07 September 2007

a little raw

I am feeling a little raw today, both mentally and physically. There has been a large fire near us that is spewing smoke and ash into our air so my throat is raw and sore. It is ugly and stifling mixed with the heat we have been having.

Pre-school went well on Wednesday when I was one of the class Mom's, but today was a different story as I dropped the wee one off in tears. An hour later I got a phone call from her teacher. Fortunately it was just to let H talk to me for a minute and things were ok. To add to the anxiety I felt dropping her off and leaving, we are still struggling with potty training. We KNOW she knows how and when to use the potty but she is fighting us tooth and nail. A prerequisite for this school is she use the toilet, so the battle over wanting to wear a diaper makes getting her there even more stressful. As I walked away from her class room this morning, my heart broke. I sat in my car and cried.

I treated myself to a Starbuck's mocha and headed home to catch up on some work. I just did a new banner for Delila of Sepia Art Studio for her new shoppe, which I think is supposed to open this weekend. I got to use a piece of Delila's delightful work and then pretty much had free reign. I took a bit of a different approach to this one but I am pleased with the outcome.
Good luck in your new endeavor Delila!
I am seeing a bit of a slow down in my work flow.. finally; so I hope to get a bit more caught up on my web site which I have sorely neglected since Hope sent the templates over to my eager little self. In addition, Art*Play is quickly approaching and we are excited to meet some new people and get messy in the process. If you are interested, we still have a couple of spaces available.

OK, I am off. The wee one is home and conned me into a diaper for a nap, then tried to get up. GRRRR Does anyone have any potty training tricks up their sleeves for a hard headed small person? I am at my wits end!


  1. I used Starburst Candy Chews and "lollipops" for Nathan and potty trainging. Lollies were for #1 and Starburst were for #2's

  2. Heather.....How much do you charge to make a banner? Please email me and let me know your charges:D Thanks, Linda lindaharre2222@yahoo.com

  3. I can't believe that you were able to be focused enough to create beautiful banners after you dropped her off! I had no tears in my Kindie classes from the kids -- only from the parents, LOL. It's hard to give them up to someone else (even for a few hours)when you've had them for so many years! Again -- She'll ALWAYS love you best.

    I can't give you any potty training tips. We told Lauren if she wanted to go to the big girl daycare she had to learn to use the potty all the time. She threw her diapers into the garbage that day and informed us that she was ready!!! She liked the big kid teachers so much that that was all of the incentive she needed. Is there something that H really really wants?

  4. hi! today I enjoyed finding your blog..by way of a friend's blog where I saw a comment..and then found myself at Artplay site...which peeked my interest (had some wunderlust today)...anyway, I did see an earlier post of yours "tortured artist" and left "comment" :oP

    I used to work as a pediatrician now I'm home with 3 yr old and 9 yr old in 4th grade...the 3 yr old also started preschool where the expectation is to be potty trained...normally, I like the advice to be "easy going" and let the child move ahead, and sometimes take steps back and then ahead again...but I understand how stressful it can be to know the expectation and worry that it won't work...

    my advice-stay neutral in tone when talking about wearing underware and using pull-ups at night...not without emotion in voice, just as though it is a fine thing to say and as though you have confidence that it will work out...try not to sound desperate, or even pleading in a happy playful tone...just closer to matter of fact and without lingering...

    then save the excited tone for the times the potty is used and the underware worn...like "that is great that you did pee pee in the potty!

    and also give plenty of opportunities ...like reminders...before the diaper is wet...maybe you can develop a "routine" for sitting on the potty yourself :oP
    and casually point this out to your child...like "I just got home, I'm going to sit on the potty to see if I need to go to the bathroom"...or "it's time for bed/rest..I am going to potty" .even if it's the child's bed time...you can again go to the potty ...I would say, don't then say, now it's your turn...let the time come..hopefully it's soon :) when H will want to try...and when the pee pee comes out...get alittle bit excited and "plant" the suggestion that maybe H will be using the potty like mommy...but don't sound too attatched to that...;-)

    I am lucky that my daughter has an older sister and that copying her has been a big interest for my younger one...

