Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ahhh...potty training #4

So kid #4 gets all the benefits of our years of potty training experience, right? Well, not exactly. That only works if #1, 2, and 3 were similar, in either age or gender. But no. #4 wants to potty train before she turns three, and she's, well, a she. Lucy decided to jump on the potty a few months ago, which all the boys did, but then didn't really ever progress, just like them. So we thought we were in good shape and just went about our business.

Then yesterday she decided to up her game, and by up her game I mean pick the absolutely WORST day to take that next step (well, no the worst day - that would have been the day before as we've been REALLY sick this week). But yesterday, Tom was walking past the bathroom and saw a pile of poo on the floor and started cursing the cat's name. Then he turned and saw a nekkid Lucy. Yes, she went the bathroom IN the bathroom successfully, she just missed the potty. If it weren't for the fact that I wasn't 100% I might have freaked out more. She's almost a half a year younger than ANY of the boys when they did this, so we're dealing with a two year old potty training instead of a three year old. And she pooped in the bathroom, NOT in the potty. Lucy managed to strip off all of her clothes, pulled off her diaper, poop on the floor, and stay clear of it while wandering and looking for one of us (or maybe not - she was free and clean so she might have been running nekkid through the house).

So what the heck am I supposed to do here? I have a kiddo that doesn't want mom or dad in the bathroom while she's in there (her brothers tell her to scoot out when they go in so why shouldn't she tell us to scoot out). I have a kiddo that at any point and time can not only get undressed and plop herself down on the potty properly, but also get off, close the potty, get her diaper back on and put on her clothes (she did that today), then wash her hands and sneak back OUT of the bathroom, all very quietly. And she's TWO folks. So you can't reason with her, the consequences are not quite comprehensible for her, and she's fiercely independent (YEA!!!). But man, this whole two year old girl potty training is going to be a rough ride. What have we gotten ourselves into here with this whole girl thing? And yes, I know this isn't the last time I'll be asking that question.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Homework - Do it or what?

I recently got a note from the little boys' teachers - Ian and Sam haven't turned in their homework in several weeks. After my initial, "Really, that long?" and a quick giggle to myself about the fact that they actually chose NOT to turn in their homework, I went to find out why.

My role in this house is and has always been more of a homework reminder, not a homework do-er or a homework checker. Yet here I find myself thrust into the role of follow up and follow through person because my kids, who were doing the work and not turning it in, or not doing it and telling me it was done (two very different kids) didn't get the job done.

In this house we give you time to do your work, a place to plop down and read/color/calculate/create/write/whatever, and help if you get stuck and ask, but I'm not checking each night to see if the work is complete and correct. My job is to provide a place for the boys to work and an environment in which they can successfully complete their work, but not to do the work for them or to turn it in for them. Well, they hit their first bump in the road on that one. Not turning in your homework at our school has weird consequences because we don't have grades. They get grades for efforts and achievement, but only O, G, S, and N. This might be the time for an Nor two to show up on a report card. I'd give it to them if they were my students. This time though, I got a quick note from the teacher that they were missing the work, and a polite request to get them to turn it in.

I believe that elementary school is the time and place to learn how to manage your time, complete assignments, and learn to be organized in general. This is the time to try things and fail, when those consequences aren't as great. I don't tie my kids' shoes, pack their lunches or make sure they've completed their homework - this is when they need to learn to stand on their own and do all of those things. It is a safe environment to do so - where else besides elementary school can you walk in with mismatched clothing, incomplete homework, and no protein in your lunch and still have a very successful day? My kids are learning the ropes and are much more independent than others, but if this means that they will sometimes not turn in their homework on time, well, so be it. This is their chance to learn what those consequences are without having it impact the rest of their lives (or their future educational career - remember that big fat zero in high school for not turning in one assignment?). I'd much rather have them learn that lesson now than in middle school, or heaven forbid, in high school.
So apologies to their 2nd grade teachers. My kids will not always turn in their work complete and on time, but know that when you send those notes home that they are learning that lesson and you are setting them up for a much brighter educational career, and a much easier life path.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Date Night!

Around here date night is a big deal. It's a big deal because it costs an arm and a leg to get out the door for us (four kids will do that!) and we want to make the most of it. Recently we've rediscovered the theater. It started with a performance of South Pacific, and it's only going up from there. We were able to dress up, hit the town, and of course, it started snowing while we were at the performance, so my poor hubby had to get out in dress shoes and a suit and shovel the driveway when we got home! It's not often that we get out, but we're getting better at it (snowstorm aside - it happens occasionally around here). While we used to go on dates pre-kids to places like restaurants, movies, and the like, since then it's been a pretty sad run of dates. First it was movies and dinners, then it morphed into a trip to Target or Walmart (with out the kids it's a different experience), and now it's back to actual grown up dates for us. Very, very cool (as evidenced by the big giant smiles and Kennedy peering over our shoulders).

If you are desperate for a date, head on over to my review bog and enter to win tickets to see Blue Man group this week! Contest is open until Sunday, so pop on over there!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A tumultuous two weeks

I'm a firm believer of what you throw out in to the universe you get back ten fold. But what on earth have I thrown out lately to get back this crap? Really - lice, bad, bad viruses, weird muscle pulls? These things, in combination with weird weather patterns has me watching out for the 10 plagues. You know - of Biblical proportion. Yikes. Over the past few weeks we have endured all kinds of nasties, trials, and tests. We're fine, and it's nothing we could't handle, but the rapid succession of stuff that we're been through has been painful to manage to say the least. We are through the lice, the viruses are lifting, and the muscle pulls, well, my obliques for the first time in 38 years introduced themselves to the rest of my body. Geeez. Thanks. But don't mind me. I'll be sitting here curled up with my pillow and tea...and Advil.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Love this ASL!

So this is one video that I won't link as it's got a bad word or two. I will say though that aside from absolutely loving this song, the ASL interpretation of this is oh so cool. To Anna, the girl that did this for her college level final - GOOD FOR YOU!

Here's the link: F**k You Sign Language Interpretation - be sure to clear the room of kiddies before you play it or they'll learn all kinds of fun words! But definitely check it out - it's fantastic!