Category Archives: Potty Training

Pink or Blue? Huggies helps you decide.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have probably seen a blog post or a tweet or an FB status about the New Huggies® Gold for Boys & Girls.

I was lucky enough to score an invitation to the Joburg event and can I just say that Huggies always host the best functions. I’ve attended an event of theirs in the past which I thoroughly enjoyed and this one was no different. Set in the hills of the Westcliff hotel, the venue was beautifully decorated with all things pink and blue. We were served a delicious breakfast, feasted on cupcakes and other sweet treats, enjoyed an amusing talk by the talented mommy and comedian, Tumi Maroke, and highlight of the event – there were no kids allowed. All the mamas enjoyed the morning off.

So about these nappies.


4_diapers_girls 4_diapers_boys







Liam was a leaker. Oh my word, this kid used to pee through nappies like he was being paid for it. I tried every brand of nappy, I tried doubling nappies at bed time, I tried putting those horrible waterproof thingies over his nappy – nothing worked, this kid just used to leak. Remember this post? Yeh, I had my fair share of diaper issues! And I know many moms will agree with me, there is nothing worse than having to change clothing and bedding during the night due to a malfunctioning nappy which has exploded all over the bedroom. I always wondered if it was a boy thing? I mean I never had these issues with Hannah? The only time Hannah leaked was when I avoided changing her – like her nappy would be hanging down by her knees, the child would be moving in slow motion due to the extra baggage between her legs, until it eventually leaked or exploded and only theeeeeen would the husband and I ching-chong-cha to see who would change her. Clearly, as Huggies have discovered, boys and girls are not the same, they are different, so it figures that their nappies should be different too, right? Right.

Huggies have developed the cutest Disney themed gender specific nappies. Mickey Mouse for boys and Minnie Mouse for girls. While the cuteness factor is a winner all in itself, the REAL winner with these nappies is that they are tailor made specifically for your little boy or girl – thanks to the location of the absorbency pad. They call them “targeted absorbent zones.” Check it out…

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Cool hey? I wish these nappies were around when Liam was still nappy-clad. I think these nappies are going to fix a lot of mamas’ nappy woes, like seriously. Guess what I’m taking to the next baby shower?

Huggies, I think you guys have a winner with this nappy.

Ps: It was also great to catch up with my fellow mommy bloggers and to meet some of the people in my phone. I need to blog about how weird it is meeting someone for the first time in real life, yet you know almost every detail about the lives via the interwebs… totally weird!

Boss mother.

Last night I was jolted awake by Liam calling for me. Liam never calls for me, he goes to sleep at bed time and we have to lure a very grumpy Liam out of bed the next morning. This from a kid  who didn’t sleep through the night until he was almost 3 years old.  So when he does happen to call for me, I know it’s for a good reason.

So I leap out of bed with the feline prowess of a fat ‘ol tired lioness. I rush to his room and he’s like “I weed the bed.” Just great. Why don’t you ever call for your father when this happens? Both Liam and Hannah still wet the bed on occasion, but usually they’ll sleep through it and the gross aroma of pee will waft us awake in the morning and the problem is then Zoleka’s because I have to rush off to work, you know.

Arghhh, so I stand and stare at him for about five seconds trying to figure out what to do, poor kid is shivering. Clearly it was the cold pee which woke him up. I tell him to strip down while I warm a face cloth in the bathroom and give him a quick wipe down and throw the Baby Powder all over the place to mask the smell. I strip the blankets from the bed and throw two thick towels over the wet patch (NO mattress protector on the bed!), while throwing the wet clothes and blankets in a corner of the room, toying with the idea that setting them alight may be easier than soaking them right now.

Arrgghh there’s no more long sleeved vests in the cupboard, and there’s no button down flannels either (the only thing he insists on wearing to bed these days – it must have buttons) and I’m not in the mood for a meltdown so I have the ingenious idea to put his neatly laid out school clothes (including a long sleeved vest) on him. At 2h05am. First he is like WTH? Then he is like YAY, CAN I SLEEP IN MY SCHOOL CLOTHES?! Big fun! So I put an extra towel down for good measure, can’t risk the pee smell seeping through onto the school clothes, because now I KNOW there isn’t another vest for tomorrow morning. And kid is ready and dressed for school. At 2h05am. We go back to bed. And I get a few extra minutes sleep this morning because I don’t have to dress one kid.

