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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Potty training and other lies

I’m bitter. Bitter about the lies people (and books written by people) have told to me in the last couple of years about child rearing.

Lie #1: “I had my kids potty trained by age 2”
Hear that a lot. Well, good for you people.
Our potty training had to be put on hold. For a while, I have a feeling. I just don’t get it – how easy it is to sit an pee? Apparently, not at all: both zaiki just can’t seem to grasp that you sit and pee. In order to pee, you have to be either wearing a diaper, or standing up, preferably on something soft, absorbent and not easily cleanable. Grrr. So, I’ve decided to shelve the issue for the next month or so.

Lie #2:
“In families with two or more languages, children easily pick up both”
This one, I thought, would be a breeze.
Russian is important to me – I’m uprooted (by choice, but still) and the language is the only real connection I have to my past, my memories and my family. I desperately want to pass it on to my daughters. They seem to have other ideas.

Before they were born, I read about raising bilingual children and thought “wow, I can do that!”. Since Kevin’s Russian is limited to a few words, one person/one language approach seemed to be the best. The premise is really simple: each parent sticks to his or her native language. Simple, right? Wrong! The approach doesn’t take into account angry lapses into English of the said parent, conversations between spouses and with other people, all conducted in English. Which allows smart little babies to conclude that, in order to communicate, the other language is not needed, and thus they focus their seemingly boundless energy on other matters. Now they correct me if I speak Russian. I’m not giving up, but it is so damn hard – blood and tears.  

I looked into Russian school, but the price for lessons was obscene. Finding a private teacher yielded no results. If you know anyone, let me know.

Lie #3:
Sleep training works in a week.
This is another fib.
The girls have been sleeping by themselves in their cribs pretty much since they were born. We tried switching routines, reading, baths, anything child-rearing books suggest, and Maya still cries when going to bed. She is over 2 now.

Lie #4:
Twins will entertain each other.
Yeah, right. Maybe when they are 6 or 7. But definitely not our children – usually I end up with a barnacle on each leg shuffling around the kitchen while trying to make dinner or clean dishes. Their playing together usually ends with bitemarks, bruises and whining. This and more will be included in the next post that will provide an exclusive look into the twin life.  

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