Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Keeping Up with the Kiddos

In the two days that it's taken me to recount Michael's baptism and birthday celebrations, the kids have been keeping things plenty interesting around here.

Abby continues to talk about the baptism here and there, and even attempted to re-enact it during Monday night's dinner by dunking her forehead into the little bowl of vinaigrette that Tom gave her for her salad and tomatoes and declaring, "Abby put oil on her head!"

She's also been continuing to show an interest in all things potty. What started off as random comments about bathroom behavior in the last week (like her attribution of my stomach rumblings to Raspberry's activities in utero) seems to be growing into a larger indication of interest in how the process works. It now appears to be me who is holding us back. Take yesterday, for instance. I brought her downstairs after her nap and was changing her diaper, and she was chattering on about how "Abby made a stinky poop." I chuckled and said, "Oh, Abby, there's no poop in this diaper. Just lots of pee-pee." I must ashamedly admit that it did occur to me as I was pulling her pants back on and setting her down that she was perhaps trying to tell me something. But, I brushed the thought aside, because I'd given in to false indicators before, and was feeling too tired to indulge in this one.

And, wouldn't you know it, within five minutes Abby fulfilled her own prophecy, in the brand new diaper that I'd just put on her. It could have been in the potty, and I'm still kicking myself over the lost opportunity.

To be honest, though, if it had happened, what then? I don't know that I'm ready to take whatever follow-up steps might be required. Certainly, it would be helpful to have one less child in diapers before the new one gets here, but I just don't know how I'm going to find the time or energy (or courage, for that matter) to actually tackle potty training until she is literally begging me to do it. I've been terrified of the prospect since before I ever had any children, and I'm even more terrified of it now, as it looms so perilously close to my actual reality.

I know I'm always complaining about being tired these days, but I did actually have a good excuse on that particular afternoon. Tom had to go into work on Tuesday, so I handled all three babies by myself from about 9am to 5pm. This involved several diaper changes, six trips up to the attic and back again for nap times, one trip up to the dining room for lunch, lunch preparation, kitchen cleanup, and basically no time for a break. Despite usually having Tom around to help with the carrying of babies up and down the stairs, I actually did okay with all of that.

What really got me out of breath was doing all that and then unexpectedly having to chase Michael around the playroom when I brought him down after lunch. He had the whole room to himself while Abby was down for her nap, and it suddenly occurred to him to try out that activity walker that I've been trying to introduce to him for days now. The purpose of it just clicked in his little head, somehow, and away he went. Or rather, tried to go. Unfortunately, he had a hard time keeping it going in a straight line because he preferred to hold with one hand, rather than two, and there were countless objects on the floor perfectly positioned to get in his way. Everytime he got held up, he began to cry, and I didn't want him to get frustrated and give up before he was really able to experience it, so I found myself bending down to sweep things out of his path, and running ahead to repeat the same step when he found a new obstacle. About a minute into all of this, I realized that I couldn't let the moment go by without recording it, so I had to run upstairs, get the camera, and then fiddle with it on top of everything else.

It was nearly impossible to get any footage. I would set Michael up on a clear path, and away he would go, before I could even get the camera positioned or the "record" button pushed. The end result was seven clips, all less than twelve seconds long. I spent a bit of time this evening trying to figure out how to edit them into one long sequence, but the free app that I downloaded to do so wouldn't open the file type that my camera saved the videos in. Go figure. I only have so much patience for this sort of thing at the tail-end of the day, so I gave up and decided to pick my favorite three clips to share.