In search of marital equality

I blame it on my math minor.  But the fact is, in my day job, I’m a person that lives by numbers, formulas, and stone cold logic.

I like it when things add up.  Life makes sense that way.

When I come home, though?  Sometimes, that’s a different story altogether.  As much as I love my husband, I have to confess:  my marriage sometimes contains inequalities that just do not make sense to me.

To illustrate my point, let’s start with an equation that does balance, shall we?

In and of itself, this isn’t a biggie.  I get it.  Let’s be honest, here.  Taco Bell does a number on me, too.

So, it’s no wonder that this would be the next logical step in the sequence:

Again, I get this.  It’s all crystal clear up to this point.

But here’s where things don’t add up:

I swear, I am not exaggerating.  It’s got to be at least three rolls, if not more.  Really, I have a hard time understanding how one person can kill so many trees in one sitting.

And, naturally, that means this is also true:

But the greatest inequity of all might be this:

I’ll give you one guess how I feel about that:

Suffice to say, after almost 13 years of marriage, there are certain equations that just don’t add up for me.

All I can admit is, it’s a really good thing this is true:

Note: I had full permission from my husband to publish this post.  What can I say.  We love potty humor in our house.

Potty training, Volume 2: It helps if you take your pants off.

I’ve always heard boys were more difficult to potty train.

So, given that it took more than a year and a half to successfully potty train our daughter, I was prepared to settle in for the long haul.  Some quick calculations told me that, if we got started immediately, he’d be potty trained by the age of 5.

Maybe I shouldn’t have worried.

Because, at 22 months, Chip is officially obsessed with the potty.

And it came about all on his own.  Kind of.

Let me set the scene first.

A few months ago, we hauled out the ol’ potty chair we used with Bobo and brought it downstairs.  Just in case.  But, other than trying to pour Cocoa Puffs in it (he thought it was a big bowl at first), Chip’s never been interested in it… so we’ve never really pressed the issue. (If you remember from Volume 1, I’m exceptionally lazy when it comes to potty training.)

The other day, I was trying to get lunch fixed, when I heard a mysterious clattering coming from the bathroom.  I ventured into the bathroom and saw Chip, trying to take the bowl part out of the seat and lug it back into the kitchen.  Apparently, he thought it would be great fun to play with.  Either that, or he just felt like having a bowl of Cocoa Puffs.

I shrieked, “Ew, yuck!  We don’t play with that!  It’s a potty!  That’s where poop goes!  Poop, you hear me!  Put it down!  Now!  Yuck!”  Or something like that.

I might have overreacted just a bit.

But apparently my protests sunk in.  Because, as I watched my son, I could see the wheels start to turn as if he were thinking, “So that’s what that thing is used for!”

He looked up at me and asked very simply, “Momma, I go potty?”

We flew into action.  I may be lazy when it comes to potty training, but I know a golden opportunity when I see it.  Jay helped me wrestle off his shoes, pants and diaper.

And it was then that we saw we were too late.  The goose had already laid the egg.  And, boy, was it golden.

Jay set Chip down on the potty while I ran to get the wipes and another diaper.  When I came back he whispered, “Do you think we should put the poo in there so he knows where it should go?”

It seemed like a good idea at the time.  So I carefully deposited the little egg into the bowl.

And then we stood Chip up so he could see it.   We did the happy dance, clapped, shouted hoorays, and basically made a big hoopla like the kid had just invented Post-Its.  And then we continued the parade into the kitchen, where Chip was rewarded with two little M&M’s.

As I watched my son eat the emmies, I thought smugly to myself, “This is gonna be a snap.”

My smugness continued the next day, when he announced out of the blue, “I go potty now.”  Delighted, we scrambled into the bathroom, prepared to answer nature’s call.

The only problem?  He refused to let me take off his pants.  He whined.  Then screamed.  Then flat out gripped his pants so that I couldn’t take them off.

Finally, I caved.  I unceremoniously plopped him down on the little throne, pants on.  Where he smiled happily while proceeding to squeeze off a big grumpy.

And that smugness I mentioned earlier?  Was wiped clean off my face.

As I sat on the floor, watching him while he finished his business, I swear I saw a little twinkle in his eye.  He said not a word.  But I’m pretty sure I know what was going through his little head:

“I can’t believe she just tried to take off my pants.  Whatever!

Last time I didn’t, and the poo ended up magically in the big white bowl.  Potty training rocks!

And the best part?  And after I’m done, I know I can wrangle a couple of pieces of candy out of the deal.  Booyah!

Maybe if I look cute and give her my puppy dog eyes, I can get a handful of emmies.  Sucker!

Man, this is taking awhile.  I wonder if she could bring me the sports section while I’m sitting here?”

He didn’t say it.  But I know he was thinking it.

Clearly, I’m going to have to come up with a different strategy.  Because, so far, Potty Training Volume 2  has seriously backfired.  Pun intended.

Potty training, Volume 1: Who wants a cowpie?

We have a rather interesting potty training strategy around here.

Let me rephrase that.

We’re pretty lazy when it comes to potty training.  Our strategy is, in fact, pretty much non-existent.

Mainly because I have a serious aversion to cleaning accidents up off the floor.  So while the idea of letting my child run around naked for days at a time sounds tempting to try (and I’ve heard it works wonders with other people’s kids), I just can’t bring myself to do it.

Personally, I’d prefer to just kill a tree and throw another Huggies in the diaper champ.

I know.  That’s so not green.  But sometimes the stuff that comes out of my children is green.  Which is another reason why the thought of scraping it off the floor doesn’t sit well with me.