This morning Husband and Hannah are like WTH, Liam is in his school clothes? Liam and I laugh conspiratorially.

Who’s the top boss? Mama Bear, that’s who.

Ps: of course this is going to end badly for me, both children will now insist on going to bed in their school clothes which could do wonders for the morning routine but isn’t really ideal – people will talk and I’ll go from being Boss Mother to being Lazy Mother. Can’t risk it, as tempting as it is. 

The final episode in the Diaper Wars

For those of you who have been reading for a while, you will know all too well how much time I have spent over the last year and a half blogging about nappies, diapees, diapers, napkins or whatever you call them in your house. I have blogged lyrical about which brand is better, about how many leakages we’ve had, about which way to place your son’s appendage to avoid leakage, and so on. In this time I have changed what felt like a million and two diapers. In all seriousness, between the two kids, my rough calculation of number of diapers used in my household over the last three years is around 10 000? That cannot be right? How are my fingers still attached to my hands after all the poo they have been subjected to? How can I still see after all the wee my infant son seemed to aim directly at my face? How is it possible that I’m not on the national netball team after I’ve made so many hole in one diaper throws straight into the garbage bin?

That said.

It is with much jubilation that I announce we are finally off any form of poo-holding-pee-soaking device. We have two fully potty trained bebes in our house. Hannah went off her night nappy successfully and well that’s that folks. She won’t let me call her “my baby” anymore, she insists that we call her big girl now. She tells us when she needs to go and the days of hiding behind the couch to do her business are well behind us.

This milestone is bittersweet. Sweet because who the heck actually WANTS to change diapers? Not I! But bitter because it marks the end of all things baby (ok yes, we still have the dummy to conquer but work with me here.) This is a poignant moment for me because my babies are growing and with each step towards their independence it means that they are less dependent on me, and that does make me sort of sad. Just a little. Diaper changes were five minutes in the day where Hannah and I would talk shop about nothing of any consequence. But she’d have my full attention and I’d have hers. And we’d always end with a hug and a kiss. And a most gracious “thank you mama” from her when we were done. And I guess that’s the part that I’ll miss.

I can’t believe how fast time has gone, how quickly they’ve grown and how the things I used to detest about babies – case in point: changing diapers – have become the things I’m now going to miss. In the throes of sleepless nights, teething, crabby babies, mounds of dirty baby laundry, my mother used to comfort me by saying this too would pass, that before I could blink it would all be over and I wouldn’t even remember how bad it seemed at the time. I used to roll my eyes and brush off her wise words that didn’t help me at that moment in time, but now I’ve received that revelation – she was right, it all went by so quickly. My memory must be fuzzy because in all honesty I don’t think it was that bad.. yet vaguely at the back of my mind I do recall I cried a lot and we fought a lot and my babies sometimes saw a really bad side of me… but why then do I feel like I would do it all again in an instant? God wired us mothers so perfectly, didn’t he? And just like there is a time and season for everything, so too has this season of my life come to a close. And I am grateful.

So our diaper season is over! Hallelujah! Of course I am anticipating a few accidents here and there but to not ever buy another pack of nappies does give me some sort of thrill! Oh what shall I do with that extra bit of cash?!

Well done Hannah Pushkin Pudding Baby, you’ve transformed from a stinky bummed caterpillar into a most beautiful butterfly. Love you xxx

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.. Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV

A poo in the hand is worth… Potty Training 104.

Ok so Hannah is potty training and doing pretty well. She tells us when she wants to make a wee, we take her to the toilet, she makes a wee, we wash hands. Job well done. We have even been out to the shops and to church, diaper free, with no accidents. Of course every mother who has been through potty training knows that poo is a completely different ball game to pee, right. Poo training is a little…well… harder – pun intended.

