We always had the best intentions when Erin got pregnant. You read the books and hear about how other parents have helped their children develop. And you want to be just as on top of it as they are.
We wanted to do sign language because it's the chic thing to help communication. Didn't happen.
We wanted to keep them away from sugary sweets and processed foods for obvious reasons. Did a little better there, but good luck explaining that to grandparents, aunts and uncles.
We kind of lucked into a pretty regimented schedule as far as eating and naps because of the NICU.
And then there's potty training.
You hear about all the horror stories when it comes to potty training. The messes on carpets. The ruined clothes. The crying kids that don't want to use the potty. And then you hear about the parents that potty trained their kids with no big issues, and you hope to god you can at least fall somewhere in the middle (while secretly hoping your kids will be potty rock stars).
And for a lot of people it seems like a contest. You hear someone say "My daughter was potty trained at 16 months" or some ridiculous age like they are so much better than everyone else. We even heard it from family members. Erin was trained at 18 or 19 months. Her mom was telling us this when her grandma chimed in that her kids were all trained at 12 months. It isn't a contest, but that would be some sort of record if it was actually true.
The thing is your kids sort of determine when they're ready. And with two completely different kids, this is when the job can get hard.
A few weeks ago Ana and Grace started telling us when they had dirty diapers. They would say "Pee-pee" in strained voices while squatting and making faces. Apparently this is more common with cloth diapers because they aren't as absorbent as their disposable counterparts. That is a huge positive because discomfort leads to wanting to avoid discomfort. It's human nature.
It also told us it was time to start the potty training process.
So we headed to Babies R Us and picked up some training toilets. Since then we've had somewhat mixed results.
Grace has taken very well to it. It helps that we know when she usually has to go. So we've been sitting her down on the potty after naps and meals or when she tells us "pee-pee." The first time she went pee in the potty was so exciting. I had sat her down after her nap. She sat there reading her book like it was no big deal at all. Ana woke up crying, so I went in to check on her. I heard Grace say "All done" from the bathroom, and she walked into their bedroom without any pants on. I picked her up was telling her she needed to stay on the potty until she was done when I saw that she had used the potty and was in fact all done. Later that night she pooped and the very next day she went pee again.
Ana on the other hand HATES using the potty. The first time I sat her down she cried the entire time and kept trying to stand up. Whenever we sit her down her response is always "No, no, no." She has had rashes and sitting on the potty seems to bother her. She doesn't really get that she probably won't be as itchy and rashy when she stops wearing diapers all the time. So up to this point she has yet to use the potty.
But we gave Grace a treat for going poop in the potty the other day. Maybe Ana will see that Grace is getting something she isn't and get with the program.
What I really learned about it is I don't care what the books and supposed perfect parents did. All I care about is the look on Grace's face when she saw how happy her mom and I were after she used the potty. She was so proud of herself. So if you want to tell me your theories on how to potty train or when your kids were trained, don't. I just don't care about comparing my kids to yours. Mostly because my kids aren't your kids or anyone elses kids. And also because I already know my kids are awesome and don't need the comparisons to prove it.