Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Potty Mouthed Girl - Pt. 1

If you are not a parent the subject of potty training is snore inducing. Three and a half years ago listening to someone blab on about how brilliant Jr. was for pooping in a pot would generally cause an eye roll followed by a snarky thought..."big deal, I pooped in a pot twice yesterday and nobody threw me a parade". That was then.
I am now responsible for training two kids to 1. eat or perish, and 2. deposit what you eat somewhere other than your pants. It can be incredibly nerve wracking. My daughter is a champ, and although I would love to take credit she basically did it herself. My son, not so much. Georgia responds well to praise, and still insists on a big to do for every offering (which I happily oblige). Shep is hit or miss. He likes praise, but it does not make or break his day if he gets a whoop whoop "HELLS YEAH"! and round of high fives from his mama. I think he is vaguely embarrassed by my hollering and rock star kicks. Buckle up son.
When we are having a miss sort of day and I ask him what the deal is I am usually met with the statement "I just don't wanna". Not walking around with a pant load (if you have another viable option) seems like no brainer logic to me. "I just don't wanna" is a hard one to argue if you are obviously cool with it...sigh.
The girl who used to roll her eyes at parents discussing these issues publicly is now dropping in on conversations like a ninja. Just trying to glean some insights, tips or even solidarity here peeps (cue fist bump). 
My mothers and sisters assure me that he is just a boy, and thats how they roll. The doctor said a similar thing during our annual check up. She did mention that an increase in water and fruit and veggie intake would help to ensure things are moving along as they should. And because I am now viewing this situation like it's my job I am taking her advice seriously.
Water intake has been an easy one. Four servings of fruits and veggies are proving to be a bit more challenging. They like what they like - bananas, apples and broccoli. Hard to finesse three things into appealing meals day in and day out. They don't like berries (mind boggling - I know). So I have started to hide things in smoothies and muffins etc. 
I picked up the book Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld (yes, that Seinfeld), and so far it has been great. The recipes are appealing and easy to follow - although the prep is a bit involved and time consuming, in the end it saves time and your nerves. 
I am a bit conflicted hiding food in food. My logical brain thinks "Oh for God's sakes just eat the frigging strawberry". If you are a parent you know just how hard it can be to make a 3 year old eat something they don't want to. My daughter sat with a strawberry in her cheek for four hours the other day, now thats will.
So, I am going to segue from the bathroom into the kitchen gracefully - or as gracefully as I can, and share one of my favourites so far - Spinach Brownies. I altered the recipe slightly, (we don't use margarine or cooking spray).

Brownies (with Carrot and Spinach)

3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup carrot puree
1/2 cup spinach puree
1/2 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp butter (more for greasing pan)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup of oat flour or all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the ove to 350 F. Grease the bottom of an 8x8 baking pan with butter (or cooking spray if thats how you roll). PLEASE NOTE: we used mini muffin moulds, cause, well they are more fun. Also - for both purees you steam or boil the veggies, then puree them in a blender or food processor. It is easier if you do a bunch ahead and freeze them into serving sizes.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or over a very low flame.

In a large bowl combine the melted chocolate, vegetable purees, sugar, cocoa powder, butter and vanilla. Whisk until smooth and creamy (1 to 2 minutes).

Whisk in egg whites. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt with a wooden spoon.

Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely before cutting.

These turned out rich and moist and the kids (and grown ups) loved them. 
Can I get a "HELLS YEAH"! (cue rock star kick).


  1. Hi Rachel. Lesley here, with the about-to-be-4-yr-olds in California. Lois also got the pooping thing down before Floyd. And even after Floyd got it, he then REVERTED to pooping in his underwear (much worse than in a diaper, right?). Anyway, the first round we just sorta waited it out and didn't bother him too much. But the second time around I realized he just didn't want to stop whatever he was doing. So when I noticed any pre-poop moves or faces, I gave him a choice: stop what he's doing and visit the toilet, or stop what he's doing and put on a diaper. Either way I made him go all the way to the bathroom (no bringing him the diaper or portable potty, both of which he tried requesting). He figured out using the toilet was actually quicker than changing into a diaper. If Shep is still using pull-ups regularly that won't work, I guess.

    I also puree cooked spinach or chard with my cheese sauce for green mac-n-cheese. At first they balked but when I assured them that 1)it tasted just like regular mac-n-cheese and 2)I wasn't serving anything else, they gave in and tasted it. I don't always stick to that "not serving anything else" strategy (cuz I can't send them to bed with completely empty tummies), but if it's just a slight variation on a favorite then I do try it. Or I give them a very small bowl of something like carrot/sweet potato soup to eat first, and they have to eat it before they get their grilled cheese or whatever. You've probably thought of/tried all these ideas, but anyway I feel your pain!

  2. thanks lesley! (great names btw). i actually have not thought about not bringing the potty to him. i did think over the past few days that it may be a good idea to disappear them all together, just get them used to an actual toilet. my daughter uses hers as an excuse to watch t.v...i also have a hard time of "not serving anything else", but feel i have to get more serious about that. it just means steeling myself for conflict, which some days, as i am sure you feel, just ain't worth it:)
    i initially thought shep had some stomach issue...but i actually think he holds it to keep playing, and well then things just get backed up.
    i use the phrase "the doctor says..." before handing them carrot sticks or a big glass of water. they will most likely have a hate on for that woman by this time next year!
    thanks for the feedback, i truly appreciate it :)rachel

  3. It's the perfect season to let them run around without underpants or diapers, then they can't fill them! Our daycare provider suggested it and that's how we trained our son. He's 3.5 and he's been trained for over a year. He does have the occasional relapse where he pees his pants or takes a dump in the backyard, but that's OK. I figure it's good fertilizer!

  4. I hear the chickpea chocolate chip cookies from the same book are amazing. I just can't bring myself to make them though - seems SO wrong!

  5. Teapotkid - agreed! when he is swinging free there is rarely an incident - i did walk outside the other day and he was doing his business off the end of the steps...luckily its hose season i guess. :)
    emma - do it! if anyone could make chickpeas taste good i would vote you...!