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.

children, mommyhood

The Cheesed Omelet

I had this brilliant idea. Full Speed didn’t have his regular VPK (voluntary pre-kindergarten) curriculum this week so I thought I would take him and T.Puzzle out for breakfast. We met my friend and her two, adorable daughters at IHOP. Sounds simple and uneventful, right?

First the chaos started when the boys played wild variation after wild variation of hotwheels games. But you know what? That’s normal. That’s just part of the process of taking my boys out for a dining experience. It’s a guarantee they increase a dining establishment’s energy level by about 100% and they will bring hotwheels. What got rough was the fact that it took close to FORTY minutes to get our food. Apparently they had to drive to the chicken farm that was miles away to get the eggs to make our pancakes. So as our wait time stretched on, everyone’s patience wore thin.

When we finally get our food (finally!!), I revel in the few moments of peace this will give me. Both boys were decidedly consumed with their breakfasts and therefore steadfastly quiet. That part of breakfast was lovely (it didn’t last).

Soon, Full Speed ate his breakfast quickly and asked for more eggs. The moms at the table quickly problem-solved his request by giving him some cheesy omelet from little Miss Cutie’s plate.

Well, you would have thought I was trying to torture him. He couldn’t believe cheese was touching his eggs and refused to eat it. Then, he proceeds for the next several moments to give me the stink-eye because he is so furious with me for giving him cheesy covered eggs. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I do have to admit, the stink-eye was pretty funny.

When it was time to depart, Full Speed was still very mad and not behaving well as we attempted our exit. He tried to tackle his brother who instantly became his partner in crime and we started to get ‘the looks’ from the surrounding IHOP patrons. ‘The looks’ consist of not-so-subtle stares that show wonder that I would take my animal-like children in public and relief that they are not me. The situation only worsened as I paid for our breakfast. I had to place Full Speed in a chair to keep him from attacking little T.Puzzle. He then whines dramatically over and over that he is ‘sorry!’ While these theatrics are in full swing, T.Puzzle manages to grab a plastic container of toothpicks, breaks it open and litters the cash register and floor with them. And guess what? More of ‘the looks’ from a new sub-set of IHOP patrons seated close to the register. I gathered up the toothpicks and what little dignity I had left, took my boys and got the heck out of there.

The next time I voluntarily decide to take both my children to breakfast, someone please stop me.

bad day, mommyhood

All Time Lowe(s)

We are in the truck headed as a family to Lowes. Originally, we had said we would go to Home Depot, but Lowes ended up having the faucet we wanted. Full Speed  initially wasn’t too happy at our change of plan. He likes to run errands close to home (Home Depot is right outside our subdivision) and didn’t like the sound of driving what he considers far (8 miles) to the nearest Lowes. He eventually realizes it won’t be so bad and determines that Lowes is like ‘a cousin’ of Home Depot and goes forth with a good attitude.

For about all of three seconds, the boys sit nicely in the cart together and even exchange some ‘i love yous’. Mad Dog is impressed that they are getting along so nicely. I tell him to give it ten minutes and check again. Turns out we only needed about thirty seconds before things head south.

I had to put T.Puzzle in time-out, threaten Full Speed and then I had to take them both to look at kitchens so Mad Dog could have some peace to pick out what we needed. The kitchen adventure part went fairly well (we all liked the red one the best) but check-out was disastrous. I had to place little T.Puzzle in time-out again and this time he screams so loud the whole store is stopped in their tracks looking for the source of the commotion. I get the keys, grab him by the arm and half-carry, half-drag him to the truck. The entire journey to the truck he yells and screams (mostly for Mad Dog) all the while attempting to hit and kick me. I try to walk calmly and to interact as rationally as I can with him.  Mostly he just winds up in a wailing jumble in the backseat and I stay outside the truck hoping he stops.

I am tired. Tired of the embarrassment, the frustration and the constant battle. Not a great day. Not a great day at all.

children, mommyhood

Close, Yet Still So Far Away

Why is it that every time I start to feel like I’ve mastered motherhood, even if it’s only a little, teeny, tiny bit, I get smacked in the face with a much different reality?

I had the boys at Tae Kwon Do and it was going sort of smoothly. I felt like I wanted to strangle little T.Puzzle only once while dressing him in his uniform (a record I think) and Full Speed was on top of his game. Overall, class was incident-free except for a portion where T.Puzzle didn’t feel like listening to the instructor and fake cried to emphasize this feeling. I’m so glad the instructor doesn’t fall for the fake cry.

After class we make our way out. I feel good. I find myself smiling a self-satisfied smile. I’m thinking, ‘See? I can do this. I can control my children and they can appear normal to the outside world’. Of course exiting the studio they almost tackle a sign standing by the front door and then they try to tackle each other. Even after these little snafus we are able to regroup. We walk in a semi-organized fashion to the truck and they hop up to their seats. I get everyone strapped in and I am just about to put the key in the ignition and write this experience off as almost easy (almost!) when Full Speed announces he has to ‘PEE!” and by the panic in his eyes, it looks like he is seconds away from doing so.

I sigh and wipe the smile from my now-feeling-very-tired face, and I gather up the monkeys and we traipse back in like a trio of drunken sailors. We knock over things, the boys trip over themselves and we pretty much call the attention of everyone in the studio and anyone in a two block radius.

Will I ever learn?

children, health


Full Speed’s frames are irreparable. New ones have been ordered and we are back to waiting. He should have his new glasses by the time he leaves for college (hopefully).

And, I took T.Puzzle to the doc to have that bulge on the side of his neck evaluated. I tried to let it go but that thing kept staring at me.

I had to take both boys so you know it was absolute insanity. There were karate moves, climbing contests and fights over the scale to see who weighed the most (Full Speed did but only by seven pounds).

The doctor was kind and efficient, not to mention extraordinarily patient. My heart stuck in my throat as I watchfully observed him examine other regions of little T.Puzzle’s body for signs of inflammation. It took maybe thirty seconds but felt like a lifetime.

T.Puzzle got the all clear for now. I was so relieved I wanted to hug the doctor. Sure, his nodes are inflammed and swollen all up and down his neck but since that’s all the doctor could find, that’s normal for now.  T.Puzzle tested negative for strep and we were sent on our way. All I have to do is keep an eye on the node (which could stay that way indefinitely), and if I don’t see any changes like in skin color and size, he should be fine.

I do what I can to keep my boys healthy and then I have to let go of the things I cannot control. This is my challenge. This is motherhood.