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2005-04-06 - 3:04 p.m.

Just today Katie decided to wear underwear rather than diapers. She KNOWS how to go to the toilet but has been adament in her refusal. I think it was the girl peer pressure that made her change her mind. Yesterday when we went to a park near the community center we stopped in at the bathroom for Raitlin and Sadie to use the toilet. Katie was adament against this. Then a group of girls from a Preschool Class of three year olds came in. They saw me encouraging her after I insisted she use the toilet, and caught a glimpse of her diaper and one blurted out in astonishment "YOOU WEARING DIAPERS?"

At which Katie said "YES"
The little girls then ALL proudly displayed their underwear. It was the funniest thing as they ALL were so proud to show off that they no longer wear diapers. The teacher then came in as I was thanking them for encouraging Katie, but also explaining how they are not supposed to show strangers their underwear as it's private!

(I waited for the benefit of the bragging to sink in well before interjecting that responsible comment to the group!)

The teacher and I both thought the whole scene was hysterical. (We kind of laughed out the door so the girls didn't catch wind of it)

I told her I was so grateful for the positive peer pressure and glad we went there to the park that day! I said "This will likely do more for motivation than I ever could"

It seems to have been so!

We'll see if this trend continues!

Potty Candy EVERYONE!

Now for the Murphy's Law of this: It had to be the case that we are about to embark on a trip to NY to visit the In Laws this weekend.

OF COURSE resistant stubborn Katie would pick NOW to decide to get out of diapers!

Sadie also was dry all night for the first time! I actually AWOKE and roused her mutliple times and none too late for a change! YAh.... I have to be the one to keep that up for it to work ! Wish me luck while at the In LAWS (although they do have a plastic liner like we do....)

I still need luck for other things in relation to the visit! It wil be fun overall as the girls will all be showered with gifts for all holidays between August when we saw them last and now! Westley refuses to travel over the winter as he doens't think it safe to do so with the kids. So this is our annual Spring Christmas, Valentine, Easter Celebration with his old world Italian folks. We will politely nibble on all the stale holiday stuff grandma has around, and when she's not looking I'll surreptitiously throw it out. I am the Fridge Cleaning Queen. My Father in Law really apprechiates this of me. My mother in law seems to not have any qualms about that bit of mold on cheese she just cuts off! (Thus the extreme of the behavior of Westely who freaks at the thought of any possible spoliage so even if something is left out longer than 15 minutes he's inclined to toss it. He REFUSED to eat at pot luck suppers where all the food sits out at tables for crowds so LOTS of people can add their germs to the mix! We theorize he has consumed enough toxins/ molds for a lifetime while under the tuttlage of his mother... so he has become hyper-sensitive!) So while there Westely and I help out DAd and Westely attacks the cupboards tossing out the expired stuff, and I attack the fridge with more old jelly than even a large family could have ever consumed in a year. (She's a sucker for all those homemade farmstand preserves when they travel) She likely buys tons each year thinking how much WE LOVE it and noting how much we go through when there for even brief visits!

I'll also likely offer to cook while there and will make something like Lentil Soup (Which everyone likes) and then she'll throw extra stuff in, or peek in and think they need more lentils, or something like that, and we'll sit down to SLUDGE for dinner. She is convinced I'm a horrible cook and a horrid housekeeper and am LAZY and a few other choice words have come back to my ears from her assessment of me. In other words she is the typical mother in law.

We'll also likley have one of those moments we always have where she is open and honest and I've felt like we connected and had a great conversation. One of those moments where she admits that she and her son are NOT PERFECT. One of those moments where she honestly CONFESSES of some thing that has left her to feel guilty for years in relation to parenting. But its only so she can feel better and then it will be like the converstaion never took place. Denial sets back in, and she then focused on bitching about her husband and all the errors he's ever made in life: BLAH BLAH BLAH... He was "Always too rough with the kids, had a fowl mouth..." etc..... It was all his fault they were not perfect parents.

She won't mention that he belted the kids as SHE WAS there TELLING him to be a man and discipline as it was HIS JOB. So they were complicite and partners in abuse. The kids all recall this. She also is unaware that she was the one with the screaming habit and doesn't really understand that the esteem problems of her oldest daughter just might have been related to the kickname "Little Shit"

And the kids all love their not perfect pain in the ass parents. I too actually like them both each in their own way. I most definately like my Father in Law MUCH MORE than my Mother in Law. She however does have some strengths and some sincere positive things about her that I apprechiate. She is always truly caring of other people. She is thoughtful and tries to be considerate. Her real problem is that as the daughter of a raving maniac alcoholic herself she never quite realized that she carries on all those learned dysfunctional behaviors. Typical of those adult children of alcoholics she does have the postives they often exhibit in their devotion to others beyond reason, her committment and love and ability to forgive. I also do apprechiate her honesty as when she is upset with someone she addresses it directly. HECK- Westley and I had big issues of ours affect my sister-in-laws wedding and just days later the whole family hashed it ALL OUT in my living room! They all voiced what they felt and we all worked it all out in just a few hours of honest communication. IN MY FAMILY it would TAKE YEARS... IF EVER, before ANYONE would even VENTURE to honestly admit let alone hash out difficult issues.

I am sure that has something to do with my attraction to Westley and apprechiation of his crazy and opposite family from my quiet Irish one. I grew up in the passive avoidance situation where any troubles were brushed under the rug. (Then they just disappear, right?) In Italian families passions rule! For both good and ill, there is never avoidance but EVERYTHING is in your face! (Then the trouble's have been delt with and you move on, RIGHT?) HA HA... I laugh as I write... because it really matters little in the end whether one confronts an issue initially or ignores it UNLESS there is continued growth! But the itital confrontation is always the starting point isn't it. So if I had to choose, which I guess in a real way I HAVE chosen, I pick the passionate family dynamic over the one that ignores and avoids.

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