Monday, November 27, 2006

Toilet Ups and Downs

I kind of mean that literally. As I reported earlier, Theo started peeing in the potty like a pro. No mess, toilet seat up, then down after.

Then, the other day, he sat down to pee. Needless to say it got everywhere. I'm not sure if he was trying to do it like mommy does it or if he was trying to poop. I realized how unfair it is to parents who have boys; we have to teach them to sit with one thing and stand with the other, and just one is hard enough as it is! For girls it's a two in one deal.

Now, luckily he's back to standing up, but he refuses to put the toilet seat up. Ironic, since most men refuse to put it down. Again, it sprays everywhere. I don't get the regression in potty training other than the fact that the little guy lives to drive me crazy.

However, I prefer cleaning up messes to no potty use at all. He still only sometimes uses it. Sometiems he refuses to wear a diaper and other times he refuses to wear one. He's very moody. And he won't use the toilet at school or his babysitter's or at Joe's mom's or sister's houses. The only other place he's done it is at Mimi's. I'm so glad that he's at least done it somewhere besides home.

And, we had a little Thanksgiving miracle. He pooped in the toilet! Sure, he'd done it before once or twice, but by us forcing him or by accident. This was the first time he realized he had to go, went and put his little seat on the toilet (which he sometimes uses and sometimes doesn't, depending on his mood). We sang the potty song a good 5 or 6 times before I heard the clunk and the splash. It was really exciting, to say the least! And he was oh so proud of himself.

He hasn't done it since, but it was a good start.

Before I sign off, one more comment, since I've been so graphic already I may as well go to town. It's so interesting watching him pee in the toilet. His peehole is so tiny that the stream is super skinny, slightly wider than a string. Because of this, peeing takes forever since he's gotta get this large amount of pee (larger than I'd have imagined) out of this tiny hole. No wonder his diapers were always so full. A whole lot can come out of such a little body. Who knew?

Monday, November 20, 2006

This is What's Up, Doc!

Kids are notorious for being their worst selves at the doctor and embarrassing the hell out of their parents.

Well, there is a reason for that. 2 hour waits in the waiting room!

I took Theo to the doc on Saturday, yes, a SATURDAY, because of his ongoing cough. For the first hour he was a perfect angel. He played with the toys in the waiting room while I watched Lady in the Tramp for the 70th time (that movie and Bambi are the only movies this doctor has for some reason...they can certainly take some of mine). Luckily I love those movies.

During the second hour Theo got rowdy, understandably. By the time we were in the doctor's room he was crawling under some furniture, climbing on other furniture, and touching everything that had a wire. My inital reaction was to feel embarassed about not being able to control my kid, but I resented them for taking two hours and being the reason I had to feel that way in the first place. Theo would have been his cute, charming, awake self had they seen him sooner. Sheesh.

Well, ain't a mama got a right to rant?

The Evolution of Subway Travel

When Theo graduated some time ago from stroller passenger to full time walker, this meant no longer going through doors, but turnstiles, to get to the subway.

For months he happily ducked under the turnstile. Joe or I would wait for him on the other side so we could see how cute he was coming under, with a big smile on his face. Joe was always excited to go on the train with Theo so he could watch him do this.

Now, he has to be a big boy and do it like mommy and daddy. He has to walk through the turnstile. Naturally, I am unwilling to by him his own Metrocard just for this purpose, so I let him walk through with me. But before we can walk through, he has to swipe his imaginary card through the digital reader (charming all bystanders). The first time I saw him do this I was nearly on the grimy, gum-splattered floor, laughing.

On the train, he still keeps his face plastered to the window. Hopefully he won't outgrow that for a while. I really love my little observer. He takes it all in. Living in New York, he's a people watcher - just like mom and dad.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Thanks to my beautiful Aunt Pia for giving me the title of this post. Now, why didn't I think of that?

So far, no fluke. Theo went to the toilet last night and again this morning. Not only that, but he's been asking to go. Saying "peepee potty." He definitely gets that's what he's supposed to do - no question.

