Category Archives: Almost Irish Twins

This wasn’t in my Mommy-to-be book😒!! [Real Deal on Potty Training]

Potty Training has been beyond Hell on Earth in our house to put it lightly😞. Okay, there are glimmers of hope, but the journey is not for the faint of heart. My two kiddies are 17 months apart so I thought it only made sense to potty train them both simultaneously. My son had very little interest in the process, but my daughter, who (and was 17 months at the time we begun) idolizes her brother and wants to do everything he does, took great interest in the process. At the time she had limited vocabulary, but would say “Potty Momma, potty” then she’d run to the bathroom and would go ahead and pee. I was to say the least, IMPRESSED!

I had heard success stories of moms who trained their kiddies before their 2nd birthday. If she became potty trained within a day, 2 weeks or a month like their kids, I would be able to share the pride and brag with all those Mommas who told me about their babies being potty trained at 12mths.old or 15mths.old. And all I could say after hearing their stories was “wow”and look at my son with sadness (and to be honest disappointment) who at the time was 2 months shy of TURNING 3 years old and didn’t want to have anything to do with a potty chair, a potty seat, etc. (even though his favorite place at home was the bathroom and playing with the sink water) but he just wouldn’t do it. I think if his vocabulary was developed at the time he would have said, Heck no, I WON’T GO😒. He just, wasn’t ready. But, why couldn’t he get it?

Some people I confided in summed it up to, “well you know boys are slower than girls and are known to be lazy with potty training” but I knew it wasn’t just about him being a boy. I suspected that my son had special needs,  I didn’t want to put him in a box/bracket because he was so young, but a Momma always knows when something just isn’t right.

Then the disappointment started to shift from him to me. There had to be something I was doing wrong, AGAIN! I often take it very personally when my children do not achieve certain milestones at a certain point. I feel like it is a reflection on me and welp, I must not be such a good mother after all😢.

You don’t get the memo about the ups and downs of this process in your mommy-to-be book nor your birthing/Lamaze class. The struggle is so real, but you don’t get it till you experience it firsthand.

No one talks in detail about the accidents that happen bare bottom while standing right in front of the potty, smh, WHO DOES THAT?!?!??!! I’ll tell you who does that, TODDLERS who are self-absorbed and who believe in being self-directed. No one reminds you about the countless loads of laundry that will have to be done because they may have 3 accidents that day or everyday. And how about how to handle the aftermath of an accident in their car seat after you have cleaned it? Do you just put them back to sit in their clean clothes, in the clean YET WET/DAMP car seat for a 10 minute drive to your home from Target😞?!?!?!!?? These are just a few examples of the ordeal that I have been experiencing and imagine that all doubled, cause I decided it would be a bright idea to kill two birds with one stone and potty train them together. Now imagine one of those 2 children having special needs. That factor creates challenges on the journey.

I remember a family member basically scolding me for not having them potty trained because she potty trained my nephew at 2 and my son was almost 3 at that time. Deep inside I felt horrible and as if she was right, but my pride wouldn’t let me say this aloud. So instead I responded simply with, “they just aren’t ready”. So of course she couldn’t leave well enough alone and said, YOU HAVE TO MAKE THEM READY. At that moment I had to walk away because I felt my face turning red and smoke coming out of my ears. However, the experience motivated me to try and consistently work with my kids on it, because one thing I will say is we were not as consistent as we should have been with the process. I started to give up and a year passed by and still no one is fully potty trained!

Consistency is key and patience falls right underneath it. It is easier said than done, trust me I know, when everyone around you has an opinion, (that you never asked for btw),  when other people report that their baby has been fully potty trained at birth, lol.. just kidding, but sometimes that is how I feel. Their babies slept through the night a week after birth, they barely whimpered when needed to be fed or a diaper needed to be changed, and they achieved all milestones ahead of time. That is just not my case and I have to accept THAT IT IS OKAY. And for some reason I feel like there are other Mommas out there who can relate to my experience, I AM NOT ALONE and YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

I am a witness that it eventually gets better. I am proud to report that today, my son, who will be 4 in March 2016, and has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder is 95% there. The only thing we have to work on is encouraging him to stand and not sit when he pees, but I don’t believe there is a penalty for a 3 year old who sits to pee,lol, so I am not going to stress out about that. He wears underwear during the day and thankfully his teachers have stayed on top of keeping our routine to have him go to the potty consistently. Also, he wears a pull up overnight, but the last 3 weeks he has been waking up dry about 75% of the time, so we will give him another week to be dry all 7 days and then I think we can safely say IT IS FINISHED, at least for him.

My daughter on the other hand (who is 2 years and 4 months old) who seemed so ready to potty train at 18 months old currently has a nonchalant attitude about the process. She laughs when she has accidents and isn’t bothered when I scold her about it😩😳😕. She is capable of doing it, but She Isn’t Ready and THAT IS OKAY!

