I’m a sucker

Sometimes the three year old gets in trouble. Hard to believe, I know.

Recently, I’m lecturing her on, say, the best way to clean the windows. (Hint, NOT with her tongue…) She interrupts me, and says “But do you still love me?” In a completely pitiful and forlorn voice.

And so it began. She asks if I love her. I tell her of course I love her. I never STOP loving her. We do this several times a day sometimes.

And somehow it’s developed into…. “Jenna! stop *insert behavior*!  She looks over at me, and says “but mom, I still love you!” And continues what she was doing. Sometimes she actually puts her hand on my cheek, and turns my face towards her. Then she tells me, very seriously, “I still love you…. I’ll NEVER stop loving you!” And then does what she wants…

What she means is, OK, you caught me, but look….I’m saying the right words, so I get a free pass, right?? Right???

Um… yep. Pretty much.

free spirit ?? Yea, that’s it….

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What I hate about parenting…..potty training :(

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Potty training.

Have I mentioned this? Yes, once or twice.

I am stuck right now, obsessively fixated on potty training, SURE that I am screwing up my 2 year old beyond repair. I hear people say things like “just don’t worry, your child will TELL YOU when they are ready to use the potty”. But I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it will happen without mental agony on my part. This is the only way I know how to do anything….is with a healthy dose of psychological pain. It’s my process.

Jenna herself seems fine. She actually goes several days without having an accident. This is because I take her potty often. And catch her trying to hide when she wants to poop. Then it’s all good natured fun “Oh mom, you caught me again!” Jolly laughs on the way to the potty.

If she happens to wet herself, she tells me-probably during the act-that she has to go potty. Then we go to the bathroom, find that her pants are wet, and it’s big eyes all around, “how did THAT happen???!”

Can I just say that she USED to tell me before she had to pee. Like, a year ago. And I don’t know why that doesn’t happen now.

So I worry about it. Worry that I’m screwing up, that I’m not getting it right. I MUST be doing something wrong… right??

Yesterday, I tried to just let her tell me when she had to pee. We have been wearing cloth training pants with a diaper cover. Diaper cover is NOT water proof, as I came to find out.

I asked her a lot if she needed to pee. “Nope!” is her gleeful reply.

Then she pees herself, and decides to tell me she needs to pee. No big deal, accidents are a necessary part of training. I know this.

Later, I take the kids grocery shopping. She had just peed, I gave myself a good hour to get there and back. Kept her in the cloth pants, because I don’t want to confuse her.

We were on our way to the register, cart FULL.

“Mommy, I have to go potty”. Which means, I just peed. I picked her up, and saturated my shirt. Huh… guess there is really no point to diaper covers.

We get home, wash her, she takes a nap.

Upon waking, Jenna decides she hates everything in the world, and refuses to do anything she is asked. I don’t want to push her, so once her tantrum started-after I took off her pants to use the potty- I just walked out of the bathroom to let her calm down, or follow me, thinking when the urge hits, she would go sit on the potty.

I hear this noise…Sammy is standing next to me. He knows what it is before I do.

“Mom, Jenna is peeing on the floor.”

Sure enough, she is standing there, peeing on the floor. (the floor I just washed, of course) By the way, there are TWO little potties in there, one on either side of her. I really think she was making a statement. A statement of my supreme failure.

Don’t ever Google anything about potty training. Every mom has a story, either horrific (My adorable 7 year old little Charlie is just so stubborn, we still can’t get him to use the potty!!), or depressing to the rest of us loser moms (My triplets were all potty trained at 6 months. Right after they learned how to knit and speak Japanese. They each have a different dialect, it’s so cute!)

Today, it was back to just taking her potty when I thought she might need to go. No accidents….but I know she’s not the one being trained here…

My toddler stopped eating last week

You would think that after having 4 kids, and keeping all of them alive for a number of years…… that I would not be phased by a recent decision by my 18 month old to quit eating.

But I hate it. I really hate it when they don’t eat. I NEED her to eat a meal again!

Mentally, I’m a mess.

This may go back to my initial post partum depression/anxiety after I had the kids. I noticed even after feeling “better”, that I had this thing about them eating. I did everything around their feeding schedule in the beginning-which is normal…. but then even later I put way too much emphasis on what time they needed food.

Even taking Sammy to Boston right before he turned 3, I remember my mini anxiety attack as we were unable to get somewhere to feed him lunch fast enough for my liking. He was fine, not even asking about food….but I was melting down, like he was going to absolutely shrivel up and blow away without a meal in his stomach right NOW.

So, the kids eating seems to be really important to me. Must tie in to that whole sustaining life thing…..

Logically, I KNOW that it’s normal for toddlers to decide not to eat. Or only eat cheerios for a week, things like that. Sammy went a good month or so at this age refusing everything unless I coated it in applesauce.

But with Jenna, this just came out of nowhere. She loves food!  She eats EVERYTHING, always has. Even ethnic foods, she’ll try anything. It’s not teething, she’s done, everything is in. I’d like to blame it on her cold, which she’s had for literally a month now….but why stop eating this far in?

I think she’s toying with me.

All her favorite things, no longer interested. Weirdly, she’s always loved veggies more than fruit. So it’s not surprising when she tastes mango or banana and just lets it drop out of her mouth. But brussel sprouts??? Asparagus and green beans?? If I try to get her to eat a bite, she will tell me no. Try it again, she yells at me and literally bangs her head on the back of her chair. I want to bang my head too.

The old tricks don’t work anymore, like Katy Perry videos on Youtube to distract her, or lately we are watching songs about colors and numbers in Arabic. She still likes them, but that mouth stays closed.

I know I’ve gone through this before. Why is it still so frustrating? Why haven’t I figured out how to handle this gracefully yet?

Seriously. She refused a chocolate chip cookie today. There is something wrong.

I’ve taken to googling phrases like “my toddler won’t eat”, “my 18 month old hates food”, “my daughter hates me”….. and find nothing more than other parents who are scratching their heads as well, pretty much saying the same things, but so far no one has THE ANSWER.

Ok. I know the answer. She’ll eat when she’s hungry. Keep offering her healthy choices. Don’t give her a bunch of crap between meals to ruin her appetite for good food. She won’t starve. Get your head out of the oven. I know… I know…..

But it sucks!!

She is not starving. She is not losing weight. She still has a chubby belly, and fills her diapers like nobody’s business. I know this will pass, one of the less fun aspects of raising a toddler. But I would still like to bitch about it, just this once.

You know that feeling you have when you KNOW your child has a full tummy of good food? Yea, I want that again. I want to feel like I’m doing a good job and nourishing my babies.

She just needs to know this and cooperate. Dammit.