Koala’s path to big boy-dom.

Lucky for me, I have a wise, experienced professional at my disposal in times of parenting need (thanks, mom), so about a month ago a ‘sticker chart’ was instated at our home for Koala.

I highly recommend it. It has been fun, exciting and super-helpful, and I’m just talking about for me… But Koala has been enjoying racking up sticker points with enthusiastic cries of מדבקות!!! after wake up and before bedtime.

We chose a few targeted issues: toilet training, brushing teeth, going to bed/waking up calmly (no crying, for the love of god), using words, and playing ‘by myself.’ I think each of the areas are improving drastically, with toilet training currently at #1 in achievement and importance.

And because this is my space right here, I’m gonna say it: I’m proud of myself. Yeah, I did an awesome job here. Since Koala started expressing potty-interest over a year ago, it’s been a free-flowing, paced effort since then, until more recently, when we were more engaged and encouraging as he became increasingly interested.

I’d been waiting for the right time; Bebe was born in spring, and then summer didn’t work because we were going to New York. Sukkot was perfect: two weeks at home, no gan, so I could have full control of the situation and hammer it in for a toilet-training boot camp period.

So that’s what we did, and we’re out on the other side since for three days now it’s been undies all day with one accident a day. He spent Friday at gan with no issue, and the ganenet was really supportive (something I didn’t expect because I’m so skeptic and jaded about that…).

So, yeah, I feel good. It was smoother than I thought because he is old enough (2.5) and willing. I went with the flow (pun alert) and it worked it out. Score one for the laid- back moms!


The potty process (or, toilet-training literature).

Toilet-training has officially begun. It unofficially began way before Koala was even two years old and took a serious interest in all the peeing Mama was doing (pregnant, perhaps).

But in the laid-back fashion that my life is stitched in, we didn’t really try too hard. We let Koala explore the facts of toilet-training. He’d sit on it if he asked, he’d just watch or stand in the bathroom if he felt like it.

But last week, it started getting serious… so we did, too.

Which is when I realized something: For a while, we’ve hosted potty-friendly literature in the bathroom: Alona Frankel’s ever-helpful Once Upon a Potty and the ever-role model Elmo’s Potty Time With Elmo. Also, by chance, the 50s-inspired photo book, When Food Was Fun is available.

Koala’s toilet library: Isn’t that a funny selection, given what happens to food after it was fun? It’s like, “here’s what you do on the potty – and here’s how you can remember how awesome it was before you have to go through all this shit.”

Koala’s big boy party time!

On the last day of the year, here we are this morning, celebrating…

  • Koala’s first full night with no motzetz! We had a minute or two of pitiful withdrawal face, and another 3 seconds of desperate thumb-sucking, but then he turned over and went to sleep. For the night!
  • Toilet training has hit a new level (as in, we’re actually doing it). Koala’s been interested for a long time, since before he was two, and then he got more serious about it in the summer, but we waited until after the baby, the trip, and gan starting. So… here we are. With poo in the toilet yesterday.
  • New project: overcoming Koala’s creeped-outness regarding stuffed animals. He’s taken more notice of things that scare him lately; toys, pictures, shadows. I loved stuffed animals as a kid, and think it would be a disservice not to share the love on…

So, Koala’s special yomhuledet-animals party was this morning, complete with Kinder egg surprise. And a drink for all the new friends.  

Koala update: Twenty one months.

I’m having a hard time believing we’re three months to two-years-old. I’m having a harder time believing we’re three months to two children.

It’s a really great time for Koala lately. The teeth are in, the whining has been at a minimum, we’ve learned more about identifying his moods, words, wants and needs to avoid meltdowns.

Well, at least for now. A lot of my time with Koala lately (aside from enjoying every second of this age) has been wondering how the Ultimate Meltdown post-NewBaby will play out. Well, it’ll be what it’ll be.

For now…

Social life and public speaking.

The visit to Australia did wonders for Koala’s social life and public speaking. Hanging with eight cousins for four weeks (and all the squealing and hugging and emoting that comes with it) opened Koala up even more than he already was. And between Huz and I, we know it’s clearly not genetic, so go figure.

The word count soars every day (the latest: ‘cheese and vegemite!’). We even have a couple of phrases – ‘don’t want,’ and one of my favorites – ‘aww, man!’ Obviously I taught him ‘dude’ and obviously he says it in a way that sounds like an Israeli arse trying to look cool in New York. The most fun word to hear him say is ‘juice.’ It comes out like ‘jooshz.’

And better yet, combining both achievements, Koala can now say both his girlfriends’ names (Shira and Talia).

Introducing’pee!’ and ‘poo!’

Hello there, have you met our new friends, Pee and Poo? Koala has, and I’m finding that:

  1. He likes to make their presence known.
  2. He likes to accompany Mama when she, well, you know.
  3. He insists on trying the toilet out for himself when nature’s call rings.

So, armed with a Sesame Street mini toilet seat (Elmo! Ernie!), we give it a shot every once in a while. Mainly going through the motions (and diapers). I think we’re going to take it one day at a time; the Big Shakeup in April is enough for one tiny toddler to handle (see above, Ultimate Meltdown).

Bathing Beebee

But it’s not all Meltdowns and Shakeups around here. For a little while now we have been getting Koala acquainted with ‘Beebee’ (it’s how he pronounces baby). ‘Mama’s beebee’ refers to my bulging belly. ‘Bath with Beebee’ is nightly quality time for Koala and his little baby doll. And any photo of Koala before six months ago is quickly labeled ‘beebee’ (how they forget so fast…).

Happy Australia Day, by the way.