The Mummy Diaries: Two babies – Week 25

The Mummy Diaries: Two babies – Week 25

by Emma Hargan
article from Wednesday 12, December, 2018

WHAT ON EARTH was I thinking?! I’ve started Lily on solid food and in the same week began toilet training with Jamie. ‘Oh you’ll have no bother!’ they said. ‘Mine were all easy to train’ they said. Ha!

We had seen over the last couple of weeks that Lily was starting to take more notice of food. She was steadily watching every spoon that we used or cup we drank from and was reaching and grabbing. Lily is almost six months old so we are around the time to get her started. Lily and Jamie have been completely different babies. Jamie was on hungry baby formula at three months old and then solid food at four months. By the time he was Lily’s current age he was chowing on pizza and fry ups! Well not quite, but not far from it!

On Monday morning, I got myself organised and put Lily’s baby rice to hand for her mid-morning feed. I got Jamie’s pull-up nappies placed next to the downstairs toilet and I had bought a wee seat for him to sit on and a step. I also bought bubble gum fragranced hand soap for him to use and to encourage him to wash his hands (not that he’s chewing bubble gum, but it is sweet-smelling!). Oh yes – Supernanny wouldn’t have a look in! Jamie will love this.

The morning started off well. I got the kids sorted with breakfast, Lily changed and dressed and down for her nap. Jamie was on good form after he had been fed so I thought this was a good opportunity to introduce the toilet. He took my hand and walked through to the bathroom with me. Of course, he instantly noticed the changes made and was curious as to what was going on. I talked him through what I was doing and sat him down on his new throne. I was just expecting him to sit there and get used to it – I never expected him to actually pee the first time around! Aw what! Genius! 

Wow, everyone was right, this was easy. Of course, I made the biggest fuss of him and he was all delighted with himself, although, I’m not sure he knew what for. Once he was finished and dressed again, I moved his step over to the sink and again curiosity got the better of him and he was straight over. I squeezed the bubble gum hand soap over his hands and showed him how to wash them properly. He wasn’t too impressed when I turned the tap off as he was enjoying spraying the water everywhere, but he didn’t fuss that much, dried his hands and walked out after giving me a high five. My son – the toilet trained genius. Hmmm, not quite.

Lily woke up after her usual hour-long snooze in the morning. I took both kids upstairs and put Jamie in his room to play and Lily in her bouncer with me so I could jump in the shower and get myself ready for the day. Both were happy and content so I could take my time. After I finished getting sorted, I took them both back downstairs where it was time to prepare Lily’s baby rice and make her bottle. I got Jamie sorted with toys so I could concentrate my time with lily. It was weird making up the baby rice, as it didn’t seem like five minutes since I was doing this for Jamie but it’s amazing how quickly you forget how to do the baby stuff. The time goes in so fast. So, with Jamie happy playing, I got Lily settled and started to spoon-feed her the rice. You’d think from the look on her face that I was trying to poison her! She took the rice but spat it out soon after – as expected. She managed about half a teaspoon, which I thought was pretty good going for her first spoon. 

By the time James rang me, I was on cloud nine as the morning couldn’t have gone any better. When I explained to James how good the kids had been, he was chuffed but a bit hesitant. I just thought he’d maybe had a tough morning, little did I know that he was a little more sceptical – or perhaps realistic – with how things were going to go from here. Downhill.

After Jamie had his lunch, I thought I would try him again with the toilet. He took my hand, and that was about all the familiarity of the previous experience. Once we got into the bathroom, he decided he didn’t want to take his trousers off so threw a strop when I did it for him. He let me lift him onto the toilet but then wouldn’t sit for 10 seconds – much less do anything. After deciding this was a lost cause this time round but not wanting to change the routine, I moved his step over to the sink where he let me wash his hands. Ok, he’s always a bit crabby after lunch as it’s nap time then so maybe this wasn’t the best time to expect him to co-operate. I took Jamie upstairs and put him in his cot where he just turned over and fell asleep.

