“I want to be called Francis”

So we’ve entered a phase. It might be our first one come to think of it. I’m not sure what to name it, or if it even has a name. I do know I need to be recording Frank every second of the day right now. Some of the stuff coming out of his mouth is just unbelievable.

He’s been making a lot of declarations about what he will and will no longer be doing. Hard to explain so here’s the first example.

When we go to The Kroger, the bakery usually has a bin of free cookies out. Our routine is simple, we go for the cookies when we start our final run on the back wall in the dairy section. That takes us past the eggs, butter, cheese and sends us right into the meats and then the bakery. The on to the hippie section (read: organic) for the milk and veggies and then to the check out. By then he’s done the cookie and he gets to work putting the cart stuff on the belt.

So the other day we roll up on paper towel aisle, our last dry goods stop before we bank hard right to dairy, and I realize he has not mentioned the cookies once. Normally he’ll make my ears bleed about how close we’re getting to the cookies. A little running commentary about our cookie proximity that would make a normal man throw himself into on coming traffic. But I’ve become more powerful since Anne Marie has made the scene, so I can repel his annoying. But the silence, the silence about the cookie is now front and center in my head. If Obi Wan Kenobi were here he’d call me a weak minded fool. What’s his angle? Is he gonna work me for ice cream instead? This boy plottin on me somehow someway.

We get to the bakery and the moment of truth has arrived. I reach for his allotment and out it comes. “I will not be having Kroger cookies anymore.” Uh wut? ” I don’t need them daddy.” No one needs cookies Frank. Cookies are never about need. Cookies, much like the pumpkin spice doughnuts that come out at Thanksgiving, are all about want. “Well I don’t want it daddy.” Well OK then Frank, but I’m having one.

The problem was I had already picked up two. Then I remembered the hobos grab three or four and sometime drop one back in. So I dropped one back in the bin. Problem solved. Tip for you Kroger shoppers, never take the weekend cookies. Only the weekday cookies are generally untouched. You’re welcome.

About a day later the big enchilada dropped.

I was summoned to the bedroom where my oldest child was sitting in a very serious manner with a very serious look on his face. His mother had a rye smile. I was entering a mine field of which there would be no safe passage. Well no point in tap dancing. Let’s get to it. “What’s up Frank?”

“I don’t want to be called Frank anymore.”

Oh shit. My first thought was he’s on some kind of cosmic self awareness journey. He’s been acting strange. He’s on some minimalist bent. No cookies at The Kroger, wouldn’t pick any toys from the toy store after a bit of a harrowing doc appointment because he said “I don’t need it.” and now a name change. My hope was we wouldn’t have to call him moon unit or just some sort of crazy symbol. Then I thought maybe he wants to go by Oso or Lambie or Rocket or Deputy Peck or some other character from Disney Jr.

“I want to be called Francis.”

Oh.

Turned five - went bonkers. Note the minimalist cake.

Turned five – went bonkers. Note the minimalist cake.

Well that is his legal name. The first born male in an Italian family is named for his grandfather. My grandfather’s name was James so my oldest brother’s name is James. My dad’s name is Francis and goes by Frank, so my son’s name is Francis and we call him Frank. This wold not be a big shift to call him Francis. Or so I thought.

I tried it out a few times. It felt weird. Now I’m thinking he’ll get over it before bedtime so just go with it. “OK Frank, it’s your name and you…” “It’s Francis.” “What?” “It’s Francis daddy, you called me Frank.” “Sorry bud OK, Francis. Like I said, it’s your name and you have the right to be called by your name. Francis it is!”

He seemed happy.

Mrs Frank’s Place on the other hand…

There is a reason we call him Frank. Tracy doesn’t like the name Francis very much. It happens to be my name and I go by that. I’m not Frank or Franny or Michael, my middle name, I have always gone by Francis. So while Tracy was assaulting my entire heritage, Frank or Francis, was happy with his name change. No idea what’s spawning all this but we were both hoping he’d get over it after a few minutes.

Took two days. He corrected us every time we called him Frank for the next two days. Then it went the way of the Dodo.

He’s back to Frank. For now.

If you see him in the next few months and he’s wearing Jedi robes and goes by the name Knarf O’dranil, remember you’ve been warned.

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s do crafts!

Of the things you never expect to hear from your kid, “Daddy these are my mountains!” as he points to his chest was at the top of my list. However we may have a new contender in the, holy crap did he just say what I think he said, top five list.

