5 years of her begging, he wouldn’t bend on letting his mom babysit. I haven’t the slightest clue what his hangup was, but I was finally over it. We were going out. Thrilled to pieces that I asked her after all this time, my mother-in-law broke land speed records to get to our house that afternoon. I made a bet with my cranky/anxious husband that she would get Jack to sleep without any issues (or should I say issues outside of the normal 3 year old anti going to bed issues). I dragged my nervous husband out the door so we could make it to our dinner reservations on time. Smartly, he ordered a scotch when we got there. He eventually calmed down enough to enjoy my wifely company and we proceeded to have one of the BEST movie experiences ever. I don’t think there are many of these movie theaters out there, but if you are ever able to buy VIP movie tickets at a Paragon Odyssey theater, I highly recommend it. Around 8:15p, we got a text from mother-in-law: “He is sound asleep.” Immediate relief shown in my dear husband’s face. We even sat down for a couple drinks after the movie.

It was one of the BEST date nights we have had in a very long time. Our marriage ached for it and needed it.

While we don’t consider ourselves helicopter parents, we do have some trust issues when it comes to leaving our son with other people. Yes that includes family. Mostly it has to do with breaking the schedule and the reprogramming we have to do to get back to our daily routine. After my sister-in-law settled down to get married and start her own family over the last year and a half, we lost our go-to babysitter and admittedly were kind of lost. We often drop him at my parent’s house but that typically means an early night out and certainly very little booze (yeah… hubs and I like our liquor). Having his mom babysit for us was a big step. And guess what? Jack is still alive. MIL is happy to have her new babysitter status. It’s a small step towards hopefully bigger things (OVERNIGHT date maybe?? Dare to dream…).

We confess. We are a work in progress. Stay tuned… I have a post forthcoming about our summer trip to Disney. If you thought trusting a new babysitter was hard, try the stress of bringing our preschooler on a plane for the first time…

Patience & Potty Training

I’m not sure the words “Patience” and “Potty Training” actually belong in the same sentence let alone the same breath, but in order for one to be successful the other needs to happen.

No doubt, my husband and I butt heads on a lot of things concerning our son. It seems the older he gets, the more we disagree about. One thing in particular we have argued about is potty training. I paged through a number of books from Guerilla Tactics for Potty Training (okay, that wasn’t the name but I was horrified by the suggestions for how to potty train) to Potty Train in a day. The book that made the most sense and I feel has given us the most useful suggestions has been “Stress Free Potty Training” by Sara Au and Peter Stavinoha, Ph.D. It recommends identifying your child’s personality type and then giving recommended strategies for the type of child you have. Let’s face it, every child is different so why would you try to potty train them the same way?

We have worked on being patient and letting Jackson call the shots when it comes to potty training. He could have CARED LESS about it until a little over a month ago. We also offered him the option but he vehemently said he wanted nothing to do with the toilet. Out of the blue, I showed up at school to pick him up and they said he had been going every hour. Color me shocked.

Turns out losing his best friend to preschool was his motivation. He will not get to move into the preschool room until he is fully potty trained.

This motivated us as parents to start getting more aggressive with him. We had a couple weeks of setbacks with my having surgery and his birthday bash- neither good times to be putting underwear on him. A week ago we just went ahead and did it. There are accidents of both kinds if you catch my drift and it wears on my patience to have to constantly have new pants and underwear readily available for him to change into. While it takes everything in me not to get angry and scold him for the accidents, I know disciplining him is only going to be a setback. So in my most CALMING mommy voice, I explain to him that his poop and pee needs to go on the toilet and we head off to the bathroom to clean and start over. I remind my husband to remain calm as well. Not an easy task when there is amazingly stinky underwear to be cleaned up and a puddle of pee on our lovely wood floors.

Day by day, Jackson’s getting the hang of the potty thing. We have found he is very much able to hold his potty longer than the meager every 30 minutes on the potty we have been forcing him into and have started to extend that time a little longer every day. Poop on the other hand… I am at a loss. He’s just not getting it. We told him there are animals waiting on the other side of the drain that are hungry for his poop. No go. We’re trying to make pooping awesome and hilarious and hoping that he will find it so much fun to take a crap that it is all he’ll want to do.

So far we are still waiting for him to find pooping to be awesome.