Archive for the 'Potty Training' Category


Dear Baby Eirinn,

You are two.  My God, you’re two.  Two years ago today, I gave birth to you with Daddy by my side, all your grandparents in the waiting room, and Ellen DeGeneres on the tv.  Not that I was watching, the choice of programming was all your father and the doctor’s idea.  I was too busy, you know, doing the required birthing activities.  Two years may sound like a long time, but I can still smell the hospital smell, hear the hospital sounds, and envision the hospital room perfectly.  Especially the fold out instrument of torture chair your Daddy had to sleep in while I laboured away all night.  Kind of a fair trade, if you ask me.

One was an unbelievable year for you.  When I think of all you have learned and how much you’ve grown and who you now are, I can barely recognize that One and Two are the same Eirinn.  One year old you still toddled cautiously, spoke only a few English words but babbled on in bab-ese, and was as bald as a jaybird (nearly).  Two year old you runs as much as humanly possible, is fluent in English (there are just some words you haven’t tried yet) but with a strong toddler accent (which sounds like a mix of Irish and Brooklyn), and you are currently working on a full head of hair (“working on” being the operative phrase).  You know the alphabet (the song, not the letters), can count from 1 to 16 (with the exception of 13, 14, and 15, which are all 14 to you), can dress yourself in your outerwear, and can throw a temper tantrum like nobody’s business.

Leading up to two, you mastered sentences and are now telling us stories and relaying them in paragraph form.  You are learning about cause and effect, action and consequence, crime and punishment.  You are learning about these things but you have yet to allow such concepts to stick.

Skills we are working on, in a very non-boot camp type way:

  • Colours.  Some days you know them, some days you don’t.  I think you know them perfectly and are just messing with Mommy and Daddy.  Maintain control by allowing the adults to believe they are still smarter than the kid.  Smart.  I like it.
  • Potty training.  We’re still hoping against hope that you’ll show some sort of interest in the going diaper-free soon.  You’ll sit on the potty just long enough to warm your bum then it’s off to see how much toilet paper you can fire off the roll onto the floor before Mommy loses her cool.

And that’s about it.  I have taken a new laid back approach to my parenting philosophy (not that I’m laid back, I can throw my own temper tantrums too you know, but my philosophy is laid back).  We’re not pushing much onto you right now.  You are ahead of the pack developmentally and you are still above average physically, so we’re not worried about how you learn and how much you are willing to learn.  We also know that when you are ready to move forward with certain skills (*cough* peeing and pooping the proper receptacle *cough*), you’ll let us know.  We just hope you’re ready before June when the number of daily dirty diapers will increase exponentially.  We’re just saying, if you’re looking for the perfect Mother’s Day present, that would be it.

Two has a ‘tude.  Because you know everything, of course.  You know everything and you should be able to do everything and who are we to try to tell you otherwise.  This is mostly frustrating, but occasionally amusing.  Especially when you try to assert yourself but mispronounce just enough of the words to sound adorable instead of mean.  For example.  One of your most frequently used phrases is ‘I don’t like it anymore’ except you pronounce it ‘My don’t yike it neny-MORE.’  I’m sorry for laughing.  I know you were trying to be authoritative.

You don’t like it anymore because you don’t like anything anymore.  Well, anything that involves consuming any sort of mineral or nutrient.  Food can be rather offensive to you.  Unless it can be tagged “snack.”  Then it’s cool.  But if it’s only label is “meal”, then it’s a non-starter.  Even if you were perfectly content eating it, say, a week ago.  Or even ten minutes ago.  If it’s offered to you under the guise of “meal” then “my don’t yike it neny-MORE.”  Except for breakfast.  Like me, you eat 90% of your daily recommended caloric intake before noon. 

Two is also unbearably sweet.  Cavity-causing.  You often tell us you love us (‘My lawb Daddy!’) without prompting.  And your hugs have improved tremendously.  They used to be a simple lean in with your head and the accompanying ‘aw’.  Now they are a simple lean in with your head and the accompanying ‘aw’, but they last much longer.  You greet us enthusiastically, with hugs and kisses and lawb, making us feel like we’ve done something right in this parenting biz and also letting us forget the aforementioned ‘tude.

I’ll miss One.  You were still a baby for One.  But Two will be fun (please God, let Two be fun) with your better grasp on language and proper behaviour (better, not perfect).  Because now you are officially a Big Girl, growing and learning everyday.  We’re about to get your Big Girl Room ready with a Big Girl Bed and your own mirror and everything. 

But when we sneak into your nursery at night, to make sure you’re all tucked in safe and snug in your crib with your soother where it belongs and your two ah-lankies by your side, you’re still our little baby.  Our Pumpkin.  And that, that won’t change no matter how Big a Girl you are.