Now it's a matter of getting poop down, and getting him to wear his underwear instead of throwing it as he did yesterday. And it's a matter of getting him to do it at school and other places outside of home.

Irony of ironies, we just bought tons of diapers wholesale.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Streaming Success

Milestone Alert! Last night I was lying on the couch talking to my mother on the phone, staring into space. All of a sudden my eyes hit the bathroom, the door was open, the toilet seat was up, and there stood Theo ... peeing!

I did a double take and looked harder to make sure I wasn't seeing things. But no, sure enough, there stood Theo with his hands holding his cute 'lil thingamajigger, and a stream of pee going so precisely into the toilet. No mess, no splattering the walls ... It was nothing like the disaster I imagined the first time to be! He was like an old peeing pro! Already suited for marriage because he flushed and put the toilet seat down.

Well, after I yelled and cheered and hung up on mom (sorry, mom) Joe and I ran to the bathroom. We made such a big deal out of Theo's accomplishment -- in fact, we did everything short of having a parade in his honor -- that Theo stood there with an enormous smile on his face that I'll never forget. It was a look of pure pride and happiness. Kids that young are happy when they please their parents ... I'll enjoy it while it lasts!

I can't believe all the non-success of sitting on the potty, and then BAM, he stands there like a big boy and goes. I have no idea if this was a one time thing or if we're on a road to being diaperless soon. But I do know it was a very special moment that will stay in me.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Polka Party!

Yesterday we visited Nonny and Aunt Donny in Brooklyn, which always makes for a nice day. Theo gets tons of attention, and the ladies get plenty of Theo material to discuss over coffee for the next few weeks. And I get ... ultra yummy food!

Theo is consistent. On each of our last visits, he ate exactly three meatballs with his pasta. Yesterday he demanded that I cut my meatballs the way I cut his before I was allowed to eat them. Mom, who was also with me, and Nonny got a kick out of that. He did this by coming up to me, grabbing my fork, and saying "cut" while trying to cut them himself.

Leaving Nonny's, Theo said some version of "Aunt Don." He knew where we were going next! It's part of the Brooklyn routine.

At Aunt Don's, after eating his usual bazillion graham crackers, he went and stood on the spot where we all dance the polka; we do this every time after coffee. He ran to Aunt Don's tape player and tried to make the music come on. Aunt Don found the polka tape and stuck it in; yes, a tape, remember those?

I had no idea Theo knew our Brooklyn routine so well!

It was a lovely day, and ended in Theo leaving wearing a beautiful gray knitted hat that matched his gray peacoat, compliments of my genius Great Aunt.

Heavy Lifting

On Saturday we all went to the park with Michelle, Gigi, and their foster child Jaylin, who is 3 (and a real cutie!). Theo and Jaylin played on the rock-climbing wall and with Gigi's remote control trucks, having a grand ol' time.

On the way home Joe put Theo on his shoulders. Jaylin said, "I want to do that!" so I hoisted him up on my shoulders. He may be Theo's age, but he's a heck of a lot lighter.

Fast forward to the next morning. Theo and I left the house to get him a haircut...once outside, he wouldn't budge. I tried pulling him, but he wouldn't move and he started to whine. Finally he said "up" (like Aunt Lisa says, he talks when he wants to) and pointed to my shoulders.

Now, he's been on Joe's shoulders plenty of times, and he knew not to expect it of me! But this time, he was too smart; he had seen me do it with Jaylin the day before, and now knew that mommy was capable of it.

As I grunted along with the heavy kid on my shoulders, I couldn't help but smile. I was proud of Theo's perceptiveness,of his making that connection that mommy could be used for shoulder rides too.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

That's That Until Baby # 2

It's gone. It's over.
Woe is me, for Theo has
A stroller no more.

I should introduce all of my posts with a haiku, right? Yeah...not gonna happen.


A few weeks ago, I wiped the cobwebs off of the stroller and decided I'd bring it with me to the city, since Theo and I would be doing a full day of walking. Before that, I hadn't used it in a few months at least.

