Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread

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Jackson starts preschool the week after next, and his new school requested a headshot of him that they could put on his cubbyhole where he’ll store his belongings. Even though I still take a ton of photos of him, it’s hard — and very rare — to get a good one of him being still and smiling at the camera. It took me a couple of hours of trying this morning at various locations and with various kinds of bribery to finally get a picture I could imagine taped to a cubbyhole at school for the next year.

And now I have this image of him seeing his own photo among the other smiling faces of his classmates and reaching for his monkey backpack where I will have packed a change of clothes, extra pull-ups (and hopefully underwear soon…), his lunch, a snack, and some water. Maybe among these things, I will tuck a picture of us, his family, and something from home to remind him that there is a place where he is always safe and always loved no matter what.

It’s just a couple mornings a week he’ll be away from me and away from his babysitter who’s known him since he was four months old. It’s just a few hours a week. But it’s a start. There will be lessons and joy and hurt feelings I can’t help him process in the moment. And it’s exciting and bittersweet. It’s just one more step for him, among many, into the world. I hope it’s good to him.

And just so we don’t end on a bittersweet note: here’s a simply sweet story: A few weeks ago Jackson started asking me what kind of work I do (he knows when he goes out with his babysitter, I stay home and work). I told him I’m a writer and I started showing him this site and I explained how people ask me questions and I give them advice. I told him I write about him sometimes and occasionally post his picture. I showed him some of the pictures I’d shared and asked if he was ok with it and he said yes (I plan to continue asking him this question in the months and years to come). Anyway, the next week after his nap one afternoon, he climbed up on my desk chair, pulled himself up to my laptop and said, “Mommy! I’m a writer! Like you!” And I said, “Oh, do you want to be a writer when you grow up?” And he climbed down, went to his “writing board,” wrote his name in his big toddler handwriting and said, “I’m a writer NOW! I’m a writer like you.”

And on that note, happy holiday weekend to all those who observe and celebrate Labor Day, especially those who get a big fat 3-day weekend to bookend the summer of 2014. Hope you all have a great one. See you back here on Tuesday.

38 comments… add one
  • Ika

    Ika August 29, 2014, 4:21 pm

    Gorgeous photo! Jackson looks so big!!! My 3 year old is still very baby looking. I would say for you to pack some tissues (in your bag) the 1st day as well, it can be hard! Especially if, like my 2, they just take off without a backward glance for mommy.

    Potty training tip? Bribery. WIth my eldest I kept a bag of little toys, stickers etc wrapped up individually in the bathroom when she was starting to go. Every time she used the toilet, she got something from the goodie bag. In like a week no more diapers haha. Oh and I also gave her stickers to stick on the bathroom wall while she was sitting on the toilet (she preferred the regular toilet with an adapter rather than a potty), that way she wouln´t be tempted to take off too quickly.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy August 29, 2014, 4:47 pm

      Oh, trust me, we have tried bribery galore: ice cream, lollipops, gummy dinosaurs, stickers, toys. (And we use a regular toilet with a toddler seat on top). He pees on the pot ok, but that’s it. I don’t foresee end of diapers for a while, unfortunately. But maybe i’ll be surprised.

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      • Ika

        Ika August 29, 2014, 4:57 pm

        i have nothng then haha. Boys tend to be lazier with those things, from what I hear. Preschool will probably bring about some change! (things might get worse before they get better though, so be prepared, that happened with a couple of the kids from my youngests class when they started this year)

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        Jane63 August 29, 2014, 5:48 pm

        One day he will just decide for himself it is time. Preschool will help. He will see the other kids using the potty & want to himself. Let it go. Completely back off & it will magically happen! I promise you.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray August 29, 2014, 8:02 pm

        And if that day never happens he’ll at least be big enough to pack his own pull ups and change them himself like a few of my colleagues do. Haha.
        (That was so dumb)

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      • something random

        something random August 30, 2014, 9:53 am

        I’m going through the same thing! My younger son won’t do number two! I didn’t have this problem with my older one. YS has started a preschool at a daycare because I couldn’t him trained in time to go to the original one we wanted. I know you can’t push them before there ready but ugh!

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        Wendys Dad August 30, 2014, 12:43 pm

        Wendy may not remember, but we used bribery to help potty train her. Yep, I had a supply of quarters. She was a little mercenary back in those early days.

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      • Classic

        Classic August 30, 2014, 7:04 pm

        Remember how Addie Pray used to hide food behind her dresser to save it for later? That was cute, too! She was just a little kid then; she doesn’t do it anymore.

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      • Classic

        Classic August 30, 2014, 7:17 pm

        Probably. She probably doesn’t do it anymore.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray August 30, 2014, 8:05 pm

        But maybe she does! Haha, how cute that you remembered!

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      • Portia

        Portia August 30, 2014, 12:47 pm

        My niece had a steady supply of “potty treats,” which was most often cake pops. She loves those things…

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        Rhonda August 30, 2014, 9:53 pm

        My son wouldn’t go #2 either. He wore underpants and would go pee with no problems but wanted a diaper/pull up every time he had to #2. One day about a week before his third birthday, I only had one diaper left but I told him we didn’t have any. I figured if he could ask for a diaper, he was big enough to go on the potty all the time. He held it for awhile and kept asking for the diaper but I didn’t give in. I explained calmly that he was going to have to use the potty, that we were out of diapers. He finally went in the toilet and that was it. He never wore another pull up. I would have eventually given in if he didn’t go, but I’m so glad I waited and let him see that it was going to be ok. Don’t know if that will work for anyone else but thought I’d mention it.