I’m not sure what it is for little kids, maybe they think the turd will jump up and bite their bums. Maybe it’s the long drop and the splash back that frightens them. Maybe it’s just to personal to be shared with mom and dad standing by ready to clap and take a photo and big brother cheering the poo-er on. All I know is that Hannah refuses to poo in the toilet. I knew it was going to happen, every single kid and parent I know will tell you that taking a dunk for the first time in a toilet is a big deal for a toddler and that it takes time and lots of accidents. I also know that your kid will try their utmost to keep that chocolate log indoors, rather than flush it down the toilet like the rest of humanity, so it can also interfere with their bowel movements and that brings on another set of problems altogether. I also know that both my kids used to go and hide when they needed to make a poo – from the time they could walk, nappy or not. So I DO know when Hannah needs to go, but even if I catch her just in time, she won’t do it on the toilet, and by the time she has thrown that tantrum and I have managed to coerce her to put her nappy back on just to make this poo, the poo has shot back up into her large intestine in fright. Understandable right. So my plan (and believe me I considered all options and this seemed like the best option at the time) was to just let her go in her pants, rather than put her off altogether.

Not my brightest idea. But hey constipation is like a pain in the gut – did you see what I just did there? Ha. I didn’t want to deal with potty training PLUS having to insert glycerin suppositories to coax the scared poo out.


I’ve caught poo twice, with my bare hand in the last two weeks. I’ve had to stand at a sink in a public swimming area and rinse skid marked panties ( I flushed the poo first, relax). I’ve had to separate small tight buttocks who refused to give up the goods which were stuck tight between two cheeks because this kid does not want to let it go, I tell ya. I’ve had to follow a panty and poo pebble trail to find the victim guiltily crouching behind the couch. I’ve had to endure all of this, because I still think it’s better for her and for me, rather than pinning her screaming terrified body down to the toilet and forcing her to excrete her bodily waste. SO I just let her do it, wherever and whenever, in her pants – and hope that it’s at home and not in the meat aisle at Pick n Pay. The things moms have to do hey.

This method however is not a long term solution – this is where my plan fails me.

I can’t have a six year old Hannah still hiding behind the couch and letting rip in her panties because mommy said it was ok four years ago. I also can’t be picking up poo with my bare hands for much longer, I mean my unconditional love most definitely has its conditions when it comes to bodily functions ok. I keep encouraging her to poo in the toilet, we do live demonstrations where we sit on the toilet and make the necessary grunts and facial expressions to show her that its cool ok, poo in the toilet is cool. Not poo in mommy’s hand.

No amount of bribing has worked so far. I’ve got this potty training star chart which I’m going to implement in the hopes that it will give her the courage she needs to defecate in the dunking machine. In the mean time, I’ll keep my nails short, my hair back, and the disinfectant hand wash on steady supply.

Diaper Milestone complete

Remember I blogged about letting go of the night time diaper over here. After that post I didn’t really take any action. I figured I would wait for the warmer weather so that we could keep up with the wet pj’s and wet linen that would surely follow. Liam often wakes with a dry diaper, but it hasn’t been consistent, I’d say four or five nights a week are dry – but not consecutively or else I would have tried this a long time ago. I feel like I’m talking about an alcoholic’s habits.. how long have you been dry for?

Anyway, two nights ago we actually forgot to put his diaper on; they had had an early bath so I usually let him run around free wi.lly so that he can still use the toilet, until bed time when we attach the diaper to his bottom. So we forgot. And he woke up dry. I was a bit bummed because I had prepared this amazing speech for the first night my son would sleep without his diaper and how I would prep him and make a really big deal about this incredible milestone and well, that bubble has burst, how dare he ruin The Queen’s Speech by achieving this milestone all on his own? So we went for second best and made a rah-rah yesterday morning.

