Thursday, July 21, 2011

So THIS is what it's supposed to be like...

The term "babymoon" can refer to a couple's vacation in which they TRY to have a baby or a trip taken while pregnant to enjoy some grown-up time before baby arrives. My favorite usage, though, is that period of time after a baby is born where the mother just gets to enjoy him.

I certainly didn't get that with Meatball. What a miserable experience, that time after his birth. The crap just kept raining down. I had a nice time after The Boy was born, but some of that time was spent being nervous, as a first-time parent, that I wasn't doing things right, and listening to too much advice about this and that...but so far, I'm enjoying so much of these early days with Ender.

I'm so grateful to my parents and husband for showering the boys and me with so much love and attention. It makes it easier on the older boys, and I feel like my needs are being met, so I don't overextend myself and can recover from having pushed a person out of my body less than a week ago.

I'm still tired, and I still ache a bit, and I am still doing too much, probably, but I like the fact that I feel well enough to start to return to normal. Getting there anyway.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Falling in line

A stroke of bad luck, and a stroke of good luck, occurred simultaneously yesterday and overnight. First, the bad luck--we had a power outage that lasted for about 11 hours. Everything just went the heck out around 4:30 and didn't come back until after 3 am. We know--we were up. That meant no TV, no internet, and no functioning telephone, either. We don't even get mobile phone reception here. My dad does, since he has a different carrier through work, but the rest of us have AT&T, which works in the house only because we have a MicroCell, which goes through internet, which...requires electricity.

The kids were tense. The older ones, anyway. Ender didn't necessarily notice. I was encouraged to go upstairs and rest, but I didn't want to be by myself in the relative darkness, despite the fact that the older boys were tense and driving us a little batty. My father, who usually has an abundance of patience, was done done done after The Boy refused to go upstairs for his bath. Granted, I think he was taking his cue from me; I yelled at The Boy when I had no business doing so. Yelling at the children pretty much only happens when I am unable to step in and actually do something to correct them, be it providing an alternative, directing them to go somewhere, or figure out what it is that they are doing that they don't want to leave, so that I can monitor and have them agree to get moving once they're done. I respect their "busy" as much as I can so that it's less of a problem when I have to interrupt them, and so that they (eventually) respect mine. But with the lack of electricity and the house getting gradually warmer without much of anything to combat that, and the tension building and building, I just wasn't that smart. Nor did I really have the energy to get up. Remember, I just pushed out a person a few days ago. I'm supposed to be resting.

Fortunately, bedtime was early for everyone. Including Ender. And that's where the good luck comes in. He nursed a lot in the evening, just over and over again, which is definitely a good thing, and I wrapped him up and put him in his little bed (a co-sleeper bassinet that isn't yet in cosleeper mode but is still right next to our bed) at 9:45. He slept until 2 am. Seriously. That's awesome for the first night home! Even if he doesn't do it again for months, I really needed it last night.

I had been bugged over the course of the night by The Boy, who was in our bed because he was petrified of sleeping in the dark in his room. Remember, no electricity? He sleeps with a light on in his room but has no problem sleeping with someone else in the dark. I think a study showed that kids sleeping with lights on is bad for their vision, but the genetic odds are stacked against him anyway, as I am horrendously nearsighted and Musical Daddy has a cataract on one eye and astigmatism in the other. Anyhow, once Ender was up and feeding, The Boy and Musical Daddy were up soon after. We actually had quite a bit of fun talking quietly. We heard the trucks. Musical Daddy went to check it out, and then he brought The Boy down to see, too. He gave The Boy a glow stick, which was fun for him. He saw a guy in a cherrypicker and saw big trucks. Made his night, I'm sure. Then the power came back on, and we all went back to sleep. Until almost 7 AM, when Meatball, who likes to stay out of this sort of thing, was up for the morning. Another stroke of luck--while Meatball sleeps all night 90% of the time, I certainly don't want to take it for granted.