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  • Moneypenny

    Moneypenny August 29, 2014, 4:47 pm

    Aw, what a sweet story. And such a cute picture! 🙂

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    SasLinna August 29, 2014, 5:08 pm

    I think it’s so amazing that Jackson can now already understand a little bit what this blog is about when he didn’t even exist yet when you first started writing it! Crazy how time goes by. Also, super cute picture.

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  • gigi

    gigi August 29, 2014, 5:41 pm

    What a precious little boy!

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  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray August 29, 2014, 8:03 pm

    It’s official. Jackson looks like a little boy now and no longer a baby. So is so cute and looks like he has a ton of personality.

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    jlyfsh August 29, 2014, 8:10 pm

    Such a cute picture! Good luck on his first day 🙂 I’m sure this means he’ll have lots of great stories to write soon!
    .
    I played adult kickball last night for the first time last night and I’m hooked! Can’t wait for the winter season. I have lots of practicing to do. It’s been a week and I’m celebrating it’s end with a build your own 6 pack filled with delicious beers and ciders. Tomorrow I’m sleeping in and starting the weekend off with a run 🙂 (or more like a jog haha)

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  • something random

    something random August 30, 2014, 9:54 am

    That boy is gorgeous! I can see a little twinkle of mischief in those eyes 🙂

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    Sue Jones August 30, 2014, 3:17 pm

    My son started Middle School (6th grade) last week. His feet are now LONGER and WIDER than mine and he is only 1 1/2 inches shorter than I am. His voice is dropping. All last week they it took him 2-3 hours per night to do his advanced (7th grade) math homework. Geometry. I didn’t take geometry until 10th grade! I feel like middle school is where they start getting SERIOUS! I am like… Really?!?!?! Already?!?!?!? What the hell is the rush??? But yeah, kids in other parts of the world work very hard at school, much harder than Americans and they are surpassing Americans in STEM so I guess they are trying to fix that… but wow.

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    • something random

      something random August 30, 2014, 6:42 pm

      Omg. I was just starting algebra at that age!! I shutter to think what YS will be learning in ten years.

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ September 1, 2014, 4:55 pm

        Oh, wow! Me, too! We didn’t do geometry until 9th or 10th grade.

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray August 30, 2014, 8:09 pm

      Hey my nephews are the same age and start 6th grade on Tuesday!

      And also I think we are WAYYYY late to teaching algebra. Kids can get that conceptually at a much younger age – I think we should start teaching it earlier. My dad and I did algebra starting at like … 8 I want to say? We didn’t call it “algebra” but it was the basics.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray August 30, 2014, 8:18 pm

        Meh, I don’t remember, it was like 70 years ago

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      • something random

        Something random August 30, 2014, 9:05 pm

        Damn. I was learning multiplications at eight. I already knew you were a genius. But I was hoping my kids would be teens before they started to think I was an idiot. Sigh. At least they”ll have their dad.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray August 30, 2014, 9:29 pm

        No, you know, I just always liked numbers and my dad – who was really old school and strict – probably just seized the opportunity to push math – but we were definitely solving for X but really simple and I dunno, I was glad bc when math started in school I didn’t feel as lost as say ENGLISH or MUSIC classes – really anything – so we all have our strengths and weaknesses.

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      • something random

        Something random August 30, 2014, 11:09 pm

        “It’s okay mom. EVERYONE is different, I’m sure you have your strengths. I mean your birthday cakes are amazing DAD Could you come here ? little help?”

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray August 31, 2014, 6:59 am

        Hahaha exactly

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  • Classic

    Classic August 30, 2014, 6:59 pm

    What a cute story! He IS a writer! Darn cute one, too.

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  • Classic

    Classic September 1, 2014, 12:05 pm

    This is a huge exciting weekend. Ronon is moving in with us. He is starting the drive across the country today and he will get here this week.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy September 1, 2014, 1:25 pm

      Congrats, Classic!

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      • Classic

        Classic September 1, 2014, 2:01 pm

        Thank you dear Wendy! I am so happy.

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    • FireStar

      FireStar September 1, 2014, 4:25 pm

      Exciting! Good luck!

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      • Classic

        Classic September 1, 2014, 8:42 pm

        Thanks, Firestar! He has driven more than 500 miles so far! He started out in the Eastern time zone and he has made it to the Central time zone already 🙂

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      • Lyra

        Lyra September 1, 2014, 9:19 pm

        Where is he coming from? I vaguely remember you talking about him when you were first going to meet him…how long have you been together again? So many questions!

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      • Classic

        Classic September 2, 2014, 12:09 am

        He is moving about as far as is possible in the United States– from the northeast here to SoCal. We met online last August and just texted, emailed, and talked every day and eventually met in person for the first time in February. He’s a good man.

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      • Classic

        Classic September 2, 2014, 1:29 am

        Oops! I just remembered about Alaska and Hawaii– yikes, OK then,it’s possible to move a lot farther.

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  • Lyra

    Lyra September 1, 2014, 7:55 pm

    I had a fun weekend to end what has proven to be a really fun summer. Navy Guy was here all weekend and we went to the state fair on Saturday with one of my friends, we spent a relaxing day at home with the cats and went to the book store on Sunday, and we spent part of the day today with my parents. All-in-all I’m ready to get back into the classroom and start teaching again! I hope the kids are too!

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  • TaraMonster

    TaraMonster September 2, 2014, 10:51 am

    So I haven’t been on DW in FOUR whole days. Which, is like, whoa. I was away for Labor Day, and I really tried to disconnect; it helped that the service at my friend’s beach house was super spotty. My weekend was AMAZING so I wasn’t thrilled to return to work this morning, but reading that last little story about Jackson made my heart swell! So sweet. And what a great picture of him! Good job, Wendy!

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