When I arrived at work this morning, I had an email from grandma informing me that Ian had been placed in time-out for pinching and biting. Since discovering his teeth, Ian has been shark-like in his hunt for human flesh. We successfully sidetrack him at meals, when he finds more fulfillment devouring his evening spread. Poor Elliott, I think he would actually welcome the grip of Ian's teeth. That might give him a few extra minutes to extract his curly strands from Ian's locked fingers, a process often more painful than moving a comb through his patternless and tangled mounds of hair.
Ian is finding this trouble while still relatively immobile. It is no longer a challenge for him to hoist himself up on all fours, but he doesn't have a clue how to put his parked body in gear. I was reading an old Elliott update yesterday and was reminded that at 7 1/2 months, Elliott was similarly up on all fours. He would rock himself, butt high in the air, and then lunge forward. I called it sprawling. He was crawling soon afterward. Ian will be 7 1/2 months old next week, so the race is on. We're heading to Ohio next weekend, so the folks ahead of the storm might want to batten down the hatches.
They may also want to have the potty prepared for a 2 1/2 year old experimenting with a new method of waste disposal. Katie started working with Elliott last week, and already, he pees on the pot often enough to provide some real diaper savings, not that savings is the key issue here (but it won't hurt anything either). He has been reluctant to do the two on the pot. He went back the other night to give it a shot. When he returned, I asked with hopes of an answer worthy of celebration "did you poop?" He looked at me like I had lost my mind while he was gone and answered, indignant that he would even have to explain "no daddy, poopy is the brown stuff." From this point forward, I'll just let him make the announcement when the milestone occurs.
I've read some materials, not many, but some, that talk about the many methods of potty training. Dr. Rosemond, who I have come to hold in high regard, says you should let the child run around naked dispose of their waste where they will. He claims this is very undesirable to a child and they will come to long for the pot. I'm not sure, but I believe we followed a similar principle when training our labs to use our yard instead of ourliving room for their potty breaks. He also advises against making a big deal out of potty training successes, make them believe they just did something completely normal, and above all he instructs, do not offer rewards. Now I hold my parents in high regard, but I can't say that I've always listened to them.
Elliott's little pot has some sort of mechanism that when he pees, triggers a celebratory song that ranks right up there with "He's a Jolly Good Fella." And when the song plays, one of us is right there to clap and applaud the achievement. And with the promise of a Kit Kat bar hanging over that toilet like a big chocolate cloud, I'm sure Elliott will be pooping in the pot real soon. I really don't consider a candy bar to be a reward, it's more like a strategically timed snack. After all, I remember a family vacation when my nephew came running out of the bathroom yelling with excitement, "I get a John Deere tracty." Apparently, he built an impressive collection of toy tractors once he learned to fill the pot instead of diapers. It's a shame he was a bit too young to have uncle Keith teach him about high fiber diets. Anyways, I recommend reading Dr. Rosemond, he has some wonderful suggestions.
Ian has been battling eczema, which has gotten worst with the warm weather. He went to the doctor yesterday and got some medicine which already seems to be helping. But other than that, we have been extremely blessed lately with good health for both of the boys. They continue to develop and learn and we couldn't be more grateful to God for his constant watch over them both. And as they move into these various challenging phases like potty training, we are forever grateful for the patience and strength we are provided as parents.