TP ain't for babies

In light of my recent Bag Lady Manifesto, tonight I'm livin' la vida Cinco. Now would be a good time to look away if you're not in a space where you can read about kids without wanting to poke out your eyeballs. Tune in tomorrow, where I plan to discuss Infertile Public Enemy #1 – Aunt Flow aka the hag/time of the month/monthly/or whatever other absolutely inane synonyms which indicate menorrhea (that word always half-gagged me out; it just sounds weird). Specifically, I'd like to discuss our attitudes towards AF and whether they have changed over time, given the circumstance of infertility. But that's on the agenda for tomorrow…I digress.

I'm cheating and swiping something from my old blog (which only about 13.5 people read on a regular basis). I'm warming up to writing here; I cannot even begin to describe the freakout my internal dialogue is screaming. At any rate, I think I can handle a copy/paste, so I'm cheating a bit. This is one of my favorite pieces of writing that I've ever done on any topic, and surely one of the favorites that I've written here and there about my kids. I wrote this about Jordan in late 2006, but it is relevant (hauntingly so) to current life en la Casa del Smart One:

Shit Happens – November 2006

Name: Jordan Malik Vincent
DOB: May 22, 2003
Age: 3 years, 6 months, 20 days
Height: 3′4″
Weight: 37 lbs
Offense: assault with a deadly diaper

Jordan - age 3

In other words, this genteel, pointy-eared, gnome-looking child of
mine has had his father and me in complete and utter potty-training
hell. We’ve tried every trick in the book: standing back and waiting
until he showed signs of readiness (which never came), giving
firm, but gentle pressure, and much later, firm, but even more firm
pressure. We tried potty training books, videos, award charts, and toys.

When Kaelyn was born, Frank and I bought gifts for the older three
kids which we said were from the baby. In the hospital, the kids
happily ripped the paper from their presents. Kyra gushed over her new
princess dress-up costume. Jaiden couldn’t wait to get home to watch
his new movie. And Jordan – he shouted with glee when the unwrapped
corner of his present revealed a new Elmo toy, but he immediately
retreated into a melodramatic, dour pout, complete with severely
furrowed eyebrows and puckered, protruding lips once he realized that
Elmo was *gasp* using the potty. Potty Time ElmoI’m sure he was thinking to himself, ”Elmo, you damned traitor!”

 He took one look at that Elmo-with-the-big-monster-underwear and toilet (with REAL flushing sounds!),
almost casually cast it aside, then not-so casually cast Frank and me
the evil eye, as if we should have been burned alive at the stake or
taken to the guillotine for having dared to grace his anti-toilet
presence with a frivolity so insulting as a dumping Muppet.  As if. My soft-hearted munchkin had suddenly transformed into a glowering troll.

Until recently, he couldn’t even be bothered with taking off his own
clothes. Any act of self-undressing put him dangerously too close to
the “next they’ll make me go sit on the potty” possibility. Any
suggestion that he should remove his clothing, even if it was just to
take a bath with the twins (his favorite part of the day) resulted in
another Jekyll and Hyde metamorphosis. Frank and I finally refused to
take his clothes off for him, hence, no bath. Three days of stinky feet
(which he abhors) and no bubbly fun quickly cured him of that problem.

Still, Frank and I had to endure Jordan’s seething hatred for all
other things related to putting his butt on the
crapper. He never fussed, whined, cried, or got insolently
disrespectful (he knows far better than to act out or use forbidden
tones of voice). But his sudden change in demeanor was enough to make
Frank and I begin to doubt our child-rearing skills (”We can’t get the
kid to use the toilet, how in the hell are we going to get him to graduate college?”).

Finally, blessedly, after many months of parental consternation and
defeat, the tides are beginning to turn. Jordan has peed in the potty
at least once every day the past week (only after we tell him to go sit on
the toilet), and while he has had several accidents, he has even gone
for hours at a time in big boy underwear. And he has done
this all without making us ponder the possibility that he was headed
for homicidal dissociative personality disorder. Gone is the fearsome
troll and returned is my magically-delicious leprechaun. Good heavens –
maybe we didn’t screw him up after all.

This morning I received a call from Frank while I was in the middle
of class. He put Jordan on the phone and in the background I heard him
say, “Tell Mommy what you just did.”  With an overload of pride, Jordan
gleefully exclaimed, “I pooped on the potty!” Right there in class,
amid the watchful eyes of 27 8th graders, I jumped around like a
blooming idiot and squealed to Jordan how happy I was that he had
actually pooped on the potty (which of course sent my kids into peals
of laughter).

Frank went on to tell me the story of how Jordan had a pee accident. He cleaned him up and gave Jordan a new pair of
underwear. Jordan stopped just short of putting his left foot in his
new Spiderman undies (I call them “tighty-Spideys”) when he said, “I
have to go poop.” He walked to the bathroom, took his seat on the
mighty throne of bodily expulsion, and dropped one hefty turd. It was
green (what the heck did he eat yesterday?). It was solid. It was
slightly curved. I cried tears of toilet-related happiness. Thanks to
Frank’s descriptions, I felt like I was there.

Shit happens. Sometimes it’s good shit. I’m so happy that Jordan finally seems to be getting his together.


That was then. This is now:

The score – Kaelyn: 34,589 (by default of ridiculous cuteness)  The Parentals: -3 (by default of being little finger-wrapped)

19 thoughts on “TP ain't for babies”

  1. he is quite a cutie in that picture. what a moment for your students too!
    sometimes I don’t wanna wear big girl underwear either. gotta go commando with kaelyn.

  2. Heeheehee. I am imagining you jumping around in front of your classroom and it is a priceless image.
    An Irish blessing:
    May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind always be at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face,
    and rains fall soft upon your fields.
    May there be much pooping in the potty
    and no pee in the pants.
    And until we meet again,
    May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

  3. Too cute. Yep, had one of them too. I could have handed him the keys to Toys R Us and he wouldn’t have peed on the potty. He finally did come around at 3yrs and 8 months! ugh! iclw

  4. How cute is she!!!! I just want to pick her up and say it’s OK sweetie you don’t have to go potty as long as you stay that little and that cute.
    As for my first day of school it went great for the boys….for me too until the end of the day….when a parent lost her mind….so three of us will be giving statements to the police this morning….I would blog about it but my blog is public and it’s a whole confidentiality issue…UGGGGHHH. Some people should need a license to have children!

  5. Yes for pooping on the potty!!! When I feel constipated these days even I want to scream I went pooty on the potty – YAY! But that might get me locked away for a very long time I realize 🙂 Hope you and the fam are doing well!

  6. ICLW
    What a great story. We do silly stuff when our kids are involved. But toilet training sucess should be shouted from the roof tops imho!

  7. So cute! I love the picture of your little man….he’s adorable.
    And I can totally relate, who wants to be a big girl?

  8. Hey. Thanks for stopping by my blog from time to time. You always seem to make me feel better.
    I had only ever been to the blog you link to, but found this blog from the Bridges post regarding surrogacy. Amazing!

  9. Another child, another strategy.
    Perhaps she’ll just figure it put like Jordan previously? And then you get to dance in front of the class again. 🙂

  10. I am so glad I found your blog. You’re such a fantastic writer and have such an amazingly diverse story to tell. I believe I am developing a bit of an online hetero crush on you. And I just want to eat your entire family (even if they are poop filled)!

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