Roar Like a Lion

The Don: “Mama, you’re like a tiger lion when you’re angry.”

ME:  “Yes, I’m roar more like a lion. I roar because you did something that didn’t please me.”

He knows when I’m serious when I began to roar.

There’s no question when I go out with my kids or if I’m at home who is the boss.  My kids are well behaved for the most part when we’re outside.  I tell them that when we are out “no yelling, kicking, screaming, asking for toys, or running in the stores, touching things,” or this privilege whatever they enjoy will be taken away.  I think parents see this in me as well and try to under mind my parenting.  For example, if I’m out with the kids and The Don is sliding on the slides and I tell him, ‘One more slide and then we’re done,’ there’s always that one parent who try to tell me, “Yeah right, you may say one more time but I bet he’ll slide again.”  My response is, “No, he will stop and we will go.”  Sure enough, when The Don slides down that last time and I say, “Let’s go,” he comes. I had another mother say to me at an indoor play spot after I told The Don that we’re done play now it’s time to go home and get lunch that “That’s what you think. You’ll not going to leave,” as her and her parent friends laughed. “Oh no, we’re leaving,” I said as I walked out the door with my toddler in one had as I’m holding my preschooler in the other.  One of the dad’s said, “Look, I guess she’s leaving,” as I walked out the door. You damn right I’m leaving.

Usually, these parents look surprised that I got my son to listen to me.  He listens because he knows if he doesn’t, I will come and get him and drag him out of the park or wherever we are if I have too.  I’m not ashamed and I’m not scared of what people might be thinking either.  What bothers me is that some parents think that they can override my parenting style because to them they see me as being too stern with my children.  I’m being mean and I’m not letting my kids be kids.  Who says I don’t allow my kids to be kids?  These parents take my stern tone and assume something that’s not there like me being angry at my child. They didn’t hear how I’ve asked my children nicely not to do something for the third time and they decide to do it anyway.  They don’t know my children’s temperament to justify trying to be a referee between me and my child. Just because they let their child get away with undermining their authority doesn’t mean they will try to undermine my authority with my own children.  These people need to bud out seriously before I roar at them.

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“Didn’t I tell you to get over here!

I can see how my parenting style can frighten some of the parents that I’ve encounter.  I come off as brash, expecting my children to have manners, to share communal toys, to be considerate and not hog the playground equipment, and not be the playground bully.  I also expect my children to listen to me when it comes to safety for themselves and others around them. In other words, I’m the parent in the playground. When I warn my oldest son for the third time not to throw sticks down the slide because little kids can come by and get hit with them and he does it anyway, I roar like a lion, (metaphorically of course), and tell him that we’re leaving because he’s not listening, which I warned him that we would leave if he continued.  He would try to run away or try to continue playing hoping that other people around would hinder my actions.  Nope, he should know by now that I’m coming for him and pull him by his arm and forcing him to come.  He would cry and tantrum all the way to the car and other parents see this as like a wildlife story on Nature show seeing the lioness pulling her cub out of the social gathering because he wouldn’t behave.  It’s scary to see a parent parenting their child because in today society, it’s not normal.  It’s usually the child dictating to the parent.

I don’t see the big deal of putting your foot down and saying no or giving boundaries to your children.  More parents are afraid of parenting their children for the fear of some self righteous parent calling CPS on them or being labeled as a bad parent.  More parents are afraid of hurting their child’s feelings and think that setting boundaries will inhibit their child’s true personality.  Children are not as fragile emotional beings as some people think they are.  Children will try to test you to see how much they can get away with and see if you follow through on what you said you are going to do.  When they become too much to handle, these same parents go searching on the internet trying to find out what’s going on with their child’s behavior like they have some type of psychological issues or something.  Most parents seem to be looking for an easy way out of parenting and if it’s letting their child get their way most of the time so be it; it’s better than dealing with a temper tantrum.

So when you hear me ‘roar’ at my children, don’t be frighten.  Don’t think that I’m irrational, irate, or angry.  Most likely, my children did something inappropriate and I’m trying to teach them what is and is not acceptable in society.  I’m doing something that is no longer the norm and that is…parenting my child.

Every Time My Period Comes, My Heart Gets Broken.

