Monday, March 15, 2010

The Will to Choose

All women should be allowed to make a disclaimer as soon as they become mothers. This disclaimer reads: Amateur at work, please do not sue until work in progress is finished! By finished I refer to the Lord fixing everything that I can't seem to do right but tried my hardest!

This all relates to some recent events with Isaac. He had developed a nervous habit of picking at his nose whenever he felt the slightest distress. We set up a system of giving him 10 pennies a day and each time he touched his nose unnecessarily, he had to give one back. Although he's only 2.5 years old, he's grasped that money buys things we want and need. His 'want' being candy which I am forever telling him that we need to spend the money elsewhere. So when given the opportunity to 'earn' some for himself that he'd have full charge over, he was thrilled. It was hard the first 2 days but then after that, you'd see his finger hover near his face and he grab it and sit on it to ensure the safety of his pennies! The bad habit was kicked and Kent and I were thrilled. We went to the grocery store where he bought a sucker and a package of M&Ms, devouring them immediately.

Naturally we thought it might work for potty training. He's been trained - to a point. He can pee on the potty when asked, he can hold it through a 2.5 hour nap and on occasion when you get him on there, he can even do #2 - IF he CHOOSES so to do. So I placed him in training underwear for a few days and with the first accident, he quickly would yell when he needed to pee and run back to the bathroom to do his business all by himself. We'd award him a penny each time. But #2 was a whole different ball game. We'd offer him 2 quarters (until I discovered he thought the pennies were prettier), or we'd grab him and run at the first signs of it coming. He fought and he fought and then out of rebellion, he started peeing in his pants again. It was a nightmare for all of us and worse of all, I was getting to be pretty darn witchy!

When something doesn't work, quit banging your head against the wall! Kent and I reassessed and have decided to try some reverse psychology. We told Isaac that in order to wear underwear, he needs to chose to use the potty for everything. Until he wants to do that, he'll have to wear diapers and when he wants to be changed, to let us know.

I was gratified to hear him protest a little, he liked wearing his underwear, it was softer and more 'cozy' but he understood that he didn't want to use the potty for #2. While this is the pendulum swinging to the far right, it's taken a huge amount of stress away. He chooses now to tell us when he wants to change (which means no fighting) and although it means the diaper practically sags to his knees, he's okay with it. It's only been day 2 of this alternative but I'm happier and so is he. I'm learning there are many things that I can encourage, coax, bribe and 'strongly' suggest, but in the end, it is his will. Heaven knows if I can't learn this now, I'll have to learn it to my detriment when he's a teenager. They really are 'little people'!

The ever gracious volunteer for licking the bowl clean. I think it may be easier to clean the bowl than him but what's the fun in that!

Keila loves the sound of the hula hoop as she shakes it. Isaac had her roaring with laughter one day until she was gasping for breath!

I LOVE Keila's expression, as if to say, "Mama, what in the world....!"


  1. I am with Keila - what in the world is that? Also, good job, Mom. It's important to remember that you are learning just as much as they are.

  2. rasigin kids is try and errar... That is what I learned. Each kid has different personality and way of doing things. It is very interesting to read other kids story insted of my own. hahah.