By: Revanche

My kid and notes from Year 2.10

January 17, 2018

My kid in year 2.10

I’m Awake!

JB’s zir ability to go from deep sleep to wide awake in 0.7 seconds is fascinating. We never wake the baby if we can help it but, and this is a problem I sure wish we had in infancy, sometimes ze sleeps in so late that we have to.  I try gentle tactics first, out of habit: tickling zir face with hair, calling zir name quietly, slow back pats. When nothing works, I give up and try to get zir dressed as ze sleeps. Right about then, ze pops straight up asking: What you doin??

When ze wakes on zir own, zir brain goes into gear. It’s not clear if ze just starts thinking immediately or if this is a remnant of a dream:

– Daddy! DADDDDYYYYY! May I p’ay (play)?
– Is it my birfday? (No, not for 6 more months)
– Where is Uncle’s doggy? (We haven’t seen him in 6 months)
– I’m an elephant!
– May I have Allouette?

I almost envy zir – I take 15 minutes of grogginess, if not grumpiness, to become conscious.

Maturity spurt

The daycare teachers are seeing a huge change in JB’s behaviors toward the younger kids. Ze is taking turns more politely, asking to take a turn “in 2 minutes” when the kid isn’t ready to trade on the first ask, and hovering much less. Ze also redirects kids gently when they want something ze has – offering an alternate color or shape toy so the both get what they want.

I’ve noticed turns of phrases that are way more sophisticated than zir usual toddler demands. Ze has always been a negotiator but I can see the brain working less crudely.
JB: Mama, I want dat one.
Me: This one’s mine, honey, you have your own.
JB: Maybe mine doesn’t work, may I try yours?

Non-compliance and consequences

In general I’d like JuggerBaby to listen to us because ze knows that it’s the right thing to do, though I allow zir to have preferences and opinions when it’s appropriate and not related to safety, but so far this isn’t happening. When that happens, I’ve had to resort to punishment like taking away music time, or stories, or even food. I hate doing this.

One extremely exasperated evening, ze was being Extra Rude to PiC and I was flat out of patience. “Be rude ONE MORE TIME,” I thundered, “you’re going straight to time out…” (JB’s face set to stubborn) “and I will eat your Brie!”

JB: (flash of horror) You tan’t!
Me: I can. And I will. I will eat it right in front of you!
JB: …….
Me: Are you done?
JB: Yes.

Round 2 to Mom! Not every showdown is so dramatic, but we are in the Terrible Toddler phase, and boy does JB work it.

Potty training and motivation

Potty training has been indifferent to not good. There has been exactly one day when JB reported every single time ze needed to use the toilet and we didn’t use a single diaper that day. It might be a coincidence that that was the worst day in recorded parenting history, otherwise, but I’m not willing to put money on that.

Finally we caved and moved to a sticker-reward system. Ze has to earn one sticker at a time for each successful visit, and refund one for every failure. I wondered at first if this negative reinforcement would be a bad thing but it seems that ze responds well to the carrot and the stick – ze dutifully reports each time ze needs to use the toilet, and remembers it as much for the sticker that will be earned as the sticker that would be lost if ze failed to pay attention and wet zirself. There’s no angst, and ze even has a favorite refund sticker now. We went from a 5% success rate to a 95% success rate, and average one miss a day. The same sticker has been refunded, and earned back, every day.

Part of the fun for zir is that ze gets to use one of my snap clasp coin purses to store the stickers. Just the one from the dollar bins at Target though, not my awesome owl coin purse. I may be persuaded to make that a 500 sticker prize down the line. For now, we admonish zir not to be instant gratification about the stickers, but to save them for a later project.

I may offer a trade of 50 stickers for some cool thing.

Learning & responsibilities

New lessons and skills

  • Setting the table without taking a drink out of everyone’s glasses. We’re still working on this.
  • Brushing teeth. ACTUALLY brushing teeth, not just eating the toothpaste.
  • Turning off lights when you’re leaving the room. Ze forgets a lot of the time when leaving zir bedroom, but is great at turning lights on.
  • Many things Seamus: keeping his water bowl full, doling out kibble, asking him to sit and shake for treats. (He still doesn’t listen to zir commands)

Current responsibilities

Note: ze isn’t good at all of these, but ze can do the following tasks in some passable fashion and is willing or eager to do them. I’m proudest when ze reminds us that ze has to clean up first, or put away some clothes before moving on to the next task.

