Sunday, October 12, 2008

My mother and I both have eight children. In a twist of biology she had six boys and two girls, while I have six girls and two boys. Much of my daily routine must be somewhat familiar to her, even if she doesn't remember. When I've asked my mother advice a basic issue of motherhood, sleeplessness, she says she doesn't remmeber having major problems. This is ironic because I remember BEING a major problem! I have been told that I made my dad jump around chasing away flying monkeys from that still to scary to be seen movie, the wizard of Oz. I remember sleeping in between them on a camping trip and I know I woke up quite early as a child. There are other simple things I know we share, like wondering if 4 bunches of bananas will survive the weekend, being told "I'm hungry" while still clearing the table from the previous meal, and mountains of laundry.

I had occaission to wonder recently about playtime. In my family some afternoons look like this

All we need for a fabulous afternoon is the nucracker and dancing clothes, even just scarves will do. I know from experience that this isn't as fascinating to boys. For whatever reason boys and music at my house tend towards wrestling.

I know boys and girls play differently. Just ask my son what happens when he asks a sister to play risk. They always refuse. When he first got he game and they agreed to play it they would come to me crying within minutes, "he's talking over my country!" Not only do they like different kinds of games. But even given the very same toy they play differently This is clearly seen with dinosaurs at our house. Ben and Raymond opt for major carnivorous battles. They also spend a lot of time lining them up preparing for said battle. The girls put all the dinosaurs in a pile, pick out families, assign mommies and daddies and children, and play a rousing game of house. No one gets eaten. When we play castle the girls think of the beautiful dresses and dancing, the boys think of dragons.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Parental fear factor

I've long declared that the show Fear Factor is a farce. It really should be called stupid factor. Eating weird animal parts and jumping from moving trucks for money are definitely not fears to overcome.

The real fear factor is life. Yesterday my dear little three year old said those words every parent fears "I don't wanna wear diapers, I want underwears!"

Now don't get me wrong, I do want my children to be potty trained. It's just that I go by the very practical council given by a wise cousin "diapers are cheaper than therapy!" All summer long I've been procrastinating potty training. At one point I even bribed this same toddler NOT to go to attempt potty training. Something about our summer makes that reasonable.

I know what potty training means. It means life interupted, TONS of bathroom trips, laundry, closer prximity to poop and carpet cleaning galore. This particular potty training adventure involves two little girls. Potty training twins...

Despite my experience, is that resume material?, I have already made mistakes this go round...

Mistake number one: the moivational panty shopping trip should be IN THE MORNING! Last night after a day of fair success at potty training we loaded up to pick up the motivational panties. The goal is to buy the potty training child underwear SO darling they won't want to get them messy. As I was driving it occured to me why this doesn't work for boys. My boys normally opt for superhero or racecar underwear. Perhaps logic tells them that If batman can handle the joker, he should be able to handle other toxic messes without blinking. How super can spiderman be if he can't handle an ccaissional flood? Cars are obviously impervious to mess. Now luckily that didn't apply to this situaion. My girls picked out princesses and beautiful flowers. They fawned over their panties, flashed each their panties as they ran through the house, carried them around lovingly. The motivation is definitely there...Cinderella does not DO floods and we won't even discuss any other thing she may have to face.

The problem this particular time is the timing of the shopping trip. I had just increased my children's desire to wear panties RIGHT BEFORE BED! Am I insane? It took a great deal of bribery and discussion to encourage the less ready child to put on a pullup for night time. Children aren't dumb. You can call pullups whatever you want...they are really glorified diapers. Who cares what happens to the little pictures on the front, it is obviously made to be USED. We survived the first mistake...

SECOND MISTAKE! That's right it's only been two days...but here it is. Today I had planned a homeschool girls book group at my house. I was inviting 6 young ladies over (ages 8-1), discussing the secret garden and doing a craft together. Prepraing for that, and hosting that is NOT condusive to interuptions every few minutes of nature calls, or worse nature miscues. We avoided those problems the old fashioned way...I told the girls if they had two accidents this morning they were back in we ended up in pullups for the meeting.

Here we are at only day two...I will just repeat the refrain..."they'll be potty trained before college, they WILL be potty trained before college."

Forget fear fator, maybe I should go for wifeswap...I do like the husband though, maybe it should be toddler swap