Posted by: Hannah | 09/07/2012

win some, lose some, then win some more

Today when we finished storytime – always the precursor to quiet time & nap time – Luna burst into angry crocodile tears before I’d even brought out her nap pallet.

“NOOOOOO no ki-dit time!! Nooo!!!! GO HOOOOMMME!”

I ignored the outburst and got Pixie, Louis, and Gabriel into their beds. I brought out her pallet and sat her on it.

“Now I’m just going upstairs with Ron for a minute, to settle him down for quiet time, too! I’ll be right back, OK?” and I left. There were no more tears or protests, and when I tiptoed downstairs five minutes later she was asleep.

These are not great naps; she’s waking up after about 45 minutes like clockwork, and then she really is in dire straits for a while, needing cuddles and reassurance until she wakes up completely. But it’s a start, and since her parents still claim that she will not sleep for them without DEFCON-2 level intervention, I’m chalking it up as a win.


As I mentioned in the comments on my last post, Louis is so chronically unready for toilet training that I discovered yesterday he doesn’t even know how to pull his own shorts up and down. Now, you might think I’m being needlessly picky here, but there is one of me and six of them – and I’m breastfeeding. If one of them needs to pee and I’m momentarily tied down, they need to be able to pull down their own underpants and get themselves to a potty. Not during the training week, but once they are done with diapers they have to be pretty independent about those initial steps.

I asked Louis’ dad to please practice it with him last night, and he assured me this morning that they did. Excellent.

Today at the post-lunch diaper change I cheerfully asked Pixie and Louis to take their shorts off. “OK!” Pixie chirped, and happily stripped off first her pants, then her diaper. Oh, and her socks.

Louis stood there.

“Come on, Louis!” I said, still cheerful.

Louis stood there.

“Take off your shorts please, buddy!”, slightly less cheerful this time but still hoping for something to happen.

Louis stood there.

“Did you practice taking off your shorts last night?”


“And you learned how to take off your shorts?”


“Would you show me? Show me what you practiced!” big toothy smile, which felt unnatural even to me because did I mention the eight-month sleep regression arrived this week, and I haven’t slept more than 90 minutes at a stretch in the last 72 hours? And that nothing shortens my fuse faster than interrupted sleep?

Louis stood there.

I squatted on his level, took his hands in mine, and made eye contact. “Louis, remember how we talked about learning to pee & poo in the toilet? Before we can learn that, we need to learn how to take our shorts off. I know you practiced! Can you show me?”

Louis smirked. There is no other word for it; he looked up at me from under his lashes and bloody well smirked. Then he took a deep breath, opened his mouth wide, and screamed “NOOOO!” Then he smirked again.


I had him out of his bottoms and into a clean diaper in what can only be termed as an indecently short time. He was marched off to bed (remember, Luna was wailing “NO KI-DIT TIME!!” while all of this was going on; meanwhile Pixie, precious child who is getting an extra helping of snack if she wants it, got her own blankie out of her daybag and let herself into the nap room.)

I tucked them both in. As I was giving Louis his night-night hug I said in a serious voice, “we only saw Grouchy Louis today, didn’t we?” (It’s true. He was wretched from the time he got up this morning. His dad was none too pleased with him when they arrived, a half-hour late.)

He nodded. “I grouchy” he agreed. “OK, but the best way to make Grouchy Louis go away is to get some sleep. And when you wake up, you can be Nice Friend Louis again, what do you say?” “Nice friend,” he repeated, sleepily.

Nap ended, as it always does. As I was getting him out of bed I peered at him and said “hmmm… looks like Grouchy Louis is gone… did Nice Friend Louis come back? Let’s go see!”

And back to the bathroom, where Louis announced that he was a monkey, made some monkey sounds, and pulled his shorts down without any more prompting from me. We got him changed and he even put his own clean PullUp back on with minimal assistance.

It’s a small step, but it’s something.

However, I feel like I will need to lay in a supply of potty-training rewards for myself, too.

It is going to be a LONG week.



  1. Whiskey and chocolate? 🙂 Oh man, I don’t know that I would have the patience.

    On a slightly disturbing (?) note, the whole Grouchy/Nice Friend thing would totally work on me. Even now. At 36. Ha ha.

  2. Oooo, my blood was boiling right along with yours. That sort of thing is so infuriating. Thank god for Pixie. You should have her bronzed. Or something.

  3. I hated potty training and bribed my children with whatever I could. I cannot imagine someone else doing all of that work so my kids would poo in a toilet! And smirking? You are a better person than I because I would NOT deal with that well!

  4. You have an exhausting job.

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