Stories from March 2011

Adventures in Poop

Lisa Douglas

In all the preparation you go through when becoming a mother, no one bothers to tell you how you’ll be up to your elbows in poop, especially when potty-training. You think dirty diapers are a lot to handle? Just wait until your daughter begins to show signs of interest for her eleventy-kajillion-dollar Princess Potty, but for whatever reason can’t master it without being bare-bottomed.

A diaper-less, potty-training toddler let loose in the house? Surely there are worse forms of torture out there.

First of all, why the heck is something you pee and take a crap in so expensive, anyway? So what, it makes a magical fairy-dust, sparkly sound when you “flush” - is that two-bit musical piece, decorated in princessesque decals and painted pink worth the price of a month’s paycheck just to get her interested?

Apparently so.

And we,desperate-to-get-away-from-changing-poopie-diaper parents are willing to spend that much.

Those toddler toilets don’t even clean themselves, you know. You have to take it eleven-kinds of apart just to get to the dreaded poop and pee “collector” to dump its contents in the toilet then wash it out, all while trying to keep from gagging. (Read more…)

Who Wears the Pants?

Becca Sanders

Our toddler daughter, F., is typical in nearly every way. She has no language delay (in fact, she is probably ahead of the curve), she can run like a gazelle and climb like a monkey. She is toilet-trained (though she wears a pull-up at night), she can dress herself with little assistance, and she even likes to help around the house. Sounds like a perfect kid, right? But no.

Lately I have become aware of a major flaw in her character, one that may bode ill for her future, one that – as she enters the territory of “terrible three’s”, which I have heard far outstrip the challenges of the “two’s” – is only too apparent.

She is completely illogical.

This becomes only too clear during times of transition such as changing from sleep attire to day wear. She is resistant beyond the bounds of reason. “I don’t want to wear pants!” she says, flinging herself onto the floor and shrieking as if we have just told her Big Ben, our dog, has spontaneously burst into flame and is no more.

“You cannot run around the house without pants. You’ll get cold,” I tell her, knowing that my argument is sound and irrefutable. Yet she refutes it.

“No! I won’t!”

“Yes. You will.”

“No, I won’t. I won’t get cold!”

I study her face, squinched up and tear-coursed. I imagine an adult taking the same tack, and an entire scene plays out in my mind: the CEO of my company, racing down the hallway in shirt, tie, and skivvies, followed by his faithful assistant brandishing a pair of seasonless wool slacks. “I’m not cold! I’m not!” my boss says, ducking into the board room and diving beneath a table. “Leave me alone!”

“If you want your Starbucks,” the assistant says, “you need to come out of there and put on your pants.”

“We have Starbucks?” the CEO says, peeking out from beneath a chair.

“Yes, and real half-and-half. From a carton.” (Read more…)

Racking Up Pediatrician Points

Sarah Logan

I think my pediatrician should offer some sort of reward program, like airline miles or credit card points.  I have called and visited so many times in the past six months that the receptionist recognizes my voice.  In all seriousness, the last time I called she just asked, “Is this for Princess or Caveman” before I even told her who I was.  I figure there should be some extra benefit to me from this relationship, since I am usually the one taking the kids to the pediatrician.

Here’s how it would work:  a regular checkup is worth one point.  Two points for a minor illness, and three points for self-inflicted injuries.  Phone calls with wait times over 15 minutes start accruing one point for every additional minute you are on hold, with 100 bonus points if a child is crying while you are on hold.  This includes the nurse advice line.  Double points for annoying muzak, and triple points every time a recording assures you that your call is important, but they are experiencing an “unusual volume of calls, so wait time is longer than expected.”  I mean, seriously, have you EVER called an advice nurse when they were NOT experiencing an unusual volume of calls?  You get quadruple points if you have to take your child to the pediatrician for the same ailment multiple times.

I figure that under this system, I’d have roughly 4.5 billion points by now.  If I could redeem those for babysitting hours, spa days, wine, and chocolate, I’d be one happy mama.  Just imagine the mom’s night out you could have if you and all your mom friends redeemed their pediatrician points at once!

Why am I spending so much time at the pediatrician when I have two basically healthy children?  This winter it was the cold that wouldn’t end.  Now, I know there is nothing a doctor can do for a cold. (Read more…)

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This Weeks Tip

You would think at our age that we wouldn’t have to worry about these things. But, as Kate will attest, even at *ahem* 27, untimely breakouts can (and will) happen. What to do? Apply an ice cube for 30 second. Then soak a cotton ball in eye drops and press it to the “spot” for 3 minutes. The theory is that the ice and drop combination will cause blood vessels below the surface to contract—leaving you looking, well, a little less like Rudolph.