I am a Lazy Parent.

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I have found that I am a lazy parent. I say this lovingly about myself. Perhaps my parenting speaks about my whole approach to life. I am not really sure. I will say — it has worked out okay so far, I hope?

See I recently wrote about how I had enough of the paci-fairy suggestions. In reality, this is probably a great strategy for most people. Probably, the same people who can potty train their kid in 3 days, weaned their nursing toddler with a book and had their 2 month old sleeping through the night and avoided toddler meal time battles with a cute song. This, however, is not me. Often at 4 AM when I am doing the Nola to Flynn bed shuffle, I wish this was me. I also wish it was me every time I have to wrestle Nola just to change her diaper or chase Flynn around a restaurant table. But, it is not. I google, I read, I may even say I am going to try this starting on Monday. But my follow through is just plain awful.

For you less lazy parent’s out there with a backbone and follow through, I commend you. Like no sarcasm, seriously, nice work. For those of you more on the Theresa Boone lazy laissez faire approach, do not fear – your kid will (most likely) hit those milestones and sometimes sooner than you thought. As a matter of fact, it will really feel like you woke up one day and it just magically happened. For us laissez faire parents here are a few examples to give you some peace of mind as we wonder if we are raising future Scott Disicks.

Flynn vs Diapers: I offered a potty to him. Made it somewhat fun. He was into for a bit (jelly beans were a real incentive) and then once I ran out of jellybeans – he ran of interest. (And I ran away from my half-assed strategy mid strategy) So, I didn’t fight it, threw back on the diapers and waited. I’d mention it here or there, but nothing serious. We’d talk about when he uses the potty this will happen or that will be easier, but again it was casual conversation. Then one morning, he told me he didn’t wear diapers anymore. And he didn’t. Now, it wasn’t like we stopped packing extra undies/pants and didn’t have some issues with constipation, but those hiccups would have happened even if we took a more structured approach. He was 2.5.

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Nola vs Boobs: Friends it has happened. Nola has not nursed in weeks. Some of you might be like crap isn’t that girl about to be two… yes, yes she is. Many of you might also be like uh, didn’t she go away for work in July and thought that would be the time. Yes, friends, I did go away. And that helped. Except she wasn’t ready. She was super clingy, would cry at night and I just felt like she was confused and hurt. So I nursed her, but only for a nap, at night and at 5 AM to get her back to sleep. However, after that was going great for a few months, Nola returned to all night nursing. Like sleep with boob in mouth Nola. She also stopped using it to fall asleep and would pretend to want to sleep just to nurse. Then run out of the room for a few hours of dancing. So I started saying No more, she’d fake protest and then eventually we were done. She asks now and then, but then I say they are broken and she tells me to cuddle her as she proceeds to try to fit herself back into my womb. Gals got issues, but she’s officially off the sauce. She was 23 months.

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Flynn vs Paci: This one had me nervous. Every time I would try to wean him slowly from the thing- he grew more attached. Then we moved and I felt bad for him. He was sad. I started to think I would have to leave town and have someone else deal with the paci withdraw. Maybe stage an intervention where I am the enabling parent buying him new pacis and everyone turns on me. Whatever the case, we “lucked” out here. Flynn got sick, sores in his mouth, paci hurt, he didn’t want to use it for a week. Paci went bye-bye. Sure he still asks, but there hasn’t been any screaming crying like he is dying inside. There also hasn’t been any napping.

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Flynn vs Food: Flynn is generally a good eater. He likes lots of things and isn’t afraid to try new things. He also hates sitting down and eating when everyone else is eating. Some days it seems like Flynn has eaten nothing, will beg for PB&J for multiple meals and is going to die of malnutrition in a matter of minutes. Actually, this sometimes goes on for days. To the point where I start to get nervous and head to my friend Dr. Google Sears. However, right after this happens he scarfs down a healthy meal and asks for seconds. We have not engaged in the table battles as of yet, but we also don’t have a kid who is the best to take to restaurants or dinner parties or any place you want him to sit and eat with a crowd. From a social standpoint – perhaps we need to stop being so lazy, but from a nutritional standpoint as long as no one is sneaking my kid snacks – he eventually gets hungry and he eventually eats healthy meals – multiple healthy meals. I may also throw in a PB&J here and there (and everywhere) just because I avoid tantrums. Like I said I am a lazy mom.


