Posts Tagged ‘ Home Life ’

Progress In Potty Training A Nearly 3 Year-Old Boy

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

2 year, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

Yesterday afternoon as Mommy was upstairs working on laundry and as we were watching Disney’s Spooky Buddies, you announced to me:

“I go potty!”

That was my cue to jump up and chase you to the bathroom door, open it for you, and turn on the light.

From there, you did your business.

I always stand right outside the door, with it cracked, as to still give you some privacy but to also assess the situation.

This particular time, I was only half-way paying attention, I admit. I suppose I was slightly distracted about the thought of the “ghost puppy” in the movie we were in the middle of.

You so easily understood and didn’t question a “ghost puppy” that flew around like Casper. I did.

So for what happened next, I had to ask myself if I really had just seen what I thought I did:

After “going number one,” you lifted up the potty tray from your Elmo potty and held it in one hand, and with the other you lifted up the real potty lid and dumped your Elmo potty contents into it.

Then, you sat the Elmo potty tray back into the Elmo potty and flushed the real potty before running back into the living room to finish our movie.

I was stunned.

It’s a big enough deal to go potty, but to take care of all those other steps too… wow. I was probably most impressed by the fact you didn’t spill the Elmo potty tray.

On top of all that, it was probably the 5th successful time yesterday that you “went potty in the potty.” In fact, you had no accidents all day yesterday, even when we went out in public for a couple of hours.

Of course it all goes back to last weekend when your Nonna and Papa (my parents) were here.

After we all went out for some fun at the pumpkin patch, that evening Mommy and I went out on a date night (at a New Mexican restaurant and Old Navy). And Nonna and Papa helped out Mommy and I tremendously by using that time to proactively potty train you…

What was effective was having you only wear your “big boy/Thomas the Train” underwear. It worked. You did not want to get Thomas dirty.

I had heard that when it comes to potty training a boy, it’s harder than potty training a girl.

But, that it really just comes down to two things: that the boy is about three years old, and that the boy is not wearing diapers while potty training.

It’s working. I am so proud of you.





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Step 1: Obtain New Toy, Step 2: Cover It In Play-Doh

Monday, October 21st, 2013

2 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

When you were much younger, you would break in a new toy (or any random object) by putting it in your mouth.

These days, you instead cover the new toy or object in Play-Doh.

It’s the initation process, in your world.

While I napped for 20 minutes in the Kroger parking lot, like a rock, you were inside the grocery store helping Mommy.

When the two of you came back to the car, you had a new Hot Wheels ’67 Camaro in your hands:

“Look, Daddy! I got a new race car!”

We were home within 10 minutes and the first thing you did was to have me set up your play table and get out your red Play-Doh.


To cover your brand-new car in slime, or mud, or whatever it is you pretend that Play-Doh is.

It wasn’t until hours later that I actually got to see your new toy, because it was consumed by a red blob for its first waking hours.

Sure, Play-Doh can be used to make dinosaurs and animals and balls to roll around.

But ultimately, it’s used as an element of nature.

You get a quirky sense of pleasure out of swallowing your new toys in Play-Doh. Like I said, it’s the initiation process.

Mommy and I actually got to quietly eat dinner in the living room Saturday night, as you were quite self-contained in the kitchen with your Play-Doh torture center, I mean, activity play area.

After the new toy survives at least 90 minutes of conditioning to the extremes of Play-Doh, it must then endure, and conquer, the Play-Doh worms that unravel as the car finally breaks through the stronghold of the Play-Doh encasing.

It’s hilarious to me.

I don’t even mind picking up all the little red dots of Play-Doh before they get a chance to get ground into our light gray carpet.










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A Yogurt And Tortilla Backsplash

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

2 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

Some people just love doing home renovations. I wish I was one of them.

Walking into Lowe’s not only intimates me because of my lack of knowledge and skills as a handyman, but also because I know there’s no such thing as walking into Lowe’s just once for a project.

It’s simply the first of many times I think I have everything I need. Typically, a medium-sized project ensures at least four Lowe’s trips.

The dollar signs associated with those trips, plus knowing that I’ve underbudgeted my money as well as my time, well… it just helps explain why I’m not one of those people who loves doing home renovations.

Fortunately, Papa (my dad) knows how to do ceramic tiling and was willing to spend his Memorial Day weekend doing a backsplash for our kitchen while Mommy and I… assisted.

And by that, I mainly mean that we prepared our delicious vegan meals for him and Nonna.

I had feared that the whole time that while Papa was trying to work, you’d be trying to hang all over him, saying, “Papa, Papa! Play with me! Hold me!”

Instead, you chilled out with everyone. Thank you for that.

I appreciated your demonstration of becoming more independent.