Until then I will continue to read books with realistic tips, read children’s books to them that are all about potty training, talk about my feelings with someone who will be a sounding board and won’t judge our journey, especially the frustration of it all, I will consider what other Mommas have to say regarding their experience and pick and choose what will work best for me and my children based on their needs and I will be consistent and get creative! Eventually THEY WILL GET IT.

Their success in life to be a good citizen, kindhearted, score well on their SATs, get into a great college with a full scholarship🙌👍 and settle down with an amazing person is independent of when they were fully potty trained or how they potty trained. Focus on keeping them happy, well-nourished and grounded. Screaming, shouting, spanking (which was also suggested to me, but I refuse to do) and punishing will drive the desire away and cause them to shut down, so watch your stuff so it doesn’t become their stuff!

As far as the loads of laundry, there is no solution, it just has to be done. Although if they are at home, consider keeping them bare bottom (no pull-ups, panty or underwear). For the car seat dilemma a friend suggested to keep blankets in the car and put them on the wet seat after the child has been changed and the seat cleaned (my suggestion is to clean it with wipes and lysol). It will keep them from getting their bottoms wet after having that accident. The car seat will eventually dry.


“Their Cries”

Sometimes my children like to tag team me with what seems like endless crying. It used to overwhelm me, but I have learned how to manage it. My son, who recently turned two, would cry and startle his 8mth.old sister, who in turn would suddenly start crying too. As his cries would get louder so would hers. I don’t believe her tears were compassionate tears for his unhappiness, but instead were tears of concern and fear for herself. But, hey you never know, children have their own language, so I’ve heard from many parents. And then there were times my daughter would cry and because she’s an infant that is her only way to express a need. A need to nurse, a need for a clean diaper, to express that she is in pain, a desire for love and affection, etc. All of a sudden my son would begin to cry. His tears seemed to be based on competing for attention because he feels neglected. So, there were times I would hold my 2yo, who has a build of a 4yo, on one hip and hold my baby girl on the other hip. It was a good workout for my arms, but began to take a toll on my back, so I no longer do it as often. Instead while seated I hold one in each arm and the tears stop.

However before I began “managing it”, I would often feel frustrated, annoyed and inadequate as their mom. I KNOW, I KNOW, my feelings of inadequacy were DRAMATIC, but it’s the honest truth of how I felt. Many moms don’t give themselves enough credit on the exceptional job they are doing, but instead are their own worst critic. I am guilty of this crime, lol, but everyday I make a conscious effort to tell myself something positive,count my children as blessings and declare that I could very well be a better mom, but I am just enough for them right now.

I also remind myself that their cries tell me I am better than blessed. While my children “tag team” me and cry, sometimes they may even scream for what seems to be for no apparent reason, somewhere there are women who are crying and sometimes screaming out because they miscarry:(, they have had a stillborn baby, they have medical conditions that affect their ability to conceive, their partner cannot medically conceive a child, etc. When my children have crying fits that sound like someone is hurting them and are piercing to my ears and sometimes my sanity, somewhere there are women who are hurting themselves even committing suicide because they are overcome with sadness. Sadness that pierces their heart, their sanity because they can’t have a child. When I am straining to hold my son and my daughter in each arm, there is some woman somewhere who would do anything to have a child in their arms that is healthy, breathing and even crying. The tears of my children are expressions, language, their communication to tell momma their heart’s desire and needs. THEIR TEARS REPRESENT LIFE.

Crying never hurt nobody! It does just the opposite, it is a release, it is a form of letting go, and often gets the person who is crying the attention they need to address their problem.

So my way of managing their tears is to say with a smile, “Ok you two, momma only has two hands, one at a time” and they look at me, sometimes the crying stops, sometimes the crying gets louder, sometimes the crying turns to sobs and whimper and then sometimes they surprise me and smile. A woman with tears and cries of pain of no children would trade me any day for tears and cries of a child. Even more so I have 2 children, a boy and a girl, what many people call the best of both worlds. So I am blessed! I am not writing this post to show off, but instead I am saying I am simply grateful, undeserving and favored with my heritage, my rewards, my precious gems from my Lord and Saviour. I won’t sit here and say that I no longer get frustrated, annoyed and sometimes overwhelmed by what seems like endless crying, I’m human after all, and let’s face it, for some interesting reason God has blessed these little people with some powerful vocal cords,lol, so ignoring is often not an option. However, I am saying that children are gifts of God and our responsibility to and/or for them is to take the whole package, the good and the not so good, e.g.endless crying, but God never gives us more than we can bear. Some days I watch what I go through most of the day through my husband’s tiresome and sometimes frantic eyes and stressful expressions, I can’t help but to ask myself “How do I DO IT”?!?!!! And the answer is simply, God’s Grace, He does it through me. Imperfect me. He chose me for such an influential and significant role for these 2 and I ought not take it lightly. I am no different than the childless tearful woman, I have other “stuff” that makes me tearful, so I will embrace my children and their tears because THEY HAVE LIFE!