Today was nice, too. And I'm glad to say that Ender seems amenable to naps in his bed as well as naps in laps and naps on shoulders. He's nursing quite well. Our cousin, who is our dentist and has been for years, stopped by to assess his tongue. He says it doesn't look like a problem, but since he usually sees tongue tie in the context of older kids who have issues and never got it fixed, instead of in the context of babies and feeding, he might not see what Ender has as an issue. Maybe it isn't--he's doing much better, and I'm being really careful with his position and alignment. And wearing shells...if you know what those are, you love them.

Ender is asleep in his little bed; Grandma has the other two downstairs. Thankfully, as they get older, it becomes easier to handle them. Most of the time. And Ender already shows signs of just being able to get in the groove with the rest of us here.

Musical Daddy said something about there being seven people living in this house. It's still so new to me that it sounded strange. But that's what we have here. And three of them are little boys.

Monday, July 18, 2011


I am now home and ready to face the reality of being a mama to three boys. All little. All cute. And all thanks and gratitude for my parents, my husband, and Aunt J, in no particular order.

We have a rhythm that we need to find. The first week, I'm supposed to pretty much stay home and rest and care for Ender, and ask for help with whatever I need. The second week I can start to get back to normal but I should still have some help. Again, thank goodness for these wonderful people, to help care for my other little boys. After these two weeks is when we have to really figure it all out.

Ender will probably spend a lot of time in the sling. Fine by me...I kinda like to keep my babies close to me.

His diapers fit, thankfully. They're still on the bigger side but they are so cute on him! Mostly BumGenius one size, on the smallest setting, with the little insert. He is a bigger newborn, and many people say that they don't fit newborns, but if you birth 1 month olds (figuratively speaking) as I tend to do, they fit fine.

What else...not much. He is asleep on my lap. Meatball is napping upstairs and The Boy is at physical therapy with Daddy. Grandma was sent to bed as well. We insisted that she take a nap. She takes such good care of the kids, and us, and she sometimes needs to be reminded to slow down! Don't we all.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Birth Story

I'm feeling surprisingly close to human. I've taken a shower and been much more easily mobile this morning. Ender (yes, I think I'm going to keep that name for him on the blog at least for now) was up more than he wasn't overnight, and I even had the nurse take him for a little bit of time so that I could guarantee at least a bit of sleep for myself. Right now I just need some here and there, and I need to be flexible with sleeping when he does, mostly. In the hospital, I have that advantage (and knowing that my other children are in wonderfully capable hands with Daddy and grandparents).

As I had been writing, I was in early recognizable labor since about 12pm on July 13th. I was thinking that perhaps things would get moving enough so that I'd have the baby late that night, but everything held steady. I took a nap first thing when I realized that I was having relatively regular, if mild, labor contractions.

We had a lovely birthday dinner and celebration for me. With cupcakes. The Boy is very into celebrations and parties and really seems to understand them. Meatball doesn't really get it but he got cupcakes.

The same sort of early labor contractions persisted, but I was able to sleep through them that night. We had a nice relatively easy, normal day on Thursday, and then it was technically Friday when we went to triage to see if I was really in labor. The whole thing felt a lot like Meatball's birth in terms of how it progressed.

The full moon might have had something to do with it, or not, but I felt a strong urge to sleep in the recliner at about 10 pm, and was feeling contractions a little bit more strongly, so I slept until I was awakened by the strange events of the guy with the car. I stayed downstairs and walked, and bounced on the ball, and, of course, played around on the computer. I went upstairs right before the time that Meatball woke up, and was lying in bed, which was okay, but not terrific. Once Musical Daddy returned from caring for Meatball, then The Boy woke up and wanted the potty, so I got out of bed and tended to him (frustrating, by the way--he doesn't stay dry at night but also still gets up and goes, or wants to go, so he needs help), and sent him back to bed. At this point we were both up and I was kind of feeling the need to hold Musical Daddy's hand, or shoulder, just for the reassuring touch. This was, maybe, 2:30 AM. We watched The Guild on Netflix (it's really funny, it's about a group of gamers who live near each other in real life and their interactions with each other in and out of the game...people who would likely not be otherwise affiliated).

