I may have mentioned this in the past, but it bears repeating … Chanler dislikes change of any kind immensely!!!

And now on to the actual reason for the post…

A little over a month ago Chanler started wearing underwear. We have always said that we would be the kind of parents that let our kids drive the potty training process – no cajoling, no bribing, no reminding, no pushing them before they were ready, etc. Well, transitioning Chanler to underwear challenged every one of those tenants.

Long ago when Chanler was under 2 we though he was interested in using the toilet and bought him potty stuff (seat reducer, underpants, etc.) but his interest was short lived and life continued on. Within the last year I had tried again to induce interest in the potty (tie-dyed underpants, privileges for boys in underpants, etc) to no avail. In fact it seems that while Chanler could indeed use the potty and recognize when he needed to go, he didn’t care to be bothered with it. This was intensely frustrating for me – I believed that children are at some point supposed to want to no longer be in diapers, but my reality was the opposite.

Finally I had had enough and we broke down and tried what had worked for so many of my friends (and which I had mocked and sworn never to do!!!) We bribed. Jelly beans for using the toilet. Guess what – it didn’t work! All that jelly beans taught Chanler was how to produce pee when ever he wanted a jelly bean… (the kid is too smart). I was devastated! I had caved and it hadn’t even worked! After a few weeks of jelly beans on demand I lost it again and just put Chanler into underwear at home all the time. He did fine with pee, but managed (of course) to only poop when we were out of the house (so annoyed at this point). Finally 8 days after the diaper came off at home (and 4 days since he had pooped last) Chanler finally went poop on the potty! And without prompting!

After that he never looked back! That night when we went out to get some dinner he decided he wanted to wear underwear out of the house. I was amazed at how fast he switched!

What I have come to realize it that there were two problems holding Chanler back. 1) Chanler doesn’t like new things or change of any kind. He typifies “Why change if it isn’t broken,” and it wasn’t broken for him. 2) Chanler lacked confidence that he could poop on the potty and didn’t want to fail in his attempt.

So now for the last month Chanler has been wearing underwear. He has had a total of 2 accidents (both of which involved jeans that were too hard to get off by himself fast enough) and doesn’t need reminded or really helped much at all. It isn’t how I pictured it, but it has worked for Chanler.

Chanler’s Law aka The Observer effect – “the term observer effect refers to changes that the act of observing will make on the phenomenon being observed.”

Over the last few days Chanler has been wonderful with his new sister. He says such cute things to her, wants to hold her, give her kisses, etc. all until you pull out the camera to catch such cuteness for posterity. Once the camera is on, all Chanler wants to do is see the picture and have the camera flash.

I guess I need to invest in the nanny cam, just to capture my kids being cute without them knowing it.

When he wants to, Chanler can be SO grown up.

Currently Chanler likes to do the following by himself:

  • Pick out his own outfits, complete with socks and undershirt!
  • Get his toothbrush, put toothpaste on it, wet it and give it to daddy for brushing, then he rinses, spits and washes his face
  • Washes himself in the bath (well everywhere except his back and hair)

Of course he is just as likely to want to do it all by himself as he is to insist that he is a baby and can’t possibly do anything without help – go figure!

I try not to read to much into when and how much Chanler eats – I really do. The “rule” of the house is that you have to eat one bite of each thing on your plate in order to be finished (this is to get Chanler to try everything and to eat at least some amount of veggies.) Today Chanler polished off 3+ slices of meat loaf (for perspective, I had 1 and Scott managed 2.) I don’t know where in the world all that meat went????? I am expecting that he won’t eat again for at least 3 days, but I guess we will see. Maybe it is just another growth spurt – I feel like we just finished one though.

At the end of his nap this afternoon Chanler said something very funny. I had started moving around in an attempt to get him to wake up, while still letting him wake himself up, because that leads to a MUCH better overall mood. Anyway, Chanler rolled onto his side, curled up and said with his eyes still closed “I’m all done sleeping*.” His mother on the other hand has been know to tell you that she is awake, getting dressed even, all the while still sleeping.

*This phrase is what Chanler says anytime he wakes up – from sleeping overnight, nap time, before he is asleep at nap time, at 3 am when he wakes up, etc. It is not my favorite thing to hear!

