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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Sarah
14 years ago

Isn’t it amazing how kids remember things so much differently after the fact? Brandon used to do the same thing to me when he was young!! Actually, he still does it at the age of 10. Ah, parenthood…whoo.

And potty training? YEah, the girls aren’t having it either. I’m afraid to try to diaperless deal…I really don’t care for cleaning up pee and poop all day.

Connie
Connie
14 years ago

We took my nephew to Disney World at the age of 4 1/2 and he hated the fireworks. Today at 11, he loves them. It will be okay.

Connie
Connie
14 years ago

We took my nephew to Disney World at the age of 4 1/2 and he hated the fireworks. Today at 11, he loves them. It will be okay.

Melissa H
14 years ago

I am RIGHT THERE WITH YOU on the potty training. All the other kids her age have gone to the “preschool” side of daycare while my unpotty trained daughter stays with the “younger” children. And gosh darn it I totally got her into a new really popular, really cheap, really good preschool starting August 18 as long as she is wearing underwear. What, me stressed? PLEASE report back on your success this weekend–that’s our plan too (as soon as we get back from vacation)

Kristi
14 years ago

1. We have that same sectional tray from Target! Yay Target!

2. I also have son w/sensitive ears and have learned to just slap my husbands muffling “earphones” (? Used for range shooting) on his head at every occassion – ala Blue Angels, 4th O July, New Year’s Eve, Great Oregon SteamUp, etc. Works like A CHARM and no more screaming!

3. I got nothin on the potty training because I also really suck at it. I mean, what? At some point doesn’t peer pressure kick in?! Sheesh!

Lesley
Lesley
14 years ago

Is “fatty deposit” removal a canine vet term for liposuction?

Since you mentioned Yoga, if you like Inhale, you might like this series (filmed in beautiful Vancouver) called Namaste Yoga. The visuals are inspiring, the narrator’s voice is dreamy and the yoga is first rate. http://www.namaste.tv/store_dvds.html
It’s on FitTv regularly and a big hit with Canadians. Youtube has a few samples.

donna
donna
14 years ago

JB rocks. Anyone that goes to a yoga class during any kind of convention also rocks. (I will never rock that way unfortunately).
My kids and grandkids are little pyromaniacs, and the only time that any of them had problems with noise was my son who later had to have tubes put in his ears because of blocked eustachean tubes. Don’t know if the one had anything to do with the other though, and he was younger than Riley then.
So glad Dog is ok. Vets are a racket, but you gotta have them. I’m looking at insurance for my 3 mutts, if you hear of any good ones. And as always, you crack me up, and I don’t think Riley will need years on the couch. No advice on potty training, it’s all just a blur that has been erased from the memory banks like a bad dream!

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
14 years ago

Sounds like the fireworks were awesome. My in-laws live on a lake and every year one of their neighbors puts on a show. I am really surprised that Eric has never been scared of them, my mother on the other hand HATES fireworks, so of course my husband loves to freak her out with them.

Good luck with the potty training! We tried the diapers off thing, I can’t even remember how it went. I’m sure Riley will do great and will be PT in no time!

Danielle
14 years ago

On the potty training subject, all I can say is you will find what works eventually, although you would rather sooner than later! I found this hysterical youtube video that we watched a jillion times, who knows if it helped or not, but it sure is funny. Check it out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFVoLz88hiU
Maybe being a “pants-man” will inspire Riley? Hang in there!

Cara
14 years ago

Ah, the perspective of distance, what a difference it makes. And, yet again, the mother is much more traumatized than the kid in the end. Those little buggers.

warcrygirl
14 years ago

I have the World’s Best Potty Training Video EVER if you’re interested. It may not actually train Riley but it will entertain you endlessly or at least give you some blog fodder. It’s a VHS, let me know if you want it.

theobvious
14 years ago

Hey, I’m glad Dog’s all right.
When my brother was a toddler and I was a little kid, our parents took us to a huge firework show. It was some kind of play, with a pirate ship and magnificent fireworks going off all the time. We were scared out of our wits. Now we are both sane and off therapy, I am glad to report. So no fear.

