Saturday, September 22, 2012

Choose your battles

Dylan, 12 months

Today I either failed or succeeded at parenthood.  I suppose I've been in this position everyday since my sweet little boy arrived nearly two years ago.  Most days I throw my arms figuratively up in the air and admit to anyone who might be listening that I have no idea what I am doing.

Children don't come with handbooks.  Damn shame.

Raising a child feels a lot like navigating through a choose your own adventure book.

Tonight he asked me if he could use the big boy potty.  He's been pretty obsessed with potty training for months now and usually will take off his pants and sit on his child potty in the hallway, usually without accidents and never when asked.  He does things on his own time. Today he decided it was his time to use the grown-up potty.  I taught him how to stand up like a big boy.

He must've peed in that potty eight times in the last three hours.  And once he even pooped on the floor.  Note: I need to teach him when sitting is appropriate.  And he was so proud of himself.

The failing part of today for me is realizing that I am terrible at breaking routine.  I know that he will cry and scream if he is expecting us to follow a certain pattern and I force him into something entirely different, but I can't help that.  Things change, buddy, that's how life works.

So my question to myself mostly is where is the line between consistency and discipline?  How do I succeed at giving him boundaries and still allow him the freedom to figure things out on his own?  I don't have the answers.

I want him to tell me when he needs to use the bathroom but I don't know when to pull him off when he decides he wants to sit there for hours.