I have been waiting for the “why shoe” to drop for months now. Many of Chanler’s friends have been driving their parents nuts with this one forever it seems. Well it has finally happened. The funny thing is that it crept up on me. I didn’t realize he was actually doing it until Scott pointed out how many of his questions were “why” related. Of course after that insight, the number of questions in the “why spiral” has increased to the point that I think I would have noticed it on my own (especially in the last 1-2 weeks).

On the good side
1)Chanler’s why questions are in the form of full sentences – so you at least know what he is asking about.
2) There are a few (very few) answers that will stop him in his tracks. These include “Because God made it that way,” “Because the clock says so,” and not as effectively “I don’t know why.”

On the bad side:
1) EVERYTHING is why right now. For example tonight we had to return a broken lamp to the store. The whys ranged from Why are we going?, Why is the lamp in the car?, Why is the lamp broken?, to Why does the lamp turn off?
2) Once a why is asked – it WILL be asked over and over and over. From above. We discussed “why the lamp is broken” at least 5 times on the short drive to the store.
3) Once a why is answered – there will be another why!
4) Chanler hasn’t figured out that there are something which just are because they are. For example “why is it Wednesday” has no really good answer. It has answers, but none of them seem to satisfy him. (i.e. “because it is the day after Tuesday” leads to “why is it the day after Tuesday” which leads to ??? I don’t know – social convention or a long explanation of Norse mythology)
5) Circular explanations. I can’t remember my example, but I know I actually said something to Chanler along the lines of – do you see how we can never figure this out . . . we just keep going back and forth.

I know this is “just a phase” and it could be MUCH worse, but right now it is driving me up the wall! I have heard it said that Women need to use more words each day than men (in general), but lately I am running out of not only words, but the ability to listen to any more words. Poor Scott just isn’t allowed to talk when he gets home :-p

Chanler and I have recently had some very interesting conversations while driving (mostly home.)

Today: While I was trying to talk about what Chanler was going to have for lunch (to prep him for actually wanting that – this tactic seems to help); Chanler decided to be silly and said he didn’t want to eat lunch he was going to “eat grass . . . [pause] noooo that’s silly”; “eat tree . . . [pause] nooo that’s silly.” This went on for a few blocks with me mostly just listening to all the things Chanler would eat (other than lunch – grass, trees, leaves, cars, buses, anything he saw out the window). Then came the laugh out loud moment.

C: Eat the red light
J: But if you eat the red light how will I know when to stop?
C: You hang me from the light? I’ll swing . . . I want to swing.
J: at this point I was laughing so hard I almost had to stop driving.

Yesterday: While on the way home from Art class, we discussed Creation (i.e. Why the sun goes down and comes up – because that is the way God made it), Morality (i.e. why we should act kindly to others even when they tried to take a toy away from us), Impulse control (i.e. why said child tried to take the toy from Chanler), Etc. My favorite conclusion by Chanler (during the creation discussion) was that God made the Sun to come up each day so people could do things – to which Chanler said . . . “Jesus said go to art class.”

Sometimes you just have to say well kinda, and wonder how their brains work.

Every time I play Enya, Chanler comes and tells me that “mommy is singing”

Should I be flattered?

Chanler started a gym class this morning. OK I actually signed him up for a class through the city a few weeks ago, but after the first class I was so disappointed that we had to find a real class for him.

So, Scott took him to a parent tot class this morning as a trial and Chanler loved it (well most of it at least.) He got to run, toss, jump, hang, climb, roll, balance, and get many drinks of water. It was pretty much just what I was looking for – well except I would rather have a weekday class over a Saturday class, but hopefully they will expand their schedule soon (only need one more family for Fridays!)

Chanler’s newest talent after the class it the “stick” pose i.e. what you do when you land or want to stop jumping. It is hilarious – if you say stick he will bend his knees and stick his hands into the air, all the while grinning.

Cal Sports Center Gymnastics

I was trying to get Chanler to sleep last night, and he is not having anything to do with it. He tells me quite emphatically that “Chanler don’t like to sleep!”

So I am trying to convince him that it is ok to sleep – Daddy sleeps, Mommy sleeps, etc, down the list. When I get to the end of the list of just about everyone that he knows, he asks me if Jesus sleeps. I tell him that Jesus doesn’t need to sleep, that while Chanler is sleeping, Jesus is watching over him to make sure that he stays safe.

So he says quite triumphantly, “Jesus don’t like to sleep either!”