Average Jane
14 years ago

I’ve registered for the yoga class. Considering that it’s at 9 a.m. “my time,” I’ll probably have been up for hours by then unless the previous night’s festivities get in the way.

beach
beach
14 years ago

potty taining…what finally helped with one of my sons way back when, went underwear shopping and made a big deal out of letting him pick out some undies of his choice(dont remember what super hero typr cuz it was a zillion years ago)…but i really think he felt guilty shitting in super hero pants….I dont know but it helped.

daranaco
daranaco
14 years ago

Here’s how I trained my son.

–all day commando for 1 week. There will be accidents so be prepared.
–every pee in the toilet earned him a jellybean which sat in a giant jar in the bathroom. See jar = want candy = try to pee in toilet.
–every poop in toilet earned him a toy car. These were in the basket next to the toilet. He could pick out the car each time.
–A giant potty training sticker chart was also in the bathroom. Poop = 1 sticker. When he filled up the chart he got to have the giant truck that was visible in some high place where he could see it but not touch it. This gift was the finale for all of the bribery gifts.

He was potty trained by the end of the very long, very expensive week.

Courtney
Courtney
14 years ago

None of my friends kids were potty trained until they had turned three. Don’t stress too much about it, if he’s not ready it’s not going to happen, and you’ll just have a miserable weekend. Now if you do think he’s ready, totally play up the big boy underwear just like daddy aspect of it

Gina
14 years ago

I know how much potty training sucks, but don’t worry about him being the only one. Every kid is different and thay go at their own pace. It is definitely worth trying, but if he resists a lot, don’t stress over it. My son took forever – he was just past his 4th birthday and it stressed me out, which probably contributed to his refusal. I didn’t worry about it at all with my daughter, and luckily she caught on early.

beej
14 years ago

Oh the Labrador stare. Why oh why do they stare at you in such a creepy manner when you’re eating. Griffen, my Lab, stares when I eat. Then you look up and see two long strings of drool coming from either side of the snout, like he’s eaten a shoe but the laces haven’t gone all the way down yet.

Christina
14 years ago

Hmm, I wonder if I could have my fatty deposits drained?
Gald Dog is well!
Good luck with the potty training.

Maria
14 years ago

Oh this sounds painfully familiar. We took S to an air show about five months or so ago. He ended up with his hands over his ears hiding his face against me and shaking. We had to leave.

The next day, he told my mom all about the airplanes making letters in the sky. In a good way.

So on the fourth, we drove to my brother’s house for a ghetto fireworks show.

S immediately starts crawling into my hair. “I don’t like fireworks.”

Next morning? “Go see fireworks now? Again? Uncle Nicky? Fireworks? Green like Brobie? Fireworks?”

-_-

Joanne
14 years ago

What the hell kind of potty going geniuses is Riley going to daycare with? I don’t think it’s at all unusual for a not yet three year old to not be trained yet. I hope it goes well this weekend, but if it doesn’t, I’m sure the time will be right soon.

ben
ben
14 years ago

I love the dog negotiating for the sandwich (yes, they are)

Potty training – I have an eleven year old that still manages to hit three walls when peeing, so I’m not sure I know anything about this. But our daughter started just going in the potty one day (but I think she was almost 4). We credit Barney, I’m sure he has a song about it.

Have fun bloghering!

BRash
BRash
14 years ago

I actually thought of you and the Blue Angels thing AS I WAS WALKING towards the fireworks exhibit with my 18 month old. So right then, for every little crack or pop that went off, my husband and I would cheer and clap and look around exitedly. By the time the real stuff started, he twitched with the first couple big bangs, but then he was just fine. Thank you All & Sundry! (And my husband thinks reading blogs is a waste of time!)

tash
14 years ago

Living in the Caribbean makes it so much easier to potty train – I’m not too sure how it happened. ALOT of walking around naked or in underpants – one temperature all year round – thank God for that! And hey presto!

