Some days Karma is in your favor. You know, like when I won the lottery.
But other days, there’s a hurried rapping on your front door and you rush to open it because in the back of your mind there’s a chance that your high school boyfriend sent you flowers. That’s what I always think, anyway. Except insert the word “imaginary” before high school. Anyhoo, when you open the door you are shocked to see it’s actually Karma, naked, throwing open his rain coat and violently whirlybirding on your stoop as your horrified neighbors look on.
That’s the Karma I’ve known lately. In the past week…
1. Nick drove off with my car keys on his trunk. When later questioned about the whereabouts of my car keys he answered, “well I saw them on my trunk when I was putting the kids in the car, but I figured you’d take them off before I left.” Apparently I was supposed to have done that somewhere in the six second time span it takes him to put our children in their car seats and walk to the driver’s seat and start the car. While I was inside taking a nap.
2. Someone stole my granola bar out of the stroller while we rode the train at the zoo. And I’m not talking about some cheap-o, second rate granola bar. That thing was frosting topped and it was supposed to give me the energy not to faint while pushing a double stroller up a big hill. It was sitting in the compartment next to my Blackberry, which I would have gladly traded for a snack as I contemplated whose ass I could kick on the way out if only I had the strength.
3. Someone stole one of Ellie’s sandals at the pool. It’s not so much the sandal itself, though if given the choice I would have much preferred them to take both so I don’t have the daily reminder of carrying a 30-pounder in one arm and a 22-pounder in the other arm the length of a football field while toting this little ole thing
staring me in the face every morning as the lone sandal sits on the counter sadly waiting the return of its mate.
So when my instincts politely asked me to postpone potty training until my luck and general attitude toward life hits an uptick I told them to butt out like I usually do.
I am a schedule person. The day my girls turned four months old I gave them cereal. The day they turned six I gave them baby food. On Ellie’s first birthday I took the bottle out of her mouth, gave her a pair of tennis shoes and told her to keep up. So, naturally, when she turned two it was time to stop pooping her pants.
One would think that if given the choice any civilized human being would prefer to shed their waste in a toilet, where the most minimal amount actually touches the skin. But I think the invention of the Stadium Pal – whose slogan is “When you gotta go but you wanna stay” – puts the general attitude toward soiling oneself into perspective.
Why would anyone choose to take time out of their busy day stacking blocks or throwing fits to sit on a boring toilet? Even if it is covered in princesses and has a rhinestone flusher.
So the more I read and talked to my Mom, who, by the way, reminded me five times in a 20-minute phone conversation that she had me potty trained by 18 months, I learned that the only way to make this happen is to just dive in and put her in some underwear.
Let me just say that the thought of putting a little person, who has expelled the most rotten of all the foul raunchiness you would swear is from Satan himself in her diaper, into nothing but a pair of underwear and setting her loose around my home goes against every moral fiber of my being.
I apologized to Dora as I took her smiling face out of the package and told her this was not going to end well for either of us. Then I set the microwave timer to 15 minutes, and Ellie and I walked into the playroom and just sort of stared at each other.
Then she got on the couch.
“No no no! Not on the couch!” I screamed, startling her. “Why don’t we go stand in the bathtub for the next nine minutes? Fun! Or, even better, want to go play on the deck? I’ll just be watching you from the couch in this air conditioned room. And you could even sweep up while you’re out there! What a lucky girl!”
She responded to my suggestion by peeing all over the carpet. And some books. And some blocks. I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t one of the creepier moments of my life – someone maintaining direct eye contact with me while urine runs down their leg.
Of course by the time I rushed her into the princess potty there was nothing left in her bladder and poor Dora was over in the corner looking around for a knife so she could repeatedly stab herself in the face.
Repeat scenario countless times over three days substituting carpet, books and blocks with my leg, Nick’s leg, couch and… well… just about everything.
I guess I’m just a little confused about how this is better than diapers. With diapers I have the freedom to change her at my convenience. I don’t have to clean up pee five times a day. Our house does not smell like a stable.
This whole thing is starting to evoke the same feelings of parental failure I had with breastfeeding. Which I handled like a champ by crying and quitting.