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{This blog post was sponsored by an episode of Paw Patrol. Okay maybe not sponsored, but written thanks to Paw Patrol.}

Thinking about Adding Baby #2…Here are Some Things to Know

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Nola is approaching her first birthday and I cannot believe how fast this time went. Nola didn’t really spend a lot of time in the “baby” phase, but to think that Dominique and I have been navigating life with two kids for a year is pretty crazy. I felt like we picked up on the whole Baby #1 thing relatively fast, but nearly 12 months later of being a parent to two kids, 17ish months apart, I think we are still trying to catch our breath and find a balance. Going to a family of four was also accompanied by so many other changes for us – moving back to Philly, leaving our life in Nashville, me transitioning to staying at home and Dominique transitioning from head high school coach who made the schedule to assistant collegiate coach who follows the schedule to name a few. That being said there are a few things I’d like to share about adding Baby #2. Don’t say no one warned ya 🙂

1. You are not a parenting expert. By now, you are probably the parenting expert on your first kid. Sadly, that will not transfer to this second bundle of joy. You got the swaddle down pat for Baby #1. Sorry Baby #2 hates swaddles. And that easy napper you had the first time around, has now been joined by a child who sits around with toothpicks in her eyes all day. Accept it now. It will make your life easier.

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2. You and your husband will become two ships passing in the night. Sorry it’s true. For how long…that depends, but don’t say no one warned you. Maybe you will say a quick hello as you two separate to give one kid a bath and feed the other. If you’re lucky maybe you will share a few words* while you stand bouncing crying Baby #2 and the hubs is trying to convince Baby #1 to eat some dinner. *Those words may at times be profanity laced rant about Babes #1 peeing in the A/C vent, but words none the less*

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3. About food… This baby will most likely not eat like Baby #1. Baby 1 tolerated bottles. Baby 2 will hate them. Baby 1 would breastfeed discreetly. Baby 2 will pull your shirt up whenever your husband’s friends or a strange male are around. Things went well feeding the first kid…may not have the same luck the second time. Homemade purees were your jam. Baby #2 will hate spoons. On the positive note, if Baby #1 was a really awful eater who hates vegetables, perhaps Baby #2 will be the little vegetarian you always hoped me.

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4. More about food. Your perfect eater kid number one will now use food as a way to let you know that the baby is hogging all your attention. Food wars may happen. Thankfully, in the world of toddler food wars no one really starves. Stares yes. Starves no.

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5. Your first kid isn’t going to think this is all that great…most of the time. Sure, the first kid will love the baby and kiss the new babes. They will be so excited. They also will throw a shoe a little too close to where the baby is a few too many times to call it an accident. Don’t worry Baby #1 is not a monster or future Ted Bundy. They will eventually accept Baby #2 isn’t leaving and even better at some point will truly enjoy the new babe.

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Excuse me…he thinks what?

 

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Hold on she is staying?!

6. Your husband isn’t you. Repeat your husband isn’t you. Some of the jobs that you managed before will now become your husbands. Maybe now he will do the bath/bedtime alone for the first time. Or maybe he will be holding new babes while you try to spend 30 seconds with the original babes. Either way, he isn’t you and it won’t be done the way you do it. Accept it. You can’t do it all and are going to have to accept some help and let the hubs put your first kid to bed in pajamas from two seasons ago.

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Say what, Mom?

7. I hope you love the game of Whac-a-mole because that will become your new life. In the beginning, new babes will sleep a lot and anywhere. In the car, in the carrier, in the bed, on the floor. However, as time goes on Baby #1 will start sleeping in some sort of nap pattern and they probably will happen right before and right after Baby #2. I’m sure a much more dedicated parent could get the kids all synced up, but if I am going with the kiddos cycles I have often have one kid sleeping from 9-5. Sounds great, but for this former “I cannot be in the house” mother the nap trap house arrest really is quite annoying. Like really annoying. Like I read a lot of kid books to babe #1 OVER and OVER annoying.

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Let’s see how loud I can yell to wake her?

