Tuesday

Ditching the Diaper

There has been a shift in our household dynamic. We have entered a whole new realm of parenting. We. Are. Potty-training.

Sort of.

CeCe started showing some classic signs of "Time to Ditch the Diaper." So we decided at 20 months old, it couldn't hurt just to bring around a potty chair and introduce her to the idea.

The potty chair is like most things that belong to CeCe: It's pink. Three different shades of pink. Shopping for a potty chair was like shopping for a new car. You would not believe the options some of these models have.

Some potty chairs sit on the toilet, others are free-standing; some are shaped like dinosaurs or like princess thrones with cushioned seats; some make flushing noises and some actually CHEER for your children when they drop one in the plastic bowl.

We chose a middle of the line chair. Made by Safety 1st, it is a 3-in-1 free-standing potty chair, a fit-in-the-big-toilet seat and a step stool when folded shut. It was $11 at Wal-Mart.
We aren't pushing CeCe to use the potty all the time. We just want her to know what it's for. We've actually had three successful trips to the potty so far just by seeing her expression and guessing it was time. She also LOVES waving and yelling "BYE-BYE" when we flush her business down the real toilet.

I see a long road ahead of us, but at least she has the basics down so far: Remove pants, grab a book and chill.

Monday

Don't Touch the Tu-Tu

This week I hit a very important milestone as mother to a little girl. It was a lesson in picking my battles and knowing when to say “I just don’t care anymore, please get in the car.”

I took my daughter to the grocery store and allowed her to choose her clothes. And by “allowed her to choose” I mean she screamed so hard when I tried to remove her tu-tu, I just let her wear it.

So we embarked to Kroger with her wearing a dress, sandals, a plastic beaded necklace and a purple and pink tu-tu (hiked up to her armpits most of the time, per her insistence.)

I texted this information to my mother whose exact response was “Payback is hell.”

Apparently, I was quite the demanding fashionista as a child. I picked out my own outfits, from hair bows to shoes, starting when I was 2 years old.

My father loves to remind me of the time I insisted on a black velvet and gold lamé number when he was tasked with finding me a church dress. I equated church with 1980s prom at that age.

So here I am now, thinking I was years away from princess parties and dress-up bins. Instead, I have a toddler shuffling down the hallway in my high heels and costume jewelry, declaring “pretty!” as she reaches the mirror.
 
What did I get myself into?

Friday

What Does Mommy Say?

Now that CeCe has mastered all basic vowels and the majority of consonant sounds, it seems she learns five new words a day. But of all the food, color and weather words we know, our 20-month-old loves to make animal sounds most of all.

"CeCe- what does a sheep say?"

"BAA BAA!!!" Most excited sheep EVER.

Her Daddy will sometimes end the session by asking "What does CeCe say?!"

She often responds with "Yay!" or just a simple screech of elation. So I decided to throw her a curveball the other day.

"What does a cow say?" "MOO MOO!" What does a duck say? "WACK WACK!" "What does a dog say?" "WOOF WOOF!"

Very sneakily, I asked "What does Mommy say?" Without missing a beat, my toddler threw her finger up to her lips and said "SHHH!"

This caused me to reevaluate my preference for inside voices. I was hoping she would respond that Mommy says "I Love You!" or something else to that degree of cuteness. Nope- apparently Mommy is known for saying "Zip it up kid, sounds carries in this house."

Since this little scene tends to make people laugh hysterically, CeCe has turned it into a bit. She gets a little grin when we play the animal game because she knows her cue is coming. The little ham wants to get to the punchline. And we happily oblige, because I figure this is just the beginning of the darndest things she is going to say.

Thursday

My Lovely Little Literate

We made the decision to limit screen time in our house a few months ago. While we've had plenty of cheat days when the baby is sick or Mom and Dad reach the absolute end of their ropes, but overall our attention stays off the TV more than it used to.

We play a lot of records to fill the quiet, and CeCe is quite fond of Tom Petty, Jethro Tull and Warren Zevon. Of course I predict all her little friends asking me heartbreaking questions one day like "What's a record?" or "What is a Jethro Tull?" Oh, you poor babies of the digital age. You miss out on so much.

Beyond a musical education, reading is a vital part of our everyday routine. I have started a "Book Nook" in the new house for CeCe. It still needs decorating, but is functional at this point:


We also get Mom and Dad in on the reading action:


A combination of these efforts has produced the result we desired. Whenever we have an "Oh crap, where is the baby?!" moment, she can be found in one of two places: Putting graham crackers in the toilet, or in her room reading to herself. The former may be annoying, but the latter is worth it. I stealthily recorded CeCe "reading aloud," and her version of the story is incredibly animated: