Saturday, 31 August 2013

Don't Want To

The players - Mum - patient but worn out.
                      Joseph - constant and whinging.

Joseph, it's time to get up from your nap.
Don't want to.
Ok, do you want to stay in bed a bit longer?
Don't want to.
Would you like a snack?
Don't want it.
Would you like a drink?
Don't want it. Want milk.
Here's some milk.
Don't want it! Want squash.
Here's some squash.
Don't want it. Want a biscuit.
No, we've not got any biscuits. Don't throw your bottle of juice away.
Don't want it. Where's my drink?
Let's go out.
Don't want to.
We're going to buy you some new shoes and some big boy pants as your potty training is going so well.
Don't want to.
Which shoes do you like? Let's try some on.
Don't want to.
You can choose which pack of pants you'd like.
Don't want to.
How about the ones with little cars on?
Don't want them.
Stand still in the till queue please Joseph.
Don't want to. Want toys.
Get in your car seat.
Don't want to.
It's time to get out of the car.
Don't want to.
We're going to get some nice lunch.
Don't want to.
Do you need the potty?
No. Don't want it. Want to sit in buggy.
Let's get the buggy ready then.
Don't want it.
Lunch time! Look, you've got rice and meatballs.
Don't want it.
Eat the meatballs as well as the rice please Joseph.
Don't want to.
If you eat some of the meat you can have a chip.
Don't.... ooo chips!
Don't want to.
But it's chocolate brownies and ice-cream!
Don't..... ooo ice cream.

And they call them the "terrible twos". He's more like a teenager at the moment.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Help in Inverted Commas

So just how do you tell a child, at the tender age of two and three quarters, that you actually, honestly do not want them to help. You appreciate the thought and you're touched by the kindness, but you jolly well know that letting them 'help' is going to lead to nothing but trouble.
You don't because you can't. Even if you were foolish enough to try deny them the opportunity, they'll either pretend to not understand or you end up with a tantrum that can be measured on the richter scale. After all, they're trying to be really good.
Joseph wanted to help at the supermarket. I wasn't so sure, in as much as it's getting quite a faff to wrangle his long legs into the metal framework of the trolley seat and then extract them again afterwards, it still seems less bother than letting him run around loose. I have let him help when I've gone in to buy a couple of things and he'll help carry the basket, but never a full weeks shop.
I relented. After all, he's going to get too big for the trolley seat before too long and then I'll have no choice, unless I'm prepared for the eventuality of having to call the fire brigade to come and cut him out of the trolley as I've managed to get him well and truly wedged.
In no uncertain terms was he told - be good, do as you are told or you're sitting in the trolley. Don't push it, mister.
He pushed it. Also he pushed the trolley and that didn't help either. He did help me pick a good head of broccoli and some potatoes which he quickly realised were too heavy for him. The crunch came when he kept wanting to stand at the front of the trolley and was consistently in the way. He didn't want to stand next to me, no he just wanted to try and get run over all the time. Into the trolley seat with him and it's a difficult enough job even when he wants to be there. Phew!

This evening Andy came home on his bicycle and decided that as we still had a bit of sunshine left he'd give the thing a clean and a little bit of maintenance after dinner. Joseph wanted to help. Now, it was a useful bribe as he kept being told he wouldn't be allowed near the bike unless he ate all of it, and I think it worked, even if he was still a bit on the slow side.
In a matter of minutes he was covered in oil, grease and muc-off, which might work on the bicycle but not on toddlers. When I went out to see what was going on, he was playing quite happily. The bike was upturned for ease of cleaning and Joseph was spinning the front wheel round and round and round and his hands were the same colour as a busy chimney sweeps.
Baby bubble bath doesn't work oil. I had a lot of scrubbing to do, which is hard to do on a toddler who isn't totally convinced he wants to be in the bath and would rather still be getting mucky. I was very close to having to break out the swarfega on him.

In other news, potty training is still going well, he is asking for help regularly and I gave him a lollipop for coming home from the supermarket with a dry nappy.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Advanced Training

Warning- the following entry contains graphic information about potty training and multiple urine references. So if you can't handle the word "wee" being mentioned repeatedly then don't read on.

