"A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, a home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten and the future worth living for."

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Parenting Misconceptions

Potty training is giving me a few more gray hairs and wrinkles. I thought I'd be the type of mom whose child was potty trained in one weekends time. And most definitely by the age of 18 months. I just have to laugh at myself. What was I thinking when I set that goal? Clearly I wasn't thinking how long and difficult the process can be. Landon has had his potty seat since he was 15 months old. Even at the age he was able to tell me each and every time he went to the bathroom by pointing at his diaper. I, of course, thought my baby was a complete genius and would be potty trained in no time. Seventeen months later and Landon is still not potty trained. As quickly as his signs of readiness came they disappeared. He lost all interest in the potty seat and I didn't want to push it so we put it away for quite some time. Just recently Landon has started taking interest in his potty seat again. He does marvelously when he is without any bottoms on. Landon doesn't have a single accident when he is running around and playing naked. He makes his potty seat every single time. The trouble comes when he has a diaper on or any bottoms for that matter. He won't tell me that he has to go until after the fact. It is driving me nuts. I can't have him running around naked outside of the house. I have tried pull ups (which are just a glorified diaper in my opinion) and even toddler underwear. He will pee right through the underwear and then tell me that he has to pee. It seems like his bottoms are providing him with a safety net. He knows that he doesn't have to go to the potty seat because he has a safety net in his diaper or underwear. Why should he stop playing to pee when he can play and pee at the same time?!  Wouldn't we all do that if we could? Imagine what we could accomplish if no bathroom breaks had to be had during the day! Hopefully soon Landon will catch on that he has to go to his potty seat even when he has clothing on. Until then I will just have a toddler running around sans bottoms. 

Before I had a toddler I also always thought badly about the mothers who allow their children play hand held video games in the stores or at restaurants. I couldn't imagine why they would allow such behavior to occur. I also wondered why they made their children so dependent on video games. I mean, couldn't they put them down for a few minutes? Why did they have to carry them with them everywhere? I'll tell you the reason. It's not because the children were addicted to them, it is because it kept the children quiet enough for the stressed out mom to have a few peaceful moments of shopping. She didn't have to hear all of the "I wants" and "I needs" or "Mommy please" coming out of their mouths. This revelation only just occurred to me the other day. I had some errands to run and didn't feel like taking all day in the store. Taking a child into the store always makes the trip three times longer. You can't just run in and out with a child in tow. When I went to get Landon out of the car the other day he was throwing a fit because his movie was going to be turned off. I knew a meltdown was going to occur in the store just because of how mad he was going in. I decided to take Landon and his portable DVD player and place both of them into the cart. That's right. I become one of those moms. The kind that I thought unkindly thoughts towards just a few weeks earlier. I pushed Landon around in the cart while he watched Oliver and Company. It was one of the most peaceful shopping experiences I have had since Landon has reached toddler age. Not one peep from him the entire time. There were no requests for toys. No requests for skittles or juice. No outburst over having to leave the toy department. It was heavenly. I was in complete shopping bliss. I apologize to all of you moms out there that I have thought unkindly thoughts towards. You were only doing those things so that you could make your day a little easier. It had very little to do with the fact that your children were addicted to the games. It was probably more because you just wanted to get in and out without the fuss. I applaud you for using modern technology to ease your already stressful, frazzled day. This mommy has joined your forces. Anyone that has a problem with me using modern technology to make my shopping with Landon a bit easier at times, then by all means take him shopping with you the next time. I'm sure you'll be singing a different tune. I definitely don't allow Landon to have his DVD player at all times. Most of the time it is left home and doesn't even join us in the car. It's for an emergency basis most of the time. You know, the days where I was up all night with a cranky toddler and beyond tired. The days where I just don't have it in me to face a meltdown in a store. I don't always use the DVD method either. I almost always first try crayons. That usually always works. I keep a crayon roll in my purse along with small coloring books. I try to switch the books out often so that Landon always has new ones to color. Of course, when we are in Target I rely solely on the $1.34 icee. It works like a charm every time!   

I have definitely learned over the past 2 1/2 years that mothering isn't always so black and white. There are no right or wrong ways to do things (for the most part). What works for one family may not work for another. I am no longer going to be the one to past judgement onto another mom for parenting in a different way. Who knows. Maybe I will eventually do things that way as well! Never say never has never been truer than when it pertains to child rearing.

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