gratitude, happiness, mommyhood, potty training

And the Winner Is…

We attended the Vision Is Priceless annual meeting. My friend and director of VIP  encouraged me strongly to attend as well as bring the boys. I was leery bringing the boys to such a formal, child-free event but her persistence and the organization itself is hard to resist.

I admired the gathering of people as they chatted, drank cocktails and munched on appetizers. I basically just held my breath for two hours waiting for the boys to spontaneously wrestle. To complicate matters, little T.Puzzle is still potty-training without much success. So Mad Dog and I had to monitor his activity closely and try to convince him not to poop in his underwear and nice dress shorts.

I did my best to attempt to engage in conversation with all the interesting and kind adults, but my attention was decidedly split. One half immersed in the meeting, one half closely tracking the antics of my boys. It made me feel completely schizophrenic.

When it was time for the evening’s presentation, the boys were called up to the front and their ophthalmologist spoke about their condition as well as their amazing progress. They were the hit of the party. As an added bonus, I was given a volunteer recognition award for promoting public awareness of Vision is Priceless. A pleasant and unexpected surprise.

Thankfully, I not only owe thanks to Vision is Priceless for the award but I also owe a thanks to the invention of handheld gaming devices. Without them, this post would have had much more chaos and disaster. With the gaming devices, this post was a winner.

Just like me.

mommyhood, potty training

Big Boy Underpants

Potty-trainging little T.Puzzle has become the bane of my existence. I’m giving it until the end of this week and then either I’m going to go on a huge bender (you are more than welcome to join me) or I’m putting him back in pull-ups. I can tell there has been some maturation and progress on his part (ironically, my maturation and progress seems to be diminishing). He only screams and cries for a minute or so before he starts telling me that ‘I not poop!’ or ‘the poop is hiding, Mommy!’ Before, he would just scream and cry the entire time I left him on the potty. He also told Mad Dog while we were at a movie this weekend that he had to pee. They raced to the bathroom and made it in time. So this is moving in a positive direction.

However, the pooping (oh! the pooping!) is still not clicking. I mean he still is pooping just mostly in his pants. As I was putting away laundry and fussing around the house, I came across him sitting next to his brother watching Frack play computer games in dirty, wet underpants. Apparently, he could care less about how disgusting that really is.

Thus, my huge bender approacheth!

children, mommyhood, potty training

Teach by Example

I took the boys to IHOP for dinner because they were well-behaved for their hair-cuts (sort of) and my kitchen was clean and I wanted it to stay that way. It was basic insanity at the restaurant as usual but we managed to have a good time.


That morning I had decided to try little T.Puzzle in big boy underpants again to see what would happen. He had a couple of accidents including an unfortunate incident involving a good length of his train tracks, but caught on to keeping his pants dry pretty quick. Of course the pooping is a whole different matter.

As we were finishing up our dinner little T.Puzzle starts emitting some squeaky sounds from his nether regions and I could smell, I mean I could tell, that he was going to need to potty soon. When we arrived home I took a less than compliant T.Puzzle to the bathroom. As I’m about to place him on the potty, Full Speed busts in and says, “T.Puzzle, I gotta poop, let me show you how it’s done.” He hops up on the pot and states, “See that brown stuff coming out of my booty? That’s how it’s done!” Apparently little T.Puzzle just got ‘schooled’. It was highly entertaining.

Once it was little T.Puzzle’s turn he cried and complained and refused to go. I decided to ignore him. Partially because Full Speed needed my attention for something and partially because I am so tired of the power struggle of poop, I sort of locked myself into a pleasant denial bubble. My logic was if I tuned out his complaining then it must not actually be happening.

About five minutes later little T.Puzzle shockingly announces that he ‘POOPED!”

I was so excited I almost passed out.

What does that say about my life?

Please, don’t answer that.

marital blissishness, mommyhood, potty training

A Mixed Bag

I had little T.Puzzle seated on the potty because I knew a poop was coming. He hadn’t pooped the day before or all morning long. He also had just inhaled his lunch. I figured it couldn’t hurt.

