Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Potty straining

'Wee! Wee!' Miss A shouted as she struggled to take her freshly fastened nappy off.
'Nooooooo!' I whined in hope my pitiful face might change her mind.
Miss A had decided it was time to toilet train. Which would be great if you weren't 'toilettrainingaphobic' after your last child went through it!!! Yes I did just coin the term toilettrainingaphobic, there's no other way to describe it. Thinking of taking another child out in public, nappy free, after miss M and the debarkles that came with her milestone, makes me want to spoon my eyeballs out onto a plate and eat them!! (Yeah sorry, a bit gross but you get my point!). So here we sit in a Mexican standoff where I put the nappies on and Miss A pulls them off again wanting to do 'wee'.

Miss M was about 19 months old when she showed her first signs of wanting to toilet train. It was exciting given that miss H had been a dream to toilet train and there had also been 8 and a half years between children so I couldn't claim to be sick of it by any means!! The only problem was that miss A was due to be born in less than a month and the idea of toilet training and having a new born did not sound like it would work out well! So I did what anyone clinging to her sanity would do and held her off. I kept putting nappies on her and resisted the urge to buy a potty. This would have to wait.

Once Miss M was a bit older it was time. Initially things went like a dream. We bought a potty and she took to it like a duck to water. Wee's initially and then poos soon to follow. She was that quick at picking it up that's she soon followed on to having dry nappies at night so in disbelief, I got rid of them too! So here I was with a 2 year old completely day AND  night trained and pretty damn proud of myself. Now those of you who know of Miss M and her antics you will know that she is the 'challenging' child so in hind sight I should have known that it was the calm before the storm. 

After about one month of smooth sailing the novelty wore off. Miss M was well and truly over toilet training. She started having 'accidents' more frequently and appeared quite triumphant when it happened. She would sneak off into a corner and wee and then come in smirking at me showing me the wet patch on her pants. 'Ok.' I thought 'I've heard of this happening, ill just have to take a step back' so I went back to reoffering the toilet. Unfortuntunately, the answer was ALWAYS 'no!'. It didn't matter if she was dancing the Irish jig in the corner if I said 'do you need to do wee?' She would always say no and then a few minutes later would pee in her pants! As frustrating as this was we persevered and instead of getting better, things got worse!! Miss M went back to night time wetting four out of five nights a week and me, while I became a sobbing mess in a pile of piddly washing. This went on for about a month and as much as people say 'stick with it', I chose my sanity and I put miss M back in night nappies so we could focus on the daytime again. 

It was then that the worst part happened, miss M became a sneaky pooer. She would sneak off into the corner and reappear with a smirk. When asked what she was doing he would then turn around facing away from me showing the obvious 'finger like' projection showing in the rear if her pants. It's was awful!!! It didn't matter how much I caught her 'popping' and then made her sit on the toilet, she would then manage to keep the lid on it until after she got off the loo and after I had let my guard down. With the accidents came the funny stories like miss M letting us know that she had 'shit eberywhere' in her pants. Or the time that it rolled out th cuff of her pants. But most of it was stress, anguish and frustration.

What did we do you ask? I read all the google search literature i could, i asked other people, i cried, a screamed but in the end we went with what instinct told us. Miss M was our child and if anyone was going to work her out, it was us, not google. We started from scratch. We pretended like miss M knew nothing about toilet training and started from scratch. I must admit to using food as a reward initially (which I don't really like to do) but desperate times call for desperate measures. And I was DESPERATE! I felt like I couldn't go anywhere. She was pooing herself on a daily basis and was proud as punch about it too! We started with some small jube lollies saying she could have one each time she did wee on the toilet. This then progressed to each time she pooed on the toilet. It then became an ink stamp on the hand each time. This then progressed to a stamp on the calendar for each accident free day and a surprise after the week was accident free, eventually phasing out the rewards and replacing it with 'good job! You're a big girl now!'. Looking back it was so stressful and exhausting and in hindsight it was partly attention seeking behaviour mixed in with a bit of miss M being miss M and not doing anything on command unless it suited her.

