Potty Training: The Third Time Around

Potty training is not something I feel like an expert in, despite having three kids. The older boys were hard to train, though I tried to follow advice that suggested waiting until they were ready on their own . . . which they never were. I’m convinced that if we hadn’t had our trip to Canada to motivate the big push, they would both still be in diapers!

Dominic showed interest in the toilet around 9 months, but since he couldn’t walk yet, I didn’t do much with it. In retrospect, that was a terrible idea. Later, he was completely against it and told me he only wanted diapers. I was still contemplating how to handle this when we decided to try training in segments. Every morning, we would have him pantless and use the potty. It was hit and miss and we had more accidents than success. When work was heavy, I would forget to tell him to go every 15 minutes, which didn’t help.

Last week, Irving put pants and no diaper on the kid, which has historically resulted in 0% success. He threw a tantrum and fussed about it all morning, but after one accident, he started to calm down and get more interested. The first 100% diaper free day was a long one, with a lot of laundry, but by the end of the day, he was asking me to pause his show so he could go to the bathroom.

Fast forward 5 days and we are potty trained! Virtually no reminders are necessary and he just heads to the bathroom when he needs to. It feels so strange to reach this stage of life, where diapers are only a thing we deal with at night or if we are in the car for a long time. My baby isn’t a baby anymore. It’s a little bittersweet, but I certainly don’t miss changing stinky diapers!

Kids Say the Darndest Things: Episode 87

Dante: “I wrote this, Mama.”
Me: “It’s a little hard to read, you need to . . . ”
Dante: “I know, use more spacebars!”
Me: “Dominic, do you need to go pee?”
Dominic: “No.”
Me: “Do you need to go poo?”
Dominic: “No.”
Me: “Do you need to go rainbows?”
Dominic: laughing “YES!”
Me: talking to myself, “Hmm, why is there something hard inside this ball of yarn?”
Dorian: “I don’t know! I don’t have any life experience yet!”
Me: “Do you want to watch a show on my computer?”
Dominic: “Yes. But NO BROTHERS!”
Dorian: “You don’t want us?”
Dominic: “No! You guys . . . . not do ANYTHING!”
Me: “Good job with the potty, Dominic! You’re really a big boy now.”
Dominic: “Yes. I go up on da bunk bed now!”
Dante: “You look stoned, Mama.”
Me: “Um, excuse me?”
Dante: “You look like you’re made of stone, not moving.”
Me: “Do you speak English?”
Dominic: “Yes.”
Me: “Do you speak Spanish?”
Dominic: “Si.”
Me: “Do you speak Arabic?”
Dominic: “Arabic? No.”
Me: “Do you speak Japanese?”
Dominic: “Apanese? No.”
Dorian: “Do you speak Chinese?”
Dominic: “Yes!”
Me: “What do you say in Chinese?!”
Dominic: “Ni hao, Kai-Lan!”
Dominic: “Mama, look at the sun!”
Me: “That’s not sun. The sun goes away at night, that’s why it’s dark.”
Dominic: “LOOK! SUN!”
Me: “It’s lightning. Remember we talked about that? Lightning in the clouds?”
Dominic: “Mama, what is lightning?”
Me: “It’s electricity in the clouds.”
Dominic: “Mama, what is electricity?”
Making a cake . . .
Dominic: “Wash your hands! Wash my hands! You can’t do ANYTHING afore you wash your hands.”

Growing Up Too Fast

Dominic is two and a half now and he never, ever shuts up. He’s such a bright, energetic little bundle of happiness in our lives, I can’t imagine not having him around. But, there is one thing that makes me sad about him. He is growing up way too fast.

Part of this is due to the fact that he has two much older brothers and is exposed to a lot through them. Part of it is that he’s just so darn eager to learn and picks up everything like a sponge. And part of it is just normal toddler stuff that hits me a little harder this time because he’s the last.

The other day, we were in the car, waiting for some people we were meeting and Dominic repeatedly asked to get out of his car seat. I told him no, the people were coming soon and then we’d leave. “WHEN?!” he cried. Irving and I looked at each other, surprised that he even understood that word at this age. But then, he knows a lot of things that surprise us. Like:

- The letter B. He names it if he sees it and assumes any word with B at the beginning is “banana.”

- How to make coffee. He will instruct me each morning on how to make the coffee for the day, while perched on the counter with a serious expression on his face.

- How to be a zombie. He will stagger around the house, growling and groaning, like something straight out of the Walking Dead, though he’s never seen that show, of course.

- All about patterns. I gave him a kindergarten workbook the other day to keep him busy during school (he insists on doing school with his brothers) and he said, “These are patterns, Mama!” And then he did them all flawlessly. He could also match things like creatures and their shadows or two pieces of clothing that go together. I was very surprised since I’ve never worked on this with him. I blame his obsession with Umi Zoomi.

Though he’s growing fast, I love the little person that Dominic is turning into. He’s smart and funny and really lives up to the third born’s clown status. He can make anyone laugh and frequently uses his charms to calm his brothers down when they’re upset. He also is very good at getting what he wants, by offering hugs, kisses and sweetly uttered, “I love you!” (though if he’s saying it to get what he wants and you say no, he will burst into tears and yell, “But I LOVE you!”). And sometimes, he just wants to snuggle, though not for long.



Writing on 3 Hours of Sleep

I’ve been absent lately because I have been getting tons of work via Elance. Probably too much. I have a tendency to overbook myself because I hate to say no to jobs that pay well, particularly since there is often little or no work.

Last night, I worked until four am and then slept for three hours before getting up to feed children, teach and start all over again. This is only temporary, of course, but it is allowing me to get a little ahead and save up some money. Next week should be much calmer! Unless more work comes in, of course. ;)