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Monday, May 22, 2006

I promise not to do this too often...

Have you ever woken up in the morning and spent a few lazy minutes of extra quality time just camped out under the covers... exploring the cool, newly-flipped-other-side of the pillow with your cheek... listening to the silent house around you... and pondering nothing but... being?

I'll take your reverent silence as an affirmative response.

Now, while you're lying there in bed enjoying the quiet nothingness around and within you, do you ever glance lazily at the ceiling and slowly start to take stock of what you have to do over the course of the morning?

Of course you do... no need to answer.

And during this little spell of meditative list-making, has it ever suddenly dawned on you that one of the things on your list needs to have happened, oh, rightthisverysecond!?!

Sound familiar?  Anyone???

Well, Yonah seems to have been experiencing the toddler version of this unsettling phenomenon over the past couple of days.

Each of the past few mornings I've heard him start to stir in the nursery (which is right off our bedroom) and make little cooing noises as he talks quietly to himself. 

Then they'll be a short bout of grunting followed by a sharp intake of breath caused by the sudden realization that , "OH NO! I WANTED TO DO THAT ON THAT SHINY WHITE THING IN THE OTHER ROOM... DAMMITDAMMITDAMMITDAMMIT!!!" (no he doesn't really say this out loud)... which is followed by a few seconds of whimpering as he desperately tries to reverse the inexorable forces of nature already well underway.

That's right folks, we have started Yonah down the (hopefully) one-way road towards creating a personal interface with the municipal sewer system.  Yes, I mean potty training.  And unfortunately Zahava and I have been a bit lax (pun intended) and hap-hazard about helping him with this important step.

You see, being our third child it's perfectly understandable that we started him a bit late in the game... on just about everything.  By this I mean he's probably been sending us clear signals for months that he's interested in exploring the wonders of indoor plumbing.  But as a third child he has to speak up for himself... y'know, send up a flare if he wants something... like food, water or bathroom privileges. 

I mean for krissake, even the dog lets us know when she wants to eat or go! 

I actually feel kinda bad that we've been so blase about the whole parenting thing with Yonah.  I mean, we're not hanging on his every facial expression, wondering what he's thinking... or holding a mirror up to his mouth 5 or 6 times a night to make sure he's still breathing (not that we did that with either of our first two kids, mind you.  [ahem]

Oh we've had some lucky moments.  On a few occasions we've accidentally caught Yonah at just the right alignment of planets and constellations and he has successfully gotten some or all of his , uh, excrement into the toilet.  On each of these occasions we've lavished him with praise and given him big chunks of chocolate (admittedly, in hopes that the caffeine would spur him on to further, um, successes).  But most of the time he either isn't sending us the sign or we're just not looking for it.

So getting back to the past few mornings... as he lounges in his early morning fog, cooing and jabbering about who-knows-what, I hear him having one of those moments of sudden clarity where he realizes the train is leaving the station and he's not going to be on it (again!) and I just feel so bad for him. 

It isn't clear if the ensuing tears and plaintive wails of "I have pooooooooh" as he points at his sagging caboose, are because he genuinely wants to ride the porcelain horsey... or if he simply wants the praise and chocolate.

Either way, we clearly need to get our collective sh*t together and come up with an organized plan for this kid before he starts first grade... or he's gonna be teased something terrible.  I'll keep you posted. 

But not too often, I promise.


Posted by David Bogner on May 22, 2006 | Permalink


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The puns ran amuck throughout this post... jeesh! Poor Yonah!

But I, for one, enjoy reading about the personal parenting struggles you're all experiencing over there! Keep these type of posts and perhaps limit the political ones?!!! (Just a suggestion!)

Posted by: val | May 22, 2006 4:34:05 PM

You think lack of potty training in first grade will get him teased? Just wait til one of his classmates finds this post. I have pooooooooo! Hahahaha!!

Posted by: Tanya | May 22, 2006 6:26:24 PM

LOL! Maybe one good way would be to wake him up a little earlier and take him to the bathroom, whether he wants to or not, so that over the course of a few weeks, he'd get used to the ritual.

Posted by: Irina | May 22, 2006 6:44:14 PM

Oh, poor Yonah! Have no fear, he will be toilet trained when he's good and ready. Good Luck!

