Friday, February 16, 2024

Phoebe's night in

Rachel babysat the youngest four this evening while Miriam and I went to Hamilton with Grandpa and Darla (and Dad was at work). I felt a little bad (but not too bad since she got to go to Hamilton last week) leaving her in charge of everything, but she's an incredibly capable human, and managed everything just fine. She fed her siblings, got them off to bed, and even carved out some time to attend a Zoom meeting for one of her classes. 

Phoebe went to bed relatively easily for her, which I was so glad to hear when I texted her during intermission. There were other parts of Phoebe that weren't exactly easy, however.


Earlier in the day, while I was helping Benjamin with a tricky math problem, Phoebe took herself potty on one of her little potties. We really need to train her to use the big potty and were making headway in that direction...but that all fell apart over the last two weeks.

Anyway, she did a lovely poopie in her potty and stood up to tell me the good news. 

"I pooped! Yay!" she said, clapping her hands. "Look at it, Mommy!"

Like many children (at many of my children; I'm not really sure if other children also do this), she likes to...check out her artwork...and give it a good name. Like ink blots—"what do you see?"—but with bowel movements. It's a dangerous game for her to engage in, however, because Phoebe's gag reflex is...delicate. 

Just last night I had to remove her plate from her after she dipped her garlic bread in spaghetti sauce too long and—to her horror—it turned into "poop" right in her hand. She hates poop—the look of it, the smell of it, anything that is squishy and brown...and yet! She insists on examining her poop after going potty. So I have to make sure I intervene in this little game at just the right time.

Intervene too early and I'm mean because she didn't get to bond with her poop. Tears are very likely in this instance. Heaven forbid I flush it away before she's had a chance to name it and say goodbye (the cruelty!). Intervene too late and...well, I intervened too late today because I was on the other side of the room helping Benjamin instead of being her emotional support potty person, so I can tell you what happens (I'm a mom: I've told you before, and I'm sure I'll tell you again).


"I pooped! Yay!" Phoebe cheered and clapped her hands. "Look at it, Mommy! Look! It's...oh, no! It's *gag* Oh, no! *gag*gag* It's..."

She threw up. 

"Oh, no! I throwed up! I..."

Guess what also triggers her gag reflex. Vomit!

"I throwed up! *gag* I throwed *gag* IT'S ON MY SOCK! *gag* Mom!"

She threw up again. 

"Mom! *gag* Help me! *gag*gag* Mom! MY SOCKS!"

A little more throw up.

"Mom! *gag* It's on my KITTY shirt! *gag* MY KITTY! *gag* HELP!"

I rushed over to her, stripped her down naked, and moved her away from her potty and throw up mess before wiping her bum. 

"Go on upstairs and find some clean undies," I instructed her.

"No, you do it!" she challenged.

This is a rather annoying response she's begun using at any given opportunity. It is frequently paired with claims of "me just little." It is absolutely not to be confused for tasks she would like to do "mine own self" because she is a "big, big girl."

"No, you do it," I echoed back at her. "Mommy needs to empty your potty and clean up your throw up. You can find some clean clothes for yourself."

Disgruntled, she started climbing the stairs. By the time I had emptied her potty, she'd returned with clean underwear. I helped her into it (because underwear can be particularly tricky) and then sent her into another room to play while I cleaned up her vomit and started a load of laundry. 

It was a bit of a ridiculous mess, but not entirely unusual around these parts...


Before the show, Grandpa took us out for dinner at Waffle House (Miriam's choice). I checked in with Rachel when we were finished with dinner and on our way downtown. Rachel was in the kitchen making dinner at that moment (mac'n'cheese). 

"Phoebe just peed??? So much!!" she texted. 

While I was typing to ask whether she'd made it to the potty, Rachel texted:

"Directly on the floor while standing maybe three feet away from me???"

So not on the potty, then. Phoebe's really 100% potty trained during the day, but she's also "just little" and sometimes needs to be reminded to go if she hasn't thought about going in a while. Keeping track of her potty behaviour is second nature to me—I keep a running clock in my mind of how long it's been since she's used the potty, when the last time was that she pooped, and tend to enforce potty use if it's been too long since the last time she went. Daniel Tiger has a nice song for this: "Do you have to go potty? Maybe yes, maybe no. Why don't you sit and try to go?" No harm in trying...

Anyway, the next text message from Rachel (mere seconds after the first two) was:

"And then she panicked and slipped in it??"

Rachel ended up having to mop the floor (apparently there was just so much pee) and Phoebe required an outfit change. 

Could Phoebe have managed a more ridiculous potty day?




The good news is that she went to bed fairly easily for Rachel. I was happy to learn that she was already asleep by the time we hit intermission because she's never gone to bed without Mommy and Daddy there and I was worried she'd be giving Rachel a hard time (sometimes Phoebe can be a stinker at bedtime). The last thing I wanted was for Phoebe to be screaming nonstop for her! 

Rachel said things went smoothly though.

She played some of the voice recordings I'd made of storytimes past, which helped convinced Phoebe to settle down for sleep.

Alexander told me this morning that Phoebe kept getting out of bed and had to be tucked in several times (but that's not entirely unusual). Phoebe was still asleep when I got home (around 11:30). Rachel stayed up until Andrew got home from work (around 10:30). She'd asked me if she could go to sleep (she's doing early morning seminary this year), but I told her she'd better stay awake just in case. Because sometimes Phoebe wakes up and needs to be put to bed again (and she would have been very upset if she hadn't been able to find any big people). 

And, indeed, she woke up around midnight and had to be coaxed back to bed. And then wound up in my bed later in the night. 

But all in all, it was a successful evening for her!

1 comment:

  1. Those potty misadventures were hilarious from thousands of miles away!!