Tag Archives: cheesedoodle

A Needed Adjustment in Perspective

On Friday we had a speech evaluation for the Cheesedoodle. Getting help for school aged children is more difficult here, but the therapist who has been seeing the Snickerdoodle had agreed to evaluate Cheesedoodle in order to give me tools to help him continue with his speech development. Her words to me at the end of it were an amazing answer to prayer.

She said, “If I didn’t know his history, I would have told you he has no speech issues. He is in the normal spectrum for speech development for a 6 year old.”

“But people still don’t always understand him!” I said.

She leaned across the table, and looked into my mothering soul and said, “He is small for his age, and he is six. People are expecting him to tell them about baseball, or hockey, or his pet dog. They are not expecting him to explain static electricity to them. He is just fine. Keep doing what you are doing. He is an amazing boy.”

So I can hear the chorus of praises from across the continent as people who have prayed for and loved my little boy. This is such a great thing to hear, after all the work and the struggles. It was also exactly what I need to hear at the end of this second full year of home schooling. “He’s fine. Keep doing what you’re doing.”

The truth is, I have spent the last two years feeling ill equipped and unprepared for these uncharted educational waters. I spent three years freaking out about Moriah’s birthday and cut-off dates for school and getting her in the right place. Now we’re homeschooling, where the grades don’t matter. Half of her friends don’t even know what grade they’re in, and no one cares. She’s fine. We’re going to keep  doing what we’re doing.

On the way home, the snickerdoodle was in the back seat singing, “2+2 is 4, 3+3 is 6, 4+4 is 8, 5+5 is ten, 6+6 is Idon’tknow, 7+7 is Idon’tknow, . . . ” She just turned five. I can’t freak out about the “I don’t know”s, when the sane realization is She’s fine. Just keep doing what we’re doing.

In the midst of the weight and lack of definition of homeschooling, it was really nice to have a neutral, non-homeschooling party reassure me that my kids are doing fine, and we should keep doing what we are doing.



It Too Hard

This week my son buried his face in his hands and said, “no. It too hard,” twice. Once was about some of the speech development exercises we’ve been working on, and once was about the potty. I’ve blogged in the past about my personal lifelong aversion to “too hard.” Far too often in my life I have said, “it’s too hard” as a justification to not do something. Violin lessons, any sport you could mention, math, have all fallen to the god of ease. I would have never been a star athlete, no matter the work invested, but I suspect that with some discipline I could have performed far better in math throughout my school years.

The part of me that hates that part of me wants to try to force that sort of self-discipline on my three and a half year old son right now. I want to tell him that hard means try more. I do tell him that hard means worth working at. On the other hand, I have to acknowledge that these things are far harder for him than they are for other children his age. Most children literally absorb language from their surroundings subconsciously, they don’t have to spend hours each week teaching their mouth the difference between a “d” sound and a “w” sound. The Lord, in his sovereignty, has chosen to make my son’s first few years abnormally difficult, possibly to teach him the self-discipline I am too impatient (oh the irony!) to let him learn.

I am having to come face to face with the fact that my frustration when he says, “It too hard!”, my begging God just to give the boy words and and teach him to potty already, is really me throwing up my hands and saying, “no! It too hard. Stop the process of teaching him, already, because parenting him through this is just too hard!”

I suspect I’ve got as much to learn in all of this as my cheesedoodle does. Maybe more.

A Favorite Speech Development Moment

Today while drilling sounds with my Cheesedoodle, we had the following exchange:

Mama: Say “A”

C: A

Mama: E

C: E

Mama: I

C: I

Mama: O

C: O. O. O. O. (He really likes O)

Mama: U

C: No! Me!


It is the first conversation that involved no grunts at all! Praising the Lord with laughter.

The AfterParty

Well dadgum it. I thought I had posted this back on Tuesday night. Shoot. Oh well. Here it is now.

Today we held a Potty Party at casa Cowan in the hopes of encouraging our cheesedoodle to use the potty. If you have been around these cyberparts for a while you may remember that the Mackerdoodle essentially potty trained herself two days before her second birthday, which was nice for the moment, but did nothing to actually prepare me for real life potty training combat. I took the same approach with the cheesedoodle of just periodically putting him in underwear, but here we are six months later with no sudden potty switch and I decided it was time to move things along.

