sharing my life experiences, reflections and insights as a mother, a writer, an Occupational Therapist, an unschooler, and and a spiritual being having a human experience

Posts tagged ‘teens’

Happy 14th Birthday Harrison!

I am grateful for my son, Harrison,who celebrates his 14th birthday today.

Happy Birthday, Harrison!

I am grateful for the past 14 years with him in my life and the 9 months before he arrived.  I am grateful for the easy pregnancy I had with him.  I am grateful for becoming a mother exactly when I did.

I am grateful for his interests, passions and collections over the years:


stop signs

all road signs

electricity and electric switch plates

theater: performing in plays






And all his interests yet to come

I am grateful for:

His love of his siblings, being a concerned and cautious big brother

His laugh

Watching him laugh at a funny movie.  I find movies so much funnier when I can watch them with him.

I am grateful for how confident he is and has always been.  He knows who he is and doesn’t worry what other people think.  He is who he is an I love him for it!

He reminds me to be who I am and I am so grateful to him for that.

I am grateful that he did learn to walk at 16 month of age even though we never enrolled him in ‘walking school’ nor bought any walking curriculum. (sure I am an OT but even as a new parent, I knew what was to come and never encouraged walking and enjoyed him crawling)

I am grateful for him leading us to unschooling by following his lead with his interests at a young age.

I am grateful that he did learn to sleep- even though we did not enroll him in the hard knocks school of “teaching your child to sleep” and he learned to talk without a curriculum and he learned to eat without school…..I could go on but I will spare you the lecture undertone and him the embarrassment.

I am grateful that I can say whatever I want on my blog, and no one will cover it in sticky notes with corrections and there won’t be an audit on it and no one will give it a grade or ask me to re-write it.

I am grateful to my son Harrison for his sense of humor and ability to laugh at himself (and at me) and knowing he won’t be offended by my blog.

I am grateful for all the time I have had over the past 14 years to spend with him and for our time connecting and for me being a part of his life and his world and for the amazing teenager that he is now.

I am grateful for Harrison coming into my life and for being my first-born and my son.  I am grateful for the role he plays as an older brother to his younger siblings and his roles as cousin, nephew, grandson… all he does, he is always himself.  I am grateful for his authenticity and unique point of view.

I am grateful to Harrison for learning all about Ning and helping me, literally to start my first Ning website which led to the launch of  I am grateful to all the technical help he has provided me over the years.  And I see this into our future as well…..

I am grateful to my son Harrison for being who he is!  I am grateful that he is able to follow his interests and will love him no matter where life takes him and where he takes life… and will always be proud to call him my son.


Did you know they make boxer shorts for toddlers?

A little more than a week ago, my 2-year-old son, Jason, who is 2 years and 9 months to be exact, decided that he did not like having a diaper on anymore and began refusing to wear one.

At first we tried many methods to get him to allow us to put a diaper on him.  After he had several “accidents” around the house, I decided to bring the potty chair to the kitchen. (Our bathrooms are both upstairs in our split level house.)

I encouraged him to use his potty chair to go the bathroom.  He agreed to do so and began using his potty chair.  He still did not want to wear anything on his bottom, not even the underpants I had for him.  It seamed to me he did not like the tight feeling around his legs or body.  Leaving the house was a challenge and for a while we did not take him anywhere.

A few days later, I went out shopping and decided to find him some underwear.  I first thought of finding character underwear that he might like and in a bigger size then the pair we had at home.  Low and behold, I found something better.  Did you know they make boxers and boxer briefs for toddlers?

I debated briefly on which size and decided to go with the larger 3T-4T but worried they might be too big on his waist.  When I got home, I discovered that I had made a smart move.  Jason really liked the boxers and the waist was not too big!

He soon began wearing the underwear to leave the house and even while in the house- much to the delight of my other children who were bothered especially at meal times by the sight of their 2-year-old bare -bottomed brother.

And so now before his third birthday, and earlier than either of my other children, much earlier- I might add, than his older brother- I have a toddler who is potty training.  Along with the underwear, I had bought a different style of diaper as well as some pull -ups.  He did not like the pull ups I had at home and had tried, which I figured might just be too small.

It took some effort the first couple days to convince him despite using the potty during the day, that he needed to wear a pull-up or diaper at night.   Now he is in the routine of putting on his own pull-up before bed.  He even gets them on correctly!

It is funny, because with my older two children, potty training was the one thing that I did not like at all about parenting.  My oldest had held out for a long time and we “forced- potty trained him” when he was 4 and I was 6 months pregnant with his younger sibling.  I wasn’t about to change a 4-year-old’s diaper and a newborn’s.  Looking back, sure, I would do things much differently now.  I know for one, that potty training can become a power struggle and my insistence on him needing to be potty trained, didn’t help the situation.

So hear I am, older, wiser and  with no expectations  that my youngest boy would potty train anytime before 3 -and yet he has done just that- in his own way.  He is strong-willed like that and shows much independence in wanting to do things for himself and by himself- he has always been that way; from talking early and walking at 9 months, and in countless other ways like  pushing a chair into the living room to reach something up high when he was not even one.

He even just takes himself over to his potty chair when he needs to pee and lets us know that he has gone.  Going “number 2” is a bit more challenging but I am totally at peace with all of it.  For here we are easily passing the hurdle of what I previously considered the most difficult aspect of parenting a young child.

He is so eager to be like his much older brother and sister.  For once, his “wanting to be older” has been a blessing.  Sure, I find having a toddler who needs to use a potty more work than changing a diaper but I am happy to help him navigate this monumental aspect of toddlerhood.  He is my youngest and my last child and with a son about to turn 14 and a 9-year-old daughter, the challenges of potty training now seem so much less stressful and simple than they did to me in the past.  And so I appreciate my toddler for the simpleness of life with him and for his making what might otherwise have been a dreaded aspect of parenting to be one of joy and ease instead.