That deserves a round of applause

To My Husband: You might not want to read this post as it includes to things you complain about from my blog: you and penises.  I’m sorry you make an easy mark (and I mean that in the nicest way; you’re easy to set up and we love you for it.); it’s one of the reasons my father didn’t kill you when he learned how much older you were than me.  You know my family; we’re jokesters.  As for the penises, I did well enough the other day without mentioning them, so this isn’t about ratings.  By the way, I’m not slowly turning my blog into a hard porn blog; people would noticed. (Brownie points for those who got that last allusion. J )




My husband: (Walking back into the family room from using the restroom) Fae?  Have you noticed Tornado S following me into the bathroom lately?  (Sean toddles into the room.)


Me: Why, actually, I have.  (I pick up Tornado S who has run to me.)  Tornado E, get out of the almonds.  If you want a snack, you have to ask.  No almonds.  Mommy needs those.


My husband: He’s watching me pee.


Me: I figured.  You’re just curious, aren’t you, big guy?  Tee.  He’s learning; I think he’ll train earlier and easier than Tornado E.  (sigh) That would be cool.  Tornado E, I said no almonds.  Or pecans.


My husband: He claps when I finish.


Both my sons learned at an early age to clap when they did something special like throw the ball, somersault, roll a car, jump, dance, sing, basically anything to be proud of.  From there, it is only a month or so development to clap for other people’s achievements.  At eighteen months, Tornado E clapped enthusiastically when my great-aunt caught a ball he threw to her.  Tornado S, at fourteen months, would clap enthusiastically for Tornado E’s singing attempts.


Me: Well, you did a good job.  You never drip.  He’s proud of you.  All right, Tornado E.  No marshmallows.  Come on, Tornado S.  Let’s get you and your brother a snack before your brother climbs in there and gets the suckers.  Too late.


Being curious of all developments in the house, I snuck a peek at this performance next time my husband went to the bathroom.  Tornado S toddled in after his Daddy and stood in rapture as his father peed.  Then when my husband was finish, Tornado S, beaming from ear to ear, clapped with excitement.  You’d think that he was at The Bellagio.  Or maybe Tornado S thought his Daddy was being left out of the cheering Tornado E receives when he uses the bathroom.

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Three steps forward. Two steps back.

I remember, perhaps only two weeks ago, when Evan would look up at me and whine that he needed to go to the potty.  I would look at where we were standing in the store, judge the time and the distance, and run while pushing the cart with both boys riding the wind.  I remember when I would turn around and notice Evan was pantsless and underwearless as he built a castle and when I ask him, he would tell me he just went potty with an oh-by-the-way-duh voice.  Then last week he began wetting his pants again.


I was so proud.  So confident.  So sure.  We got this down.  We can go places without dragging the potty seat or wearing a diaper or asking half a million times if he needs to use the bathroom.  He can go to the Sunday school class.  Sure, he still has to poop in a diaper (yeah, what’s up with that?), but he can control his bladder and tell me when he has to go.  My kid’s awesome, and I’m awesome.  Oh, but pride cometh before the fall. 


Then last Thursday I noticed he peed his pants while he watched TV.  That’s weird.  He was just sitting there completely oblivious to the fact he was peeing or that he’s pants were wet.  When he wakes up wet from naptime, he cries.  Then Friday he must have had three or four accidents.  What is going on?  No telling me.  No trying.  Half the time he’s doing nothing at all.  Saturday we took the boys to see Madagascar 2 and then to lunch; I kept asking Evan if he needed to go.  He would say no, and then at the restaurant he had an accident without telling me.  What the hell?


Now all the books say that this is just an accident; the child did not mean to do it.  But there’s no remorse.  He knows how to go it.  I know he knows how to do it.  I can’t help but feel that this is some sort of payback for something.


Actually I have theories. 

Theory 1.  We stopped giving Evan treats except for poop, which he hasn’t done yet.  But maybe he’s upset that he isn’t getting rewarded for something that was a big deal. 


Theory 2.  We have been trying to limit naked time to one point of the day instead of the whole day except when we go outside.  When he’s naked he goes to the bathroom, but when he’s dressed he has accidents.  See the connection? 


Theory 3. Perhaps this is some phase which is completely innocent, and I really need to stop accusing my toddler of an ulterior motive.