Then last night I figured there was no point in going back, and although I had to alter my magnificent speech somewhat, I told him that our diaper days were over. That he was a big boy, a champion, and that diapers were for babies like Hannah (she wasn’t in the room, or else she would have flipped at the baby reference) and Eli, his cousin. And he was all YES YES YES YOU ARE RIGHT MAMA. He watched me put the linen saver under his sheet and was confused, so I explained that this was in case he had an accident in the night and told me vehemently that he wouldn’t, and I was all YES YES YES YOU ARE RIGHT MY BOY. This morning when he woke up dry he said to me “I told you so.”

I’m going to leave the linen saver on his bed for a while, I’m going to expect the unexpected, but I’m also moving his diapers into Hannah’s room. No going back now. I do believe that Liam has pretty much told those diapers to kiss his smooth squishy backside goodbye.

Letting go of the night time diaper

Liam’s been potty trained for almost a year now and I think it’s safe to say he has graduated to a PPP (professional pee-and-pooper), as we haven’t had an accident for as long as I can remember and other than still assisting him with a wipe and swipe after a poo, he has the whole thing down pat; he even understands that he doesn’t have to use the WHOLE bottle of liquid soap in order to make sure his hands are clean (that was becoming a problem). He still however wears a diaper to bed. This doesn’t faze me at all. Hell, if he wanted to he could wear his night time diaper until he was 20 years old for all I care, although I don’t think his wife would like that very much. His night time diaper doesn’t bother him or I, but of course he is a growing boy who needs to outgrow baby things. So here goes another milestone we have to hurdle over. Sigh.

There are mornings where he wakes up dry, and other mornings where he wakes up wet. This has nothing to do with how much he drinks or pees before bed time. Every night, his last drink is at 6h00pm with his supper, and even this, is a quarter cup of whatever liquid he chooses.. juice, water, milk or Milo. I can’t not offer him something to drink after he has eaten his dinner, and even on the odd occasion when he says he is thirsty after this time, I limit him to a few sips of water. He has his last pee just before jumping into bed. If he does make a wee, I know it’s not a big wee, because he is wearing the cheapest, most bottom-of-the-line diapers (no names mentioned) to bed and we’ve never had a leak – so I know he’s not like a hose pipe at night, but rather like a little watering can… just a little tinkle 🙂

So does this mean I have to wake him up in the middle of the night to empty his bladder? I get up to make a wee almost every night, so is this what we need to train our children to do? Then do I assume he will eventually wake himself up and go to the loo himself? Because I most definitely am not giving up my full night’s sleep to escort His Royal Highness to the toilet every night. Is that how it works? I mean we have just trained the children to sleep through the night, now I want to wake him up to make a wee? Or is the solution to not make your kid get up at all and to train their bladders not to pee for almost 9 hours? Painful if you ask me? Anyone else been through weaning a kid off their night time diaper? Or even if you haven’t, do you have any ideas on how to do it?

In the mean time, I guess I should get a good mattress protector hey.

Nappy Wars

I have blogged waxed lyrical about diapers on my blog. Most of those posts have been negative. Perhaps because Liam used to have a leaky bum and no matter what diaper I used, he would leak. From the most expensive to the cheapest, he would always leak and it used to drive me insane. He would wake up drenched in the middle of the night, or during the day I’d have to change him really often in order to make sure he didn’t leak. Anyway, thank God Liam is now potty trained, save for a night diaper, and my woes have eased. But not ceased. Hannah has also had diaper complications; she is very susceptible to rashes (is this a girl thing?), I still have no idea if this is related to the diaper she is using or how often she gets changed or what –as I have tried various things to try and solve this problem with little success, and she also tends to leak although not on the same level that Liam did. That said, I think you could call me a diaper professional – I’ve tried them all, and only NOW.. three years later… do I have some positive feedback to share on the Nappy Wars.

This is based on my own experience and the “dissing” of certain brands is in no way intended to offend, it is merely an observation and I’ll try to keep my criticism as constructive as possible.

This month I tried two different nappies from two completely different ends of the spectrum and have been so very happy with them both, that I think we have clear winners and I will most likely stick with these two until our diaper days are over.