    anyway, I think using positive praise and reacting to times H. shows interest even...is the way to go...it is amazing how kids can sense when someone really wants them to do something..and there can be a need? to assert one's ability to think differently..and then it is "No!"

    introducing special kid wipes and/or some special soap that might appeal could be explained as something special H can then get his? hands on himself for times when he uses the potty...best if this is mentioned at totally non potty time...and if H has seen something himself...even a book about the potty or some other book...you could put it in a easily visible place...?basket near the toilet..and you could flip through it for yourself when you are there...and maybe H. will be curious enough to want to get to the potty and sit on it, in order to look through it with you...for you to read to H when it is potty time...

    any new thing or approach can be met with initial protests or attempts to maybe get to read the book or use the soap at the times H wants...but I would say, be calm and matter of fact in response and do not waiver, yet get on to the next thing...and hopefully H. would join you in "moving on" and then...hopefully "the next time"...it will be H.'s idea to go with the program that you introduced the last time...

    I also think that if the teacher's understand kids, this will not be anything that is so unusual...and if the teachers understand that each morning's arrival time is not guaranteed because you may be having to take longer just "going with the flow" (sorry:oP)....then I imagine that will make it easier for H. to see that wearing underware is what all the kids and he has to do, before being able to go and have fun at preschool...

    my daughter's preschool makes a point to encourage parent's presence in the classroom (more so once they have had time to get to know eachother and the classroom...but with specific situations...where a parent figures out what works for the child best...I feel they would be interested) how is it at your preschool?

    do you think that H. is particulary worried to go or to be away from you...has anything worked well in past..like being present for first few classes of something, or playdates and then making sure to tell H. that where you are going to be during that time and how you will then come back after and how you will be doing something after preschool together...even if it is going home to (blank)...

    could you bring H. in and make routine to go to potty there and wait briefly until he joins in with activity...only waiting there patiently, kindly, but calmly even with tears...

    I've seen with some time...minutes, or longer kids can "ease" into something new and discover that they are then having fun!

    I know lots of preschools want parents to leave quickly and quietly and reassure us parents that most of the time, the child is then just fine...but I think every child is different and that they become "fine" when they get involved..

    if they are not getting involved with the help of the teacher or with time on their own without feeling they are not cared for or that they do not have opportunities to join in as time goes on, then I think "not good" ....(is preschool teacher able to or interested in taking this balanced approach )

    sounds good that they called you and then things were o.k. after you spoke for awhile...

    I suspect it will get easier...it is challenging to know how to best encourage our children, I think..how to be sensitive to how they feel..maybe it is not an issue anymore? : oP

    I say, "go with your gut"...and if the result does not feel right...try a new approach...but sometimes our own feelings can make evaluating things more tricky...alittle distress can be "good" for a child I think...if it is recognized, if they feel it is heard...and if it then is followed by the child seeing that it can be "o.k"...that mommy is available to reach by phone,...and "I" can be safe and preschool is fun...

    with my own daughter...she is interested in using the potty and can do it on her own but there are times when she asks for that pull-up...I am expecting that eventually she will move on and "not look back" ...the extra thing in the way for her is the sensitivity to the feel of clothes on her body...and even when she wants to put on something, she can end up in such distress and so frustrated because the feeling is so anxiety producing that she cannot easily wait it out...even with a hug, or even with the prospect of getting to enjoy something she normally enjoys...I told the preschool teachers and if there are difficult days where the extra time was necessary...sometimes it is hard to predict and I can also get lulled into a sense of "normalcy"
    ;-) and not leave lots of extra time in case of difficulties...anyway, knowing that they already understand some of the challenge, makes me feel less stressed about times we might be late...as I really just want to do what's best for my daughter..not enable her and at the same time not be inflexible and unable to listen to my gut because of other pressures... sometimes..I'll listen, and not be able to hear anything clearly :)

    I think parents are the teacher best equipped to understand their child...and best able to seek advice that is worth trying...once school starts..the teachers have an opportunity to observe and share with you and together support the growth of each unique and beautiful child..

    and I believe parents and teachers are learning along side the child...every day a new one..new challenges, old ones, new twists on old ones...a thoughtful and caring parent even if without "the answer" or maybe with "the answer" but not seeing it is so...is still a great strength for the child...

