Wait, why didn’t I change the picture? …because I didn’t need to! I couldn’t tell you how we got here. There haven’t been any major changes or upsets in the routine and this hasn’t been a one time episode. After several weeks dealing with accidents, the glaring wake up call happened at a couple weeks ago. Both boys were not only misbehaving at lifegroup on a grand scale, but they both peed their pants. They have been potty trained for a year. A YEAR …and they are four. So you can imagine my frustration when we had to make an early exit.
After getting to the bottom of this delightful parenting pothole, I discovered that somewhere along the way my boys both decided (probably together) it wasn’t time to stop playing and go to the bathroom until their underwear was already wet. So now I am retraining the mindset and we are home until they get it. Hello, Cabin Fever!
Basically, the only story at our house is: “Son, you get to choose: You can go places and do fun things when you go to the potty and keep your underwear dry, or you can stay home and miss out if you have accidents.” (Which by the way are not accidents. But I had to relabel it so they understood that wet underwear was in fact a problem).
It puts the control in their hands. They understand they get to make this decision and no one else can make it for them. Points in their power bucket. It’s working too. It took a few missed events to get their attention, but it is starting to sink in and I am seeing a few consecutive days here and there with dry underwear. Which is awarded by going somewhere fun.
Sometimes it feels like I am cutting my own nose off. No MOPS, no gym, no church, no lifegroup. At least Brian and I can alternate church and lifegroup. I know parenting is a sacrifice and it will be worth it to see them clean, with good hygiene, self-confidence and self-awareness. It’s worth it.
Almost every parent goes through this on some level or another. Every kid is different and as parents we have to discern the situation and decide what is best. My four year old boys hate being controlled. They need to expand their sphere of influence and tend to test boundaries. So I decided to put the control directly in their hands. They get to choose and be in charge of the outcome. It’s a slow process but when it’s over it will be ingrained and is worth the temporary sacrifice.
So if you are frustrated, possibly in tears and sick of doing dirty laundry… I get it. No judgment here. They will learn and it will all be worth it. These days will soon be behind you – and you will move on to blissfully forget how bad it was.
Parenting tip: If you don’t have one yet, buy a portable potty and put it in your car because public restrooms can be gross and you may not even be close to one anyway. I line mine with trash bags for easy clean up. Make sure it has a lid that closes… for obvious reasons.
Pray for Them
We all need support, love and comfort. Pray that your loved ones find it in Jesus Christ and in healthy relationships with those who love him.
Father, “if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,” I pray (Name) will with (his/her) brothers and sisters in Christ be “of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” Protect the bond of unity and peace between (Name) and the church. In Jesus’ name I ask this, amen. – Philippians 2:1-2
Valentines Shortbread Cookies
I use a shortbread recipe for these. YUM. Shortbread cookies are one of my very favorites and I only eat them on worthy occasions. For this recipe you’ll need big and small heart shaped cookie cutters. My favorite shortbread recipe is from Pioneer Woman.
- 1 cup +2 Tbs Softened Unsalted Butter
- 1 cup White Sugar
- 2 Cups Flour
- Less than 1 cup of Corn Starch
- Jam of your choice
- Powdered Sugar for dusting
Mix butter and sugar until fluffy. In a separate bowl sift together flour and corn starch. Incorporate into butter mixture with a pastry cutter until crumbly. Form into a ball and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Dust a surface with flour and roll out the chilled dough until it is about 1/4″ thick. Cut an even number of large hearts first. Then separate half the large hearts and place on the cookie sheet. With the smaller cookie cutter, cut the center out of the remaining hearts and gently move onto cookie sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees. Once cooled, spread the jam on the solid hearts and place the other hearts on top. Dust with powdered sugar and then take a bow because those are the prettiest cookies yet.
Shortbread recipe affectionately taken from http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/shortbread-cookies/.