Monday, September 18, 2006

My potty training miracle...and other things

So much to blog about, so little time these days.

Of course I could write about the unity government- which, as I told Pacifica Radio the other day, won't mean squat so far as the US is concerned; in fact, nothing the government does ever will ever mean squat until the recognition of Palestinian rights becomes an equal precondition for the resumption and advancement of peace, negotiations, etc.

Its so sad to think that the US and Israel have done everything possible to undermine this government without really thinking of the consequences; then, those consequences are irrelevant to them-to heck with financial mismanagement (of US money) as long as they do what we say! sooner or later, our govt will collapse or resign or be forces to disband, and we will see a reign of anarchy and return to the cronyism and malfeasance of the past with the new, improved Fateh party-just what the US wants, and what Palestinians don't.

I was thinking the other day, imagine how the news broadcasts would read if the situation was reversed:

"Thousands of Jewish families are on the brink of starvation and the Israeli economy on the verge of collapse after the sixth month of a US and EU imposed boycott, staunch blockade of any international aidm, and hermetic sealing of all the borders; Officials say aid can only resume once the Israeli government, responsible for multiple terrorist attacks that have killed scores of Palestinian civilians, recognizes a Palestinian state, renounces violence against the Palestinians, and accepts and implements all previous peace agreements in their fullest."

HAHAHA. Yeah right. But seriously, who out there can deny that they would find such news MORE appalling and skin curling that the same policies against Palestinians, reminscient of the holocaust even?

But Palestinains, well, they are just less human, so its ok.

But the REALLY big news this week has nothing to do with politics at all. Forget the pope's ill-advised comments, or the fate of Gilad Shalit, who, my cousin jokes, will eventually go home, only to pine for Gazan Shatta and Dagga, and the days of starry, shell-filled nights;

No, the really big news, which I'm sure will make no other headline than my own, is that I have, it seems successfully potty trained Yousuf!

(pause for cheers, applause).

Ok, I know this seems so trivial in the realm of things, but you have no idea what this seemingly insignificant advancement has meant for me: no more changing 5 diapers a day, which get nastier exponentially with age; or buying those diapers-which you never realize how much you shell out for until you are through with them; no more changing diapers in extremely uncomfortable settings, such as borders crossings with tanks pointed at you; and on and on.

How did it happen, you might ask?

How do these things ever happen? Frankly, I wish I knew, so I could have something in the way of more empirically sound advice to offer to people. The reality is, it just happened. Suddenly and unexpectedly, without warning. Honestly. I suppose my neighbour's advice was correct: They finally tire of the routine, and one day, they'll just go.

After months and months of potty training preparation, hard core training, application of every method in the book, frustrations, bags of reward candies, I had nearly given up. I had resigned myself to the fact that my son would go to Kindergarden, dressed fashionably in plus size pampers.

And then one morning, as I was on my computer, Yousuf interrupted his play to announce that he needed to pee and was going to the bathroom. "Right right" I thought to myself "the bathroom". "You're a monkey, why use the bathroom when the carpet does perfectly fine?". But before I finished the thought, I did a double take, and sure enough, my little monkey had gone to the bathroom, attempted to pull down his pants, and pee on his own.

What did I do to deserve such a moment? On the verge of tears, I thought it was too good to be true, so I decided not to immediately blog about it. I also decided to test that it was not a one time thing by placing him in underwear the entire day; and time after time, he peed-and pooped-in the bathroom; and when it came time for naptime, I hesitated at first, but decided to throw away the diapers once and for all.

And to my astonishment-HE DIDN'T PEE ON HIMSELF IN HIS SLEEP EITHER! It was indeed a modern day miracle!

SO far, my little monkey has been diaper-free for two weeks and counting. Now I won't deny its taken some additional training to make sure he understands how he needs to hold his pee, and not let the first few drops trickle onto his big boy underwear, but I think as of a few days ago, we have that down too.


Blogger eurofrank said...

The poor child

One day when he is fifteen or sixteen someone will pull out the archive of your blog.....

In front of the girls in class......

9:02 PM  
Blogger jarvenpa said...

Cheers and applause (and don't worry about when he's 15 and such--I used to do an ongoing catalog of books on parenting and childbirth and such, with little stories about my darlings--mostly my eldest, who will soon be 29--and he survived all that quite well indeed.).

We used to use cloth diapers and boil them (in our primitive home in the woods, where the bear is currently helping us refine our lives). I too was astonished and delighted when my boy made this amazing leap (and he did it kind of like yours--very self sufficient).

And as to the plight of Gaza--yes, sadly, you are right, were it "the thousands of starving Jewish settlers" I suspect the world would take note.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Halla said...

Lol, good one Frank! I think boys take longer than girls to train, with my daughter I promised her Disneyland if we got 2 weeks with no accidents and it worked but not the son.......I promised, begged, threatened and nothing worked, he did it on his own sweet time!!!

Congratulations on this one of many milestones!!

5:30 AM  
Blogger LadyCroc said...

