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Posts tagged with Parenting

I’m Becoming My Mother

“If you took better care of your things, they wouldn’t get broken.”

As soon as the words escaped my mouth last week, I cringed at the flashback of my mother telling me the same sentence, word-for-word as a kid. I was notorious for losing things, misplacing things, and being inconsolable when those things ended up broken as a result. So as karma would have it, HJ inherited the same tendencies and I am saying the same phrases my mother said to me when my daughter crumples to the floor in a fit.

Dang it.

It’s not that my mom was a terrible mother. (Hi Mom!) She was far from it. She was loving, caring and all-around fantastic. I think it’s just that when most of us start this motherhood journey, we promise ourselves that we will be a better and improved version of our mothers or do things totally our own way. We assess all of the things our parents did wrong and vow to not repeat their mistakes. We have a list of ways we want to tackle parenthood and know we will be the “cool mom”. Our kids will just be amazed at how fun and not lame we are.

Then you give birth to a mini version of yourself and your plans are shot to hell. It starts when you sing the same songs she sang to you as a baby and then before you know it, you’re shouting, “If I have to tell you ONE MORE TIME …” Face palm

My mother’s characteristics have carried on through me in other ways, too. I happily give my kids dessert after lunch and dinner solely to see the glee spread across their faces. I try to save a buck by visiting the dollar aisle at Target and The Dollar Tree when it comes time for Easter baskets and Valentines. (Or because it’s Tuesday and I am easily excited by cheap junk.) I only cook recipes that take fewer than five or six ingredients and less than an hour in prep/cook time. And I destroy one room of the house each week with some craft project, although I half blame Pinterest for this.

These traits have snuck up on me. As a rebellious teenager, there was no way I would ever be like my parents. I was going to do everything my own way. The next thing I know, I’m volunteering at church, watching "America’s Funniest Videos," and wiping my baby’s face with my own spit.

I’m sorry, teenage me. I don’t know if it’s nature or nurture, but I just can’t stop it. It’s involuntary.

And now that I’m older (a smidge wiser), I see that becoming my mother isn’t such a bad thing. She was and is a fabulous mom. I, however, refuse to wear shirts with watering cans on them. She does that. (Sorry, Mom.)

Mom and Me in 1986

Mom and Me in 1986 by Megan Spreer

In what ways have you seen yourself morph into a version of your parents?

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I’m a vaccinator

There is a measles outbreak in New York. As a parent, reading headlines about this is pretty concerning. As a parent of a child who has yet to receive her MMR vaccine, it’s terrifying.

Vaccines are one of the hot button topics in the Mommy Wars. It’s almost become one of those things you don’t talk about in public circles right next to politics and religion. People are passionate about their vaccination choices. And I don’t blame them.

Jenny McCarthy and her campaign alongside the now discredited MMR vaccine/autism study by Andrew Wakefield got a lot of people’s attention. I know I hadn’t heard anything negative about vaccines until then. But it seems that this study and media coverage launched the general public’s awareness that vaccines are NOT mandatory as many may have previously thought.

I’ll just get this out there: I’m a vaccinator (Wow. That sounds a lil’ Schwarzenegger-ish. It’s not that intense, I promise). I get the recommended vaccinations for my kids and occasionally space them out if they have illnesses or if I feel like they need some time in between for their bodies to mellow. I’m not a doctor. I’m just a mom.

But, I know there are so many out there who disagree with me. I get that. Injecting your baby with a virus (weakened or not) is scary. It’s also scary that the shots don’t come with a list of ingredients. AND the Internet puts out a lot of scary things about vaccines. It also doesn’t help that there are more celebrity moms joining the vaccination and anti-vax movements and delivering their opinions through mass media. It makes an already difficult decision that much more daunting. Just last week, Kristin Cavallari joined the anti-vaccine ranks in Hollywood. I think I see an article for either side at least once a week on my Facebook news feed.

There are many out there who will say that I’m only vaccinating because big pharm companies have launched a fear campaign to make me scared enough to blindly vaccinate. You know what, though? I’m kind of okay with that. Because if it came down to it, I’d rather my child get an ugly side effect from a vaccine than die from a preventable illness. But, I can say that because my kids are healthy, handle medications well and don’t have any current medical concerns. If they had medical issues, I might feel differently. I don’t know.

