Do you remember that episode of The Simpsons where Bart & Lisa go to Kamp Krusty?? As soon as the bus is out of sight – it’s PARTY TIME!! I caught this episode on Foxtel recently and it made me think of an equally joyous parenting moment I experienced last year. While mourning the safety and security that only Huggies can bring, Giuliana said sayonara to her night time nappy. I remember thinking “seriously, pass me a freaking magnum of sparkles!!”. A multi pack of undies adorned with Disney Princesses is a damn sight cheaper than doing a stockpile every time nappies are ‘on the spesch’.
I’ve been told that graduating out of nappies is one of the ‘Happy Dance’ moments parents can expect in those early years when being a parent is bloody tough. Others include:
- Getting rid of the dummy – sphinxed it!
- No longer needing to pay for childcare – I plan on swimming in a room of money – Scrooge McDuck style!
- When your youngest goes off to school – It will be the ‘roaring 20’s’ by then for me 🙁
I am seemingly decades away from the last 2 holy grails, but retiring the dummy was another happy dance moment for me. I have always been pro anything that gives babies a bit of comfort and helps them to self-soothe – dummies included. As G got older (18 months ish) most of my friends were weening their bubs from their dummies, but for us she almost became more attached. 12 months later and we were still ‘with dummy’…sigh. After some stern words from the dentist, I knew it was time to ditch it.
I did have a big win in reducing the amount of dummy time to sleep time only. Give this strategy a try. I bought 2 storage jars and put all the dummies in one and marshmallows in the other. Each morning after waking up, she would go to the dummy jar, make her deposit and get a marshmallow as a reward. At night time the process was reversed. I realise that offering up sugar as the first & last morsels of the day isn’t ideal, but it did eliminate the daytime usage. She also quickly forgot to ask for the marshmallow (more for me). It wasn’t until shortly after her 3rd birthday that she came to the conclusion that she wanted a bike more than a dummy. So, we wrote a letter to the Dummy Fairy and walked over to the post box. Australia Post really came through with some speedy service and a bike arrived the following day (wink).
It was a similar situation with toilet training. I had the brilliant (read overly-ambitious) idea that we would toilet train G before daughter #2 was born. It sounded so great in theory – I’d be on maternity leave and have heaps of time, it would be summer (apparently the best time to tackle it) etc. Verdict – epic fail. At 15 months pregnant (or what felt like it), toilet training a spirited toddler was the last thing on my mind. Another added pressure came from my mum who kept reminding me that both my sister and yours truly trained ourselves by age 2, no accidents, no bed wetting, nothing. Perhaps I can add this skill to my LinkedIn profile…hmmmmm.
Anyhoo, baby Sienna arrived and it wasn’t until 6 months later that G was day trained (in the middle of winter) – largely due to the wonderful support of the carers at childcare. Whatever these amazing, patient souls earn…it’s not enough!! The peer pressure of all the kids going to the bathroom at the same time really got her over the line. 1 kid down, 1 to go!
I try my hardest not to buy into ‘The Mummy Wars’ because it always leads to stress and unhappiness and we can all do with less of these in our lives. It’s the honest truth but I very rarely compare my girls to other kids, but I am VERY guilty of comparing them against each other, particularly around the early milestones – sleeping through, sitting, winning the Nobel Peace prize etc. It doesn’t help that my kids are like chalk and cheese in terms of personality and I’m sure that has a big impact.
Hayley Pearson from Adelady (a totally awesome lifestyle inspiration movement that loves Adelaide as much as I do) wrote a blog last year about the difference between baby #1 vs baby #2 and it was GOLD! I just sat there nodding and smirking like an idiot because it was so so true. If you’re a mum of 2+ kids you are bound to get a giggle from Hayley’s honest admissions. Check it out here: http://adelady.com.au/baby-1-vs-baby-2/
I worked at a State Swim through high school and uni and always found it fascinating to watch siblings learn and develop at different paces. I’ll save my ‘amusing swimming teacher in the trenches’ anecdotes for another blog (or 3) but in my experience the younger siblings learnt to swim faster than their elder brothers and sisters possibly because they had someone to copy and look up to. Hopefully, the same can be said for the ‘Happy Dance’ milestones like dummies and toilet training. Star Wars 8 will probably be out before I tackle these 2 with my youngest but we’ll see.
In the meantime, go easy on yourself and you’ll be doing a ‘Happy Dance’ in no time.
Ps. If you haven’t already, check out Adelady – chocca block of all the good stuff.