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Aug 16

Taking Care of Business

Posted by Brett in potty trainingmilestones

Bodie's almost 2, and he's almost potty trained. I can make that very bold statement because the very first time I sat him on the potty he did a number 1 without much prompting at all. He knew what to do, he has seen his brothers do it a thousand times. We haven't been pushing the potty training issue with him at all. We figured it would just eventually happen by osmosis, just as every other skill he's achieved in the last 23 months has been obtained. He sees one of his siblings do something, and he's got to try it.

He copies me with everything I do, too. If I'm frying some eggs at the stove, he's right there standing on a chair next to me reaching for the spatula, saying "Careful. Hot." If I'm trying to find that invisible perpetual leak under our kitchen sink, he's sitting on my belly shining the flashlight in my eyes or clocking me with the wrench. I love it. He saw me plunging the toilet last week, now he thinks that is a regular part of flushing. He waits patiently with the plunger until you've concluded doing your business, then sets it in the toilet as a finishing touch.

The way his first pee pee time occured was like this: It was pre-bathtime. G,G, and B we're all buck naked, running around the house like a riotous pack of wild chimpanzees. I believe it was an airplane race they we're having, 10 laps around the couch is standard activity after supper and before bath. Gavin and Garrett like to fly their match-box sized jets and Bodie was flying a bulldozer, trying his best to keep up. Amidst the melee, Bodie paused, dropped his bulldozer and reached for his privates. I was lucky enough to be right there as racetrack official, I scooped him up and rushed him to the potty.

At first he looked confused, like "Hey, I was about to take care of business right here on the floor like I always do before bath!"  But then as he perched on the little blue stool, he got very quiet, and he looked at me with a determined stare that said "I know what to do. It's go time." I turned on the faucet for its subliminal effect.
Within 30-45 seconds, he had accomplished his first frothy deposit with minimal overspray and maximum fulfillment. I hollered for Sara to come witness the glorious event and we both lavished praise on him to the point of worship. He knew he had done well! Even after the accolades, he carried a smug glow of self-congratulation on his face only a successful potty trainee can exhibit. He proudly marched right out of the bathroom, but kept going back in there to look at what he had done.

I hope this blog post doesn't jinx us, but I think before too long he will be doing it on his own. No more pull-ups! Except at bedtime, of course, so we can all rest easy. One baby step at a time, you know.

Aug 02

Hiding and Seeking

Posted by Brett in sore losersparentingchildren

Hide and seek is the new game in town. It's a classic oldy but goody. These kids are the funniest little hiders, always picking similar spots. Usually Gavin will run outside or to the garage and get into one of the vehicles or in the truck bed. He's laughing and giggling the whole time, and calling out,  "You'll never ever find me in this spot Garrett!" Of course, Garrett hears this and zeroes in on Gavin's spot, but he's too short to see inside the cars and can't open the door. Soon he gets me to lift him up and confirm the target.
Gavin always asks, "Was that a good hiding spot Garrett?"
"Yeah! I didn't see you at all!"

When it's Garrett's turn, he inevitably heads right to the same spot Gavin was just in, and I have to help him get situated and remind him to keep quiet. Neither one of these boys really gets the point of the game yet, and actually I think they can't stand not to be found right away. Garrett crouches down in the back of the truck, snickering quietly and wriggling with impatience. As soon as he hears his big brother's footsteps approaching, he leaps from his concealment shouting "Surprise! Was this a good spot, Gavin?"

Gavin does come up with some funny ideas for hiding. Yesterday he said to me "I know the perfect hiding spot - I'll just get behind Garrett and follow him while he's looking for me. He can't see me if I'm always behind him!" The theory sounded good, but it didn't pan out for Gav. That was the shortest round of H & S ever, I think. The next time it was Gavin's turn, he decided to hide behind me, which led to the second shortest round ever. He didn't know that Garrett's first course of action as a seeker is always to just come to Dad and start asking questions. Garrett came over to me and saw that I had four legs, and the jig was up.

I love this game for them because there really isn't a winner. These boys are both terribly sore losers. I mean, they get so upset when they lose that I don't let them have bike races or anything like that anymore. They seem to be in constant competition with each other, and it drives Sara and I crazy. They're not only sore losers, but they are sore winners as well, which is even worse. They obnoxiously celebrate their own victories in a way that would get them a penalty flag from any referee in America. I hate to discourage them from wanting to win and succeed at what they're doing, but the cost to the other sibling's ego is sometimes devastating. Gavin is getting a little better at keeping his victory exclamations to himself. When he's trying to bottle up an "I'm first, I win, I'm first, I win.." this is what his face looks like:

Garrett finally figured out a variable of the "car as hiding spot" theme and went underneath. I explained the danger to him and that under the car is an "off limits" spot, and of course he had to retort that he's seen me crawl under the car lots of times. What a smart alec.
"You could get squished like a bug." I told him.
"Would I look like this?" he said, making the face seen below:

Playing hide and seek is a perfect game for them because it is always about taking turns, creating new ideas for hiding, and commending each other's ideas. There are no winners or losers, so they just play together with no gloating or hurt feelings. Don't get me wrong, I believe in healthy competition, but its going to have to wait with these two.

Jul 19

The Tooth is Gone

Posted by Brett in parentingmilestonesautism

Gavin has lost his first tooth. It has been a harrowing experience for him. When he first showed me that his tooth was loose, he was very worried about it. So concerned, in fact, that his eyes filled up with tears at the thought of not having that particular tooth in his mouth anymore. I reassured him that he would get another, bigger better tooth in its place that would last for the rest of his life, as long as he brushes it before bed every night. He still sat there, wiggling his tooth with his finger, quietly fretting and ruminating on what I had told him. Finally he said, his voice cracking with despair, "But if I never get a new tooth, I will be a silly adult!"

To lose a piece of yourself, I guess, is a little scary.  I guess that's why someone came up with the idea of the tooth fairy? She's a great diversion from the trauma of the extraction, but for Gavin that idea only added to his anxiety. When we put him to bed that night, he couldn't shut his eyes. He said he was worried about the Tooth Fairy, how she would get in, what she would look like, etc. I stayed in the room on the bottom bunk that night with Garrett, listening to Gavin toss and turn anxiously above us, constantly checking under his pillow to make sure the tooth was still there, until he finally fell asleep.

At some point in the night the tooth fairy did slink into the room and do her duty. She was so quiet even I missed her appearance. In the morning, I was already up and sitting at my computer when Gavin came out with an unsettled look on his face. He paced back and forth in the office in front of me, as he normally does when he has a deep thought.
Finally I asked him "Did the Tooth Fairy come last night?"
He looked in the direction of his bedroom and nodded, his tongue feeling the blank space on the  front of his grill.
"Did she take your tooth?"
"Yes," he stated with tear filled brown eyes. I hugged him and asked "Well, did she leave anything else under your pillow?"
"Two things," he whispered. "I didn't touch them."
I went into his room and retrieved the objects: A shiny 50 cent piece and a little pink thank you note. I handed them to Gavin and he held them cautiously. Eventually he sat on the couch and read the note, which praised him on the excellent condition of the outgoing tooth, and reminded him that soon he would have a new one to care for. After studying the note and the coin for a while, he simply commented that he "Never saw a penny this big before" and plunked it in his piggy bank, and that was that. Losing a tooth is not as bad as it seems, I guess.

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