… aka “How We Suck As Parents”
We Hales’ are no strangers to being called “weird”. We watch weird stuff, play weird games, and sing weird songs. So I guess it should have come as no surprise when I realized that our parenting techniques are a little weird. The more and more I talk to and hang out with our parenting peers (those parents of Lauren’s friends & classmates who are close to her age), I realize there are some things we’re not doing that a lot of other folks are. What kinds of things you ask? Well for starters…
1. Lauren’s Still Not Potty-Trained.
If you’re read the blog at all you know this is a VERY sensitive subject for me, but, despite being more than 2.5 years old, she’s still not there. She also doesn’t have any real interest in getting there. And to be honest, I’ve stopped trying. On a typical day, she gets put on the potty once: when she first gets up we let her sit there with her milk. Sometimes she pees, sometimes she doesn’t. And then we go throughout the rest of the day changing wet diapers. However it wasn’t always this way. We’ve actually tried 4 different times. We’ve tried the 3-Day method. We gave candy, stickers, bubbles. We dragged her with us every time we went. We’ve worn special hats & done little dances. We’ve tried every positive method under the sun (and even a few negative ones), and I guess the truth of the matter is this: she’s just not ready.
So now we don’t push it. I don’t even make her sit on the potty. When she’s ready, she’ll let us know. Until then we’ll just have to let her lead. If there’s anything we’ve learned in this process it’s that she won’t go until she’s ready to go.
2. Lauren Still Sleeps in a Crib.
And no, I’m not talking a converted crib-type deal. Lauren’s still in a full-on crib with the elevated mattress and rails up and everything.
One reason is because I’m not buy another bed and mattress until she’s potty trained. She can do her “learning” on the one she’s got! Another reason is that Lauren doesn’t really get out of the crib. She knows how to climb in, but to date she’s only climbed out twice. The third reason is I’m still not quite sure what kind of room I want her next one to be. Her room now is working out great, and I’m not 100% sold on any of my plans for her next one. So we don’t really feel the heat. When people ask us about the transition we just smile and admit that we haven’t even started. Especially since she’s comfortable and we’re comfortable, the plan is to just keep “chillin’ in the crib”.
3. Lauren Stays Up Until At Least 10pm Every Night.
What?? Your 2 year old goes to bed at 8:30? Where they do that at??? OK no seriously, we do have rules and standards in our home, but we just don’t feel pressed to get her down that early.
For starters, Lauren doesn’t get up until 8AM and she gets to school by about 9-9:30AM. Meaning that by the time most of us have got up, got in, and finished our 1st meeting, Lauren’s just getting started. Plus during the day she gets a 2+ hour nap. So if you think about it her 8PM is kinda like most people’s 5PM. So we let her stay up. It’s also definitely a remnant of our working days, when we wouldn’t get home and out of work clothes until 7PM. At that time it just didn’t feel right only spending only 30 minutes with our kid when her teachers got to see her all day. So we spend our evening playing games, watching cartoons, play fighting, whatever. And then, at 10PM, when Nickjr. says Goodnight, so does Lauren. Most of the time she lays in there and talks and sings and reads until close to 11PM, but hey at least she’s not running around.
So there you have it, our most controversial parenting techniques. Sure they’re definitely not what you’ll read in a book or on a forum, but they work for us for now. In some ways we do feel the pressure to “grow her up” and hit those next developmental milestones. However, we find that we’re happy and relaxed in the place that we’re at. Just spending time loving each other and enjoying our little girl.