Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Learning More About Thankfulness

Shortly after arriving home from work last night, I went to my bedroom to change my clothes before cooking dinner. Christopher was perched on the bed watching TV. Since Halloween, he assumes that whenever I'm changing my clothes, I'm putting on a costume.

"Mommy, what are you going to be for Halloween?"

"Oh, sweetie, Halloween is over this year."

"OK. Mommy, what are you going to be tankful for this year?"

This is the first time he's asked me this question, but I know he's been learning about Thanksgiving at daycare. "Well, I'm thankful for your daddy and for you."


"Christopher, what are you thankful for?"

He thinks for a few moments while I step into the bathroom and pull on a t-shirt. "I'm tankful for lion."


"Yes. And I'm tankful for letters."

"Letters are good."

"I'm tankful for puzzles!" he exclaims, pointing to his set of wooden puzzles strewn about my bedroom floor. I step over the pieces to get to my dresser.

"Puzzles are nice things to have. Are you thankful for anything else?"

"Yes. I tankful for you," he points at me, then quickly continues, "And I'm tankful for blankets!" He grabs two handfuls of my comforter as I pull on a pair of warm sweatpants, fresh from the dryer. "And I'm tankful for stepladder!" He points at the item in question, a three-tier ladder currently pressed into service as my bedside table.

"Those are a lot of things to be thankful for."

"Yes. I'm tankful for all these things I can use!"

My mind is suddenly filled with an image of Steve Martin holding a lamp, a chair, and a paddleball game. "I'm very glad you are thankful for all those things, Christopher. Thank you for sharing them with me."

"You're welcome, Mommy! Oh--I'm tankful for TV!"

This time I laugh. "Yes, honey, I heard."

Monday, November 10, 2008

I Am Thankful for Honesty

At daycare, the kids did a project where they named the things they were thankful for. Each classroom has a bulletin board in the hallway where they post such classroom projects. Christopher's teacher was putting their board together this morning, and we got to see it completed when we picked him up today.

Christopher's room had a leaf for each child and their thing, like, "Johnny is thankful for my mommy." Most of the kids were thankful for Mommy, Daddy, Mommy and Daddy, or various combinations of familial units.

One kid was thankful for his blanket. Another kid was thankful for Waffle House.

Then I saw the leaf that belongs to our child. "Christopher is thankful for T.V."

Oh, my.

I couldn't help but laugh. One of his teachers heard me howling and thought I was upset. I told her no, that I was just so proud that our son loves TV more than ANYTHING.

Another teacher told me it could be worse. A few of the older boys replied, "Guns," and had to be steered in another direction.

Thankful for TV, huh. Oh, well. I suppose it could be worse.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

333 Is A Magic Number

I feel like I should be handing out cigars. The count just rose to 338 while I was turning on my PC, but it doesn't matter.

Obama won, and I feel like the weight of the world is lifted from my shoulders.

As I write this, 62% of all votes have been counted equaling over 85 million votes. The final tally will definitely show a record turnout for an historic election, and I am proud to have done my part.

I have nothing more to say. Still absorbing the impact. But I have hope.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Puzzling Potty Practices

I am actively asking for advice--I want to say that upfront. I am completely befuddled about what to do, and I welcome any suggestions.

CJ will be 4 in December, and we've been working on potty training for almost a year. We had backed off a bit when it became clear that he had the concept and could control his bladder but was seeing potty training as a control issue. Rather than press the point and come to an impasse, we pointed out the potty, explained that we'd like him to use it, and left it be.

Occasionally, he would go on the potty, but more often he chose his pullup. We tried using daycare as an incentive--we already knew from his teachers that he was in the last room until he was potty-trained and that many of his friends had already gone to the next room. A few weeks, the woman who runs the daycare approached us about moving CJ on into the next room. She explained that she was positive that he could go on his own, but was choosing to be lazy since he could have a pullup changed rather than stop what he was doing. She also felt that since he was nearing four, and many of his classmates had just turned three, that he was too comfortable in his routine and needed the additional mental stimulation (the new room is set up like preschool).

After discussing the pros and cons, we agreed. The transition took place within a week. He's been in the new room for a few weeks and the change is incredible--except for potty-training, and not the way I expected:

He goes without complaint during his time at daycare. He stays dry, goes when prompted, goes on his own, and really seems to love going potty. At home, nope. We put him in underwear and celebrate his successes, but he will usually pee on the floor rather than go to the toilet. Just tonight I've changed three wet pairs of underwear and Tom changed one pair of poopy underwear.

He knows he needs to use the potty--he tells us he peed on the floor instead of going. He doesn't seem to have bladder issues since he can be dry through the night and doesn't have this trouble at daycare.

For whatever reason, he is just refusing to go at home.

We've tried stickers, toys, and books as incentive. I've even offered Dum-Dums. None of it matters. I'm at the end of my rope. I'm trying to be patient like I'm supposed to be for potty accidents, but I really don't think this is about accidents. Part of me wants to enact consequences like I do when he doesn't listen or willfully disobeys in other ways but I don't want him to get mixed signals.

Any suggestions?