Jun 27, 2004

Adventures in potty training...part 2

6/27/2004 — cori

Okay, just when you think it couldn't get any worse (remember the library?), it does....but isn't that always the way? I don't know when I became such an optimistic person, no doubt it's Chuck's influence in my life, but I feel Bennett doesn't always need his pull-up, even when we are out of the house. How many times does he have to have an 'accident' before I loose my optimism and go back to the realism camp?! This story starts off as any other normal day. We decided to go to a fourth of July gathering at a local park. We didn't know it would be an event that thousands upon thousands of people would be attending. (that was due to our lack of preparation and event planning....but that's a whole other story). We thought to ourselves "how fun, we could take the kids to this park, let them play in the water park, on the playground, maybe jump in a few of the bounce houses they set up especially for the event". We get to our destination only to find out we can't park there unless we have a permit but we are told we could go park at a remote location and a school bus would drop us off there for free. That should have been the first clue...this was a big event and it probably wasn't free - but did we ask? No, we did not. So, like obedient little puppies, we follow all the other cars to the remote parking location and run as fast as we can with three kids in tow to the bus. Our second mistake was that we decided we didn't need the stroller; that I could hold Chloe the whole time. Again, I don't know what or if I was thinking. Chuck even questioned the sanity of it, but we had to make a game time decision since the bus was about to leave, so we opted for no stroller. And yes, this all leads up to "the big potty training accident".

We finally get dropped off at the park. Chuck has a backpack on with towels, bottles, extra clothes and a wallet with no cash in it. Oh yeah, and he is carrying Bennett (all 35lbs. of him) and I'm carrying Chloe, who for now is asleep. Gavin is run/walking ahead of us and looking at the 20 or so bounce houses set up in the fields way ahead of us. We are now really worried about whether or not this is a free event. Well, of course you can figure out that it wasn't - that we had to purchase tickets and of course they didn't take checks. We've gone to all this trouble to finally get here - we weren't about to turn around and leave. So, Chuck's solution is to walk over to the water park and drop me and the kids off there while he run/walks up to a store, about a mile or two away from where we are, in order to cash a check so our kids can bounce. It would have been a whole lot cheaper and alot less hassle to let them jump on their beds at home - but would that really have been as much fun as these colorful, over stuffed, huge bounce houses? I think not. Oh yeah, did I mention that I forgot my cell phone? That is a key point.

Right before Chuck leaves I ask him to take off Bennett's pull up before he goes running through all that water and it just gets huge on him (yeah right, like it's all about Bennett's comfort). Again, Chuck questions the sanity of my request, but I'm insistent for whatever reason and he's in a hurry to get there and back before it rains again. That's another important factor in the whole day. It has been thunderstorming all day and this just happens to be when there is a break in the clouds. It's still not sunny out, rather gray and dark still, but somewhat dry. Again, I have to question our sanity, we are in the middle of a field with three kids, our car is parked 5 miles away, no stroller, no cell phone, with the threat of a potential thunderstorm looming above us, no umbrella, and I'm fixin to be left alone with three kids while my husband runs 2 miles away just to get $5. Yet, we still are optimistic that this will be a fun time for the family. Whatever!

Chuck is gone and I'm feeding Chloe and trying to keep an eye on the boys and talking with people around me. Suddenly I see Bennett in "the position". You know, kids either stand or squat or hunch just a certain way right before they're fixin to "go". But I think "no, he's not going to do that, he's just looking for brother". I should have run at that very moment and carried him out of the water. But, because we didn't bring the stroller, I had no place to put Chloe down and she was eating and Chuck was gone. Not even 10 seconds go by before I look up again and he is now farther into the middle of the water park and a large brown mass is falling out from his shorts. I can't believe my eyes. Parents are pointing and yelling. Bennett is running towards me. I have to claim this child as mine with all these parents around gasping in disbelief at what they just witnessed. I go over to the lady I was just talking to and say "I know I just met you, but would please hold my daughter while I run out and clean up the mess my son just left in the water?". I grab the diaper rag I was using with Chloe and start to sprint. Bennett comes running towards me crying - I gather him up and set him on the bench I was just seated on and tell him to stay put. Gavin comes running over - I tell him to go stand by Bennett. I run out into the middle of the water and suddenly I can't find "the mass". I start to panic (actually, I started panicking long ago when the mass dropped out - but now I fear that a parent is going to come yell at me cuz their kid stepped in my kid's stuff). A man, God bless his soul - maybe he was even my guardian angel in disguise - came and told me he picked it up and went and threw it in the trash. I can't apologize enough, he says it's no big deal. I want to run and hide at this point, but I have "the pooper" to deal with. Bennett is always so apologetic when an accident occurs, " I sawsaw (sorry) mommy" with sad little eyes - who could be mad at that?

I'm sure someone now has the whole incident recorded on video and we will be banished from ever coming to this park again. Oh how I wished I had my cell phone so I could call Chuck and beg him to run back and rescue me. Well, at least the worst was over. He eventually came back, the kids got to bounce up a storm, it did downpour and in some weird, crazy, demented way, we ended up having a good time.

Lessons learned:
1. ALWAYS put Bennett in a pull-up - from now until he's 10 - wherever we go
2. ALWAYS bring the stroller
3. ALWAYS bring the cell phone
4. Try not to leave the house ever again, unless its on fire.

