Potty Training: Quinn Style (A Pictorial)

Potty training seems to be all the rage these days.

All the cool kids are doing it.

Even though I’m not entirely interested in spending my days cleaning pee out of my carpets, reading Everybody Poops on a loop while I sit in the bathroom with my toddler, and clapping every time he sits on his potty, Quinn is exhibiting all the signs of readiness.

The most obvious one being his steadfast determination to wear underpants rather than diapers at all times and his announcements that he wants to pee in the potty. It’s hard to misinterpret that.

So in the interest of showing lazy parents everywhere how to potty train their children waaaaaay after they’re ready, I present Quinn’s Tutorial on Peeing in the Potty:

Get your mom’s attention by stridently shrieking about underpants all day long. Extra points if you let her get your Finding Nemo underpants halfway on before you start screaming for “Thomas the Tank Engine! Thomas the Tank Engine!”

Sit on the potty. ‘Nuff said.

Absorb propaganda. How big exactly do you have to be to be too big for diapers? After your mom reads you the desired number of books, then—and only then—should you pee.

No one wants to leave their old pee sitting around, so next you should remove the pee-catching receptacle.

Where to put it? Where to put it? Aha! Pour it in the toilet!

In the spirit of, “No! Me! No! Me! I wanna do it!” put water from the bathroom sink in the empty pee receptacle…

…and pour that in the toilet as well.

Everybody says this is the fun part, and although it seems incredibly wasteful to flush an entire toilet for a tablespoon of pee, go ahead and flush.

Astound your mother by actually putting something back where it belongs.

Spend the rest of the afternoon trying to put on your underpants.

Demand M&Ms for the oh-so-strenuous task of peeing in a cup. Insist on only yellow and orange candy.

Display an increasingly hostile and demanding side of yourself if your mom doesn’t give you enough M&Ms, or if—God forbid!—she eats one herself. Demand that she regurgitate it and give it back to you.

Steadfastly refuse to poop anywhere other than your diaper, or occasionally your underpants, thereby dashing your mother’s hopes of stress-free potty training.

How Not To Run Bedtime.

Sam was pretty much devastated yesterday when his sleepover was canceled. There was some sobbing and lamenting and some rending of garments. In a desperate attempt to placate the little guy, I offered up a sleepover in Quinn’s room.

So shortly before 7:30 p.m., Jack and Sam packed up their stuff and crossed the hall to visit Quinn.

Quinn was not pleased about the location of the sleepover. He wanted to be a guest rather than a host. When Sam and Jack brought piles of blankets, pillows, and sleeping bags into his room, Quinn tried to escape to Sam and Jack’s room.

Poor little guy was unsuccessful.

Sam offered to read the good night story. So after bath, they all piled onto Quinn’s tiny bed and Sam started reading. 24 minutes later, they were still reading. At one point, I heard Sam say, “All right, Quinn, pick a book by yourself. Or if you’d like, Jack can choose. Jack and Quinn, you go together. [Pause.] All right. We can do both of them.”

I love that he can read now. I am so proud of him.

At 8 p.m., the door practically bulged outward under the weight of their combined yearning to leave the room: Quinn in search of trains, Sam looking for water, and Jack, who just wanted to lie on the cat.

At 8:15 I had to release them out of Quinn’s room and let them go to Sam & Jack’s room. Quinn wandered&#8212crying loudly&#8212into his big brothers’ room.

At 8:40 I had to remove Quinn from the refrigerator where he was searching for orange juice and put him in his own room all by himself. Sam was disappointed at the disintegration of the sleepover, but I was happier.

And isn’t that what really matters?

At 8:46 Quinn was asleep. Jack and Sam followed suit shortly thereafter.

Really, it was a lot easier than a real sleepover would have been.

Spring Quiet: Day Whatever

I’ve lost count. I think it might be Thursday.

We ended up with nothing to do today. I’d originally planned a park playdate this morning, followed by a sleepover tonight.

And then it rained. And the sleepover kid spiked a fever. And we ended up with nothing to do.

See how weirdly (and I emphasize weirdly) quiet it was:

I didn’t pose him like that. I was ambling through the living room this morning and he was just sitting there like that. What do you think he was doing?

All things considered though, we ended up doing pretty well over spring break.

(Famous last words. Tomorrow someone will jump off the roof or something.)

Happy Blogoversary To Me!

Exactly one year ago today I started Stimeyland.

To celebrate one year of blogging I registered for BlogHer ’08. Come hang out with me in San Francisco in July! (Early-bird registration ends on March 31.)

Thanks to all of you who have visited and read. Thanks to those of you who commented and those of you who just lurked. Thanks to you wonderful people who have given me advice, support, and friendship over the past year.

I’m so happy to have made your acquaintance!

A Semi-Ill-Advised Exercise in Saving Some Cash

I have some guilt about an All About Me purchase I’m going to be making soon, so I’ve been trying to save money here and there.

