Saturday, October 22, 2011

...Three Months Later

The irony of maintaining a blog about raising kids is that when they required the most attention and time (and were, really, let's face it, the least interesting), I seemed to have plenty of time and energy to write about them, post pictures, take videos. Now that they are more independent, can entertain themselves for minutes at a time, and do some of the most amazing things, now that I should have more time and more reasons to share their funny and amazing stories, now I find other things to do, now I take fewer photos, now I write less down. Infant blobs who just stare get thousands of photos; toddlers who ride tricycles, brush their own teeth, help make biscuits, go to the bathroom by themselves (sort of) get nothing. Well, I am trying to change that.
What's new in Mauland?
Cat doors. This morning I was installing a cat door in our back door to allow Leo the opportunity to escape to the mudroom when the Schmookies attacked. Unfortunately, installing this contraption was not easy. There I am sitting on the floor trying to think of other words to say besides curses, fuming, spitting, angry, when a little hand touches my shoulder and a sweet little voice says, "Are you frustrated, Daddy?" Then another voice says, "It's OK, Daddy. Don't be fusterated." Emaline knows all the big words, but Keillor is a great mimic. I was frustrated, to say the least, but when one's two-year-olds try to comfort their daddy, it's easy to soften and change one's perspective. Right now, though, they are asleep and Leo is on the couch getting fur everywhere.
A while back, when we had to replace the back screen door, we bought one with a dog door for LB and the cats to use. The kids love the dog door and prefer to crawl through it rather than use the actual door. The cat door is much smaller, so when Emaline tried to go through it after a panicked Leo, she didn't make it past her head. I am just waiting for the day when I hear screams coming from the kitchen from a toddler who has gotten his or her head stuck in the cat door. "Are you frustrated, Emaline?" I'll ask.
The Tricksy Potty. Potty training is a longer process than I expected. Actually, I'm not sure if we're through the training part and just in the remediation part. Anyway, we have a schedule set up, a big potty and a little potty, stickers for trying, treats for success, high fives, Pull-Ups, big boy and girl underpants. We still have plenty of wet pants and poopoo accidents. It is not uncommon to look over at Emaline who seems to be concentrating a little too much and ask, "Do you have to go potty?"
"Is that yes or no?"
"Doo doo, Daddy."
"You have to doo doo?"
"Emaline went poo poo, Daddy."
Sometimes we catch it, sometimes we don't. The past week, interaction with Keillor has gone more like this:
"Keillor have to go potty."
"OK, let's go."
"Keillor have to poo poo."
We'll take him in to the bathroom, ask, "Big potty or little potty?" For Keillor, big potty (putting the toddler seat on out toilet) is for #2. He likes a nice plopping sound. Little potty (the training toilet) is for #1. He likes the pee guard that keeps his stream contained. He also likes the satisfaction of seeing the pool of urine, which he can't see in the big potty.
Bed time is a whole other struggle. We have the bed time potty routine, which involves Keillor peeing 30 times and Emaline trying to poop for 30 minutes. Then it's upstairs, where, after story time, Keillor has the urge to pee again. "Keillor go potty, Daddy." Then it becomes contagious: "Emaline go potty, too." Like a camel, Keillor seems to be able to store pee for later use, so when we take him to the bathroom again, he can produce some freshly-squeezed. Emaline is less likely to actually do anything. Still, on those mornings when they wake up dry (or mostly dry) we know it was worth one last trip to the potty.
Halloween. We always have big plans for Halloween that involve homemade costumes. This year, we settled on Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter. Aimee would knit scarves, we'd sew robes, and adhere Hogwarts house emblems to them. This will not happen. Instead, we will go last-minute Halloween costume shopping and take what we can get. When asked what they want to be for Halloween, without hesitation, Emaline said, "Minnie Mouse," and Keillor said, "Mickey Mouse." Had they already had this discussion?
TV. Well, we did it. We became those parents. Our kids love television. While we do not have cable, we do have Netflix, which allows us to stream Dora the Explorer, Yo Gabba Gabba, Thomas and Friends, and thier favorites, the Backyardigans, right into the living room. While we do atleast limit the amount of TV watching they are allowed, last week when they were both sick with the croup, they snuggled up on the couch with their blankets and vegged out in from the television. You know what, Dora? Yelling at us doesn't make us like you.
To see more of what your grandchildren or children of your friends are up to, visit the site below where you can watch short iPhone videos.
More Videos of the Schmookies

Emaline as a cave girl

Keillor as a cave boy.

The big girl swings. Wow.

Someone had to go potty during bath time.