But this is so frustrating.  We had it down.  Heck, he didn’t have an accident the last time we drove to my parents’ house.  But now I worry about the road trip to my husband’s dad’s house.  Or any accidents he might have there.  Worse yet, I’m getting their pictures taken in their yet-to-be-bought Christmas outfits on Monday.  I can’t have him peeing on his good pants right before the shoot.  Ugh.


So I’ve gone back to the basics.  He is forced to try after he gets up and almost every hour on the hour.  He has to sit on the pot before we go anywhere and before we leave the store.  I’m giving him a butter toffee peanut (compliments of Wally) every time he pees in the potty, and we are not doing anything Evan fun related until he can prove he can tell us when he needs to use the potty.  On top of that, he has to take off his own wet clothes and hang them over the tub to dry, and then he has to put on new dry underwear.


I bring this issue before the internet council of mothers to ask what else or different should I do.  It has been a week, and Evan is still having accidents twice a day or so.  He used to only have accidents during his naptimes.  I await your wisdom.


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Another Pee Victory

Since the boys are still asleep and I worked my ASS off earlier today as they played in the sandbox outside, I figured I’d write about our newest potty training victory.

Last night I finally put Tornado E in his very first pull-ups.  (Ok, he’s over due, but I buy my diapers at Costco.  I had to use them up.)  He looked at them and said “They’re like underwear!  But they’re diapers!”

Then Tornado E scurried to where the box was and noticed the picture of the little boy who was sitting on the potty with his hands up in victory and the pull-ups down around his knees.  Tornado E pointed to the box and said, “Look at the little boy!  He’s wearing diaper underwear like me!  He’s using the potty!  I think I need to go potty!  I need to use my special potty!”

Out of his room he went, straight to the bathroom.  He struggled to pull off his pull-ups and sat down on the potty with his legs closed tight.  (Due to the stupidity of the training potty industry they make many potties without a shield guard to block the pee coming out of little penises.  New mothers, such as myself, buy these stupid things that have a tiny “guard” that just helps lift the penis out of the bowl.  Luckily my mom showed me my error.  It took three stores to buy the right kind of toilet.  But now I have this stupid one that I keep in the upstairs bathroom.  I have taught Tornado E to aim, after many mistrials. {Long aside, I know.})  But as my husband and I watched Tornado E, I noticed there was a stream of water gathering between his legs.  Crap.  Or should I say, piss.  Before I could help him, Tornado E’s shirt gathered all the piss.  Tornado E jumped up and declared his victory.

Well, not every battle is without their casualties.

Of course, he wet his pull-ups during the night.  Poor Tornado E looked so sad as he showed me his diaper underwear.

On another note, since the Disneyland incident where Tornado E had to learn to pee standing up, Tornado E has been playing with his penis as he pees, moving it around to aim at different places in the potty as he sits.  I guess it’s good practice for when he has to aim for the bowl.  Now we’re learning good hygiene.  Which reminds me, I have to make a sign to remind him.

Finally, Tornado S has become intensely interested in watching his father pee, which gives my husband the creeps.  Really.  Get over it.  Also, Tornado S has learned to take of his diaper and proceeds to make a run for it.  Maybe I should start training Tornado S.

Another Peeing Incident

Or peeing during time-out as a way to protest your “unfair” treatment.

Tornado E’s pressing buttons AGAIN.  He’s pressing MY buttons again.  Yesterday he was in time out four times.  Three of those times were for hitting or pushing Tornado S . . . hard.  I held my anger and put him in time out.  The second time he went into time out, he learned to spit.  Tornado S, who was watching Tornado E (fascinated that his brother was actually sitting still for once), also learned to spit.  Awesome.  Then when it was time to discuss the time out, I noticed Tornado E had peed.  When I asked him why he peed, he giggled.  That’s right, he giggled.

Then the third time he was in time out, he was still naked from the last time out and peeing session.  I watched in horror as he bore down and pushed out his piss.  The little brat actually did it on PURPOSE.  So I jumped down into the foyer and tried to cover his penis and make him stop.  Why don’t I just reverse the Colorado River while I’m at it?  So I stopped the time out clock (after washing my hands) and handed him some paper towels to clean up every drop of piss.  Then he was back in time out for four minutes. (I’m trying a longer punishment when he hurts Tornado S.)  To pass the time, he started to spit again.  I told him to stop or he was going back into time out.  He did it a couple more times.  Resisting the urge to slap him, I heard the time out beep.  I talked to him about hitting Tornado S and sent him back to time out for three minutes.  Finally time out was a punishment as he pleaded his apology from the time out chair.

