Miss Stella Mae arrived on May 29. Despite being 10 days (that is not a typo!!) late she decided to make a rather hurried appearance once she was ready. Fortunately, she seems to be pretty laid back considering the way she rocketed into the world.
We spent the summer settling in as a family of four. (OK, five if you count the dog, but after all the things she chewed up yesterday I am currently not counting her.) We worked in our garden. Emma bounced, climbed and ran around and Stella observed/slept in her bouncy seat on the patio. Matthew and Emma would adventure to the farmer’s market, a Rockies game and most frequently Home Depot. There wasn’t a whole lot of sleeping. I take that back – Stella had some brilliant nights of sleep from weeks five to ten. It wasn’t until week 13 I realized she fell off the nighttime sleep wagon. In the past few weeks she’s slept quite well and it’s allowed me to see the world through rose colored glasses. It’s really lovely – I suggest trying on a pair.
We had a cold snap in Denver a few weeks ago so Emma and I tried to get outside as much as possible before the chill hit. We adventured around the neighborhood – me with my camera and Emma ready to explore. Occasionally I would look up from adjusting my white balance to make sure Emma was not running in the street or climbing a neighbor’s fence. I am convinced I’ll be a superb wildlife photographer I can master taking pictures of Emma. Most of the time she sprints around faster than a cheetah.
When my mom was dying I told her the very hardest part about the whole crappy thing was that she wouldn’t know my kids. Ugh – thinking, saying or typing that fact will forever bring tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat. Anyway, her response through tears was, “sweetie, I’ll be there cheering you on through potty training, I’ll be there.” She knew what I had not quite accepted. She really is right here, all the time, a voice in my head, a little bird on my shoulder guiding me along the way.
If my mom was of this earth she would be here potty training Emma, that’s just who she was. We got our dog right before my mom came for a visit knowing she would get her house broken. She accomplished this in less than 10 days. She was the most maternal of mothers and I think she honestly loved these parental tasks that require immense care and attention. I don’t think I can quite say the same for myself. I spent one evening scouring the internets for every possible potty training piece of advice to make sure Emma was really ready. I discovered yes, Emma is ready and I need to stop looking for ways to put it off and buck-up.
I am basically following the Jan Goodner dog house-breaking method. This involves taking Emma to the bathroom constantly and a heck of a lot of cheering. Maya got a treat each time she went “whiz”. Emma doesn’t seem to find the treats to be so important so I’ve bumped up an extra notch of woo hoo’s and you did it’s and I am so proud of you’s with a bunch of clapping and hi-fives. I do love seeing the look on her face when she feels success. I also love the day I put the child adaptor on the toilet. Emma sat on it with an enormous grin across her face and kept reapeating, “happy, happy”!
We’re knee deep into this potty training thing. It’s turning out not to be nearly as daunting as I expected. We spend lots of time in the bathroom and possibly even more time talking about everyone we know who uses a potty. Does grandpa use a potty? Yes. Does grandma use a potty? Yes. Daddy? Yes. Mommy? Yes. Teacher? Yes. Neighbor Bob? You betcha.
Uhhh, Lisa, it’s summer, why is Emma in school? Well you see, Emma and I have been joined at the hip (some might say literally) for the last two plus years. We get out lots, do fun things, see other people almost everyday but I feel like she’s ready to be in a school/kid fun setting all on her own – and it’s only on Wednesdays.
I had big plans for this time all to myself – running errands, cleaning the house, catching up on email, etc. So far today I went running and have spent the rest of the time obsessively checking my phone (I also have the ringer on high) to make sure Emma’s teacher hasn’t called to tell me she’s freaking out – come get her now!
Hmm…it seems I am the only one freaking out.