If you have been reading this blog for awhile you may have gathered that I am a pretty relaxed parent, or at least I try to be. I don't think there is any use getting worked up over whether kids can recite the alphabet at 18 months old or kick ass at soccer before kindergarten or start a successful dot-com while they're still in high school. Or, for that matter, whether anyone runs in the house or jumps on the furniture or eats crumbs off the floor or lets the dog lick their fingers. Yes, we have rules and we do enforce them but I try to maintain a "don't sweat the small stuff" attitude.
But. All of a sudden Opie is 3 and I feel like I'm being followed by some kind of huge, menacing, loudly ticking clock. He is neither potty-trained nor at all interested in giving up his pacifier. While he was 2 I just thought to myself "Well, he's only 2." Now that he's been 3 for all of 11 days I am totally doubting myself and my "he'll do it when he's ready" attitude.
He started in a new room at his child care center this week and between that and the birthday hangover, he has not taken a nap since a week ago Sunday. Reason to cut him some slack, or total rationalization?
The rule is that Nuks are for sleepy time only but he begs for it the minute we walk in the door in the afternoon. He'll even say "I just want it for one minute" or "I am going to take a little rest so I neeeeeeeed my Nuk." (Hah! There is no way I am falling for that, dude.) I am starting to think that a few days of cold-turkey misery might be better than spending hours every day trying to distract him via snacks, water, play time, walks, etc.
Similarly, the potty ... he kind of, sort of knows what to do and when to do it but not with any consistency at all, and he does not want to wear the cool Thomas the Tank Engine underwear his Grammy got him or even the Lightning McQueen Pull-Ups we stock by the dozens. He is not really motivated by rewards (like Jo is) so I am a little stumped. The last thing I want is a potty power struggle, but again ... am I being a gentle, attentive parent or a lazy loser?
So help me, the other day I started to wonder whether I could tackle one or both of these issues (and/or Jo's thumbsucking) if I promised them a kitten. Somebody stop me!