Just when I have just about had it with toddler parenting, Jackson does something sweet, or cute or smart and I relax a little bit. Being a mom is hard. And I often feel that I am not equipped to handle a toddler. The constant defiance, destruction of my house, waking me up at all hours and getting up too damned early to stand at my bedside demanding cartoons, chocolate milk and cereal. Everything takes longer. Can't get up and get ready to go without a fifteen minute negotiation on what clothes he will or will not wear. Refusing to eat a balanced meal. Stone-walling me on using the potty. I just feel like there is a constant power struggle going on and I am the loser cause I give in too much. Or the loser cause I don't give in and cause him needless stress and pain on an issue that ultimately means nothing. Being a mom to an almost three-year-old is hard. And I wish I got a little less angry with him. I wish I could keep my cool better and not get so frustrated.
But then he reminds me of the rewards of being his mom. And I refuse to get all maudlin and write a damned hallmark card. But I will try to do better and be kinder to him even when he has gotten on my very last nerve - which he knows exactly how to do.
As far as the potty training, we have not really started intensive work. I find that as long as going in his diaper is an option, he will not choose to stop what he is doing all the time to go. Why would he? He is wearing a toilet. So we decided that once the current package of diapers is gone, we are going to put him in underwear and see what happens. Perhaps the incentive of not messing himself will prompt him to use the potty. He hasn't been interested in the potty for days, in fact has been very resistant to it. But today he ran around naked after work and I made him get on the potty and he peed. And we praised him to high heaven. And after he was in bed and supposed to be sleeping he called me in to tell me he needed to go pee pee. I thought he was playing me. He did the same thing last night and it resulted in no peeing. I figured it was his new way to get out of bed. But I can't say no. I am trying to get him on the potty, so how do I say no when he asks? So tonight I let him get out again and he actually used the potty. Yay!
So we shall see how it goes when we don't have any more diapers and his only choice is mess himself or use the potty. Hopefully it will be a short term learning process. But from reading message boards I know that it probably will not be easy and it is going to be messy.
He was sitting with me on the couch tonight - nekkid. And I have always been aware of helping him appreciate his body and not be ashamed of it. I told him, "Jackson, I love your body." He said, "I love my body too." So I started naming parts that I love. "I love your knees and I love your shoulders and your toes..." And predictably he says, "I love my pee pee." "You do?", I asked. "Yes, and mine hieney." I told him "I love your hieney too, son." Little boys sure zero in on what is important in life, don't they?