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.


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!


Diary of a SAHD: I peed in the forest!

That's not the forrest Frank.

That’s not the forest Frank.

Mrs Frank’s Place – “Hey, can you switch the towels from the washer to the dryer for me?”

Me – “Sure, I just have to go potty first.”

Mrs Frank’s Place – “Really.”

I didn’t even realize I had said “potty”.   It’s been a rough go, you know, getting Frank to go.

But we’re knee-deep in it now.  Figuratively of course, although there were a few times….  It’s crunch time.  We are now in mission mode.  Peeing and pooping with a purpose and there are 3 distinct objectives.

The boy must be able to: 1. Know when he has to go, and then actually go. 2. Hit the target. 3. Hike up his drawers, button his pants, and wash his hands.  He must be able to do all this before he can start the next and last year of pre-school.  To quote one of my favorite lines from Full Metal Jacket – “It’s a huge poop* sandwich and we all have to take a bite.” (* sanitized for this family friendly blog)

Number 1 is where the problems are.  No, not #1, he pees great, best pee-er I’ve ever seen.  It’s 1. on the list above where the issue lies.  The particular problem with 1. is #2.  Get that?  He seems to have no earthly or bodily idea when #2 is coming, and when he finally realizes it, we are way past the point of no return, so he hides under the dinning room table until the storm passes.  Of course the storm doesn’t really pass, it just transfers from him to me. I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize the fact that Frank’s Thomas the Tank Engine underwear is the ultimate victim here.

Obviously it’s my fault.  Frank got so good at doing all three list items as it relate to peeing that we never really concentrated on the pooping.  I just assumed in this one instance math laws would be suspended and 2 would follow 1.  Like any hack golfer who goes to the range, we only hit the clubs we’re already good at hitting.  We don’t work the tough clubs cause we like to hit the ball.

Well, it was gratifying to see Frank jump up, yell, “I have to go potty!” then  run to the can and shut the door.  You knew he was successful when the sound of a roaring NASCAR engine shook the door.  His battery operated Lightning MaQueen potty took another one for the team.  The unmistakable sound of his step-ladder being drug and then slammed into place in front of the sink comes next.  Water on, whine of the soap dispenser, then water off.  The ladder slams back to its resting place so he can open the door, and… “Daddy I went potty, do I get a piece of candy!?!”

Yes Frank, yes you do.  I imagine this is what a fine opera sounds like to the learned listener.

He has managed a few successful #2 trips, and he used the big potty too.  No one is more thankful than Lightning MaQueen.

But in the mean time we’ve amped up our game in the #1 department.

I gambled the other day, deciding on underwear instead of a pull-up while playing in the yard.  We were playing Driving Range, (read here for a definition: And so it begins), and Frank jumps from his tractor just as I have lofted a perfect 7 iron that was definitely going to hit the truck bed of the tractor.  In other words he chooched me because he knew I was going to win that round.  The boy hates to lose.  Anyway, he comes running, yapping about having to pee.  He wants to run inside and heads for the deck.  I calmly tell him to come back, and he only gets more excited.  I walk, again calmly, over to the woods lining our back yard and motion him to come over. He’s incredulous.  I tell him to pull his pants down, and now he gives me a look like “the old man has just gone round the bend.” But he drops his drawers and I tell him to point it away from his feet. If you don’t know what “IT” is, well…  I can’t help you.  Aim at that tree, I say.  Amazing how quickly he understood and applied that concept.  Two seconds after I told him to aim, he was hitting everything that moved. Ants, ladybugs, etc…

After he yanked up his drawers he says, “Let’s call mommy and tell her I peed in the forest!” It was like a brave new world had opened up in front of him.

Much like Columbus, I bet, when he found the new world, only to realize Amerigo Vespucci had found the American continent before ole Chris even figured out his three ships were on a tiny island (Dominican Republic) and not on the east coast of India.

Yeah, it was probably something like that.

Diary of a Stay at Home Dad: Daddy, I made a dirt!

Yeah so we’ve been potty training Frank.  Fear not, this post contains no pictures.  Tracy wouldn’t let me.

As I said we have been potty training Frank, and it’s not really been going well.  He seemed to be completely unaware of when he had to go.  He liked sitting on his little Lightning McQueen potty, just not when he was peeing.  He saved that for his pants.

He’d walk in the room like John Wayne after a 600 mile horse ride and say, “Daddy I’m soaking wet.”  Well Frank that will happen from time to time when you pee nine gallons of apple juice down your leg. Actually he looked more like the old plastic cowboy figures who were molded to sit on a horse.

So it was with complete surprise that I looked on my son the other day when he showed up in the kitchen, naked from the waist down, arms strangely out to his sides like he was about to draw down on me, and exclaimed, “Daddy, I made a dirt!  I need some wipes!” The “I need some wipes” shout came with the urgency of a crook trying to clean his prints from a crime scene.

With trepidation I walked around the corner into the bathroom.  No need to look, the odor answered all my questions several steps before I got to the door.  Well, all but 1 question. Did he hit the target?  For that info I had to go in.  Fortunately, I guess, he had in fact hit the mark. He might not have been the lead plane of a flight of B-17s over Berlin, but there was nothing on the floor, so there was a small silver lining. However, his Lightning McQueen potty might not ever recover.

What was so confusing was the fact that he had been wearing a diaper.

I had to ask, “Frank where is your diaper?”  It’s in the trash, he says.  Again, thankfully he got it off before the action started.  So it was basically a dry diaper in the trash.  Ok no harm there.  Now the big question.  “Frank, why did you take your diaper off?”

“Dirt was coming out!”  “I NEED SOME WIPES!”  That in fact, was yelled at me with the attitude of, Dude are you mental, I just pooped, can we do the interrogation after I get cleaned up and put on some pants.

So yeah I was trying to reason with my half naked 3 year old, who had just dropped a #2 in the potty and was demanding wipes so he could clean himself.  At that moment, he was the more mature person.

This was the turning point.  For whatever reason after days of peeing the hell out of his pants, he decided this moment was the time to start using the potty.  He’s been perfect with the potty since.  Got the whole routine down to include washing his hands.

The only hangup now is when he’s sleeping.  He wears a diaper for naps and bedtime, but if he “makes a dirt”, no matter what time, he gets up, takes off his pants and the diaper, puts the dirty diaper in the trash and yells for some wipes.

It would be hilarious if it wasn’t in the wee hours of the morning.

Wee hours, see what I did there?