Ella reached a big milestone this week...it's not an "official" milestone, but it's one in my book...she can now go down stairs on her own. The gate at the bottom of our stairs came loose a couple of nights ago (it's a pressure mounted walk-through gate), and we didn't put it back up right away, so she's been going up and down the stairs more freely. I watched her a few times to make sure she had a good handle on it, and she does just fine. It's amazing how "open" our stairs look without the gate up, and it's nice to not always have to worry about whether the gate is open or closed (we also have a more portable/removeable gate at the top of our stairs that we used to have to remember to put up when Ella was upstairs).
Dylan is also growing up fast. We've pretty much dropped his afternoon nap now. We tried a couple of months ago and it was pretty much horrible, but this time it's going better. He's getting better and better at occupying himself in the afternoon - I'm explaining to him that afternoon's are "quiet time" - and I'm able to get some stuff done while he plays cars or colors or watches Sesame Street. The best part is that he's actually in bed and SLEEPING by 7:30 (instead of 10 or 11pm when he naps...yikes).
He has also made some good potty training progress. I haven't updated since I last declared potty training success, but unfortunately that was short lived and he regressed pretty quickly. It was driving me crazy (everyone tells you it's no big deal, but you definitely feel like a failure when your 3 1/2 year old is nowhere near being potty trained!) I did some research (what did moms do before Google??) and I found an explanation on "potty resistance."
A child who is potty resistant basically refuses to use the potty, usually because they have been reminded or lectured or pressured too much (he knows how to go, he just doesn't want to because he knows we want him to - any child who is over 3 years old, healthy, and not toilet trained after several months of trying can be assumed to be resistant to the process rather than undertrained). Basically we were probably freaking him out by reminding him all the time and it turned into a big power struggle. Here are the potty resistant "rules" (I'm listing them here in case anyone else is struggling with this or might struggle with it in the future - Google it for more info):
1. Transfer all responsibility to your child.
2. Stop all reminders about using the toilet.
3. Give incentives for using the toilet.
4. Make the potty chair convenient.
5. Whenever possible, replace pull-ups or diapers with underwear.
6. Remind your child to change his clothes if he wets or soils himself.
7. Don't punish or criticize your child for accidents.
It was hard for us at first to bite our tongues and not remind him, but it's getting easier and he's responding really well. We've been at it about a week and the first couple of days he had a few accidents (which he has learned to clean up himself), but now he's been dry for a couple of days. He wears underwear everywhere now during the day which was also a little scary for us but he's doing just fine. I hope this is my last post about potty training!!!