Friday, August 22, 2008

Thinking about a little one who never was...

I was driving in the car today and the song I Hope You Dance by Lee Anne Womack came on the radio. It took me back six years. My life was much different then. I have become a different person since then. I am now a mother.

Soon after I found out I was pregnant the first time, I heard this song and started thinking about the hopes and dreams I had for my unborn baby. I love the words to this song. The first line alone says so much-- "I hope you never lose your sense of wonder." For 13 weeks, I thought about my future child with excitement and hope.

When I found out that the baby would never be born, I was devastated. Only a women who has experienced a loss like this knows the horrible emptiness that comes with it. I was terrified that we would never have the family that we had dreamed of and planned for. Throughout my twenties and my early thirties, I didn't think I wanted children. I loved the lifestyle of having money with no obligation. As I got into my thirties and finally met my soulmate, I knew that he and I were meant to be parents together. After the miscarriage, I was afraid that my selfish self of my twenties was going to get her way.

That loss was on August 5, 2002. I realized today that the anniversary was a couple of weeks ago. This year is the first year that I didn't think of that day on or around that date. I am so focused on what is happening around here, I don't have time to dwell on the past, I suppose.

I wondered today, what life would be like if that baby had made it. He would be 5 1/2 and starting kindergarten. Would he be a teacher's favorite? Would he make me smile every day? Would he love pirates? I rarely think about that child, because if he were here, then Jackson wouldn't be.

I couldn't imagine my life without my sweet boy. Even on days when he is driving me crazy, he will find a way to make my heart swell. He has a smile that lights up a room. And watching him at Stroller Strides being the little junior playgroup captain makes me so proud. He makes sure that other kids are having fun (as long as they are not touching his stuff *eyeroll*) and even welcomes the moms and invites them to coffee with us. While losing that pregnancy was really hard, I have to admit it was a bit of a blessing.

In addition to bringing me my favorite kid in the world, that loss brought me in touch with some wonderful women. I met some of my closest friends through online support groups. Like the green growth growing from the burn area behind our house, six years after that loss, I can see the good things that have come from it.

Here is the song that used to make me cry every time I heard it because it was a reminder. Now it makes me cry for very different reasons. The words to the song still speak to things I want for my children. As I watch Amelia dance, I hope with all my heart that she always chooses to dance instead of sitting it out. To my kids I say to both of them:
I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin might mean takin chances but theyre worth takin
Lovin might be a mistake but its worth makin

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I hate potty training!!!!

I think potty training is a little like childbirth. No one really tells you about all the rough moments, tears (lots of tears) and the scores of wet and (gulp) poopy underwear. As a mother, you conveniently forget these things until you are reminded when you march headlong into getting your second child out of diapers.

First, I have to say, that I don't really do potty training. I like to subscribe to the child-led learning school of thought. The potty training "boot camp" works for many parents, but is really not my style. Besides... I don't know how I would ever find the time to stay at home for three days and be by my daughter's side the entire time. My style led my first born to his third birthday still in diapers. sigh. However, he potty trained like he learned to walk, in a day or two and has had very few accidents ever since. Seriously, by playing the wait-until-he-is-ready game, I never dealt with the dreaded poopy underwear.

Fast forward to my two-year-old daughter. She is ready and eagerly hops on the toilet to go "pee pee." I knew that I needed to take advantage of the window. She is different than her brother and needs a different style of potty training, right? Hmmm.... now that we have started, I really want to go back to diapers full time. This is for the birds. Now that we have started, however, she won't let me go back. "No, Momma!! I want panties!! NOT diapers!" My strong-willed, independent toddler is ready to be a big girl. So WHY won't she poop in the toilet????

This week, we tried and tried to get her to poop on the potty. I have a few big rewards set up for her when she does. In fact, she cried when she saw the princess dolls that she couldn't have until she pooped in the potty. :-( When I knew that she needed to go, I had her sit on the toilet every ten minutes (she is WAY too impatient to sit there a long time). I let my guard down for one minute (literally) and she suddenly says, "Momma, I have poopy in my underwear!" ARRRRRGGGHHH.

Last night, however, we may have made a breakthrough. I realized that, unlike her brother who will sit on a toilet for an hour until he does his business, Little Miss is all about instant gratification. So... I handed her the coveted princess doll, so she could look at the package and all the things inside (slippers, necklace, blue bird). That kept her distracted long enough. I left her on the toilet and checked on dinner. I hear some very magic words, "Momma.... I went poo poo!!!" You should have heard the celebration in this house. We even called her Mimi, who witnessed all the accidents over the last week on vacation.

I hope that it wasn't a fluke. She is in bed right now with her special poo poo prize... Cinderella. If she goes again today, she gets Ariel.

Cross your fingers....