Thursday, June 30, 2011

Toilet training for dummies, I mean mummies

One of the things I dreaded about parenthood was toilet training. Even before Charlotte came along I knew that I would hate this stage. I'm not sure why I have this attitude, but it all just seems really hard. And the last few weeks I feel justified in that.

I had decided though that Charlotte would be toilet trained by the age of two. Definitely done before the new baby came along. And then I got pregnant. I couldn't even get off the couch let alone worry about taking her to the toilet. And dealing with wees and poos would have been an impossibility. So we decided to delay toilet training. I felt really bad about this, but then Charlotte wasn't really showing any signs of readiness so we just went with it.

I was very happy to just ignore the issue until about 2 weeks ago when Charlotte decided that she didn't want to wear nappies, she wanted to wear undies. Eeeek. So I let her. I figured we could see how the day went. And it was fantastic! I put her on the toilet a number of times and she did a wee each time! No tantrums, it was great! I felt like a brilliant mummy! The next day was a daycare day and we let her go in undies, and she did really well all day, and the next. But then I got a bit erratic and would put her in a nappy to go out or for her nap and forget to take it off. She started to refuse to go to the toilet. We started to have more accidents. I could handle that. That was fine. It was the tantrum over every aspect - I don't want to go, I don't want to wash my hands, I don't want to put my pants back on, and worst of all - I don't want to change my pants after weeing them, instead I want to run around the house leaving little wee wee footprints everywhere. After a particularly trying day where she refused to go to the toilet all day I had had enough and we went back to nappies.

But of course then I felt guilty. We went to the baby expo last weekend and there was a stand there on potty training (, and they had a kit. So I bought it even though I was dubious. First day they recommended just letting your child go and seeing what happens, so that you know how big their bladder is, what is the routine etc. This made sense so that rather than making her go every 30 mins, I now know she only needs to go every 2 hours. But it was still a frustrating day. But then I sat down and read the book that came with it, and talked about the matching chart and stickers. The next day she did wee wees in the potty. And then some more, one little accident, but then the rest of the day was dry!! And the same the next day, we even had a poo in the potty! The last 2 days at daycare she has stayed dry (with one poo accident) and they even said she asked to go. I can't believe it, we seem to have a toilet trained child. I still don't think we are done yet, but we are definitely on our way there.

I have to say though that it has been exhausting. Trying to convince her to go regularly, watching her constantly, being supportive. Phew. All I can say is that I am glad we didn't go and replace our crappy stained carpet with something new and plush because the wee comes out of our crappy stained carpet quite easily!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Some precious moments

Despite the trials of the last few days, where I have been questioning our decision to have children, I've also had some moments where I know it has been all worthwhile.

One such occasion occurred last week. It was a rare day where both children had an afternoon nap, and so I was lucky enough to have one too. We were all refreshed, and I was enjoying a lovely cuppa in the late afternoon. The sun at that time of day comes in our windows and makes pretty patterns on the wall. Charlotte was playing in her toy kitchen. I love to watch her do this. She pours water between all the bowls, stirs it up, feeds it to her baby. Yes it makes a bit of a mess but the conversation she has with herself is just darling. At the same time Angus was lying on his playmat cooing away, smiling and batting at the toys. I suddenly felt this sense of contentment and peace. Ahh. It didn't last long but still, I guess these are the moments we live for.

Here are some piccies:

Charlotte helping me bake a cake. She was sifting piles of flour.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The terrible two's

I know that this time period is called the terrible twos', and it must be called that for a reason. But nobody told me how bad it would be. Everyone warns you about newborns, and teething. But no-one stopped and told me that having a toddler would leave you exhausted, feeling incompetent, useless, and terrible at being a mother.

We are having a challenging time with Charlotte at the moment. I don't think her behaviour is any different to most two year olds, but I feel like I am the only one going through it. She is testing her boundaries. In a big way. And they are big boundaries. I am trying to be consistent, to praise good behaviour blah blah blah. It is very difficult when she is constantly running away from you, yelling, or climbing up to get things she shouldn't.