  • Cleaning up toys and books after playing,
  • Loading the washer and dryer,
  • Picking up clothes for the hamper,
  • Clearing the table after dinner,
  • Cracking and scrambling eggs,
  • Pouring in the right amount of water and stirring pancake mix,
  • Selecting the correct tubes of ointment for Seamus’s allergy treatment and putting away the medical kit when I’m done,
  • Picking out apples and peaches,
  • Putting away groceries after shopping,
  • Hanging up zir own jacket in the closet,
  • Setting the table without licking all the utensils.

Precious moments

JB: we wun wun wun today! (run)
Me: did you? Where?
JB: at school!
Me: inside or outside?
JB: outside. Sometimes we fall dowwnnnnn.
Me: Yeah that happens sometimes. I used to fall a lot when I ran too.
JB: Yeah, sometimes you fall.
Me: But I’m better now.
JB: You ok!
Me: What do you do when you fall?
JB: I dunno
Me: Get back up and brush your hands off, right? Because usually you’re ok?
JB: Yeah I ok. YOU not ok.
Me: I’m not?
JB: No, you dirty.
Me: Why am I dirty?
JB: Be-tuz you wun.
Me: Oh when I run, I got sweaty and dirty?
JB: Yah
Me: That’s true. That happens when people run a lot.
JB: Yah, dat happen.

I put on Hamilton’s “My shot” from the soundtrack because I need to kill that horrible earworm.
JB: is dis SHOT?
Me: Yes.
JB: I YIKE it!

JB: Where is your owie?
Me: oh. Everywhere.
JB: oh. I did it?
Me: Only sort of a little. Not really.
JB: oh, you did it?
Me: maybe, I’m not sure.
JB: what you do??

I wish I knew, kiddo.

JB: I put water in my boat. It will be too heavy when it has lots of water. So you can’t hold it, ok mommy?
Me: uh. Ok?
JB: when it has only a YITTLE BIT water, den you and daddy can hold it.
Me: so … when it’s heavy, you can hold it. But when it’s light, we can?
JB: yes. You need to listen to me.
Me: I’m certainly hearing you, anyway.
JB: oh, you ‘ear me?
Me: yup.
JB: oh what fun it is to wide in a one ‘Orse open sleigh! jingle all da way!
Me: ….. ??

PiC: Ze earned a sticker (potty training reward), ze said ze wanted a dolphin.
JB: I want papa pig!
PiC: Toddlers. So fickle. I’m letting Seamus out to pee. Come on, Seamus. (Seamus and PiC leave)
JB: nooo YOU taaaaaaaan’t!!

JB: oh. Only goats?

JB: (makes index finger horns atop zir head) you wan da ‘orns?? Mama you have to lissen. Eef you don lissen, YOU GET DA ‘ORNS!
I blame the FinCon shirt for this.

JB: mommy I lufffff yooooooouuuuuuu-uuur arm!
Me: oh.

At dinner….
JB: only goats do headbutts.
Me: yes.
JB: not mommy or daddy or me or Gigi.
Me: … right…?
JB: On’y goats!

12 Responses to “My kid and notes from Year 2.10”

  1. SP says:

    <3 <3 <3 JB is s funny!

    Also, JB's picture for these posts IS in fact a goat, so you can't be too surprised by the head-butts! 🙂
    SP recently posted…2018 Goals and PlansMy Profile

  2. Joe says:

    Enjoy it while you still can. They grow up so fast. Pretty soon, there will be endless backtalk and sass… Good luck with potty training. We got lucky there. Our kid hated anything messy and he went through the process very quickly.

  3. GYM says:

    Thanks for sharing your parenting lessons!

    I like the idea of refunding a sticker in addition to receiving a sticker!! I will use that in a year + a few months!

    • Revanche says:

      I know there’s a school of thought that we should only do positive reinforcement with kids but the lack of penalty meant JB was getting me out of bed 2-3 times a night for unnecessary toilet trips 😛 We had to adjust for zir stubbornness!

  4. Ohhh…this makes me miss my little nieces! They’re now pre-teens/teens, and all they do is grunt to communicate.
    Solitary Diner recently posted…Life as a Highly Sensitive Physician – Part OneMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      That’s exactly why I ask, nay beg!, for parenting advice from friends whose kids were delightful from their early years straight through their teen years.

  5. Kris says:

    We are planning to start potty training sometime this year when our son turns 2 in a few months. Hopefully the sticker system will work out for potty training.

    • Revanche says:

      Good luck when you start with it! A liner for the mattress would be really useful too, to save it from those accidents.

  6. Oh my goodness, I am laughing so hard. I live these posts.

    Good luck on the potty training. LB had daily accidents long after I thought she “should” have been done with them. And still needs a liner on her bed. But kids do their own thing, and it sounds like the sticker penalty is working for you.

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