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Monday, June 11th, 2012
I don’t think I’ve ever sat on a public toilet. I squat, but I don’t let my legs touch. My quads get a good workout. So does my brain. I will myself not to look at or think about the grime, the hair, and god-knows-what-else that is lurking. I have already been in hypnotherapy for my compulsive cleaning addiction. But training Fia to not only go into a public toilet, but to SIT on one, is going to be tough. However, doctor’s orders: Get over it!
At her 2.5-year check up last week he really set me straight.
“How’s she doing with potty training?” he asked.
“She does great with the poops, but we haven’t worked on pee as much.”
“Why not?” he asked.
“Because she will pee a lot more frequently, which means I have to deal with public bathrooms. And I’d prefer diapers to kneeling on a disgusting floor with her on a disgusting toilet. So I’ve been putting off the inevitable. With poop, it’s only once a day and usually in the evening, so we’re at home.”
“Ahhh…. this is very important to discuss then,” he said.
The short of it is: if you don’t train your children to go the bathroom–#1 or #2–in every scenario, then they will develop an aversion to using the bathroom outside of the house. He knows people who are prisoners to their own potty. They literally won’t leave their dwelling until they’ve shat.
“There’s a fire? Sorry, I can’t evacuate. I haven’t pooped yet.”
Basically, if I don’t teach her to go everywhere and anywhere, she could end up with a bathroom obsession. And lord only knows she probably already has many obsessive tendencies/genes. She doesn’t need anymore.
My next meditation will consist of positive imagery. I will envision us walking into the bathroom, dressed in fatigues, my head held high. I will properly line her toilet seat with paper. I will cheerlead. A cockroach might run past with a pubic hair in its mouth. “Look Mama look!” she’ll shout with excitement. “Wow, how neat!” I’ll say through clenched teeth. “Are you finished yet?”
My face will never show disgust.
We will sit for 15 minutes. She will pee a teaspoon. And damn it, I’ll enjoy every minute and drop.
Another good example Fia’s pediatrician gave:
He hates salmon. Every time they have it, his girls whine, “Daddy, do we have to eat the salmon?” He replies, “Of course you do. Salmon is yummy!” and puts a forkful in his mouth (even though he is cringing inside). If he took a different approach, i.e.: “I don’t like salmon either,” they may never eat that fish again. If they end up disliking it, fine. But don’t let it be because of you.
We all know kids are little mimes. As parents, we are asked to do the impossible: show them the way, even if it’s not our way, our preference. But when it comes to bodily functions, there really isn’t a choice.
For me, I want to travel the world with my kids. She’ll have to learn to squat over dirt holes in India, on bushes in Africa, and in outhouses in South Dakota. And I get to lead the way. From now on, I will see the filth and squat right next to it. I will smile at it.
In short, I will embrace the gross.
Grungy toilet via Shutterstock
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addiction, clean freak, cleaning, compulsive cleaning addiction, germs, hypnotherapy, milestone monday, obsession, obsessive, Pediatrician, pee, poop, potty training, pubic hair, public bathroom, public toilet | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Milestone Monday
Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011
Author’s Note: Join me every Monday as I share Fia’s ongoing milestone (mis)adventures–from potty training to talking to everything in between. Mayhem and mischief guaranteed on Milestone Monday!
A Special Shakey's Moment
When I was a kid, going out to dinner was a treat. My mom (who passed away in June) ran her own plant business and whenever she had one of her sales, if she did well, that was our reward. The sale was always on a Sunday at our house in the garage she had converted to a greenhouse. We’d run up to her constantly and look in the cash drawer.
“Mom, do you think you’re making enough for us to go to dinner?”
“Not if you guys keep distracting me from my customers,” she’d say with a laugh.
It was always a toss up between Shakey’s Pizza and Ponderosa. Both had the all-you-could-eat salad bar. At Ponderosa, we loved taking the red plastic tray down the line to pick out side dishes. We always brought our lunch to school, so cafeteria style, complete with hot food was like hitting it big time. And the vinyl booths both places sported? You couldn’t get more chic.
Shakey’s had the arcade. We’d play the games while we waited for our pizza. And we’d always walk out with some form of trinket junk that would inevitably end up on the floor of the car, or in the hamsters cage a week later, with everyone denying who put it there.
On Sunday, it was pouring rain here in LA. I was stir crazy. I begged Phil to go with me to Lamps Plus. We desperately needed light in our living room. He equates lamp stores to the horrible fabric stores his mom dragged him to as a kid. But after much debate, he agreed. I’ll admit, having a hyper 2-year old running through a crowded lamp store screaming “I pooped!” isn’t ideal, but we found two lights so mission accomplished (btw—she didn’t poop. It just happens to be her favorite sentence).
On the way home, I spotted a Shakey’s Pizza. Phil was game, seeing as his day was already ruined by the PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) of Lamps Plus. We started to reminisce about our childhood Shakey’s experiences. We got excited to take Fia. We agreed it was a milestone—a rite of passage. Granted, she’s a little young, but we’re overachievers.
