Monthly Archives: September 2016

Villages

On Sunday afternoon we had three friends and their littles over for four and a half hours. In that time we, as a group, cooked four freezer meals in bulk and made dinner for everyone. Our kids played, we took turns helping the kids and stirring soup, and we had a nice time. None of the families knew each other but I knew all of them. It was great and I’m glad because it was the first of a monthly event this group is starting. Once a month we will get together, make some food for our freezers for a month, and share a meal together.

Gus sharing snacks on his favorite dog bed. 

The goal of this group is to create a village for our kids. To have families share in meals and kids play together regularly and make life easier for everyone. I am in another group like it – a group with weekly play dates. You go when you can (they are at different times and locations and on different days weekly) and you call out to them when you need help.

Holding hands with his buddy at a play date. 

These groups are great and have led to me strengthening connections with some folks. Outside of them I have made some good friends – friends I still have to invest energy into but friends who we enjoy spending time with. Friends that have kids that Gus loves. Gus loves the kids in these groups, too. In addition to these things friends who we have long loved told us at their wedding last weekend that in a few years they hope to adopt a child around the same age Gus will be and can’t wait to have them be cousins.

In three weeks Gus will be two and I am just starting to feel like I have some sort of village. It’s still building but I see it coming. This is huge for me as the first 18 months of his life were filled with so much sadness. I lost my three best friends in those 18 months. The reasons for those losses I simultaneously understand and don’t. I know the reasoning and can get it but struggle because I just would have handled things differently. But it is what it is now. I miss my old friends. I miss the comfort of my friend’s dining room table where we spent so much of our lives together – laughing, playing games, sharing meals. I miss their kids fiercely. I miss the ease at which we navigated a friendship and the comfort of feeling at home with them. I miss my other dear friend – a friendship that disseminated in the spring. I miss her laugh and her stories. I miss her take on life and honestly, her support as she was my biggest confidant (something that actually led to the end of our friendship so I also miss trusting people fully).

I look at those old friendships and the new ones and they are not the same. I don’t think they ever will be. I don’t think I will ever stop missing the old ones. But these groups of people who fill our lives and our home with laughter are pretty great and much needed. The first two years of Gus’ life were marked with a lot of sadness and while I know I cannot avoid carrying some of that forward I am eager to move into the next chapters with it’s weight being less heavy.

 

 

A potty update

Do you ever just have four posts started in your head that you never get around to writing and then suddenly they are gone? That’s where I live these days. Mad props to those of you who pull it together and post more regularly.

I am going to give you a quick potty update. It will be quick because there is so much laundry sitting next to me that is waiting to be folded and Lesley is at hockey tonight so I need to do just enough folding to make it look like I did something but not enough folding to feel like I had to do something. It’s a delicate balance.

So we started with being diaper free over labor day weekend. It went well and by the tuesday after the long weekend we were sending him to school in pants but no underwear. We did about a week of that and put him in sweatpants with a tight bottom so that if he pooped his pants (and he did!) it would stay in his pants. After about a week of that we were home one day and he went potty in his potty and then said “undies!” and ran to his room and opened the drawer with his undies and started taking them out. I said “Okay buddy, pick a pair.” He did and then put them on (with my help) and said, “I did a really good job.” So yeah, of course that means it is time to start wearing undies.

He’s doing a great job without a lot of accidents. He normally has one or two a day at school. At home with us he is normally accident free or sometimes has one but normally it is our fault. Today I thought, “I should take him potty. I’ll do it in a minute” and then he walked up to tell me he had peed his pants. Whoops. Go with your first thought.

The big obstacle is pooping in the potty. He doesn’t quite get it. This weekend he did poop in the potty for the first time that was not kind of an accident. (Before we have caught him about to poop and got him to the potty. This time he was on the potty and actually tried to poop.) Hopefully that will come. I have heard it can take 3-6 months to master that. We are 3 weeks into that so only a whole lot more time to go.