But first some history… I started both my babies on Pampers Active, although the fit is great and the nappy is so thin that you barely feel it there, these nappies most certainly do not last the 12 hours they promise to. Here’s the thing with Pampers Active: the wee turns into gel, although this gel collects all the wee which is great, it becomes very heavy and eventually splits and there is NOTHING more pain staking than cleaning up golden gel balls. So change your kid sooner, you may say. This would happen as little as two hours after putting the diaper on, I know many, many moms who swear by Pampers Active, so I’ll put this down to the fact that my kids must pee like race horses (insert BBM sarcastic face here).

I then tried Huggies Gold, which I really liked because it had none of that gel-ball-thing and Hannah especially loved the Pooh Bear design. The problem with Huggies Gold (which I see they are working on) is that it is still a bulkier diaper than Pampers. The extra padding does come in handy for when baby takes a tumble though! Sadly, Hannah recently started leaking with Huggies Gold, she would literally spread her legs and the wee would trickle down the inside of her leg. Perhaps I just had a defective batch, but again, cleaning up wee five times a day, is enough to turn any mother off.

So this brings me to last week…

When Liam went off day time diapers, I decided that a cheaper diaper would work just as well at night. I’ve tried every economical brand:

  • Cuddlers: leakage at the top band, so Liam wakes up with a wet belly and wet PJ’s.
  • Huggies Dry Comfort: works well, but still more expensive than a lot of other brands’ economical version of the diaper.  
  • Pampers Sleep and Play: useless, would not even recommend for a night time diaper for a child who is potty trained.
  • Panda: thumbs down – big, bulky and not very absorbent.
  • Pick n Pay No Name Brand: hideous!! The tabs don’t even stick. Horrible. Horrible. I would rather use towelling nappies than this brand.
  • Clicks and Pick n Pay private label: not bad for short term diaper use i.e. two hours maximum.

THEN, this week I was in Ackerman’s, doing a bit of shopping for the kids and I remembered that Liam was all out of diapers. I hesitantly picked up a pack of their diapers – being the embittered, jaded, disillusioned diaper shopper that I am, I was not up to trying yet ANOTHER diaper. Long story short, these are awesome and at 40 bucks a pop, they are perfect for the child who just needs a night diaper. Soft, absorbent, sweet design and CHEAP. CHEAP!

Because Hannah had another bad rash, and we had that bad pack of Huggies Gold, I decided to try something new with her as well. Pampers Premium. Now I had tried this before, and for the premium price, I wasn’t really blown away by it. But on this occasion, I have been well and truly impressed with this diaper. In keeping with the Pampers we know and love, they are so thin, your baby may as well be naked. I don’t think the design is anything to rave about, I still prefer Huggies Gold in the design department, but this ultra thin diaper is so bloody absorbent WITHOUT those horrible gel balls – its actually amazing. On Saturday afternoon, after Hannah had had two naps, drank copious amounts of liquid, ran around as toddlers do, I realised that I hadn’t changed her bum since the morning. No leakage, no bulky bottom, no gel spillage. It was soaked and heavy after being assaulted by Hannah and her bodily fluids but still it was intact. Also, it’s only been a few days but no sign of a rash – this could mean nothing, but I’m just putting it out there. She wakes up dry too. For this, I am willing to pay premium price (also the fact that Liam is using ultra cheap diapers means I can actually afford to spend a little more on Hannah’s). The ONLY downside to Pampers Premium is that they don’t seem to make size 4+? Why?

So there you have it, I have finally, after three years, solved the diaper mysteries and I may just have won the Nappy Wars. Lord knows I can’t wait for this phase to be over… my only motivation is that one day these kidlets of mine may have to change my old wrinkly bum, and I can only hope that they spend as much time finding the perfect adult nappy, as I have finding the perfect baby one 🙂

An interesting conversation…

Last week, Liam’s theme for the week at school was My Body. Needless to say this theme opened a whole CAN of worms… and not in the way you’d expect. We have always been very open about our bodies, I’ve used the correct terminology from the time they could speak, purely because I can’t bear to use a baby word for something that is completely normal and functional – you don’t hear people calling their eye a twinky-winky-peep-hole so why in the world would we give names to another anatomical appendages… like a pee-pee or a willy for a PENIS or a cookie or puffnik for a VAGINA? Yes, my mother taught me to call my vagina a puffnik! So Liam and Hannah are quite comfortable with their body parts. But that’s not even the can of worms I am referring to. Herewith a conversation that I had with my Liam last week. He came home with a picture of a face that he needed to colour in, followed by questions which we needed to discuss…

Liam: What colour is my face?

