Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013: The Year of Mickey

It has been quite a while since I have written a new blog, so I decided today was a good day for looking back at 2013 to see how far we have come. One of the first entries from 2013 on my facebook page comes from January 4th when E had to get stitches after falling off a sofa and clipping the coffee table. That same night, my husband brought home E's fist stuffed Mickey. Flash forward a year and we now have four stuffed Mickey's in varying sizes, half a dozen pairs of Mickey pajamas, playsets, books, movies, and puzzles all featuring the beloved mouse. I dub 2013 the Year of Mickey at our house.

I also noticed that we started our potty training journey an entire year ago. E started off as a potty training rock star. For about three weeks, he did great. After that, he seemed to decide the game was no fun anymore and has refused all attempts to fully train since. We have had the first half down, but we have still never fully completed #2 training. We have tried every trick and tip we could find. Each time, we have a couple of successes and then he is over it. I even hit a point where I offered my sister-in-law a large sum of money if she could convince him to do what I could not. As many of you know, E is reading now. He reads everything from books to the subtitles on our TV. As proud as I am that he is so advanced with his reading and education skills, it also made me even more frustrated with his refusal to use the potty. Whether we want to admit it or not, as moms, we all measure our success as a mom by this important milestone. I can feel the shame of defeat as another mom asks, "is he still not potty trained?," and then goes on to brag about how her little one virtually potty trained on his/her own self shortly after learning to walk. Then comes the long list of advice on how I can try this or do that since I clearly do not know what I am doing. You name it, we've tried it. We've played games, read books, watched videos, had sticker charts, floated cheerios, used big boy undies, went commando, pretended to have stuffed animals go potty...I'm serious. For over a year now, we have worked and failed. I have even been reduced to tears when I face yet another failure. People tell me he will just do it when he is ready, but the time is growing short when he must be fully trained to start 4 yr preK and I can hear that clock ticking. He knows exactly what to do and how. He will tell you where he is supposed to do his business, then reply with a firm refusal if you ask if he would like to actually do that. It is a battle of wills around here and my three-year-old has delivered to me a sound beating.

The battle of wills applies to eating as well. Fortunately, I am definitely not alone in this one. Many of my friends tell me they have the same infuriating battle with their child. E lives off of milk and various forms of bread or cereal. We can occasionally get a chicken nugget in there. He takes vitamins and we supplement his milk with Pediasure. His juice is the kind with the sneaky veggies in it. On Thanksgiving, my mother offered him a doughnut and the chance to play outside (two of his very favorite things) if he would take one tiny bite of macaroni. He refused. He refused even as he watched others go outside. He refused even when the doughnut was set out beside his plate. This child has iron clad resolve the likes of which I have never seen. Here's hoping 2014 is the year I learn the secret to motivating my strong willed child!

On the positive side, as I mentioned before, E is reading like a champ and is excelling in his preschool class. His imagination has blossomed and it is such a joy to watch him play with his action figures and create various voices for each one. At his latest cochlear evaluation, his receptive language has reached an average level for hearing children his age and his expressive language is coming along. He still loves to cuddle and snuggle and give spontaneous hugs and kisses :-) He has a wonderful ability for discerning the feelings of those around him and enjoys joining in the celebration when people are happy or kissing boo boos and soothing hurt feelings of those who are sad. He is as sweet and loving as they come and we are so blessed with our extraordinary little boy!