    I think parents can be so worried about whether they are doing all that they can and in the right way...that it can be distracting and draining for them...they may be able to keep it from the child's experience, but still why suffer.

    do you think that it is often the caring and understanding person that can worry that they are not caring and understanding enough...

    maybe, we
    ;-) can accept that we will most likely always keep searching for what works...and that is enough...that is what works. hey, there are days that are emotional no matter what..it is hard to see our child under stress..but we do make it better for them, though we can't always take it all away...and in the end, maybe that is a good thing...so they learn that it is a normal occurence sometimes, and that it can be O.K. : )

    well, I see I am maybe reliving some of my pediatrician days, when I enjoyed thinking about these topics and enjoyed helping parents in the process of helping their child and themselves...ah, to feel helpful in something I find so important...thanks for letting me go on...it's a tempting thing for me as there are no word limits on these comment sections apparently.

    well, don't sweat the diaper for the nap....my daughter uses pull up most of time while at home, but she knows that preschool is a place to practice this new thing...dressing from head to toe...and she now loves to go to school...

    mornings can still be "ify"...how much time and stress over putting on the underware is not easy to predict (more free time the better in case)...but I know that practice helps, even practice in getting through these tough times when how and when it works out is not clear..but it often does)

    ...and knowing how to step forward at the pace that works is always up for discussion...hope the next weeks are filled with fun times at preschool and more pee pee in the potty : )

  5. I forgot to say since I was "rambling"....I think I could have named my blog the same as yours..though I'm not as involved as artist yet...well I forgot to just say, hey...the potty questions are always welcome at the pediatrician's office, I dare say...sometimes going in person if there are worries...then you can skip the "doesn't apply" or "doesn't interest" me stuff and get to something specific that just might work for you and H. good luck.

  6. Hey Heather,
    Wow, lots of good advice from Jen. Here's a couple of other idea's.
    -go out and buy new pretty underwear.
    -talk to people Hannah admires and have them talk about going to the bathroom and pretty underwear - like Grandma, etc.
    -Have a special underwear fairy come down and take the diapers away and replace them with pretty underwear - no more diapers, just pull-ups and underwear,
    -the books at the toilet are a good idea
    -put underwear on all the dolls
    -talk about how messy diapers are and how much neater going to the toilet is.
    -say good-bye to what ever ends up in the toilet, This can be important if there is a real attachment to her waste. Lots of children are desperate to keep what the make and have a bit of seperation anxiety when it flushes away. This is completely normal. You can talk to her about what it is and where it goes and such. She could be experiencing this - she'll be stressed, she'll be anxious to use the toilet and she may hide when she has a bowel movement. She may only have them in a diaper.
    --Remember, she will always control what goes in and what goes out. If she feels that she is losing control in one area, she'll reinforce it in another. She may need to be more excited about school first!
    Good luck!!!!
    Cheers, Denise

  7. WOW...you are going through so much right now....I'm sending a hug to you immediately !!!!

    Even though I have "old" kids (college and high school) I remember those days. My daughter was a breeze as pretty panties and candy did the trick. My son....oh peeing was easy, but pooping....yikes !!!!

    Do you have a friend or neighbor with a baby ???? If you can visit a baby with her and let her know (and see) that only babies wear diapers and big girls wear panties and how lucky she is to be a big girl....those mind games usually work, too !!!!

  8. Heather...I have grown sons now but I remember the potty training days...ugh! My first was harder to train, he loved his diapers.
    It seems as soon as I stopped stressing about it and let him be,he kinda worked it out on his own. Good Luck...

  9. i cried at my first pre-school drop off too and the daughter cried at the following two drop-offs, not the 1st. i coped my first day by hitting the gym for two hours.

  10. OMG...what a funny story about H! When my son turned 3, he went to a preschool that didn't allow diapers. Well, he was still using them. I told him that he could NOT wear them at school. Soooo, the minute he got home from pre-school, he ran upstairs, put on a Pull-Up and pooped! Eventually, he got tired of it. Of course it also cost us hundred's of dollars of Power Ranger toys! Good luck!