Lily was doing great. I was keeping a closer eye on her to make sure the new rice hadn’t made her sick or upset but she seemed to have settled with it. Success! I’ll try again tomorrow and hopefully she’ll take a full teaspoon then. I spent the next couple of hours playing with Lily, having a bit of tummy time and getting some work and jobs done while Jamie was sleeping.

Jamie woke from his nap on great form. It was dry outside so I got him wrapped up and let him play outside in the garden which gave Lily a chance to nap in peace. He was only out for half an hour before it started raining and I brought him back in to try the toilet again. This time, he was happy to sit himself and stayed there until I lifted him down. He walked over to the sink without being prompted and looked to wash his hands. This seemed to be working well. After James got home from work, I was super proud to tell him that the first day for both Jamie and Lily had gone really well. James was happy that everything had gone well but I could still tell he was definitely not as enthusiastic as I was. After the following day I was starting to understand where he was coming from.

Again, the day started like every other day. I got the kids their breakfasts, got Lily changed, dressed and into her crib and then decided to get Jamie sorted. Jamie took my hand to go into the bathroom, and this sadly was the highlight of the day’s story. I don’t know what notion popped into his head but he refused to take his trousers off and plonked himself down on the floor in protest. I bit the bullet and took on the struggle where I eventually won, however, the little devil point blank threw a fit and would not sit on the toilet. I tried every tactic in the book. I spoke to him nicely and quietly, then I tried the stern voice. All the research I had read about toilet training was to not back down if they throw a strop and to still go through the motions, otherwise the toddler then knows how to get out of it. 

Neither approaches mattered a jot and my patience was wearing thin and I was close to losing the plot. Of course, I didn’t say it but, in my head, I’m screaming, “Will you sit on the fucking toilet like a normal person!” After a more polite screaming match and Jamie telling me to get stuffed in baby language, we managed to get his trousers back on and I moved the step over to the sink. Jamie walked over to the basin, grabbed the hand soap which then got catapulted across the room and exploded all over the floor. “Oh just great Jamie!” I roared, at which point Jamie started crying and I lifted him out of the bathroom and put him into the playpen where he had a monumental meltdown.

I walked back into the kitchen and burst into tears. Not only was I annoyed with myself for shouting and losing my patience but I was disappointed in thinking how differently things had gone from yesterday. Right on cue, my Skype goes and it was Mum. Thank God!

Of course, I answered the Skype and tried to sound like everything was fine but she’s my Mum – they always know! She could also hear Jamie roaring his head off in the background and asked me if everything was okay, to which point I burst into tears again. I explained what had happened and she told me to give him his lunch and calm down and get him upstairs for a nap. She explained that kids will be kids and they are the most unpredictable wee monkeys and just when you think you’ve got something right, they throw you off guard. I was to stop putting so much pressure on Jamie and myself and keep calm. Makes sense, right? It sounds like common sense but when you are dealing with a stubborn toddler swearing at you in baby chatter, common sense goes out of the window! 

I felt loads better after speaking to Mum and went through and got the bathroom cleaned up. James called me to see how things were and I explained about the disaster of the morning that it was. He said the exact same as Mum.

Mid-afternoon and Jamie was still snoozing and Lily was also out for the count. Excellent, I could get some jobs done! Just as I had the fridge emptied out to clean it, the doorbell goes. I answered to find my friend standing at the door.

“Hey! I had the afternoon off so thought I would come and see if your free for a cuppa”, she says.

“Aw I’m always free for a cuppa!” I replied.

She walked in and put the kettle on while I started putting the food back into the fridge. She nipped to the bathroom while I looked out the cups and got the ‘nice’ biscuits out of the cupboard. She came back through to the kitchen.

“Oh, have you started Jamie on the toilet training?” she said.

“Yeah”, I replied, “We just started yesterday.”

“No bother to you!” she says. “You’re so organised, you have his wee toilet seat and his wee step and you even manage to have the bathroom smelling like bubble gum!”

Aargh, if she only knew the truth…

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