January 4, 2011

Atom Heart Mother

Pink Floyd, Atom Heart Mother 1970

A post that banishes me to the dungeons of mommyblogdom.  A post....about......my children. With opinions, scanned artwork, sugary snaps and cute stories.  In vernacular.

Commence screams of horror.

At least I do not include Tales of Bodily Function.  I do have standards, as low as they may be, they do exist.

Anjali: Joseph and Mary walked to Bethlehem.  And baby Jesus knocked and knocked and KNOCKED.  The innkeeper opened the door and said "all the rooms are TOOKEN!"  And he SHUT THE DOOR!  Then, Joseph and Mary walked back to NazeraHAM.

Arun: All the good guys in my mouth kick the germs OUT of my mouth and into OTHER people's mouths and that's how they get sick.  Right, mama?

Obviously, my comparison of anti-bodies to ninjas was not such a stellar idea.

Scene: I spy Anjali hanging by her feet and hands off the banister at the TOP of the stairs.

Me: Anjali, don't hang on the banister like that. It's dangerous.  You could fall down the entire flight!
Anjali: MAMA. I'm just being a KOALA.
Me: Fine, be a koala, just do it at the BOTTOM of the stairs.
Anjali: MAMA.  Koalas hang HIGH on the branches.  Not LOW.

Obviously, I am no fun and have the imagination of a gnat.

I only write this for that one mother out there who is at her wit's end with toilet training.  Fear not, I am not going to offer any details other than this:

It is okay to wait until your child is actually ready.

Long ago, a friend told me "Kelli, you can't make a kid eat, sleep or poop."  Words to parent by.

With both kids, I conferred with the director of their school and with both kids, the director was adamant that most toilet training involves training the parent as much as the child (constant reminders, having to do everything from undressing to placement on the toilet to wiping)  She is a huge believer in waiting until the child is independent enough to do most of the activities on the toilet alone.  She also advocates waiting until spring time, if possible, since it is easier for the kid to deal with less layers of clothing.  I am so grateful that she and I were on board with this topic - I cannot imagine how stressful it would have been had she pushed the early toilet-training.

Don't get me wrong - I have witnessed, with my own eyes, a kid begin to use the toilet at 18 months with little intervention by her mother.  That little girl was ready and she wanted to use the toilet.  However, far more often, I have seen parents determine that a 2 year old MUST use the toilet and then I watch them struggle and battle it out for the next year.

With both of our kids, we bought them underpants at the age of 2 and began the Potty Talk and videos and books.  Then, we simply waited until they were able to do most of it by themselves.  With both kids, they were not ready until they were nearly 3.5 years old. However, with both kids, toilet "training", per se, took a maximum of 3 weeks, with a minimum of accidents (Arun was good to go after 2 weeks, actually.)

I cannot lie - it totally sucks having people exclaim incredulously "your 3.5 year old isn't potty-trained yet?" as if they are "late" on some incredibly important milestone that might delay their entrance into Harvard. However, I sucked it up and carried forward.  I have no regrets and if we were to have a 3rd kid (we are NOT), I would do nothing different.  I would simply wait, all over again.

Again, if you were an early potty-trainer, that is fine.  I am writing this for that one mother out there who truly does not believe her kid is ready and would prefer to wait until her kid is mostly independent with it.

We still co-sleep.  I have written some about this in the past, I am not going to revisit why we do it.  Again, if you are a crib-sleeper, more power to you.  This bit is for that mother who doesn't want to do cribs.

Co-sleeping absolutely was the way to go for us.  I really regret wasting all that money on a stupid, over-priced clothes hamper crib.  Manoj claims that he is done with sleeping with Arun, but when Arun slept in his own room for awhile, Manoj admitted missing him.  Heh.  Anjali is not moving out any time soon, with which we are completely fine.  I know generations after generations of co-sleepers who managed to move into adulthood just fine (my own dad, my sister Jill, and my own husband were all co-sleepers.)

One word of caution, though.  There is a brand new hazard to co-sleeping and it is absolutely imperative I warn you of it:

Pillow pets

These days, I sleep with a dolphin.