That lovely context behind us, I’m happy to say that, by about age three, Bobo was more or less going on the big girl on a consistent basis.  But it didn’t come without some outside assistance.

Truth be told, our potty training salvation was delivered to us one day in an unlikely form.


Meet Bessie.  Our salvation.

She’s a rather ingenious contraption, really.  You fill the cow with candy (we used M&M’s), push on its butt, and… Voila!  Out pops an emmie.

And, for those who are curious, there are two ways to fill the cow.  You can either twist the head off and pour in the candy, or you can carefully insert them one by one through the other end.  It goes without saying that I chose the bovine enema method, which made me giggle each time I had to fill her up.

Coincidentally, Bobo also thought it was great fun to make Bessie poop.

So we started offering a little treat each time she used the potty.  Our reward system was carefully calculated:

  • If you go #1, you’d get one M&M turd.
  • For a #2, the cow would squeeze out two little nuggets.
  • For a combined #1 and #2, you’d get 3 candies.  Or the equivalent of a whole cowpie.

And it worked.

Suffice to say, she ate a lot of emmies between the ages of 1 and 3.  But it worked.

Granted, it took about 549 days for it to actually “take” when it came to potty training our daughter.  But it worked.

For some strange reason, though, I’ve never been able to look at an M&M in the same light since then.  I guess it’s a good thing I never really liked chocolate in the first place.

To be continued in Volume 2…

Her nose knows

My daughter has an innate sense of smell.

“Ew, what is that smell?” she demanded when she walked into the kitchen the other day.

“It’s sausage stromboli,” I said, proud of myself for making something for dinner that didn’t come out of a box.  “It’s going to be so yummy!”

“Well, it smells like zebra poop,” she said, matter of factly.  How she knows what zebra poop smells like, I have no idea.  But in all fairness, I did sneak some broccoli into the stromboli, and it did smell a little less than savory.  Certainly not like zebra poop, mind you.  But a little wonky nonetheless.

She can also smell human poo from a mile away.  “Mom, Chippy’s diaper smells like poop,” she wailed at me another time.

I bent over to give my son the sniff test.  Sure enough, Chip’s diaper bulged wonkily.  And there was definitely something festering in there.  “You’re right.  Thanks for telling me, bud.”

“Thought so,” she said, with an air of satisfaction.  “I told dad, but he couldn’t smell anything, and told me to see if you could.”

(In our house, this last scenario actually happens more than I’d care to admit.)

With this refined sense of smell, it does baffle me sometimes as to the things she doesn’t smell.

Case in point: the other night, I walked into the room where Bobo and my better half were lying on the bed playing a game.  Something smelled positively wonky.  My eyes immediately began to water.  I have no idea how my daughter could stand it in there.

“Um, who tooted in here?” I inquired casually.  Of course, I already knew the answer.

“That would be dad,” Bobo answered back, not even bothering to look up from her game.

Jay giggled silently, and then, in typical dad fashion, tried to point the finger the other way.  “Really?” he said, feigning innocence.  “Are you sure it wasn’t momma?”

“Mom doesn’t make that smell, dad,” she answered indignantly.  “Momma always smells pretty.”

As I exited the room, still laughing, the stench trailed after me down the hall.

And then I figured it out.  It’s clearly not that my daughter can’t smell farts.  It’s just that when it comes to certain smells, her olfactory sense just doesn’t recognize them any more.  Like dad’s flatulence.  Apparently, it’s so rampant in our house, it’s made her poor little nose a little wonky. 

I take comfort in the fact that she can still clearly smell my farts.  Because, smart little cookie that she is, she recognizes that mine always smell like roses.

If you don’t believe me, just ask my daughter.  Her nose does not lie.

Side note: Sadly, I have to ‘fess up.  While my daughter believes I always smell like roses, I know better.  If you read yesterday’s post, you may or may not be surprised to hear that #6 did indeed happen.  As did all of them… except #3.  I never ran with the bulls in Pamplona.  But I have stepped in plenty of poop.  And that’s the honest truth.

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The WoW is “wonky”

Poop, food, and a surprise nugget

It was so cathartic doing Friday Flip-Offs last week that I’m back for more.  This time, I’m keeping it short and sweet… and throwing in a little surprise at the end.  Here goes:

To the Diaper Genie in Chip’s room.  Flip off.  You clearly do not work in containing the stench, as it smells like something died in there.  If I could make one wish, Genie, it would be that you would actually do your job.

To Booyah.  I won’t flip you off, because I love you.  But smearing poo across the bathroom floor is simply unacceptable.  If you have a dingleberry, come see me, and I will help you take care of it.  In the meantime, flip off, poo smears.

And finally, to blog posts with pictures in it like this… flip off.

Let it be noted, my finger is not aimed towards the blog or the blogger, but towards these posts and photos that keep popping up in my Google reader late at night.

Because these pictures are evil.  I don’t even like chocolate that much, but I was still licking my computer screen.  I cannot tell you how many times I have been driven to late night snacking because this particular blogger wrote a food post that made me positively salivate.  Her posts have sent me downstairs to reheat the Mac ‘n Cheese I served my own kids for dinner… many a time.

With that, I’m giving Gigi at Klugy Mom an award of my own… the first ever Deliciously Evil Award.

There are no stipulations or rules with this award.  It has the cash equivalent of one meeelioon dollars.  And it comes with just one feeble request.

Pretty please, with organic whipped cream on top, could you please do a food post on carrot sticks and celery?  My butt would sure thank you for it.