Monday, April 26, 2010

Hopefully he'll move out before he's 30.

Leah was a rather independent kid, right from the start. She loved the idea of the toddler bed, potty trained herself (well, basically), figured out on her own how to manage zip-up pjs in the bathroom at night, and in general took to everything rather quickly.

She was never a cuddler, either - too fidgety.

Now we have my little man Benjamin. He is a wonderful cuddler. The other day he even told me that he wanted to sit on my lap forever. "But me want to play soccer too." Yes, it is hard to play soccer while sitting on your mommy's lap. But I'd be willing to try.

Unfortunately, it seems that another way his affectionate nature is presenting itself is by being as dependent on me as possible. Every step towards independence has involved about 5 mini-steps.

Sleeping in a toddler bed: Partially because of our moving twice in 3 months, he slept in a pack & play until he was about 2 1/2. By then he was almost too big to fit IN the thing. But to get him out, we had to first leave the mattress on the floor in the room with him, then let him choose which he wanted to sleep on, and finally took the pack & play away completely and just forced him to make the switch. It took several months.

Putting on his own jacket: Used the "flipping it over the head" technique, but are actually still working on having him pull the sleeves right side out and/or take it off so that doesn't happen in the first place. I think he's finally getting the hang of it.

Potty-training: Yeah. We had to force him to "practice wearing undies" and "practice going on the potty". The #1 part is going pretty well, but #2 is a whole 'nother issue. One we are ready to give up on until he just gets tired of it.

Brushing his teeth: He does a rather random job, so much so that I prefer not to be in the same room when he does it. And still, I usually put the toothpaste on his brush, and do the job myself once a day, just so I know they're getting really clean. Now, if he (and Leah, for that matter) could just avoid spitting on the faucet and MAYBE make sure all the paste gets washed down the drain.

Putting on his own shoes: Last summer he seemed intent on putting his crocs on the wrong feet every. single. time. With sneaker weather came much whining about having us put them on for him, or to fasten the (velcro!) straps, or that something was wrong (usually the tongue or heel pushed down). Finally it seems that we've convinced him to put down BOTH shoes to tell if they are on the right side. He can get it done, but only if he's calm and in the mood to cooperate.

And here's my top five list of things I'd like for him to get figured out as soon as possible:
1. Poop in the potty. Nuff said.

2. Fix his own blankets at night. This is one of the negatives of having a Type A child - Ben insists on his blankets being arranged JUST SO, and if he wakes up at night and they aren't, well, reinforcements (aka Mommy) must be called in to help. This tapered off, but now that he's waking up at night to go potty, I've been tucking him in after helping him. Guess what I'm stopping immediately? (And I have to admit, this blanket fixation is my own fault - if ONLY I didn't do the same thing every night...apparently my habits make my kids rather OCD.)

3. Go potty at night by himself. This WOULD be number 2, but I'm kindof afraid that he might fall and get a concussion trying to go potty while half-asleep, pjs & undies around his ankles, and standing on a stool. I'm willing to get up with him ONCE, but the second time he's on his own.

4. Learn to blow his nose. Heck, I'd be happy if he'd just WIPE it himself. Our new rule is that if he wants me to wipe it for him, he has to at least TRY to blow. The attempts are the most pathetic ever.

5. Zip his coat. Now I'm really dreaming. But as long as I'm fantasizing, why not go all out?

Do me a favor? Remind me of all this when he buys his own car and doesn't come home until 3am.

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What one accomplishment of your child's made the biggest change in YOUR life? Is potty training the ultimate? Or is something smaller the key to freedom?

1 comment:

Terri V said...

I felt more like I was losing my baby when my oldest started to do everything by herself. But the thing that made me the most happy is when she started going to the bathroom by herself without hubby or I going in with her, although she announces it to everyone that she has to go to the bathroom.