Some days I think that this parenting gig has not turned out quite the way I imagined it would.
I love both my children equally, but Squeaker definitely gives us more to do than Big Guy does. I’m not sure at what point, if any, this will change, but we keep working at it. I definitely feel that the more his speech develops and the more he understands what we say to him, the more I’m able to implement rules and structure. For example, the situation with him having to poop every morning after we leave the house has stopped after my telling him that he would lose a smiley if he didn’t use the bathroom before we left the house and asked me to stop on the way to school. Several mornings after that, he still needed to go, but he insisted he could hold it until he got to school and he did. I told him how proud I was of him, because that was a huge accomplishment for him.
Then, this past week he decided that instead of going to sleep, he would poop in his room and smear it on the walls, in the carpet, on some toys, on his blankets, and on his body. We kept going back to check on him, and the last time I went to check on him, I could smell it from behind his closed door. Horrified, I called The Manager the come help me. Squeaker did not see the problem with what he did, no matter how much we told him. He only saw that he got to take a bath and play in the water while we cleaned his walls and carpet and got him a new blanket. His room may never smell the same again. The next day, I explained to him that if this happened again, he would lose a smiley.
The next night, instead of smearing his poop everywhere, he simply told me that he had pooped in his pull-up, but that some of it had gotten on his toy. I will never understand the urge to stick his toy in his poop. I cleaned his toy and him and sent him back to bed. He did it again a few minutes later. I made him sit on the toilet and finish his business, and that was it for the night.
Thankfully, we have not had any other issues with that.
Yesterday, he peed in my car.
It’s like a constant cycle of reinforcement training. He needs consistent reminders about his reward program. We’ve had to change his system from getting a reward after 5 smileys to getting a reward after 3 smileys because his behavior had ramped up so much that he would never earn a reward and the time between rewards was too much. Now that he only has to wait for 3 smileys, it’s easier to get him to behave.
Anyway, that’s our special life, I guess. We adjust and become flexible. The hardest days for me are the ones where I’ve already used up most of my patience at work. Those days require deep breaths and a reminder that if I’ve just picked him up, I should give him more of my patience than I have. After all, I give so much at work. My kids deserve more than just an ounce of my patience. And they definitely have all of my love.
So, yeah, some days I think things are not quite what I expected. It gets messy. It gets challenging. It gets exhausting. We have our trials and tribulations. But, then I have to remember that on the other end of all that I have two beautiful children that do things like this: