Thursday, November 30, 2006

Number 1 and Number 2

Okay, I have officially declared potty training as the most difficult parental job ever. What is it about this particular skill that makes it so much harder than other skills I would deam more challenging, like, let's say, nursing? Although nursing is supposed to be mostly "instictive" for babies(It was for Boo, but not Gabe) some of us moms know that it can be anything but easy, natural and fulfilling. What about jumping off the couch from the back arch, landing 3 feet away on an ottoman? That takes talent, timing and muscle control.Oh well.
This by no means is an invitation to opening the doors to having a forum discussion on the dynamics of toileting, really I get it.I do not want to spend any more time talking about how that area of the body works. But, why oh why, does it have to be like this?

Gabe is doing better than we thought, but not as great as we wished. Is he right on par with his peers? Some of the remaining ones he is, mostly the ones who are just too stubborn to be potty trained. Gabe enjoys the whole pottying experience and the amazing things his "mister" can do, but has a hard time distiguishing between what is peeing and what exactly pooping is, whatever I say, such details can be sorted out later. So when I mention the partial success I am having with Gabe, it makes my friends with an NT child close in age quickly start to potty train thier kids the following weekend.

Gabe is where Boo was at a year and a half of age. She was fully potty trained at 2 1/2 years old, with minimal guidance.

"This is a potty Boo. You poop and pee in it. Yeah!" The end.

However, she also did not have the wonder that we refer to as "mister" doing marvelous things when she urinated, but I digress. Gabe is able to use the potty every 40-50 minutes with a good success rate. He is having problems when he is feeling a little tired, especially in the afternoon and bowel movements are being reserved for the more quite, private, VIP rooms in our house. So, he is having quite a few accidents later in the day. But, he tells me when it happens and we follow through with our potty training plan called Postive Practice, based, as you may have guessed it, all on behavior. Rewarding the behavior we want and not emotionally reacting to the behavior we don't , but instead turning around and practicing the behavior we want again. I am a true believer in Behavioral Therapy. It works for Gabe. It really works for anyone wanting to change an undesirable behavior to one that is desirable, like quiting smoking, wanting to exercise more, have a more positive attitude, can all be shaped through changing your behavior. Cool concept that actually works.

So, here I am, not quite an outcast on potty island. The missile fire from "mister", combined with the defacing of NEMO on his underware has made some days more challenging than others. But, we will get there togther.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ah Ha!!!..Errrr...What was I saying?

I haven't posted in awhile, because I felt this overwhelming need to post only under a specific topic such as potty training, traveling with kids, or even a profound "Ah Ha!" moment shared with Gabe. But, life happened and the "Ah Ha" moments were celebrated and passed while mashed potatoes were being eaten and cooked carrots were being poked at, the lap top sitting ignored in another room.

Life just happened.

That's cool with me. But, then it's not. You see, I have a terrible memory, especially about the important moments. I am great about feeling the moment ( I will never foget how I felt when I first saw Boo and Gabe), but to remember the specifics get a little hazy over time. Here's an example, when Gabe was being diagnosed ASD, I was asked countless questions about Gabe and his developement that required specific dates.
Oh no.
I knew when he walked, how long he nursed for, but his first bite of food? Rolled over? First word spoken? Ahhh......hmmm......yikes, I could remember very little. I was lucky and for some reason ( Thank You God), I was incredibily meticulous about writing down everything about Gabe since his birth. Maybe it was the hormones.

Anyway....Wow..I really got off track. When I do not post, I feel like I am missing that great opportunity to hold on to at least a smidgen of wonderfulness that both children give me everyday that I would normally lose to maybe a grocery list or trying to remember what size shoe Gabe wears. (I'm rolling my eyes at myself). I still hold firm to the belief that all the sleep that I lost when both kids were really small made me a little senile and perhaps a little crazy.......

Now, where do I begin, what should I talk about? The fact that potty training has been happening for Gabe for the last two weeks? That he is playing with his peers exceptionally well? That shoes that have been peed on can only be washed so many times?

What's that I hear?
The garage door is opening!
"Is that ice cream you're holding SD?"
Okay. I gotta go.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A New Aspect Of Change

Gabe had a blast this weekend throwing pennies in a few fountains at the mall, courtsey of the grandparents.
"Water!" Gabe points.
"It's cold," he holds himself and pretends to shiver. "Brrrrr!"
"It's purple,"he looks down at the colored tile under the water. "Wow,"he whispers.

Boo liked to try to get her pennies directly in the center of the fountain. "That's cool!" she exclaimed with excitement.

Fountains and change was the highlight. How simple is that? Maybe I just need to throw more wishes into a fountain.

On Sunday, we all go to church with our bag of toys and a few suckers. Church, to me, is a lot to ask of young children, let alone adults, especially my denomination. This is what I remember as a child about church, my butt hurting from the pews, dead animals draped over women's shoulders, music lacking passion, and someone who talked forever...and forever...and forever. The church aspect about faith is not important to me, although I wish that there was more of a sense of community, but that's another story. What's important to me is that my children live there lives knowing that God is there to guide, love and cherish them always. So, I smile when Boo sings along and Gabe dances in my arms and that is all I expect from them at church.

Boo and Gabe's favorite part of church is the offering. All the children in the church walk down the aisle to a wooden well. Surrounding it, each one watches as the money clanks around until it's gone.

Grandpa gave Boo a one dollar coin. Her eyes widen as she looked at it, turned to me and said,"I don't have a quater like this mommy!"
Gabe had one quater and one nickel and off they went. Normally, I let Boo guide Gabe down and back, but this time she was mesmerized by the beauty of her coin. So, I followed a few steps behind.

Down the aisle we went, both a few steps ahead. I was in a sea of people that only came up to my waist. They all look so cute in pretty dresses, ties, khakis, button down shirts and an occasional pair of glittery ruby red shoes from Target. Boo reaches the fountain, poised to make the drop, when I turn to see Gabe, not at the offering well, but B-lining to the baptism fountain. Arm raised, fist clenched full of change, he pulls back ready to throw his money into the "fountain". My eyes widen, jaw drops. My God! Is he going to throw his change in the baptism fountain? I run, in what feels like slow motion, trying, desperately to reach him. I am caught in the sea of little people! "Excuse me. Yes." smile,"Pardon me." Please God, I pray, not the baptism fountain!

Then the gasps from the first few rows of pews.

Thoughts like...How do you get change out of a sacred fountain? Would I just casually reach in and fish them out? It looks pretty deep, would I wade in? What do they do with contaminated baptism water? Would we be the reason for the implementation of a sign stating "Change does NOT belong in the baptism fountain. It is not a wishing well!"

I reach him mid wind up, quickly releasing the change from his grip. I swear I heard a sigh of relief from the crowd. I guide Gabe to the well, drop the money in and try to slink away with the well dressed little people.