So now here we are with toilettrainophobia and an obviously 'keen to progress' almost two year old and a terrible case of déjà vu. I am being lead by miss A at this point but I am certainly not biting the bullet just yet. She is getting a potty time elmo for her 2nd birthday so that should keep her happy for a while but I'm not rushing her and I'm not being rushed. Over the need to jump to the next milestone, I choose life and mental stability!!!

Dodging the duster

I don't know about you, but I will do anything to avoid cleaning. Social media and increased accessibility to the net has only made me worse. Things like cleaning the oven and washing the windows are now in the 'pffffft' jobs category.... Meaning that is someone asks me how often I clean my oven I make that sound 'pppppffftttt!!!!'. I'm still trying to work out whether this is a good or a bad thing. Yes, I may not be in the running for housewife of the year amongst the Martha Stewart types, but I am spending more time doing things that I want to do! I have let go of the stress of having to make sure that the windows are washed to a squeaky clean shine each week. The bathroom gets done when I can be bothered and the toilet gets done when it needs to be (ie. when you look at it thought the eyes of a visitor and wonder what people might be saying about you!!)

The other day I had the perfect opportunity to finally catch up on some housework and I had to actually set myself a Facebook ban!! I turned my phone to 'do not disturb' to stop all my notifications popping up and got to it. I felt so much better when it was finished but it really made me reflect on why it takes me Sooooooo long to get the housework done on other days. 

I am a fairly distractable person. If a bird flies by while I'm doing the dishes I am likely to wash the clean stuff and dry the dirty stuff whilst thinking about where it might be flying to. When it comes to cleaning, I am worse!!! Firstly I will start at the bedroom end of the house which is more successful because I don't have as many distractions. This however kills me because I can't stand being away from everyone else so I always find a way of sneaking back up to the main living area whether it be to check the television, check my phone, or take some washing into the laundry. Once the bedroom end of the house is done the trouble starts. The television noises draw me into the lounge room and I find myself almost tip toeing past myself to get to it to see what is on the latest talk show. I find I will sit down, start watching and then before I know it I am making promises to myself to 'get back to it next ad'. Next ad I am off again only to find that the kids have found the three only clean rooms in the house and have become excited at the prospect of clear floors and have therefore covered the floor with toys again.

The next attempt I have will be a quick clean up of the rooms I have already done and then moving onto the next room. My phone normally lingers about here so I have a tendency at this point to sneak a peek at the screen. If there are any notifications on Facebook I MUST check them and then while I'm there wrote a status about the fact that I am avoiding housework/ hate housework or something of that calibre. The problem from here is that I have then committed to a status and every buzz of the phone , despite being elbow deep in dish water, warrants a response or at least a like.

The next thing that happens will be the children. By this time they will have either been playing quietly (which is never a good thing in my house) or they will be hanging off my legs whilst fighting over who gets to push the vacuum cleaner. If I had have avoided distraction the cleaning would be done and I would be playing with the girls by now, but alas, now not only do I still have half a house to clean I have two children under the age of four who are bored, ratty and fighting. I generally forge on briefly before succumbing to miss A who by this time is usually hanging from my leg screaming 'up peeeeeeeaaaasssss!!!'. I then end up again sitting on the couch with miss A on my knee watching pepper pig or something to that effect.

With phone in hand and TV on, I become entranced in the peace that suddenly surrounds me and I forget that miss M is still at large. After looking at the clock and terrifyingly realising that miss M has now been at large for over 15 minutes I put down a disgusted miss A to run up the other end of the house only to find miss M spraying leave in conditioner all over her bed. Back at square one again and now having a bed to strip and wash, I give up.....

Lesson learned. Distraction doesn't pay when balancing preschool children and housework. My Facebook ban on days off will exist on a permanent basis until the girls go down for their midday sleep. I'm going to make a concious effort to cut my distractions but cutting back my Facebook/ phone time. Lets see how this goes.... 

