Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pretty fairy wings and pee talk

So there was, I am not fibbing, a fairy festival in town last week. Co-sponsored by a local dentist - tooth fairy, get it? -- and our school/day care, so I thought we'd check it out.

Oh, who am I kidding? They had me at "fairy festival." Because I am a geek girl from way back and to me, fairies are cool. What's the difference between a girl and a geek girl? Girls go through a horse phase. Geek girls go through a unicorn phase, with a side of Pegasus.

Anyhow, we get to the park and it is a small ocean of girls in fairy wings. Sparkly dresses. Tinker Bell outfits. Blue and green wings. Purple wings. Red and yellow wings. Just wings and curly ponytails and glitter as far as the eye can see. It was the cutest thing ever. If you were somehow allergic to cute, you would have died on the spot.

What amazes me is, this was the first-ever fairy festival and all these families just showed up with their girls already bewinged, meaning 1. they bought the wings specially or 2. they already owned the wings. I'm guessing 2. because 1. seems like way too much effort. Who knew you were supposed to make sure your little girl was equipped with wings, just in case a fairy festival should break out? Shouldn't someone have mentioned this at one of those hospital classes? Shouldn't there be a space on the baby registry for Wings, Glitter or Non-Glitter?

Fortunately they were also selling wings at the festival, so I got kiddette a pink pair, and properly equipped, she proceeded to run around the field with a lacrosse stick in one hand and a hockey stick in the other, being most un-fairylike.

Yes, there was lacrosse and hockey, preschool version, obviously so the wingless boys had something to do. (Apparently human children are like Gelflings, in that only girls get wings.) There were also arts and crafts, pony rides (we at first thought the ponies were wearing fake unicorn horns, and were slightly relieved to realize it was just ribbons in their mane), "fairy dancing," jewelry for sale, grownup fairies in princess outfits posing for pictures, a hot dog stand and "fairy treats," aka the ice cream truck.

Kiddo had a fine time taking shots at the net. DH pointed out how natural his stance was, even comparing him to a slightly older boy next to him who didn't quite have the movement down. Which means, of course, we need to sign this kid up for sports. Preferably not hockey, since I like him with all his teeth. Maybe he'll like baseball.

Eventually he realized he wasn't the target market for this event and he and Daddy wandered off to the playground. Fairy kiddette made a fairy flower -- alas, they were out of wand materials -- danced a little to what I'm pretty sure was the soundtrack to that Tinker Bell movie, and then told me she was thirsty. She did so by trying to grab random other kids' sippy cups. She also explained that she wanted to sit by wandering over behind the school's display table and climbing into the nice school person's chair. (Fortunately the nice school person was amused.) So kiddette and I plopped down on the grass and split a lemon ice. And then kiddo and DH discovered us, and split their own lemon ice, by which I mean DH got about a spoonful.

It was a pretty nice event, actually. I'm betting they do it again, considering the turnout.

On the way back to the car, kiddo, clearly annoyed that kiddette got wings and he didn't, whined, "But I want to be a fairy!" DH assured me that's just what every dad wants to hear from their son.

The next day kiddo and I went to a classic car show, which was basically cool old cars lining the streets of the town, so you could look at cars and window-shop. Or someone not accompanying a kiddo could window-shop, because he was in full-on drag-you-behind-him St. Bernard mode. "Look at this car! Look at that car! Wow! What kind of car is that, Mommy?" And if I didn't see the make listed on the rear, I had to deflect the question, because I know precisely nothing about cars. But they did look cool. I love those fins.

We had lunch at the "lunch store" and were on our way back when kiddo announced he had to pee. Which is information he has never, ever volunteered for any reason. And of course, the first time he chooses to volunteer such information, we're in the car.

"OK, kiddo, we'll be home soon. Can you hold it until then? Say 'Pee stay in.'"

"Pee stay in." Pause. "The pee wants to come out."

"But tell the pee it can't come out yet and it has to wait till you sit on the potty. Say 'Pee stay in.'"

"Pee stay in." Pause. "The pee is crying because I'm talking to it."

"Um, OK."

We got home and rushed him onto the potty, and as far as I could tell, he made it. Then he told me the pee was happy that it was in the potty. So really, everyone was happy.

There are no conversations quite like the ones you have with 4-year-olds.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Potty war: The continuing saga

So we turned a bit of a corner. I think.