You were soaking it all in, though. During lunch, you declared, “I tiling!”

After watching Papa glue the tile panels on the wall, you decided you would do the same with your yogurt and pieces of wheat tortilla.

In hindsight, I now can clearly see why you asked for those two items for that meal.

Fortunately for you, your yogurt and tortilla project wasn’t your only hands-on exposure to doing a backsplash last weekend.

Nonna took a couple of pictures with her phone and sent them to me while Mommy and I were at church.

I have to admit, you actually looked like you knew what you you doing… definitely compared to me, at least.

Ah, at last, our backsplash project is finally complete!

That’s one major milestone for our family as we work our way closer to moving our way out of our townhouse and eventually into “a real house.”

A real house where there will be more room- in case we end up needing it.






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Why Dad Feels Anxious About The Thought Of A 2nd Child

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

2 years, 5 months.

Disclaimer: Contains potentially confusing viewpoints that may be exclusive to the male mindset.

Dear Jack,

The main reason I feel anxious about the thought of having another child is not the financial aspect, or even the fact we only have a 2 bedroom townhouse; it’s knowing that I would be placed in that frustrating position again of not knowing what to do on a daily basis.

Sure, I’d know more of what I was doing the 2nd time around, but it would also be on top of taking care of you too; though you demand less attention than you did when you were a baby.

To see me in my worst element is to see me in a high pressure, reoccurring situation where I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. For me, that was the first 15 months of your life; back when you wouldn’t let me take care of you without Mommy being in the same room.

Therefore, I couldn’t feel like I was leading our family, and it made me feel horrible about myself.

Just to be clear, I don’t mind high pressure at all. In fact, I like the challenge of it; given that I’ve been well trained on the subject.

It’s no secret: I find my self-worth not in how others see me, but in how I see myself. If I don’t feel in control, or at least that I know what my role is, I sort of feel worthless.

Now that you’re well beyond the age of 15 months, in fact, days away from being double that, my frustrating days of flat-out not knowing what to do in regards to being a dad are mostly a thing of the past; back in the year 2011.

As for modern day life, I know my role now; every minute of the day, and I love it!

In addition to being your official chauffeur, bedtime singer, protector from monsters… I also am the official dishwasher, bathroom cleaner, garbage man, vacuumer, relationship mediator, and the parent juggling two jobs outside of home life.

Every night, after our family eats dinner, I know that once Mommy takes you upstairs for your bath, I am going to immediately start washing and drying all the dishes, then wipe off the counter, and vacuum; just in time to go upstairs and sing your final bedtime song.

While it would be really nice to just chill out after dinner instead of doing housework, I don’t even mind. The reason: Because it sure beats the heck out of those first 15 months when I didn’t know my role.

As your dad, who is wired to fix problems and lead others, it’s very challenging for me to… I’m trying to think of a way to say this without using the PG version slang word…

I like to be driving the motorcycle, not riding in the sidecar.

(Watch the movie Garden State, when you’re older, to fully understand the reference. “Sidecars are for…”.)

What I am saying is that right now, I don’t feel like I’m riding in the sidecar. I feel like our life is predictable enough now where I don’t taste the chaos in the air anymore.

I love having this peace in my head; not dwelling on my inabilities to successfully figure out what exactly I’m supposed to do every single second. I love knowing what to do.

Ah, if and when the time comes for a 2nd child, I fear losing that again.





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Hurry Up And Leave… So I Can Wave Goodbye!

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

2 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

I will admit I don’t always understand your logic.

Your newest tradition is to wave goodbye to Mommy as she pulls out of the driveway each morning. I gather that it is a time and tradition that helps you share a connection with her on a daily basis.

But this morning… as Mommy stood in the doorway, smiling at you, telling you to have a good day, telling you that she loves you, telling you that she will miss you, you just stared at her and said nothing.

The moment she walked out to her car, you got excited. You actually got giddy, even.

By the time she started backing out of the driveway, you were jumping with excitement, because finally, the moment had come when you would be able to… wave goodbye to her.

To spell out the irony here. you basically wanted Mommy to hurry up and leave so you could wave goodbye to her.

Your way of thinking is just different than mine, or Mommy’s, sometimes.

Like last night after I put you to bed and you were already overly tired to begin with, you sang at the top of your lungs for the next 15 minutes until I finally went back into your bedroom to remind you that it was time for fall asleep, to which you simply replied, “Okay,” then fell asleep a minute later.

I thought your song choice was pretty interesting, it was a medley of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep,” and the “Alphabet Song,” all of which share the exact same tune.

As for me, when I am completely exhausted, like the way I am right now as I write this, the last thing I would feel like doing is singing songs at the top of my lungs.

Logic has yet to become a priority in your life. Enjoy that while you can, kid.





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