After we watched the show, I said that I was going downstairs for a bit to see where I stood labor-wise (and to time contractions just for reporting purposes because I was pretty sure this was it), and that I'd be calling the doctor around 4 AM. And that Musical Daddy should get some sleep, since we hadn't been getting much. Frustratingly, the first time I called, I got no response, so I called again. I probably should have just called the doctor that I know but I didn't want to wake his family and the only number I have for him is his home number, or his wife's cell phone. At 4:45 I spoke with the doctor on call (not one that I knew or had ever seen). He was surprised that they had sent me home the first time, when he asked how much I had progressed when they saw me, and I said I was glad that they did, and I live close. He gave me the go-ahead to come in, so we did. I told my parents that we were leaving and what the status of the children was. We were in the car at 5 AM.

I wasn't sure how the car ride was going to go, since I had been walking through my contractions previously and of course I couldn't do that, but it wasn't a major issue. I got in the car after a contraction, had just the one in the car, and one when I got out.

By the time we got into the hospital, talked to the people at the desk, and got set up in the triage room, it was 5:25 when Musical Daddy "checked us in" on Facebook. I hadn't bothered to write anything online about us leaving for the hospital, figuring that I'd have a little bit of time to notify people. I had to pee in a cup (during which I heard the girl in the room next to mine screaming). I had maybe two more contractions while standing and walking around, because I did NOT want to get on that stretcher until someone was actually there. Then my water broke as I stood there, and the nurse said "Well, now you get to stay for sure!" and I got onto the bed. I had been nervous about how that would go, because I hadn't had that happen on its own with my other two labors.

The triage doctor came in at that point and checked me to find that I was completely dilated. I felt that I was pretty darned close to that, but I hadn't felt that until my water broke, and I was still a bit nervous about "transition" which I barely even experienced this time. As they were wheeling me from the triage room to L&D, I was feeling like I was about to have this baby and making some pushing motions, because that's what I felt like doing. I got into the room and did NOT want to be monitored, nor did I want to be on my back, nor was I particularly keen on moving, but it didn't particularly matter in either case. One push to finish out the contraction before I did move onto the real bed, then one push for his head, and one for the rest of him. He was born at 5:47.

Andrew Evan is his name. He was born at 8lbs 12oz and is TALL at 22.5 inches. He looks like his brothers, but he also looks like himself.

I'm already healing and recovering quite well. I think it's a nice design feature, at least in my case, that with subsequent children, the mother recovers more quickly. So that she has the energy to handle the other ones as well.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

First Checkup

The pediatrician was in to see Ender just now. He says that he is healthy. Also, he says that there is a tongue tie. I thought so, but it was confirmed. The doc will have an ENT check it out, probably tomorrow. We want no drama!

Speedy Delivery!!!

He's here! 8 lbs 12 oz and 22.5 inches! More story to follow.

No sleep til...

Full moon makes for weird stuff...but isn't making for a baby over here yet. Things are progressing, maybe? Enough to keep me awake, but not enough to bother going to the hospital again until I'm REALLY sure. And while I can no longer type during contractions, I'm totally coherent otherwise, so it's not really time to go yet, when the hospital is 10 minutes away.

I fell asleep in the recliner at about 10 PM and was awakened by the doorbell at midnight. Really? The doorbell? Some kid ran out of gas in front of our house and needed help. Fortunately, Musical Daddy was able to help the guy. Then his mom called on our phone, waking me again. So I was up.

Both children woke up in the middle of the night, one after the other. First Meatball with a bad dream or something or other, and then The Boy who first wanted to go potty and took The Cat In The Hat with him, and then was crying because he couldn't find his notebook. He is now asleep in our bed after having spent a few minutes drawing in his notebook with his green crayon. If you have small children who like certain TV shows, you'll be familiar with this pastime.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Full moon tonight

Supposedly babies like to come out when the moon is full. And if that's the case, there's no way I'm going back to the hospital unless I'm ready to pop. Because it will be CROWDED.

