Every now and again, I question myself: am I holding them back from things they could do? Are there skills they could have but dont because I'm either afraid to try or because I simply dont want to let them go there yet? Most times, I'm able to say no, things are as they should be, but yesterday, I realized that I was, indeed, holding them back from something they could be doing.
For their birthday last year (and since we homeschool), Peter's parents bought the kids these adorable toddler-primary school desks. They are too cute. Pecan wood, matching chair, flip top... You name it... Pretty stinking cute. We put them on the lower level, in the "school room". "One day", they'd work great. But not now... The kids would climb on them, or flip the chairs over, etc. And yet, I've been looking for a table for them with some chairs... So, yesterday, I thought "they could do this... I'm stopping them, but they could." So, I brought the desks up. I opened up the gate that guarded 2 of the bookcases, rearranged the living room (and left one of the bookcases out), and set up their desks.
And they love them. Absolutely love them. Bobby is sitting at his now, playing with his "laptop". They've "read" books at them and, this morning, we colored at the desks. They havent destroyed any of the nonboard books that are out. They havent beat each other over the head with the chairs. No one has fallen off the chair because they stood and leaned back; no one has climbed the walls from the desk. They've been absolutely fine.
But it makes me think, "What else aren't you doing because YOU are worried... not because they arent ready?"
Which, leads me to potty training. This is still something that, when I evaluate them against the lists compiled by developmental specialists and pediatricians they come up short (as in 30-40% ready) when it relates to potty training. Peter and my MIL think we should start trying them on the potty; every single mother I've talked to, who has potty trained within the last decade, caution me against it. Peter was trained before his brother was born (21mo difference in their ages) and regressed afterwards. His mom feels it was because he wanted the same attention the new baby received, although parents who feel they rushed their child or who believe, in retrospect, they trained too early, warn me of regressions (some lasting a few weeks others lasting months!) and that, they feel, it impeded their child in other avenues. So, we are at a crossroads here. My girlfriend, Terri, sent me a file that was a great read on when to potty train, how to, etc, so Peter's going to read that so that we can discuss from the same starting place. If he's seeing signs that I'm not, then I'm all ears. But right now, simply knowing 9 times out of 10 that you need your dipe changed and getting through 2-3 sleeps (naps or bedtime) a week dry, just isnt enough. Just today, Maya (who is queen of "I NEED A NEW DIAPER!!!" and probably would shout 'and a new outfit' if only she had the words to shout either) ran around with a stinky butt and wouldnt let me change her until I finally caught her and gave her no other out. Usually she comes to you because she's peed and wants to be changed. Every day is a new one, but I dont want to rush them. Believe me, I'd love to not have my hands in pee and poop... But one round of potty training times two will be enough... I dont want to handle a regression because we forced the issue (or, God forbid, a series of regressions... Ugh...)
Edit: as if to prove my point, both kids woke up from their naps, having peed through their diapers. wet clothes, wet sheets, wet everything...
The kids are napping... Bobby put himself down. This week, we've been putting him to bed awake and he's been falling asleep on his own (after half an hour to 45 minutes of talking); last night, there were actual sobs. Broke my heart. We dont do any sort of cry-it-out, so the second the talking goes to crying, one of us responds. Sometimes, it's just standing at his door and talking him through it; other times, it's sitting next to his bed and rubbing his back, while talking to him. Two nights, the last "visit" was me sitting next to his bed, rubbing his back, and telling him what a brave boy he was, that I knew it was hard, but that he wasnt alone... that mommy and daddy was next door and sister was down the hall and that he was safe. Then, I kissed his cheek, told him I loved him, and "have a good night-night" (which is my ending ritual with Maya). Both times, not another peep. Kind of interesting. We've moved their bedtimes to around 7:30-8pm and they are sleeping until around 7:15, so, it's a good time. But I've found I do miss cuddling with them, too... Such is life.
I've baked a version of Peter's GF chocolate chip cookies with Splenda and brown sugar instead of sugar and brown sugar. But, I forgot butter... So then I added more water (and 2tbsp butter when I remembered)... And I ran out of coconut flour... so I added more hazelnut (and then even more hazelnut to balance the lately added butter and too much water.... And I didnt have Ghiradeli chocolate, only some Tollhouse chips I'd bought on sale. BUT... They arent half bad. They might even (dare I say it) be good! Not as good as Peter's recipe, but for 80 calories a pop, I'll settle for good cookies over no cookies!