Theo was excited to be back in his stoller. It seemed that he'd missed it. But the pain in the ass of it wasn't worth it. He's too heavy to push, and he ended up walking most of the day anyway.

I considered abandoning it in Central Park that day. But I couldn't do it. Not just for emotional reasons, but because I'm bad at throwing things away. Later, I told Joe we probably didn't need it anymore, but maybe we should keep it just in case.

Well, recently I realized it was gone. He'd thrown it away a while ago and I never noticed. It's so final. But I won't go into the cliche "I've lost my baby" sobs... ok, who am I kidding...MY BABYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. WAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mixed Report

Joe and I both visited Theo's school this week, separate days. Joe went today, and I don't have the full report yet, but it was mixed with good and bad, like mine. We both were surprised at how off he was. He's a very different Theo at school. Almost too obedient. He doesn't ask for things unless he's prompted to. At home he asks for everything. Lately I've been excited by the 2 and 3 word sentences he has been putting together. But at school, not so much.

Pulling him from school isn't the answer, because most of the other kids seem to be more advanced than he is, and it's good for him. He gets really excited at song time, and he does sing along, which is good. Joe said for "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands" he watches the other kids do the clap first and then he does it. I'm sure he'll do it with them soon enough. I prefer him being the follower to the leader, because he does need to see a more advanced level modeled. I was worried he'd be in a class full of kids who are sitting there, staring into space and rocking.

When I watched him at bfast he handed out cups to everyone - his job! How cute! And he sat next to 2 boys, both pretty big talkers. At first I got excited, it looked like he was having a little conversation with one of them. But then he started zoning out during the meal. Strange. But later he tried making his own chocolate milk, pouring choc syrup into the milk and stirring. He only needed a little assistance!

The thing is, he started eating his cereal without milk because he didn't have milk. At home, he would never stand for eating cereal without milk. He'd ask for it. But he didn't at school. Hopefully he just needs to adjust more first, and he will.

Since Theo is too "disciplined" at school and not enough so at home, ideal Theo is a middle ground Theo. Of course, when are kids ever ideal?

His teacher, Grace and speech therapist Jeannie are really great. It's only been a couple of months but they know so much about him, and I can tell they really take their work seriously. They love these kids. And they know Theo so well.

I loved seeing all the school things. Pictures from Halloween - he was the cutest monkey, but all the kids looked cute in their costumes too. Pictures from the farm - one was of Theo on a pony ride! His cubby, his photo album. They make a photo album of each kid. Theo has some hysterical pictures in it. One is of him in a bandana and sunglasses pushing a pink stroller.

Theo talks the most and responds the best when doing sensory work, like working with playdough. They baked playdough together there, and he really loved that. They give him massages to get his senses going, and have him jump on a trampoline before they work with him, because he seems to work better after exercising and playing. I'd be curious to know what little things like that they do with each of his classmates to get THEM ticking.

Overall it was really cute seeing him with his little friends, and he is so happy at school. It's an emotionally charged experience, for sure.

By the way, when I got there he smiled and continued hanging with his classmates. But when Joe got there he jumped up, spilled his milk and cereal, and ran to him. Grrrrr. Sooooo unfair.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Silly Monkey Finds Something Even Sillier


These videos get darker when I put then up on Google. Some other time I'll experiment with another program and see if that's any better. UPDATE: You Tube is better, using them from now on.

This was from Halloween...duh.

I can't believe I was able to put video up here the whole time I've been blogging and I never knew it! I'm really excited, now those of you further away will be that much closer to Theo.

The Frog Prince


Some of you couldn't see this video when I tried emailing it last year. I'm so glad that now you all can view it, except the quality has suffered a bit. But enjoy anyway!

My 3 Kids


Darker than it should be....grrrrr

Friday, November 03, 2006

Remember His Name!

Last night we watched "Dancing with the Stars" as we do every week. Normally I simply watch, as normal folks do. But last night the song "Fame" came on, and I couldn't help myself, I got so excited I jumped up and starting dancing and singing (I was in a production of the show a while back).

