Archive for September, 2009

What Non-Parents Hate

September 26, 2009

Yes, I’m going to post on potty training. This is a topic of no interest whatsoever to folks without kids; or probably even folks with kids who are over 5. Ella, as you may recall, showed little interest in the potty when we were on holiday and we didn’t push it that hard. Apparently there is psychiatric theory that says a lot of our stresses in later life come from the pressure to become potty trained. Every-so-often we ask Ella if she wants the toilet, and she usually says no. Sometimes we pop her on the toilet or potty to get her used to the idea, and she is quite happy with that. It’s a gentle introduction. Trouble is that she has never ever been bothered running around in a wet or poo filled nappy, so what is the incentive to Ella to learn to use the toilet?

We have had some breakthroughs in the past week or so. Last weekend when we went out for lunch we just put some pants on Ella, no nappy. This seemed to necessitate taking a towel for Ella to sit on in the pub, which was a bit odd and not very successful with a restless 2 year old. Anyway, we came back home with no accidents or embarrassments. Success one. The next day, we had the potty out in the livingroom where Ella was doing painting with her Aquadraw, and Hannah and I were both in the kitchen making tea. We heard Ella calling out and Hannah went back through and found Ella on the potty and had done both a poo and wee in the potty. Strangely she seemed to have managed this without taking her pants off. That was indeed a big success, because she went of her own accord, without prompting. This evening I asked if she wanted the potty before her bath, she dithered and said yes, and duly used it.

So she is beginning to show an inclination towards being potty trained. Once we’ve got over that hurdle, she really will be a proper little girl, as she’ll have completed the skills of talking, walking and managing her own toilet needs.

Note for Americans: pants are what you call panties (I think); nappies are diapers. For some reason the langauge of apparatus relating to babies has an awful lot of differences between English and US English.

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September Time

September 13, 2009

We’re well into September, and that means Hannah is back to school and the nights are drawing in. Even Ella has remarked on that, pointing out her window at bedtime and saying ‘it’s dark’. How do you explain the seasons and the rotation of the Earth around the Sun to a two year old?

While the return to school doesn’t mean much to Ella (other than less time with Mummy, which is, of course, important), it does mean that Dancing Tots has restarted and she can get her weekly fix of dancing randomness lessons. Apparently she really enjoyed it this week. She does do lot of dancing whenever she hears music, which I guess must be a good thing.

What isn’t improving is her ability to share. No doubt I’ve mentioned this before. Yesterday she pushed another kid at the play-park who tried to share some climbing equipment with her. Usually she isn’t that aggressive, but it is something we have to constantly watch out for and coach her to let other children near whatever she is playing with, whether it’s large or small.

As I said above, Hannah is back to school, and already complaining that she might be losing her voice. I think that’s normal at the start of the school year. She did get a big promotion at the start of term, which recognises her as a very good teacher. She is very pleased with that, and Ella and I are very proud. The start of term also means that choir is back. Check the Facebook group for friends of the choir or on YouTube for stuff on Medina High Community Choir. The early reherseals have been tough going, as Hannah has introduced some trickier new material, but I’m sure we’ll work our way through it. Some of the new material has been arranged by Hannah, which isn’t a new thing, but now is digitally enhanced, after I finally cracked how to use Cakewalk Music Creator, that I bought for Hannah several months ago. Having worked out how to use it, I realised it lacked some features for printing music (ties, repeats as examples), so downloaded a rival product, Finale PrintMusic, which once we got the right version, does almost all Hannah needs it to. Cakewalk might be good for other things, but not for printing out music. As part of this success, I managed to get Hannah’s Clavinova to talk to her laptop (by simply finding the right instructions and following them). This means Hannah can play the music on the Clavinova, and the application on the laptop will write up the music notation. Cool when it works.

Obviously I’m working away too, having been very focussed on a process milestone at work. That’s nearly done, but IBM being IBM, I can say no more.