Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Breaking old habits and forming new ones

Overall, I am loving my kids at this age. They still are adorable and say the funniest things, they both nap at the same each day, they can enjoy most of the same activities, and they are old enough to know to stay out of the street and not put dead bugs in their mouths.
But... I don't love potty training. I thought maybe I would get a break with Caroline because things were going so awesome at first. After about 5 weeks, she started having a huge regression, for no apparent reason. She went back to having careless accidents and not bothering to tell me when she had to go potty. We were so close to our Kentucky trip with it's 18 hour car drive that I decided to salvage my sanity and put her back in pull-ups. When we got home it was back to underwear, all 6+ pairs a day. She even started going #2 in her underwear, which she had never done on potty training attempt #1. So discouraging.
So here we are now, about 3 1/2 months out and still only marginal success. I think her problem is laziness, not comprehension, so I haven't wanted to stop and go completely back to diapers. Problem is, I don't know how to motivate her. It is simply much easier for her to just pee where she is standing and then whip off the wet clothes in two seconds flat. Charlton got her some Nerds candy and that has been a great reward, but most of the time she still won't tell me when she has to go. When I take her to the potty, she usually resists me and tries to immediately hop back off. Then she will pee on the floor 5 minutes later. It has been really frustrating. I know she will get it eventually, but I will be so glad when all the yuckiness of potty-training is over.
I am not sure which is harder, forming new life habits or breaking old ones, almost 5 year old ones. I have been completely avoiding dealing with Rylan's thumb-sucking habit for a long time, but there is nothing like a looming dentist appointment to push it to the top of the priority list. I won't go into all the reasons why it feels like huge challenge for him to quit, but suffice it to say, the obstacle felt like a mountain and my resources felt like molehills. They still kind of do, but...
I recently read an article in a MOPS mom's magazine that felt like it was written for me. A mom noticed that when her children had to go through something really difficult, they handled it best when she walked through it with them. Duh, I know, but what really struck me was her example in the article: thumb-sucking. This mom would lie down beside her child every night and rub her back and pray with her until she fell asleep without sucking her thumb to soothe herself. I felt like God was giving me the answer I was looking for to help Rylan quit. Very difficult, but with God's help I believe he can do it. So I may not be updating the blog very much in the future. I have no idea how long it will take, but I do know my evenings will be spent snuggling beside a sweet and brave young man, helping him learn to fall asleep without his thumb in his mouth. We would definitely appreciate your prayers if you think of us.

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