I had purchase the book Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day back when the mackerdoodle was eighteen months old and it sat on a shelf, largely unread, for almost three years until last week. There were two straws that broke my potty training back. The first was opening the last box of diapers we had been given before the snickerdoodle was born. (SERIOUSLY! She’s almost 8 months old, and I haven’t had to buy her diapers. Our church and seminary friends rock the diaper dumps!) The second was asking the cheesedoodle if he was going to wear a diaper forever (jokingly) and getting a very serious nod in return. Something needed a kick start.

The Potty Party idea is a pretty simple one, but she makes a few assumptions in the book. First, she assumes that a potty training mother will have the ability to spend a full day with the potty trainee exclusively. Second, she assumes that a mother is always potty training her youngest child. (do people often wait to have another baby until the last one is potty trained?) Finally, she assumes that all daddies work a 9-5 type job.

None of these assumptions apply to my life.

That being said, and considering my limitations, we had a pretty successful day. From 9:45 am until 4:20 pm the cheesedoodle kept a single pair of underwear dry. He never once told me that he needed to use the potty, but he was able to control himself between mama instigated trips to the potty. The idea of “training” a doll to use the potty didn’t get any traction with the mackerdoodle back in her day, but was a huge hit with the cheesedoodle today. He thought it was a great game and spent a great deal of time this morning putting Winnie the Pooh on the potty, wiping him, giving him a sticker and clapping for him.

The concept of a progress chart was a real challenge. First, he didn’t understand why he would put a sticker on a piece of paper. He wanted . . . well, let’s just say that the cheesedoodle thought the sticker would best be used to decorate the part of his anatomy that was doing all of the work. We compromised, and for every successful potty trip he got one sticker for his shirt and one for the chart. Once he had figured out that the goal was to get stickers all the way to the end (about four this afternoon) he kept trying to jump to the end by just putting his next sticker there.

At supper everything fell apart, but I think that was mostly just exhaustion. Just before bed I asked him what he was going to do when he woke up in the morning and he signed “potty,” so I’m hopeful that we’re on our way. We don’t have any big plans for the rest of the week, so we’ll keep plugging away and maybe I can eventually be back to one in diapers.

*** Today he stayed mostly dry (again with regular prompting. It’s exhausting.) until just after supper, when he peed on the kitchen floor. He removed his wet pants and underwear, ran to the bathroom for a diaper and brought it to me. I gave in and put it on him. He looked at me and said, “Ahhhhhhhhh.” This is going to be a long road ******

100% Boy.

Despite his owning his very own Barbie, my son is about as boy as they come. If there is the smallest patch of mud anywhere within a seven block vicinity of his person he will find it, and wear it. If there is something to climb, or jump from, he’ll do it, repeatedly. I keep telling Jonathan we need to get the boy a punching bag, because he just needs an outlet sometimes.

Anyway, he’s all boy, so he’s often sporting bumps, bruises and scrapes from his masculine exploits. We just kiss them and he moves on. Wednesday at lunch the Cheesedoodle came to Jonathan pointing at his foot. He wasn’t crying, he was just bringing it to his daddy’s attention. Jonathan kissed it (the things parents do that we wouldn’t do even for each other!) and the boy went about his day. I didn’t think anything more about it.

Wednesday evening we came in side far later than we normally would because it was just beautiful outside and the children were playing happily and I was visiting with Suzanne, and there was just no incentive to come in. Regardless, we did, eventually, come in for supper and shortly after coming into the house, the cheesedoodle began to cry. I chalked it up to hungry/tired/being inside and just focused on getting him his spaghetti (one of his favorites).

He cried all the way through eating his spaghetti, but did actually eat it, and I was sinfully impatient with him. I finally got him down from eating and set him on the floor, telling him to go to the bathroom for a bath.

He sat on the floor.

Exasperated, I picked him up and carried him to the bathroom, telling him that being tired was no excuse to disobey. He was crying and miserable from the short walk down the hall, and when I set him on the counter to undress him, he rested his head on my chest, still crying.

