The Good, The Bad, And The Messy

The workweek was neither good nor bad; it all evened out. I left clinic on Friday with an easy mind.

Friday night, I made a plan in my head: I would get up extra-early and go running. I rarely get my butt out of bed on a day off to go exercise.

Saturday didn’t bode well… Babygirl woke up at 4:30 snuffling and crying for Mommy. Her cold? Bad dream? I rocked her and rocked her, but she ended up with us anyways.

It was poor sleep until 6 a.m. Then, it was drizzly and dark. But, I got out of bed.

When I went to feed the cats, I noticed that their shmancy grain-free salmon formula dry food looked funny, and when I actually read the label, I realized that I had accidentally bought them dog food. By that time, they were chowing down. I wondered if that was a really bad thing: cats eating dog food. The day wasn’t shaping up that great. Oh well.

But, the run was fantastic. There were loads of folks out walking and running, despite the drizzle. We all nodded and smiled at each other, as if to say, “Hey, you’re awesome!”

By the time I got home, the kids were up and coffee was brewing. Hubby and I discussed the major issue at hand: Babyboy’s toilet training.

Now, we had tackled toilet training in July (see  ). Babyboy did fantastic, and was pretty much completely trained– for about two months. There was the occasional poop in the underpants, but we still considered it a success. We had even traveled to visit friends, which involved a long car ride, a ferry trip, and staying in a strange place for two nights.He was 100% dry and clean for the whole trip.

Then, just after school started, he got a respiratory illness, and was home for a few days. From that point on, he just stopped going #2 in the potty. We bought pull-ups again, and figured it was due to illness. A temporary regression.

But here we are, a month later. No #2 in the potty. He goes #1 fine, but no #2. We’ve powowed with  Nana and his teachers, and we decided to start over with training. This weekend seemed perfect: Both Hubby and I were home Saturday, and both kids had runny noses. A good day to focus on training! But, what approach to take? The novelty of the first time around was gone. Babyboy had lost interest in the potty distractions (drawings he liked to look at while sitting, like shapes and road signs) and m-n-m’s reward system a few days into training. What could we do next?

Babyboy seems to understand the concept of “If you do this, then THIS happens,” especially if we draw it out. Hubby is our resident artist, so we planned a colorful grid chart. We decided to go with really fantastic motivators, things Babyboy would really want, like small Lego sets, Play-do, Books, and we would let him pick them out.

Now, we needed the motivators and the chart.

So, divvied up the day: Hubby would take my car to be serviced (only four months overdue!) and would work on his laptop while he waited. I would take the kids on the Target run, to pick out prizes. Then, we would regroup, make the chart, and lay low at home, potty training.

And, as if to signal that this was going to go really well, Babyboy did a #2 on the toilet, before we left the house! Granted, we saw the signs and encouraged him to sit, but still, that was progress.

Target went fine. Babyboy picked out prizes, some small and some big. Babygirl fell asleep on the way home. I carried her into the house, made her a little nest on the living room couch, gathered the groceries, put them away. Hubby wasn’t back yet. Now what? Best to stay out of the living room/ play room/ TV room, as Babygirl was asleep. Babyboy and I needed to hang out in the kitchen.

So I asked Babyboy what he wanted to do.

“I want…. to COOK! Let’s make a cake.” Babyboy loves to cook. But I really didn’t want to make a cake. We negotiated. I was thinking: What’s healthy? He was thinking: What’s sweet?

We settled on Apple Pie. It’s a recipe we’ve done before, with a gluten-free “crust”  made out of almond meal and butter. I let Babyboy mix the brown sugar and apple pie spice to the cut-up apples. He insisted on adding frozen strawberries and blueberries too; why not? Then I help him roll out the dough, and use a cookie cutter to cut shapes out of dough and arrange on top of the fruit (see photos below!).

That was just going in the oven when Hubby got home, and Babygirl woke up. There was a flurry of activity as we got the kids lunch, made the chart, and arranged the prizes attractively in a basket, set out of reach. Babyboy was excited about the chart and repeated the plan a few times: Poopie on the potty, I get the Stuck In A Truck book!

So we set the potty in front of the TV and put on Curious George, which is what we did the first time around.

Now, Babygirl wanted to cook something, too. “I want to make brownies! BROWNIES!” Again, I didn’t want to make brownies, so we negotiated. I found a recipe for chocolate-oat-almond no-bake bars online, and I showed her the photo. She agreed, and we proceeded to mess up the kitchen again. She stirred the chocolate chips as I added the melted butter/ honey/ almond butter mixture, and we watched them melt. We added the oats and almonds, spread it in the pan, and put it in the fridge.

Meantime, Hubby was on Potty duty. Babyboy sat and tried a few times, but no results. We put on more cartoons, and kept checking in, me cleaning the kitchen, Hubby doing work.

Then, no less than three minutes after a check-in, we saw the telltale signs that the deed was done. He had gone in his pull-up again. Ugh. We did cleanup, tried not to be negative, and reviewed the chart and prizes again. Babyboy seemed to understand and was excited about the book prize. We hunkered down again.

I went up to the attic with Babygirl for an hour of power-cleaning (a finished attic with a TV, futon, all our books). When I came down again, still no poopie potty action. Only pee.

So we made dinners, sat down, and Hubby and I were almost done when… again. Poopie in the pull-ups. What were we doing wrong?

Sigh. Here it is Sunday morning. Both kids slept terribly, up coughing and sniffling, multiple times. Both ended up with us. But, we will try again… Hunker down time.

At least we have yummy treats for breakfast!




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