It was 5 pm and jam-packed. Phil ordered and I took Fia to the arcade, where she touched every button, even the car pedal on the floor. I was totally grossed out. There were kids running everywhere and I could feel the filth in the air. She won a spin top trinket. The perfect choking hazard. She was so excited putting her tickets into the machine. “More! More!” she kept yelling.
She was in heaven.
At our booth, Fia kept touching the vinyl part that was ripped, laughing, while trying to destroy the hole further. I grabbed the sani-wipes and went to town on everything— the highchair, table, our hands—even the booth.
At the salad bar, I cringed at the cough guard, trying to forget a Dateline special I saw about the germs on those things.
When the pizza came, Phil and I could barely eat it. Granted, we’re snobby NYC pizza lovers, but this stuff tasted worse than frozen. Fia, who is typically a picky eater, devoured it, all the while playing with her choking hazard toy. And for once in her life, she couldn’t get enough of the garbanzo beans from the salad bar. At a nice restaurant she will refuse them. Here, they were like candy. She ate about 33 of them.
That night, all I could think of was how gross I felt; how I have to start exercising and eating better. Fia slept the longest she has in months–12 hours.
As a grownup, I’m a snob with a lot of stuff. And I guess this is one of them. I can’t say we’re going to become regulars at Shakey’s. Or ever go there again. But even at the expense of my sanity, I’ll admit, it’s fun traveling down memory lane, marveling at how little we cared about things as kids that we adults get so uptight about. This is the part of parenthood that puts life in perspective. In a good way.
Every once in a while we all need a Shakey’s experience. Tell me yours.
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arcade, childhood, feeding, food, germ phobe, germs, losing my mom, memory lane, milestone monday, parenthood, picky eater, Ponderosa, Shakey's Pizza, sleep, sleep training | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Milestone Monday
Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
Shooting Germ Segment
I’m a germ phobe (read my blog on grout issues). I’ve gotten better but I do dig hand sanitizer. Right before I moved to LA, I was on a shoot with one of my best friends and her two daughters. They were superstars and I was so happy they agreed to be our guinea pigs. Here’s the video.
Staying Healthy At Home
As you can see, the shoot was about germs and keeping ourselves and our kids clean. A few highlights:
(note: the shoot was in conjunction with Better TV and sponsored in part by Sani-Hands, so what I learned was from the reps of the company).
Some of the top germ spots in your house are: your computer, your mouse and your cell phone (think about the iphone. Your fingers touch the same surface you talk into. It’s one of the reasons I stick with my blackberry. At least part of the front isn’t touched by my fingers).
And get this: your computer keyboard has 200 times more bacteria than a toilet sick. Gross. I could get sick right now thinking about it all.
Then there’s the usual: Doorknobs, light switches, countertops, refrigerator door handle, etc.
And even though you may not know it, you touch your face a lot during the day.
Here’s what else I learned on the shoot:
Hand sanitizer gel isn’t as effective as you may think (granted, this is the competing sani-wipes company speaking, but it kind of makes sense). You’d have to put a lot of gel in your hands to really kill all the germs. The pea or nickel size we typically use, while killing some germs, just more or less moves them around. I’m told the sani-hands wipes are more effective because they have the right dosage of germ killing power, plus the friction from wiping doesn’t spread the germs, but gets rid of them. Within 15 seconds.
I must admit, I carry little packets of alcohol wipes when I travel. Think about all the places germs linger: on airplane armrests, on remote controls, phones and light fixtures in hotels, steering wheels and stick shifts of cars. I know that many germs are important, and building up a good immune system is imperative to long term health and hygiene. But I do often wipe down some of the things I mentioned above. The company we shot with gave me a bunch in travel size packets.
They came in handy during my barfing incident with Fia. However, I would have needed a gallon to do the job on that one.
Just figured I’d share. Flu season is nearly here. Fingers crossed none of us get it!
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Thursday, July 7th, 2011
I decided to put Fia into daycare. It lasted exactly one hour. (For those who follow my blog, I did this a few weeks before I wrote the Sitter Chronicles).
I had this idea that she’d get more interaction, have structure, and maybe even learn to nap in a group setting (she currently naps in the stroller in our downstairs bathroom). I pictured her sitting at a table with other tots, drawing, or sitting in circle time, listening. She already plays with other kids her age, but it’s without any sort of routine. And I keep hearing how good it is for kids to have a routine.
I found a daycare in our neighborhood that allows part time. The ratio is 4:1. Seems reasonable. I enrolled her for two afternoons a week.
The “transition” started a few days before. First day: 1 hour with me there. 2nd day: 1 hour, but with me for only 15 minutes. 3rd day: I disappear for the hour.
I went the first day and that was it. Here’s why:
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anxiety, circle time, daycare, daycare anxiety, daycare worry, drawing, germs, interaction, interaction with babies, listening, nap, nap on a schedule, naps, playing with other kids, routine, routine for baby, routine for toddler, schedule, sick, sitter, sitter chronicles | Categories:
A Fi Grows in Brooklyn, Fearless Feisty Mama, The Sitter Chronicles