“Daddy can we do crafts?”

Really Frank.

“Yeah, let’s do crafts!”

Oh boy.

The only reason this may take the top spot from the These are my mountains! comment is it will require action on my part. I wasn’t invested in the other thing. But crafts, I’m gonna be required to be on site the entire time. I mean, that sounds like it involves glue and scissors and permanent marker and god help me, glitter. Gotta believe there is play-dough in there somewhere too.

So it will be the gift that keeps on giving. On hand the entire time so his sister doesn’t try to remove his spleen with the scissors, and she can do it. Read here: Running with scissors. Plus I’ll have to clean up the aftermath, the play-dough encrusted, paste globulated, glitter enhanced aftermath.

What do you mean spell check has no suggestions for the spelling of globulated? I just spelled it. Clearly the spell check people are devoid of children.

So yeah, crafts. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Not Betty Crocker, but not bad.

Not Chef Mimi, but not bad.

He’s not terrible at that kind of stuff. Here’s a look at his first pie crust attempt. It was…. a little… lacking in moisture if you know what I’m saying. Dry, dry as the Sahara. I could have broken off a piece and stabbed the prison guard with it.

Willingness and enjoying himself in the kitchen are all that maters at this point. Results will come later I guess. So he has some skills in the craftiness area, but for some reason sitting at a table with glue, glitter, scissors and paper seems like it will be much more messy than making stuff in the kitchen.

And again, no payoff for mucho investment on my part. Just the pride coming from a job well done of cleaning up another mess.

But hey, I’m a parent of the people. The boy wants to do crafts who am I to stand in the way, crafts it is. Of course not to be outdone I get “crafts too!” from his little sister. This will be nothing more than an adventure in how much play-dough makes it back into the jar and how much comes out in her diaper sometime tomorrow.

Why don’t these kids ever want to play janitor?

 

 

Look out people, she’s a free range chicken!

Well the day has finally arrived. The last tether has been severed. She has been released into the wild, free to roam in her natural habitat. All public service warnings have been issued.

Anne Marie is done with therapy in every shape and every form. She was officially released from her last in home therapy a few months ago. I would have posted this earlier but I was busy with getting pink eye, Frank’s pre-school graduation, Frank’s birthday, upcoming vacation to Jersey, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Yeah I'm two fisting ice cream. What of it!

Yeah I’m two fisting ice cream. What of it!

As with all things Anne Marie, nothing is ever smooth. There were questions from several quarters about her readiness to enter mainstream kid-dom. Although our evidence is anecdotal, we think it’s valid enough to warrant her release.

Well, let’s see now, there was:

-building a ladder to jump the baby gate on the stairs at 18 months

-using scissors to pry open the fridge

-climbing out of her crib at the age of 22 months

-opening doors at the age of 22 months

-climbing the outside of the stairs using the balusters as hand holds at 20 months

-turning on my iPhone and sending garbled tweets through the twitter app

-setting Frank’s alarm clock to go off in the middle of the morning/night

-asking me to “microwave my pizza daddy”  That was a few weeks ago.

-taking off all her clothes, including her diaper, and then putting just her PJs back on and sleeping the rest of the night that way. We didn’t catch that one until we went in to wake her for breakfast one morning. Oh yeah, she tossed her under shirt and diaper into the clothes hamper 4 feet from her crib. Not sure if she did that before or after putting her PJs back on.

-and of course the latest incident of clogging the upstairs sink and flooding the house. Yes, after further investigation we believe it was intentional.

For you fine motor skill enthusiasts, she took the pegs from a peg board test at the doctor’s office and stacked them like a tower. She finished the test first and while I was talking to the doc she decided to stack them straight up, 4 pegs high. These things are the width of a pencil.

We were feeling pretty confident the Doc would agree we no longer needed therapy for the kid. The rest of us need it now, and I’ll surely need it in the future, but the kid is fine. After we presented our evidence the Doc did agree and AM’s release was official.

So with a bitter sweet feeling we say good bye to therapy and our last in home visitor, Maria. As with Kelly Ann and Liz before, Maria was an integral part of Anne Marie achieving so much so soon.

The one positive of Maria and Liz not coming to the house anymore, besides Anne Marie having made so much progress, I don’t have to clean it as much. Less work is always a bonus. Thank God they never knew we lived like animals most of the week and got it together for their visits.

