Reminding Myself: Hope

I should have hope. I know. And I do, most of the time. It’s entirely unlikely that my daughter will never use the toilet. It’s also unlikely that she will be untrained when she turns four in June. It is, however, entirely likely that she will not have ever used the toilet even once when she returns to school in another week.

Hope. The same hope we had to drag out when I worried she wouldn’t roll over or crawl. But unlike her early days, now I know that when she does something, she just does it. 101 times she’ll say no and on the 102nd time she’ll say yes. As though it’s the most usual thing in the world. There’s no visible progress over days or weeks. There were no army crawls or tottering steps. Suddenly there was just crawling and walking.

Case in point, until last week she still had a pacifier at night. We knew it was time to stop but when we wanted to do it in August she was transitioning to a new school and trying to potty train. When we abandoned that strategy, she had to negotiate the school learning curve again, differently. Vacations, distractions, no time was right. More importantly, there was no excuse. Just take the pacifiers away? I can’t explain orthodontia to a 3 year old.

I let the reindeer do it instead. The opportunity was just sitting there in front of us. We leave cookies and milk for Santa and we leave carrots for his reindeer. And so we announced a few days before Christmas that Prancer needed pacifiers for her new reindeer so Santa would be by to pick them up. And RR nodded and agreed that would be just fine.

And so Prancer has the pacifiers and RR has a Lighting McQueen car and Mater truck instead. We probably shouldn’t be surprised that it was so easy since it’s just RR’s way of doing life. She only asked for them once looking a little sad and saying, “But they’re MY batoowas!*” We handed her Mater and she hasn’t said a word since.


*This ladies and gents is what happens when you let your child choose the name for her pacifiers instead of going with the socially accepted variants.


12 Responses

  1. Three year olds are tricky is what I’m learning! Just plain crazy a lot of the time. Which can be fun, or really not fun at all.

    Anyway. Noah won’t sit through Cars or Cars 2, but he LOVES Mater’s Tall Tales on Netflix. It’s one of my favorites, too!

    • We LOVE Mater’s Tall Tales around here. In fact, so far it has been her only exposure to Cars. She’s a superfan of Mater. I suspect the Cars movie would be like a Beatles concert.

      • The movies just leave me feeling a little “meh”, Noah, too, it seems. But Tall Tales might be the best american animation. Love the cops doing donuts joke!

  2. That’s really cute. I’ve heard of parents having the pacifier sown into a stuffed toy to enable the child to keep it but not have it in their mouth.

    • A friend had success with that and suggested it – I was terribly afraid she’d dissect whatever we stuffed it into. She’s resourceful like that! Thank goodness this worked.

  3. You certainly have your hands full right now. I hope you’re finding a way to carve out some space in there for yourself. Side note: my half-sister called her pacifiers “this” and had to have one in each hand and a third in her mouth at bed time until she was 4. I can still hear her saying, “thissss” in her little girl voice even though she’s 21 now.

  4. Kids made-up names are the best! I still call IY the 88 store (not sure why) and her favorite dessert will always be punk-in-a-pie. Always.

    As for the potty training, Edie had the stomach bug the week before Thanksgiving. When I found out she had thrown up in the potty without us I was ecstatic. Heck, I was ecstatic that she had thrown up in the potty! This had never, ever happened. As I was telling this to my better half, high fiving him on our latest parenting accomplishment, I named it the best trick since potty training. His response? “No, this means we finally finished potty training her.” And it only took us 11 years and 10 months.

    • That is glorious. On the other hand, that particular milestone never even occurred to me… It never stops does it? congratulations on successful, solitary puking!

  5. We used that strategy with my niece, well it was the “bottle fairy” It worked great. The bottle fairy came and took all her bottles and left her a toy. I think she was 2ish at the time, maybe older. I’m glad it worked for RR

    • I don’t remember how we ditched the bottles but I do remember that my anxiety about it was far greater than hers. If only there were a way to remember THAT at every milestone…

  6. I figure if the Bean is still in diapers in college, at least I won’t be the one changing them. Likewise with filling and cleaning his nap and bedtime bottles.

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