He did about two, good stretches on the potty, each lasting 15 minutes or so. During the second set as it was winding down, I had given up, left the bathroom and fielded a call from Mad Dog. While chatting with Mad Dog a panicked little T.Puzzle shouts, “Mommy, I pooped on the potty!”

I screamed so loud I’m sure Mad Dog experienced hearing loss and nearly dropped the phone in my excitement. I shared the news with Mad Dog, quickly got off the phone and proceeded to make a complete fool of myself as I jumped up and down and yelled like a crazy person. It is hard to imagine living a life in which your happiness is so deeply tied to the bowel movement of another human. ¬†This is a strange and disconcerting aspect of motherhood.

We celebrated with cookies, big boy underpants and made several, celebratory phone calls (it’s like winning an Oscar only better). Little T.Puzzle was pleased as punch. He strutted around in his Thomas the Train undies announcing to everyone and no one that he was ‘just like Full Speed’.

My excitement was short-lived because after dinner little T.Puzzle proceeds to poop in his Thomas pants and seemed unphased when I dramatically threw these pants in the trash (believe me, they were beyond repair). It was getting close to the end of the day and seemed pointless to put a new pair of undies on him. I decided to keep him pantless hoping that would prevent further accidents (many Moms swear by the pantless potty-training method) and I knew he would be in the tub for a bath in less than an hour.

The babysitter arrives as Mad Dog and I have a date nigh scheduled. I explain my potty-training adventure with little T.Puzzle and so she is prepared for the unexpected. As I’m explaining this, T.Puzzle pees all over the floor in the dining room. I clean up the mess, so much for pantless success, and help the babysitter get the boys in a bath. I look at the clock and realize that I haven’t heard from Mad Dog in a while and I should call him to check on his progress towards our date night. It usually isn’t a good sign if I don’t hear from him. That means he is caught up in work and may not be timely.

May not be timely turns into an understatement because when I call him he is still at work AND date night has slipped his mind.

My day was a mixed bag. It was full of surprise, excitement and more than one instance of disappointment. The good news is I know enough to hold on to the good stuff, realize everything is temporary (especially the bad stuff) and that in the grand scheme of things, I have life pretty darn good.

It helped that the movie Mad Dog and I saw, ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ was a ridiculous (and sometimes gross), farcical, nostalgic good time and that Mad Dog is very, very cute. Just like his boys, this saves him every, single time.

bad day, mommyhood, potty training

Under Fire

My day was bad. T.Puzzle was oh-so-defiant from the moment his feet hit the ground in the morning. This got old. Fast.

I continued to attempt to potty-train him. He has mastered peeing on the potty. He still will not poop on the potty. Fifty-percent just isn’t cutting it.

You may wonder why it is not. How about the twenty-seven loads of poop related laundry I’ve done in the past seven days for starters? Or, maybe the crying, the tears and anguish (I’m talking about me, now) that poop-smeared socks have caused.

I spent a good portion of my morning with T.Puzzle screaming and crying while sitting on the potty. After about an hour of this, I gave up. I took off his pants and decided to let it go. It is becoming too much of a struggle and we both are miserable. I hoped he would give some sort of signal that he was about to poop since he had no pants. He did not.

He pooped all over the floor.

I’m giving it one more chance. The next time he poops anywhere but a potty, we are going back to pull-ups.

Everyone has their two cents. Everyone has what worked for them. Everyone apparently has children who were miraculously potty-trained in two days.

I don’t want advice. I want help cleaning up all the mess that potty-training leaves behind.

I was so frustrated I had to put him to bed for a nap (he quickly fell asleep) and go sit out on the lanai. I felt so angry. I can’t believe history is repeating. Here I am, a perfectly nice lady, stuck with kid number two who refuses to do a number two. He most likely will be nearing four years old before he decides it’s time. Exactly like his brother before him. Ugh!!!

I called Mad Dog at work and let loose a tirade of frustration. He listened patiently and said, “You’ll break this one, too. You broke the first two (meaning himself and Full Speed), you can do it again.”

Until that happens, I have to let certain things go (like potty-training) and muster the strength to continue to battle it out with T.Puzzle (and keep Full Speed in check, too). Raising two boys is not a walk in the park. It’s more like a full-on sprint while dodging heavy, artillery fire (and poop, too!).