Thanks Maria, you have been and will be missed.

Onward! Pre-school dead ahead!

Onward! Pre-school dead ahead!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally A Parent or A River Runs Through It.

It’s official. I’m finally a parent.

Yeah I had a kid before, Frank, but that wasn’t parenting. He was easy.

He ate everything in sight. He would reach over the bag of chips to grab broccoli. He’s eaten more vegetables by the age of 5 than I have my entire life. He’s polite to adults and most other kids. He says please and thank you. He sings to his sister when she whines or cries. Oh and he sleeps. He sleeps like a crazy bastard.

He no longer naps but when he did they would go from 2:30 to 6pm-ish. Yeah, almost 4hrs. He would get up for dinner and go back to bed around 8:00pm and sleep through till 8:30 or 9am. That’s not even the crazy part. When he started walking, he would take himself upstairs and put himself to nap. Not kidding. At first I would stop him to change his diaper and then send him on his way. After a while I just got used to the sight of him dragging ass up the stairs with Lenny/Lambie and listening for his door to shut.

For his first haircut at an actual haircut joint, he sat there and took it. He even followed Miss Courtney’s instructions. When we dropped him for his first day of pre-school, at the ripe old age of two, he never made a peep and never looked back. Been that way ever since.

That’s not parenting. That’s observing.

Frank was on auto-pilot

Frank’s sister is not on auto-pilot. She is always on a collision course with a mountain top somewhere. In the likely event of a cabin depressurization, complimentary oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. Please affix your own oxygen mask before helping the person seated next to you.

Now I’m a parent. This kid is running my ass off. I have no ass. Although it may have rotated around to my gut. Regardless, I’m running morning, noon, and night with this one. And my complimentary oxygen mask has not dropped from the ceiling yet. Case in point below.

A River Runs Through It

Last week during the normal course of events it became apparent this child will require much more monitoring. Not necessarily in the helicopter dad mode, more of the NSA – Big Brother tracking her every move, mode.

Whilst folding the morning laundry in my room watching Return to Fat Camp: The Thinning, young Anne Marie played on her own in the bonus room. For whatever reason it felt a little too quiet. I shook that off, thinking I can at least fold these socks before I walk down there.

Always go with your first instinct.

This is what I found when I finally got those damn socks folded.

Didn't van Gogh start out this way?

Didn’t van Gogh start out this way?

Yeah, so permeant marker, Sharpie brand to be exact. However, amongst the myriad of things I learned that day was this little gem. Nothing is permanent for moms. They know ways around stuff dudes haven’t even thought about yet. I’m not ashamed to admit my first thought was to call my sister-in-law Rachel. Well, my first thought really was oh sh*t! Tracy’s gonna kill me, I gotta get this off before she gets home!

My second thought was Rachel. No matter the strides made by stay at home dads, the natural instinct to call a mom you know will have an answer for you, proves that we SAHD’s have a long way to go. I knew Rachel would know what to do. And as usual she did. Alcohol wipes and soak in the bath if wipes don’t work. No go on the wipes, a bath it is. This is perfect, AM loves the bath so this should be easy.

So I do a quick mental check of the ole to do list. Lunch first and then bath looks to be the most efficient use of already wasted time. AM says she wants to wash her hands. Perfect. You can’t see it in the picture but her hands were covered as well. This will be like a little pre-soak before the bath and give me a few minutes to get lunch going before she starts busting my balls about being hungry.

Downstairs I go. AM appears and wants to eat. I listen closely for the sound of water running upstairs. I hear nothing and AM says she turned off the water. OK.

Anyone feeling a little twinge right now. Hold on to that.

We eat lunch and kibitz around a bit downstairs, change a big time dirty diaper, etc… After about 40 minutes I can now hear water running. But I can only hear it if I stand in the hall way near the door to the garage. No sinks are running downstairs. Standing at the bottom of the stairs I still can’t hear water running upstairs. But I’ll be damned if I can’t hear water running by the garage door. I pop it open and take a peek. If Frank was there at that moment he would have said something like, “Daddy, why is there a waterfall in the garage?” Indeed Frank, indeed.

Yep, a full blown Niagara class waterfall coming from the garage ceiling. I’m no plumber but I figure that has to be coming from a sink or tub upstairs. Up the stairs I go, taking four steps at a time. When I turned the corner from the top of the stairs my feet were under water. I’m still not sure how this happened but when I went into the hall bathroom the water was up to my ankles.

