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Monday, February 20, 2006

Milestones

Late last week another family milestone was passed with the addition of a new member to the clan!

My brother and sister-in-law who live out in the SF bay area finally gave birth to their second child... a handsome (by all accounts) little boy named Joshua Edward Bogner.  Little Joshua took almost a week (literally) to make an appearance, but everyone is (B"H) doing well and our kids are celebrating the acquisition of a new cousin!

All this talk of babies has me looking at Yonah with new eyes.  Babyhood is such a distant speck in his rear-view mirror that I can't even remember a time when he couldn't run around and throw food at the dog!

Of course, the next big milestone for him will be 'potty-training' and I'm honestly stumped as to how that's supposed to work.  You see, my lovely wife toilet trained Ariella in less than a week while I was miraculously out of the house.  And Ariella took it upon herself to potty train Gilad while we weren't looking. 

The only downside to being spared a hand in Gilad's transition from diapers to underwear was that, thanks to Ariella's tutelage, he initially learned to pee in the seated position.  Luckily after a few weeks of fairly passive instruction I was able to break him of this unmanly habit. 

So, the fact that both big kid's toilet training went off without a hitch has me worried as to how to start the process with Yonah. 

Um, wait a minute.  Did I say 'without a hitch'?  Let me rephrase that to almost without a hitch.  Now that I'm thinking about it there were one or two small bumps in the road with Ari and Gili.

I remember now that Gilad became overly confident of his peeing prowess and for a short time would turn towards anyone standing nearby and proudly hose down their pant leg and shoes in order to show that he knew how to go standing up "like a big boy"! And on another memorable occasion after being told repeatedly to stop jumping up and down on our newly reupholstered 9', hand-tied oak-framed Danish Modern couch, Gilad stared defiantly into Zahava's eyes... pulled down his pants... and peed all over the pristine fabric.

And Ari... how could I have forgotten about Ari's big 'oops'?

You see, Ariella totally 'got' the whole concept of going in the toilet and couldn't wait to do it at every opportunity.  But she had such a tiny bladder that she had trouble making it through the night.  Each morning that she woke up wet was devastating for her self-esteem and we all cast about for a way to help her succeed.  Luckily our pediatrician realized that as a musician I was coming home late at night and made a very sensible suggestion:

He said, "Since you're up anyway at 1:00AM, why not go in and gently wake Ariella up?  Just walk her into the bathroom... sit her down on the toilet... and tell her to go.  She probably won't remember getting up, but it's important that she get to the bathroom under her own steam so her body 'remembers' the act of getting out of bed to go to the bathroom."

So, a ritual evolved where every night (whether I'd come home from my gig or set my alarm for 1:00AM), I'd go in and gently wake Ari up... guide her to the bathroom... sit her down on the toilet... rub her back... and say "It's OK honey, you can go now". 

And she would. 

Not long after we'd settled into this new ritual Zahava and I were awoken a little after midnight by Ariella shrieking at the top of her lungs.  I ran into her room and found her thrashing around under her covers, apparently in the grips of a really bad nightmare.

I instinctively scooped her onto my lap... rubbed her back and softly whispered, "It's OK honey..."

The rush of warm pee onto my lap was so sudden that at first I didn't understand what was happening.  But then it hit me that I'd uttered the magic words and she had responded right on cue.

I have a vague recollection of half carrying/half marching her into the bathroom.  But by then the damage was done.

Of course Ariella has no recollection of this - and it seems that I had almost succeeded in blocking it from my own memory as well.  But now that I've successfully dredged up these highlights of Ari and Gili's adventures in toilet training I'm fairly certain that Yonah's encounter with this rite of passage will likely give birth to some wonderful new stories for this journal.

Aren't family milestones great? :-)

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Posted by David Bogner on February 20, 2006 | Permalink

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You do realize of course that the kids are going to read this someday...I can't imagine the payback!

Posted by: Dave | Feb 20, 2006 1:00:42 PM

Yes, routines are comforting in the potty training process. But when the routine is broken, all hell breaks loose.

Our now-9 year old needed to pee in the middle of the night, one Chol Hamoed Succot in a Kfar Blum guestsuite. He must have been 6 or 7. So he got out of bed, felt his way (it was dark and he is blind without his glasses) to what he thought was the toilet, sat down, and peed.

When he got up from doing what he needed to do, he woke us up by making too much noise looking for the flush handle. You see, he had found his way to a nice chair in what was the parents room of the suite. And of course, he was finding it hard to flush the chair.

Posted by: President, Kippot Srugot for Kadima | Feb 20, 2006 1:37:54 PM

...I was able to break him of this unmanly habit.

Nay, fie! FIE!!!

...unless you and your son(s) are the good WWPC (wizards of weekly potty cleaning). Which I doubt.