Although someone else said that it's really only the ER and the mental hospitals that get busy on the night of the full moon.

Still hanging in there. Not too uncomfortable. Whatever will be will be.

But on the plus side...

Today has been a wonderfully slow and pleasant day with my family. We loafed around a bit this morning and then walked down the street. We played at the playground and picked up sandwiches from the market there. It's a nice place but it's only been this time of year that we have been able to enjoy it, as it is only open during normal business sort of hours. And Saturdays 10-3 but we usually don't think of it.

I'm not horrifically uncomfortable. I don't have "hard" labors. This one is just extra slow.

Morning Report--holding steady

Still feeling about the same, I think. I brought the big ball from upstairs and maybe things will move along today. I got a few hours of sleep last night, which is good, because I didn't even nap yesterday.

Since I wasn't sure how it was all going to go down, we went for pancakes on the way home. Musical Daddy's idea, but I was strongly in favor. 3 AM at the diner without the kids certainly makes me feel young. The pancakes were delicious. Perhaps Ender is trying to bulk up a bit more for his arrival.

I'm not going to bother timing contractions. I live 10 minutes from the hospital, maybe more like 15 if it's the middle of the day and things are busier. If I feel like I'm in transition, maybe then I'll go. Why bother staying in the hospital unless I'm a wee bit of a basket case (you know where I'm at, mommies)? I've had suggestions that indicate I should have tried to stay, and perhaps the doctor might have kept me had I lived further away or had I not told him where I lived, saying "I'm 10 minutes away, I can be back here in no time." Because I was progressing, kind of, but not within the hour or so that I was there.

Triage in labor and delivery is pretty standard, as this is a different hospital from the one where I had the boys. That said, everyone seemed quite nice and friendly at this hospital, and I remember the first triage visit with Meatball being one where I was very annoyed and stuck in bed.

It's the stress. It's pressure. Not the physical pressure of being about to drop a bowling ball but the pressure of now having indicated that the baby is coming and him just not being here. And the "helpful advice" and all of the things that people say are "supposed" to happen when it's a second or third child...and the panic! Not from me but from everyone else. Even my father called home about 4 times yesterday from work. The phone rang constantly yesterday (although much of that was someone calling from India trying to sell health insurance...).

So...nope. I have not had that baby yet. Maybe tomorrow.


Going home. No baby yet. They would probably keep me if I lived further away.

Going to try and sleep a bit...I am quite tired.

I should know better...

I've done this before and I should know when it's really time but I guess I was either getting overexcited or feeling my mother's sentiments that she doesn't really want a kid born in her living room. I'm walking around but I think they'll check me again and send me home to bed.

Welcome to triage!

I'm here at the hospital and basically, I'm waiting to see if this is the real deal or not. I thought so, but now I'm not so sure. I may very well get sent home. Which isn't a major problem because home is 10 minutes away and we didn't have to worry about babysitters.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

If you're looking for an update about the baby...

There isn't one because the baby isn't here yet.

You shouldn't be surprised--I keep 'em in there nice and long. The Boy was 41 weeks 1 day after an induced labor. Bad mojo there; never doing that again even though it was a perfectly fine birth. Meatball was 40 weeks 1 day. I went into labor very gradually on my EDD, or maybe even a bit the day before, and went to the hospital only to be sent home that night to sleep and then come back in the morning.

I know from having had a spontaneous labor with Meatball that I don't want to spend any more time in the hospital than necessary, so I don't plan on going in until I absolutely have to. It's not that far away anyhow.

Internet connection actually works so I'll be sure to post lots of updates, whenever it is that I happen to go into real labor. None of this sissy prodromal stuff.

In the meantime, please forgive me if I don't answer the phone and don't particularly want to tell you "how I'm feeling" because I'm feeling fine. A little round and a little slow. And a little short on patience in general. The boys (including the grown-up one) sense that I'm on edge and of course they reflect it right back to me whether they mean to or not, so I'm trying to conserve as much patience for them as I can.

