Thursday, August 13, 2009

Girlie Blog

My friend Bridget once wondered whether or not her blog was girlie. I do not wonder about mine. I know it's girlie. Back when we started it, and Tyler sometimes wrote too, it was less so... which is why I think it's funny he still imports it to his Facebook page when it's mostly me updating it with things like what I'm going to write about tonight.

Back in 2002, when my sister-in-law had her first baby, back when we all used to live in Santa Barbara, we were hanging out in the institute and someone asked her how well the baby slept. She replied that the baby slept OK and the questioner said something like, "Oh, what a good baby!" What followed was a conversation on how it's not fair to label babies 'good' babies because they sleep well, and 'bad' babies because they sleep poorly. I was 18 at the time and didn't think a whole lot of it, but have heard people say things like that over and over since I had my babehs.

I've found that people don't just label your baby 'good' or 'bad' based on sleeping habits, but somehow that extends to your skills as a mother. I get that if you work on letting your baby cry during the night for a week straight (something of which I'm a big supporter) they'll probably learn to sleep through the night. But, my friend Candie tried this with her baby, and he screamed and screamed and made himself throw up and screamed some more, so she had to give up when she started becoming mentally unstable due to lack of sleep. But, when she tells people that her baby doesn't sleep, he's a bad baby, and she's a bad mother.

My babies don't have sleeping problems, but Lillian has been the toughest nut to crack when it's come to potty training, and I've found that the same sort of stigmas apply: if your kid is easy to potty train, she's smart and a good kid and you're a super mom who did everything right. If your child has problems, they are slow and bad, and you are not making an effort as their mother. I'm tired of it. I'm tired of the disapproving sniffs that I get when Lillian has an accident at the grocery store. I'm tired of cleaning urine out of the carpet. I'm tired of mopping and toting around pee-soaked panties everywhere. I'm tired of doing laundry. Lillian starting showing signs of being really ready to potty train one year ago. So, for 365 days, I've been reminding, begging, rewarding, bribing, dragging, helping, and putting stickers on charts and it Has Not Worked.

I'm tired of trying different things to get her to go. And I'm tired of people telling me what's worked for them because I've tried that too. Aaaand, it hasn't worked.

I. Give. Up. Lillian will wear pull-ups until she decides she's darn well ready. And if that means she goes to kindergarten wearing pull-ups(which my mom assures me never happened in her 10 years (or however long)) of teaching, then so be it.


Bridget said...

Amen and well said.

Amanda said...

A) My 3 1/4 year old son finally just decided to be potty trained one day after a year of me losing my mind, so hopefully that day will come for you and Lillian too.

B) My niece wore Pull-ups until mid-way through her first grade year. Not to discourage you, but if it happens, you won't be the first and I'm sure no one will ever know. (We didn't know about my niece until she announced at a family party that she could finally wear big girl pants!)

Emily said...

Oooh, you've hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately I let myself buy into that good/bad stuff sometines-but no more. Good for you.

Myriah said...

It sounds like you should probably just get rid of Lillian.

I'm pretty sure that's what a good mother would do.

Carrie said...

Yeah, eventually peer pressure will take care of toilet training, right?

I have the opposite reaction on airplanes when at the end of the flight people say "your baby was so good." Because I totally want the credit. I want to scream "he is not a good baby; I am a good mother!" Did you not see me playing, pointing, restraining, walking up and down up and down, not eating or drinking or peeing for 5 straight hours!? "he's a good baby" totally sells me short.

But potty training is a totally different matter.

heidi nielsen said...

Didn't she just turn 3? I used to think that kids should be potty trained on their second birthday. Oh the silly things we think before we actually go through it! That's why whenever one my friends is having their first kid and ask me for advice, I tell them "NEVER judge another mother". You just have no idea until you've gone through the exact same experience yourself.

Rebecca said...

You have good kids and you are a good Mom. Also, I love reading your blog. Can I become a fan??

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