Posted by: Account Deleted | Feb 20, 2006 1:42:13 PM

I'm crying I'm laughing so hard! Ariella should not be allowed to read your blog today!

We will be starting this with our Ariella some time after Pesach....I hope it goes well. :)

Posted by: Safranit | Feb 20, 2006 1:58:34 PM

"But now that I've successfully dredged up these highlights of Ari and Gili's adventures in toilet training I'm fairly certain that . . . "

. . . they'll never hear the end of it, once their classmates read these stories on the internet.

Very funny stories, David, but how could you?

Posted by: Sarah | Feb 20, 2006 2:27:38 PM

Dave... Our kids will have so many more compelling reasons to be angry with their parents when they get older that little stuff like this will be completely overlooked. :-)

President... Great story! I can so picture that happening. :-)

mademoiselle a. ... Actually, Gilad and I are the ones who clean the bathrooms every week so we have a vested interest in being, er, fairly good shots.

Safranit... Truth be told, neither of the kids reads my blog yet. They get to send and receive email and visit a few select sites under my supervision. I'm sure some future web search will provide some interesting reading for them, though. :-)

Sarah... Let's assume that their friends have Internet access and would think of googling their classmates. That in itself is a reach, but on the off chance it came to pass, do any of these kids think for a second that they don't have stories like this in their own family closet? also, Gilad's friends pride themselves on putting out bonfires on Lag B'Omer with pee, so Gilad would probably be a hero among his friends if they read about him hosing down passing strangers and valuable furniture!

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 20, 2006 2:36:13 PM

Ditto to all the others' comments about how could you do this to your kids...but oh, so funny, in true treppenwitz style! :)

Posted by: Essie | Feb 20, 2006 4:08:02 PM

My oldest also trained her younger sister. I remember my 4 year old taking her baby sister into the bathroom, sitting her on the little potty and saying "It's time you got on the potty train!"


Posted by: Shifra | Feb 20, 2006 4:48:00 PM

I trained my son to pee sitting first,.. its so much easier to do it that way first. When he realized the guys stand, he wanted to try. Maybe this can help you.

Posted by: Shevy | Feb 20, 2006 5:25:41 PM

I was torn between practically peeing myself laughing and feeling bad that your kids proudest moments were out there for all the world to read. Well written.
Congrats on the nephew. Was that one week late or one week of on and off labor, and if the second, poor woman.

Posted by: Lisoosh | Feb 20, 2006 5:27:27 PM

umm, your oldest is just now 12 I take it? That means you are a newbie at parenting a teenager?

uh, huh, that explains it. Not to put too fine a point on it, but did you consult Zahava before posting this?

ooookay.

Posted by: westbankmama | Feb 20, 2006 6:21:09 PM

My dad, now that he's 89, goes to the bathroom in the "unmanly" way. He compares going to the bathroom for men like two types of dogs- you're either a pointer or a setter- get it? Pointer, setter... ha!

Posted by: Regina Clare Jane | Feb 20, 2006 6:23:12 PM

David,

Thank you, thank you, thank you. There are other men out here in the cold world that have had to deal with this crazy nonsense.

Sitting down is not the preferred method and something that I cannot stand for.

My son and I had a similar conversation and he has since learned the joy of standing up to do his business.

Posted by: Jack | Feb 20, 2006 6:25:46 PM

I've got a good one- I was pregnant with NED#3 when training MB#2. MB thought the only thing you used the toilet for was to throw up! So that's all she wanted to do when I brought her anywhere near a toilet! Memories...

Posted by: sarahb | Feb 20, 2006 6:28:32 PM

David, it's your blog and your family.

But I cannot stress the embarrassment that Ariella will feel the first time a would-be boyfriend says "I googled you, and I now know never to rub your back saying 'it's OK, honey.'" and cracks up in her face.

She. will. never. forgive. you.

It's your blog and your life. But don't say nobody warned you.

Posted by: Sarah | Feb 20, 2006 6:33:15 PM

Here is a nifty little link for family road trips. Try this

Posted by: Jack | Feb 20, 2006 7:14:53 PM

We just finished pt'ing our 2.5 year old. It was quite an odyssey, complete with complex psych issues, anxieties and a bout of bad constipation to overcome. Thank Gd, though, we came through it with a happy and healthy toddler who knows where to go when nature calls. She's also dry at night, weirdly enough.

Posted by: Abbi | Feb 20, 2006 7:22:17 PM

Sarah: Rest assured. Ari knows the story and has heard it told (multiple times) in front of friends. We have tried very hard to ensure that the kids have a good sense of humor and that they understand that the ability to laugh at oneself, when appropriate, is an important life-skill. Ari completely understands that her Pavlovian response to David's voice is in no way reflective of who she is now -- it is merely a humorous moment from her past.