The culprit… well we all know who the culprit is, but the cause of the river running through my house was a plastic medicine cup placed perfectly over the drain in the sink. The reason I could not hear the water running was because a wash cloth had been stuffed or “gotten stuck” in the little overflow slit in the front of the sink and the faucet was under water.

Believe it or not the Sharpie covered face was now on the back burner. I’m in crisis management mode. This is one area where me being the stay at home parent is an advantage.

Once I got the water stopped, I’m hauling the mail to the garage to get my industrial shop vac. But I know the Vac can only get the surface water. It’s not strong enough to get the water out of the carpet. For that I’ll need my carpet shampooer. I’m not saying there aren’t moms who could get both of those big appliances up the stairs in one trip, but I gotta believe that’s a few trips for most moms. Engaging my big shoulders enhanced by baby muscles and I’m rolling up the stairs with a Sears & Roebuck vintage Craftsman, 5 gallon, 3hp, variable speed, shop vac, and a Hoover Deep Clean carpet shampoo type machine.

It took a while but I got the water all cleaned up. Even managed to re-org the cabinets and drawers under the sink, as they were all filled to the top with water. I’ve been meaning to do that anyway. The water in the garage poured through an already existing hole, so not much to do there but let it air dry. The Vac/shampooer combo worked to perfection on the hall carpet. Aside from the throw rugs in the bathroom needing to be washed and the hallway carpet being slightly damp, everything was back in order. Almost everything.

While all this was going on my Sharpie covered daughter was laying on her back in the dry part of the hall way with her feet on the stair banisters, singing about wanting to take a bath. Not kidding. So I still have to get her in the tub to de-sharpie-ize her and meet Tracy for an appointment in about an hour. Thankfully Rachel was right and after about 10 minutes it came off. Grammy showed up right after that and I was able to shower and make the appointment.

I figured it was OK to tell Tracy all of this when I met up with her since the water and the child were cleaned up. Wrong. The moral of that story is, don’t tell your spouse anything about the kids or house they wouldn’t have seen on their own.

As for the kid, well she strolled to her room to plot her next conquest. As you can see below, contrary to popular belief Emperor Palpatine is alive and well. Not a Star Wars fans – google it.

So this is what parenting is like.

 

 

 

 

 

Unclean! Unclean! – The scourge of adulthood Pinkeye.

So yeah Pink Eye. I’ll be 47 in august and I’ve been felled by a condition 5 year olds get. Ironically I never got it as a 5 yr old. As a matter of fact I’ve never had Pink Eye. I don’t think any of my 7 brothers and sisters had Pink Eye as kids.

This has been a big eye opener. Yeah I went there.

No clue how I got it either. Neither kid had it when I got it. Thankfully no one else in the house got it from me; an unexplained miracle to this day. I do drop Frank off at that giant petri dish known as pre-school. I can’t imagine what manner of microbes are crawling around that joint.

Every day a new batch of bacteria delivered in the form of a snotty varmint wiping their noses on sleeves, touching door knobs, coughing into the air as to get the most effective germ spread pattern possible. The ultimate biological weapons packed in the deadliest of delivery systems – a kid. Surprised I haven’t gotten the Plague yet. But thanks to the anti-vaccine crowd I hear there is a good chance the Plague might make a comeback.

Anyway my eye started feeling weird last Friday afternoon. By dinner I could barely see out of it and by bedtime (12:00-1:00am for me) it was hard to keep open from the pain. We had eye drops left over from when Frank had pink eye a month before. So I bathed both eyes in that stuff.  Worked too. By Sunday morning both eyes were glued shut. Here is what it looked like by Sunday afternoon.

WARNING! Graphic eye picture dead ahead!

Drops didn't work dude.

Drops didn’t work dude.

That’s just nasty.

The pain was a little surprising. Anyone I talked to said it should itch but not hurt and that includes the doc I went to on Monday. Never got the itching part. But man it hurt. I did learn something. Telling kids not to touch their pink type infected eyes or not to scratch a rash is just about the dumbest thing we could say to our kids. From the jump I couldn’t keep from touching my eyes. It’s a wonder it only lasted 3 days the way I was pulling and poking and rubbing my eyes. I’m surprised my hands didn’t get infected. How in the world could I expect Frank or Anne Marie to posses that type of discipline? Crazy.

