My kids and potty training….

This could be one of my posts of which I am so proud of, full of tips for a quick and successful potty training and overflowing enthusiasm for my new accomplishments with the kids I want to share with everyone… If only I had found the grip of how to deal with this all lol! Still up to nowadays, I don’t know why but this is certainly my kids’ phase I struggled the most with so far. Not the sleeping through the night, not the tantrums, nor the healthy eating or the socializing: the potty training. Which means that if it was not very easy to achieve for me, you can expect horrifying details of smelly explosions and disgusting stories of ‘human body products’ spread everywhere in the house! Don’t worry, I will spare you 😉

I have always been fascinated by a theory of mine (based on exchange of experiences with several of my friends): mothers that succeed quickly in sleep training tend to encounter more difficulties with potty training, whilst the ones who don’t mind if their child still wakes them up several times in the night or sleep in the same bed with them, usually start potty training at ‘ridiculously’ early ages such as 18 months and they often crack it quickly and without many bumps along the road… I guess it’s a matter of priorities and maybe our children can feel it: in fact I cannot live without a good night but compared to lack of sleep, I don’t mind cleaning a bit of poo now and then from clothes, sofa covers, floor and so on. My friends with kids, who can survive with little sleep but absolutely could not stand the whole changing nappies that came with motherhood, made it very quickly through this phase of their child.

I cannot really say that it has been a total disaster in our family, however there are common behaviors in both my kids to note and try to understand once put together. They both were absolutely not interested in potty training at all and never really gave us those famous signs they were ready for it (books legends in our case lol). They got to start it totally under our initiative as it felt it was time to put a limit to procrastination: around the age of 3 years old, my daughters 3 months before her birthday, my son 3 months after. They both had constant wee accidents for over 6 months so we had to keep on asking them to sit on the potty every hour or so to avoid those (you may be happy to do it only in the initial 4 weeks every book promises you will need, but after month 3 you are so sick of it!). The main remarkable fact is that they both kept on pooing in their pants absolutely uncaring: rather than just going to the loo and get done with it quickly, even if they knew by now how to do so as it had happened in so many past occasions, they preferred doing this way despite they had to then interrupt their game afterwards to be cleaned and changed.

My daughter who is in month 7 of her training still does this, she does not like to tell us she feels she needs a poo, so she closes the door of the room she is in to remain alone or she would hide behind a curtain whilst she feels the stimulus: if we catch her in time we have to promise her several stickers and some chocolate to convince her to sit on potty or loo… And my son who is now 6 still suffers from nocturne incontinence. I hear some children do, even girls, without being too worrying, however it may be a bit embarrassing to have to wear a night pull-up at a sleep over, no matter how nice is your best friend… I have to say I should not be surprised: I wet myself when I laughed wholeheartedly until the age of 15 (my kids do the same if they have not been to the loo for a while when they start laughing hysterically at something funny!).

Maybe I started too late? Though I was waiting for those signs and did not want to force things through too quickly… Maybe it’s their way of getting my attention, as an amazing child advisor pointed out so well with my son (‘Do not get angry when it happens, it still means attention to him, even if negative… Instead praise only when he does well and make all accidents very boring with the changing clothes procedure and no reaction on your side’ – Great advise as it sped up the training with him after a moment of despair!). Maybe my expectations are too high and everyone on average takes a few months to assess in their whole new condition of autonomy. Maybe it’s just genetic since they act in the same way and I had some issues too… Well if you had a better experience please free to send me some tips in the comments! Or comment to relief me if you had worst situations than mine 😉

 

 

Can we judge a mother’s heart?

In the last few weeks a national scandal has being discussed by literally everyone back in my home country, Italy. I can see it from my friends’ Facebook feeds where several different articles were posted by them regarding a recent tragedy known to the whole nation. A mother had left her 18 months old daughter in her car for 5 hours whilst going to work: the child had died due to the heath in the car left in a parking space under the sun.

Italians can really have some sordid deranged fun with this kind of news. Yes, they can. They like to discuss all the horrible details, make speculations on what happened and start using words such as ‘monster’ in no time. But deep down I am not even sure they really care about the topic, I suppose they are just looking for an impersonal scapegoat for all of their private issues, a topic of distraction to their sad little lives, or they simply don’t know any better, after centuries of catholic sermons, than to easily judge others.

