There are moments when, all of a sudden, your place in life lurches forward.

Tonight, for the first time, Thane used the toilet for the purpose it was intended. Twice. Let the record show that he is 2 1/4, and bribed with lollipops. (Actually, I made it a joint endeavor and bribed both him AND Grey so that I wouldn’t deal with melty Grey when Thane got a treat and he didn’t, and so that Grey would have a motivation to help potty train his brother.)

My sweet Thane boy seems so far from a baby, sometimes.

And then, tomorrow morning? I’m going to go to South School and sign my eldest up for Kindergarten in the fall. Which, I must admit. It seems well PAST time for him to be in Kindergarten. But still! School!

Brothers in PJs
Brothers in PJs

Brothers in scarves
Brothers in scarves

Internet skills… getting rusty….

When you’re not making a post a day, you don’t feel like you can just update folks on the last 20 minutes of your life (not that I, uh, ever do that…) but you don’t feel really ready to tackle the last 20 days, either. It’s been a definite withdrawal for me to have so much less computer time, and even more importantly very little computer time with both my hands free. Writing a post with one hand is time consuming. (An element to my prolific writing is doubtless the 80 wpm I type. You can say more in less time when you type quickly.)

Let’s see. The defining element of my last few days has been OMG SO MANY GUESTS. Last weekend was a wonderful Mocksgiving. Then on Thursday my beloved Aunt and Uncle arrived in Boston for a big Bible conference thingy, and they stayed the night. This would be the Aunt who can cook amazingly, so of course I felt the need to prepare a decent meal. And of course all my free time was spent chatting with them, attempting to catch up on the last 7 years in one evening. Then last night my brother Gospel came. (I asked why he got off for Thanksgiving break so early. He reminded me that there happened to be a big Bible conference thingy going on and he was at seminary. Huh. Go figure.) Granted, Gospel is much more helpful than guestful. He even raked our lawn this afternoon in the bitter, bitter cold! But still… he’s here much of the week and my Aunt and Uncle reemerge from their conference on Monday night (another dinner). I don’t have much spare time, and that’s taken up what I have. Still, it’s entirely worthwhile.

It got cold here in New England. I’m not a fan of this. I feel like I can’t walk nearly as far; not because Grey can’t handle it but because it’s hard to properly bundle a wee baby. I’m also still struggling with walking with both boys. Problem one is that I have much less recourse if Grey decides to be recalcitrant, which definitely happens with a 3 year old. If I carry Thane in a sling, it’s just too much to also carry the diaper bag and with a potty training preschooler, that’s dangerous. (I can carry one or two baby diapers in the sling, but the diapers and a change of pants for Grey… well, that seems like a bit much.) I don’t like strollers, but I tried that and I discovered that it’s really hard to steer with one hand, making it hard to hold Grey’s hand when we cross streets, etc. And here’s the kicker — I can just about manage Grey and the stroller, but the coffee is too much. (Heck it’s also an extra hand I lack getting into the car.) Parenting is threatening my coffee supply. This is dire, people.

In boy news, Thane has already lost the newborn look and started in on the young baby look. His neck is unbelievably strong — he now holds it steady for quite a while. He still swims in his 0 – 3 month outfits, but has outgrown newborn diapers. I had actually remembered this, how in the course of a day a diaper size goes from ok to way too small. And if you try to make do with the too small diapers to use up the rest of them, you find yourself changing a lot of outfits. Thane really, really likes to be held and wants to be held almost all day. This seems entirely appropriate for a new baby, but it a bit hard to manage sometimes. When he’s feeling fussy, he really likes to be on his belly. In the big Thane-news, he rolled over twice this week. Both times it was from front to back, but still. Rolling over at 3 weeks? I would be more excited about this if I didn’t realize that physically precocious children are a lot of work.

Grey is wonderful. He has been telling us stories lately. “Once upon a time there was a boy named Grey.” He will do nearly anything if you apply pretend reverse psychology. “Grey, I do not want you peeing in that potty!” On the one hand, it’s nice to have something that works so reliably. On the other hand, I’m worried that I’m making trouble for myself. I try to use a very silly voice when I do this, but perhaps it’s not smart of us. Speaking of peeing in the potty training, it’s going slowly. The length of time between when he goes seems to have lengthened, but he still won’t initiate going to the potty and it’s often like pulling teeth to get him to go. I confess to feeling disheartened. On the other hand, he’s been wonderfully affectionate and cuddly with the cold weather. He has grown increasingly sensitive to the emotions of others. “Mommy, are you sad, happy or angry?” he’ll ask. What he’s really asking is “Am I all right with you?” He is also attuned to his brother’s emotions. He’ll come find me if Thane is crying. Sometimes he tries to make faces to cheer up the weeping babe. Sometimes, annoyed, he’ll tell Thane to “Be quiet!” In the amusing anecdote department, Grey calls letters emails. I wonder if they’ll still have letters when he’s my age. Generally, though, he’s been pretty fantastic.

The smallest one stirs. I go.

When bowel movements become a reason for posting


(I miss the obnoxious old Netscape scroll tag.)



It was even a for real poop. I knew he was about to poop. (There are tells.) So I wouldn’t stop talking to him until he got on the potty. (When he poops he wants privacy and quiet. Don’t we all?) I provided him with reading materials and left him alone. And lo! There was poop! And pee! In the potty!

Of course he got ice cream and candy and several phone calls to relatives.

I think that in a few weeks diapers will just go away for any time he’s not sleeping and we will all have to learn to adjust or deal with the consequences.

Yes, I have become THAT person.

In other news, Patrick (the birthday cake version) did not turn out as well as I was hoping. One can only pray that a three year old will not notice. In reality, a three year old is at just the right stage of honesty and verbality to tell me it sucks if it does.

Also, we had pancakes for dinner.

Further bulletins as exciting events warrant.

You know your child is ready for potty training when…

This morning at about 6:15, I started hearing sounds. The nightlight was beeped on. A drawer nearby opened and closed. There was a strange sound. A small hand reached up to the handle of a humidity-swollen door and turned. Thump thump thump.

The handle turned on our door and it opened to admit a small, completely naked person holding a clean diaper.

My six-days-shy-of-three son:

1) Diagnosed himself with a full diaper issue

2) Removed his diaper

3) Placed it correctly in the diaper pail (one of the fancy ones with like a foot pedal)

4) Opened the dresser drawer where his fresh diapers are stored (the TOP drawer, may I add)

5) Obtained a clean diaper

6) Brought it to me to put on

When your kid is capable of making snide comments on your diaper changing technique, it’s time for this era to pass. I was planning on waiting another month or two (you know, so slightly after his little brother comes and I’m home full time and my grasp on sanity is already tenuous). But it’s really not possible for a child to signal that they are READY to potty train more than this.

Now comes the hard part. He’s been ready for quite some time. He pees on command, understands the poop mechanism, etc. Willing. The problem is willing.  That and I need non-traumatic motivations for him to not have accidents. A liberal application of lollypops has proven at least somewhat effective in getting him to SIT on the potty when I want him to. But where is his motivation for not peeing in his pants (or on the floor) in the mean time?


The completely-ready-to-be-potty-trained child and his father monkey around
The completely-ready-to-be-potty-trained child and his father monkey around