Friday, December 17, 2010

At my best, at my worst

This week was a perfectly reasonable week, but I think I felt better about the children and myself, so we had a better time.

I'm still at a loss as to what to do about The Boy and his potty habits. When he feels like it, he goes and keeps his pants clean and dry. When he doesn't feel like it, he has "accidents" which I don't even think of as accidents, because that implies that he tried to get to the bathroom and missed. When he doesn't want to be taken to the bathroom, the temper tantrums begin, so it is even difficult to preempt the messes that ensue. He has these good streaks of several days without accidents, and now is not one of those times. And he's been about the same level of "trained" since his 3rd birthday which was 3.5 months ago. Last week was actually was a decent week this week except that today was bad. And last week I was a lot more angry about it, for no real reason.

I even called the pediatrician's office today and spoke with the nurse about it. She asked if there was a physical issue. There isn't--he's been to a GI doc. She said to try and get him into a good routine of going to the bathroom after meals or whenever it seems like he's been having accidents. Here's what happens: "I too busy to go potty! I not need to go!" 2 minutes later: "I too busy! I not need to go!" 30 seconds later...

In general, the temper tantrums abound for any number of reasons, because he is The Boy and because he is 3. He threw a fit for what seemed like no reason in Trader Joe's today, incited by the fact that I wanted to buy rice pudding. I told him he didn't have to eat it and it wasn't for him anyway; it was for me. But that wasn't good enough. Some woman tried to talk to him, which is annoying but acceptable, but then she tried to touch him, to which I responded rather harshly, "Don't touch my children!" Sorry, I just don't take kindly to strange people touching my kids. They're actually very affectionate and enjoy it when people play with them and sit with them and hold them and whatever else, but that's people that they know, not complete strangers in the grocery store. I was thinking about seeking her out to tell her that having had a cancer kid, I get paranoid about that sort of thing, but I wasn't in the mood for the lecture that I'd probably get, and I just don't care that much what some strange person in the grocery store thinks. Maybe next time she'll think twice before reaching out and touching someone else's kids.

Successful outings this week included another trip to My Little Outback, the indoor playground, on Monday, and the Carnegie Science Center on Thursday with another friend and her twin girls who are a little younger than The Boy. The boys have a great time at the indoor playground, and not only is it small enough and contained enough that I can let them wander and do as they please, but they also have a person on staff whose job it is just to help out with the kids and make sure that everything is being played with appropriately, so that person was helpful when it was time to round the kids up and go.

As for the science center, I need to remember next time that there is an awesome water play area without awesome smocks or rain jackets, just ineffective ones, so a change of clothing is in order, and that area is to be visited either first or last. It's a part of a whole exploration area specifically designed for the younger set, with a ball "factory" that has different ways of moving ball pit style balls up to the top, to be released onto the children working below to get the balls back up to the top. There are tunnels, blocks, and things to climb. Elsewhere in the center, there is robo-world, and a big electric train setup. There is a sound exploration area, and a light exploration area as well. The Boy was very fond of the shadow capture exhibit, and Meatball even did it a few times.

Today was a slower day, with just that trip to Trader Joe's, followed by some time playing outside in the snow (which wasn't good enough snow for real snow play) and some lunch. I wanted to get the kids back to napping at the normal time, which worked for Meatball but not for The Boy. So I had a lousy nap while he pestered me and watched a movie, and he took a nap with my mother from 3 to 5:30. So he is still awake.

It is important for me to remember that my children do have their own needs and interests that may differ from what I'd like them to do or what they really should be doing, so we have to come to some sort of consensus. Occasionally it means that I just drag The Boy along and suffer the temper tantrum until he gets over it. I ended up yelling right back at him a number of weeks ago, but that didn't feel right to me. It doesn't really feel right to me to yell at him, although I'm less concerned about yelling "STOP!" at him when he is trying to walk out of the bathroom with that moment's poo accident still stuck to his behind than I am about purposely trying to get him to toe the line by way of fear and wrath. I don't really do fear and wrath very well anyway, and I'm sure he knows it. Or maybe he just wouldn't recognize it if he saw it, because when someone is trying to talk to him about something he needs to work on or correct, he just starts talking about an entirely different topic. It is very frustrating, but not dissimilar to what adults try doing to children when they don't want them doing something.

I'm glad to have Musical Daddy, who is so gentle and patient with the boys. My parents, too, are great for that.

I'm also glad to have rehearsal tomorrow morning from 9 to 12 and a gig from 9:30 to 12 tomorrow so that someone else can negotiate the toilet with The Boy. Or clean up the poo.

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