Posted by: Essie | May 22, 2006 6:51:45 PM

Yeah, I'm sort of with Irina. How 'bout taking him out of his crib when you hear him cooing, and taking him to the potty? Can't hurt him to acclimate him to a "big boy" morning ritual, can it?

Posted by: Sarah | May 22, 2006 7:27:56 PM

To think I was eating my Lunch while reading this post..Now look what you've done!

Posted by: Jewish Blogmeister | May 22, 2006 8:43:44 PM

Val... You make it sound like I have control over what's on my mind when I wake up. Haven't you figured out yet that I have about as much say in what ends up on this journal as Yonah has in what ends up in his diaper. And the results are strikingly similar.

Tanya... Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Do 1st graders really google one another?

Irina... That would require me to wake up earlier... or give up writing in the morning. Hmmm... tough call.

Essie... He's a ad willful that boy (takes after his mom... shhhhhh). :-)

Sarah... Hey! What's with everyone making decisions about my morning leisure time??? How come nobody is saying "Zahava should get up with him a little earlier??? :-)

Jewish Blogmiester... Uh, I put you off your feed? Sorry. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | May 22, 2006 9:46:13 PM

My son just turned four and is still having accidents because he is just too engaged in playing rather than taking the time to go inside and use the bathroom. But thankfully, it doesn't happen so often anymore. Our challenge now is to make sure he flushes and washes his hands or calls us when he needs to be wipe (he's a BIG boy and CAN DO IT BY HIMSELF - yeah right)

Posted by: jaime | May 22, 2006 10:32:06 PM

You verbalized that you were pondering Yonah's plight, therefore YOU should get up a bit earlier and put him on the toilet! Seems logical to me...
Consider it a male bonding thing between you & Yonah! ;)

Posted by: val | May 22, 2006 10:32:49 PM

Oh and one more thing...he is so cute when he is in the bathroom and he says to me "Mommy, can you please leave, I need my privacy."

Posted by: jaime | May 22, 2006 10:33:53 PM

Creating a personal interface. That's great. You manage to come with some of the best lines. It really does make working in a call center just a little bit more entertaining.

Posted by: Amanda Rush | May 22, 2006 10:37:47 PM

As a dear friend reminded me as I lamented my daughter's continuing adoration of sippy cups at the age of four, no one ever walks down the aisle with a binky, bottle, or diaper.

Moral of the story...these things do manage to work themselves out.

Posted by: beth | May 22, 2006 11:08:54 PM

I need to blog about my son and the toilet that uses a pressure washer to clean your tuchus. Loads of fun with that one.

Posted by: Jack | May 22, 2006 11:14:39 PM

Are you kidding? Potty training is one of my most popular post topics. Everyone keeps asking for more :) Truth is David, you're funny and articulate, so whatever you write is a delight to read.

Posted by: I'm Haaretz, Ph.D. | May 23, 2006 1:11:51 AM

Timely Post! My youngest who just turned 2 and is not at all ready for toilet training has this hideous habit of WANTING TO BE NAKED ALL THE TIME. We thought maybe by osmosis she would just KNOW to go to the bathroom, but alas, I now follow her around with "Nature's Miracle" (an enzyme pet cleaner). I hope she's ready soon - it's driving me crazy!!

Good luck with Yonah!

Posted by: Ezer Knegdo | May 23, 2006 3:39:47 AM

David, you have a wonderful way with words:

"porcelain horsey"...
"sagging caboose"...
and getting your "collective sh*t together" takes the cake!

Posted by: Pearl | May 23, 2006 5:55:38 AM

Ezer Knegdo -
I have one of those! My youngest son (2+) strips naked and then stands in the corners and against the furniture pretending to pee (sound effects and all) shakes his head and says "Nooooo". Eventually he'll sit on the toilet for a couple of minutes, give up and then pee on the floor.
Love "Natures Miracle".

Posted by: lisoosh | May 23, 2006 7:04:24 AM

Jaime... If you ask Zahava she'll probably tell you she has the same problems with me! ;-)

Val... Ah, so by that logic it would behoove both of us to studiously ignore the issue and never speak of it because whoever mentions it has to get up earlier. Right?

