Monthly Archives: January 2013

My Personal Book Review

My entourage of children and I visit our local library on a regular basis.  We spend our time in the very nice, spacious children’s and juvenile’s section, where I believe we have checked out most of the books already.

During last week’s trip, my 11-year old decided he wanted books about ghost towns.  The kind attendant wrote some numbers down for him and told him he would have to go upstairs to the adult section.  This was VERY exciting for him, as he had never been there before!  So we all trekked up the stairs to the exciting new world of smaller print and picture-less pages.  We found our ghost town books and proceeded to make our way back out.  Before we made it downstairs, I noticed a little display.  There were some books about homemaking, organization and the like.  One caught my eye, so I picked it up.  It was next to the “Have a New Husband by Friday” book, which I was VERY tempted to also get, but I didn’t want hubby getting worried.  As a side note, I highly recommend the author’s other book, “Have a New Kid by Friday.”

We checked out and went back home.

Two days later we found a few books that had not made it back to the library from before and were now past due.  So I collected them, along with my personal selection, and went by the library to return them.

My 11-year old picked up the book I was returning and read the cover: “Organize Your Day…” He flipped it over in his hands a few times before asking, “What is this book about?”

“Oh, it’s about time management skills.  How to organize your day better so you have more time.”

“Why are you taking it back already?  Did you finish reading it?”

“No… I just don’t want it.”

“Why?” he pressed.

“I don’t have time to read it,” I sighed.  I mean, what was I thinking?  If I can’t manage my time, how am I going to find enough unmanaged time to read a big book about it?  Just in the first few pages it wanted me to make check-lists and take notes and time this and that, and all kinds of nonsense!  I dropped it in the return box convinced that such books are either

a) given as gifts by bosses to their assistants, or

b) written for people who already possess these types of talents and use the books as coffee table literature to impress (or intimidate) the rest of us.

The Girl Scout and the…

It was noon on Saturday when the doorbell rang.   The house was silent for a brief moment before a bunch of little faces ran to all the front-facing windows.  My kids know Mommy has problems and doesn’t open the door unless we are expecting someone.  So they do the most embarrassing thing and just stare at the poor person while I tell them in the loudest whisper to get away from the door.  It’s awful.  The person always knows we are home.  Sometimes they knock or ring twice, probably assuming I have to wade through children before I can answer.

Anyway, back to today.  Door rang.   I looked out the peephole and saw a little girl about 7 or 8.  How much could she want?  So I answered – to the shock of my kids.

“Do you want to buy some Girl Scout cookies?”  she asked politely.

“Sure!”  I mean, who doesn’t?  I took her sheet from her and began looking over all the cookies, even though I used to sell them myself as a kid and therefore already know what I want.

“Have you tried these Dulce de Leche kind?” I asked.  She shook her head.  She said she liked the Samoas.  I looked some more, contemplating over Thin Mints, peanut butter patties and some new kind…

My daughter, who had been originally spying on the girl from the window before I answered the door, came forward and began talking to her.  She is the chattiest person alive.

“We have a cat named Tiger,” she said.  I didn’t hear the girl respond.  “Tiger is a boy and he likes to meow like this.”  She got on all fours and began meowing.  The girl began to giggle.  I assumed she was giggling at my daughter.  I think my daughter assumed the same, as she continued telling more stories and imitating our cat.  The girl giggled a bit more as I continued to stare at the paper.

Then I became aware of my newly potty-trained  3-year old standing behind us.  I turned and looked and saw that he was standing there, sans underwear.  I forgot that he had been upstairs using his potty!

“Oh my gosh!” I exclaimed.  “I am so sorry!  He is just learning how to use the potty…” I grabbed the 3-year old and told him to go upstairs.  He wouldn’t.  Instead, he jumped up and down and giggled.  So I closed the door with only my body wedged between it and quickly filled out the rest of the form.  He opened the door and smiled at the girl.  “I’m so sorry!”  I said again.  I handed her back the form.

“Thank you,” she said sweetly.

As I was closing the door, I heard a woman’s voice thank me also.  I wonder where she had been hiding!



The Best First-Pee-in-the-Potty Reward Ever

My 3 year old, or rather, my 3.5 year old, was still in diapers this morning when I got him out of bed.  And like most mornings and naps lately, I pulled him out soaking wet, took him to the bath, and washed all this bedding and clothes.

I decided I was done with that!

I have potty-trained three kids now, and my method is kind of like the throw-your-kid-in-the-pool/sink or swim method.  At about 3.5, I put the boys in underwear and let them go.  Pull-ups are a waste of money and really nothing more than diapers that come off with WAY more difficulty, spilling their contents on the floor.  Yes, they peed themselves a few times and screamed about it.  But after a day or two, they were 100% potty-trained.  No accidents.  TRAINED.  My daughter was 2 days shy of her third birthday when she announced she wanted to wear her princess panties I had bought and slipped into her drawer.  And that was it for her.  She was trained!

I must say, however, with this most recent child of mine, I was a little worried.  He has to be, hands down, the most stubborn kid I have.  It never seemed to phase him that he woke up soaked in his own smelly urine.  When I cleaned him up and put on the undies, I must have asked him every five minutes if he had to pee.  Every time, “nope!”  I put him on the toilet a few times and nothing.

Then I was in the shower and he was playing with my iPad.  I called out, “Do you have to pee?”

“I already did!”  he said, without a care in the world.


“Right here.”  And he spread his legs a little when I opened the shower door and peered into the bedroom.  He was STANDING IN IT!  Still playing like nothing.  GRRR!  So I dried off, threw him in, then made him clean up the mess on the carpet, sprayed it down with pet odor eliminator, and put new undies on him.

After an hour or so later, some toilet-sitting time, and 50 more “do you have to pee?” questions, I was in the homeschool room with the other kids and the 3 year old was playing with trucks on the stairs.

“Do you have to pee?”  I asked for the 51st time.

“Yes,” he said casually.  I was so excited!  I jumped up and told him let’s go to the bathroom.  He looked at me and replied, “I already did go.”  Sure enough, he was now SITTING IN HIS PEE like no big deal.

Again with the tub, him cleaning up his mess (which he LIKED, by the way!), and new undies.

Soon it was time for us to meet up with some other homeschoolers at the McDonald’s.  I packed the container of cleaning wipes, two pairs of pants, extra socks, two undies, baggies and Zip-locks and a few wash clothes, and got everyone loaded up.

I asked him 20 times on the way there and another 20 after we got there.  I took him in with his sister to sit on the potty.  Nothing.

After awhile, he came up to me and said, calmly, of course, “I peed.”  I had warned the other mommies this might be the scenario, so I politely excused myself, took my bag of goodies to the scene of the accident, and wiped up.  Then I took him to the bathroom and cleaned him up and changed him.

We left soon after.  He had not yet done number 2 for the day, and I don’t  think I could have handled that in a public place.

When we got home, I changed him into a diaper for nap time and he slept for a few hours, happily peeing away until he woke up SOAKED through again.  More cleaning, more undies, more questions and toilet time.  Then dinner.

Then it occurred to me that he might be afraid of the Big Bad Toilet, so I retrieved the never-been-used training potty from the garage, scoured it, and set it upstairs.

He was DELIGHTED.   He sat there and peed in the potty.  He peed several times, actually, because he sat there so long.

And even more proud of him than his mother?  His big sister, of course!

She offered him the best thing she could think of.  “I have a present for you because you peed in the potty!”  she exclaimed.  “You get to sit in the front of the bathtub tonight!”  And to both of them, that was a very big deal.