Saturday, March 26, 2011

Growing Up

There have been two milestones left for Lana to go through in going from a "little girl" to a "big girl". One was potty training, the other was giving up her dummy.

After a bit of a push around a month ago, Lana's potty training began - and it has been a month of enormous progress for her! A month ago, we decided to let her run around the house with no nappy and pee all over the floor (and she did indeed pee all over the floor and not in the potty at all for the first few days!). These days, she is in underwear from the time that she wakes up until when she goes to bed at night, including her nap time, and the accidents are getting less and less frequent all the time. We still do put a nappy on her if we are going out and are unsure of where the toilets are, but even if we are going to the mall or the park, she is mostly in undies. I wasn't expecting it to be this easy, particularly since she wasn't really the one to initiate the toilet training! 

I really thought that getting Lana to give up her dummy would be another major issue for her. She has been extremely attached to her dummies since she was two months old and would take not one but TWO to bed so that if she lost one, she had a back-up. I have been telling her for months that she would need to throw out her dummies soon but again, she didn't seem ready to do that. I was a little wary of just throwing them out and making her quit cold turkey, so I decided to take a page out of my parents' book.

When my sister was Lana's age, she also was attached to her dummy. My parents ended up giving her a choice as to when she was ready to give up her dummy by offering to buy her a barbie doll when she threw out her dummies. Ash understood the offer and took a few months to consider the offer, but one day she decided that she wanted that barbie doll more than she wanted her dummies, so she threw them out and bought a barbie doll the same day. 

The other week, we went to a friend's place to ride bikes and this friend had a new, pink scooter which Lana loved. There it was - the perfect bribe! So after a quick talk with Bernard, we put the idea to Lana over dinner last Saturday. We explained that we wanted to buy her a scooter but scooters were for big girls who didn't need dummies for sleeping - so when she was ready to go home and throw out her dummies, we would buy her a scooter right away. And to sweeten the deal, we went to the toy store to have a look at what they had to offer.

As soon as we arrived home, Lana demanded her dummies. "I need to chuck them in the rubbish bin!!" We asked her if she was sure and she assured us that she was, so into the bin they went and off we went back to the toy store to buy her a new BLUE scooter.

Over the past week, Lana has asked for her dummy a little, but we remind her that she threw them out and got a blue scooter, so would she like us to chuck the scooter in the bin and then get some dummies instead? (she doesn't like that idea, thankfully!) The first few nights, it was a little hard for her to get to sleep - she needed a little extra comfort/cuddles/please draw on my back at bedtime - but it is getting easier for her.

Again, I'm surprised at how easy this process was - I was expecting it to be much harder as well! But Lana keeps surprising me with how adaptable she is and how easily she learns new skills. And now our little girl truly is growing up into a "big girl", and what a beautiful "big girl" she is!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Oh wheee!

Update: Since yesterday's post, Lana has managed to wee on our bed AND on the sofa, all in the same morning! Oh well - I suppose some setbacks are to be expected with potty training! :|

Friday, March 4, 2011

Oh poo...

I remember quite vividly the day Lana did her "business" in the bathtub. I can't quite recall how old she was then, but she probably was around half a year old. I can still see the scene in my mind - Nic had filled up the bathtub with warm soapy water, got Lana undressed and plopped her in. I'm guessing that the water must've been a little on the warm side and quite "relaxing" for Lana. We saw some bubbles float up from her little bottom, which, if we were more astute, should have been a clear sign and portent of the storm that was to follow.

Looking back at it now, I can laugh at the mad hysteria that ensued. The cute little bathtub setting was suddenly shattered by a couple of new arrivals on the scene - what some of you might call "floaties". Okay, that's actually not 100% true - because apart from one or two brown logs floating in the water, there were a number of smaller pellets which had sunk to the bottom of the tub like fishing line sinkers. The next few minutes were pure comedy - Nic was trying to hold Lana above the tub so that Lana wouldn't be able to play with the "logs", while I was desperately trying to clean the mess so that we could refill the tub with clean water. Cleaning the mess involved myself scooping brown logs with my hands and unceremoniously depositing them into the toilet bowl, while at the same time trying NOT to think about how soft they were. Or how slippery. Or how warm. I'm really glad that our normal routine is to have dinner BEFORE bath times.

Fast forward two years from that little incident to the present, and we suddenly find ourselves in the midst of trying to toilet train Lana. One of our "TESLA" friends had told us that they had toilet trained their kid by giving him a treat whenever he did his business in the potty instead of the nappy (so a "carrot and stick" approach, but absent the "stick"). So we thought we'd try to emulate that approach, and, knowing that carrots probably won't go down too well as a "treat", we decided to substitute that with M&Ms. And not just one M&M. FIVE M&Ms for a wee-wee. And TEN M&Ms for a poo-poo. That should be incentive enough for any kid to sit on the potty all day long.

It's been about a week now, and Lana's doing pretty well at scoring those "em-em-ems" (as she calls them). Whenever she hears the call of nature, she would stop whatever she was doing and pull down her "princess" underwear so that she doesn't desecrate the innocent smiling faces of Belle, Snow White and Cinderella. Then, with her undies around her ankles, she would scoot and shuffle over to her pink Eeyore potty and plonk her little bottom onto it. After a few moments, she'd stand up and peer into the bowl to see the fruits of her labour. If she managed to make a deposit, she'd proudly declared: "I wee-wee'd!" or "I poo-ed!", which was our cue to go and wipe her down.

It was during one of these moments that I had the pleasure of witnessing her do a "big" business into the potty. She had stood up (to indicate that she was done), but when I went over to inspect her, I found a substantial portion of "do" still stuck to her behind. My sudden scream of surprise must have alerted Lana to this fact, because the next thing she did was to reach around with her hand... It was two years ago all over again as, between fits of laughter and gasping for breath, we tried desperately to wipe her bottom down, while at the same time trying to keep Lana from smearing that mess anywhere else. Who knew that fecal matter could be this much fun.

But she's getting there. She's definitely improving very fast. Just a couple of days ago, Nicole took Lana and Maddy and went to visit one of our other friends. During their visit, Lana indicated to Nicole that she needed to "poo-poo", so Nicole carted Lana off to the big people's toilet. She had never pooped in the toilet before, so imagine Nicole's joy and elation when she found a few little brown things in the toilet bowl (clarification: the little brown things showed up in the toilet bowl AFTER Lana had been sitting there, not before - there's no joy or elation in finding someone else's leftover business)! I never thought that the day would come where I'd be proud of my little girl taking a dump in someone else's toilet - but here we are. That moment had arrived - now I wonder if Hallmark prints cards for these occasions...?

Greeting cards aside, 'tis definitely the season of toilet humour for us. The other day, we were all riding home in a taxi after dinner, when I suddenly remembered that I had a truckload of work still waiting for me to do once we got home. In my frustration, I exclaimed: "Oh poo!" - to which Lana promptly retorted with: "Oh fluff!"

My little girl's a real gas, ain't she? ;)