The Race to the Potty

Charlotte jumped up and walked quickly to a far corner of the basement. I looked up and asked, “Are you pooping?!”

“Yes!” (With all the sass and know-it-all inflection a two-year-old can muster.) 

This is the “gun shot” that begins our race… 

“Go upstairs to the potty! Go! Go! Go!” 

“Okay!” 

I have never climbed stairs faster than during potty training. I would like to say this is because I’m supermom, and I’m that excited to help my daughter…

In reality, the potty is a shining trophy and I am the winner. Pooping in the potty means I don’t have to scrub a brown booty, and there is zero chance of poo finding its way onto my hands or under my finger nails. 

Potty training is really about me. 

Tonight’s potty training victory was wonderful, but it’s a rarity. We have yet to fully train our toddler. We have tried many tactics, but I appear to be losing the long race (despite the occasional short gain).

Bribery – This worked well for a little while, but quickly tapered off in its appeal. Of course, she still expects treata, it’s not enough to entice her to use a potty with regularity. 

Run Around Naked – I’m not sure why we thought this was a good idea?! I cleaned pee off several carpeted and uncarpeted floors. Hey, at least it wasn’t poop! 

Asking – Charlotte is my child. If you ask/remind her to do something every 30 minutes, she is going to lash out with an unforeseen rage.

Move the Potty – We brought the potty into the living room for easier use. It became a new chair for lounging. 

Fighting/Forcing – This was the worst idea by far. She met every bit of my force with equal (and often greater) resistance. 

Many parents tell us that Charli will be potty-trained when she is ready. While I know they are probably right, it doesn’t do much for me now.

In the meantime, we shall continue our race to the potty until that wonderful day when we no longer have to run. 

Let’s hope that day comes sooner rather than later!

Mommy vs. TV

Charlotte’s obsession with television reached a level that demanded action. I ripped the TV from the outlet, hauled it to the curb and left it for the trash pickup!

I also took a sledge hammer to it, lit it on fire and ran over it with my car for good measure. 

… In my mind. 

I wouldn’t really do any of those things. I don’t know that I’m strong enough to carry it to the curb, and HOS would be livid if I destroyed his TV! 

I did take action, though! Of course, it was a little more rational than the imagined mental breakdown. 

Rather than trying to combat the TV with toys – and failing – I decided it was time for a different strategy. 

Last weekend, we went to the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library where Charli and HOS player while I picked out a number of books. Each book was about a different topic, one for each day of the week.



I teach on Monday night so I wasn’t home for activities, but we kicked TV’s butt the rest of the week! 

Tuesday – We went shopping for a little while. HOS and Charlotte read Bronterina and danced around the living room before bed. 

Wednesday – We read Mr. King’s Castle (no less than five times!) and we built “castles” using Charli’s imagination magnets



Thursday – We read The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse and Thump, Thump, Rat-A-Tat-Tat. We painted a blue horse, green dog, a pink sheep and a brown monkey before bath time. 



Friday – HOS and I went out with friends. My niece watched Charli. They played outside, read all kinds of books and played on the LeapFrog tablet. I was very impressed when I checked in via our security camera and saw a blank TV!

Charlotte isn’t feeling well today. She has a lot of congestion and a rough cough. Despite attempts to get her away from the TV, we spent most of the day cuddling and watching shows. I know a battle worth fighting. We already had enough meltdowns without forcing her to turn off the TV. 

All together, I’m extremely happy with how well the books paired with activities worked. Charli’s behavior was improved, and by Friday, she was hardly asking to watch a show. 

That’s mommy 1 and TV … Well, the important thing is we are on the right track! 

How do you keep your children entertained without TV? 

Yes, I Gave My Toddler a Pacifier

Tonight, I intentionally persuaded my two year old to take a pacifier.

I know. You probably think I’m terrible.

Let me explain… When Charlotte was born, HOS and I agreed that we did not want her to use a pacifier. Lucky for us, Charli started sucking on her index and middle finger of her left hand from day one!

Naively, we thought the finger sucking was adorable, innocent and far more convenient than any pacifiers. Twenty-nine months later, we are in the beginning stages of a losing battle to kick the habit.

Charlotte isn’t conscious of her finger sucking issue. We ask her to stop, and she removes her fingers only to pop them back in a few moments later. She sucks her finger so hard, she is starting to develop blisters and callouses.

Tonight, she held out her hand to show me two deep grooves from her teeth! She is biting and sucking on them so hard she has sores!

I gave up!

I offered her the only alternative I knew. And you know what, I’m not even sorry. I would rather teach her to use the pacifier and then break her of that habit than let her continue sucking her fingers.

What do you do to help your children overcome their bad habits?

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Charli’s Thankful List

I ask Charlotte what she is thankful for every night at bedtime. It’s inevitable that “daddy, “Ashy,” “Gwama,” “Papa” or some friend or family member will make the list.

Sadly, she never tells me she is thankful for me.

Now, I know it would be petty for me to feel jealous of the list of people and things for which Charli is thankful. …

BUT this list includes the likes of Minnie Mouse and shoes, just any old shoes. While thanking God for shoes may be interpreted in a very profound way, I doubt my two-year-old is contemplating the socioeconomic status of developing nations and how millions of people around the world do not own shoes and she has four pair in her latest size.

She was once thankful for a squishy toy lizard. How can I even try to get on this list?!

I want so badly for her to look up at me with those big blue eyes, smile and say she is thankful for me, mama, mommy or even Angie. That would be ok with me!

But no…

I wasn’t here to tuck Charlotte into bed tonight because I was playing volleyball. When I got home, HOS told me that Charli finally said she was thankful for me. ME!!

When he asked her why, you know what she said?

“Uh, cookies.”

Smart girl. And she will be getting more cookies tomorrow!!!

🙂

Healthy Meals – Why Bother?

I, like my fellow mamas and daddies, spend tireless hours finding new recipes, planning, shopping, prepping and cooking healthy meals for my toddler. On a good day, half of the food is actually consumed. On a typical day, half of the food “falls” onto the floor.

Parents’ goal is to protect our children, even if that means converting to brown rice, quinoa and ground turkey. Parents want to give children what they need.

Why do we bother?

Charli would rather eat a whole can of fruit cocktail (no sugar added) than touch my clean pot roast. She snubs my efforts to create a tasty, varied menu. If Charlotte had her way, she would eat sweet potatoes, corn, cooked carrots, saltine crackers and cookies. … LOTS of cookies.

These are the things she wants!

The most success I have experienced with feeding my daughter is when I set aside my aspirations of clean eating. For example, I baked pigs in a blanket tonight, and she loved it!

I doubt a hot dog wrapped in a crescent roll is filled with vitamins and nutrients, but what’s a mama to do?

Pigs in a blanket is better than no dinner at all! … Right?

So, my big question: Do I continue my efforts to introduce healthier meals that end up on my floor, or do I cave and make a menu out of corn-dogs, ravioli, chicken nuggets and PB&J?

How do you get your toddler to eat “better?”