Saturday, July 11, 2009

I Just Made You Say Underwear!

I have deemed July (insert booming voice) The Month of the Potty. Oh yeah, I'm sure you all want to come and visit me now! Winter3 is almost 3 1/2 and starting preschool in September. We're at the point where potty training isn't just a nifty's a must. I'll be honest and say that I haaaaaattttteeeee potty training. I know, who likes it? It's one of those tasks that didn't seem so horrible before we had kids. That was before we knew anything.

My job is complicated by two things...the fact that I have boys and the fact that my children are stubborn and hard headed. Many (not all) of the little girls I know are horrified at the thought of sitting in their own excrement. Boys, not so much. It's next to impossible to convince a little boy to leave his favorite car/truck/train/book/tv show for a trip to the bathroom. You can see the wheels turning...why on earth would I want to do that? I have a perfectly good diaper/pullup/pair of underwear for that. I don't think boys are ever truly convinced it's a necessary interruption. In fact, I'm willing to bet that many men I know hate the fact that they have pull themselves away from the tv to use the bathroom.

Porcelain god takes on a whole new meaning as a parent in the midst of potty training and I have done things I never imagined: cheered for dry underwear; cajoled and bribed for trips to the potty; cheered for pee in potty; tried to convince Winter3 that being a "big boy" is a good thing (he doesn't believe me); told all my friends about trips to the potty; danced a potty dance; told Winter3 all the people he knows who use the potty "Hey, did you know that Elmo uses the potty?/Let's go play with [insert name here]. I know he uses the potty. /Daddy's home! I bet he used the potty at work." The damn potty takes over life and it's exhausting.

During The Month of the Potty, Winter3 has been doing pretty well. When we're home, I keep him in thick cloth training pants. I've promised that as soon as he uses the potty all the time, he can start wearing his "fancy underwear" (or "under-whare" as he says). Fancy under-whare has fantastic designs like Wonder Pets, Bob the Builder, Mickey Mouse, Go Diego Go and Spiderman...basically everything I could find in an attempt to make Winter3 think the potty is cool. Until then, I'll put on my big girl underwear and my happy face and continue to cheer, cajole, bribe, and dance around my porcelain god.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Quotable Quotes

Things moms may or may not want to hear...

1. "I really have to pee but Summer10's in there so I'll just go outside" says Spring7. Um, no, we have THREE other bathrooms in our house.

2. "My mom is such a good cook that she forgets she's a good cook until she eats someone else's food" says Summer10 to a group of adult friends as we're serving ourselves at a potluck picnic.

3. "It will be fine. Each part is strong enough to hold an angry mob of ants" says Spring7 to me trying to prove that the sled he's building for Fall21months is strong enough. What's one toddler compared to an angry mob of ants? Apparently, there's no comparison because the sled fell apart. To Spring7's credit, he planned to pull Fall21months not the other way around.

4. "Have you heard the story about the five boys and one lonely girl?" asked Spring7 as a way of introducing himself to a neighbor. Neighbor thought he was about to hear a fable but Spring7 told him that was our family. Seriously, if there's one thing I'm not, it's lonely!

5. "Just wait a minute. I'll get a broom" says Winter3 to his baby brother. The two of them had been helping themselves to a snack and obviously made a mess. I guess the three year old wildman deserves some credit for intending to and knowing how to clean it up.

6. "Hey Steph, you have a big blob of mustard on your shirt" says the husband upon coming home at 6:30. Mustard had been there since lunch and I never noticed.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Prince of the Playground

When a three year old makes up his mind to wear a hat, there's no dissuading him. Last night, with one on a scooter, one on a bike and two in a stroller, all four boys and I headed to our neighborhood park. Winter3 decided that the beautiful summer evening called for a hat. You'd think he might get a little warm but he didn't seem to notice. Winter3 isn't a kid who does a few monkey bars and then swings either. He runs, jumps, climbs, leaps, crawls and scurries from one place to the next. I will admit that the hat made him much easier to find on the playground!

Usually, I make Winter3 stick with me and Fall21months but last night I let him run ahead to catch up to his brothers. While I pushed the stroller on the walking path, he ran across the field to the playground as fast as his little legs would go. Like a dog who is off a leash, he kept looking back at me as if he couldn't quite believe that I was letting him free.

With hat still on, he walked almost the entire way home. Make that ran. Only once we got home and sat down with a snack did he reveal the sweaty head that was under the hat. In true three year old fashion, I'm willing to bet you that once winter comes, he'll want nothing to do with a head covering of any kind!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. We put aside our differences and celebrate our country which belongs to all of us.

For the past few years, my husband and I have divided the Fourth of July festivities. He typically takes the big boys to the afternoon parade while I relax at home with sleeping babies. In turn, I take the big boys to the fireworks while he relaxes at home with sleeping babies. Everyone is happy! Little boys don't know they've missed out on anything. Big boys get to do everything. We each get a little downtime and funtime with the boys.

This year, Summer10 and Spring7 were walking in the parade with their Cub Scout pack along with their Daddy Den leader. I was more than happy not to be involved with that.

Saturday night the big boys and I headed out to the fireworks. Winter3 loves fireworks too but he's terrified of the noise and is more of a "watch them on TV" kind of guy. (For the record, all loud noises scare him. During thunderstorms, his whole body quivers like a frightened pup.) We went to a new location this year recommended by some friends. We found a great patch of grass, laid out our blanket and...waited. I love the fireworks but every year I think the waiting will kill me. Waiting with Summer10 and Spring7 involves lots of wiggling, jiggling and poking of brothers. (It's a big blanket but at some point your brother might touch you with his toe. You'll live.) This year, Summer10 even sang a song about waiting. Oh yes, it's that fun.

When it was time for the fireworks I indicated the general direction we should be looking. BAM! We all laughed because when the fireworks started we realized that they were RIGHT THERE. Front row seats! Now, a street light was RIGHT THERE too but seriously, if that's the worst thing in my life, I'm doing okay.

Fireworks are loud, of course, and Spring7 held his ears the whole time. When he needed to take a drink or or move around, I held his ears. (I'm such a good mom, don't ya know!) By covering his ears, he missed not only on the booms! but his brother's incessant talking. Summer10 felt the need to narrate the fireworks. A sample: "Maybe this is the grand finale. No, maybe this is the grand finale. Wouldn't it be cool if that firework did [blank] instead of [blank]? That's my favorite. No, that's my favorite." I'd rub his back and say, "Hey, buddy, let's just enjoy them." Fifteen seconds of silence later..."Sometimes the bright ones are big ones and sometimes they aren't." Sigh.

During the grand finale (when we finally got to it!), all I could do was appreciate the moment and enjoy those boys for all that they are...Spring7 holding his ears and Summer10 humming the 1812 Overture. He missed all the cannons but who am I to complain?