I didn’t want to believe it.  My period came on today after being almost four days late. I swore I was pregnant.  I had the signs of a pregnancy but didn’t want to take the test until my birthday.  I did want it to come, but then I didn’t.  I secretly hope that I could get pregnant or at least wanted to believe that my chances of having another baby haven’t sufficiently dropped since the age of 35.  I am two days away from turning 37 and according to science, my egg quality has dropped after the age of 35 and the chances of getting pregnant in any given month are about 10%.   That’s a little over half of the 25% I would of have in my twenties to early thirties.  Still, I held out hope that maybe, just maybe, my odds were slightly tilted to my favorite.  But it didn’t.  Aunt Flo teased her presents upon my panty liner with spotting the day before until I got up around twelve midnight to go to the bathroom, wipe myself, and found bright red blood on the toilet paper and blood in the toilet water. 
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I was heart broken.  I wasn’t trying to get pregnant, but my husband and I aren’t preventing it either.  It’s not that we don’t have children.  We have two boys, one is four and one is one in a half.  However, I would like to get a chance to have another baby.  I would like a chance to have a little girl.  Granted, there wasn’t a chance for me to get a girl, even if I got pregnant this time but it would still be a chance.  It would be a chance to know if I was still fertile; a chance to know if it’s possible to be a mother to a little girl.  I can see those chances dwindling as the months goes by.
I should be happy with the two boys I have and shouldn’t care about wanting a girl.  My boys keep me busy and when people see how rambunctious they are, they comment to me, ‘I see you have your hands full.’  I translated it as, “You don’t need another kid.  Your two children are enough.”  They are and they should be enough, but a part of me thinks I’m missing out on not having a little girl.  I see the bond that mothers and daughters have; the intimacy of sharing secrets that only they two can share, talking about girl stuff, having each other as a confidant and friend, talking about boys, etc.  I long for a bond that my mother and I share and still do when we get together and talk. It’s like talking to a best friend, knowing I can tell her anything… wishing I had a daughter to have that same camaraderie with.
I have friends that have daughters.  My comment to them is that it’s great they have a little girl that they can bond with.  I also comment how beautiful they are and I wish I had one.  The usual insensitive response is, ‘I’m glad I got my girl.’ It doesn’t matter if it’s their first try or fifth.  It’s a proud moment for a woman to give birth to a girl… their little mini me.  That may never be the case for me.
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As I’m turning 37, I’m starting to weigh the options of having another baby.  Wondering if I should take a chance that maybe, just maybe, God would bless me with a baby girl. Every time my period comes on, my heart gets broken. Reality is starting to set in that the older I get, the harder it is to become pregnant.  Even if I could get pregnant, it may not even be a girl so why put my body through higher risk and complication at birth because I selfishly want a little girl of my own?  It’s starting to make me look foolish.
I’m at a point where I don’t want my heart broken again.  Every month I have a period, my heart breaks because it’s telling me that I couldn’t get pregnant this month.  The reality is I am less fertile the older I get and I need to accept that, but I can’t keep thinking there’s still a possibility.  The only way I see to fix my delusional state of mind is to get a permanent fix on my birth control.  It may be time to get my tubes tied and come to the realization that my fertile days are nearly over.  At least when I see Aunt Flo every month, I know it’s not because I can’t get pregnant because I’m nearing infertility, it’s because I decided to stop letting my heart get broken and realize that the dream of having a little girl wasn’t met to be. Maybe it’s time to start living my life free of envy and start loving my life with my boy’s only family and realizing that they are all I need.

Potty Training: Catching Poop

The hardest thing that I realize about potty training isn’t to get Bam Bam to go pee in the potty.  Granted, there are times when he has an accident and he knows that he went pee pee and will tell me or not depending if he’s having fun or if he’s bored.  All in all, he knows that pee pee belongs in the potty.  Poop on the other hand, is a whole different level of potty training.  You see, unlike pee where if you try to hold it for a long time it won’t work because the urge is too strong and you have to let it go somewhere.  But, if you have to poop, you can ignore the urge to go poop before you have to go.  Trying to potty train Bam Bam to poop in the potty is a challenging feat.
                                          