Sunday, 7 July 2013

The bedtime boomerang

I sighed as I clicked post on my Facebook post boasting about the fact I was about to sit and drink a cup of tea in peace for the first time in go only knows how long. Its funny how a warm cup of tea and peace and quiet can give you that warm fuzzy feeling. I sighed and felt my body relax.
'muuuuum' Miss M whined as she quietly tiptoed up the hallway. That relaxed feeling that so nicely had invaded my body, left with a snap. I felt my body tense and resisted the urge to scream 'WHAT?!?'
Miss M is the one in the house that DOES NOT do bedtime. In fact her latest thing she loves to say at sleep time is 'I don't go to sleep anymore'. I think the child actually believes that she doesn't sleep! So as you can imagine, before this we have already been through the 'I'm not tired', 'I need another cuddle', 'I want to read a book', 'Im still hungry', 'I want to finish my tea', 'I need a drink', 'I want a different teddy', 'I want the passage light on'... and so on and so forth.
'I need to go to the toilet again' she said quietly, looking at me through her eyebrows, knowing that she had ben pushing her luck. She had already gone to the toilet once prior to bed however given that we have had a few wet beds of late it wasn't worth calling her on it!
'Quick, off you go then' I said and went about stirring my tea trying not to look her in the eye for fear of seeing her smug expression as she sauntered off to the toilet. She made an excursion of it of course, and examined the door frame, sang a bit of a ditty, played with the toilet paper and then eventually pulled down her pants to sit down. After about five minutes she wandered in again.
'I'm thirsty' she whined.
'no more to drink!' I said. knowing that she had not long had a drink, and that I was already drowning in washing from the previous weeks wet beds.
'but I waaaaaaannnnt onnnnnnneee!' she whined.
'Nope!, of you go now' I said and looked her dead in the eye.
'awwwwwwww' she groaned and turned to walk back up the hall way.
I grabbed my tea and laptop and wandered into the lounge room.
Nowadays real peace and quiet is so rare. You cant even go to the toilet without someone trying to burst into the room, someone screaming because you have shut the door and locked it to avoid the barge ins, or someone fighting on the outside of the door leaving you yelling that good old faithful
'look out when I get out of this toilet!!'
Sometimes I even just add in a little shower and just stand under the hot water doing absolutely nothing. Generally someone flushes the toilet or turns on the water in the kitchen or just Miss A plonks her little bottom in front of the bathroom door and screams, again because there is a door stopping her from accessing you.
I spy hubby to be wandering out with a drink bottle in hand.
'What are you doing with that?' I asked accusingly.
'She said she was thirsty' he said. Looking at me quizzically.
'I just told her that she wasn't allowed to have another drink!' I said in exasperation.
He smirked at me with that ' she got me again didn't she?' expression that I see so much of.
I sipped another sip of my tea and continued chewing away on a biscuit.
It was then that I heard the toilet door shut, and Miss M speaking under her breath to Miss H.
Miss H came wandering out.
'whats going on out there?' I asked, feeling my blood start to boil.
'[miss M] needed to go to toilet' Miss H said rolling her eyes.
I rolled mine in return. We sat waiting for about 5-10 minuted listening to the faint singing.
'[Miss H]? can you go check the toilet door?' Hubby to be asked. 'I think she has locked it' he said smirking. As much as Miss M's escapades are exhausting and drive us crazy, we are always impressed by her clever mind. A devious mind, but gosh it is clever!
We listened amused, as we heard a commotion and a squeal of disgust as Miss H dragged Miss M from the toilet after finding her standing in the room talking to herself, and sent her back to bed.
Another five minutes later Miss M comes skipping out of her room again,
'gonna do another wee mum!' she proudly sang. Obviously thinking that it had worked a few times so why not try again.
'righto Mum, you're up' Hubby to be directed.
I groaned, looked at my cup of tea sadly, and got up.
'RIGHT! THAT'S ENOUGH!' I yelled. stomping up the passage with an over exaggerated walk to make my point.
'In to bed NOW!'
'but I need to weeeeeeeeeee!' Miss M cried.
'[Miss M] you're mummy is a nurse and NO-ONE does wees that much! There is none left and you are just playing tricks! Now I want you in bed by the count of three!' I held up my thumb, signalling that the count had already started, as she scuttled off to bed, admitting defeat and wailing the whole way back to bed. I sighed with a smile, sensing victory.
I walked back in to the lounge room and looked sadly at my cuppa, turned around, and went back into the kitchen to turn the kettle on. I picked up my cup, tipped the cold tea down the sink, looked at the cup.
'Ok peace and quiet, lets try this again!'