Dear Finn-3 Years & 3 Months

You were upset with me today so you climbed up on daddy’s lap and look at him with all seriousness and said “I think we should get a new mama.”

I was prepared for the “I hate you’s” and even (eventually) “fuck you bitch” (since I said this to my mom, I figure it’s only fair).  However, replacing me caught me unexpected and even though I understand you didn’t say it with full meaning, I have to admit it hurt my feelings a little bit.

Which means that I need to grow a thicker skin, otherwise I’m a far too easy target for you.

I was reading a friend’s Facebook updates and one of her neighbors had set off bottle rockets which scared her daughter who is about 18 months older than you.  It made me laugh because coming home that day you hopped out of the van, ran up to the front door and started screaming at the top of your lungs.  It sounded exactly like fireworks.  Even though it was only 430, I figured it wasn’t something the neighbors were really enjoying and I told you so.

“But that’s my outside voice” you tell me.  How can I argue with that?

We are still working on toilet training and I’m feeling like a failure as a parent.  You can spell your name, write your name, state your full name (first, middle, and last), you are an expert at your letters, numbers, identifying shapes (even oval, rectangle, cube, pentagon, etc.), and you’ve known your colors since forever.  But I’m pretty sure if you go to Kindergarten with diapers on, none of the rest of it will matter.

So here’s the deal my son.  If you can learn how to use the toilet and have only accidents here and there instead of multiple times a day I won’t ask you to learn anything ever again.  I will be happy.

No my fingers aren’t crossed behind my back, I swear.

I know you’ll do it in your own time.  I know it doesn’t mean you’re not smart.  I’m fairly sure it will be a single moment in time when something will just click and the day before you were having all these accidents and then the next you’ll never have another one.  That’s how it happened for you with rolling over, crawling, walking, talking and so I’m sure pooping will follow the same pattern.

I’m also fairly sure it’s my failure as a mother.  I know you’re capable, so I figure it has to be something I’m doing wrong.  But since you are my one and only…you’re also sort of the guinea pig.  Sorry about that.  All I can promise is I will do my very best by you.  I just wish I could figure it out.  Now I have turned to bribery.  I told you I would fly you to the moon and buy you anything you wanted if you pooped in the toilet.  I feel that bribery is a valid parenting tool.

It’s funny to see what daddy and I focus on when it comes to parenting.  I guess everyone values something different and focuses on different things.

Daddy is very worried about your toilet training too.  He also is very strict when it comes to food…how you eat and how much.  I focus much more on manners…if you forget your please and thank you I remove a toe.

You were at Jo Jo’s last week and you told her you only had 1 toy at your house to play with.  One lonely ball in your bedroom.  I wonder who all the toys that take up 40% of the space in our house belong to?  I would be very happy if they would come and collect them because then our house would be a lot less crowded and messy.  I offered to dial the CPS number for you and that is a standing offer until you are 18 years old.

You are such a good helper and only rarely have an attitude.  I’m pretty sure you got the attitude from your father, not me (because I’m always sweet).  You continue to develop your wicked sense of humor and not a day passes without me laughing at with you.

I heard about the terrible two’s and I didn’t find that to be true.  When you were two are some of my favorite times of being your mom.  Since you’ve turned three you’ve been testing my patience, but at every age and stage there are difficult and great things.  I know since I’ve been “working,” it’s a transition and I want to make sure to spend quality time with you because in a blink of an eye you will be off to school and I don’t want to miss a minute.

Love,

Mama
Finn.9-11#3
Finn.9-11
Finn.9-1#2

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5 Responses to Dear Finn-3 Years & 3 Months

  1. Even our “almost” five year old (2 months, can’t say 4.5 anymore, can I?) still has nighttime accidents, and that’s WITH us getting her to the toilet around 11:30PM. Lately, they’ve increased to every night, something that should not be happening on such a regular basis.
    Her daytime accidents didn’t stop until right around the time she turned four. And even then, once a month, we’ll have to bring home clothes from daycare because she stalled too long and then didn’t make it to the potty in time. To each their own. Finn will surprise you when he suddenly decides to jump on the bandwagon and then it will be the easiest transition.