The Boy is enjoying writing and drawing right now. I'm glad because I'm not so keen on having to draw everything for him. Meatball asks us to draw shapes all the time (including trapezoids and parallelograms) but will also pick up a crayon and draw something as well. He can make ovals and circles, after a fashion, and he can sometimes make a V or a W on purpose. He loves the easel that we have; very good gift card purchase last summer.

Big accomplishment for today was cleaning out the closet in the den. There is actually a fridge and a sink there, and that used to be the "bar" area in the house. You know, the place where the various alcoholic beverages from the grown-up party at my brother's bar mitzvah sat and gathered dust until someone actually got rid of it after 20 years. There were piles and piles of craft supplies, mostly stickers and toys that were thrown in without being stacked neatly so it was just a jumbled mess. Aunt Jeanne was here and we worked together in the morning, and then she and my mother finished it as I worked on getting children to nap.

Speaking of which, we may need to reevaluate what we do with The Boy in terms of napping. He only sometimes seems to need a nap. Today, I don't think he ever got one, and he was fine. Went to bed at the normal time and didn't really do the cranky pain thing like he did yesterday. But what we'd been doing with him is, we'd bring him in with us, turn something on the TV, and hope that he'd fall asleep. Perhaps we either need to switch to music, or limit the selection to "quiet" things, or just bite the bullet and accept that he's not really going to need the nap anymore. But we'll have to figure something out, because Meatball still needs a nap (although he can go without it if he sneaks in a little nap in the car, which usually drives me crazy but is good to know should we have an activity that we'd like to do in the afternoon) and when Ender gets here I'm going to need to steal all the sleep I can just on general principle.

I am SO hoping that he'll be an easygoing little guy. We will be checking for tongue tie ASAP, of course. But beyond that, I'm hoping to be able to snuggle him a lot, and I'm hoping that he'll want to snuggle a lot with Musical Daddy as well. That's something about which he still feels slighted in terms of Meatball's infancy. Then again, there were a lot of things about which we all feel slighted...and hopefully this time around we won't experience that.

I've got my slings, we've got a double stroller and a big boy who is old enough to walk places...we'll get out a lot.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Meatball Birthday and a minor "whole story"

Yesterday, my little (?) Meatball turned 2. Amazing. It seems like he was just a baby and now he's 2. He amazes me every day with the new tricks in his repertoire. He says so much, does so much, eats at the table like a big person and has for a long time, asks for what he wants, knows letters and numbers and shapes, and is even doing a nice job with the potty. He is so bright and handsome and has been such a blessing.

The birthday party was awhile ago, just in case. Doesn't mean we didn't have more cake yesterday.

I made little cupcakes with glaze and sprinkles to bring to camp, and he shared them during lunch. We arrived just in time to hear everyone singing "Happy Birthday" to him.

He LOVES to hear things again and again; we must have sung to him at least 50 times. The Boy helped, too.

I'm also thrilled that The Boy can sing "Happy Birthday." He really sings it too, not necessarily settling on a key right away but he does get the octave jump in there most of the time.

Meatball will not be sharing his birthday with Ender. Still not sure yet whose birthday, if anyone's, Ender will be sharing. Because he isn't here yet. I'm 39 weeks today and, at my checkup, the doctor said that everything looks fine. I'm "measuring" 40 weeks by fundal height and had previously been right on track, not ahead, but it's a centimeter. So, whatever. Not much action in there yet. I had about a day of prodromal labor with Meatball before things really got going.

Also, today we both had an interview. They actually called me, but I felt like I had nothing to lose by asking them to interview Musical Daddy as well. Particularly if for some reason I was unable to make it there, at least someone would get a foot in the door. There are two positions; a half-time contract position at the middle school and a full-time leave replacement for elementary. Both vocal/general music. I could definitely see them wanting Musical Daddy for the middle school position...but the problem is, the commute is really lousy. It's awhile before we'll hear anything, the principal said, but it may be worth looking into a move if we do get any offers. The district is pretty small, only about 1500 kids total, with a big band program. No strings. If one of us gets in, maybe we push for it...?