It’s scary out there though. In addition to the measles outbreak in New York, almost every year, I read about a whooping cough outbreak here in Lawrence. One of my kids was exposed to H1N1 this year and I also just happened to miss getting her a flu shot. She was fine, thankfully, but you can bet I won’t miss that one again. These illnesses scare the bejesus out of me. If there is a way to protect my kids, I’m all over it. However, the anti-vax camp says I’m injecting toxins into my children as I try to protect them from these infectious diseases.

It seems like a lose-lose.

So I will continue to vaccinate. I also respect the many parents who believe that they are protecting their child’s health by opting out of vaccinations. I’m not judging them. Every child is different. Every parent is different. You can find an article or study to back up almost every claim in the world of parenting. We’re all just doing our best with the situation and information we’re given. It’s all done out of love for our kids.

Does your family vaccinate? Why or why not?

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More Babies or More Stuff?

It’s almost here. My sweet baby B turns one this week. It’s a day that seemed just too far away to ever be a reality. I was just busy pinching chubby fat rolls, having snuggle fests, and pretending to eat tiny toes to notice how quickly the year was going by.

And now my baby is a toddler. It’s bittersweet for so many reasons. I love the baby stage. I love the tiny clothes. I love that I can snuggle or rock her to sleep. I love gummy grins. Babies are just so unbelievably awesome. On the other side, I love watching her learn new things. She’s walking and talking. It’s so much fun to watch her become a real person.

But she’s not my baby anymore. Perhaps though, the saddest part is that B might be our last baby. We haven’t definitively decided this, but we are leaning more and more in that direction. And it makes me heartachingly sad.

I’m from a family of five kids. Our house was busy, chaotic at times and always so much fun. Having a large number of siblings was like being a part of an exclusive club. We get each others’ humor, we covered for each other as kids, we laugh at the same inside jokes about our parents, we retell the story of my baby brother screaming at the car wash at least twice a year, and we can call or text anytime for help, a laugh or a babysitter. It’s so awesome. Because of this, I have always wanted to have a large family of my own. I don’t necessarily want five kids, but three has always been my minimum. That is, until modern day has hit me straight upside the head.

Having a child is just so unGodly expensive now. After you pay the several thousand bucks to the hospital and doctors for having your new bundle, there are diapers, a crib, formula (if you’re not breastfeeding), clothes, blankets, the million and one apparatuses everyone tells you that you need, and if you have to put the baby in daycare, you may just have to work to pay for that huge expense alone. The list of expenses grows quicker than the kiddo does.

Once in the toddler phase, there are swim lessons, dance lessons, preschool, doctor’s appointments, new car seats, new beds, and the clothes to replace the ones that they outgrew in just a matter of weeks. Then, once they reach school age, the costs skyrocket. My sister has three school-aged children and I choked on my lunch the day she told me how much it costs to have her oldest in football, her middle child in gymnastics and her youngest in soccer ON TOP of what she paid to enroll them in school. They went on a Disney vacation a couple years back and ended up renting a small condo because Disney was going to require them to pony up for two rooms to stay on the resort because they had three kids. Their rooms are only designed for a family of four.

I just don’t think having more is going to be feasible for us. I want to be able to allow our kids to participate in extracurricular activities, go on fun vacations, and be able to eat healthier foods than fast food junk every night. But I feel like I’m having to trade a child (or two) for a certain quality of life.

And that makes me feel conflicted and kind of icky.

I don’t want to miss out on the joy of having another child to love, but I also don’t want to have to tell my kids that they can’t enroll in dance class because we have to be able to eat that month. We don’t have to make the decision today or even tomorrow, thankfully. But it’s there in the back of my mind every time B hits another milestone.

For now, I’m packing the baby stuff in the attic and hoping that we are able to feel good about the decision we have to make in the somewhat near future.

Weigh in: How did you decide how big to let your family grow?

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Why I’m the Parent on the Bench

You know that parent you always see sitting on the bench at the park? You know the one. She’s the one who is checking Facebook on her phone or texting pictures to relatives and friends. You may call her inattentive or lazy. You may even judge her for not being more involved with her children. She’s off in her own world and her children are playing all by themselves or with the new friends they’ve found at the park.

I am her.

Granted, I know where my children are, who they’re with and what is or isn’t in their mouths at the time. But I’m not the parent who is climbing up the stairs and holding my child’s hand down the slide. I’m not the one holding HJ’s waist as she navigates the monkey bars. Nope. Not doing it. I’m sitting right there on the bench.

