Before we left for our vacation JB drove to a fireworks stand in Washington called — I am not making this up — Boom City, in order to purchase a large number of Highly Illegal Explosives (I don’t really know how this works, it’s legal to sell them from reservation stands but not legal to take them offsite? Meh?), because every Fourth of July JB and his brother basically put on a professional show from the middle of the Umpqua River, where they paddle out to a big rock in order to safely set off their fireworks without burning down any nearby national forests. It’s loud and crazy and big and for a teeny tiny ‘burg in the middle of nowhere, it’s pretty damn awesome.

Well, except if you’re three years old. Riley heard exactly one mortar go off and he immediately issued forth an editorial complaint about the volume level and also NO LIKE IT and I WANT TO GO INSIDE WIGHT NOW. So he spent the evening huddled inside with his grandma while I worriedly stared at the baby monitor waiting for Dylan to wake up screaming from the terrible audial injustice happening over his head (answer: NEVER. He never woke up once, during the entire eardrum-shattering show, and this is the same baby who will wake up if you cough while in the same room with him, what the everloving fuck) and once it was all over Riley tearfully reminded us all that he did NOT like that ONE BIT because it was TOO LOUD. It all seemed quite traumatic, and reminded me of last summer when we thought it was a good idea to take him to a Blue Angels show and, well, this is a no-shitter in retrospect but it turns out he was completely terrified what with the nonstop unbelievably loud flyovers and ended up being scared of planes for a solid three or four months afterwards, and seriously, the fireworks thing seemed just as bad, like why not just take your toddler and immerse his brain in muriatic acid, as long as you’re on a roll with the long-term psychological damage and all.

So imagine my surprise when one of his daycare teachers warmly told me all about how Riley had described his amazing, wonderful, festive July 4th fireworks experience, how his dad and uncle went in the canoe and made really big fireworks that went like this (expansive arm gesture, kapowwww noise), and they were really really cool, then another teacher told me about it, and another one, until I basically got the idea that Riley has spent both school days this week talking nonstop about this fan-fucking-tastic fireworks thing, and either he’s remembering things a lot differently than I do or we’ve abused him so horribly he’s having to create his own falsely happy bucolic childhood memories to bandage over the mental trauma and soon he’ll create multiple personalities to shoulder the burdens we’ve placed on him and he’ll have a lifetime of medications and therapy and jesus, I JUST THOUGHT THE FIREWORKS WOULD BE FUN.

Also, I got to talking with one of his teachers about potty training and I learned he’s pretty much the only kid in his class not trained yet. Yeah. Parenthood: FAIL. So I think this weekend is going to be Potty Boot Camp, with NO DIAPERS ALLOWED, since the weather’s decent and he can soil himself out in the great outdoors instead of the living room. I don’t know how else to get him to even consider crapping in the potty, because lord knows I have begged and pleaded and issued forth bribe after bribe with no success to date.

(Hilariously, one of my freelance projects last year was for a potty training DVD, which I watched for the first time recently, snickering and cringing and occasionally slapping my knee and letting out a hoot; the actual dialogue by the “parents” in it is written mostly by ME, as though I have even the first clue about this stuff, which, HI. Clearly I do NOT.)

Lastly, if you are going to BlogHer, may I entreat you to join me at this horrifically-scheduled yoga class? I know, I know, 7 AM, the hell. But think how superior you’ll feel afterwards! You can make the L sign at your fellow BlogHer attendees who got to sleep in and linger over their coffee and . . . uh . . . listen, it’s fucking healthy, okay? It’s zenlike and happy and shit, so come and make me feel like less of a dork about being there to “meet and greet bloggers”, goddamn it.

Lastly for REAL lastly, if anyone wondered, Dog is fine and her lump was a fatty deposit which the vet, ah, drained? for about a million dollars. Fracking pets.



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16 years ago

My daughter was 4 when she was finally “poop” potty trained and I tried every bribe in the book. I was a maniac and if she so much as farted in public I would grab any brightly colored plastic toy and promise to buy it for her if she pooped on the potty RIGHT THEN. I nearly ended up $80 in the hole with some fricking pottery barn kids tea set. Sheesh. Luckily, no poop that time. She would ONLY go in pull-ups. My pediatrician told me to cut a hole in the pull-up, put it on her and put her on the potty. she feels secure with the pull-up on, the poop goes in the potty and then she realizes it’s okay to go in the potty. NOT CLUE what the psychology of this is, but it WORKED. 1 time with the hole in the pull-up and we were done and completely potty trained. Weird, but true and I tell everyone this trick because it’s so random, but seems to work. Good luck. I love your blog!

16 years ago

Ah yes. Boom City. Welcome to my HELL. I live within a 3 mile radius of it. The 4th of July is not a ONE day holiday out here, it is a month long bomb detination par-TAY. From about the last week of June until the first week of August, we plan to be awoken at 2 and 3 every morning. It’s the one thing I really dislike about living in this area. It’s also the reason I hate the 4th of July. Bah humbug, I know. It’s one thing to watch a fireworks display one night a year, and totally another to survive it for weeks on end. I do get some pretty gnarly stories out of my hubby though, as he’s a firefighter/EMT in this area. Booze + explosives + idiotic people = highly entertaining and slightly bloody gore. So there’s something to look forward to.