Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Friday, January 17, 2014

For moms thisclose to losing their shizz. Like, literally. (A.K.A. Combing The Desert**)

Spaceballs - proof the '80s were good to us.
Reporting Live! from the front lines of the War on Poop (in pants).

We decided two months before Christmas to start preparing Ezra for our No Turning Back Potty Training Tour, which was scheduled to begin December 26, 2013. The highlights of this tour included an absolute NO RETURNING TO DIAPERS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE rule, and a solid week of staying at home. We said things like, "Hey Dude, after Christmas diapers are all gone," and "After Christmas you get to wear BIG BOY UNDERWEAR!"

The big day began with the fetal position and screaming. Once I got a hold of myself Ezra was upright and stopped screaming, "I WANT MY DIAPER" we were good to begin.

Day one was wet. Very, very wet. We set a timer and took little man to the potty every 15 minutes. I fulfilled my weekly squat quota in just under an hour between toilet time and laundry. (Note to self: Market a Potty Training Workout to better your booty. Then watch Shaun T struggle to come up with a more extreme alternative.)

Day two was slightly drier. We kept Ezra captive with wheat thins and the job of Master of the Television Remote. The older kiddos started saying things like, "Monsters University again?" but I held firm; anything to keep little man from total mutiny.

Day three we got the call that my GRANDfather died. The next day would be the viewing. It was 40 minutes away and would require we look presentable. (Insert evil suspense music.) We were still using the potty every 15 minutes and while it was drier than day one, keeping pee out of the underpants was still hit or miss.

At the funeral home Ezra stayed contained and acted appropriately in every manner. That's the new way I'm describing him borrowing people's phones to play Angry Birds and sneaking away to take pictures of my GRANDfather in his casket. Since the funeral home also had an indoor playscape (oh, you mean the four steps up to the next landing in the lobby that are the perfect height for jumping off while screeching "YEEEAAHH!" isn't really a playscape?) he worked out all the "I spent all morning cooped up at church, followed by a scenic Sunday drive to get to this building where everyone is somber and you are supposed to act reserved" ants in his pants throughout the visitation.

Me, Cassie, and my future SIL Natalia.
That's how you do family. BOOM.
We continued to take him to the bathroom every 15 minutes or so, which really helped me have time to connect with my out of state family. I had many deep, meaningful conversations that went something like, "Hey, my Only Brother in the Whole World! How are you? OHMYLANTA you got engaged last night?! And my future sister-in-law is standing right here with her gorgeous ring? Tell me all about the proposal. I want to hear every detail - oh, I need to take Ezra to the potty. I'll be right back. DON'T MOVE."

Ezra actually stayed dry until around 4:00. I put him in plastic pants as an extra measure of protection in case there were any accidents. This allowed a layer of protection and provided three surprise perks to the potty training process. First, it actually contained the mess when he finally crapped his pants that afternoon. Secondly, the plastic also held any body heat he generated from jumping up and down the stairs. This resulted in the following restroom conversation about a dozen times.

Kelly: Hey Dude, are you wet?
*Kelly and Ezra both feel his underpants. They are slightly damp all over.*
Ezra: No wet.
Kelly: I think you are right. I think it's just sweat.

(Of course, because we are efficient we developed a convenient shorthand:
Kelly: Wet?
Ezra: Just sweat.)

The final benefit of the plastic pants was the awesome rash that resulted from hours of stewing in his own tush sweat.

(#ParentingTip = if you want to experience extreme potty training, add a layer of A&D ointment to the diaper area of your child. Having effectively greased up your child, challenge him to stay seated on the toilet. Award bonus points for any horizontal dismount that may occur.)

Things were actually progressing better than I thought they could, given the circumstances. Even with his one accident, Ezra proved to be my favorite child ever when he finally pooped his pants during Brian's turn to take him to the potty.

Since Brian is a really good dad and believes a child should experience natural consequences for their actions, he required Ezra to carry the little blue bag we used to hold his poopy underpants. This bag was tiny, fragranced, and, most importantly double-knotted, so I had to agree this was a fair plan.

As we made our rounds to say goodbye (we thought it best to leave on our personal high note of crapping our pants and stealing all the cookies from the deli trays left out in the family area of the funeral home) I jokingly told everyone possible a few trusted individuals that Ezra was carrying a bag of poop. (This is because I value discretion and understand appropriate conversation topics at the viewing of a loved one.)(Also, poop is hilarious and "Boy, that Kelly, she's sure a hoot".)

This was amusing until we were on our way out the door and realized Ezra no longer had the blue bag of poop.

If you want to know the reason you end up at a funeral home quietly asking all your relatives if they've seen your bag of poop, this is it. And when no one can find it you will have to check with the kind staff, being as vague and diplomatic about the missing item as possible:

Kelly: May I check your office for my blue bag? My little boy had it and I wondered if he dropped it while he was in here stealing all the candy off your desk visiting earlier.
Funeral Home Worker: Sure, honey. Is that the one with the poop in it?
Kelly: *open and closed dumbstruck guppy mouth*
Funeral Home Worker: I'm sure it will turn up.

Thankfully you will find it stashed on the podium before your uncle gives the eulogy, and sneak out clutching it while pretending to be invisible. Unfortunately your invisibility skills are sorely in need of practice, because two different people will comment on your way out, "Oh good! You found it."

**The only thing that will run through your mind is a super inappropriate scene from SpaceBalls, and you will picture yourself as an African American man in the desert with a giant pick replying, "I ain't found (Holy Ghost edit)." Which? Almost redeems that part of your day.


  1. Well, as I always say, I've yet to meet a 20 year old that didn't get this potty training thing down pat (now 40 and 50 year old's that might be a different story...things seem to regress as we get older).

    And Spaceballs is the best! Limefreckle Jr. discovered it last year when we rented at a vacation home (it was in their collection) and it was made for a kid like him....he really should have grown up during the 80's!

    1. I'm pretty sure Jr. will be *making* the next Spaceballs type classic in our future ;-)

      I want to knock on wood as I type this, but I think Ezra is getting there ...

  2. Spaceballs is on my lists of 10 favorite movies of all time. Excellent choice!

    Also, please write a book. And a guest-post for my blog. Pretty please?

    1. Thanks, Katie! That's awesome coming from you. (You are one of my first "real writer" blogger friends.) Also, I've been working on a guest post for you for almost a year it seems. My "That's when I realized" post has been in various stages of "on the back burner" for too long. So here's my renewed commitment ;-) Soon-ish?

  3. I second the directive to write a book!


    1. Thanks, Deb! :) You are officially on my PR team. The pay sucks, but if I ever make it big I'll make sure you get in to all the hot clubs with me. And you'll get a costume. And a Tim Horton's gift card that's good for life. So basically, there's a ton of perks to being on my team. ;-)


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