Not too much unlike the time that Gili puked into David's open mouth..... ;-)

Posted by: zahava | Feb 20, 2006 7:43:19 PM

Zahava-

Regarding that last sentence.

Too. much. information.

Oh, that is so gross.

eeeeeewwwww.

Now I never want to have kids!!!!

Eeeewwwwww.

At least now I'm happy to be single.

Posted by: Sarah | Feb 20, 2006 7:53:27 PM

Man, am I glad my ole man didn't have a blog!

Posted by: Scott | Feb 20, 2006 9:05:51 PM

:)

Posted by: Seattle | Feb 21, 2006 2:54:14 AM

LOL... sorry, can't brag about any of my own. I don't have my own children yet, and as for me, children in my family (and community, in general), are often potty-trained before they reach a year! I do remember, however, that I actually started using the *toilet* very late, because before I was five and a half, we used to live in a place with a horrible bathroom full of rats, and my parents were afraid of letting me go there. I wanted to, once, but saw the biggest rat you can imagine, and that was the end. Your stories, however, are hilarious rather than scary!

Posted by: Irina | Feb 21, 2006 4:39:57 AM

Oh, and Mazel Tov on the birth of your little nephew! : )

Posted by: Irina | Feb 21, 2006 4:40:37 AM

Oh, and Mazel Tov on the birth of your little nephew! : )

Posted by: Irina | Feb 21, 2006 4:45:36 AM

David,
your older kids are going to find this one day and not be happy! I am sure of that. The stories were funny, but I bet Ari & Gili won't be thrilled to know that a bunch of cyber-strangers know them now.

Posted by: Faye | Feb 21, 2006 5:02:16 AM

Wow - great info. Will have to keep in mind when our six month old is ready for potty training down the line. Right now we're still working on him sleeping in his crib (and not with us...)

Posted by: wanderer | Feb 21, 2006 5:56:44 AM

Essie... Only time will tell. :-)

Shifra... Funny story. I love anecdotes about how kids interpret adult phrases.

Shevy... Thanks for the link but we have never gone in for toilet training aids that you have to take with you. We have friends whose kids couldn't make outside the house because they only wanted to go in their potty seat at home. A toilet is a toilet so they may as well get used to it.

Lisoosh... Thanks. My poor sister in law was a week or two overdue and showing no signs of progressing. They tried all kinds of natural ways to induce and even went the chemical route and nothing. Good thing she's a marathon runner (literally) because this was a long haul.

Westbankmama... Let's just call this a preemptive strike. :-)

Regina Clare Jane... I'll have to remember that. Funny stuff!

Jack... We're men... the world is out bathroom! ;-)

Sarahb... OK, you have to warn me before telling me stuff like that. I almost spit water all over my keyboard!

Sara... Forget the blog... when her dates come to pick her up I'm taking down the baby albums! :-)

Abbi... Did you tell her about the alligators that live in the toilet? Kids love that stuff! Kidding!!! :-)

Zahava... Thanks for that honey. I see another journal entry in the making.

Sarah... You have no idea.

Scott... Did you really think he wasn't sharing similar stories with all his friends at work? Or did you just think they smiled at you for no particular reason? :-)

Seattle...=:~>

Irina... OK, you topped me. Nicely done. :-) Oh, and thanks.

Faye... It could always be worse. At least this way they'll get their money's worth out of the therapy. :-)

Wanderer... Good luck with that. We have friends who started out with a 'family bad' situation and they still haven't gotten the kids to sleep alone.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 21, 2006 10:13:38 AM

When I was a child my mother would occasionally catch me squatting and about to pee at the wrong end of the hallway as I had been sleep walking my way to the toilet, somehow cognizant of needing to go, but too tired to accomplish the task in the right spot. Toilet mastery can be a tough thing when you're young.

Posted by: celestial blue | Feb 21, 2006 2:15:04 PM

my daughter is a physical wonder. Late at the nighttime thing, it finally happened on her 4th birthday, mostly because she said, "I will stop wearing diapers at night when I'm four". We were on a 2 week trip home to the states, with a 6 hour time difference, and don't you know it, she did just fine. She now has a bladder that any woman who has given birth would DIE for. She often goes at around 5-6 at night and if I prompt her at bedtime, insists she doesn't have to go... and she can get up the next day at eight or nine with no accidents. I am in awe. And she takes a big glass of water to bed at night, too... unbelievable!

Posted by: nrg | Feb 21, 2006 2:25:20 PM

Celestial Blue... Thank you for proving to Sarah that a young woman can be 'out' about her childhood 'accidents' and not be embarrassed.

nrg... The female species in general (with the specific exception of my wife) blows me away with their ability to go for days, or even weeks, between bathroom breaks. I suppose that's why there are always couches and chairs in the ladies loo... since they go so infrequently they sorta make a party out of it. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 22, 2006 10:06:39 AM

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