So now what am I going to do with a boy who pees in protest of his time out?  My mom suggested a spanking, but I have used that discipline only in life threatening emergencies like walking in the street or parking lot.  It worked too.  Even Tornado S will not walk into the street.  But I’m not sure if I want to use that kind of discipline unless it’s my only option.  Of course, two of my parenting books have no mention of peeing as a protest.  On to the third and final book.  Any suggestions out there?

Peeing incidents

Yes, potty training has it’s ups and downs and many, many hilarious moments.  As a mother of boys, the penis has several fun tricks for boys to learn.  I wonder how potty training is for girls.  I am amazed.  A-mazed by how often that little tiny organ gets so exciting.

As I wrote yesterday, we have a new penis rule.  Rule #4 do not show your penis out in public.  Maybe I should revise that and say don’t show it to any one.  The other day as the boys and I ate dinner (my husband often comes home too late for the “starving” boys to eat), Tornado E pulled down his underwear to see his penis.  Yes, it’s still there.  Keep eating.  He was surprised by the penis’s new trick.  “Look, Mommy!  It’s standing!”  Yes, that’s what penises can do.  Please pull your underwear up and finish your mac and cheese.  I wonder how much easier it would be to have girls.

Yesterday we were cooking dinner, and the boys were running around, being pirate-explorers, looking through binoculars and spy-glasses.  My husband was grilling outside as I made the sides outside.  My best friend was keeping an eye on the boys, when Tornado E yelled with glee, “I went pee outside!”  We are looking at rule number five, aren’t we?  Because this was the second time that day.  My best friend and my husband congratulated Tornado E.  I came out and explained to Tornado E how he couldn’t get candy if he peed outside.  He was just too proud of his accomplishment to care.  Hmm.  I think that was a sign.  A minute late my best friend asked me to come outside again.  She pointed to a large circle made with wet concrete that had a diameter of four feet, and the wet line making the circle was four inches thick.

BF: What do you think that is?

I looked around to see if any squirt guns or hose or anything that made water was around.  I shrugged.

Me: I don’t know.  (pause, thinking).  Oh God.  That can’t be pee.  There’s too much!

BF: That’s what I was thinking.  But it can’t be anything else.

Me: No.  Hey, can you come over here?

My husband left the grilling hot dogs, making sure the boys were on the other side of the yard.

Me: Do you know what made that?  (I pointed to the circle)

Husband: No.  The hose?

BF: Tornado E!  Can you come over here?

Me: Please.  (aside) We have to remember to use our manners to set examples.

BF: right.  Tornado E, can you please come here?  (Tornado E was already there.  She bent down to be eye level.)  Tornado E, were did you pee?  Can you show me?

Tornado E: (turned in a circle) Right there!  I ran around!  I made a circle!

Great!  My son has already learned how to make shapes with his pee.  That’s awesome.  If he knew how to write his name, he would have done that.  Wait.  That might be a great way to teach him!

Or not.  It’s just a thought.

This morning my husband related to me about Tornado S’s peeing adventure.  As he watched the boys by himself, my husband was playing with Tornado E, building a Lego tower, while Tornado S played with the police cars.  My husband looked up to see Tornado S had silently wandered away from the family room.  My husband called for Tornado S.  Out of the bathroom came a smiling Tornado S.  Without his diaper.  My husband smiled and grabbed him, asking Tornado S were his diaper was.  That’s when my husband noticed the bottom of Tornado S’s shirt was wet.  He raced into the bathroom to find the diaper laying on the floor.  Right next to a giant puddle of pee.  My husband was completely horrified.  Welcome to parenthood, baby!

So there you have it one peeing adventure after another.  Honestly I should have known they were going to turn out like boys.  As I remember it, my brothers and cousins were always using potty humor.  And now Tornado E is too.  The word “poop” makes him giggle.  I’m raising honest-to-God, authentic boys.  Before you know it, they’ll be able to burp their names.  Tornado E already pretends to burp because he can’t figure out how to force out a burp.   I remain calm and just remind him to say excuse me, which he usually does.  But he and Tornado S are ALL boy.  God help me!