Potty training. I mentioned the start of it all in my previous entry. The ups, the downs, the thrills and the literal spills.
We've got tired of our little chap running around with his little chap on show so I have been persevering this week with getting him used to having trousers on but no nappy. So follow him round saying "remember you have no nappy on and if you need a wee, use the potty" ad infinitum ad nauseam. I was wondering if I should get a dictaphone and record the message and set it to play on a five minute loop. Inevitably I ask him if he needs the potty and he says "no". I don't always believe him so I have to look for body language as much as listening to what he says. Sometimes he remembers to ask, sometimes I have to keep an eye out for the small damp patch that occurs on his trousers when he decides he needs a wee and then forgets for a moment he has no nappy on. If you spot it quickly, you can get a good result.
This morning we were at church and as it's the summer holidays there was no Sunday school or crèche so someone told a little story for the children who were all getting rather bored and a bit shouty. They all sat down in a little semi-circle at the front and Joseph wanted to join in but was too shy. Then he noticed that there were props and one of them was a hammer, so he overcame his shyness and went for a look.
He didn't really want to sit down, but at least he was showing an interest. I couldn't see him clearly at this point as someones head was in the way, so I only have eye witness testimony to go on.
He started to do some quite obvious body language indicating that a potty might be of use very soon. As I said, I couldn't quite see but he was apparently - oh how can I put this delicately? - grasping.
Andy took him outside to the gents loos, but he just screamed and wanted to play. I was puzzled, he had a nappy on after all so why all the fuss? We're not yet brave enough to try out and about.
I took over. His nappy was bone dry, so perhaps indeed he was holding it in. So I took him to the ladies which has a little toilet just for kids. The sight of it made him howl, but I was not in the mood to mess. Trousers down, nappy off and park that little keester, meester.
Almost in time. There was some "splashback" shall we say and some endampening of the trousers but most of it went in the toilet and he did stop crying long enough to ask if he could flush.
So, something somewhere is slowly sinking in. We had lunch and Grannies house as his cousin is over to stay and they're less than a year apart in age and seem to get on well.
There was much bouncing and laughing and a lot of playing and Joseph was sans nappy but plus a clean pair of shorts all afternoon. There was a little bit of wee, but mostly in the potty and he even started mentioning that he might just need it, although there was still some guesswork involved.
He's a lot more amenable to having a go when you ask, such as before dinner and before getting him strapped in the car to come home. Perhaps simply having to hold it in means there's pretty much a guarantee there's some to come.
Still, there's a full load of wee soaked trousers and shorts to wash after the last few days so it's still a pretty big mountain to climb, but we're getting there. One day I'll have to risk taking him out and about and I'll be frantically scanning for where the nearest toilet is.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Perils of the Potty

We started potty training a while back so I thought I'd better mention how it was going.
It was a slow start. Joseph was suddenly interested in the toilet and what is done in it so we went out and bought a potty. He sat on it, did a wee and we praised him highly for it.
The following day he decided that he didn't like the potty and wasn't going to sit on it. By the day after, he was terrified of it and the merest mention of the word made him scream. I had to put it up out of the way on the top shelf of his bookcase before he'd calm down.
We gave up. Perhaps it was just "too soon". All the advice is to wait until they are ready, although nobody really quantifies what this means in any real sense. One article said to wait until they are big enough to climb up onto a toilet and sit there. So I'm supposed to wait till he's past six then?
Most mention the child showing an interest and having the ability to pull their trousers up and down. Not a common trait in a less than three year old, believe me.

We gave up for a while until I decided that as he was fast approaching two and a half it was worth giving it another bash. He was scared, he did not want to so I resorted to the standard Mum back-up plan.
If you sit on the potty, you can have a sweet.
In less than 48 hours he was quite happy to sit there.
If you do a wee or a poo you can have a sweet.
It took a couple of days, but he started producing things. Thanks to his relatively predictable bowel movements, we started doing quite well. He wore a nappy most of the time and I sat him down at the times of day I knew he was most likely to produce something. I made him up a chart and he liked getting stars on it and he really, really liked the sweets. Haribo seems to be the way to go.

