I’m allowed to not cope

I am World’s Worst Mum today, and I’m okay with that.

Nobody is perfect, and nobody does everything right all the time.

So I’m comfortable with admitting that today, as well as having some wonderful fun with my children (like our Neil Diamond Dance Party in the living room), I’ve also cried and screamed at them. I’ve been angry and frustrated, I’ve struggled with them and with my temper.

I should be quite accustomed to telling somebody the same thing twenty times a day only to have them forget it just as frequently. I am, after all, married. Oh, and I’ve got kids. But today it is getting to me, largely because the thing I have needed to say over and over is, “Do your poo in the toilet, not in your underpants.” I’ve asked her, I’ve told her, I’ve begged her, I’ve bribed her.

Once I got to reward her. I even made up a song, to the tune of ‘Sex on the Beach’:Ellie did poo in the loo, then she got some chocolate! Poo in the loo, it made her mummy happy!

And of course I’m not just saying it over and over, I’m also cleaning the damn underpants over and over. That is a major contributor to the frustration. I don’t know if you’ve had to clean poopy underpants six times in as many hours, but it gets old fast. Worse, perhaps, is the knowledge that if she’s smearing her undies, she almost certainly does need to go properly, but she just won’t!

So yeah. I’m not really coping very well. I am going batshit crazy. But it’s just one day, and tomorrow cannot possibly be worse. Right?

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Milestones and acheivements

Elspeth

A few weeks ago I finally decided it was time to properly potty train Elspeth. So I said to her, ‘No more nappies during the day, it’s underpants or nothing from now on.’ She threw a tantrum, but I’m bigger than her so I won. And we’ve had remarkably few accidents! She rarely needs reminding or prompting, she goes on the potty by herself, and often asks to use the toilet too. So that’s good!

Evelyn

In the last week or so, Evelyn has figured out crawling! She’s getting around like a champion now, and follows me around the house all the time. She is also starting to babble, making quite a few nice consonant sounds – ‘ba’ and ‘da’ and ‘ga’. She’s done the occasional ‘da-dee’, which Aidan is happy to claim as her first word. There are also some ‘hiyas’ and ‘yeahs’.

Me

I’ve been studying hard and I’ve just about finished my most recent unit – Worlds of Early Modern Europe. Next week I start on the Fall of the Roman Republic.

Nappy freeeeee

I’m going to try not to be overly graphic, but I feel this is something that needs to be recorded and commemorated.

Potty training chart from the last two days

Previous efforts at potty training Elspeth have been half-hearted at best, and led by her rather than encouraged by us. I’m not really sure why that is; possibly a combination of uncertainty, unwillingness to pressure her, and – honestly – a bit of laziness.

But today I am flat out refusing to put a nappy on her. It’s underpants or nothing, mostly nothing so far.

The first three wees were on the floor. Each time I got her to help me clean up, then reminded her to sit on the potty next time she wanted to do a wee. The next two were on the potty. I didn’t need to prompt her, remind her, or ask her if she needed to. She called out, ‘I’m doing a wee!’ and I looked up from something else to see her sitting on the potty of her own volition. The second time was the same.

She loves her chart, and is keen to choose a sticker and stick it on after each go. She’s looking at it right now, saying, ‘A heart, a flower, a flower, a flower, a star. A beautiful chart I got!’

I’m really proud and happy, I’m hoping this is a definitive turning point. I’d love to have one kid out of nappies, not least for the sake of our poor overflowing bin!

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

After several half-hearted, failed, attempts at potty training, we now find ourselves being led by Elspeth herself. Several times in the last few days she has requested to use the potty or the toilet, and we have happily obliged. I’m so proud of my not-so-little-anymore girl! It seems that she has simply decided she is ready, she wants to. Prior to that decision, no amount of cajoling or bribery would convince her to sit on the potty.

I find that the promise of a little bit of TV or playing with the iPad is sufficient reward for her; I don’t need to use stickers or charts or chocolate (yet).

I’m very pleased, and I hope this continues and improves rapidly!

Where they’re at

Being the beginning of a new year, I thought it appropriate to do a post about my children and their current states of development. This is something I hope they will look back on in years to come!

Elspeth, two and a half years old

  • Loves to wear purple dresses
  • Still obsessed with Winnie the Pooh
  • Cheeky and playful, tries to play tricks on people
  • Very good vocabulary and sentence structure
  • Starting to make up words for fun
  • Recognises a few written words like ‘Ellie’ and ‘Mummy’ and ‘Daddy’
  • Loves books and stories
  • Excellent imagination, which comes through in her games
  • Going through a bit of a boundary-testing, tantrum-throwing stage
  • Fussy with food, won’t eat a lot of things
  • Favourite food is vegemite sandwiches
  • Still not potty trained
  • Runs around singing songs, including making up songs; some tunes are recognisable even when she uses different words
  • In the new year (very soon) I want to get Elspeth toilet trained, eating real foods, and sleeping without a dummy

Evelyn, three months old

  • Capable of rolling over (but forgets how sometimes)
  • Lots of smiles and laughs, especially first thing in the morning
  • Sleeps well, but not all night yet
  • Babbles, very chatty
  • Can’t quite sit up, but is making the effort
  • When she wants something, her shriek is ear-piercing
  • In the new year (very soon) I’d like Evelyn to be rolling over regularly and beginning to eat some solids