Sunday, October 9, 2011

Of pumpkins, poop, and superheros...

Now, for those of you that know me, you know that I have, let's call it..a "strong personality"....weaved with a bit of a "Type A-don't-mess-with-me-or-my-family" and "do-not-test-mommy-because-she-WILL-follow-through-with-her-threats".

Chapter 1: The Pumpkin Patch

Grant's school went to one of the many pumpkin patches around town last Tuesday. Of course, you can imagine that I JUMPED on the opportunity to be the mommy helper...admittedly because I need to ensure that Grant arrives safely from the school bus at the patch and does not get lost, hurt, or otherwise damaged in the corn maze.  It's a control thing, yea, I know. 
Here are some photos:

Grant and his friends (Iris,Preston, Arthur).

Grant picked out THE BIGGEST pumpkin out of his entire class (mommy had to carry the entire morning)

Grant and his friend, PJ

The class of 3B, Carmel Mountain Preschool

Hayride around the pumpkin patch.

Things I learned at the pumpkin patch:

1) The white pumpkins are the cooking-type pumpkins....the canned "Libby's" pumpkin puree...exclusively from white pumpkins. Apparently the water to pumpkin ratio is lower than the orange varietals. So, all of you reading this who are planning on cooking with "not-from-the-can pumpkin" this fall season, go get yourself the right kind of cooking pumpkin.

2) Second thing I learned was not about pumpkins, but about gourdes. The ORIGINAL maracas (used by indigenous tribes) are dried gourdes which take 3-6 months to dry before you can use them as instruments....and besides instruments.... Have you seen these things when they are dry and painted?? BEAUTIFUL--and they sell for $200-$300 each...check out one artist's painted gourds here....not a bad return for a $5.00 gourde...

......hmmmm... (lightbulb moment: painting gourdes has NOT been explored in my numerous crafting endeavors which range from scrapbooking, crocheting, cake decorating and yes, even basket weaving....) of course I bought one and am currently rotating the gourde to promote re-adsorption of the water and therefore speedier drying. Blog post to follow in 6-8 months.

Chapter 2 Poop on Halloween

We've been gearing up for Halloween and the house is filled with my fall decorations..the kids rooms each have "light up" pumpkins and there are fall leaves (the Michaels kind) all around the house on the mantal and the kitchen bar.  Grant is going to be a Transformer. Gwen is kindly recycling Grant's $50 Elmo costume for me. (Note: she wanted to be a princess, but I informed her that she is a princess every day and that she should be Elmo--this seems to have satisfied her..for now...I digress..this post isn't about Gwen, so I'll stop now).

Anyway, we've been having some "issues" with Grant. He's been FULLY potty trained since he was 2.5, but in the last month, he's been having "accidents"...the "Number 2" kind of accidents.  At school, outside playing,at restaurants, AT THE PADRES GAME....we have been trying to wrap our heads around it..and reasons we've come up to "justify" these incidents are :

1)Maybe he's just waiting to long and it's a "I-can't-wait-until-I-find-a-bathroom" situation. 

Attempted solution = talking kindly and nicely to him about not waiting until the last minute.  Strength of our solution= weak. He's still pooping an I'm throwing out 2-3 pairs of undies a week..

....and sorry folks, although I try to be thrifty, environmentally conscious, etc etc, I DO NOT WASH POOPY UNDERWEAR.  TOTALLY.FREAKIN'.GROSS.
Straight in the trash it goes.

2) Maybe he's upset about Gwen getting attention for her successes inpotty training? 

Attempted Solution= we have started "rewarding" Grant with whatever Gwen is currently receiving as her "treat" if he tells her "Good Job Gwen". (Currently chocolate covered pretzel MnM's

Strength of the solution= Moderate. There are no more tears when I tell him: "It's Gwen's treats for peeing", but his pooping his pants "issue" persists.

New solution to the problem = Have him accumulate "stars" on his chart for good efforts...not just of the bathroom kind...but for being nice to his sister, for cleaning up his toys...for doing his homework..and losing stars for pooping his pants. 

But what to do if he loses all of his stars?
We've tried:

1) Taking away his favorite TV shows...but he is content just watching whatever his sister is watching (Dora-all-the-freakin'-time...I have nightmares about this chica and if she will ever make it to find King Unicornio)

2) Taking away his "Mobigo" game for a few nights....but this doesn't bother him as he just reads books instead.