Meatball pooped on the toilet. Awesome! He skipped his nap. Not awesome.

However, the full story on the nap-skipping was that he fell asleep for a few minutes on a walk and foolishly thought that he only needed that for his nap.

Had me worried--nap time is a very important time for us around here! We love naps!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Global Facebook milksharing network launches WORLD MILKSHARING WEEK 2011

"Human Milk 4 Human Babies Global Network is ecstatic to announce the launch of the inaugural World Milksharing Week, to be held September 24 – 30, 2011, at hundreds of locations around the globe.

The incredible sense of community that is created among donor and recipient families who partake in milksharing is to be celebrated. Dani Arnold-McKenny, who has been an administrator of the milksharing Facebook page in southwestern Ontario, Canada, since the global network started last October, says, "it's a myth that we are all about anonymous milk drops in parking lots. Our donors and recipients support each other and learn from each other. We've had milk recipients rebuild their own milk supplies and turn around and become donors. I have seen milksharing friendships grow and watched bonds of motherhood bloom between mothers who didn't know each other a mere few weeks before."

Emma Kwasnica, founder of Human Milk 4 Human Babies Global Network, says "Breast milk is not a scarce commodity, it's a free-flowing resource. With the advance of social media, women who are willing to share their breastmilk can now easily connect with families who need milk for their children. We at HM4HB are thrilled to see women and families asserting their autonomy to do what is healthy, normal and ecological. Families are making informed choices to share breastmilk and babies everywhere are thriving as a result."

World Milksharing Week is to be held annually during the last week of September. There are a vast number of events your community can organise: hosting online discussions, a picnic in the park, an informational gathering at your work place, or a celebration at a favourite milksharing-supportive locale.

Individuals and groups who wish to host an event this year can register at All who encourage milksharing and who support donor and recipient families are invited to participate.

HM4HB has a presence in 54 countries around the world. There are 130 Facebook community pages and over 20,000 community page members. These virtual communities are run by 300 hardworking, multicultural administrators who lovingly and graciously volunteer their time to keep HM4HB continually focused on its mission, vision and values."

Media Contact:

Emma Kwasnica
(514) 656-1560

Ed. Note: Individual HM4HB community admins can be reached through the community listings.

Facebook page for WMW:

How exciting! I've shared milk before, and will likely do so again (and I admit, I handed off milk in a hotel parking lot). I've seen so many milk matches made and so many babies receive human milk instead of a substitute made from the milk of another animal. Why shouldn't we celebrate?!

World Milksharing Week!

I am thrilled to announce World Milksharing Week, which will be taking place September 24-30. Informed sharing of human milk has been getting a lot of press over the past several months (and I'm glad to give it a little more). Stay tuned for announcements about events taking place near you.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

It's Potty Time!!!

Today marked the 3rd day that I have been working with Meatball on potty training. He turns 2 on Tuesday. These days, a lot of people consider that early, especially for boys, but he has taken to it very well, at least the pee part. He understands how to sit on both the little potty and backwards on the toilet and intentionally pee, which is crucial to the process. It's still more parent-led at this point although sometimes he says "it's potty time" so we take him to go whenever he says that!

I'm really glad I started this with him. At the end of 3 days, while I don't consider him potty-trained because he isn't doing most of the initiating and he can't do the whole thing himself, I feel like he is on his way and we are far enough into it that I don't see us turning back. I don't think. Still haven't gotten poo in the pot yet but that will come soon. For some reason that seems to come later, especially with little boys. Go figure.

I would much rather have a newborn and a potty training toddler than a potty training toddler/preschooler and an active crawling infant, like I had last time with The Boy's earlier potty training endeavors and Meatball. Because you don't have to worry about a newborn getting in trouble, and a slightly younger toddler has slightly less nasty attitude.

Meatball still resists being taken to go to the bathroom, but he doesn't resist all the time, and when he needs to go, he does go once he gets there.