He is still in diapers for naps and bedtime and sometimes those are dry which is rad. He’s getting it! Overall I think that I under estimated the length of time of the potty process but we’re in it now. I might even start selling some diapers!

I promise you will get a not poop related post soon.

The potty chronicles, Days 2 and 3

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

There honestly isn’t much to say. Overall Gus has done so well – after the two accidents on Saturday he had one on Sunday (He pooped in his pants which equaled on the floor around 6pm) and none today.

We are telling him it is time to go potty about every hour and sitting him on the potty at that time. He doesn’t always go but often does. Beyond that we just watch him closely and if he gets weird we suggest it is time to sit on the potty.

We don’t ask him whether or not he has to go potty, we just tell him it is time. He goes most of the time we sit him on the potty which is great. He won’t poop on the potty though. Yesterday it was his one accident. Today he pooped once a diaper went on for nap time (We explain that he has to wear a diaper while sleeping because he is still learning – despite our earlier plan we have not been doing diapers in the car.). All of that is fine because he is still learning but he is grumpy as hell because he is uncomfortable.

He goes back to daycare tomorrow and I am nervous. He will go with diapers for nap time and that is it. I know they will take him regularly but it is a different potty and a new environment and I hope he does well. We are sending him without underwear and due to the poop doesn’t go in the potty thing we are only sending him with pants that have a gathered bottom (old school sweatpants and the like) to hopefully avoid any messes at daycare.

He has been doing so well and we are so proud of him. It’s funny we got a lot of “it’s too early” from people but we fully knew he was ready. We are hoping that in the next month he starts telling us when he has to go and pooping in the potty – I look forward to selling diapers!

The potty chronicles – Day 1

This weekend is the big potty training/potty learning weekend at our house. We wanted a three day weekend and it was this or New Years. (Our other options were Veterans Day weekend but daycare is open that Monday so we will send him to daycare and do something fun, Thanksgiving where we will either have visitors or be out of town, and Christmas when we will have visitors – so now or New Years.) We did not exactly have a plan. We had downloaded an ebook but not gotten around to reading it. We were completely winging it.

Today, Day 1, was naked and don’t leave the house day. It went pretty well! Gus pooped once on the floor this morning (note: If you see your child freeze and think to ask “Do you have to go potty?” skip the question, pick them up, run) and peed once on the floor. Both times we told him it was an accident and that we go in the potty now. We did not tell him it was okay but did not make a big deal out of it, either. Every other time he pooped we saw him freeze and tense up and rushed him to the bathroom. He peed in the potty often – every hour we told him it was time to go potty – sometimes he went, sometimes he did not. When he took a nap we told him he needed to wear a diaper because he was still learning. Same for bed. By the end of the day there were a few instances where he told us he had to go potty.

Tomorrow will be interesting. We have a few things planned that we can pull out of if we need to. Both are toddler events though so that helps. We plan to take his potty with us (we will be SO COOL). He will wear a diaper in the car and then when we get to our destination diaper will come off and he’ll just have pants on. We have decided it is best to go underwear free for a while so he doesn’t get confused. We will go out with lots of loose comfy pants that are easy on and off and continue on the hour schedule. On Monday we might venture out somewhere close by with no diaper – maybe a thrift store or two where there is a bathroom.

Overall it is going great. He gets a bit whiny about it being time to go potty but doesn’t fight us much on it. The hardest part is just that he has to be watched every single second. I spent large portions of my day starting at his penis so you know, that’s fun.

I’m hoping we continue to have success. I will send him to daycare next week with nap time diapers and lots and lots of pants. It’s hard because at this point I’m not sure when to decide if it is working or not. I imagine I will think it has “worked” when we have to stop telling him it is time to go potty – the problem is I am not sure when that will be.

But for tonight I am hopefully. We are one day in and it wasn’t bad at all. Please child, pick up on this. I will not miss diapers.