8. As cliche as it sounds, giving Babes #1 a sibling is the best gift you can ever give them. At some point (like when your kids are done high school, but don’t yet have kids of their own), you and your husband will enjoy a nice conversation together that doesn’t center around your child’s bowel/eating/tantrum habits. At some point, Babes #1 will stop throwing shoes to get your attention and will just throw shoes because Babes #2 stole their game/clothes/friends. At some point, you’ll stop begging your kids to go to sleep and you’ll beg them to wake the heck up. So go ahead and join the club because despite the long nights, and even longer days, watching your kiddos become each others best friends is a pretty amazing experience.

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10 Stages of Potty Training (Not Approved by Dr. Sears)

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Potty training was not really something I was too excited about tackling. I mean from sitting on the floor of a bathroom reading the same book over and over again to experiencing the look of horror when you realize there is no bathroom around and your kid just mentioned (loudly) he needed to poop– I would much rather leave Flynn in some cloth (and occasionally disposable) diapers for life. It’s cheap, easy and a heck of a lot cleaner than any public restroom I have ever encountered.

 

However, Flynn decided that sitting in his urine wasn’t really his bag. And so we have been thrown in to the world of potty training. During this time, I have realized that potty training occurs in stages. Some which were a wonderful experience and some not so great. Below you will find the stages of potty training. These are not real stages. And not endorsed by Dr. Sears, or any doctor for that matter, but I have lived these stages (or am prepping for them) and figured some other poor mother out there who likes to stunt their child’s growth avoid public restrooms may want a heads up.

Stage 1. Excitement. Or maybe we can call this impressed. Your child is in the bathroom with you because you really needed to pee and the last time you left him to pee he ended up with hair lotion all over his face and hands. While peeing, your toddler says he would also like to pee on the potty. You think this is cute. You hold your kid over the potty and he pees. OH WOW! Flynn just peed in the potty! You call Dad at work. You sing a potty song. You are like Damn my 18 month old is so ADVANCED. You go out and buy a potty.

This game is going to be fun.

This game is going to be fun.

2. Stall Tactics. (Get it stall…like a bathroom. Ok I’m done) Your oh so impressive toddler decides that using the potty is only fun to do when mom is super busy or nursing the baby. He has peed in his diaper three times already this morning, but as soon as you sit down to feed the babe “POTTTTY”. You don’t want to be a horrible mother and tell your kid to pee in his diaper. I mean hell you’d feel like complete and utter crap if your kid never potty trains due to you telling him to pee in his diaper. So you stop what you are doing and go to put the kid on the potty. Except he runs away like it is some game of potty tag. Rules for potty tag: Yell potty and then run away from your mom. Another common theme during this phase is to love to potty only at night. Right before bed. Thirty minutes and sixty stories later your kid poops and all you can wish for are the days of diapers.

 

3. Avoidance. Similar to stall tactics except now you are the one avoiding the potty at all cost. Mom I have to pee. Great, Flynn. That’s what diapers are for.

 

4. Guilt. Ah the good old fashion mom guilt. You didn’t think potty training would leave this one out. You feel bad that you are hindering your child’s development and have repeatedly told your child to just pee in their diaper because you didn’t feel like reading Mater’s Birthday Surprise 13x straight. After a few texting conversations with your sister, who fears for the development of your child, you buy another potty and maybe some Lightening McQueen underwear and decide you are going to do this thing and let your kid potty train.

 

5. Obsession. You set timers. You plop your kid on the potty right before and right after naps. You ask your child twenty seven times an hour if they have to pee. When your kid runs to their favorite pooping hiding spot, you chase them down and force them on the nearest child-sized potty seat. Your kid is sometimes into it, especially at 2 in the morning, but more often than not decides he rather pee his diaper or pants than stop pushing some Thomas train around a track.

 

6. Bribery. Enter the bribes. You started this thing and you sure as hell are going to finish it. You tell your kid if they sit on the potty, they can have some not so healthy snack. Thanks to our good friend the Easter Bunny, you have some jelly beans on hand. You tell your kid they can have three jellybeans if they pee. Heck, five if they poop. You question this tactic, but it is working and you haven’t had to change a diaper in days so you go with it. You may be worrying that you are harming your kid by filling him up with dye-filled sugar laced with not so healthy ingredients. You google “potty training dr. sears”, but then decide to just accept it and just hide some extra spinach his grilled cheese tomorrow.