I know. I sound like the worst mother in the world. Hear me out, though: Have you noticed the epidemic of kids (and adults!) who seem to be unable to do much without being given specific instructions? I’ve worked at companies with interns who sit and stare at walls without being told explicitly what they should be doing at every moment. I’ve seen kids in fifth grade who don’t fix their own plates at potlucks. I went to school with kids in high school whose parents did their science projects for them. I’ve heard horror stories about parents calling college professors to dispute grades. I’ve seen too many of my own peers unable to stand on their own feet as adults and still have their parents give them gas or grocery money on a monthly basis.

I think it’s sad and it’s something I don’t want for my kids. It’s my job as a parent to teach them to use their brains to figure out how to navigate the world... not show them how to do everything, or worse, do it for them. By sitting on my park bench, I’m just beginning to teach my kids about independence, problem-solving, and using their imagination. If they get in an argument with another kid, I sit back unless someone’s well-being is in danger. My girls need to learn how to handle disagreements between friends. That’s a skill they will need even when they’re 80. If they aren’t tall enough to climb up the green ladder? I will sit and watch them use their brains to step on the side of the structure to get a boost up so they can reach. If I jump in there every time they fight with someone or every time they have trouble accomplishing a task, what am I teaching them? That Mom will do it.

No. I want them to learn to trust themselves to figure things out. I want them to know that they are smart enough to find the solution. If they still continue to struggle after considerable effort, will I step in? Of course. I will help them problem solve and show them shortcuts to help them along the way, but I WILL NOT be the parent who does it for them.

So for now, you can find me sitting on my park bench watching my children learn (while also checking Facebook occasionally). I’ll save you a seat if you’d like.

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Preschool scouting will drive me crazy

It’s preschool enrollment time. If you’re like me, you probably found this out because some other mom casually mentioned it in conversation and you played it off like you totally knew all along.

Sike. I did NOT know this until almost too late and also, since when do kids start preschool at age three? They need two years of kindergarten prep? Just how intense IS kindergarten these days? That’s okay. It doesn't matter because we're doing it anyway. HJ is need of some regular socialization and needs someone other than me and her dad telling her what to do. Plus, I can’t be the mom with the crazy, bouncing-off-the-walls kid who didn’t go to preschool. We've already established that she'll still be in diapers by then (Just kidding. Potty training is a requirement of attending preschool. God help us).

Back to my first observation: Why is it important to enroll your kid in preschool in February/March when they don't start till the fall? Because waiting lists, people. Yeah. This is crazy. Classes can fill up before enrollment is even open to the general public. How’s that for nerve-racking and panic-inducing? Thankfully, this is Lawrence. I've heard that big city preschools get waiting lists for YEARS before a child can attend. As in, moms find out they're pregnant and put the fetus on the waiting list. I cannot even pretend to be that on the ball.

Before I started paying attention to how this all worked, I simply thought preschool is preschool. They learn shapes, colors, the alphabet, numbers and how to make friends who don’t eat glue. We’d simply pick the one closest to our house and be done with it.

WRONG. Guys, there’s about a billion factors in this process: Do we want full-time or part-time? Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays or Tuesday/Thursdays? Mornings or afternoons? Do we want it to cost around $150 a month or almost a full mortgage payment? And then there’s the style. Oh. Dear. God. The. Styles. Is our kid better suited for an arts-based preschool? A Montessori program? A high level of parent involvement co-op? Then there’s faith-based, highly-structured, daycare-housed, or in-home preschool. And once you figure all that out, you have to figure out the pick-up/drop-off routine and determine whether or not it will work while toting around your chubby one-year-old.

I was overwhelmed. Every time I tried to talk to my husband about it, he shrugged it off like, “It’s just preschool.” Whatever. Husbands are no help in my house.

My soon-to-be preschooler

My soon-to-be preschooler by Megan Spreer

So I narrowed down our “wants” and scheduled tours of three highly recommended (by friends on Facebook, of course) places in town. I was sure that after touring them I would be able to easily make a decision.

Nope. Not even close. The decision was now even more difficult. I loved all three. Like, wanted to hug the directors and be BFFs loved all three. What made it worse was that I had only a matter of days to make a decision. One of the schools was filling up quickly and already had a huge wait list for one of the classes.

What does one do in that situation? You throw your arms up, say “It’s just preschool,” and pick the one closest to your house.

How did you decide where your kid went to preschool (and am I the only one who thought it was incredibly overwhelming)?

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Mommy Needs a Timeout

When HJ was brand new, we got offer after offer from our family to take her off our hands for the night so we could have a date night. I was new to leaky boobs, new to SIDS anxiety and so new to all things in the realm of mom that I was positively sure that these people were high to think I’d let my new baby out of my sight for that long.