Of course her language is developing well too. Which means we get lots of "nos". Although that is a simple response now. She has moved on to "Go away mummy!". And also (with arms crossed and a petulant pout) "I'm not very happy with you right now mummy". But when she said to me "whatever" I knew we were in trouble. Surely she is too young to be acting like a teenager??

Yesterday was a particularly trying day. We are trying to toilet train as well (which I will write about separately) but there has been alot of defiance and also alot of cleaning. We were all going to go to the shops but I wanted Charlotte to either sit on the potty first, or put a nappy on. She refused either option, so I told James just to go on his own with Angus. Well that was it, the world was ending. She started to scream and cry at the front door. I couldn't close the door as she was leaning against it, and wouldn't move, so was just standing at the screen door. Then she wet herself. I stripped her and was cleaning up the puddle while she was screaming. She kept saying "I want to go to the shops with Daddy and Angus". Except it sounded more like "IWANNNASHOOPPSDADDYAAAAANGUUSSS". So there she was standing at the screen door, half naked, screaming (and drooling) at the top of her lungs. God knows what the neighbours thought. Since she wouldn't move I figured that I would start the vacuuming and managed to finish that before James came home. She was still going but I had manged to dress her and close the door by then. James said that he could hear her halfway down the street. At least I got the vacuuming done.

I keep trying to tell myself that it is just a stage, it will pass (until Angus goes through it that is). When I have mentioned how hard I'm finding this stage to other, more experienced parents I get that all knowing smile and a nod and an "aaah, just you wait until they are..."

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Gosh I can't believe how fast time is going now. I wish it would just slow down a little. I think time is going so fast because of a few things, all of them I am relieved about.

Angus is now 12 weeks old. And he is sleeping through. Did you read that bit? I"ll shout it for you "HE IS SLEEPING THROUGH!". I am so happy about this. Charlotte didn't come close to sleeping through until she was nearly 12 months old, and even then it took a few months before I could say I had a full night sleep. So for Angus to be doing it now is heaven. He has been doing it for a few weeks although he varies it a bit. Most nights he is down by 7 then up around 6, but he can be up anywhere between 4 - 7 (and the earlier it is he has a feed, then goes back to sleep). He isn't a great sleeper during the day but I'm still getting a few good naps out of him.

It also appears that his reflux is settling down. There are some days where he doesn't vomit at all. However just as I begin to think that it is stopping, he spends half a day covering me in puke. But it is nowhere as bad as Charlotte ever was. And the difference is so obvious. Apart from the sleeping, he likes to lie on the playmat and grab his toys. He will smile, and just these past few days, giggle. I could never leave Charlotte alone or lying down as she would just cry and cry. At the moment he is lying on his playmat and I can hear him cooing away. So divine.

One other thing I am relieved about is Angus's hypospadias We knew about this from birth as it is a congenital abnormality. Initially the paediatrician said that he might need a minor corrective procedure. Then at the 6 week checkup he thought he would need his urethra reconstructed and referred us to a surgeon. While it was still a minor procedure, the thought of my baby undergoing surgery was just awful. We saw the surgeon last week and we are so relieved that he doesn't need surgery. The surgeon thought that it was mild, and that as long as his aim is straight (which given my showering the other day I think it is), then no surgery is required. He does have two openings for his urethra though so it might even be a party trick when he is older.

But it felt odd as we were leaving. The specialist was on the side of town where the IVF clinic and my OB were. Driving home I realised that we don't need to go to any health professional in the foreseeable future. We don't need to find money for medical costs, we don't need to think about any health issues. That stage is finally over. I am still sad that that also means no more babies, but hugely relieved that we can start to move on with our lives.

Lastly I am relieved that the sickness that has plagued us these last few weeks seems to be abating. Last week all of us except Angus were on antibiotics which was very unpleasant. Even though Angus is sleeping through, I am still on the weary side. And being sick just wasn't helping. This weekend I am hoping that we can have a nice day out as a family as there has been a bit of tension in this household lately (largely due to James working stupid crazy hours!).