Every time it got to the word "fame" in the song I threw my hands up and sang the word loudly. Well, guess who I realized was dancing around with me, with his little arms in the air. "Fame!" he yelled with me, laughing.

I made Joe join us and the three of us danced our sillies out. I sat down and Theo grabbed me and made me get up to keep dancing. Theo's dancing quickly turned to just running in circles and making a lot of noise, so that put an end to our fun. That was a clear sign that it was bedtime.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)

Today I attended a meeting at Theo's school about PECS. Jeannie, Theo's speech therapist, is the one who made the presentation, along with Anthea, who had evaluated Theo in the summer. So it was nice to be dealing with people who knew Theo well. Another good thing was the intimate setting - just me and three other parents. We were in a small conference room and we got to practice using PECS with each other.

I still don't know if PECS is something I will be using with Theo at home, or whether it's something I'll think he needs at school. Ultimately I'll probably defer to Jeannie's opinon. Joe and I will both be sitting in on speech sessions next week, so we'll see then.

There are some aspects of PECS that thankfully, Theo is already too advanced for. For instance, he's great with single words. If it can help him with sentences, though, that would be great. That's where I'm undecided. I'm not sure if it would help. You readers probably need to know what PECS is in order for you to know what I'm talking about, but it's (ironically enough) very difficult to explain without visuals. Just know that it involves using pictures for EVERYTHING. For instance, if Theo wanted juice, he would go to his notebook of pictures, grab the picture of the juice, and bring it to me. I would then say "juice" or "I want juice." But Theo already knows the word for juice, and when he wants it, he usually goes to the fridge and brings it to me. And says it.

So in that sense, the system would be detrimental because it would involve an extra and unnecessary step for Theo. But it would be beneficial in that he'd be encouraged to make requests independently. Not just to me, but to a babysitter or an aunt, for example. And his vocabulary would increase.

After the meeting I went up to Grace's classroom to peek in, but they were out on a walk (there was a sign and a picture on the door saying they were out for a walk). Outside, I walked around looking for a group of kids...I actually found them! They were a couple of blocks away. Theo looked so cute and so happy, he was pointing to something. I said hello to Grace and gave Theo a kiss (and got a good one in return!). I left for work and some of the kids said "bye Theo's mommy!" Theo waved goodbye. Hey, he didn't used to even wave.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy Halloween!


Gigi took this picture in her apartment. Theo looks like he's missing an eye, but other than that I love this picture.

Jameer, Michelle and Gigi's 18 month old foster child, cried and ran away when he saw my monkey feet. We were laughing and feeling bad at the same time!

Between trick-or-treating at school and with us in the evening, the candy load was quite measurable. I brought most of it to work so we wouldn't eat it all at home (I tried to bring all of it but Joe wouldn't let me).

This morning Theo brought me a tootsie roll to open and said, "twikoteet."

More School Stuff

I haven't been good about updating lately, so here goes. Theo had an eye exam at school. He has an astigmatism in his right eye and may need glasses...he'll be re-tested in three months and at that time they'll determine whether to write him a prescription. Bad vision runs on my side of the family, but I really hope he doesn't have to start on glasses so young. It's the last thing any of us needs, but especially my poor little guy.

The good news is I spoke to Jeannie, the speech therapist, and she said that since my talk with Grace, Theo has improved. She is torn now on whether he needs to be on PECS, whereas before she recommended it fully. Amazing what can change in a couple of weeks. And I guess this is a big lesson for me, and a simple one - throughout Theo's many years of schooling, I will get good reports and bad ones, and that's just the way it is. Unfortunately, my mother only got good reports about me, I should have put her through more hell. Okay, that's not true, in junior high I got in trouble once because my shorts were too short.

Tomorrow I'm going to the school to attend a meeting about PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System). I will learn more about it and try to determine with Jeannie whether Theo needs it. I'll also be observing his speech and OT sessions on Monday, and as much time in the classroom as they'll let me. It's open school week. Joe is going on Wednesday. So between the two of us and the three days there, I hope next week ends with good feelings about school.

I am told that at school he is always, always happy.