Bilingual is Better

Sorry…this giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner-Jennifer Short.

Photo by Bethany L King

Photo by Bethany L King

Although we are – THANK GOD – past this stage at our house, some of you might be thinking about starting potty training or maybe are in the middle of it right now and if you are Latina, you might be able to relate to the following story. Besides, I’ll be going through it all over again soon, as I am four months pregnant with my second child!! So, I figured this is as good a time as any to reminisce about how it all used to be and remind myself of how it all will be in the not-too-far away future. Once you’re done reading this, I’ll tell you one HUGE reason why holding off potty training for another month is a good idea…besides pissing your mothers off ;-)

That was then…

I don’t know if this is some kind of Latina thing or what. A little while before my daughter’s first birthday, my mother started her daily reminders of how by the time her kids turned uno, “ya no usaban pañales.” How did she do that? I have no idea, but it should suffice to say that she had the help of a full-time nanny who lived with us!

Anyhow, this is the way my mother greets me on a pretty regular basis:

- “¿La sentaste?” (meaning, did you sit her on the potty chair?)

I ignore her.

- “You have to follow her around with the basenica,” she continues con la misma cantaleta. Actually, the correct spelling is basinica, my mother’s name for potty chair, but she doesn’t like to say it like that.

I ignore her.

“Ya va a cumplir DOS años,” she says almost embarrassed that she’s almost two and still wears diapers, ¡ni que fuera SU hija!

Since I’m ignoring her, she decides to talk directly to Vanessa.

- “This summer, you’ll be out of diapers.” Vanessa just looks at her and smiles.

I stop ignoring her and start attacking her.

- “Claro, since you’ll be the one taking care of that…” I let her have it as I roll my eyes.

It kills me when my mom does this to me. She makes me feel crappy, like I’m not putting enough effort into helping my daughter – who understands every single thing she hears even when you’re not talking to her – use panties once and for all. In fact, nothing would make me happier!

I hate this task, especially because rare is the time when Vanessa actually allows me to change her diaper without making it a wrestling match – which unbelievably, I almost always end up losing. I’ve ran out of things to say or do to distract her to avoid smearing poop all over the place. In fact, I actually dread the moment I have to change her diaper! So, it should be obvious, that no one would want her to make the transition more than I. But truth be told, it is not that easy. Yet, definitely de éste verano no pasa. It will happen before the summer is over.

Unfortunately, everything points to failure. We’ve actually gone back backwards in the process. When I bought the potty and I started teaching Vanessa what it was about, everything was going viento en popa. In fact, I was blown away with how quickly she learned to say “caca” when she wanted to poop and we’d go sit on the potty and for the most part, things actually came out fine, pardon the pun. These days, she doesn’t say a word to me and if I happen to notice she wants to go “caca,” just the mere mention of the word, makes her run away screaming “nooooooo.” ¡Qué exagerada!

I think what set us back has been the rotten weather. It’s cold and the majority of our house is carpeted, so the idea of leaving Vanessa roam naked so she can understand what’s happening – like some have suggested – doesn’t really appeal to me. Totalmente asqueroso, ¿no creen? Whatever… the point is that now that the summer is almost here, I’m going to take heed, but only when we’re in the kitchen or family room which have hardwood floors.

In the  meantime, I’ll have to continue putting up with my mother’s cantaleta:

- “Ya no la sientas, ¿no?” she asks in defeat when she comes through the door. Not even a ‘hello.’ – “Of course I do,” I lie entre dientes.

Am I the only one going through this?

This is now…

I’m happy to report that Vanessa has actually been off diapers for almost 6 months, although not completely. She still wears them at night and now that I know what Unicef and Pampers are doing, I’m in no rush to change that (and you shouldn’t either, at least until the campaign ends on May 1, 2009). I hope you feel the same once you find out what their “One Pack = One Vaccine” campaign is all about.

Pampers and acclaimed Latina actress Salma Hayek have joined forces with Unicef to help protect mothers and their newborns against tetanus in less-industrialized countries.

Your part in the equation? It’s actually pretty simple because just by buying a specially-marked pack of Pampers diapers or wipes, you could be saving someone’s life. Each qualified product purchased means one life-saving vaccine.

The numbers are staggering. Did you know that maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT), a preventable disease, claims the lives of approximately 128,000 infants and up to 30,000 mothers in less industrialized nations each year? That amounts to  one newborn death every four minutes. The key word here? Preventable. So, lets do our part.

SpanglishBaby strongly supports this campaign and we’re urging all our readers to do the same by either purchasing these products or spreading the word – or both!

To help get you started, Pampers has put together a set of four (4) “One Pack = One Vaccine” campaign onesies as well as a coupon for a specially-marked pack of diapers which we’ll be giving away to one lucky winner.

How to win:

Leave us a comment telling us your funny potty-training story or, if you haven’t gone through that rite of passage yet, what you dread about the thought of it.

For the part that nobody likes, but we’ve gotta have, check out the Giveaway Rules.

This giveaway ends at midnight EST on Sunday, April 12th. Good luck to all!

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