For some reason, toddlers don’t mind that poop is in their diaper.  They would walk around stinky butt all the time if it was up to them because the poop doesn’t bother them.  I don’t know why, but it doesn’t.  It’s hard to sensitize poop to a child if they don’t mind it being on their body.  Well, I shouldn’t say on their bodies.  Most likely, the poop is hanging a little away from their butt hole and if the diaper is big enough, the poop will hang below the butt where they don’t notice it.  But you can see it in their diaper because you’ll see something that looks like a tennis ball behind their butt.
So you ask, “How do I get my toddler to poop in the potty?”  Well, the best way to get them to poop in the potty is to wait until they really have to go poop then make them sit on the potty until they poop.  Let me explain. Since you can’t sensitize them into getting rid of the poop, ‘unless your child poops watery like poops everyday and if they do you need to get them check out by a doctor’, the only thing you can do is wait.  You see, when you ask your child to poop in the potty, they won’t do it because their so use to going in their diaper.  There’s no reason to go in the potty for them and just because you want them to won’t motivate them either.  In turn, they will hold it.  I’m saying not to ask them to go poop in the potty by all means you need to.  But keep in mind they will hold it and wait until that diaper is back on.  Don’t give up.
What will happen is that they will go in their diaper and you have to watch for it and when they do, rush them to the potty and sit them on it.  Your child may be in the middle of their bowel movement and may stop because you rush them to the potty.  That’s ok.  They may already finish their bowel movement quickly to avoid going to the potty.  That’s ok.  In either of these cases, you need to put the poop in the potty, make them sit on the potty for about two to five minutes and tell them that ‘poop goes in the potty’.  This new poop area will take awhile to get use to. 
Once the child knows you know when they’re going to poop, they will most likely 

A.  Hide to go poop in their diaper, or 

B.  Hold it.  

This is where you need to know your child’s poop schedule.  Meaning, if you know that your child usually poops morning and night and this particular day your child didn’t poop all day and went to bed without pooping, you know that poop will come the next morning.  Since you know this and it’s usually hard to hold poop like that especially if your child is regular, they will need to poop badly.  They may poop when they wake up or at least after breakfast, those are the times that you need to put them on the potty and make them sit at least fifteen to twelve minutes (I say this long because most likely you will get resistance) so they can poop.  If they hold it even after breakfast, you just have to watch them and any sign of poop, rush to potty.  Once they poop in the potty, celebrate with them and say, “Yes, poopy in the potty.’
With Bam Bam, our poop word is ‘Doo Doo’.  Once we got over the hump of getting him comfortable sitting and pooping in the potty, when we say, ‘Go Doo Doo,’ he knows what that means.  We give him things to play with and let him be. If we know he needs to poop and he gets up, we make him sit back down until he poops or when twenty minutes is up whichever comes first. If your child is resistant to poop in the potty, try to keep them occupied by having a toy they only use while going poop, or a favorite app, or a book, or anything that can keep them on the potty for twenty minutes.  Once they’re preoccupied, try not to sit or stand near or in front of them.  Pooping is a very private moment, so act like you’re doing something else like cleaning or reading something because if your child knows you’re expecting poop by hovering over them, they wouldn’t poop.
The one mistake I made when training Bam Bam to go poop in the potty is putting him on the big potty with the toddler seat first.  He was so scared that no matter how I reassured him that he wouldn’t fall in, he would scream and cry to get down.  I figure since he can pee standing up with a stool to the big potty that he can poop as well and it would be less clean up…for me, of course.  But Bam Bam is comfortable with the little potty and is pooping in the potty.  He knows when he poops because he’ll spring up from his little potty and says, “Doo Doo”, smiles and claps for himself and then wait for us to clap and cheer with him. 
If you’re persistent and stick with it, eventually your child will get the hang of pooping in the potty.  It’s about repetition, encouragement and knowing your child’s bathroom habits in making pooping in the potty possible.  You will get frustrated and upset and it’s human to have those emotions, but don’t let it stop your child from succeeding in potty training.  All the hard work you and your child put through will pay off in the end when they are diaper free in the daytime. Your child will be so proud of themselves that once they master pooping in the potty that they will be ready for the next phase.