What would REALLY sink in and solve this problem once and for all? Threatening to lose Halloween. He will NEVER POOP HIS PANTS if he knows Halloween will be gone for him.

Fast forward to yesterday afternnoon. Senario: Grant in his room playing his mobi-go and not napping. Fine. Whatever. He's probably dropping naps now anyways. Enter me into room to put clothes away.  Inner monologue: "Geez, it smells kind of shitty in here. Maybe his room is just stuffy".  
Open window.
Walk out of room and almost STEP on a dime size TURD that is on his carpet.

Inside I'm FREAKING OUT and can feel my face red with fury. 

What I do: Calmly pick up the poop turd and bring it to husband who is working on his computer. "Brent, there is poop on Grant's floor".

Brent deals with the situation with Grant (it's nice to know I'm not the only one who has HIT THE ROOF with anger about him pooping his pants).

I proceed to get my steam cleaner (I was looking for a good excuse anyway to clean the carpets) and as I move his hamper away I notice TWO pairs of underwear that have poop in them thrown inside 

Inner monologue: Really Grant? Is this the best you can do to try and cover it up? You throw poop filled underwear inside your hamper?

I approach Brent about the underwear sitaution and we come to the conclusion that, No, it's not that he was have accidents... Grant was just immersed in other more exciting activities (this time being his video games) and being TOO lazy to walk the 2 feet from his bedroom into the bathroom to go potty.


I look at his star chart which is down to 1 remaining star and rip it off and proceed (calmly, zen-like) to take down his Halloween decorations in his room.
Halloween is over for Grant. He cries in his bed. I feel bad for him, but unsure of what else to do at the moment.

Chapter 3 Superhero among us

For the privacy of our friends, I'm not going to mention specific names and Brent would prefer I didn't even blog about it. But I think there is an ever so important message and lesson and I urge all of you to take this seriously.

We were at dinner last night at our friends house. They have a pool. She is a life long swimmer and an ISR instructor. They have two children, one Grant's age and a 15 month old (I think he's 15months, may be +/- a month). We were all eating outside and Grant and the older boy were riding hotwheels around the pool (which does have a gate, but the boys were inside the gate next to the pool riding the cars along the concrete path . All of our eyes were on the boys THE WHOLE time. Gwen and the baby were keepiig close to the adults so I wasn't too worried about them..and

BOTH OF MY KIDS AND THEIR KIDS ARE WATER SAFE. Thanks to ISR lessons as well as normal swimming lessons.

Still, it makes you (ok, ME) nervous.  They eased my mind by saying, "dont worry, the worst that will happen is they will fall in and get wet and cold."
Still, I'm a worrier by nature.  I come by it honestly. We have friends who have lost children to drowning accidents. It's the #1 killer of children under the age of two...get your kids water safe my friends.....

We finish dinner and it gets dark and the boys grab flashlights to use as they cruise around the pool. Again, we are watching them the entire time.
...I hear a scream from Grant, "YOUR BABY'S IN THE POOL!!!!" he's shining his flashlight into the water.

We all jump 15 feet out of our chairs and look immediately next to me and see Gwen. My heart races.
It's the baby. He's fallen into the pool.
His dad runs over there and pulls him straight out of the water.  The mom and dad undress him and rushes him upstairs to take a warm bath.
He is alright, just wet and cold... and scared.

After the adrenaline rush had subsided we talk about the incident and I share with you THESE LESSONS LEARNED:

1) It only takes a second, a split second, a half-a-blink and kids can fall into the water.  There was no big splash when he fell in, no cry for help from him.
WE WERE WATCHING THEM...and none of us adults saw him fall into the water. 

2) There is a reason they tell you not to use those 'noodles' as toys in the pool. Here's the reason: Although he is ISR trained and apparently was trying to be on his back when he fell in, there was a hose in the water and he was grabbing for the hose to hold onto..which he most probably thought was one of those noodles which would keep him a float. That moment of thinking of a hose as a noodle and not focusing on his training could have been disastrous. 

3) Superhero's among us take on all shapes and sizes and can be as innocent as a 4 year old who recognizes an emergency situation.

Now, Do I reward Grant for his quick thinking and allow him to "Have Halloween" again?

...and icing on the cake? He pooped in the toilet this morning.

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