Friday, May 28, 2010

Potty training and Power Struggles and Monsters - Oh My!



















Can I just start with a sigh? The positivity and "reboot" that I mentioned in my last post held firm for all of about 8 hours (most of which was spent sleeping!) We started potty training Christian on Tuesday and I've been so impressed with how quickly he gets it, but we're definitely taking baby steps...well, I'm taking baby steps. When we go out, I've been putting Christian back in a Pull-Up because we never leave the house these days unless it's really something pressing. But, the cute underwear has been bought, the cheering squad (me and Charles) are in full glory and today we begin trying out the underwear so he can tell us when he has to go, and he can feel uncomfortable if he has an accident. Well, that is the idea. In theory. For the past four days I've had a naked-from-the-waist down toddler running around the house. It is a very cute sight! He had two accidents on Tuesday and that was all it took- he hasn't had an accident while naked since!!! Before I became a Mom, I would never have believed the amount of elation, excitement and celebration that a single bowel movement in a teeny, tiny potty would produce...


(Long pause for baby inhalation...I cannot stop kissing my littlest Peanut. I have to keep his toes covered because I can't trust that I won't just nibble them constantly. Charles laughs about how we're lucky that Christian has any appendages at all and that he wasn't made aware of my carnivorous nature prior to us being married. :)

So, now the part that has zapped my positivity: The Power Struggle. I am in a nearly non-stop head locked power struggle with Christian all day long. He is contrary just for the sake of being contrary. If I say, "Please close the door, Christian." He says, "No! I don't close the door!" If I say, "It's time to put your shoes on." He says, "I don't want my shoes on." ...And throws one. If I even say, "Let's go to the park. We're going to see Dylan and Lucas!" He says, "No. I don't like Dylan and Lucas!" (Which is, of course, completely untrue because he adores Dylan and Lucas and talks about them all the time!) I know he's testing me and I am failing big time. I find myself not staying calm. Not focusing on the positive. Not being consistent. It sucks. I know we're in a Power Struggle, but I don't know how to stop it. My hopes are resting on a recommended book called "Parenting Without Power Struggles". The name says it all- that is what I want but don't know yet how to achieve. I know a lot of it is this age, but I'm feeling ill equipped to deal with it and I have found myself being so impatient. I noticed this impatience growing throughout my pregnancy and has been sticking with me since. Sometimes I feel like maybe my patience is improving a little, and so I'm hoping that some of it is hormone related. I'm a big parenting-book believer, because I've gotten so many great approaches in the past...so, here's hoping for some more much needed wisdom...

Just to add a little fuel to the fire, we are also getting some fears popping up for Christian. He is suddenly afraid of the yark (dark). As he says: "Mommy, it's too yark. It's too yark!" And now, out of nowhere, he talks about monsters under the furniture. I literally don't know what to say or do. I never had this fear as a child, so I don't know what worked for me. Saying, "There are no monsters" doesn't feel right. I tried saying how Elmo and Tully and Zoe are all monsters (from Sesame Street) and that they are our friends. "Monsters are our friends." I could see the wheels turning in Christian's brain. He paused for a long time and then in consistent fashion said, "No. They're not our friends." O...Kaaay. I'm at a loss. I've gotten some suggestions to use a spray bottle of water as a Monster-Be-Gone spray. So, I'll give it a try. It feels a little counter intuitive to me, because then it seems as though I'm supporting the belief that monsters exist. But, I'm gonna give it a try anyway. I'll keep you posted. After all, we successfully broke Christian of cursing after the counter intuitive advice to send him to the bathroom where he could use potty mouth as much as he wanted. Turns out, he didn't want it, and the cursing was done in about 3 trips to the bathroom! So, just because it's counter intuitive, doesn't mean it won't work...right?!

For all of the fears that I had about having a baby with Down syndrome, he is certainly giving me a LOT less trouble than my very typical toddler these days. I know this won't always be the case, but for now I love the low-key nature of my littlest one. He is so accommodating and (I hope) content. I am content around him, and that is really something. Babies have a way of slowing down the universe, because when you're holding a sleeping baby on your chest there is not much else you can do...there is not much else you want to do...except maybe have a little nibble on some baby toes...


3 comments:

Laura said...

Oh Jen, I feel you sister. I have to deal with little toddler power struggles and I am 100% positive I could be handeling them better. Or I am exacerbating the problem. Or I am getting a preview of what it will be like to have a teenager and then sending them to their room won't work at all, even in the temporary, let me regroup and rethink fashion it does now. But babies are heaven. Just heaven. Enjoy your little precious man, I am surprised myself he has any toes left! He looks just like his big brother!

Tracy said...

Oh he's beautiful Jen!!!! Thanks for posting pictures!

mauimom said...

Hi Jen!
Thanks for the comment on my blog. Oh I am soooo happy for you, congratulations on your new sweet baby boy. He looks like an angel, I want to scoop him up and snuggle him! Welcome to this exciting journey, I am glad to have connected with you as we can share our journeys together. Take care, and please let me know if you have any questions about the first year:) Elena (BTW, I love your blog music..beautiful)

There was an error in this gadget