Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Random Parenting Ponderings

Hey Humble Readers...

I hope you're all well, cozy in your homes.  It snowed here in the Shire for more than 24 hours and we are hanging out at around -5C for a daytime high.  I finally caved yesterday and turned on the furnace.  Last year I made it until November 5th.  *sigh*  Oh well... at least we have a furnace to turn on, right?

So, I've had some parenting stuff wander through my head recently, and I'm wondering where you all stand on these things.

Potty Training - When did the word training become verboten?  Bathroom education... toilet learning... heck I've even read the term 'personal waste management' used.  Why is 'training' a bad word?  We hire personal trainers, train for marathons, and we even play games to train our brains to keep them sharp.  Why is it wrong to call learning to use the toilet potty training?  It really is training... Ginny is having to train her brain to recognize the messages her body is sending.  Is this just a case of political correctness run amok, or am I completely missing the boat?

Sleep - I hesitate to bring this up, simply because I know we have gotten off sooooooo easy in this department.  Many of my friends have gone for months, even years without a complete night's sleep on account of wee-lings that won't sleep when the rest of the world does.  We have a situation with two wee-lings who go to bed at different times, in the same room.  Ginny goes to bed at 7:30pm and Pippin is adjusting to sleeping through the night without his 11pm feeding.  It's time for him to be sleeping in the nursery all night rather than starting the night in the living room and then being moved to his crib much later.  Ginny is a good sleeper, but she's a light sleeper, and I don't want to wreck her great sleep routine by introducing a squawking little man into the situation.  How do those of you with twins or more than one wee-ling handle them sleeping in the same room?  Any advice to share?

Ginny's Birthday - Our wee sweet girl will be two sooner rather than I care to admit, and I'm having some difficulties with my plans for her birthday party.  First, I decided back in the summer that I wanted to do a "Build Her Library" birthday party (using library cards as invitations, and encouraging her guests to bring books rather than toys because her birthday is so close to Christmas).  My MIL has questioned this idea whenever I bring it up, implying that Ginny is too young to be given a lot of 'nice' storybooks.  Yes, Ginny has recently been hard on some of her books, loving them to death as some little ones do with their stuffies or blankies.  But she so loves having stories read to her, and I want to increase the variety of stories she has to choose from.  Second, I'm struggling with who to invite to the party.  Ginny only has one real little friend, from church.  I want to invite the aunts and uncles, but I don't want it to seem like a gift grab kind of situation.  A second birthday doesn't strike me as much of a milestone birthday as the first... or rather I'm afraid they won't see it as such.  I want her to have a nice celebration of her, but I don't want anyone to feel obligated.  Does that make any sense at all?? 

I have other things rattling around in my brain, but I think I'll stop here for now.  Looking forward to hearing your input... :)


  1. Here is my input: as for the word training, what bothers me is that my mom says things like "Are they trained yet?" or "you've got to get them trained!" which to me sounds like you're talking about a dog. You're right about personal trainers, etc., but no one says "I've been trained". To me it sounds like someone enforcing something on someone else. On the other hand, the other terms all sound weird to me, too, so I do use the term "potty training". I just don't love it.

    Sleep - we use a noise machine that makes a rain sound. It probably won't work to start now that Ginny is almost 2, and honestly, I'm not sure it's a great idea anyway, since I don't know if now my kids are going to need it for the rest of their lives. I don't know when or how we'll wean them. They've managed without when we've slept away from home, though, and they nap without it at preschool.

    For the gifts, I whole-heartedly agree that books are a great idea. It is the one thing I buy my kids without any guilt over spending money or spoiling them. The only drawback I've found is that I often don't like the books that other people choose and prefer to select them myself. On the other hand children's books can be quite cheap (depending on what you pick), so I suspect if you invite a larger group, anyone who doesn't want to buy an expensive present doesn't have to. I would personally be more worried about offending someone by not inviting them, but that's my situation.

  2. Also, I went to a "toilet learning" parenting class once, and they said they preferred the word "learn" rather than "train" to remind parents that it is a learning process, especially since parents can often get frustrated and react negatively to accidents. They said that just like learning to write or read, kids don't always get it right away, and you wouldn't punish a child for having trouble learning to do something, so it's a good way to remember to stay positive when dealing with it.

  3. I didn't know that the work "training" was a bad thing..Oy.

    I think the book idea is a great idea, and the invitation super cute. You'll get something that G will enjoy and really, people don't need to spend a ton of money on. Trust me, you won't seem greedy. Some of my friends have had some ca-RAZY birthday parties for their 1-or 2-year olds. If G's turning 2 then Ruby's is right around the corner too! Yikes!