Potty Training

I would say we’re in phase two of potty training, training pants, except for bowel movements.  Any mother, who has potty trained, knows what an accomplishment this really is.  Those other moms, who put there kids in day care so someone else would teach their kid, are cheaters. 😛  But as always the observations that Tornado E makes are hilarious and reminds us how crazy this all is.

To begin potty training, I put the potty in the family room, so Tornado E could sit and watch TV as he tried to go.  This met with minimal results, until I read Potty Training for Dummies, which my husband made fun of, but it worked, so I don’t care.  Rather than letting him watch Sesame Street while he was on the pot, I just sat him down for a few minutes every hour or so.  This worked well, except I didn’t take the potty out of the family room.  When I finally decided Tornado E could make his way to the potty in the bathroom, Tornado E decided he would rather pee in the family room.  He would carry his potty into the family room and do his business.  Then he would jump up and shout with enthusiasm “I went pee!”  Yea!!  Except can we try to keep the potty in the bathroom?

My parents arrived during this transitional time.  Tornado E sat with his beloved Papi, watching cartoons, until the urge hit him.  He turned to my dad and said, “Papi!  I need to go pee!  I’ll be right back!”  (Parents of toddlers know that everything is spoken with an exclamation point.)  So up the naked toddler runs, then he carried in his potty and peed.  Jumping up, he shouted, “Look, Papi! I went pee!”  My dad, being a good grandfather, congratulated him and, being a good father, told me that it was ok that Tornado E went pee in the potty in the family room in front of guests as long as he didn’t insist the guests look at his pee.  Thanks, Dad!  I couldn’t figure that out on my own.

Another interesting phenomenon with potty training is potty training with the pool.  It makes no sense to kids.  You let me pee outside.  You pee into water.  Why can’t I?  Remarkably, Tornado S does get out of the pool, walks a yard away, and pees on the pool fence.  It amazes me.  He’s done it on several occasions, and every time we have the look on our face that says “What the hell?”  Then we wipe the look off our faces and congratulate him as Tornado S points at his penis and puddle, smiling.  Tornado E is a different story.

Tornado E was swimming with his Papi.  He was playing in the spa as my dad was playing on the steps with Tornado S. Tornado S had just done his miraculous getting-out-to-pee trick, and my dad praised him a great deal.  Then Tornado E pops out, “Look! Papi!  I’m peeing!  I’m peeing!”  Sure enough, he was a little fountain.  Like the good Papi he is, my dad jokingly yelled for Tornado E to stay away as Tornado E tried to climb into the pool with his Papi and brother.  Another proud moment for the potty training memories.

Finally there are the bowel movements.  Tornado E goes into a panic if he doesn’t have a diaper on, and we can’t convince him to try to go in the potty.  He now lets me know, goes off somewhere, and is just starting to let me know when he needs to be wiped up.  My brothers and I watched him as he went into his toy area and did a semi-squat.  We all wore the “What the hell?” look again.  The other day Tornado E had diarrhea, and he let me know each of the times he needed a diaper.  As I was on the phone with my mom (and she was “telling” me how I should encourage the potty use for bowel movements, yet again), I mentioned Tornado E had diarrhea.  Well, that did it.  It is now his favorite word.  Awesome.    Instead of saying “I need to go poop, Mommy,” it’s “Mommy, I need to go diarrhea,” with that impish grin.  He’s such a boy!  He’s ahead of the curve; I’m just waiting until he starts singing it.

So hopefully if you read this, had a good laugh and remembered or realized we’re all in the trenches together.  And if you’re like the moms who think their just-turned-two year old will be potty trained in a month or so, good luck.  The rest of us will laugh because we thought that too.

The museum and “Goddamn”

Ah, a week day off for my husband.  So what should we do?  Save money and go somewhere that we already have an annul pass. So Evan, where do you want to go?  The zoo or the museum?  As Evan did a pile drive into his father, who was trying to sleep in (ha!), Evan shouted “I want to see the dinosaurs!”  Well, that settled that question.  So it was time to chase down kids to get them dressed.  Evan chose a dinosaur shirt for the occasion, which shocked me.  After growing up with brothers (one who is metro-sexual and one who just wants a clean shirt that’ll match his eyes {they both like impressing the opposite sex}), it surprised me to hear a boy put an actual thought into a theme for the day.  But what the hell?

