Saturday, February 16, 2013

Quick Takes (volume 15)


I'm probably going to jinx it by typing this, but I think Gus is potty trained. We started in November, and had some difficulties, but were doing pretty well by the time we went to the USA for Christmas. Then we had a bit of a disaster for three weeks, brought about by the combination of being out of our normal routine, jet lag and general tiredness, too much fun to be had, and probably an overly strict pottying schedule. So when we got back home in January (after the jet lag) we had a bit of a restart, where we let Gus actually experience what a full bladder felt like, and I really, really, tried to trust Gus when he said he did or did not have to pee. And within about 3 weeks, he was consistently asking to go potty, usually in time to actually get onto the potty. So glad we did it, but probably one of the hardest things we have done since becoming parents. Definitely wish we had done better at trusting and listening to Gus from the beginning of it, rather than just planning to do that, but it all came good in the end. And I don't think he is too scarred from the process!

Two of my favourite quotations from Gus during our potty learning adventure:
  • "Big boys do not use the potty!"
  • (As Jon is dressing Gus after Gus had an accident and did not want to sit on the potty) "I'm going to pee in the black trousers next." And sure enough, he peed in them less than five minutes later!
new haircut
Enough with the potty talk.  Next item in the "big boy" news category: we have cut Gus's hair! After the last time we tried to cut his hair (last May!) where he cried so much I had to stop the haircut after only a few minutes (and half done), I was too scared to take him again. We've cut his bangs (fringe) a couple of times since then, and that has been pretty much fine, so he has probably been ready for a while. And I actually did get up the courage to do it one day in the fall, and the salon I wanted to go to was closed for the day! So we went a few weeks ago. He climbed up on the chair, held a Percy train toy in one hand, ate a snack with the other, and looked out the window at the buses going past. And he was fine! He looked a bit unsure about it, but not upset, and I tried to stay really positive and upbeat about it. It was really not a big deal. We went out for lunch after, and two strangers called him a boy!  I generally didn't mind when people called him a girl (although it was beginning to bother Jon), but even I thought that getting called "Princess" multiple times on our journey to the US was a bit much. He also looks so much older now. Yikes!

It was Ash Wednesday this week. I noticed something while I was fasting this week. I cannot remember the last time I actually felt hungry and didn't immediately search out something to eat. We are so blessed to be able to have (mostly) nutritious food available at any time and place, but it is definitely something I take for granted. And really, the hunger that I felt was based on eating three small but adequate meals over the course of the day. A lot more than many people get. 

Also on the topic of food: I am taking an online course through on the American Food System and Public Health. It is so interesting. I am only halfway through the 6-week course, so there's a lot left to learn. But so far, I have been astonished by the amount of water and energy that it takes to grow our food, saddened by the deterioration of precious farmland that is happening due to intensive farming practices, and kind of grossed out by descriptions of industrial meat production. Of course, I'm already a vegetarian, so that last one is kind of to be expected. The real focus of this course is how the way our food is produced affects the health of the country, especially through "externalities" of the food production process, such as pesticide use affecting people living in rural communities, antibiotics in meat contributing towards antibiotic-resistance bacteria causing human illness, and how the health of future generations might be affected by the way we grow food now, among other things. However, our food and farming policy is not influenced by health concerns, although what we eat is intimately linked to our health. I hope that the next three weeks also include some solutions for how we can move toward a more sustainable system. I really do have a lot of thoughts on this topic--I should write a whole post about it!

just before his haircut, playing matching game
Gus seems to be playing trains all day every day at the moment. He still loves buses (loves them! one of his other favourite activities is to look at pictures on buses on Google images), but the main characters of his recent games are two engines that he calls James and Emily. He plays with Emily, and I usually have to be James. They travel all around the living room, pulling coaches, going through tunnels, meeting buses, resting in the shed, etc. It is so funny to listen to. As you might guess, he has also been watching Thomas and Friends, and sometimes I can hear lines from the show in his commentary, although often he makes his own stories as well. 

I'll leave you with a recent tidbit from Gus. When he was told it was time to get ready for bed, he responded,
The only option is to play!!

Have a happy weekend! And don't forget to check out Jen's for more quick takers.


  1. Oh my, a first complete and thorough haircut and potty independence are some pretty big accomplishments! It sounds like Gus is doing wonderfully! It's so nice to see an update from your house :)

    1. Thanks, Melissa. It has been a busy few months!