What if she got sick? What if she missed me? What if she wouldn’t take a bottle? There were too many what ifs and too many chances for her to think I abandoned her for me to even consider the idea for almost her entire first year.

Ha! Now that I’m a mom of two and am almost three years into this gig, I was counting down the days until I handed them off to Grandma and Grandpa for the ENTIRE weekend this past Friday. No, it’s not because I love them less. It’s not because I regret becoming a mother. And no, it’s not because I want to give them away.

It’s because I need to sometimes.

As a parent, so much of my day is dedicated to teaching, redirecting, caring for, and tending to these tiny people that I often neglect everything and everyone else...myself and husband included. Sometimes Mommy (and Daddy) just need a timeout. I need to recharge, regroup and remember who Megan is...and let’s be honest: I need to shave my legs before it looks like I have new ginger-colored fur boots.

Sorry for that visual.

In all honesty though, I’m a better mom when I can send my kids somewhere else every once in a while. Sometimes I need the chance to miss them and wish I could kiss the chubby folds of B’s neck. I need to turn off Disney’s Frozen soundtrack long enough to want to again sing “Let it Go” complete with an interpretive dance. I need time to be just me. Not me as the resident butt-wiper. Not me as the hair-brusher. Not me as the drink-fetcher. Just me.

And then, when they come back, I have recharged patience, a full night’s rest and I can again see them through the eyes of a parent who remembers just how blessed she is. It makes me again appreciate the chaos of our lives.

So thank you to our parents and babysitters for letting us escape from our children from time to time...even on days I just need to shave my legs.

Aaron, especially thanks you for those days.

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The 10 Unofficial Rules of Living with Small Children

It’s no joke that your life gets flipped-turned upside down once kids enter the picture. Not only do you shift your level of what is considered gross, but several other aspects of your everyday adjust as well. Don’t have kids yet? Take this list and tuck it somewhere for later. Have a kid or two or five (you crazy Duggar, you), let's scare the bejesus out of the kid-free people.

1. The hours between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. are sacred. This is known as “After Bedtime.” It’s also the time of day when my husband and I will cram as much of our adult lives into this incredibly small window before we must go to sleep. We watch what we want, we eat what we want, and we recuperate from the day.

2. Unless it stinks or is visibly stained, it’s clean. Having a kid automatically increases the amount of laundry at your home by 100 percent. Thus, we learn to wear things a little longer. I will visibly cringe (and sometimes curse) when I spill something on myself because dammit, I'm gonna have to wash that.

3. The good candy must be eaten silently and while hidden. That is, unless you're prepared to share bites until it is gone, put away or cleaned up. In fact, this goes for all food that you’re eating. It doesn’t matter if it’s something your kid doesn't even like. They like it the minute you have it and they don’t.

4. Dinner shall be eaten before 6 p.m. Kids go to bed early. If you want to have time to eat, clean up, bathe them, put them in pajamas and avoid meltdowns, you HAVE to start early. And now we're ruined by this. When our friends without kids plan a social dinner after 7 p.m., we panic a little bit. BUT WE WILL BE STARVING BY THEN! Who eats that late? (See, we're ridiculous.)

5. Finding the mate to shoes and socks is a daily athletic event. I don't know what happens or why, but children seem to be experts at losing one of their shoes or one of their socks. Without fail, we are looking under the couch, digging through the toy box or searching the car for someone’s footwear before we leave the house. Every. Single. Day.

6. Poop is a regular topic of conversation. And you won't even be talking about your own. You will talk about your kid's poop without even flinching or realizing that it’s not acceptable dinner conversation when out with friends. You'll tell your husband about it, your mother, and whoever brings up anything remotely related. (Wait. Maybe this is just me?)

7. Businesses with drive-thrus are your new favorite. Pharmacy drive-thrus, liquor store drive-thrus, coffee shop drive-thrus and every other kind will make you so gleefully happy. You will wish that other establishments put one in. Sometimes just the mere thought of loading up your kids, taking them out, putting their coats on, carting them to the back of the store, grabbing one gallon of milk and then repeating the whole process to get home is utterly exhausting.

8. Most meals will be eaten one-handed and/or as quickly as possible. The minute you sit your toddler down for a meal, it’s like setting a timer. They eat quickly, if at all, and will need something or be ready to get down and destroy something in a matter of minutes. It’s especially bad at potluck type dinner events. You usually can’t balance two plates and keep them in line so therefore, you make them a plate and just give up on the thought of eating yourself. The leftover “yucky” stuff from your kid’s plate will hold you over until bedtime.

