Saturday, February 02, 2008

I have three children, no wait, four...where is Liam anyway?

I have a confession to make...sometimes I forget I have a fourth child. Truly, honestly, I forget him. My greatest concession in this neglect is my other children, they insure that Liam is fed, clothed and bathed when I have forgotten.

I remember when Emma was still fairly new to the family and her car seat was one of those carriers, popped out of the base to carry. We were driving to the grocery store and for one brief split second I had to ask, "Was Emma in the car? Did I leave her on the driveway or put her in the car?" During that brief second I was in a high panic state, quickly turned around and rested assured, she was in the car.

But with Liam, I do this more often - not leave him in parking lots, but forget to set a place-setting for him, neglect that he too needs teeth brushed and a bath every now and then. It's not because he's so quiet and reserved. Heavens, NO! He's the loudest of any of us, adults included. But, I think the reason I tend to not include him is for so long I've raised semi-independent kids. Aidan was eight when Liam was born, Emma was 10 and Ian 13. Prior to May of 2004 I would yell out, "Brush your teeth, take a shower, eat your breakfast!" and it was done. This doesn't work for a pre-schooler. He can't pour his own milk, do his own laundry or be depended upon to brush those pearly whites.

Thank goodness for Emma. She steps in when I drop the ball. Now the funny thing is that as I was typing this blog title Dave was reading over my shoulder and thought the fourth child I was going to talk about was him! He too forgot that we do have four kids! His excuse was that he considers Emma so mature that in his eyes she's not a child! Right!

I am especially feeling my thoughtlessness in parenting of late because we are attempting, once again, to potty-train Liam. This boy is stubborn and I am convinced (or convincing myself) that that is 90% of the problem. But part of me admits that I have dismissed my duty to complete this project. I wonder if my attempts have been half-hearted. But the same strategies used on three other Moody children worked. Liam is just plain stubborn. So, consider this blog entry a plea for help, a cry for advise and a request for prayer. How do you potty-train a boy who wears "big-boy" underwear for the morning, is content to sit on a potty every 15 minutes, have that extended to an hour, get off the pot, have a diaper put on (for nap-time) and then relax his bowels and bladder that he's been holding tight for the past four hours to let it loose!? HELP!!


MamaTina said...

hmm, that's a tough one. I'm sorry, but I don't have any experience with boys. Maybe a cloth diaper instead of disposable would help.
With our little one, we just took the panties off, put on a long shirt or a dress and put the potty in the room she was in. We told her that if she needed to pee or poop, then to use the potty. It worked. Within a week or so we moved the potty to the bathroom and then from there she quickly started using the large toilet. I will admit we did a lot of mess cleaning up, but the whole process from beginning to end was about a month.

Paul Merrill said...

Reminded me of a friend here whose boy had the same problem. It drove him(and his wife) to extreme frustration.

I said prayer might do it. We prayed together. Within a week, he had turned the corner. That was one of the most direct and fast answers to prayer I can remember.

May God have mercy on the link between Liam's brain and nether regions!

Marti said...

I can't give you any personal advice on potty training (having never had that pleasure) but I just wanted to say I think it's both hilarious and perfectly understandable that you (and Dave if he admits it) forget about the most recently acquired child! The other day I was reading a book with a character in it who was 27. "Oh," I thought, "My age," as the most recent decade slipped away for a minute. I'm actually 37. Life has a way of reminding us of these changes.