We scare the hell out of them, with the best intentions of course, they warp it into happy memories and tell the world how much fun they had, everyone thinks we’re great parents – everyone’s a winner!

Sounds like a great weekend. Wish I could make it to BlogHer – would be there for downward dog

Christina
14 years ago

Gotta love THREE! Also, ear plugs work really well! Our friend’s son is a bit afraid of loud noises and she bought some ear plugs and he was so happy at the noisy parade!

It will come with Potty training. Just keep plugging away and Riley will get it! GL!

Ann
Ann
14 years ago

I bet Riley will sit in crappy britches for about 1 second before he gets the idea that poopin’ in the potty isn’t such a bad idea after all. Messy and disgusting? Squishy discomfort? Yes–that’s the idea.

She Likes Purple
14 years ago

I’ll be at yoga. Already signed up.

We watched fireworks with our 22-month-old nephew and the whole time he kept saying, “All done! Bye-bye!” while whimpering. But once they stopped he was all, “Boom! Cool! Wow!” Hindsight must be awesome as a little thing.

mojavi
14 years ago

potty training is soo not a milestone to worry about.. why would they even tell you that? I do think the letting them run around naked is the best way. Esp if you have wood or tile floors.

ikate
ikate
14 years ago

I hear you on the WTF about Dylan sleeping through the fireworks. Maggie, almost 2, will wake up if you step on the squeaky floorboard on the stairs but slept peacefully though our city’s fireworks which were set off ONE BLOCK from our house. Yea -so great booming explosions are like lullabies but a tiny half-second squeak on the other side of the house is like a freaking alarm clock.

Jennie
14 years ago

To get my girl to poop in the potty, I started dumping the poop out of the diaper into the toilet and showing her. She caught on pretty quickly after that. =) I know it sounds kinda freaky but… if you haven’t tried it, it’s worth a shot, right? =) Good luck!

Alyson
14 years ago

Might I suggest a set of earphones of the type that ramp rats at the airport wear for Riley? I think he’d be cute in them, too.

Also, if he seems extraordinairily sensitive to sound and develops a persistent, nagging cough, please take him to the doctor for a sinus x-ray. #2 son had a persistent, asymtomatic sinus infection when he was 4 and 5 that caused him pain every time he heard a loud noise. (I suppose the crap in his sinuses rang like a bell whenever he heard loud noises) He got over it with a heavy dose of anitbiotics, steroids and decongestants (a 3 month stint). He’s fine now…..6’4″, 215#, handsome and is capable of making a lot of noise himself. But he was some kind of whiner when he was a wee one. I’m a little sinus infection-sensitive now.

Kathy
Kathy
14 years ago

My girl child has always hated loud noises. I have spent every 4th of July with my hands covering her ears and trying not to laugh as she gives me dirty looks. It’s not nearly as cute now that she is 13. When she was about 8 I got the brilliant idea to take her to a concert. Somehow I blocked out the fact that it would be loud… That was $160 well spent…

Christie
Christie
14 years ago

Isn’t the imagination of a toddler the most amazing thing ever? In your mind he was mortified with the fireworks and possiblt traumatized for life…when in his mind it was cool and his daddy did it…the mind is so amazing at that young age!

I am glad to hear that Dog is fine! I took my female Sheppard in this morning to have a spot on her leg looked at. It is a tumor of some sort and the vet is uncomfortable with how it looks…so next Thursday she will be having surgery…at a price that I am sure is going to break the bank! But…thts what we do for the ones we love…right?????

Glad you had a great 4th and congrats on the amazing fitness goals!

kristylynne
kristylynne
14 years ago

We just did the potty training thing last week. I know you’re not asking for advice, but here’s what worked for us.