Me (long pause): Um, brown my baby.

Liam: What colour is my hair?

Me: Brown.

Liam: What colour are my eyes?

Me: Also brown. 

At this point his picture is looking quite glum because it’s just BROWN. But on we go.

Liam: What’s the white part of my eye called?

Me (oh boy, here we go): Ooh, ah, ummm, I think it’s called the cornea? Wait, mommy’s not sure. Let me ask Daddy.

Daddy looks at me like I’m mad, he has no idea. Not even a suggestion. So I turn to cyberspace. My Facebook and Twitter friends reply with the correct answer – the sclera.

Me (chest puffed out): Darling, it’s called the sclera.

Liam: pardon?

Me: Sclera. The white part of your eye.

Liam: Scccccera? Srrrrrrrera? Clera? Mommy, I can’t say that!

Me (giggling):  It’s OK boy, you will learn. OK, lets colour the lips in red!

Liam: But it’s not a girl, why we putting lipstick? Sera? Sclora? Erra? (still trying to say sclera).

Me: OK, if the lips aren’t red, what colour will we make them?

Liam: Brown. Lera? Clera? Sera? (still struggling)

Me: But there’s so much brown, baby! let’s make it a mommy face, then she can wear lipstick.

Liam: NO! This is MY face! I’m not a mommy, I’m a boy! What’s the white part called again?

Me: SCLERA! OK, what colour are YOUR lips then?

Liam: My lips are white. Sssssssssera?

Me: Oookkkk, white… hmm.. then we won’t colour them in. We’ll leave them like that then.

Liam: OK, and what colour is my nose. Sceeera?

Me: S.C.L.E.R.A boy… SCLERA!!! Your nose is brown.

Liam: Teacher Megan says my skin is peach.

Me (big eyes): Oh really? Well we don’t have a peach crayon so you will have to be brown OK?

Liam: What is the circle in my eye called?

Me: The brown ball?

Liam: Yes, here next to the sssera, kera. (poking his eye)

Me: That’s called an iris.

Liam: Iris! I can say it mommy! Iris!!

Me (laughing): Yes boy, you can!

Liam: How come Teacher Megan’s iris is green?

Me (oh boy): Some people have a green iris or a blue iris or a light brown iris. We are all different, aren’t we?

Liam: How come everything for me is BROWN?

Me (OH BOY): You are beautiful like this! You are brown like Mommy and Daddy! (please please make him stop!)

Liam: How do I say the white part again? (Sjoe! I’d rather have a pronunciation conversation than a race conversation with my two year old)


Liam: Sera? Rera? SSSSCCCCCera? They white like my teeth, hey?

Me: Yes baby. You must brush well to keep your teeth white, hey?

Liam: …And so my mouth doesn’t smell poofies.

Me: Yes, that’s right.

Me: OK, I think we are done, good job, let’s put this in your bag so you can show Teacher Megan tomorrow.

Liam: Ssssera? Cera?

Me: It’s OK boy, you’ll learn to say it soon. Don’t worry now, let’s get ready for bed. 

This reminds him of another word he can’t say: Flamingo.

 Liam: Like famingo. Mamingo. Lamingo. I can’t say that pink bird’s name!

Me: FLLLLLAAAAAMINGO. (Starting to feel like Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady)

Liam: Its OK mommy, I’ll learn to say those big words soon.

Me: Yes you will my sweetheart.

Liam: I’m not your sweetheart, I’m your darling.

Me: Ok, my darling. Time for bed.

Liam: Night my darling.

Me: Night my darling.

