As timing would have it, Elliott decided that he wanted to start wearing underwear and using the potty the Friday before our trip to Mexico. The first round of potty training didn’t go well and after several months without success we decided to shelve the attempt. From everything I read we put to much pressure on him to use the pot. So he took control of the thing he knew he could-his bladder and bowels to resist the pressure.
After much parental guilt and discussion between the hubby and I – We told him that it was his body and that he needed to be ready to pee and poop in the pot. We apologized for pressuring him and told him to tell us when he was ready. And from then on we didn’t mention it to him. If he would complain about the cold wipes during a diaper change we would remind him that TP wasn’t wet or cold. Or if he would complain or fuss about diaper changes we would tell him that he could decide/choose to use the toilet anytime but until then we had to wear diapers.
I also decided to skip the pull-ups and the training potty and go straight for underwear and the big toilet. I wanted simplicity and less mess (counter intuitive but true!).
So 3 days before our 5+ hour plane trip plus countless airport hours we switched from diapers to underwear. He is doing great. We have had several accidents, of course. But this is a way different experience for us both. The timing is his and he is in charge. What an awesome feeling for him!
Elliott has also strongly resisted dressing and undressing himself. This is partly our fault as his folks. And partly his way of asserting himself. More often we would rather just do it for him and get out of the house than wait and wait and wait for him to get around to it-if he ever did. What we weren’t seeing was the big picture as it relates to self confidence and independence. We were also short changing him as it relates to coordination.
However, since he started using the pot we have required him to start putting his clothes on and taking them off. This is especially important after he has an accident-he has to sit on the pot, then clean up the pee (to the best of a 2 year olds ability), then put his wet clothes in the laundry and get dressed again. All of these things are normal events-but act as a deterrent for him. The benefit is that he is so proud of himself afterwards!
I suspect that alot of Elliott’s new found confidence is from the swim lessons that he took the 2 weeks prior to our trip to Cancun. There are several schools of thought as it relates to swimming. The classes we took we the life saving type and therefore they took a fairly hard lined approach to learning. Elliott hasn’t been exposed to the tuff love method to much-so it came as a big shock to him. There were a lot of tears the first few days and a bunch of pool water swallowed.
The lessons were simple-they were designed to tap into our innate ability to swim. The instructor always orients the child to the side of the pool and then sends him on his way.
At the end of 2 weeks Elliott felt very confident in himself and had learned the basics of life saving swimming techniques. Many people think this method is mean and won’t subject their children to this type of learning. And if my son had a fear of water I might not consider such a harsh method. But, Elliott has zero fear of water-he goes down the water slide at his Grandparents pool, jumps off the side of the pool into the deep end without a care for who will catch him, and last summer walked straight into the Ocean. I had to run in with all my clothes on and get him. So, these lessons taught him to swim as well as a healthy fear of the water. A win-win in my book.
The finger saga continues. Elliott has had 2 post-op follow up appointments with the surgeon. Both appointments went well. The doc thinks there is still something in his finger based on the swelling, but is hopeful that his body will be able to break it down and absorb it. We follow up again in 2 months. Again, as luck and timing would have it-the Sunday before we leave for Mexico I noticed that one of the stitch sites was infected. There was a bubble of green pus. I called the nurse line and she said to come into the ER and they would treat it–she didnt recommend waiting until we returned in case it was something more serious.
The doc who saw him said it looked like a stitch was stuck inside, and was causing a light infection. She took a needle and popped the pustule and sent a sample to the lab. More antibiotics and we were on our way. I took the liberty of removing the other 2 stitches that appeared to be stuck myself. Our medical deductible has almost been met. Yes, that is $6k we are going to have to pay out of pocket. We dont need anymore medical bills. I even cancelled Spencer’s last PT session because I think it was more of a formality than a necessity.
Since this is the week for milestones–Spencer took the hint and started rolling over. I bought him a travel tent/bed for our trip. I knew we were going to be spending a fair amount of time at or in the pool. So, I wanted to be sure he was comfy and in the shade. One day while Elliott was swimming, Spencer was enjoying some tummy time in his tent. Next thing you know he was on his side then on his back again. And so it begins–his active journey. Since he can now move about, we are also allowing him to sleep on his tummy. He seems to enjoy sleeping both on his back and on his stomach. Neither position elicit more sleep than the other though. Boo.