Toddler Tuesday: Put Him in a Box (really!)

Potty training started our journey into weekly activities. When I sat down that first day, totally focused on my child like Jamie says to be, I thought, “What are we going to do?” I mean, we spent every moment together since I am a stay at home mom, but I was so anxious and nervous about this first step with my little one and I didn’t want to communicate that to him. I wanted him to be excited and interested and having fun!

If you spend too much time focusing on the potty part of potty training, you will both be anxious. This is a common problem–remember not to over-prompt. Don’t just stare at the bottom. Don’t wait for the panic of seeing pee on your beautiful floor to envelop you–! Ha!

So, each Tuesday I’ll share an easy activity to do if you’re potty training this week. Or even if you’re not.

Put down your phone.

Sit down by your child.

Put the potty nearby.

Put down your phone. (Maybe you don’t need to hear this twice, but I do.)

Here’s my favorite activity: put your child in a box. With crayons. Hell, give him markers; you’re right there. Draw together in the box. On the box. My son was 19 months old when we started potty training and we made a spaceship. He loved it. Naked and in a box with markers–toddler dream come true!

BONUS: If they pee–it’s in the box!

Have fun. Let me know how it goes.


Monday Giggles: July 23

Seen around the Internets this past week or so…

I’m not sure I’ve really washed my hair in three in a half years. (From CreativeChild’s Facebook page.)

It’s only 1,000 degrees outside. Let’s stay in together. #makingmemoriesINSIDE

(seen on private Mom Group page, no source)


Thanks for loading the dishwasher honey. Now let me just rearrange a few little things…

And this seemed most appropriate for our first week on the blog together…

For that special bum. (From Amazon.)

saturday Summaries

Saturday Summaries: Baseball Week

Growing up, I always thought I would have two daughters. I have a sister and I am female. Let’s set aside the gender norm conversations for another day (I am actually happy to have them, but as this is only our second post together, I thought I’d keep it light hearted and topical for now), and let me tell you that we were the girliest of girls. My mom would send us outside to play and I would climb a tree, sit in it, and read Little House on the Prairie or Anne of Green Gables or Little Women. My sister wouldn’t even bother climbing the tree. She’d just sit there on the ground with Baby Sitters Club. We loved dressing our Barbies and doing crafts with glitter, painting our fingernails and dreaming about the families we’d have.

So, of course, I have two boys. Despite presenting a varied range of toys (I know we’re not talking about this, but I had to), my eldest son, at 3, loves construction trucks and Paw Patrol. My youngest, at almost 1, loves balls.

All this to say that on one of our morning walks earlier this summer, my oldest son asked if we could do a “baseball week” for one of the “Mommy Camp” themes I’ve been running. So here I am, the mom who knows not a thing about baseball, hosting a baseball week for my son. And we had a great time!

It started with some most excellent books:

Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit (Not pictured.) This was the runaway hit of the week. Hands down, read it twice in one sitting and five times in one day, hit. You might say: the “home run”… Too much? Anyway, this book is about a kid who is not the best at sports but who is totally the best at math and science. When he hears about a meteor headed straight toward his home town, he takes things into his own hands and creates a plan bigger than baseball. My kid was hooked. Your kid might be too. Check this one out.

Bats at the Ballgame was a close runner up. One evening a crowd of bats gathers to…watch batty batters strike each other out. It’s a different perspective on the game (quite literally, as bats hang upside down to watch it) that my toddler found totally entertaining.

Clorinda Plays Baseball was such an unexpectedly fun book! We loved seeing how Clorinda the cow made it to the Bosstown Red Hats and discovering whether she achieved her dream. I found this one on a Pinterest book list. It was inclusive and interesting. I’m kicking myself for not writing down a quote from the book about how “anyone can play baseball, even a cow.” Now the book’s back at the library–! Well, check it out and see. It’s a darling story! We laughed and laughed.

Curious George Plays Baseball has been a hit for a while; we’ve checked it out before. We love that monkey.

In true toddler fashion, my child wouldn’t let me read or even open Dino Baseball. Who knows? Something offended him. But I was number three on a waitlist so some kiddos must love it!

Goodnight, Baseball (also not pictured) was another hit–it goes through a kid’s visit to a baseball game with his dad and is satisfyingly detailed. It was, as you’d expect, a good bedtime story for a boy whose recently been to a game with his dad. My kid loved it.

We did some fun baseball activities. Most of these were directly copied from or inspired by this list of preschool baseball trays by Smarte Parte.

(Left to right, top to bottom): ordering baseballs large to small, baseball sensory tray (with a Japanese eraser set), baseball snack, baseball lacing card (made by me, there’s also a mitt here), 3D baseball hanging (this turned out so cool), homemade baseball puzzle from this awesome collection, Red Sox hat we created with a freezer paper stencil, baseball playdough tray.

And with that, I leave you to… “play ball!” (It was too much, wasn’t it?)

A note on these “Saturday Summaries”: I plan activities each week to do with my children as part of a strategy to have an orderly, interesting home for our toddlers. I’ve found that planning something fun helps me parent better–when I’m excited and invested in the day, my children are too. This creates an atmosphere of respect and mutual cooperation that carries over to better behavior.

Potty Training FAQ, Uncategorized

FAQ Friday: Why?

When I first told my family and friends that I felt a pull to be a potty training consultant, many of their responses could be summed up in to-be-nameless-friend who looked at me with some confusion and said, “Wow, I didn’t even know that was a thing.”

Others felt like reminding me of the same message as this comic from Foul Language:

Why would anyone want to think about (step in, Clorox wipe, etc) pee and poop all the time?

Here’s why: independence. Way back, when I was a baby special ed teacher writing my “why” for that stage of my life, I wrote about the importance of self-advocacy and how my goal, as a teacher working with young students, was to help students move toward independence one small self-initiated task at a time.

We all want our children to be strong and self-reliant. To make good choices and be independent adults. Does it seem like a stretch to say those first steps start with potty training?

I believe in small children. They are deep, they are resilient, they are present, and they understand. I love talking to them, setting up activities and experiences for them, and listening intently to their communications. Learning to use the potty is the first step toward that great big dance of independence and I love to share in that success.

My first child began his potty training journey at 19 months and no one was more surprised than I was to be starting at that age. But I could see that he could do it, that he wanted to do it. So I read Jamie Glowacki’s book Oh Crap Potty Training and was inspired by her method and her understanding of small children. (I was also inspired by the thought of cutting out my cloth diaper laundry every third day.) Jamie says this: “We both know how smart your child is. Doesn’t he deserve the dignity of not crapping in a diaper and still worse, sitting in it? … I hear parents talk about giving their child self-esteem. Self-esteem comes from mastering a task, from gaining dignity and self-respect. Potty training is a way you can give this to your child.” (Oh Crap Potty Training, page 7)

She’s right. If our kids can, we must respect and honor them. There isn’t an “if.” They can. And you can.

Why potty training consultant? To get to celebrate the beginning of this wonderful journey towards independence, with you. Welcome to my blog!