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Speaking Mommy: Chronicles of a Stay-at-Home Dad

The Potty Experiment (Part Il)

When we last left off, my son and I had reached a new beginning on our quest to conquer potty training.

One day about a month later, there was another turning point moment in what seemed like a never-ending battle of wits. My son had been in underwear that day and doing well for the most part but still too lazy to make the trek to the potty when nature called him to do #2.

His M.O. from what I understand was fairly standard for kids in training. Normally, he would become unusually quiet and then mosey off to an area of the house alone and do his business in whatever he was wearing at the time. Unfortunately a couple of those times he had quickly taken off his pull-up or underwear first because it was "already wet" and then did his business. (Luckily, as I would find out, SHOUT did a pretty good job of getting it out of places even they may not even be aware of.)

This particular day in question was yet another one of those Def Con 3 noise level days and after a series of semi-successful potty hits and misses and near misses, my son, who has been weaning off the pull-up for underwear, once again called out to me - only this time he said "Daddy I need to go potty."

Understand that this particular statement was music to my ears. I knew he was so close to getting it. So I dropped everything (this always seemed to happen when I am cooking dinner) and ran to the potty with my son smiling and laughing along the way. We got to the potty and that is when it happened.

The sky opened up, shining this heavenly light down on us with a beautiful Aria playing in the background. With the biggest smile he could muster he began pooping and then everything seemed to start moving in slow motion. There is just one little problem with this unprecedented moment - he is not sitting down nor is he interested in sitting down; he is still standing at the potty.

At the risk of being too graphic, most of the poop landed on my arm, hand and the side of his leg, foot and step stool. Astonishingly, he had completely missed the potty altogether. All the while, my son is smiling, even laughing, at the mess. Admittedly, my patience level was not where it should have been for such a momentous occasion. I cleaned up the mess and, somewhere along the way, gave my son a "love tap” on his behind to get his full attention, once again explaining to him that making this kind of mess was not acceptable. This was not a banner moment for daddy; I spent much time reflecting on this incident.

With our kids, especially with our son, I have learned over the past three years that certain actions need to be addressed immediately if a pattern begins to emerge. He is a very bright boy who knows right from wrong but at the same time, he is still only 3 years old. Little did I know that this incident would prove to be the final turning point for both of us.

Fast forwarding to brighter days that were right around the corner, I can proudly announce that I have two 100 percent potty trained 3 year olds. Our son has been wearing underwear during the day and a pull-up at night. Recently, he had asked to sleep in big boy underwear as well. At first we reluctantly agreed. He has come through like a champ. Sure, there were still little uh-oh's here and there but we take it in stride. Looking back, if someone would have told me this past Christmas that my son would be sleeping without a pull-up and not only using the potty but also going to the potty on his own by the beginning of March, I would have fallen onto the floor with laughter. But here we are. Our kids continue to amaze us and exhaust us at the same time. It is truly an intoxicating ride, one that I would not trade for anything.

*No child was harmed in the making of this article, however a few pair of underwear were not so lucky*

(Editor's Note: Charlie Powell is currently a contributing columnist for Parents "R" Talking, Inc. The opinions in this article are those of Parents “R” Talking. The opinions are not medical advice. Always consult your pediatrician about any changes you are contemplating.)

Randy Levin May 06, 2011 at 11:11 AM
Ordinary? Tell that to a parent whose child died. Nothing is ordinary. I don't know who I feel worse for. You or your children. To clear something up....I am 52 and a first time father with twin 3 year old girls. I find your generalizations to be offensive. Meanwhile, you know nothing about me. Read my column before you attack me with nonsense. Type in Randy Levin in the search bar. On the other hand, don't bother....you know more than all of us. I can't respond to this type of nonsense anymore. There is an old saying, "Never try and teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of time and only annoys the pig." Congratulations on your Perfect adult children. I can't wait until YOUR kid has a children and your response to, "Dad, he walked for the first time," is "Big deal. Everyone walks."
Randy Levin May 06, 2011 at 12:08 PM
Perhaps you forgot what it was like having toddlers. I believe Charlie's twins are the same age as mine...three years old....I can't speak for him...but they are the center of MY world. If you can't understand that, I'm sorry for you. I can't imagine why you feel the need to attack a interesting article about someone's experience; why you believe your experience somehow trumps his. You also may want to check your spelling before you send it. It's all in fun Ralphy-boy.
Rebecca Kammerer May 06, 2011 at 01:39 PM
Mr. Boccia – I enjoy reading Randy and Charlie’s articles. They are showing how they find humor and can appreciate the process of everyday life. Keep up the articles from the dad’s perspective fellows!
Randy Levin May 06, 2011 at 02:00 PM
Thank You Rebecca. I am writing for the vast majority of people like you who are thoughtful, intelligent and who "get it." Sadly, there will always be a select few who, if ignorance and stupidity were a misdemeanor would be on death row. As for "Mr. B," The more he writes, the more of a caricature he shows himself to be. It's not worth the time and energy to respond to him. I appreciate your kind words and support. I decided it's not worth fighting a war of wits with an unarmed man. All The Best. Randy.
Scott Clarke May 06, 2011 at 05:39 PM
Some great psychoanalysis of Ralph by Dr Mike. Ralph may be out of line, but you certainly joined him, sir. You COULD have just left it alone, but being you're of superior intelligence, you felt the need to straighten him out. Perhaps YOU are not aware of how transparent YOUR behavior is . If I may now play Dr Phil , I am sorry you got beat up on the playground so often as a child, Mike.

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