Amanda Rush... G_d decided not to give me a 98MPH split finger fastball and instead gave me a modest facility with words. I'll try to be gracious. :-)

Beth... That's probably a good way to look at things. But the fact that they actually make adult sized diapers hints at a small flaw in this truism. :-)

Jack... There isn't enough therapy in the world for what such a device must do to the kid. Stay right there... I'm calling Child Protective Services. :-)

I'm Haaretz PHD... I guess you have a more forgiving readership. Look, Dooce talks about being constipated 3 times a week and she is one of the most read blogs on the net, so who am I to cast the first stone. But I have a feeling that most of my readers would take a hike if I treated them to a peek at the more basic biological functions of my children with their breakfast reading. :-)

Ezer Knegdo... Yonah would strip down too if given the choice. For instance if we put him down in just a diaper there is no way he is wearing it when we go to get him in the morning. 'Layers' is the trick. :-)

Pearl... Like I said to Amanda... there are trade-offs in life. Thanks, though. :-)

Lisoosh... The sound effects must crack you up. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | May 23, 2006 8:22:13 AM

We had a hard time convincing ilan after his first success in the bathroom that he was supposed to do it again later that day and the next and the next....
"I did, I made it, I don't need to do more." he kept saying, even hours and hours later!!! good luck, and it all happens soon enough! I was hoping mine would hold off until AFTER our aliyah flight, but he wasn't so kind. Ever met a mom who wanted her kid to WAIT before training? I know, I'm wierd! :)

Posted by: emahS | May 23, 2006 1:36:26 PM

ROFL, I love it!!

I guess I have all this to look forward to - my first son is about 6 months old and has just been getting used to eating off a spoon.

Posted by: NN | May 23, 2006 1:47:07 PM

I found that with my daughter that I just needed to take off the pull ups and let her go skivies free. Of course she had a dress on, so that help when we were in public, but it seem to be the only way to get her to go to the toilet instead of just doing in her pants.

I wanted to do the same with my son, but having him parade around in a dress - well we didn't want to scar him at too young of an age (JUST KIDDING about the dress folks.)

Posted by: jaime | May 23, 2006 3:28:50 PM

Actually, we put her to bed with her pj's on backwards. she can't reach the zippers (one piece pj's). It is during the day that is the issue. Sometimes, I just give up and put her pj's on backwards even during the day! But, as they say "This too shall pass" (pun intended :-))

Posted by: ezer knegdo | May 23, 2006 4:29:35 PM

EmahS... No, that doesn't sound weird. But then you're talking to a parent who used to sense a 'sniffle' in his children every time it was time to take an airplane flight with them. And oh look! This brand of children's cold and cough medicine makes them sleepy! Huh! Who knew?! :-)

NN... Yeah, but it sounds like you have some time (unless you are a REALLY competitive parent). :-)

Jaime... Maybe you could get him a kilt. :-)

Ezer Knegdo... Have I mentioned that Yonah is a budding Houdini? :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | May 23, 2006 6:37:36 PM

Ezer Knegdo.. i'm loving the idea of the backwards pj's! I never thought of that, but fortunately, I didn't have to. I'm waiting to see what God has in store for me in the future, as far as challenges with my daughter go, as potty training was a breeze. I'm sure there will be other, 'funner', challenges ahead!

Posted by: val | May 23, 2006 6:46:35 PM

We tried the chocolate as an incentive and it worked rather well, but then a friend of mine who is a psychologist told me it's not a good idea to associate food (and particularly chocolate) with being rewarded for a job well done.
We switched to a different method that has been working amazingly well: we have a potty chart (you can download them from the internet) hanging on the wall at Junior's eye level. For every wee in the potty he gets a little sticker. When the chart is full he gets a small present. For every poo in the potty he gets a big sticker and a small present. Hey it works!
We also use nappies for bedtime so we don't have any stress in the morning...
Potty training seems to be a hot topic on blogs lately, or maybe it's just my bias? hmmm.

Posted by: MamaWombat | May 24, 2006 5:14:08 AM

Val... Yeah, like that smart little girl of yours wouldn't figure out the backwards PJs thing in a millisecond! :-)

mamawombat... I agree about not using food as a reward (and we don't use it as a reward in other areas where we're trying to encourage him). But the caffeine in chocolate does tend to , uh, move the mail fairly quickly and we want to create as many opportunities for him to succeed as possible.

Posted by: treppenwitz | May 25, 2006 11:41:44 AM

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