As I pushed everyone out the door so that we could get the most time in, I turn to my husband to remind him if had bought the parking pass with the annual pass we wouldn’t have to bring change.  His response was that we would never go then.  And we can always park across the street at the mall and walk over.  Right, carrying a 16 month old who weighs the amount of an 18 month old and a diaper bag?  Right.  I don’t think so.  We’ll just pay the three bucks.

Of course as soon as we got there, Sean was asleep and was dead weight to carry.  As soon as I could, I transfered his weight to my husband and took Evan into the wind tunnel to show support of the weather reporters braving Gustav.  Then we stared at the water vortex for a while because Evan is obsessed with it.  I don’t know if it’s because it’s neat to watch or because the word is neat to say. 

Then it was a whirlwind of activity through the museum as Tornado Evan and Sean went looking for excitement in completely opposite directions.  While Sean stubbornly had to go down the tiny slide head first no matter how I turned him, Evan learned about gravity by rolling a ball down the funnel until a dozen tries later my husband got Evan to roll the ball around the funnel.  (As you noticed, I have no idea what the experiment is called because I’m usually trying to keep the boys from throwing hard little balls at people.)  Evan built a wall, and Sean pushed buttons on the Buzz Aldrin exhibit.  I did learn Buzz Aldrin got his name from his little sis who said “buzzer” instead of “brother.”  As I was ready to sit down after following Sean around the building four times, I mentioned dinosaurs to Evan as we passed by.

To the bottom floor and outside, refusing the story time because we have better things to do, we explored the inside of a brachiosaurus, learning all about it’s digestive system.  In other words, Evan wanted to see the dinosaur poop.  Yup, the most important thing in that museum is a plastic pile of dinosaur dung that is perfectly under the dinosaur who has a tube coming out its rectum with black balls falling into the pile, which is cleverly shaped like a bench.  Lovely!  At least, the boys worked together to do the giant dinosaur bone puzzle before climbing over the dung.  Evan kept yelling for his parents to sit on the poop.  “Mommy, mommy.  Over here!  Sit on the dinosaur poop, Mommy!”  Sean was content to put the puzzle pieces back into the box with a clatter.

Then there’s the cave.  Inside the cave is a projection of a t-rex or a raptor (I don’t know which), who roars and walks by.  It’s great fun to watch people walk in for the first time because they always jump a foot off the ground at that first roar.  Evan has a love-hate relationship with the cave.  He has to go in there, but he is more frighten every time.  Watching Sean brave the cave first, Evan went and stayed behind his baby brother.  When the dinosaur roared, I roared back, and Sean laughed as Evan backed away to the edge of the cave.  As a new family came in to investigate, Evan hung right behind the parents, staying just behind them.  It was hilarious as my husband tried to get Evan to come out of the cave.

Yesterday marked the first time Evan peed in a public potty.  He tinkled, but I was excited.  I showed him I could pee too, and Evan insisted on holding my leg so I didn’t fall in.  So we left, only to find Evan still had to go pee and choose to do it in his car seat.  Great.  Now I have to wach the damn thing.

As we pulled into a parking lot of a nice strip mall, Evan suggested we “go over there because they serve pizza.  Do you like pizza, Daddy?  Evan does!”  We were actually going to the pizza parlor.  “After the pizza store, we can go to the party store.  After the party store, we can go to the book store.”  My husband looked at me, and I smiled.  “I think we’ll do just the pizza today,” my husband said. 

Another quick note: Evan said “goddamn! that was really funny!” the other day while we had company over.  It was clear as a bell.  We all just sat quiet and watched him.  He wasn’t even talking to us; he was talking to his fork as the grownups discussed McCain and Palin.  So I igrnored it, praying he won’t say it again.  Or at least until I can wash his mouth out with soap and have him understand what THAT punishment meant.  And if God is good, Evan will forget the phrase before my parents come because they will know I said it.  But God has a sense of humor, so I’m sure Evan’ll say it some time.  Probably in front of one of MY grandmas.  Then I’m really in trouble.