I'm very proud of him because he has been so cooperative, and I'm also proud of The Boy for relinquishing so much attention from me so that Meatball could really get this thing down.

So how did we do it? Well first, I put him in underpants and a smaller shirt. I was armed with many many pairs of underpants. And I took him to the bathroom pretty frequently, like every 20 minutes or so. I'd sit him down on Elmo potty with a book or an iPod, and we'd try, and then we'd get off the potty and leave. If he had an accident, I'd stop him and run him to the potty. We had a few hits the first day, and a lot of misses. Once I started to be able to read him, and he was starting to tell me, AND I was seeing that he was completely emptying his bladder, I backed off from taking him every 20 minutes.

I established the language--I would say "it's potty time" and I tried using a drum to make a bigger deal out of it but he didn't seem to care. Other kids might. Some people like timers that make noise. I always said pee-pee, or pee, and poo, because that's what The Boy calls it and I wanted to keep things consistent. I'd frequently use the specific terms rather than just saying "go potty" and I'd encourage him to push pee-pee out. Which he started to understand a little bit that first day and really caught onto the second day. The first day, he wasn't getting everything out every time, and would have frequent pees, accidents or not, but he did better with that after his nap the second day. And today, which was the third day, once he was changed into his underpants, he had no accidents at all, and even used the restroom at the pool.

The first day and the morning of the second day were really rough, particularly since on the second day he decided that 5:15 was wakeup time. Grumble. Musical Daddy sent me back to bed once he got up, and he was on potty patrol, but there were no hits there. Meatball took an early nap and I ran out to drop off some crafts at the hospital for a little girl who is about The Boy's age and a leukemia patient. When I came back, he was still napping. When he got up, he was dry, and we got started with a nice pee in the pot. One accident happened not long after, but once we were in the groove, I think just about every time I took him to go, he went.

Our first outing with Meatball in underpants (actually, the cloth trainers that have just a little bit more fabric and thicker legs) was to Panera for dinner followed by a playground visit, where I was scared of the port-a-potty. We took him at dinner to the real bathrooms but he didn't go. He had an accident, of both types, at the playground. I'm not sure if he'd have actually gone on the port-a-potty or not. We just missed it, and he just went without noticing.

Today, we went to an outdoor concert. Meatball stayed dry the WHOLE time without even going to the bathroom, despite my taking him on three agonizing trips to the port-a-potty. I say agonizing because those things are HOT. It was about 3 hours that he held it, which is amazing for a 2-year-old.

A slight diversion from the potty story: at this same event, The Boy managed to wander off. We were scared witless. There were plenty of people (including some of the performers) who knew The Boy and no one could find him. We even talked to the event coordinators and an announcement was made by one of the performers (who knows me well, by the way) that we were missing The Boy. I actually described him as wearing the wrong color shirt. I thought he was wearing his yellow Batman shirt, but actually, he was wearing the black one with the yellow on it. But he's probably the only kid his age wearing dark blue hearing aids. He was found playing in the fountain, having taken off his socks and shoes. And he has no concept of how terrifying the whole thing was for us. Nor does he have any sort know...fear.

Anyhow, I'm pleased to report that Meatball spent the entire day without having had a single pee accident. He even napped dry again. He used the restroom at the pool, too!

The tricky part is, a newly potty training toddler is much more work than a toddler in diapers. It doesn't get easier right away to get the kid out of diapers, especially if you really commit to it and only use diapers during sleep. Any time you put a diaper back on a little one, you confuse them. I'm okay with explaining that diapers/pullups are for bedtime and are for just in case, but when your child is in underpants, it's on them to keep the underpants clean and dry and it's on you to coach them (and make sure you know where the bathrooms are!) until they assume more and more of the responsibility. You'll be responsible for their potty habits for years anyway, to some extent (you probably will have to remind your 5-year-old to go before leaving the house).

It is helpful that The Boy is potty-trained and provides a good example for Meatball. It is also helpful that Meatball hasn't developed enough attitude to provide too much resistance. We're changing a habit for him. And it seems to be working.