I feel an immense compassion for that poor woman who lost her daughter and will not see her ever again for what was most likely a big mistake. I cannot be sure if she did it on purpose or she just forgot she had not left her at nursery before going to work. Whatever happened, no one in a sane state of mind would do such a thing, it seems so obvious to me that if they really wanted to kill their child they would find another way to hide it at least! I read a very interesting article regarding the matter, whose title was ‘when a mum breaks down’.

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The end of the tunnel (at least for a little while)

When your kids reach an age where:
– They are both invited to the same birthday party on a Sunday afternoon and you can drop them and use the spare time to wonder around in Brixton market, relax and have a coffe with your husband before you pick them up again;

– You can book a babysitter between 6 and 10pm to attend a surprise birthday party on a Thursday night knowing they will be absolutely fine, maybe they will just fall asleep a bit later than usual for their excitement;

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One of those random nights

I never thought being a mother would be so hard. I mean to the point that there are moments I regret having had kids. All in all I am sure I won’t when they will be older and out of the house, living their own lives and connecting with us time to time, but in this precise moment that I feel so overwhelmed I do.

Maybe what I will regret when they are older, after being totally immersed with them 24/7 and resenting feeling totally drained by motherhood (emotionally and physically), when they will be teens and they won’t want to stay with me anymore all of a sudden, then I will terribly miss them and curse them to have poisoned me with an addiction to cuddling, speaking and taking care of them so much, much more than I would have had time left for myself every single day for 15 years.

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Third baby… or not

Why I should not have a 3rd child…

– I’ve only got 2 hands to hold my kids when crossing the street;

– I am not longing to get back to wake up 5 times a night and being unable to nap in the day time to get energies back as I have to juggle older kids during the day;

– We are already too many on this planet, let’s not be stupid, not to say selfish;

– I was blessed with a boy and a girl so I am already the mum of a son and a daughter;

– We can only afford a 3 beds flat and the space is just perfect for a family of 4, we would be a bit sacrificed if we were 5, especially for the 2 siblings sharing the same room;

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Parenting standard is not related to social classes so raise your kids outside the trend

Have you ever heard in movies or in real life parents sobbing as they have an addicted/criminal child and they don’t understand where they did wrong? They may keep on talking about all they got for them, how they taught them some good manners, that they sent them to the best schools there could be… The truth is our children don’t remember how we tell them they should behave, they simply pick up on who we are and how we treat them. Drugs, lack of moral and even bad health conditions are not just a problem related to social classes: as parents we are all the same, from the poor, to the middle class, to the wealthy ones.

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How do you comfort a young child who just realized they will soon be parted from a beloved relative?

My aunt is dying. She is like a mother to me and she has been very present into our lives in general so my son probably perceives her more like his nan than anything else. At his age (nearly 4) the concept of great aunt or grand parent is confused, the line is blurry: it is all about how much an adult played with you, took you out for a walk, talked to you in a kind voice, prepared you a tasty afternoon snack, more than the genealogical tree that tights you to them.
She was diagnosed with cancer when my son was as tiny as 3 months old. After the joy of him entering into our lives, we had this shocking and heart-breaking news that spoiled that moment. Best case scenario up to 5 years ahead of her, that was the prognosis. We booked a last minute train ticket and accommodation in the town where she lived in France and spent a month with her whilst she started treatment to encourage her fighting for herself, but to be honest for us most of all (I was on maternity leave and my husband unemployed just that short period of his life: sometimes you can really see there is a plan behind everything that happens to you, so we could be there for her).
Since then I made a few vows to myself, amongst which the one to visit her regularly in Brittany (twice a year at Easter and Halloween, since Christmas and summer time we visit my husband’s family in Tuscany) and I lived up to my promises. Not a surprise my son is attached to her and consider her part of his life, despite the distance and the alternate connection (he is used to it with relatives anyway). Now she is getting worst and worst, therefore I call her every other day, mainly to tell her the many beautiful things we do, to make her smile, rather than asking her how she is feeling, fearing only to remind her it’s nearly the end (as if she was not thinking of it all the time anyway – at least I can distract her for a little bit).

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