But the bigger issue is the shame. I learned long ago with Frank it doesn’t matter if you’re sick you still have to operate in public. Groceries must be bought, kids must be dropped off, errands must be run. We have a very active cul-de-sac, can’t avoid everybody, should I wear a sign? I don’t want infect the Sac kids and their parents but I don’t want to ignore them either.

The problem was my eyes looked hideous as you can see from the picture above. I’m much cooler looking with Pink Eye right? During the day it wasn’t too hard because I could just go the too cool for school rout and drop the shades to cover my unclean state. But at night it was tough.

Wanted to get a little mcReeses mcFlurry on the way home from the mcPodcast, well I had to look away from the dude at the window for fear he wouldn’t serve me. Then I realized he became more frightened I might stick up the joint, so I sped away.

Need to hit the Kroger on the way home from tee ball but now it’s dark, what to do? Do I stare people right in the eye and dare them to comment, shout Unclean! Unclean! if I see someone get within two kroger-meters of my position. Do I just look down in shame and avoid all eye contact what ever? It’s a quandary.

I went with the for shame eyes down method, if you were wondering. I really wanted to shout Unclean! just to see what happened.

My eyes are clear now and apparently I was only contagious the first 24 hours or so. But I was quite the social pariah there for a while.

Thankfully my long national nightmare is over.

Until the next snotty little beast infects me with something.

Parenting is great!

 

 

Diary of a SAHD: Year round Nativity Scene? Sure why not.

So I guess we’re into this phase now. You know, the phase where your 4 year old asks questions you’re not smart enough to answer.

You wanna tell this face that he will die someday?

You wanna tell this face that he will die someday?

I’m not talking about why is the sky blue? Or if gravity is so strong how can I just yank grass out of the ground? Or my favorite, Why can’t we pass everybody on the road? No, those are easy. Basic physics and traffic laws gives us the answers to all of that.

I’m talking about questions from Frank about heaven, and dying, and when will he die, and how will God find him to take him to heaven when he dies. Again basic theology and some good ole gospel talk has the answers for the questions, but really offers nothing for the fear and uncertainty of a 4 year old child who just became aware of his mortality and is now afraid to die.

I will say this, I was worried Christmas was becoming this gift grab, with total emphasis on how much stuff he was getting. When we started to explain about, death, heaven and Jesus being the way to get there, he tossed out this grenade, “If Christmas is celebrating Jesus’ birth why don’t we leave the Manger up and celebrate that all the time?” Good question.

Well, because we have to decorate for Valentines day silly!

Haha. Wow that was a question I was not prepared for in the least. So he appears to be thinking about more than gifts and Santa at Christmas. I gotta believe he’s not the only kid who’s had that thought process. The problem: what’s the answer? Is there one? I mean a good one, not my flippant Valentine’s Day thing.

We kept Easter low key gospel wise because we chickened out. With all the death talk and questions about eternity we weren’t sure we wanted to restart that conversation by saying Jesus’s dad sent him here to kill him so we can live. Unfortunately that was the perfect opportunity to do it, but like I said we got skeert and we like our sleep too much. Did I mention all this life actualization comes in the wee hours of the morning?

Sunday brunch kids, embrace it. Great time to ask stuff like this. Who couldn’t field these questions over a plate of eggs and chicken nuggets at 11am? At 2am there are several synapses not firing, hell both of my eyes may not be open. That’s another, possibly tougher conversation than year round Nativity Scenes.

Time of day not withstanding, you would think it would be easy enough to say, well we just celebrate birthdays one day a year, like mommy and daddy and AM do. The problem is we put the Chritmas stuff up mid December and take it down New Year’s eve day. So the man made Christmas “season” turns out to be harder to explain than the actual human birth of Jesus.

After all of that the question remains and the answer just as elusive. Why don’t we celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world all the time? Be advised I’m assuming the people who read and follow here are smart enough to understand we are a family who believes but doesn’t require you to. If you don’t that’s great, but you still have something to add.

Having a different set of beliefs doesn’t shield you from your kid asking a question about heaven or God or Jesus. It just means we’ll probably answer those questions differently. That’s ok too. There is always something to be learned from parents as they relate to their kids about serious life and death questions regardless of philosophical approach.

Anyway, what’s the answer? Why not celebrate the birth of God’s son with a manger scene displayed year round? Would save me from having to drag it out every December, but my laziness can’t be the final answer.