Love Mommy and Daddy

ps — Sorry about the length.  I know Two instantly transforms your attention span to that of a gnat.  If I lost you somewhere around Ellen DeGeneres, skip down to the ‘Love Mommy and Daddy’ part.  It’s the only part that matters anyway.

In through the nose, out through the mouth

Things coming up I’m scared witless about:

1. Moving Eirinn into her “big girl” room.  We’ve spent Eirinn’s college fund a lot of money on the necessities required to change the current playroom into a proper, functioning toddler’s bedroom – bed, dresser, night table, bedding, lighting.  And the odd un-necessity – decorative pillows, letters to adorn the wall spelling “Eirinn”.  Oh, and we’ve picked the colour we’ll paint the room – a nice, light, buttery yellow.

All of this is just a distraction from the real issue here, which is in approximately one month we are about to begin the monumentally exhausting and frustrating task (so I hear) of transitioning Eirinn from a crib into a bed.  A real, live, big girl bed with no sides to act as a team to form a Child Containment Unit.  We’ll install one of those removable bed rail systems to ensure she doesn’t fall out, but that won’t keep her from voluntarily getting out of bed over and over again.  A suggestion of a baby gate across the bedroom door has been mentally noted.

Stay tuned for some very erratic and irrational posts in the near future.

2. Potty training.  Yes, our plan was to train over the Christmas holidays while we were both home for an extended period of time and able to dedicate our lives to alternately asking if she had to go pee pee and cleaning up disgraced and violated carpets.  However, Eirinn wasn’t, and isn’t, ready.  I think she’s fairly close (has used the potty successfully several times, tells us when she’s dirtied her diaper, shows interest in the potty), but just not quite there yet.

Eirinn is a head-strong girl, set in her ways, tied to her routines, unwilling to change.  When we finally get the courage to start the hard core, potty training boot camp, I anticipate we’ll be met with resistance, even if she is ready in every other way.  I don’t plan on forcing this onto her, I don’t want to traumatize the poor thing, but on the other hand, I was still kind of hoping she’d be trained by the time we have a second bum to diaper.

3. Speaking of which, we have the small issue of a second mouth to feed in the coming months.  4 months and 19 days until expected arrival, to be exact.  I am in no way nervous of either the birth or the infant him or herself (however foolish this may be – it even sounds ridiculous as I type it).  I’ve been through both before, without the aid of drugs, I might add, and we both made it out a little exhausted, but fine.  I have not, however, experienced caring for an infant with a screaming, needy toddler in the same picture.  This very thought makes my palms sweaty and increases my blood pressure to an unhealthy level.

I may have made it out of the infant stage fine, but certainly not gracefully.  It was rough while it was happening, that’s for sure, with a colicky, fussy baby.  I have to now imagine life, if we’re going the worst-case-scenario route, with a colicky, fussy baby and a busy, grumpy toddler.  All I can wish is that this next one is a happier infant and that Eirinn takes to sharing her everything better than I am expecting her to.  Which is not…very…well.

Coming up – Things coming up that I’m excited about.  Just so you don’t think I’m all gloom and doom. I wish I could write about these today, but my hands are too sweaty to keep typing and I think I’m going to go breathe into a bag for a while.

Two major developments

Eirinn went pee pee in her potty today!  For the first time!  On purpose!  AWESOME!

We’re still not potty training her, but first thing this morning she asked to use the potty.  I was all “hubba-wha?”, but I snapped out of it and obliged.  There was no action, but that’s ok.  The desire to use the potty is a good first step.  At least she doesn’t hate the thing.

I’ve learned that most mornings she releases the floodgates fills her diaper to capacity pees at approximately somewhere between 10 and 11.  How specific, you say?  Well, anyone who has run errands and packed exactly 3 diapers, only to be off by one tragic diaper, knows that the timing of the bodily functions in babies and toddlers is not an exact science. 

Anyway, so at about 10, I asked her if she wanted to use the potty again, and I got a resounding YEAH!  We read two potty books while she was perched on her throne.  And what did we receive as reward for our efforts?  A PIDDLE!  If measured, it would have probably been an eighth of a teaspoon, but so what?  We Had Action!

We clapped, we cheered, we hugged, we partay-ed.  Then we parlayed directly into a full blown temper tantrum because I wanted her to *gasp* get dressed for the day.  Could I be any meaner a mom?


She has also nearly weaned herself off of the bottle.  She was only getting one before nap and one before bed but as of last week, she has decided that bottles are, and I quote, “Bleck.”

Great!  Except she won’t drink milk from a cup.  Un-great.  I’ll have to either improve my power of coercion or come up with more creative ways to get enough calcium into her.  Luckily, yogurt, shredded cheese, and steamed broccoli aren’t “Bleck.”

What we didn’t do during the holidays

Potty train.

