Thursday, October 27, 2011

Two thoughts

Last week, immediately after I blogged about our traction-gaining efforts to housebreak our son, there were some setbacks which caused my wife to accuse me of jinxing the enterprise. And yet I am going to tempt fate and have at the subject once again (and once again I will hopefully be sparing enough with details on effluvium to avoid the gross-out). I’m justifying this continuation upon a theme because matters have advanced quite a bit and I may not have cause to comment on the subject at all fairly soon (at least until it’s our little girl’s turn, though at the rate she is aggressively playing developmental catch-up with her brother that could be in about eleven months).

So, thought one, it’s really amazing how serendipitously everything came together. I mentioned that, as always, my wife and I were not above bribing the little guy; now let me elaborate a little on the logistics. For almost as long as he’s been collecting Cars, the little guy has wanted the gang of hot rods who terrorize Lightning McQueen’s faithful tractor trailer Mack (and thus set the main plot in motion, so really who am I to argue with being drawn to such pivotal players in the narrative). He’s had Lightning and Mack forever, and he had taken to using four Matchbox cars as proxies for re-enacting the scene of highway shenanigans. I went on eBay and happened to find one person who was selling all four of those hot rods, so hey, combined shipping and all that. And so we made up the charts, one per hot rod, with increasing (yet arbitrarily pulled out of our collective parenting butt) numbers of stickers required to earn each one, awarded for successful trips to the potty … and then, amazingly, by the time the little guy had finished the fourth chart and earned the last member of the gang (which happened Tuesday) he had pretty much been fully trained. Which was all to the good, because if he had needed more incentives to keep going with the training, I would have been fine with that in principle but unsure which random toys would keep the little guy on task. So it all worked out, huzzah.

It should strike me as weird that someone old enough to make this art loves the movie enough to want to in the first place ... and yet it doesn't.
Incidentally, the excessive celebratory songs and dances seem to be no longer required, either, although we never run out of those and they haven’t even stopped being amusing to the little guy’s mother and me. Nonetheless, I’m grateful that the little guy was over them long before we were.

So thought two, of course, is now we’re getting cocky enough that we have a ton of geographically wide-ranging stuff planned for the near future. Dinner with friends at their place on Saturday afternoon, dinner with different friends at their place on Sunday afternoon, and trick-or-treating with yet another set of friends on Monday night, all of which will take the little guy out of his home base comfort zone and into situations with lots of distractions, not least other (usually older) kids. At the moment I’m optimistic that he can run that gauntlet without anything going disastrously wrong (which still allows for the incidental accident here or there).

And assuming we do make it all the way into November with things continuing in the right direction, then the really bonus aspect of it all will be that the little guy will, as previously noted, be able to hang out with the other 3-year-olds at daycare instead of the 2-year-olds (some of whom are still in the communicate-primarily-via-biting phase) and generally be in a more brain-stimulating environment. He’s been slowly pre-transitioning already, and in fact spent something like the middle five hours of the day in the next-up classroom yesterday, so I think he’s essentially ready to dive in permanently (and I know for a fact my wife and I are more than ready to stop signing “accident reports” stemming from aforementioned bitings). So, here’s hoping.

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