Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Follow-up on Potty Training

I just wanted to share a link to an article written by Steve Hodges, a urologist, discussing some of the topics I touched on in my last blog post. He argues AGAINST pushing your child to potty train early and discusses how pooping really affects your child's ability to successfully potty train. Read it here.

Monday, May 27, 2013

"No Potty MOMMY!"

Daycare asked me about potty-training Child1 who is 2 years old. Another older child is working on potty training and they were planning on introducing the potty to Child1. I gave my indifferent blessing on this and shared some of my reservations. (Beware, I'll be using 'poop' versus stool/bowel movement and so forth)

1) Boys potty train later than girls, statistically. Many boys get potty trained around the age of 3, not so close to the age of 2. I know a 22 month girl who poops on the potty, but I don't think Child1 is all that interested.

2) Firstborns don't have an example to follow. That 22 month old girl I just mentioned has a 4 year old sister who is very proud of her potty skills. Consequently, the 22 month old is super motivated. It took the 4 year-old quite a bit longer though.

3) Parental commitment is lacking. Neither myself or HubbyJD are hardcore 'potty train NOW.' If they do it at daycare, and not at home, then you won't get far.

Daycare understood and hadn't really intended on doing very much. They wanted to let Child1 work on sitting on the potty after meals and seeing if he did poop there, making sure he didn't get afraid of the potty, and learning the idea of wiping and flushing. It will probably be several months until Child1 is actually in a better state of readiness.

Other pieces of advice from JaneMD on this subject. Make sure your child isn't constipated. Miralax is fiber, not a drug, so don't feel like a failure if your child ends up on it. Painful stools tend to make children have stool withholding (trying not to poop) behavior which encourages more painful stools. It becomes very difficult to potty train in those cases.

Try to use the child's natural physiology. The best time to go potty is after eating a meal because the gastrocolic reflex is working then. Gastrocolic reflex is why you feel the urge to go to the bathroom during your meal or right after. 

Don't spend a ton of money on the 'magical singing self flushing potty.' You didn't train on an electronic potty. The more the potty seems like a toy; the more it will be treated that way. Books, however, are perfectly welcome as a method of relaxing. It works on adults, too.

Say it with me, 'potty training is WAY more important to the parent than the child.' Your child, while not enjoying being wet and poopy, is only motivated to change because YOU care. Your child doesn't know any different so why would he/she spend energy on it? If you want an amusing potty training story about motivations, read Parenteconomics. The dad tries numerous ways to motivate his kids to potty train - and most of them backfire - until he outsources the problem to daycare by his third child. I personally have trouble keeping Child1 on the toilet to relax long enough to poop because Child2 is wandering the house while I supervise potty time.

So keep your cool and remember that almost every healthy child will be potty trained before 4 years old and it is not a reflection of you if your kiddo takes his/her time. When your child is doing an exclusive interview twenty years from now for inventing warp drive, she/he will not be recounting triumph over adversity because you didn't buy the most expensive potty. He/she will be recounting your attitude if you become a toilet-training tyrant.
(P.S. Alot of naked toddlers come up when you use goodsearch to look for 'potty.' Don't let it be your kid!)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

New job, new bike

So two little kids, a full time job, some medical issues, and a NEW JOB have led to a delay in updates. For the five people actively checking in, thanks!

Okay, where we last left off, Jane had some horrible trip on Airtran during Passover and will never be traveling like that again. I applied for a second job and got it, which has required more training and additional hours. I am still going to be working full-time at my current job, but once or twice a month I'll be working in a pediatric urgent care. HubbyJD supported my additional employment (he, jokingly, claims he made me get a second job because I wasn't working hard enough). A good part about this job is that I can bike to it since its about 1 mile from my apartment. A bad part is that I'll be doing it on weekends around midnight.

With this in mind, I started actually biking on our fold-up Schwinn and bought a Nashbar Kid Karriage, which was on sale with fresh shipping for under $100 with tax. I have now biked two four mile round trips to the gym, once alone and once with the kids. My legs are killing me, but I'm sure this will get better with time. I may eventually invest in an actual bicycle with gears since HubbyJD thinks we can all go biking together now .

What has our budget been doing? Subtracting medical expenses and getting hit TWICE by uninsured drivers (we had to pay the deductible), we are around $5,500 a month. There was a tax error on my part as well that resulted in us owing money. When I filled out my initial W-4 form in 2011, I worked half a year as a low paid resident, half as an attending, and HubbyJD only worked 5 months of the year. For 2012 we both worked the full year and, despite having an additional child, made too much money to get the student loan interest deduction or the loss on our rental house. Add in that I had not updated my W-4, my failure to take out enough money resulted in owing. (Fortunately, my bi-monthly housekeeper is a CPA student, filed our taxes for free, and is helping fix the W-4 issue, especially since we know have to project the income from my new job.)

On the plus side, our lease ended and we bought our car at the end. We anticipate selling one or two of our cars and buying older four-door stick shift models. We FINALLY completed the refinance of our out-of-state rental which resulted in a slightly decreased monthly payment - $60 so at least that frees up $250 in the budget. Let's see if my potentially new biking habit can shrink our gas budget some too. My bike investment so far was $35 for 2 children's helmets and $100 for the trailer - minus $75 in giftcards = $60, which we now are referring to as my mothers day present.