Kids don´t need potty training; when they are ready to control their peeing refleks they will know what to do on their own. It happens usually around the age of 3.

My kids are teenagers and they would probably be very insulted if I´d blog about such things!

7:23 AM  
Blogger Heba from Gaza said...

congratulations laila ..As a mother who went through this with my first daughter ..i understand what you are talking about daughter was toilet trained at the age of 1 year and 9 months and was very good at it since...i know that you got this load off your shoulders ..may be it is time to think of another child ( wink :)

9:50 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

hahahah! YOu are so Gazawia! :) Actually I know, I am thinking about #2 now...but then I keep thinking of everything I have to go through again to get to this stage where they become actual human beings! :) Inshallah, soon..

4:19 PM  
Blogger ياسمين حميد said...

A big applause for the big boy!

7:24 PM  
Blogger Donald Liebich said...

Laila: Thanks for a great post. I have sent it to my daughters in law who have experienced your pain.

6:13 AM  
Blogger Francine in Belen said...

Mabrouk. Sometimes its the little things that get us through the hard times. My own little "Yusef" is now 45, so it's been a while. But I totally get the joy of it.
Francine in Belen

2:26 AM  
Blogger BHCh said...

If he does wet his bed, at least you'll know who to blame.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

Shlemazl, despite the utterly reprehensible nature of your comments, I am flattered you take the time to read my blog with such continuity and interest.

That you would cast doubt on the psychological terror of Israeli attacks and their impact on innocent children is one thing-that you would choose to publically mock these effects is quite another, and speaks volumes about you.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Congradulations! I think getting our children potty trained should be a day of celebration. Our 2 year old girl, Aine, has just gone through it. Our girls have all been about 2 while our boys have all taken much longer. The first child was the most difficult. The others learn easier with the example of the other children.

I think it is interesting to look at a reversed world. I think there are definite double standards in regard to the enforcement of UN resolutions. To add some color to the other side, imagine that after the formation of the lone Muslim Palestinian state, many Muslims in the other Jewish countries of the world were expelled or forced to leave. You could add suicidal Jews with its government's acquiscience (and the quiet approval of its surrounding large Jewish neighbors) were targeting Palestinian civilians. Or if we bring our reversed universe a little further out into a different subject, after hearing remarks from Islamic leaders on the violent nature of Catholicism, Italian Catholics were burning and attacking mosques and demanding an apology.

If we have the honesty to take it the full measure, we can begin to understand the perspectives of others.

11:51 AM  
Blogger أبو سنان said...

Kul 3am wa antum bi alf khair!

4:24 PM  
Blogger Dino$ said...

LAILA! OMG suba7allah! small world! I KNOW U! we met in uae a long time ago! I have been hopiong to hear from u!! its DINA Anti lamees's daughter! omg u have a baby boy! MASHALA MASHALA!

ALlah ybariklik habeebti!!

im so ohappy for u! RAMADAN MOBARAK!!

Lets stay in touch!! great blog u have here! mwa mwa mwa hug

2:00 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Dina, izayik! Nice pic girl! Howd you happen upon my blog? Where are you these days and what have you been up to? My mom waited all year for your mom to come visit Gaza, and kept asking your uncle down near Roxy "when's she coming" :) HOw are you all? send me an email:

4:49 PM  
Blogger White Wings said...

wow, congratulations, what an achievement, I still remember my own with my daughter not so long ago..feels really good and does have great impact on your life..
US policy towards te Israili-Palastinian struggle is as nasty as a diaper of a 4 year-old, wouldn't you say?

1:58 AM  
Blogger eurofrank said...


My arabic teacher had us translate a piece from Al Quds al Arabi last year that explained that people in Gaza were too poor to buy sheep for Eid al Fitr.

This year I fear things are worse.

How much does a sheep cost? If kind souls send cash can it be used for sheep this year?

9:34 PM  
Blogger tassoula said...

kisses for the big boy.i feel really good now.(my son is younger)

10:55 AM  
Blogger BHCh said...

I see we stopped posting "utterly reprehensible" comments. Oh, well enjoy your whining.

One day Palestinians will look in the mirror, face reality and actually do something about their problems: stop terrorism, but I fear it won't be this generation.

5:23 AM  
Blogger Amelopsis said...

shlemazl you should be grateful if Palestine remains without sufficient resources to "do something about their problems..." in this generation. You'd have to find another country to belittle.

1:47 AM  
Blogger FurSid said...

Congratulations for the big boy! :)

I've just stumbled upon your blog... accidentally landed here... and the first thing (after your blog name: a-mother-from-gaza) i noticed was the blog description... and to tell u the truth, this "Journalist, mom, occupied Palestinian-all packed into one", really impressed me.

you'r awsomely doing great... i can imagine how much this 'all packed into one' means to you and brings difficulties at you... but u must stand tall and firm...

will come back soon...!

you're great... keep blogging..!!

1:47 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

kevin..your post was excellent. Lets call a spade a spade ppl!

2:37 AM  

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