As I left the room, I heard him practising and still struggling with his new words – bless! Since this conversation we have had many more interesting discussions about our bodies and many questions around why some people have hair in certain areas and others don’t… why mommy has such a big tummy and bum… why does Zoleka have a black face. I love that he has such an enquiring mind, and I don’t mind being sucker punched into silence by my two year old when he asks me questions that I have to twoogle. They weren’t joking when they said it takes a (cyberspace) village to raise a child, because I most definitely do not have all the answers!

Potty Training 201 – Big Girl Panties

So we have one potty trained toddler in the house, and I won’t lie, it’s friggen awesome. He yells “Mom, I need a wee” and I ask if he needs help, which of course he doesn’t, he is a 2 year old, they NEVER need help with ANYTHING – only the cleaning up afterwards, duh. Anyway, he hops on and off the toilet all day quite easily, we are called in to help “clean up” after a poo and to help with hand washing and that’s about as stressful as it gets. We love that we don’t have to change his diapers anymore and he loves the independence and big-boy-ness of it all. This accomplishment has earned his teachers big Christmas presents. Right, so toddler number 2  has decided that she too wants to sit on the toilet… or rather stand as she sees her big brother doing. I am in no hurry to start potty training Hannah; if you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know the drama I had with trying to potty train Liam and I was not ready to go down that yellow brick road again, and I am quite happy to hand this laborious task over to the school when we eventually decide to enrol her. However, since she has initiated the process, we are playing along… perhaps Liam will potty train his sister for us and I will be off the hook again?

As I’ve said before: to all those good people who held my hand while I cried at the announcement of my surprise second pregnancy a mere 6 months after giving birth to Liam; to those people who told me that everything would work out perfectly and that having two babies so close together would be the best thing for us and for them.. YOU WERE RIGHT. In an effort to keep up, Hannah mimics everything her brother does, and it’s no different with going potty. It is a bit time consuming… taking her diaper off, letting her stand on the stool and pretend-aim at the toilet bowl (yes yes, I will eventually shatter her dreams and tell her that girls have to sit), then letting her sit, then counting to ten, then her telling me no no no when I say FINISH(!), then taking her off, then pretending to wipe, then clapping at the pretend wee that she didn’t actually make, then washing hands, then putting the diaper back on.. and all this EVERY time Liam goes for a wee, and he goes often! 

Anyway, yesterday Granny bought Hannah her first pack of big girl panties. BIG moment in the house! We clapped and cheered and ooh’d and aah’d over the pretty pink bloomers. Let’s see how this piddles out…   


The Power of Association

When Hannah was born, I was amazed that she fit my initial pie in the sky idea that babies are supposed to be pink and wrinkled and quiet and angelic. This because, my idyllic ideas were shattered when Liam was born; he was everything a baby was NOT supposed to be. He was born awake, and he stayed awake A LOT. As a newborn, if he napped for 40 minutes at a time, it was cause for celebration. Night times were worse, we couldn’t make an hour without him stirring and yelling for something to eat. He was a boob baby, and a formula supplemented baby, and he ate porridge at 3 months, all in an effort to make him SLEEEP. How he remained a cute, happy little boy on such sleep deprivation is beyond me. We soon realised that Liam was born ready – for EVERYTHING. He started teething at 3 months, walked at 11 months, started baby talking at about 4 months and real talking at about a year and oh my giggling granny, hasn’t stopped since. He is a real rough and tumble boy’s boy, does everything with gusto and dramatics, he is a ball of energy and I think he is destined to be a leader and not a follower. So when Hannah was born, all prim and proper, quiet as a mouse, a four to five hour schedule baby, and slept a full eight hours from about 3 months, we were a bit taken aback. She was a very calm baby, happy to just sit in her pram and watch the world pass her by. She hardly cried, she didn’t require much attention, other than watering and feeding here and there, and she was a total breeze to deal with. I used to say that Liam was blessed enough to get my antsy pantsy genes and Hannah got her Dad’s more laid back kinda genes.

Boy, was that short lived.

