... through this pregnancy, that is. I can't believe I'm well into my 18th week when it seems like just yesterday those two pink lines appeared on a stick. I've been feeling the baby move around consistently for about two weeks now, feeling him or her more when I sit down for a while, particularly when I'm leaning foward. My big ultrasound is scheduled for May 24, and I cannot wait! Hopefully baby #2 will cooperate and we'll find out if Colton is going to have a little brother or a little sister. So far on Gregg's side of the family, there is an even number of boys and girls. All the grandchildren have also been born in perfect girl/boy order, so according to this "trend" the next one should be a girl! Either way, this baby will be the tie breaker.
In other news, I've been really frustrated lately with Colton's behavior. I'm struggling with how to respond to him in the best way, without completely losing my temper. Every request is met with a no, and he is constantly testing his limits. Sometimes I think he's being obstinate just for the heck of it, trying to be as independent as he can be. He'll refuse to get a new diaper put on, eat his food, get dressed, etc. The tantrums have also risen to a new level. Over everything. Over nothing. When we have to leave some place to come home or when I don't let him do or have something he wants, it is mass hysteria.
We're also potty training which is driving me nuts. Colton started to express an interest in going on the potty a few weeks ago. So I went with it, not wanting to discourage him and perhaps miss a golden opportunity. Whenever I take his diaper off, he proclaims he wants to "go pee pee on the potty". He can tell me when he's wet and is dirty, needs privacy to poop, knows the body parts that the pee and poop come out of and calls them by their proper names, and can even undress himself with a little bit of help. He is also more than happy to flush the toilet for me. But there's nothing actually happening while he sits on the potty. Nada, zero, zilch.
I try to have him sit there no more than 3 to 5 minutes, because any longer and it becomes a way for him to stall something. I've tried letting him run around the house naked, so that I might "catch him in the act" and be able to redirect him to the potty but when I wasn't paying attention he peed on the carpet in his room. He did come and find me right away to tell me he had "made a mess" though, which I praised him for and then reminded him that pee pee goes in the potty. I've tried to strenghten the connection between "going" and the potty by emptying the contents of his poopy diapers into the big toilet and letting him flush them. I'll sit on the toilet while he sits on his potty and we'll talk about how it feels to know when the pee pee is coming. I've even done live demonstrations and talked about everything as it's happening! Now I really just want to let him pick out his own underwear, and maybe if he's uncomfortable being wet in them he'll ask to go on the potty when he actually has to go, not just when his diaper is taken off. I don't know. I know this process can take a frustrating amount of time, but I'm at a loss. Any dreams of Colton being trained, at least during the day, by the time the new baby comes are fading quickly. Sigh.
It can be easy to focus on the bad even while there is so much good. It's easy to forget how beautiful and wonderful this child is when I'm exasperated by another meltdown or the fact that he won't listen. But he is. I continue to be amazed by him. Not that long ago, Colton could barely string two words together and now he's talking in complete sentences. Making up jokes. Recounting the day's events to his daddy at night before bed. Saying please and thank you without being prompted. Suddenly pronouncing several words correctly that he could not before. He knows many of his colors, though he still gets red mixed up with pink and yellow with orange. He can also identify several letters and knows all of his animal sounds. He also likes to sing along to his Toddler Tunes cd, which he must play every morning while he's getting ready and every night before bedtime.
I know this challenging phase will pass eventually. I need to treasure the time I have with Colton while he's so young. One day when he's a teenager and "too cool" for his mom, I'll be longing for the days when he felt comfortable enough with me to throw an epic tantrum.