The Sweet Spot

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With the girls now 5 and almost 4, we are starting to see a huge change in what we have so lovingly referred to in the past as the Nut House. There’s less that Lillian can’t do. They’re both taking dance lessons, gymnastics lessons, and can follow basic instructions. They are even starting to play together. HALLELUJAH!

That’s not to say that one of my children — ahem, the older one — is not incredibly bossy and that the other of my children — ahem, the stubborn one — doesn’t completely ignore her sister when she is being bossy. Their play is not without fighting, but they play together! We’ve been waiting 4 years for this.

We can go places as a family now without much thought. The girls went ice skating for the first time recently. I mean, it was a disaster, but they were finally old enough and strong enough on their feet (which hardly touched the ice) to try it. We went to a corn maze with bounce houses and they mostly were able to go in and have fun without a parent needing to tag along. It’s amazing!

Once I realized we had hit the sweet spot, I realized that this time is fleeting. Quickly, we will all be too busy and the kids will have their own interests and their own friends and we won’t have all of this family time to spend together. While I want to enjoy it fully now, I also want to slow down and enjoy the last seconds of baby time. While they still want extra hugs and snuggles, we need to be here for that. The time just goes way too quickly.

Has your family hit the sweet spot? What ages were your kids when you got there? How did you make it last?

Let me know in the comments!

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I Gave You A Sibling So You’d Have Someone To Play With

Lillian wasn’t the most planned baby in the world, but when we found out she would be the newest McDermott and a girl, we were pretty excited. We said really stupid things like:

“They’ll be best friends!”

“They’ll play together and leave us alone.”

“We’ll never have to play babies again!”


Granted, Gabby hardly had a personality by the time we were expecting Lilly, but we couldn’t have been more wrong about their relationship so far. At four, Gabby is very imaginative and creative and OMG the most particular (read: OCD) kid on the planet. She is a stickler for rules and if you cross her, she will not only remember it forever, but she will remind you of how you wronged her for eternity. 

Lilly, on the other hand, is much more free-spirited. She bounces from one activity to another. She wants to do everything Gabby does, only she doesn’t want to hear about all the rules and intricacies of the game. She just wants to play. 

Therefore, as you can imagine, their sister-time goes something like this:

G: Lilly, come into my clubhouse (her bed)

L: OK!

G: NO! You have to wait until I set it up!

L: (Waiting to climb the ladder impatiently because she is two)

G: I’m not ready!

Me: You are torturing her. Hurry up and let her up there. 

G: Fine. Climb up and then balance (along the edge of the top bunk) and sit over here. 

L: OK

Me: Noooooo. Climb up and crawl over there. 

*1,000 minutes pass and Lilly is up in Gabby’s bed*

<Gabby screaming>

Me: What happened?

G: She’s breaking the rules!!!

Me: How?

G: We got into my sleeping bag to go to sleep and she is pushing me and taking up all the space and she won’t lay DOWN!

So, no. They don’t play together. It would be super easy for us to separate them and not even let them play together, but we do because we want them to learn how to get along. I just hope there is a day when I’m not forced to eat their fake cooking because they are feeding it to each other. 

Potty Training 2.0

I’ve been holding off on potty training Lillian for over 6 months. She has been wanting to sit on the potty – mostly for fun – since she was around 18 months old. “They” say the longer you wait, the easier it is to potty train the child. I’ve read that it makes it easier for parent and child if you wait until the child is at least 3.

Poop training for Gabby was easy because her poop face and stance were so obvious. She was pee-potty trained over a weekend right after she turned 2, but it was anything but easy. I used an app with a timer and rewards, forced her to sit on the potty and drink all day for 2 and a half days, and voila! She was sort of potty trained. We still had to restrict her liquids around nap time and in the evenings, and she still wore diapers to bed, but she was mostly good-to-go.

Very recently, Lillian has been able to tell us, “I have to go potty,” and actually hold it long enough to pee on the potty. Fabulous! Except that she will only sit on the potty when she is in the mood. To this I say SHE. IS. NOT. READY and keep her in diapers until she stops being so stubborn about it. I’m getting a lot of side-eye for that opinion, though. From my husband.

I mean…. we have an impending Disney World trip. Like she’s going to want to go potty on an airplane? Hold her pee on a two-hour line? Stop talking to Princess Aurora so she can find the closest toilet? NOPE! I am fully aware that roughly 60 days I will be completely starting over. I’m not even that mad about that part.

This is what’s annoying me:

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As if one potty in my living room wasn’t enough…

Because of how stanuchly competitive my children are, I am now potty training TWO children. They were fighting so much over the little potty that we had to get another one – just so they can sit there watching tv and NOT peeing. Everytime one of them sits on a potty, the other one needs to do it so she, too, can be rewarded. Gabby has actually had more accidents since Lilly started potty training than she probably has had in the last year.

And lest I remind you, we have only one bathroom in our house. Even with two little potties, there is a lot of wait time to use the bathroom. Oh, and one more thing, she won’t go potty at daycare unless a specific teacher is with her, so mostly she just arches her back and refuses to go potty.

So. You tell me. Would you hold off on number two until summer time or would you just suck it up and thank God that you removed the carpets because the pee is easier to clean up off the floor?