I’d love to hear your thoughts if you dare.

You know the drill, answer in the comment section.

 

 

Ponies in my pocket: The night of a thousand pees.

I’m sorry Whitney. I lied to you. Well, I didn’t really lie so much as I inadvertently omitted a few key pieces of information when we were talking potty training the other day. While it’s true getting a kid to be full on potty trained, where they can clean themselves, wash up, turn off the light, and close the door, is possibly the greatest human achievement aside from landing on the moon, there can still be issues. And they be nighttime issues.

So Frank is a certified, licensed, bonded and insured pottier. He’s qualified to potty indoors and outdoors by himself. He prefers outdoors which is to say, “Daddy I have to potty, can I pee in the forrest?” The forrest being the line of trees that separates our backyard from the next property, an undeveloped plot of land that has seen far too much of Frank. Before I can answer the moon is out and Frank is watering the indigenous vegetation.

Damn-it Frank!

Damn-it Frank! The potty boy, pee in the potty!

But all those fancy credentials and experience aside, Frank still has the occasional workplace accident.

It has been 0 days since our last workplace accident.

Around 1am on a clam Friday night I notice Frank’s door open as I come to bed. I peek in and see my #1 child laying across the bed, half in and half on the floor. I step to pick him up and rearrange things for him and I’m greeted with a splash. It was a true WTF moment. Turns out the what was a giant puddle of pee in the door way. Not sure if this was some sort of perimeter defense he set up or he slept his way to what he thought was the bathroom or forrest and let fly.

Undaunted but with slightly warmer feet, I get to Frank. Oh guess what, he’s soaking wet almost from head to toe. The bed is wet, the pillow is wet, the blankets are wet, the carpet around his bed is wet.

WTF!

Only Perry the Platypus escaped the carnage, Lenny/Lambie (Lenny goes to Finland for the full 411 on that situation), Dog, Mickey, they all got caught in the field of fire. It was a massacre.

Frank’s just standing there, still in a sleep induced stupor. He managed to get off one question, “Daddy why am I soaking wet?” Indeed Frank, indeed.

All peed out and no place to sleep.

All peed out and no place to sleep.

Well, I ain’t cleaning this up tonight. This won’t be a wet cloth with some club soda operation. This is a full on code 5 industrial, requiring my heavy duty carpet shampooer and some serious laundry cycles, plus stuffed animal triage. In other words it’ll wait till Saturday morning. Frank, having no clean sheets now, got dry PJ’s and slept in the recovery ICU, aka between mommy and daddy. This normally means a spleen-ectomy for me, courtesy of Frank’s knees. But we have dueling adjustable beds now so our mattress is really two smaller mattresses squeezed together to form a king.

Frank got stuck in the crevice between the two and only the left half of his body was visible most of the night. Never fazed him so we let him be. I was getting a back ache just seeing that, but he woke up around nine the next morning, extracted himself and was right as rain.

Always the trooper, Frank cleaned up his trains so I could have a clean run at the carpet. He only stepped in the puddle once.

Midget#2 on the other hand was intent on stopping the operation. Not sure if this was some Green Peace protest against industrial equipment or what, but she did everything short of laying herself in the pathway of the carpet cleaner. Once she succeeded and we shut everything down to address her concerns it turns out all she wanted was for me to carry her two princess ponies or whatever they were, in my pocket while I cleaned. She saw them go safely in my pocket and she walked away happy. Cleaning operations commenced and went smoothly. Frank’s linens were laundered and all animals antiseptic-ized.

Of course as this always goes, since I had the damn thing out I might as well address those coffee stains on the stairs.

Unbeknownst to me, while stair operations were in full swing, midget #2 figured out how to undress herself and remove her diaper. She appeared at the top of the now clean stairs completely unclothed, holding a tragically mismatched pair of pants and shirt, babbling something about, “Mess on the ground.”

It took me a few seconds but connecting the dots, she was in PJ’s – now has pants and a shirt in her hands – is yelling about a mess. She must have baptized her closet.

Yep. Back up the stairs with the carpet cleaner. We are now at -1 days without a workplace accident. Is that even possible?

So Whitney I will say this, it might not get better right away once they become full fledged pottiers, but it gets more funny almost instantly, in a sleep depriving, tearfully tragic sort of way.

Good luck!