Eirinn is not ready yet.  She’s not physically ready.  She tells me when she has soiled her diaper (did you like how I didn’t say ‘poop’?), but only afterwards and nothing about wetting.  She also doesn’t love the potty itself.  I’m working on that.  She got two different potty books for Christmas, which I’ve put into her bathroom right by the potty.  But still, if you ask her if she wants to go pee-pee on the potty, she usually says no.

I also don’t think she would be able to remember and follow such a complex set of instructions.  There’s a lot more than just tinkling in the pot, you know.  You have to:

  1. recognize the sensation of having to…do your bidness
  2. make it to the potty in time
  3. pull down your pants and undergatchies
  4. sit down on the potty so that your whole bum in hovering over the bowl
  5. do said bidness
  7. get off the pot
  8. pull up your gatchies
  9. flush the toiley if you’re big enough to use the big girl potty
  10. wash your hands
  11. tell mommy or daddy they get the wonderful job of emptying the potty of its contents if you aren’t big enough to use the big girl potty

That’s a lot to ask of a not-yet-22 month old.  Not that I’m saying it’s impossible because I’m sure there have been plenty of potty trained 22 month olds.  I’m just not convinced Eirinn could do all that.  Even though she is the smartest little girl on the face of the planet between the ages of 0 and 5.  And even some older than that.  Potty training just isn’t her subject of strength just yet.

So I’m not going to push it.  YET.  With the fetupus due in July, we are now on a fairly tight schedule because I really, really, really do not want to have two in diapers at the same time (pretty please don’t make me).  Also, being brand name whores addicts fans (hi, Pampers, I love you!  Even if you are perfumed and occasionally leak and are emblazoned with commercialized characters my daughter has been programed to love, I’m not mad at you.  I like the smell and it’s my fault you leak when I don’t buy the most expensive line and Elmo is kind of cute, no?) we can’t afford that many diapers.  And who wants to spend that much of their life looking at poop?  I know I don’t.

Peeing on the floor is bad

Not that we’re trying to potty train Eirinn yet, but after every bath I ask her if she wants to go peepee on the potty.  Every night she says ‘yes’.  And every night she sits on the potty for approximately, and no more than, 0.03 seconds before she gets up to do something more interesting than sitting on the pot, naked.  And, of course, there is no piddle action to speak of.  But I’m not disappointed because she’s only (almost) 20 months old and we haven’t started Hardcore Potty Training Boot Camp quite yet.  We’re saving that vacation destination for Christmas holidays.  That’ll make for a hap, hap, happy Christmas, all round, I’m sure.

Tonight she said she wanted to go peepee on the potty.  Well, when asked, she agreed to sit on the potty.  Same thing.  We sat her down and she got up.  As per usual.  This time she went just out of my reach and sat on the floor.  And peed.  On the floor.  And then, joy, she played in it.  For just as long as it took me to dive over to her and sit her little peepee butt back on the potty.  But she definitely contaminated her hands.  Anonymous Husband was quick to point out that I shouldn’t freak out because pee is antiseptic.  Or something. 

Still.  It’s gross.  So we had to re-wash her, wipe up the pee, Vim the peed-on floor (both the initial puddle and the trail leading from the puddle to the potty), and somehow find balance between “Peeing on the floor is bad” and “Good girl!  You got one minuscule droplet of pee into the potty when Mommy chucked you on it mid-piddle!”

Potty Schmotty

My mom was holding Eirinn when she (Eirinn, not my mom) said “Poop.”  We asked her if she had to go poop and she said yes.  We asked her if she wanted to go poop on the potty and she said yes.  We took her to the potty and got her prepared.  Screaming and flailing and all kinds of toddler chaos ensued.

Silly Bugba and I mistakenly thought that when she said that, yes, she would like to go poop on the potty, she meant that she’d like to sit on the potty and poop.  In fact, what she meant was that she would like to go into the washroom and, while there, perhaps we could get her an ice cream cone or a monkey or maybe Diego will be in there waiting to take her on one of his ‘aventuras’ to save Linda the Llama from a puma or anything other than pooping on the potty.  Oh, gawd, don’t make her go poop on the potty. 

We gave up and let her investigate a hair brush for a little while.  And by investigate I mostly mean chew on the handle.

“Uh…gramma?  Bare.  Butt.”

I guess when you’re saving a llama or eating a ‘keen cone’, you should always wear a diaper and pants.  Because someone might think you want to use a potty or something.  And that?  That would be bad.

Potty Schmotty


“Horray for me!”

You’ll notice her eyes are diverted in the final picture.  She’s looking past my shoulder into the glass of the fireplace so she can see for herself how brilliant she is.  Standing in the toilet.  Sheesh.  As long as she doesn’t do this once she starts using it for its intended purpose.  I’ll be doing a lot of laundry. 

Tornado Eirinn

The life and times, trials and tribulations, crimes and punishments, lessons learned and scores settled by my daughter, Eirinn, AKA The Tornado.

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When I Wrote

May 2020


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