Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fancy Pants

Well, further proving that Delila will do what she wants when she wants, our little Ladybug decided it was time to tackle the potty…with absolutely NO encouragement from Mommy and Daddy whatsoever. OK, maybe we’d put her on the potty right before bath time – so she wouldn’t go in the tub – but that’s really about as far as our involvement went. She’s the one who started telling us before bed that she wanted to use the potty. Then she started telling us again in the morning as we were changing into a fresh diaper. I decided on Labor Day to take the plunge. So I asked her if she’d like to wear her “Fancy Pants” without a diaper. In that Lila way – that I wish I could bottle and save for a rainy day – she said “Yeah!” (I’ve got to remember to record her enthusiastic little “Yeah”s, before they’re gone forever. One of those is all I need to turn around the worst of days.)

So on went the Hello Kitty fancy pants she’d had to have on a trip to Target a several months ago. She did great! Not a single accident. Of course, she was back in a diaper for nap, and later that night at bedtime. But the day went great. No problems at all. The next day, I sent her off to school with no diaper and again, things went just fine. Well, there was a little accident. Her skirt fell in the toilet, but the underpants were dry!

“She was ready.” That’s the response I hear from so many moms. And I guess they’re right, but let me tell ya, I wasn’t ready. Potty training with Jake was such a battle. Ugh! It’s really something I hope he doesn’t remember – it could just scar him for life. I wasn’t ready to go down that road with Delila.

Now everybody knows what a great kid Jake is. How easy he’s been on us. For the most part, he’s pretty flawless. Well not when it came to potty training! He expressed no interest in it at all. By the time he was 3 ½ I was starting to feel the pressure. All our other little friends were in underpants, but we were still walking around in a pullup. For those of you who haven’t had to deal with diapers in a decade or so, Pullups are under-wear style diapers. They’re supposed to help with potty training. You can pull them down to use the toilet and then pull them right back up again. If you ask me, they’re just more expensive version of diapers that are a little tougher to get on. Pullups cost $.27 each…at COSTCO!! You go through about 5 a day. That’s $1.35 a day. OK, so that doesn’t seem like that much, but it’s almost $500 a year!! That’s a car payment! In diapers!!

But I digress, back to feeling pressured. I was bound and determined to get Jake out of those diapers before he turned 4. So, we started having “underpants time” every day after nap. Underpants time went fine – he just held it until I put a diaper on him. Then he’d flood the thing. Grrrr…pee-pee on my floor! He’d wake up dry in the morning. I’d rush him into the bathroom, plunk him down on the toilet, and read a book or two…or three…or four. The thought here was that he HAD to go…if we just sat there long enough he’d have no choice but to go in the potty, right? Not this kid. Geeze Louise, he had an iron will…and an iron clad bladder! He’d be screaming in pain, but he would not go in the toilet. So, after an hour or so, I’d put him back in a pull-up…which he’d flood. Grrrrmore pee-pee on my floor!

I was really at the end of my wits with the whole thing. Then it happened. The straw that broke the camel’s back. My worst parenting moment (to date). The thing I pray that Jake doesn’t remember.

It was a Friday. We were having our post-nap underpants time. Duke was out of town, but was due to arrive home around 8:00 that night. We got an invitation from our good friends, the Pittmans, to go check out the latest gourmet hamburger joint. I thought “Perfect! Jake will wear his underpants. With the positive influence of Colin and ‘Uncle Bob’ and a full bladder he’s bound to use the toilet.” No deal. He held it the whole time. On the way home, I was a little concerned. The entire drive I kept asking him if he had to go, saying we could pull over into the grass if needed. “No mommy, I’m fine. I don’t need to go.” OK.

Hmph! The reason Jake didn’t need me to pull over on the ride home is because he’d already gone…in his car seat. I discovered this as I was unbuckling him. The Pittmans, who had followed us home for a little Friday night fun in the drive way, pulled into the driveway as I made this discovery – just in time to witness the ugliness that followed. When my hand came up soaking wet, well, I just lost it. I yanked Jake out of the car, removed his car seat, set it up at the garage entrance and strapped Jake back into it…all the while screaming at him about what a baby he was…how I was going to get him a baby bottle full of milk…how he was going to sit in that wet car seat until I put the crib back in his room. He was screaming, I was screaming. The Pittmans were horrified I’m sure. And then Duke got home and dove into the mix by trying to get me to back off. And then ‘Uncle Bob’ got into the mix telling Duke he needed to let me do what I needed to do. (I’ll have Bob’s back forever for that one!)

It was not my proudest moment, but guess what…it WORKED! The next day, Jake was out of diapers and I was apologizing for my bad behavior. Things went very easily from that point forward. No mad rushes to the restroom – after all, we knew he could hold it for hours if he needed to. In the end, it was all just fine. So, when it came to Lila, I just figured I’d wait. I was really kind of dreading the whole thing with her. I mean, come on! Jake’s the ‘easy kid’ – what was it going to be like with feisty little Delila?!?!? I was in no rush to find out! But that’s our Ladybug for ya, full of surprises. Just when I start thinking she’s more than I can manage, she goes and makes it easy on me. Gotta love her!

Lots & Lots of Fancy Pants

(compliments of Mimi & Bubba and a $15 Target card)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Summer Vacation - A Jake's-Eye View

Well, summer's pretty much over. It was a great one...even if it was gone in the blink of an eye. Of course, it's not really gone here in Texas. We still have several weeks of summer weather left, but school's back in session and we're returning to our routines. That's really the definition of the end of summer, isn't it?

Anyway, as an Ode to Summer, I thought I'd share a Jake's-eye view of how we spent our summer vacation. All these pictures were taken by Jake and I swear I didn't altar them in any way other than to reduce their size so they were suitable for sharing on the web. Am I just a proud Momma, or does this kid have talent?

Berry picking on the way from Monterey to Santa Cruz. Even Denise (who doesn't eat fruit at all) thought they tasted pretty good.

Santa Cruz was like a little bit of heaven -- even if the hills were burning. Surfers...



games of chance.

A beach bag...

a bucket...

and a surf-side sweetie.


...and old friends at Gilroy Gardens. (Sorry Disney, this is truly the "happiest place on earth".)

Blue from a distance...

Zoe up close and personal.

Dining al fresco in Jack London Square.

Colorful windows...

...and walls in Capitola.

Breakfast with friends at a new location of an old South Bay institution (Flames).

On a final note...those of you who might be looking for birthday ideas for Jake, does this post give you any hints? Let's see...anything related to skateboards, surfing, biking, photography (I'm thinking this is the year for a decent camera for him.) Of course, the old favorites are still in play too, so you can't go wrong with football, race cars or the color yellow.