Monday, August 8, 2011

Potty Training: The Sequel

In order to potty train a child you have to be patient.
Now, unless I was sitting in a doctor’s office at the time, no one has ever used that word to describe me.  Ever.
Regardless, around 2 ½  I figured I would give it a go.  I started reading all the literature about this horrific process. The experts say you should wait “until he’s ready”.  He’s supposed to give me signs. 
Ok, is stripping down naked, peeing in the middle of the kitchen and then slipping and falling into the pee puddle a sign of potty training readiness?  No?  Well, guess we’ll wait a little longer then…
Cut to a few months later and I’m SO ANNOYED that he’s still not ready.  Especially since all of his friends seemed to be getting the hang of it.  What the hell!  Screw when HE’S ready, I’M frigging ready!  He’s getting his ass on that potty and he’s not getting off until he does something on it!  THAT’S IT!
Raise your hand if you can figure out how that scenario worked itself out?  After a few epic battles the only results were a lot of crying on my part and a lot of not peeing on his part.
 Then I reread my “how to” book of potty training.  The number one rule?  Don’t force them to sit there until they go.  At this point I’m just wondering if these people have cameras in my house.
So I resigned myself to waiting.  Who wants to clean up accidents anyway?  I’m over it.  I have myself all set to just wait it out; I’ve gone over every logical reason for why this is the best possible solution.  
Number one is that having a diaper on restricts his access to his boy parts.  Seriously, when he’s wearing underwear it’s like he’s afraid to let go of his “ween” (yeah that’s the lovely new word that Daddy taught him.) He has to guard it at all times.  Like someone might steal it or something. 
So yeah, we’re waiting.
Except for the next day at nap time Carter informed me:
“Mama, I don’t want to wear a diaper.”
“Well, you are.  Let’s put it on!”
“NO!  I don’t wanna wear one!  BIG BOY UNDERWEAR!”
As I’m sitting there fighting with him to put on a diaper I’m thinking: “Gee, could this be one of those signs the stupid books keep talking about?”  Probably.  But did I keep trying to sell him on wearing the diaper?  You know it! 
‘Cause, I mean, what if the sign comes at a really inconvenient time?  Nap time?  Come on, Carter!  You WOULD pick a time where if you have an accident it will lead to the most work on my part.   Way to stay true to your mission of making my life as difficult as possible. 
I relented, and, much to my surprise, he stayed dry!  And he did it again the next day…and the next…
OK…WOW!  Yippee!  He’s potty trained right?  I can check that off my list of things to do before he hits puberty? 
Yeah, no.  That’s apparently not how that works.  At least not in my life.  If things work that way in your life then I say, in the most loving way possible, screw you!
Pee we have down.  With the exception of the occasional accidents that happen in totally discreet places…like the middle of the library for example.  Now we just have the other thing to contend with.  For the past few months that has been the struggle of the century.  We’ve bribed him with every conceivable thing.  And a few inconceivable things as well. 
Recently, however, he’s been doing his business on the potty as long as he is alone in there.  His new favorite thing is to run out of the bathroom screaming “POOP SURPRISE!”  He gets so excited about it that he doesn’t even pull up his pants.
And then we all have to jump up and down and scream and shout cause there’s one lone little poop in the toilet.
It should be a fun day at preschool when he runs naked from the bathroom, holding his ween and yelling “POOP SURPRISE!”
And the next day will be just as fun when I open my front door to a few people holding a clip board and yelling “DSS HOME VISIT SURPRISE!”

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


When we bought the furnishings for our house I wish someone had said: “Oh hey, by the way?  Don’t buy nice stuff.  Your future kids will just break it all.”
When you’re newlyweds you don’t think about these things. 
So, you go ahead and register for the Tiffany’s picture frames and the Kate Spade vases.  Take it from me, those vases will get dusty waiting for the flowers that you never have the time or money to buy…but don’t fret…you’ll use the frames.  They can hold the pictures of what your house used to look like before your demon children came along and ruined everything they touched.
All kids break things.  Usually just out of curiosity though. 
I think it goes without saying, however, that breaking things in interesting ways is a specialty of Carter’s.  It’s just Murphy’s Law in action.  How does that go again?  Anything that can go wrong…will be because of Carter?  Something like that.
Did you know that a very inventive way to use egg beaters is to bang them against the woodwork in your parent’s house?  Not only does it make lovely music, but it also leaves THE BEST ding marks.  And YOU thought they were just for beating eggs and hitting your brother over the head with!  No, no, my friend.  You were mistaken!
Carter uses his toys as weapons of mass destruction as well. We were playing with his bowling set one day and he said "Auntie Jen got me this! It was a present and it's so cool!"
It was really cute....until he threw the bowling ball at a window and cracked it. Then it was less cute.
I really hated looking at that crack.  But don’t you worry; I really didn’t have to deal with it for long.  A couple months after the bowling ball incident he threw my video camera through that same window and just shattered it completely.  What a doll, huh? (Oh, and if anyone is looking for something to get me for my birthday…I need a new video camera, too.)
I would have to say by far the most expensive thing he’s broken is the dog.  Ok, all you animal lovers out there, no animals were injured during the making of this blog!  Well, I mean...actually, one was.  ‘Cause that’s the point of the story. 
This is what happened: Carter threw his sippy cup off his tray when he was done with it and it hit our dog smack in the eye.  After $900 worth of vet bills they told us…”Eh…he’ll be blind.  There’s nothing you can do about it.”  Oh, super!
Well, turns out they were wrong.  That dog is just fine, nothing is wrong with his sight.  So Carter didn’t blind his dog after all.  But we still had to pay the damn vet bill so I fully intend to use that story against him some time in the future. 
“Remember the time you blinded your dog because you were misbehaving?  Do you want that to happen again?  CLEAN YOUR ROOM OR THE DOG WILL GO BLIND AGAIN!”
I’ll have to work on how those two things are related, but I’m confident that I can come up with something that will scare him into compliance.
The one positive thing about having kids that break things is that if YOU break something you can blame it on them. 
“No honey, it was Carter who spilled scented oil air freshener all over the woodwork and left a huge stain…that you now have to fix.  Kids, right?”
I’m still trying to find a way to blame Carter for the time I sideswiped a huge truck while attempting to sneak by it and smashed in my side mirror.
Mike, you don’t read my blog right?