7.  Negotiating. Yea so it goes here. In the negotiating phase, your toddler will begin to negotiate bowel movements for bowls of candy. Your kid starts asking for jelly beans all day long. You tell him no and try to avoid giving it when they potty. Your kid starts saying if I pee can I have 3 jellybeans while making his way to the new potty you added to the mix to prevent having to lug your kid around the house quickly. A typical conversation may sound like this:

Flynn: Snack, mom, Snack.

Mom: Want some yogurt?

Flynn: A BIIIGGG SNACCCCK

Mom: Oh, a big snack. How about some grapes? A piece of cheese?

Flynn: (Moves and points to hidden bowl of Easter Candy.)

Mom: No not right now, Flynn.

Flynn: Potty? Potty for five M&Ms? (Note here that Flynn does know the difference between 3, 5 or 10. He just thinks you are supposed to add numbers to this game. He’s math may be skewed some day due to this fact, but I am hoping his kindergarten teacher can deal with this in a few years).

This phase is not unique to Flynn as he has guidance from an older, much wiser cousin who likes to negotiate poops for full bags of M&Ms. Thankfully, this much older, wiser cousin (who does know the difference between 3 and 5) has successful outgrown this phase without any real damage.

If I pee on the potty, can I have a cupcake?

8. Accidents. It is in this phase, you start thinking your kid has this potty business down. Haven’t really had to change any diapers and annoyingly the kid is waking up at night telling you he has to pee.  You put away the diapers and dress your lovely, adorable, toddler in their cutest Cars/Barbie/Mickey/Elmo/Insert Other Annoying Character undies that make you gag. You figure they are ready for this step – diapers have been dry, he asks to use the potty often, even uses the bathroom at night or in public.  Well, you thought wrong. Your kid will for some reason no longer tell you they have to pee or will revert to finding their favorite secret spot in the house to take a good, old, poop. Apparently it is bigger burden to stop dropping marbles down some plastic maze and pee in the potty than changing your entire outfit after you peed yourself. During this phase, I recommend a good rug cleaner and wearing as little clothes as possible. Or perhaps throwing your kid back in a diaper and starting over at step 3.

Why stop walking around with a bucket on my head, when I can just pee my pants?

Why stop walking around with a bucket on my head, when I can just pee my pants?

9. Public. Oh lord. This is the phase where you take this training public. You throw your kid in their adorable Boden boxer briefs that you purchased because you were tired of seeing Thomas on your kid’s ass and venture off to some public arena. During this phase stuffing your diaper bag with extra hand sanitizer and if you are smart some toilet paper, a mask and a full hazmat suit in both a 2T and adult size is a good idea. Two minutes upon arriving at the public arena, your toddler alerts you that they have to go the bathroom.  Number two. Really bad. You rush to the nearest bathroom. Put on your gloves, hazmat suit, some paper on the toilet, and just as you are about to put your toddler on the toilet you realize you’re just a few minutes too late. You don’t have a change of pants. or underwear. You end up leaving the bathroom with a screaming toddler whose wearing a diaper fit for a 6 month old and a pair of leggings that say 12 months and curse the people who told you how great it is to have your toddler be diaper free.

10. Completion. Kinda. This is the phase we all hope exists and to encounter at some point. Although don’t kid yourself – this phase comes with its own challenges. Or at least dirty looks. Like when your kid learns to drop his own underwear and pee on trees, in grass or over sand. Or loudly yells Poopie while standing in the kiddie pool. Or asks to use your cup to pee in front of the other mothers at the playground because you taught him to pee in a cup during long drives. One positive note about this phase, if you make it to this phase, is at least now the kindergarten teacher only has to deal with the fact that your kid has a skewed number sense and doesn’t know the difference between 3 and 5.

So there you have it folks. Potty training Steps 1-10. If you are mom, whose really ready to get your kid of out diapers. Relax a minute. Enjoy the fact that child’s bowel movements are not a ticking time bomb that can ruin a perfectly good experience in an instant. If you are mom suffering through any of these phases, my advice to you is do not fear Phase 3. It is okay to go back and visit that phase at any moment. Huggies will thank you for your continued support. And your carpet will thank you as well.