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Summoning my Super Powers

9 Dec

Being a mom is hard.  Before I had kids I struggled juggling college and work.  Always both.  I was always rushing to one place or the next trying to get there on time.  To finish my homework, to put away the thousands of clothes women dropped on the floor of the dressing room (they don’t magically reappear on the store racks.  There’s one or two people out there that get the job of picking up after others.)

I’m tackling this parenthood thing without juggling the work aspect on top of it.  Yes, I’m lucky that way.  But.  It’s vital.  I’m the one watching my son’s blood sugars at school, bringing extra supplies in for him, driving him to/from school so his insulin pump doesn’t shut off from the cold.

I’m the one who is reading the middle one’s communication notebook, trying to assist with the difficult task of figuring out what my nine year old truly understands and is just being sassy refusing to do.  Or if she’s struggling with some unknown illness or injury (she had a cold for a month and daily I wondered is it a sinus infection? Ears?  Allergies?  And then poof-she was better. 

I’m the one that washes the dishes, cooks most of our meals, washes the million loads of laundry we make.  My “me” time without kids is usually buying laundry soap, wrapping holiday gifts, addressing Christmas cards.

Some days I’m tired of caring for others.  I don’t want to wash another plate.  I don’t want to check the blood glucose meter to make sure my son is testing his blood glucose when we ask him to, seeing another blank line in the Dexcom application, wondering why my kid opens her windows in 20F weather when I tried to get the upstairs rooms warm enough before bed.  I don’t want to change my nine year old’s poopy pull up and remind her she needs to use the potty.  I don’t want to wash blankets that have been peed on even though I know bed-wetting is normal in kids.  I don’t want to trip over another stuffed animal or hear my daughter scream she hates me during a five year old’s tantrum.

I’m tired.  I’m cranky.  Quite frankly I’m a bit lonely sometimes because unless I run errands the only people I talk to are my kids and husband or the swarm of friends that live in my phone.

I allowed myself to cry and feel.  Because some feelings hurt.  But then I pulled on my Wonder Woman tiara because quite frankly I don’t have time to wallow in the darkness of depression and feeling sorry for myself.  I cannot compare my parenting to others, nor can I compare my kids to others.  This is our battle, we rise gracefully and we fight our own battles.

And I kind of like my tiara even if it’s plastic and from McDonald’s.  It makes me feel pretty and happy.  Wonder Woman wouldn’t be hard on herself and say “oops, I should have stopped that villain.”  She fights the villains.  So will I.

Power on, my world of Super Moms and Dads.  Whether you’re fighting a world of diabetes, nebulizer treatments, cancer treatments, miscarriages, birth defects, depression, puberty, terrible twos or whatever villain that ails you find the strength.  I send you virtual hugs.  And I’m going to continue scrubbing the toilet and washing laundry before my kids get home and demand something.  But first I need to do some yoga.  And take care of me.

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To Wear Underwear or Not

8 Aug

No, I’m not talking going commando here, but I’m glad I got your attention.  Nor am I talking about my own drawer.  In this case I’m talking potty training.

I have three kids.  Kid number one was a boy.  Boys are supposed to be hard to train, at least that is what everyone told me when he was little and we were putting Cheerios in the toilet and letting him earn stickers on a potty chart.  Quite frankly, he was pretty easy.  I swear I snapped my fingers and one day he said he was wearing underwear.  We went to Target and bought a few packs of Lightening McQueen underwear.  I honestly don’t even remember many, if any bedwetting scenarios.  But life also got more challenging after that with the entry of kid number two, so I may have forgotten.

Kid number two has Down Syndrome.  Our pediatrician and I had short conversations about potty training yearly at well-checks.  Neither of us thought much of diapers.   At two she said typically children with Down Syndrome are often trained between 4 and 9.  I remember thinking. Nine?  Really?  That’s a long time, but no worries, she’ll be trained before then.

So we had diapers.  And diapers.  And diapers.  Thankfully she wasn’t fussy on which ones so we could get the cheapest ones for daytime use. She went to daycare in diapers, still had no desire to try.  Went to early childhood still in diapers.  Again, still no desire there.  But we’d also had Kid number 3 during that time, so she was also distracted by life’s events.  And we didn’t push it as we were busy with that third kid.

Then Kindergarten happened.  That was a new school, mommy was suddenly an uncomfortable stay at home mom, so while she would go once in awhile, the diapers would stay wet.  Again, big life change so perhaps not now…But we were outgrowing size 6 diapers.

What does one do when you don’t fit in a diaper anymore and aren’t potty trained?  Stores didn’t have bigger than a six.  If you look on Special Needs supply websites the bigger diapers looked like adult diapers.  She was way too small for those.  And I won’t even mention the price. So we tried overnight pull ups.

And bought those and changed those daily.  Clearly age 4 wasn’t working.  Age 5 didn’t.  Neither did 6.  Or 7.  First grade we tried harder.  No luck.  Still buying overnights.  Which worked okay, but almost always leaked overnight.  And, without too many details, I can tell you overnight pullups are designed for small liquid messes.  Not solids… ( I do a lot of laundry.)

Around age 7 to 8 Kid number three (who was 3) was ready to start.  She too, was out of diapers as she’s my tall kiddo.  Off the charts tall for her age meant pull-ups.  She too, decided (finally) she was ready.  And we now own stock in Disney Princess and unicorn/horse underwear.  It means we have to buy the bed liners because she will still have accidents sometimes.  (Too much water?  Bad dream?) But for the most part, Kid three was fairly easy.

But Kid 2, at 9 is still in pull-ups.  They’re the size large to extra-large overnights.  And she doesn’t seem to mind them.  But in the past year she’s learned when she needs to go.  Goes most of the time in the bathroom (I cannot fault her for the fact that there’s five of us in this house to share one bathroom—it’s a rule if one of the girls has to go the person in there hurries.  If an accident happens then, well it happens).  She’s discovered that she should change her pull-up when it’s wet.  For awhile, that meant dropping it on her bedroom floor and Mommy or Daddy hitting that spot with Lysol and showing her where that thing goes.  But now it’s usually in the vicinity of the garbage can.

Suddenly, she’s started waking up in the morning and actually going straight for the bathroom.  And sometimes those changed pull-ups in the garbage (thankfully, she’s figured out they go there now!) are dry. And we all cheer when she goes number two in the bathroom.  (Some of us may giggle uncontrollably while thinking of the Austin Powers scene “who does #2 work for!)

It means, dare I say, she might be ready.  After nine long years.  With back to school sales I bought a massive supply of Hanes or Fruit of the Looms (does it really matter?), but I still have her in those pull-ups.  At this point, I look at the pull-ups and I look at the underwear.  Is it me that’s still holding her in the pull-ups?  She’s not 100 percent here on using the toilet.  But if she had underwear, perhaps she’d be more motivated?  

But what if she pees on our couch? Or in our mini-Van?

But then I remind myself what my other two did.  When they were fully ready they let me know.  They switched to underwear.  Just like that.  So, today I am washing that bulk pack of underwear and putting them next to her pull-ups in the bathroom.  She still isn’t very vocal.  But she lets us  know what she needs or wants.  And I think when she’s ready for those underwear, I will be too.  She will just put them on instead.

I think I’ll be ready.  I think…Maybe?