Such was the status quo for the best part of two months. However, no amount of begging, cajoling, bribery or threats would make him ask to go when it wasn't the set time. I don't know why, he just didn't seem to get the point. Have I mentioned that he's quite lazy?
So, I started taking his nappies away. He didn't like that much and it didn't work at all when I put him in trousers, I think he thought that he was still wearing a nappy.
So, for two weeks we have had a little bare bottom running around at home, which certainly gave the gas man pause for thought when he came to read the meter. At least it's warm.
With not a stitch on his lower half we have only had the one proper accident and he's been fine ever since. I've stopped giving him sweets for small liquid offerings as I think he thought that little and often was the way to squeeze the most out of the process, if you'll forgive the turn of phrase. His chart is choc-a-block with stars.

The problem is that sometimes I like to go out and that means nappies. I'm sure he finds this a little confusing as every time I put him in a nappy it's as if he's been saving up all the wee and it is full to soggy bursting in less than two hours when they used to last four to six.
Today I decided that he needed to learn. No more pink bottoms on display and no more excuses about not being able to manage trousers.
Me - Show me you can pull your trousers down.
Joseph - No. I can't.
Me - Yes you can, just try.
Joseph - Don't want to.
Me - Ok, but you're not watching any more Shaun the Sheep until you can do it.
So he does it. He's a bit slow at first, but soon manages to do what is needed with a pair of jogging bottoms with loose elastic.
Bribery. Works every time.
He had two accidents today, both more to do with him being a bit slow and lazy about it than anything else. I told him that I expected better and he'd only get a reward if it all went in the potty and not half down the sofa, which is at least leather and quite easy to clean.
It sank in. He's used the potty four times today, and has actually asked me for help, although he has been able pull his own trousers down and back up again after. I am expecting a long and slow process, but we do seem to be heading in the right direction at last - or bottoming, which is a bit more accurate.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

I'm Back

Been a while. A long while, but I have been busy what with moving house and all that entails, so here's an update.
We moved and it was a big stressful thing as the removal men brought too small a van for all our heaps and heaps of stuff so Andy had to borrow a sprinter van from his work and nearly put his back out loading it. The people we bought the house from decided to stop cleaning the moment we put in the offer and ripped out all of the curtain rails. That's just weird if you ask me.
We fitted a new kitchen. I say "we" but Andy and Joseph did most of the work (ok ALL) and Joseph is a dab hand with a screwdriver at two and a half.
Joseph has his own room with a space theme and I painted it. The flying saucer looks particularly good.
He's out of his cot now, in a big boy bed. We took him camping with kids airbed to see how he'd get on and he did very well and did not try and escape in the night so now he has a proper little bed of his own and has not once tried to get out of it in the night, even when we wish he would. Last night I was awoken at 3.30 am by a small boy SCREAMING for me. I thought he'd hurt himself but he just wanted a toy car. I fumbled about on the floor for something in the dark and passed him what turned out to be a shoe, but he didn't mind, he just cuddled it, rolled over and went back to sleep. I wish I'd been able to do the same, but sadly not. It's getting to be a bit too regular a thing for my liking.
We're potty training now. He's doing well, I think, but it's slow. He's perfectly continent as long as he doesn't have a stitch on his bottom half, which leads to some embarrassment for all if someone knocks on the door, like the man who came to read the meter yesterday. If I put him in pants or trousers he just looks puzzled and then forgets he's not got a nappy on and has an accident. It's a good job it's nice and warm at the moment.

We went to the dentist today. Joseph is a shy sort of boy and although I had spent a long time explaining to him what was going to happen he took one look at the dentist and cried, just like last time. I tried for several minutes to extract the face of my terrified toddler from my arm pit, but he was having none of it. In the end we gave up and sat him on a chair so I could have my turn in the big chair and all the tartar chiselled off. Joseph decided to start crying with his mouth open at this moment and the dentist managed enough of a look to confirm that Joseph does indeed have all his teeth. Apparently that's all they need to do for children of Joseph's age and it left me wondering why I put him through the stress of it when I already knew he had all his teeth. I gave him my handbag to play with and that cheered him up. After an unpleasant but mercifully brief appointment for me, we were set free and walked home, stopping off at a cafe for a nice drink and a pack of those wafery things that are supposed to be to go with coffee, but Joseph really likes them.