9. Your phone will be loaded with adorable photos you forgot you took. You will take a photo of every adorable thing they do and then you’ll so quickly move on to the next thing or place or part of your day that you’ll usually completely forget about that photo until you use up the memory on your phone or go to get a new one.

10. You will never complete a task without being interrupted every five minutes. Have a Pinterest project you want to try? Don’t even start it until the kids are in bed AND ASLEEP. You will not get through five minutes without someone needing a diaper change, a drink, help with a toy, or someone is screaming because they were pushed/hit/slapped. The same goes for cleaning your house. You might as well just accept that you'll live in filth until they go to school (Moms, please tell me it gets better then?).

For you veterans out there, did I miss any “rules”?

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Parenting: Some days it just sucks

I’m just going to get straight to it: HJ broke our 50 inch television this week. *Cue ugly cry face (me, not her). It came out of nowhere. While her favorite show was playing, she just walked up to it and launched a wooden ball directly at the screen.

That’s it. No words. No screaming fit. She just threw it and the screen went black. I honestly think she just wanted to see what would happen.

So it would be an understatement to say that it was a frustrating day. Aside from the fact that you cannot repair plasma TV screens, that our homeowner’s insurance does not cover toddler exploration mishaps, or that the last major entertainment purchase that my husband and I made before kids was now dead, the toddler wars are wearing us out, mentally, physically, and now financially.

Whenever I talk about the stress of being a parent online or even in person, I get a lot of “These are the BEST years!”, “They grow up so fast, appreciate this time!”, and “Raising kids is amazing!” While I agree with these sentiments, I’m sorry, but I do not feel this way every day.

Am I allowed to say that?

While I love my children with every inch of my being, I do not love being a mom every day. There, I said it.

I am incredibly blessed to have these little people and most days I DO love being a mom, but sometimes I wish I got to have a time out. In fact, there are days when I wish there was a farm I could drop them off at just for a few hours while I go home and take a nap or even bathe alone. Is that awful?

As magical and adorable as these years are, they are HARD. Teaching tiny people how to be big people is a constant and demanding job with no pay and little praise. We, as parents, are responsible for creating new people who need to grow up to be functioning members of society and hopefully not psychopaths some day. It’s kind of one of the most important jobs, right? Future adults who don't suck? Yes, please.

We were at the grocery store yesterday and I saw a dad corralling his two little girls. He was using the same voice I had just used with HJ to get his toddler back into the little car at the front of the cart.

I said to him, “It looks like we're having the same kind of night.” To which he said, “Yeah. I’m a single dad and raising them alone. It’s tough. Especially when it comes to doing their hair.” I couldn't help but laugh and be thankful for his honesty. This guy was a rockstar.

But the best part of that conversation? That we could talk about and freely admit that it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. I think parents need to be able to do that. They need to be able to reach out to each other and say, “Hey, this sucks today.” And they need to be able to do so without judgement or having someone say something to the effect of “Enjoy this sucktacular day! They're going to grow up and be even worse!”

Just no. Stop saying that, people. I promise we're not about to put up our children on Craigslist. We're just having an off day (like I’m sure you had a time or two whether or not you’ll admit it) and we just need a hug... or wine. Actually, wine is better.

Really though, we just need to be able to reach out when this incredibly important and demanding job just sucks. It doesn't make us bad parents. It makes us human.

And to that dad at the grocery store yesterday, your girls’ hair looked fantastic.

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Placenta-eating, breast milk-sharing parents are gross

I knew what I was getting into when we decided to have kids. I knew that babies spit up, drool, go through an enormous amount of putrid smelling diapers, and that they tend to be pretty messy in general. Those are the things in which I was prepared to handle.

What I wasn't prepared for though was how much I’d let my own personal views on what’s disgusting evolve. I don't know if it’s the lack of sleep, the enormous amount of love I have for my kids, or if I left part of my brain back at the hospital when I gave birth, but now that I’m a mom, I can be pretty gross. I now don't even flinch when it comes to bodily fluids and the like. It can take two to three spit-up episodes on my shirt before I'll actually go and change. If we're out in public and my kid has something hanging out of her nose, I'll probably just pull it off with my bare hands and wipe it on my own pants. Those of you without kids are probably dry heaving right now. My apologies, but it gets worse. So much worse.