A quick run to the store....turns into much more

6/27/2004 — cori
Well, I'm sure you can imagine how the rest of my week has gone if it ended up starting the way it did at the library. :) It's always something around here. Today I had all my 'helpers' come to Hobby Lobby with me to help pick out stickers for my scrap books - that was another one of my remarkable ideas.

The saga begins before we even step foot in the door. I decide to put Chloe in one cart and push her and ask Gavin if he could push Bennett in the other cart. Hobby Lobby has very small carts. So small in fact, that Bennett took up the whole inside of one - that is until he tipped out when Gavin tried to start pushing the cart. Thankfully, he didn't fall a long distance and was more startled than anything - but that didn't stop the alligator tears. Then Gavin joined in because he thought he was in trouble. I finally am able to get all the tears dried up and assure everyone that they are still loved and we head inside after already being there for 5 minutes and having yet to enter the store.

Then, I spent more time picking up the stickers they dropped on the floor than finding what I needed. When they weren't 'helping' me, they were dancing in the isle. And you know we weren't the only ones in that isle. Then, as if to appear to others that I have some semblance of control over my children, I ask them to each hold on to one side of the cart (preferably opposite sides). Now we are at least 5 feet wide. The isles are also 5 feet wide. Nobody can get thru the barricade I just made. And of all the times to choose to listen to me, now is the time they choose to. They dare not remove their hand from the cart so that someone can squeeze by us or so we can make it thru a narrow space (like a doorway).

Then at the checkout line Gavin asks (in his always loud voice) a random question, "mom, were you sad when Bennett was born that you didn't get to spend much time with me anymore?" That's a loaded question. There are people around. How am I supposed to answer that? There is a 3 part answer I attempt to give him and then finally it's our turn to check out. :) The lady ahead of me was slightly irritated at us, I could tell. Maybe it was because when I asked the boys to help unload our cart of stuff they were kinda right next to her making her feel a tad bit over-crowded. But they were such sweet helpers. You have to always look at the positive side.

Potty Talk

6/27/2004 — cori

Hmmm, where should I begin, with the poop all over Chloe or the poop all over Bennett? Maybe I should preface this with, I'm attempting to potty-train Bennett right now. We have lots of accidents. So, me in all my wisdom decided to let Bennett wear his big boy pants to the library - mistake number one.

As soon as we get there i smell a poopy - luckily it's only Chloe. So I bring Gavin over to his story time and Bennett, Chloe & I head to the bathrooms. Unbeknownst to me, Chloe's diaper exploded and was up her back. During the time that I'm trying to give Chloe a bath with baby wipes, Bennett decides he needs to go pee. Right about now I'm wishing for two more arms and hands. Like a bad mommy, I leave Chloe unattended (since she can't roll yet) and run over to Bennett to pull down his pants. Problem is the potty is too tall (he likes to stand to pee), so i tell him to drag over the stool (which once placed in front of the potty is like 6 inches too tall). So, he's way taller than the potty on this huge stool, with his pants wrapped around his ankles and my daughter screaming with poop up her back. I start to sweat. I try to remember it's only as bad as I let it be - maybe i should try laughing at it.

I finally get Chloe cleaned and dressed in half an outfit - at least her bow didn't get poop on it and then pull up Bennett's pants and walk out of the bathroom trying to look perfectly normal as if I didn't just go thru a tiny crisis for the past 10 minutes. By this time we're too late for Bennett's story time...so we go over and do puzzles together. Chloe can't sit in her stroller cuz I have like, 50 books inside it, plus she's a tad fussy anyways and wanting to be held. Things are pretty good for about 10 minutes until I smell another poopy. I think to myself if must be one of these other children around us. Why doesn't that mother take care of her child's dirty diaper.

We only have 5 minutes until it's time to pick up Gavin when Bennett tells me he needs to pee. I don't want to discourage the potty training, so we run to the bathroom (my already wet child, my crying baby in my arms with the dirty paci and the stroller filled to the brim with books). We go thru the same song and dance with the stool and potty from earlier only to find out that Bennett doesn't understand the words 'before' as opposed to 'after'. I ask him a million times to tell me when he needs to go pee or poopy BEFORE he has to go. I must be missing a key element in my teaching technique cuz it's not getting thru.

Surprise, we stand on the too tall stool only to see wet big boy pants with a nice 'prize' also in them. Meanwhile, Chloe is still in my arms - screaming now cuz we dropped her paci on the bathroom floor and i have to draw the line somewhere with the 3 second rule - and I'm trying to get this little 'prize' out of Bennett's pants with one hand and some toilet paper. Needless to say it, it falls out, he steps on it and i pick it up off the floor - all the while trying not to sound or appear the slightest bit upset or agitated with Bennett for his 'accident'. In desparation, i'm able to somehow remove his clothing one handed, throw away the big boy pants (i just didn't have the clarity of mind to know what else to do at that moment) and pull up his shorts. He's bewildered that he has no big boy pants and no diaper on. Oh yes, I had to leave my stroller outside the bathroom with my purse and was praying it would still be there - which it was (that was the highlight of the morning). Oh yeah, and all of this happened within only 35 minutes. :) Want to hear the rest of my day?.......

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