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List of good things
Thursday, March 10, 2011 - 09:12 p.m.

Yesterday was a perfectly miserable day of traffic jams and road-side pit stops for desperate toddlers; of losing my temper with a shivering, nervous boy and snarling at him when he freaked out and took forever to pee during said pit stop; of skidding into new classrooms and rushing back out again, with only a brief pause and a hurried goodbye; of more traffic and running into the doctor's office just in time; of a baby's heartbeat that took far too long to find, while I shut my eyes and tried not to cry; of hip pain and general pregnancy discomfort amplified by tension; of work issues and daycare issues and finally, at the end of the day, sleep and potty training issues. It sucked, and when I woke up this morning at 3 AM to change Micahís wet sheets, I realized today wasn't going to be much better, at least on the front end.

Then, when I got to work, I remembered I needed to finish my 8-hour OSHA HAZWOPER supervisor training, which consists of a mind-numbingly boring narrated online class. That was pretty much the final straw, until I realized I could surf the net while the narrator was slowwwwwwwly droning on. And so I decided to take some time today to find things that make me smile.

1) I bought this print from papermoth on Etsy. Maybe it'll end up in the new nursery. Maybe not. But I love it, and I wanted it, and now it's coming to me. (Yay, retail therapy!)

2) Thanks to Dooce, I found this little guy from Kauzbots. He's everything a nerdy environmental engineer could want in a toy. Adorable AND for a cause near and dear to my little bleeding heart. I haven't bought him yet, but I'm thinking Micah just might need this in the near future.

3) I finally bought a wall decoration I've been eyeballing for a few months. More retail therapy, maybe, but it was fairly cheap, and it'll probably end up in the nursery too. Nursery shopping is completely justified, right?

4) I spent quite a lot of time browsing Lay Baby Lay and fantasizing about ridiculous and expensive nursery decorations. I havenít let myself do anything like that before now, and between that and the purchasing of possible nursery items, it was very therapeutic. It was like finally admitting that maybe, just maybe, everything is going to be okay with this little girl.

5) I spent even more time poking around Paper Source, and found this Bunny Beanie kit. I want to get the kids together and make these sometime before Easter, because the thought of all of them running around in bunny beanies makes me deliriously happy.

6) And then, at the end of the day, I spent some time browsing a site my Aunt Bonnie linked to the other day. At the bottom of the home page, there were a few paragraphs in defense of geraniums. I happen to agree with the author; geraniums make me think of my parents' front steps, and I love their smell. And at the very end, she said:

"These are flowers through whom you can smell dirt. And all of us come from the dirt. And all of us are heading back there. Thanks be to God, for giving us a season here under the sun. Reach for it while you can."

And that was exactly the reminder I needed to put one bad day in perspective.

SPLASH!

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In which I shout a bit
Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - 01:47 p.m.

The potty-training method we used to train Micah relies on teaching the kid what that funny feeling means and what to do about it, rather than just dragging them off for breaks 30 minutes apart or whatever. You can ask them repeatedly "are your pants dry?" but under no circumstances do you start timing them and forcing them to sit on the toilet when they say they don't need to go. This makes total sense to me, and obviously it worked great for Micah, because he went for a whole week without an accident at daycare.

Then there's this week, where he's started transitioning to Preschool. Apparently his new teachers aren't quite on board like I thought, with the result that yesterday he had THREE accidents at daycare, and today they just called to tell me he's gone through all FOUR sets of clothing I provided. Then they told me the "problem" is that they've been taking him every 20 minutes, and he just won't pee on command. Instead he goes later in his pants without telling them.

Well, NO SHIT.

If they're ripping him out of his activities every 20 minutes even though he's telling them he doesn't have to go, WHY on earth would he think 1) they're going to listen when he says he needs to and 2) that he needs to take even more time away from fun stuff? I mean, REALLY.

(Also, WTF, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?)

I told them to stop. I told them what had worked. I asked that they please stop driving him (and themselves, probably) crazy by dragging him to the restroom when he didn't want to go, and instead just constantly remind him to keep his pants dry. Then I got off the phone so I could passive-aggressively bitch to everyone about how these new teachers seem to be dead-set on sabotaging all the hard work we did the last two weeks with their inherently illogical approach to a child who's PROVEN he's potty trained and only needs to pee every 2 to 3 hours.