I removed his shirt, then tugged off his shorts in a roughly playful manner that usually cheers him out of the bed time crankies. This time it made him wince and pull away from me.

That was when I noticed that his left foot and ankle was almost twice the size of his right. It was pink and had that shiny look skin gets when it is stretched so tight it seems like it might burst, or crack like a melon.

I felt TERRIBLE! I immediately gave him ibuprofen for the pain and swelling, but had to put him in the tub in order to assess the full situation. He had been playing outside (on his feet) for almost three hours. His feet were filthy and I couldn’t tell if he’d suffer an insect sting, or an injury.

Unfortunately, a bath did little to solve the mystery. There was no obvious sting or puncture in the foot, but the swelling was so uniform (and he’s only two!) that it just seemed unlikely to be an injury. I laid him down, with the foot elevated on a rolled up blanket, and iced it while the Mackerdoodle had her bath. As the ice helped the swelling to abate somewhat, a bruise began to appear around his ankle and I had to assume that it had been injured, but when?

Thursday morning it was still swollen and tender, so in the end I called the doctor and after seeing him, she ordered x-rays. The cheesedoodle was a super champ in the x-ray room, receiving high praise from the technicians for his bravery and patience.

The final diagnosis was a sprain with instructions to ice and elevate. Hello? Ever met a 2 year old? Today he’s fine, running around and playing and jumping off things he’s climbed onto. We still have no idea how he hurt it, and we’re left wondering, how many two -year-olds sprain their ankles? I get the distinct  feeling he hasn’t seen his last x-ray machine.

The King’s Speech and the Cheesedoodle

I just watched The King’s Speech. Yes, I’m the 2nd to last person in civilization to see it. Jonathan will be the last. We’re trend setters.

Anyway, I just watched The King’s Speech and it was as excellent as everyone had told me it would be. For one thing, how can you go wrong with Colin Firth? It was also refreshing to see Helena Bonham Carter using her admirable and considerable acting  skills for good instead of weirdness. I was thrilled that Edward (“David” – that confused me for a while) was portrayed as a selfish, weak man instead of the romanticized version of a man forced to resign from his calling for love; and Mrs. Wallace was portrayed in a most unpleasant, yet historically accurate, light.

There was something, however, that really stuck with me about the story itself.

As I watched King George V impatiently commanding his son Bertie to step up and face the microphone like any good Brit would, I heard my own impatience and frustration with my own children. I wonder if some of my anxiety and impatience with the Cheesedoodle’s lack of verbal skills is contributing to the slowness of his verbal development. Referring to him as my non-verbal child in front of him when he can hear me can’t be helpful, and may actually be counter productive and even harmful. I hardly stand over him saying, “Come on boy, spit it out!” but I have been known to say, in frustration, “I don’t know what you want, because you don’t have words!” Am I potentially creating a problem where none should actually exist? Am I planting the idea in his mind that he can’t speak, or that he’s deficient in that area?

It’s easy to watch a movie, or to look back on something in a friend’s past and think “How could they not have known how harmful that would be?” but it’s not so easy, in the moment, as a parent, to look forward in time and know which of our foibles will be irrelevant and which will be indelible.

It is moments like this that I rest in the sovereign Lord, knowing that He has ordained all things. Even a lesson in parenting from The King’s Speech.

Happy Birthday Dear Cheesedoodle

I asked "Whose birthday is it?" He did this. Emphatically.



My only son is 2. We celebrated today with two little friends (and their mamas and infant siblings) and will have a family celebration Saturday evening when Jonathan is off work. In fact he’s bringing Chick-Fil-A home for supper tomorrow as a birthday treat for our big boy and there will be a real cake.

I can’t believe it’s only been two years since this wonderful bundle of cheeky fun was born and I am so excited every day to see the plans the Lord has for this fun loving, strong willed, creative, physical little man.




Mini Cupcakes to celebrate the Cheesedoodle

Two friends from our neighborhood came to help the Cheesedoodle celebrate.

The Aftermath: I'd call this a success.