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, life in pictures, marital blissishness


Mad Dog and I rarely see eye to eye when it comes to the boys haircuts. I am forever scarred from when he took Full Speed for a haircut and Full Speed returned hairless and sickly looking. Full Speed’s hair used to be more blond than it is now, so if you buzzed his head, he didn’t look so good. Then, Mad Dog did the same thing to little T.Puzzle on a separate occasion. I have never fully healed from these experiences.

Sometimes, I don’t have the energy to fight. So, when we took the boys for a trim and Mad Dog said, ‘mohawks!’, I was too tired to argue.

I’m actually kind of glad I didn’t fight it. They look awesome.

gratitude, life in pictures, mommyhood


Against my better judgment and my own free will (Mad Dog is very persuasive), we took the boys to Box Seats after lunch. It actually wasn’t as overwhelming as usual. The place was pretty dead and almost serenely quiet. The boys had unlimited access to the newly installed NASCAR racing games, and Mad Dog and I shared cocktails and some actual conversation.

Then, I saw it. Out of the corner of my eye on one of Box Seats’ 137 television screens was a horrendous sight. And, then another and so on and so forth. The show was called ‘Bite Me with Dr. Mike’. It’s on the Travel Channel and flashes of dung beetles, some type of internal organ and other visual displays of grossness kept parading across the screen. I totally get that this is a show men may prefer, but it did little to convince me that Box Seats is a place that I want to regularly hang out. Now, maybe if they played ‘Sex and the City’ reruns and had weekly cosmopolitan specials, I could change my mind.

After 15 car races we were finally able to make our escape. The boys were being fairly well-behaved so we thought they could handle getting their hair cut. Of course, they did not sit still for one minute while we waited for their turn. They stood on chairs a couple times, attempted a wrestling smack-down and had a Power Ranger war. However, they responded well when reprimanded and when it was their turn for a trim, they were almost angelically (and mysteriously) well-mannered. Little T.Puzzle especially surprised me. He climbed up to the barber’s chair like a pro and yanked his glasses (they aren’t really made for yanking but oh well) off his face even before he was told.

I felt almost human. This is how I imagine my life could be. I could be in public and realistically know my kids won’t be perfect, but will be manageable. I even had a lengthy and lovely chat with another Mom of two boys that were a few years older than mine. She had much empathy about the physical and mental demands of raising young, active boys. She didn’t seem too scarred by her experience and that gave me hope. I always believe the strangers we interact with in the world are here to teach us something. They reflect back to us the things that sometimes we are unable to see within ourselves. Maybe I’ll make it through after all.