God, I am SO tired of "princess this, princess that".  GAG ME WITH A TIARA.  The other night, Anjali declared she was going to be a princess when she grows up.  Arun informed her "Anju, princesses are only on TV and in games."  Let us leave the cautionary tale that is Lady Diana Spencer for a later day, right?  After learning that Princesses are not a real career option, Anju declared that she wanted to be a girl pirate.  I told her she'd need to relocate to Somalia for that, but let me tell you, twisted humor is lost on the pre-schooler set.

Next to princesses, I am tired of DRESSES.  Last spring, via clearance and garage sales, I carefully put together Anjali's wardrobe for this winter, only to witness her summarily reject the majority of it because it involves SHIRTS (Gasp!) and PANTS (Gasp!) , which are apparently only for lowly commoners, not she of the Princess and Pirate caste.  Double pox on you if the colors involved are not a delicate shade of pink or purple.  Red is allowed on occasion, if the mood strikes (and only if it strikes, just so.)  Blue?  What the hell, woman?

Frankly, I am not convinced in her ability to choose her own outfits.

For I am now uploading scannage of my kid's crappy artwork.  Gentle Reader, I suggest you unsubscribe while you still have your faculties about you.


A. George
Mario Fights the Piranha Plants, 2010
Ballpoint on spiral notebook paper

Housed in the collection of Mrs. Kelli Courtney Oliver George


Dee said...

I am cracking up about the drawing, but only because 99% of Zach's drawings right now include Mario and Piranha plants!

kristen said...

THANK YOU! Caleb potty trained early but it was truly Momma that was trained. I didn't mind all that much but now we are in the middle of a major pants wetting period and I am pulling my hair out! Time to step back and take a deep breath.

Love the stories and the art work!

Amira said...

This was an overall great post! I don't think there's anything banishing to the mommyblogdom dungeons about it!

I have to say though, the parts about potty training and co-sleeping really, REALLY resonated with me because it's exactly where we are with Aiman. He recently turned two and there was this sudden pressure to get him potty trained from people around us. Thankfully my husband and I are on the same boat about this: we're waiting for when Aiman's ready.

I joke that the "co-" in co-sleeping stands for "coerced." We've co-slept with Aiman since the very beginning and it has worked out really well for our family. The only hurdles I see in the near future are those involving my growing belly (I'm pregnant!) and the eventual newborn that will be with us in the bed.

Sooo, if you have any suggestions/advice on that, I'd LOVE to hear them!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you but must add a word of caution to "late" potty training co sleepers- from personal experience, there are no winners when a 3.75 yr old pees on the family at 3am. sigh.

Olivia said...

Aw, I like it when you mommy-blog. In theory, I like the idea of waiting to toilet train. However I really hope it's before she is three because we are hoping to add another by then and I don't think I can handle the laundry of two in diapers (we cloth diaper).

Cooperative-sleep, I like the sound of that. Sometimes (often) when I am receiving a kick in the gut or my girl says sleepily "this" (her word du jour for nursing) just as I drift back to sleep (again), I think about moving her out. But, truely, I would miss her.

Moderndayhermit said...

I had attempted to potty train Alex before he was ready because he was "supposed to" and it just didn't work. I basically decided, "fuck this" and just waited until he was ready which was a little over 3 years old. He had very few accidents that way and it was great.

My son co-sleeps with me and I've thought about banishing him to his own room but then figured ... why? We have a king sized bed, there is PLENTY of space and he can be a night owl so at least he's a night owl in my room where I can keep an ear open for him.

Goofy Girl said...

Dude, this entire post had me laughing, from beginning to (dire for Mario) end.

"Pillow pets" BA-hahahaha..


My purpose of this comment is to point of that, indeed, HUMOR is the true key to successful parenting. You are a prime example of how well this works.

Thank you.

Faiqa said...

Yep, I co-sleep with both of my children. It's not a nurturing issue for me... it's basically that I'm lazy and HATE being woken up in the middle of the night. :-)

LuAnn said...

Once again, a post that kept me grinning broadly. Thanks.

Rita Arens said...

I feel it is my duty to remind you that the little angel didn't day train until 3.5 and didn't night train until 5. And she is fucking rock star. All my angst was for nothing.