We went and got a baby doll that pees when you give it a bottle. Cheap doll from Wal-Mart, that happened to be wearing blue so could have passed for a boy (except for the conspicuous lack of genitalia) Anyway. It came with a little potty. Our boy gave the doll a few bottles and watched it pee in the pot. Then we pumped him full of juice and sat him on the pot until he peed, which didn’t take long. Then we went to the store and he got to pick out a toy. After that every time he peed on the pot, he got M&Ms, jelly beans, whatever was on hand. It’s been a week and we’ve only had a few accidents. He was, however, very ready – he turns three next month.

Pooping – now that’s another matter. So far I just grab him up and set him on the pot. Usually, it’s too late, but I think he’s getting the idea.

Good luck with Riley … may the bribery be with you.

Danell
Danell
14 years ago

Damn, I OBSESSIVELY grill them at Cameron’s daycare as to whether or not he’s one of the last kids not potty-trained…and they shoo me off and say “No way! He’s fine! Don’t worry about it one bit, only a few of them are trained yet!” And I feel very comfortable with his teachers and totally trust their judgement. So, I’m with the commenter up there saying what the hell kind of potty training geniuses is Riley going to school with?

Also, despite what some people seem to say, the majority of vets are NOT a racket…believe it or not, most of the money we charge you doesn’t go directly into the doctors’ pockets. Running a clinic is unbelievably expensive and as much as I would LOVE to offer my services free of charge “because I love animals,” it is also my job. Like you, I have bills to pay and mouths to feed. And while I’m not driving around in a glamorous luxury vehicle and living in a sprawling estate, I do feel entitled to make more than minimum wage considering how fucking long and hard I worked to be a vet.
Oh, and this is just a general statement…not meant to be directed at anyone with any real hostility…just gets me a little sad when people think vets are ripping them off. =)

telegirl
telegirl
14 years ago

LOVE this post! I am so learning from you as our little one is almost a year and a half. Will keep your experiences in mind as he grows older. :o)

Pets… I have vet bills that I have to pay on monthly because the surgery bill for an ACL tear is astronomical. I love them dearly, though, so I’ll continue to write the checks. Sigh.

Andrea
14 years ago

I tried in vain to potty train Gabe starting when he was about three. No dice. He would do it if we suggested it (pee, not poop), but he would still go in his pull-up. I had tried putting him in his favorite character underwear (Thomas the Tank Engine, and if that show’s not written by a chronic drug user, I’ll eat my shoe) and tell him, “Keep Thomas dry!” Yeah, not so much. Not only did he wet on Thomas, he shit on him, too. It was only because I had to clean up the mess that I wasn’t laughing at the irony of Gabe shitting on Thomas. So we got pregnant with our daughter and I was really getting nervous that I’d have two in diapers and then one day, I offered Gabe the Thomas underwear again. He put them on, kept them clean and dry, and he never looked back. He was three years and 5 months old. Perfectly within the normal range.

Riley will decide when he’s ready, and you’ll hit on the perfect bribery soon enough. It’ll work out. Don’t let the preschool teachers peer pressure you into worrying about him not being potty trained yet. Just because it’s easier for them doesn’t mean that it’s right for Riley just yet.

Kimba
Kimba
14 years ago

I know that this advice is so annoying, but REALLY!!!!! Try not to worry about the potty training. It will happen, it just will. I worried and stressed and bribed my first child. It was awful and frustrating with episodes of poop everywhere including the wall. I decided not to do this with my second child. She was the last in her class to be potty trained, we had episodes of poop everywhere including the coffee table. But, I didn’t stress or bribe or get frustrated and one day she wanted panties (Diego ones, which meant they had to be little boy underwear). She had one accident that first week and that was it. Done!

Remember that your normal child will not be 10 years old and still wearing diapers, 4 years old maybe, but so what!

