Princess Polly's Potty.
Our daughter was enthusiastic about the challenge, it helps that she always wants to do what her older brother does, including practical things like this. I decided to get started on a Friday - what was I thinking with three children including a young baby to tend to, alongside toilet training all by myself?! It was a rough start and I felt very disconcerted and began questioning whether she was in fact ready to move out of nappies.
Lamenting of the difficulties I was facing, somebody said to me when they were training their child, although they felt he was ready, he still needed to have lots of accidents as part of his own learning process. Having successfully gone through the toilet training, I can say with hindsight that her statement is probably true of many children.
The initial accidents really are what helps the child associate (a) with (b) and recognise what they need to do. After the first day, the accidents got fewer and by Monday when we had plans for a day out with friends, my daughter did brilliantly, going when she needed and keeping underwear dry!
My eldest being a boy, I was a bit nervous about being out in public toilets or indeed out in a park or wherever with my daughter. It is so easy for a boy to go out in the open, nicely concealed behind a tree! A friend with two daughters recommended I got a Potette Plus. It's a very compact, easily portable potty or toilet trainer seat and we have used ours lots already, definitely a good purchase.
As for how we went about the toilet training, we followed the same principle as we had done last time with our son. Lots of drinks during the first couple of days, lots of reminding the child to tell you when they need the toilet (rather than asking them if they need it) and lots of positivity! One thing I did differently was to abandon the sticker chart I did last time for my son. I read somewhere recently where a mother felt that the child should just be happy to be able to use the toilet and that in itself should be the reward, not bribing them through stickers, sweet treats, toys or whatever. I thought that was a good point and had kept it at the back of my mind. I did give my daughter stickers for the first few days but didn't make a big deal out of the stickers themselves and soon stopped them.
It has been nearly four weeks since we swapped nappies for knickers and our daughter is doing well. Very occasionally she will be too wrapped up in what she is doing to remember to tell me in time but fortunately I can usually tell when she does need to go, which helps.
Have you gone through the toilet training stage recently with any of your children? Those of you with boys and girls, I would be interested to hear if you had a better or worse experience with one or the other. What is your approach to toilet training and any advice or tips to share?
Tuesday, 19 August 2014
Tuesday, 12 August 2014
My husband and I quite like courgettes but they are not our favourite vegetable. My children will eat them if they are grated but are not huge fans of them overall. It was time to get creative and think of some ways to use them up!
I regularly make these savoury muffins, courgette mozzarella muffins so I made a batch of those and froze half. My children enjoy them for lunch with some salad bits on the side. One evening I made a courgette risotto for the children (admittedly, only one of them liked it!) and for my husband and I, this wild fried rice dish using diced courgette.
After asking for suggestions on Twitter, someone told me to google, 'savoury marrow bake'. I did and found this recipe, which sounded a bit different so I gave it a try. We had some for lunch and it went down well with the children. Again, I froze half.
I know I can always use some in a rice bake, which the whole family really likes. I also plan on making a melanzane parmigiana, substituting the aubergines (eggplant) for courgettes. Sometimes I stuff them with a bit of cooked rice, finely chopped onion, red pepper, mushroom and topped with cheese. We love these cheesy courgette and carrot balls and I tried these courgette and feta fritters recently, which the adults liked!
In the event you too face a glut of courgettes, I hope this post gives you some ideas of what to do with them. What do you make with courgettes? It would be great to have some more ideas from you in the comments.
Thursday, 7 August 2014
We also took our first little holiday as a family of five. It was a long weekend in the countryside, lots of space for the older two children to run around in and beautiful scenery. We had a great time.
I have planned a few outings during the holidays but am finding the unplanned days just as much, if not more fun so am not keeping us too busy. Maybe it is also because there is a four month old baby in the mix now, I am a little more reluctant to do too much.
I ran into a mum I know who mentioned how much she was liking the holidays and how her two girls were both more relaxed and getting on much better with one another. I thought about my son and daughter and how wonderfully they too have been getting on, this week especially. It has been lovely to watch them playing beautifully together, sharing, holding hands as we are walking somewhere. There has definitely been a reduction in the amount of squabbling and screaming these past couple of weeks. I have been doing more positive reinforcement as a result.
As everyone's mood and attitude becomes more positive, it becomes easier to keep in the same positive frame of mind. Let's hope the good times continue over the remainder of the summer but I have a feeling they will!
How have you been spending your summer so far? Have you noticed any change in your own children's behaviour?