A couple months ago I seriously almost threw in the towel with this whole parenting-Jesse business. I moaned to my mother and sister, "If I could think of just one thing I have successfully taught him." Because at the time, my record was zilch. No progress on potty training, obedience, sleeping, dressing--anything, really. And I was so tired, so frazzled, so disappointed.
I have spared you from the EIGHT MONTHS of potty training frustration, in which Jesse certainly could but under no circumstances would. I haven't told you about the ever more creative ways Jesse has not used the toilet. And the uncounted nights he's screamed through the wee hours--and the big ones, too. Actually, the screaming has often been just 'round the clock.
Anyway, all this is to say that--knock on wood--progress is being made.
- Jesse often goes through a day making just average, preschooler-grade messes as opposed to irreparable, expensive, or exotic ones.
- Jesse uses the toilet! On his own! All the time!
- When it's time to go somewhere, Jesse walks outside, gets in the van, and buckles himself! As opposed to screaming like a demon and forcing Mom to wrestle him like a greased pig. (This is due to the M&Ms I distribute one at a time for each incidence of compliance.)
- Jesse often obeys an instruction!
- And when he doesn't, he walks to the time-out spot and sits there until the timer rings!
- Jesse goes to bed when told! And stays there! All night long!
- If Jesse gets up in the night, it's to do something like use the toilet instead of, say, scream at his mother for three hours!
Also, in order to validate Jesse's individuality and desire to be powerful, I let him wear nothing but tidy-whiteys most of the time. (He feels these best display his buffness and allow him to add superhero accessories most easily.) In exchange for this freedom, he agrees to wear socially appropriate clothing when we go out. I'd like to upgrade this arrangement, if for nothing else than sanitation reasons.
But still. Progress is progress. Heaven help me, I'll take it.