I used to get so annoyed when outdoor toys found their way indoors: sand buckets and pool noodles, hula hoops and soccer balls, the tricycle, the scooter. Now, I just take three deep breaths and look away.
I was tired of being ordered to change diapers, and figured that if the kid could ask for a diaper change, he could figure out how to use the potty.
Potty training. Two words that strike fear into the heart of every parent. When my daughter was approaching 3 and still not even remotely interested in toilets or potties, we decided it was time to start.
Day 85 million: The entire house reeks of urine. I believe I will have to send this child to college wearing pull-ups. His thighs should be big enough by then.
At "press time," Gemma is almost 5 years old. I'm writing you this letter because, while I love my daughter with all my heart, and I'm trying really hard to be a great mom, I'm pretty sure I'm doing most things wrong.
You can't always poop where you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find you poop where you need.
I knew that potty training would be difficult but I hadn't expected it to really test me as a parent. My patience was pushed to the edge and after a few meltdowns on both sides, I realized that while Oliver was learning how to use the potty, I was learning things too.
Know what I think? This thing is freaking great. It's a masterpiece. Potty training is hard, with a bowel program or without, and whatever keeps your kid socially continent and potty-trained before they go to kindergarten, I'm all for.
Call me old fashioned. Toilet training is a rite of passage. It is something children need to master before entering school. Toilet training is not an epic drama, a game of thrones for the preschool set, if you will.
Kids aren't buying iPad potty chairs; adults are. This decades-long love-affair with electronic baby-sitters has reached new heights.
I think of myself, how my own spunkiness has been tamed, lessened with politeness and from experience, and I am so glad that the spiritedness has come full circle.
She puts her hand up on the red plastic window. I place mine in the same spot. I mouth the words "I'm sorry." She is Spock and I am Kirk in Wrath of Kahn. She is Bruce Willis and I am Liv Tyler in Armageddon.
I used to feel bad about my parenting whenever I heard a mom talk about how easy potty training was for her and how I should try her magical method that somehow magically did not work on my daughter.
"It makes potty training fun and easy!" How fun and easy does potty training have to be? How distracted do our kids need to be all the time? How distracted do WE need to be all the time?
Of all the parenting activities that have tested my resolve, potty training is at the tippy top of that list. Now that I've survived it once, I realize that it's not the end of the world, it's just a somewhat difficult part of the world that will someday resolve itself.
The average dog is in many ways like a child in the toddler stage. If you're familiar with the time, attention and energy a child between the ages of 12 and 30 months requires, that's about what you should expect to provide for your dog, for all the years of his life.