(The venting helps me get the AAAARGHWHATTHEHELLAREYOUDOING under control so I can talk calmly about this with the daycare people later today. Or maybe I should wait until tomorrow...)

And now I'm sitting at the office, imagining how frustrated and angry Micah must feel, being badgered by these strange, new people all day long. I'm actually leaning towards going and taking him out for the rest of the day, partly because I don't want them ruining a good thing and CLEARLY we need to have another talk, and partly because I just feel bad for the poor kid. But it's his first day, and I don't want to ruin it. Any more than it already is, I guess.

*sigh* There is no right answer to this one, is there?

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Movin' on up
Sunday, March 6, 2011 - 12:04 p.m.

Tomorrow, Micah officially begins his transition into Preschool. By Wednesday, he'll be in an honest-to-god preschool class with up to 19 other students ranging in age from 2.5 to 4.5 (!!!!) years old. They have a guinea pig named Jello, an actual Spanish teacher, and their own sign-in sheets they're supposed to fill out all by themselves. He'll get to play on the big playground, the one with the giant slides and basketball hoops. He'll be learning letters and numbers; this week they're teaching them about money.

My brain is having trouble processing this move. I mean, PRESCHOOL? Really? Already? But...but...

Truth is, I know he's ready. He's the oldest kid in the Early Preschool class. He's getting bored with their activities (and being disruptive because of it). He knows all his colors, in English and Spanish. He can recite to 10, and he's getting better at counting. He can verbalize his feelings, wants, and needs. He's ready for bigger, more complex toys than they have in his current room. He wants to play with the big kids; he wants to do what they're doing. He's going to have a blast. He's going to love preschool.

But still. MAH BAYBEE.

What?

Preschool? I'm not old enough for Preschool!"

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Mission Accomplished
Saturday, March 5, 2011 - 02:18 p.m.

Last Friday, Todd and I took off work to potty train Micah. The daycare had recommended we try the Lora Jensen 3-day method, and we figured we'd give it a try. Not that I wasn't highly skeptical, but what did we have to lose? (Except our sanity.)

So, we started on Friday, and oh was that first day a test of our resolve. If it hadn't been for Todd's patience, I'd have slapped a diaper back on the kid and let him wear them until middle school if he wanted. It wasn't that he was having accidents; it was that he was so worried about having one, we were going to the bathroom literally every five minutes. That doesn't sound so bad, but trust me, half a day of trudging dutifully to the toilet, perching on the edge of a tub while singing ridiculous potty-themed songs of your own making, then immediately being told "ah dun!" without a drop in the toilet, rinse, repeat, over and over and over and over and over and....okay, look, it will drive you batty.

(At one point, all I could think of was that scene from Pulp Fiction. "Say, 'I need to go potty' again, I DARE YOU, I DOUBLE DARE YOU, MOTHERFU....I mean, okay, sweetie, let's go.")

Anywho, Friday was incredibly difficult, but Saturday less so, and Sunday...well, I was on my deathbed with some daycare-bred pestilence, but in between bouts of vomiting I gathered that Todd was getting along well enough. Now here we are a week later, and aside from one or two accidents here and there, it seems like the kid is mostly potty-trained.

This also includes naps and nights, which is kind of a relief. Basically, Micah wakes up around 10 PM and 5 AM, and we simply take him to the potty, then put him back to bed. Today, he woke up halfway through his nap, went to the bathroom, then slept another hour. So far, he's had one accident where I needed to change his sheets. I'm sure there will be more, but it could be a LOT worse.

Micah's current issues are 1) public restrooms, which, okay, I actually really sympathize with him over, and 2) a strange inhibition about pooping at home. He'll drop a deuce at daycare, no problem, but he's pretty much dead set against taking a dump in our presence ever again. I'd be fine with that, if he didn't obviously really need to go.

But the overall verdict is the hippy-dippy 3-day method actually works. Now, we get a good four-month reprieve from diaper purchasing and changing. I can sign up to that.

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