Mel
Mel
14 years ago

My son, Ian, who will be three on August 30, isn’t potty trained either. I’ve tried everything, even leaving him in wet pants. He didn’t like the feeling at first, but then ignored it. I keep offering the poilet and the potty chair, but no go. I guess he’ll go when he’s ready. People have told me the brighter they are, the longer it will take for them to go and, in the end, they will decide when they are ready. And you might find your son ready to let the peeing commence only in the outdoors. I know, I haven’t poted for months and this is what I say. Sorry about that.

Mandy
Mandy
14 years ago

Is he even 3 yet, or just turned 3? That is not late at all for potty training, especially for a boy! My son had a much harder time with pooping in the potty vs. peeing (which was not intuitive to me, at all–wouldn’t it be easier to know when you need to poop??) It was probably 2-3 months after he turned 3 before he was totally reliable in that area. (Or maybe longer; I’ve blocked it all out…)

Julie
14 years ago

A damn train could ride through my kids’ rooms and they wouldn’t even roll over. Several months ago, we had horrible weather about 2am and heard the tornado siren go off. We got both kids out of bed and laid down in the hallway for about 30 minutes and then put them back in bed. THEY NEVER WOKE UP.

Oh, and my son is not potty trained either. We should start a club or something.

Karen
14 years ago

When my daughter was four, her father told her that fireworks are only scary when they come out of the sky and blow up in your tummy. Yeah. She’s sixteen now and can still hardly stand them. That? bad parenting. You? not so much.

taerna
taerna
14 years ago

i love you for saying fracking. we just started watching battlestar galactica and the fracking is cracking us up!

Danielle-lee
14 years ago

You? You are brilliant!

workout mommy
14 years ago

we are starting potty training at the end of the month. Yikes.

I have signed up for the yoga class just so I can meet you, OKAY!?

Now can you call my room to wake me up because 7am is oh-so-early? Thanks! :)

Adrienne
14 years ago

I am so jealous at the sight of Riley eating a sandwich. My son Beckham will be 3 in August and would be happy to eat absolutely nothing all day long. If he ever held a sandwich in his hand and ate it, I would be thrilled!! Also, not potty-trained in the least.

Josh
14 years ago

Holy friggin frick! Muriatic acid is the Shit! I don’t know about dipping babies in it, I’ve never had the chance, but I did get to work with some at the only damn entrance to the public utilities building in our capital. We had to scour this huge area of cement for doing stuff with stuff, and so there were just small walkways around our big roped off area, and huge plumes of acrid green smoke were billowing everywhere off the cement. And all the passersby were coughing, cause seriously, acid clouds are like, bad for breathing and what have you. Then I got to tell a bunch of public officials that they would just have to wait for us to finish, and there was nothing we could do about the clearly dangerous health hazard, even though there was. It was so much fun. Acid rocks.

Also, what’s the dealio with that weird orange phallic object in Riley’s lap that the dog is clearly staring down? Is Dog a perv or is there some normal explanation for it?

kristin c.
14 years ago

He is totally ON HIS WAY to becoming the next Sybil (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Ardell_Mason).

Also, frack. My husband I came to know this word after cheking out the 1st & 2nd season of Battlestar Gallactica from the library. We couldn’t believe our ears. Because, Seriously??! Frack??!! Instead of Fu*k….on TV??! GENIUS!

kathy cm
kathy cm
14 years ago

I’m new to posting comments and I have no earnest toilet training advice to share (having just caved and bought both my 6 and 7 year old boys “Under Jams”, since they WON’T STOP WETTING THE BED.) I really just wanted to let you know that seriously, the “fracking” reference made my day. And that I love your blog.

Cyndy
Cyndy
14 years ago

OMG, the teachers are so lying. SO LYING. I’d be willing to bet that they ask constantly and the kids trot off, so who’s trained? The kids or the teachers? My third just trained. THIRD. He’ll be FIVE. Pete has not trained. She has underpants. She just pees, and you know, whatever in them and thank you, but at this point? She can do whatever she wants. I’m not dealing with the mess.