Molly used to say “Ouwee!” when she got hurt. She prefers it to a simple “Ouch!” — it has more impact. But recently, the phrase “Ouwee!” has morphed into a more general complaint, sort of like other people might say, “Ugh!”. It no longer has anything to do with getting hurt. Or maybe it just has to do with feelings getting hurt.
This has become a slight problem at times. For instance, the other day I changed Molly’s clothes in the changing room after her swim lesson. Everyone in the swim school could hear Molly yelling, “Ouwee!” behind the closed door when she became upset about putting on her diaper. When we came out of the small enclosure, a friend of ours looked concerned and said, “Is she okay?”. I said something lame like, “Oh yeah, she does that all the time” and hurried off.
It doesn’t take much to prompt an “Ouwee!” from Molly. Yesterday, Kit literally sneezed and Molly yelled “Ouwee!”
The other day, Molly’s teacher called me at home in the middle of the afternoon. This is usually a bad sign. A mid-day call from school is reliably preceded by vomiting, fever, both, or some other type of trouble at school. Molly’s teacher sounded a little upset or nervous, so then I knew it was trouble. But it was not as bad as I had feared. Molly had just thrown a fit at school over her pre-nap toilet duty. She had stubbornly refused to sit on the toilet for the second day in a row, and this time Molly was especially furious and indignant about it. Not only has she refused to sit on the toilet, but she had also disrupted the class and made it hard for her classmates to get their rest. Molly is only three years old and still given to bursts of uncontrollable emotions. This one was bad enough, though, that the teacher had to essentially send her to the principal (school director). This was not the first time that Molly has been sent to the principal for being disruptive. Still, it was not meant as a punishment. They just had to get Molly out of the classroom to restore order and to help Molly calm down. Apparently Molly and the school director had a nice calm talk in the hallway where they found Moly’s happy place again. At some point, Molly stated that she would rather just wear diapers because it is easier; she doesn’t have to stop what she is doing and go to the bathroom. She can just go whenever she wants to.
It was right after Molly’s loud outburst that Molly’s teacher called me with a trembling voice, imploring us to do something. She said this toilet thing was getting to be a real problem, and was there something we could try at home? After some discussion, I agreed that we would get Molly some underwear and let her try going diaper-less at home as much as possible this weekend in hopes of sparking interest in the toilet.
So this is how we officially began a push on Molly’s toilet training. Claire and I rushed to Target the next morning and picked out (among other things) some Tangled (Rapunzel) movie underwear. Molly was very excited to try out her underwear! She adored the princess on her underwear. The smallest size that Target had, though, was 4, which was pretty baggy on Molly. Still, it did the trick for now, while Kit ordered 3T undies from Amazon.
Molly did had a “leak” in her underwear and did not like the itchy sensation on her legs. She has so far been very positive about sitting on the toilet, but aside from some initial success a while back, she has had no recent success in putting her urine on the toilet. Molly’s teacher says her attitude is much better at school, and order is restored. So at least that part of the mission is accomplished.
Claire decided that it would be fun to ask me some math questions while driving her and Molly home from school today. What could be better? It started out easy enough. “Ziggy has 6 bananas. Joe gives Ziggy an apple. How many pieces of fruit does Ziggy have?” On answering 7, Claire declared, “Great job! You get a sticker when we get home!” If I did not know that Claire was pretending to be an encouraging teacher, I might have thought she was being very sarcastic.
Then Claire tried to confuse me. “Fifty has 70 cents. Fifty gives Leo 3 cents. How many cents does Fifty have?” I tried to confuse her back. “Hmm, so Seventy has 50 cents, right?” It did not work. Claire reiterated that someone named “Fifty” had 70 cents. I said the answer was 67, but Molly was adamant that the answer was actually 90.
Finally, Claire just about stumped me. “What is 100 divided by 2000?” That was not easy to answer while driving down the freeway. I told her it was .5, and she said “Yes!”. Then I thought about it more and said .05. Claire deferred, “Sure, whatever you said. I think you’re right.” Maybe I didn’t have to think about that one so hard after all. Do I get another sticker when we get home?
The girls and I made a weekend trip to Houston over the President’s Day weekend. The girls had three classes between them on Saturday (Molly swimming and ballet, Claire art) so we headed up in the late afternoon after the classes were done. it was a fun but quick trip. We mostly chilled out, and visited my old haunt, Hedwig Park. The girls were not ready to come back home on Monday! I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.
Claire drafted her official wish list today. These are things she is saving up for with her allowance. She seems pretty inspired and focused on this. Lots of this is things other kids have that Claire wants too. And most of it is expensive, so she’ll be saving for a long time.