  2. Kate says:

    Jen-
    You don’t know how much better this makes me feel. I’m relatively sure it’s our failure as parents…but I’m also pretty sure he’s going to learn it one way or another (eventually). It’s comforting to know that other parents are going through this as well.
    Right now he is having about 2 accidents a day and then our daycare puts him in a diaper. I’m pretty sure she’s a saint. I know the accidents will happen as I saw it when I worked with kids as old as 9. They’re having too much fun to stop and go to the bathroom. I was working with the smartest boy in a 1st grade classroom in the hallway where the bathroom was literally 10 feet away and he peed his pants because he didn’t want to interrupt the tutoring I was doing. There are at least 10 accidents in a school year because of belts. Kids get in the bathroom and can’t get their belts undone and so will pee their pants. My favorite of that was when one girl had a skirt on and so I asked her why she didn’t just lift up her skirt?? It had never occurred to her…logic with 8 year olds…not so much.
    So I understand accidents, but the way he’s going…it’s more like an accident when he doesn’t pee all over himself!
    I read your posts on how you handle faith in your house. Very interesting, thanks for sharing! I still don’t like that you close comments on old posts (I pretend like you care) although I understand it keeps the spam down. I imagine it’s a challenge to incorporate Jewish and Christian traditions…but I think more the merrier! I always wondered when I was teaching about the Muslim and Jewish students when we would celebrate holidays. Halloween in the Muslim faith is like a huge NO, don’t do it and I tried to keep the talk of Christmas out of the classroom. But that’s impossible. I was talking to a little boy who was Jewish once and I asked him if he ever felt sad because he didn’t get to celebrate Christmas (my Christian and ego-centric American were coming out) and his eyes lit up and he told me no and then spent 15 minutes telling me all the great things he got to do for many days that was so much better than Christmas, and he felt bad for the kids you weren’t Jewish. It was such a new way of looking at it, I hoped all kids feel that way…but I think it’s always hard as a kid to be different than the majority.
    I also felt worst for the Jehovah’s Witnesses because they weren’t allowed to celebrate birthdays so 30 times a year when kids would bring in treats, they would go trudging down to the library while we celebrated.
    I always hoped that the parents put it in such a way that the kids could be excited and proud of their religion whatever it is and so the kids felt “more special” rather than “left out.” I think you’re doing that with Sprite and I think she’ll be all the better for it!
    :) Kate

  3. Denise says:

    Oh, I love these letters! You know Finn was just joking when he said “new mama”. He loves you and you are not a failure, very much the contrary!
    I read your response to Sprite’s Keeper. Great! Once I had Jewish pupils and we were all painting Santas in the classroom and so on, related to Christmas. I tried my best to explain the mothers that it was the school’s policy to do that, and I would respect whatever they decided – giving them some other tasks, like painting a menora, and so on. They told me “ah, in order to make them feel inserted in any community, we give them Christmas presents too”. What? Well, maybe I was too sensitive… but I still think it was my duty to ask them, of course!

    Finn is really cute and one can see by his face and expression that he is lovely!
    Denise recently posted..LondonMy Profile

  4. Kate says:

    Denise-
    I think it’s always better to be more sensitive than less. But that’s just me…I think you and I both suffer from thin skin. I know Finn didn’t really mean and even when he’s a little older when he WILL mean it…he won’t really mean (or at least that’s what I’ll be telling myself). He’ll forgive me for being his mother 5 minutes later. That’s my hope!
    :) Kate

  5. maggie says:

    I wonder if it’s a boy thing… my brother took a lot longer to be completely toilet trained compared to me. . . and I totally almost called it “house trained”.
    maggie recently posted..If I had three dollars for every time someone asked. . . Do Your Ears Hang Low?My Profile

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