These acts of disgustingness are just the tip of the iceberg. With baby number two, I moved on to a whole new level of ew. I think it just proves that parents will put aside ANY of their own discomfort for the sake of their kids’ well being. At least, that’s what I’m going with.

Seriously though, this is what I mean:

- The NoseFrida: Both of my girls hated the blue bulb snot sucker that they sent us home with from the hospital. In fact, we named it “The Blue Ball of Death” because they’d scream as if they were dying in excruciating pain every time we used it. So when my girlfriend showed me her NoseFrida, it was as if the heavens opened up. Sure, it’s kind of gross to suck snot out of your baby’s nose with your mouth, but look! She’s not screaming! Watch B and her NoseFrida here: http://youtu.be/u6kxl_71d0s

- Eating your placenta: OK, so I didn't actually do this. I was afraid my husband would have me committed, but I find it so intriguing that if I had his blessing, I may have done it. Of course, I'd have gone the whole putting it into pill form route. Actually chew-- ugh. I can't even type that. Gross. BUT, some say ingesting your own placenta has many benefits such as lessening the chances of postpartum depression, increasing breast milk supply and is full of vitamins and nutrients. Dr. Google has tons of info. Just ask him.

- Sharing breast milk: Milksharing is becoming increasingly common between moms with low supply issues, adoptive parents, and for babies who are ill. From what I've heard, there’s some stipulations to follow, some paperwork, but the gist is that moms with an oversupply of breast milk give it to other parents to feed their babies. I was lucky and never had any major supply issues, but if I had, I'd totally have looked into this. Several people I've told about it look at me like I have two heads. To be honest, I think it’s funny that some people don't think it’s gross to drink milk from an animal, but yet would scoff at the idea of drinking milk from another human. Think about it: We'll drink milk from an animal that we've never even seen but think it's gross to drink milk from a person whom we know and know that she's hygienic and such. It's not rational... to me, anyways. That being said, I still drink cow's milk.

What kinds of gross things have you found yourself doing or changing your mind about after having kids?

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Failing at Potty Learning

Remember that post I wrote a few weeks back in which I polled people on the most annoying things parents post on Facebook? One of responses was potty-training posts.

Well guess what?

I am one of those people. You know why? Because potty learning (that is the now the preferred term, I've been told) is equal parts hilarious and frustrating as all hell. Reaching out to a support system (a.k.a. Facebook) is sometimes the only way to retain your sanity.

HJ will be three years old in May and she is determined to wear diapers for the rest of her life. However, since it’s frowned upon to send a kindergartener to school in Huggies, we decided to start taking this whole process a lot more seriously lately. We've been gently encouraging toilet use for the past year. It went well the first two weeks and then crashed and burned since. We've desperately been searching for ideas that would work. So far, here’s what we've tried:

  • Buy her really pretty or really special underwear and she won't mess in them: I bought her Bubble Guppies and Minnie Mouse undies. I talked them up, got super excited with her about wearing them, and made a grand production about the fact that she was wearing “Super Special Big Girl Panties.” Aaaaand she peed in them five minutes later. She was completely unfazed by the wet undies and I didn't realize it until I stepped in the puddle in her bedroom.

  • Start a sticker chart: I got a piece of cardstock out, drew her name in some block letters that I mastered in my dance squad days, and excitedly explained that she'd get to put a new sticker on her name every time she used the potty. Well, that was cool for a day. The stickers lost their luster when she realized that they couldn't be removed from the cardstock.

  • Stage a lockdown: I got this idea from Pinterest. It claimed “Potty Train your Child in just ONE day!” I should know better. Pinterest is full of lies. This one said to lock yourself in your house for a day or two, put the kid in underwear, wear an apron full of candy, and set a timer for every 30 minutes. You're supposed to have the kid try to go when the timer goes off and reward them with candy. These constant visits to the potty gave HJ a complex and she refused to use the potty for weeks afterward. She was beyond over it. Thanks a lot, lying Pinterest mom.

  • Tell her the potty is hungry and thirsty. She didn't care.

So that brings us to our current strategy:

  • Bribery: Yes. I know this is the frowned upon solution, but a combination of taking away all electronics and giving them back after potty trips with a piece of candy has shown a 50 percent success rate. The times it does not work are when HJ decides she just wants a piece of candy and yet does not need to use the potty. Instead, she has a meltdown.

Super awesome.

Now, I'll need to finish this blog because HJ just peed on the fireplace brick ledge and the girls are playing in the puddle.

Please send wine.

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