We were up at Grandma's for the weekend, and we brought the potty with us. Have small plastic toilet, will travel. It's a little like when we used to bring the cat places with us and we'd pack her litter box. Periodically through the weekend we would declare potty time and have him sit -- and when I say "periodically" I mean there was a little timer constantly ticking in my head, counting down the minutes between the last potty time and the next potty time, between a meal and the next potty time, between a nap and the next potty time. Because really, could there possibly be anything else more interesting to occupy my brain? He peed occasionally, but reluctantly, since potty time was taking valuable Grandma's-toy time away from him.

And then ... he pooped. I mean he really pooped. I mean it was bigger than some of the dogs we'd seen at the park that morning. DH, I believe, is scarred for life just from the sight of it. And kiddo was thrilled. It was the first time ever he'd fully, willingly pooped in the potty, and he was apparently delighted to have survived the experience.

Since then he's pooped in the potty two more times, and he's peeing nearly every single time we get him to sit. He's way more excited about it than he was before. The pull-ups seem to be drier a little longer. And once he's on the potty, he stays on it, even if we get up and leave the room. He may scooch the potty out of the bathroom and into the hallway to retrieve a toy that rolled away, but he is, technically, still on the potty.

We're still holding the doctor's "special prize" over his head, because it works. I fake-called the doctor one more time, and since then I just have to threaten to do it and he yelps, "No, I don't want you to give the prize to the other boy!" Sometimes he gleefully talks about how he's going to get the prize and the other boy won't, and the other boy will cry. He's decided the mythical other boy is one of his buds from school. Not sure why he wants to make his friend cry. Is this a guy thing?

I've been quizzing his teachers on it, and they're not so much impressed with his progress. He still fights them on sitting, especially before nap. It's true he's still not volunteering to use it on his own. But I clued in one of the teachers about the doctor-prize strategy, and at school today he peed and pooped. So we'll see how this weekend goes. I figure on sticking him in underwear again to see how he does. Unless of course the world ends, in which case I may be a little annoyed that this is how I spent my last days on Earth.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Potty war

And oh man is it a war. He doesn't want to do it. Won't have it. Doesn't care if he pees or poops his pants, even when wearing underwear instead of pull-ups (so all the books/magazines/web sites that endorse that method, please take a flying leap). I took all the toys out of his bedroom and told him he would earn one back each time he used the potty. Which he'll do, and he's happy to get a Matchbox car or a Thomas train back, until the next time we tell him to use the potty and he throws a screaming fit and runs away from us. Even though it would obviously earn him back another toy.

The doctor noted he's clearly strong-willed in general (as in, if you give him the chance he'll walk all over you, something every single authority figure who's ever dealt with him has learned at some point) and recommended counseling. For us, not him, to give us techniques on dealing with him. Not sure how that works exactly. We get on the couch and they say, "Hi there, sucky parents! Here's how to do everything you've been doing wrong!" She also told him that she was going to call every night to find out if he'd used the potty, and if he had, he would get a prize. So dragging that line out has helped some. Although it's gotten to the point where I faked a phone conversation with the doctor yesterday, explaining that kiddo would not use the potty and she would just have to give the prize to the other boy. Kiddo freaked out and immediately got on the potty. I told the dial tone I would have to call her back later.

Then of course he asks for the prize, and I tell him he has to use the potty for a whole day and not pee his pants if he wants the prize. And then 20 minutes later he pees his pants.

We didn't force it while he was having trouble pooping and we had to put him on Miralax. We didn't force it when his sister was born, because that was upheaval enough. Then we moved -- even more upheaval -- and he started a new school (or day care) with kids he didn't know. Not to mention this new bedroom he was sleeping in, with a bed instead of a crib. So we would try to get him on the potty, but we didn't try that hard, because he was already having problems settling into his new class. But now he's 4 and the only one in his class still in pull-ups. Enough is enough.

Yesterday, I let him watch a little TV because he'd used the potty, and sometime during the show, he peed his pants again (and knew it, clearly, because he was standing instead of sitting on the couch and trying to squeeze his legs together). So no more TV, I think, since clearly he won't leave it to take care of business. I was so furious I hauled him upstairs and left him in his room, pantsless, with the potty, and told him he could come out after he'd used it. He did, almost right away, and then asked, with complete sincerity, "Are you happy now?"

And then I felt like the world's biggest schmuck because all I do is yell at him.

So that was my Mother's Day, how was yours?