Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My Current Parenting Problems

I find parenting frustrating for a lot of reasons, but a major one is that it's a moving target. Just as I find a strategy that works well, or definitely decide on an approach, R changes significantly and I have to rethink everything.

When she was a tiny baby, I was obsessed with her sleeping well. Later I worried about my parenting style: I thought I was a hippie parent, but then R learned how to be naughty and I became a strict control freak, always on her case and in her business. Thanks to some good advice, R became more civilized and amenable, so I could go back to being kind of lazy. I thought my problems were over and she was practically ready for college.

Ha ha ha. Actually we're just on to new problems. Issues of the moment:

1. Potty training. I have no interest in potty training R right now, because it would just mean more work. Changing diapers is so easy: I can do it in just a couple minutes (R almost always cooperates); I don't have to worry about finding a bathroom, accidents, or changing clothes; and don't have to worry about her developing weird psychological issues or health problems (my sister gave herself a whole series of infections shortly after being potty trained because she didn't want to stop playing long enough to use the bathroom). I was thinking 3.

Unfortunately R is not on board with this plan. She's started to sit on her potty to pee, sometimes (I bought her one months ago, so that she could get familiar with the concept), but never poop (when it would actually be helpful). She can undress herself, but for some reason thinks that I need to help her when it comes to the potty; she also thinks she needs to get completely undressed. So throughout the day she will demand to be undressed and seated on the potty; she sits there for a minute or two, trying; nothing happens; and then she gives up and runs off naked into the house (and then I have to catch, diaper and dress her). She also wants her diaper changed constantly: sometimes it does need to be changed, and sometimes it doesn't, but she thinks it does (maybe she peed slightly and I can't tell? or she's just being weird). I don't want to discourage her, because I do want her potty trained someday, but all this is seriously annoying.

2. Speaking. R talks, but not that much. She uses somewhere between 50 and 100 words (I started making a list, but got bored), sings a few songs, and understands pretty much everything (she can follow fairly complicated directions now). So far normal. But she doesn't really use more than one word at a time, except to say "What is this/that?", and some of her words are wrong (like she uses the word "ham" to mean sandwiches, or she often says "mines" instead of mine). I keep worrying that something is wrong with her speech development. Not sure if I'm being paranoid (B and the pediatrician say yes), or if there is a problem.

3. Getting ideas. R comes up with all kinds of little games and activities (I try not to direct her behavior unless necessary, so I rarely suggest anything). Sometimes they are really cute (like all the games where she pretends to be a grown up), but so often she does things that aren't forbidden, but only because I hadn't thought of it. Like today she found a cookie she made (at school), took it out of its sealed bag (somehow, I thought she couldn't or I would have hidden it better), ate some and broke up the rest into tiny crumbs, which she then carefully covered the floor in. Why, R???? Or when she tried to wrap a present, which meant covering a piece of wrapping paper and the floor in an entire roll of tape (since her manual dexterity isn't actually up to the task). I suppose I could avoid all this by watching her 24/7 but my mind quails at the prospect. I just wish sometimes she'd stick to approved activities instead of deciding to branch out.


  1. In terms of (1)- I'm jealous! It sounds like she is getting ready. Maybe you could do that 3-day potty training plan and be done with it?

    In terms of (2)- I think this is totally normal to use words slightly wrong. Nora still doesn't say certain words correctly- one being her own name! (she says "Ara"- she frequently drops first or last letters of words). I also worried but then I read it was perfectly normal and I've noticed over time certain words get a lot better eventually.

  2. Just commenting to say that I love your parenting posts :)

    You are doing better than us when it comes to her vocab. I not only talk about how cute the toddler pronounciation is, I have a hard time not using them myself! (And we frequently use them when talking to eacho ther as parents)

  3. ok on #1, I agree with you. We've had a potty for a while and she sits on it, but we keep her clothes on. I don't mind if she learns but we won't be ridding of diapers until I'm ready.
    ps- I just bought the book you recommended. I hope it helps bc we're having trouble with diaper changes, dinner etiquette, etc.