  4. 1- I think the people who object to calling it training were potty trained at gun point and still resent it every time they sit to take a dump. "*sniff* potty training was so hard. *sniff* Now that I'm 30, I'd better call Oprah and tell her how hard it was for me to give up my diapers." Or something along those lines. :) I'm with you, it's ridiculous.... but then most of political correctness is ridiculous. What matters is the intent behind it, and no matter what words you use, if your intent is malicious, others will see it... the rest of the time, I think we all just need to calm down. :)

    2- No advice whatsoever. But I would like to know if you find anything that works or get any useful tips from anyone. :)

    3- I LOVE the idea of a library party! It's perfect!!! All kids are hard on books. Right now it might be tearing, and later it might be coloring on them... that's just the way things go. That's no reason to just not get her books. If she never has them, she'll never learn to use them. If it's a particularly nice book, you can keep it out of reach and tell her it's "special" and can only read it when you're helping her.... Also the party, I'd just invite her one friend and the family. I'm not a big occassions person, so small and cozy is always right for me. :)

  5. First, welcome back! :)

    Second, I think everyone has been pretty much spot-on with their comments. We say 'potty trained/training', too, but probably should use the learning connotation as it is a learning process. I think it's just a habit for us to use that phrase as it's what we've always heard.

    We use a fan for noise when PJ sleeps (actually, we all use one!), so I imagine we'll do the same for W. I actually like the sound machine idea but when we needed something for PJ, money was tight and we already had a fan, sooooo... If you wanted to try something like the sound machine, you could always start them out with it very, very low at nap times and gradually turn it up as time goes on to mask each others sounds when they do sleep together. And YES, just like the PP, I am kind of worried that they'll always need noise to sleep but Iwas one of those that you spoke of that had a terrible non-sleeper...almost 15 months old before she slept through the night, so I was desperate. If she ends up in therapy over needing some noise to sleep, we'll call it even. ;p

    I, too, LOVE the book idea. And if she gets books that are too mature for her now or that she could tear up too easily, make them special books that she gets with you or DH til she's a bit older. PJ was hell on books for a little while, too, but is fine with them now...great learning tool, I think. It can be super inexpensive, too. And as for who to invite, I always get caught up on this, too. I worry that someone will be offended that they're not invited or something like that. For PJ's second, we invited family (g'parents, close aunts/uncles/cousins) and the friends from our regular play group, which made for maybe 10 kids all together. Only 4 could make it and it worked out fine but they were all people that she's totally comfortable with. If there'd only been one friend or cousin that she knew well or spent time with, that's who we would have invited with no worries. It's kinda like a wedding, lol...not everyone who you invite will come anyway!

  6. Here's my two pen'orth - I have recently joined the local library with my baby who is 14 months. Every three weeks we've been borrowing a huge stack of baby books, which barely gives us enough books to entertain him the whole week, and gave us a huge opportunity to see what he loves. Like you, I am a bookworm, so I love the idea that my baby is enthusiastic about books already and it's the BEST education you can give - after all, most information for learning comes out of books. I love your "Build Her Library" idea so much that I might suggest it myself for my boy's 2nd Birthday!

    And that's my other point - by the time your weelings are three, four, five, will see their birthdays as "important" any more, and I found it hard to get everyone enthusiastic about coming over and making birthdays special at that stage. If people want to come, make the very most of it I say. Don't worry about what they might think because if they come, that's what matters. It's for Ginny. She's gonna love it!

  7. 1) Ha! I'm one of the ones that rankles a little at the "training" word :) But... it's only because we did EC with G when he was quite small, and at the time it wasn't about "training" as much as both of us learning to communicate. The one thing I don't like about others using the word in reference to G is that they make it sound like a cut & dry event. Is he trained? What does that mean? He is learning to use the potty and is getting better at it everyday.... That said, I don't have a problem with others using the word in reference to their own kids, though. It's not a political correctness thing, just a personal quirk :) I'm not sitting over here calling people bad names for talking about training their kids. As a matter of fact, I'm all about training kids (not to get on the table, or color on the walls)!

    2) Sleep, gah! We have been SO blessed in the sleep department, and yet, also, not. G dropped all naps fairly early (right around 24 months) and won't sleep in his own bed (I so don't cry it out, and am lazy, please know, I know this is my fault) and goes to bed late and wakes early. When he did nap, though... he an Ladybug were in the same room for naps. Honestly? I made them learn to deal with each other's squawks. Ladybug is noisy and fights sleep, Graham is a light sleeper. I'd put them both in their cribs at the same time and give them 25-30 minutes to squawk/play it out and go to sleep. If anybody started really crying I'd go in and comfort them (I so don't cry it out), but then I'd leave again and let them figure out how to get to sleep. Some days they'd play for a long time before falling asleep, some days it was really short. Lots of days Ladybug would make a bunch of noise and eventually G learned to sleep through it. I don't know if that will translate to bed time...

    3) Ginny loves books. You love books. Books can be handed down to Pip and even to grand-babies at some point. Also, who cares what your MIL says? Do the party you want to do. Invite everybody and if they come great and if not, no worries. I'd come if it didn't mean passports and airplanes :) Toddlers will be hard on books, but this is why it's OK to have three copies of The Cat in the Hat and Go, Dog, Go! We have books that stay in reach all of the time and other nice books that are kept up high and only come down when I'm reading stories.


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