I read an interesting blog post, which supports my theory on the Power of Association. “The power of association and surrounding yourself with other successful people is a sure fire way to reach your goals and dreams much faster. The plain and simple truth is that if you are not spending time with other action takers on the same path to bigger things in life, then you hinder your own success.” It goes on to say: “…the outcome of who you are, the goals you achieve, the dreams you accomplish, the destiny you fulfill, all has its roots either as a result of associations you keep or maybe you personally. Let’s look for a good association, because it will determine your accomplishments.”

So now my theory.. since Hannah has been hanging around with her big brother, she has evolved into a little tigress. If I can use a simple example.. she evolved from one of those cute cuddly things in Waybaloo into that pirate chick in Jake and the Neverland Pirates, almost overnight (still cute and cuddly though). It seems even her physical milestones are being reached quicker, as a result of being around Liam. She only cut her first tooth at 10 months, but everything else has come at whirlwind speed.. she walked before her first birthday, she went from a quiet, introverted toddler who really only spoke when she was spoken to, into a word-a-second finger wagging, rule breaking toddler. I stand back and watch how she admires Liam, how she tries to imitate everything he does, how she tries to pronounce words like he does, how she tries these Evil Knievel tricks that get my heart racing. While potty training Liam, we used to let him wee in the garden – something that he hasn’t quite gotten over, even though he is fully potty trained. The other day I found Miss Hannah trying to wee in the garden with her brother, except she couldn’t get out of her press-studded vest so she was kinda leaning hip forward, legs apart, mimicking her brother who was creating a yellow stream across the yard. WHERE was my camera. She wants to be just like him, she wants to eat the same food as he does, and even though I know she doesn’t have an affinity for mushy foods – she won’t even eat mushy breakfast cereal or mashed butternut – if Liam is eating it, she will force herself to swallow it down with a sick look on her face.

I think it’s great that she has a mentor of sorts, that she endeavours to be just like her smart big brother, and I have no doubt that she will learn faster; that her mental and physical capabilities will develop quicker because she spends every waking moment with her mentor. But my concern is that she is also picking up on the not-so-admirable qualities of a strong willed two year old boy.. like the tantrums, the crying just because I feel like it, the naughtiness (and no, I don’t believe that children can’t be naughty). I know this phase will come regardless of who your child is, or who they spend time with, that’s just raising babies for you… but Hannah, at the tender age of 17 months, wags her finger in my face and says no no no no no, when I raise my voice and make big eyes at her to show my disapproval at something she’s done. She looks at me with that just-you-dare-try-it look when I reprimand her for touching something she knows is off limits, and runs away in a fit of giggles when I make as if I am coming to catch her to discipline her. She isn’t afraid of a smack on the fingers because she knows that Liam gets lots of those and he seems fine – she finds it all quite amusing actually. She looks to Liam when Dad raises his voice, to gauge how he reacts, so that she can do the same, because you don’t mess with Dad when he raises his voice, you see. She is a two and a half year old Liam in a 17 month old body – except her English is still pretty sucky.

My idea is to train Liam to be the perfect little well behaved, well mannered boy, so that she will pick up these great qualities from her brother.. but training Liam is like training a yappy little puppy who is just too excitable to listen or learn and just wees his pants when you shout and goes back to chew on that same piece of furniture no matter how many times you tell him not to.. its HARD!

So now that my hopes for a little princess in a pink organza tutu have been dashed, I’ve reconciled myself to the fact that Hannah will most likely be a tom boy, who only wants to wear camouflage and dig in the sand (boy, she loves digging in the sand!). And I’m cool with that, I just hope that Liam will grow out of his Terrible Twos phase quickly so that Hannah at least learns how to be a well behaved little tom boy.

No matter what, my kids are living proof that the Power of Association is real. Who are you associating with, and what does it say about you?

Also from the blog post I mentioned above, a thought provoking article by Gen. Colin Powell, which stirred my heart..

  • Don’t follow anyone who’s not going anywhere, with some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it
  • Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life
  • Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships
  • If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl but, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights
  • The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve
  • Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity
  • An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people
  • As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on; they will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don’t help you climb will want you to crawl
  • Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you