When Alex suggests going out to dinner, I suggest taco night. When he suggests going to The Container Store to buy the elfa system for my kids’ closet that my friend suggested, and which I totally want, I tell him we can wait awhile. When Alex suggests that we join a pool this summer, I talk him out of it. (This last one also has something to do with me not being able to handle my three kids at a pool. I like all of them and would hate to see anyone drown.)

There’s also the $60 or so that I was going to drop at Cartoon Cuts today. I started thinking about whether I could cut hair at home and about how often two-thirds of my kids scream while we’re there. And I was thinking about how we buzz-cut Jack and I really don’t need to pay $20 to get that done. Plus, his hair isn’t very long yet these days anyway.

Then I thought about this post and my comment on it:

We also go to Cartoon Cuts and pay a gazillion dollars for the haircuts. Although with three kids there’s a quantity discount. (I can’t believe I have enough kids to qualify for a quantity discount.)

My oldest LOVES the place (TV, lollipop! Although there was a brief period when they didn’t give out lollipops and we had to troll the whole shopping center until we ended up at Buy Buy Baby where they sold candy.). My middle son likes it IF they are showing something other than Scooby Doo, Spongebob, or Thomas, all of which he is terrified of and which is all they had last time. After much screaming, they put on Dora for him.

My youngest? Screams no matter what. Yeah, we’re that family.

We’re going to have to go there sometime this week. Wish us luck. (And Dora.)

Fuck that!

I can cut hair at home. How hard can it be?*

My supplies:

Oh, I’m kidding. Here are my real supplies:

My victims:

Okay, let’s recreate the Cartoon Cuts experience. TV is on. Lollipops are in the cupboard. Vacuum is at the ready. Here we go!

Snip. Snip. Snip… Oh, shit.

And the cowlicks. How could I forget about them? Sam has two. Okay. Bangs are (mostly) straight, if not a little shorter than intended. What to do with his incredibly thick, bushy hair?

How about a bunch of random, choppy cuts? I resist the urge to cut off the cowlick hair, realizing that if it is shorter it will just stick straight up. Maybe I should buzz cut Sam too.

What I really want to do is grow his hair out. It would be gorgeous. And easier, I think. I’m just not sure (a) how to get past the “awkward” stage and (b) how to convince Sam that guys with long hair are cool, especially guys with thick, bushy hair like his.

I give up. Here’s the finished product:

Sam says he likes it and asks for a lollipop.

For Quinn, who is TERRIFIED of hair cutting, I give him his lollipop piece of chocolate ahead of time to distract him. I plan on mostly sticking to this guy’s bangs.

Snip. Snip. Snip. Easy peasy:

Candy for a bribe: $1

Haircutting scissors: $7

Not having to rush my kids to a real hairstylist to fix my mistake: Priceless.


* Harder than you might think.

DCMM: Secondary Uses For Pets

Anyone with a dog knows that they are wonderful creatures, full of love and devotion.

Anyone with a dog and a kid knows that dogs are wonderful creatures, full of the ability to pick up stray Cheerios from under high chairs and lick tiny hands clean of food.

As a person parent and a pet parent I have found numerous ways that our little furry, feathered, or scaled friends can live symbiotic lives with us. Here are some ways I use my two cats and a dog to further enrich my life:

I use my dog as a doorbell. If I’m waiting for someone to come over, I don’t bother looking out the window. I don’t strain my ears waiting to hear someone knock, and I surely don’t worry if I’m in a part of my house from which I can’t hear my doorbell. I just put my dog outside and listen for the quality of her barking. Short bursts of barking means that someone is walking by my house. Sustained, furious barking means that my playdate has arrived!

And after the playdate leaves, I just send the dog down to the basement to do cracker cleanup. Not only is she more prompt at cleaning up crumbs, she is also more thorough, what with her motivation to lick in tiny crevices and what not.

Both my dog and my cats remind me that I should mop my kitchen floor on a regular basis. They do this by leaving gentle “reminders” in the form of muddy paw prints and cat barf.

My cats teach my children about gentle touch and how you’re likely to suffocate an animal if you lie on top of her for too long. They learn this lesson in short bursts of, “Get off the cat right now!!” and, “When she makes that noise it means she wants you to let go of her.”

My pets teach my children responsibility. They learn that the dog needs to go out and then come back in. They’ve learned this because my husband and I are extremely lazy and will frequently tell one of our children, “Hey, go let the dog in.”

My kids also learn delegating from this as well. My oldest has been known to pass the buck down the chain of command to my middle child, who will then trudge off to let the dog in.

Of course, we all know that the best way that pets enrich our lives is by being our companions and by granting us their unconditional love and attention. Although every once in a while I ruminate on how strange it is that we have decided to share our home with fuzzy creatures of another species, it only takes a good petting session to remind me that it was a good decision.

Original DC Metro Moms Blog post.

Visit Jean and her pets at Stimeyland.