“how to pee: potty training for boys”, my personal review 

Caution: Parenting Talk about Pee and Poop to Follow

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I decided it that, at a 2.5 years old, it was time introduce this whole “bathroom” situation to OzMan. It’s not like he’s ever walked up to us and said, “Hey, mamas, I’d really like to try pooping in something that wasn’t my pants”, but what does he know? He’s 2. And a half.

Amelia went all out and bought him PJ Masks underpants, Thomas the Tank Engine Pull Ups, a book of 500 stickers, candy for the off chance that something might actually happen and a pack of construction vehicles for when things really start happening. She went to the library and checked out a couple of DVDs and books to get this whole family on board with this potty training business. Gung-ho, I’m telling you.

One of these books is called How to Pee: Potty Training for Boys. It looks like this:

It’s written by an M.D., so I’m sure there’s some sort of validity with that, right? I mean, it looks like peeing in the toilet can be SO FUN.

But here’s the thing, I don’t want my kid to learn how to pee in the toilet with these step-by-step instructions. I used to have to clean the men’s bathroom when I worked at Taco Bell and I know what it’s like to have to clean up after grown men that were probably pretending they were cowboys screaming “PEE-HAW YEE-HAW” after they’d eaten their Nacho BellGrande 12 minutes before the restaurant closed.

The book goes through a handful of examples of how little boys can use the bathroom like a cowboy or a movie star. The one that gave me the biggest gag factor was the section with four steps that involved the little boy carving out a riverbed down a hill with a stick and then peeing all the way down it. No, any son of mine. Just no.

There was a section called “Mommy Style”, which involved the little boy sitting on the toilet while wearing a pink floppy hat and being served toilet paper by a butler. I’m still trying to figure out why a butler doesn’t bring me my toilet paper and a tiny bit annoyed that now my kid thinks he’s “peeing like a mama” when he sits on the toilet. But, it’s cool. I parented my way out of that one.

The review of the 2.5 year old goes like this:

Me: Dude, do you like this book?
Oz: Um… potty.
Me: What’s your favorite page?
Oz: *Would rather watch a Property Brothers rerun than continue this conversation”

I’m kind of burnt out on Property Brothers, but they weird me out less than looking at the streams of pee coming from this little hand drawn boy pretending to be a super hero. The concept of it is adorable – the guy’s son liked to role play (?) and use all these different props when he pees, so he wrote a book about it. It sucks being an adult, because if I tried to take in a rope and some spurs to the bathroom at work, I’m pretty sure the book someone would write about me would not be found in your local library’s children’s section.

We got the book on Wednesday. We’ve read it a handful of times. He has not found it inspiring and would rather read Digger, Dozer, Dumper over and over instead. It’s on to the next awkwardly written and illustrated potty training book for us.

how to do all of the important parenting things in just one step

CLICK BAIT!

But since you’re here, let me share my expert advice on all of the important parenting things I’ve had to deal with in my many, many, many years (2.5 to be exact) of experience. Feel free to email my PR department if you’d like a copy of my resume, qualifications and references.

PLEASE HELP! What should I do when my child won’t: 

  • Sleep through the night
  • Gain weight
  • Latch
  • Stop biting
  • Sleep in their own bed
  • Meet all of the recommended things that the internet tells them to meet
  • Say the words you want them to say
  • Stop putting things in their mouth
  • Quit hitting the people that raise him
  • Keep their hands out of their diaper
  • Stop having meltdowns in public
  • Sit down and eat a meal at any given point of the day
  • Recite the population of the second largest city in every state
  • (Insert whatever parenting issue you’re dealing with right this very second)

RECOMMENDED SOLUTION:

Here’s your one easy step. Do your best, man. That’s the most important thing you need to do.

Everyone in the world is going to have advice. Everyone. I have received both requested and unsolicited parenting advice from the following:

  • Family (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, someone I think maybe I’m related to somehow?)
  • Friends (ones with little kids, older kids and even no kids)
  • Co-Workers 
  • Medical Professionals (doctors, nurses, receptionists, lactation consultants, etc.)
  • Retail and Service Industry Employees 
  • Everyone on the Internet (like everyone – you don’t even have to know them)

It’s cool to ask for advice. It feels good that typically someone will get what you’re going through. And it’s also not going to feel good sometimes when you get answers that fill you with the rage of 1,000 angry bumblebees.

You’ll probably run in to a doctor who chastises you for letting your kid look at pictures on your phone while you’re waiting for his strep throat test to come back because, “Oh, screen time, huh?” Lest you be judged, lady. Lest you be judged.

And, Target employee, I’mma pretend you didn’t just ask me why my kid was out so late. I’ll give you three reasons: Don’t. You. Worry.

In Summary

It’s Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day if you’re celebrating it today. Sure, moms, today is your day according to the calendar and the greeting card industry. Maybe you’re getting a bit of a reprieve since everyone’s supposed to be on their best behavior on this Day of the Mom. Maybe your two year old is actually wearing pants, isn’t saying “help, mama” every 10 seconds and isn’t using a three foot long train track as a drumstick while all you’re trying to do is catch up on Lip Sync Battle. Either way is okay and you’re okay.

You’re better than okay. You’re doing a job that’s really, really hard. Nobody else is doing it the same way as you are and nobody’s more right than you. The best thing that you can do as a parent, and even as a person, is to just do your best. You got this.

it has been 24 days

These pictures were on my phone, you guys. I seriously have a problem!

Towards the end of April, one of my co-workers says her 30 day challenge for the month of April is going to be not to drink soda. I posted about it on Facebook.

And I totally sent her a screenshot of my Facebook post because I didn’t want someone to be all, “ooooooh, Wendy’s talking about you on Facebook!” and the good news is that she did in fact say soda, but now I’m catching myself saying pop, too, and I don’t remember what it is that I actually say most of the time.

Anyway, it’s now the 24th and I’m still soda free. I’ve had caffeine, because I’m not some kind of savage and I want my friends, family and co-workers to not want to slap me in the mouth.

I had a moment of panic when Ozzy and I went through the McDonald’s drive thru after the two of us went to the zoo and did you know McDonald’s doesn’t have lemonade? I mean, what kind of world are we living in.  I had ORANGE DRINK. It’s the same orange drink they used to have at our elementary school parties back in the 80s and it’s very possible the ORANGE DRINK I had a couple of weeks ago was made back then, too.

I was talking about it today and again this past weekend because you’re damn right I’ll toot my own horn when I’m 24 days into a challenge to anyone that will listen or anyone that doesn’t want to listen. When this whole 30 days started, I had grand plans of either shotgunning can after can of Mountain Dew in the break room at work or just straight up chugging 2 liters at my desk. With only six days to go, that’s not really the case anymore.

I mean, yes, I desperately miss the delicious flavor of Mountain Dew. It’s like the nectar of the gods and, when your dad works for Pepsi, it’s something you’ve been drinking for as long as you can remember. Plus, the 80s, you know? And there will never be anything quite like drinking an ice cold Coke right out of the can. Just don’t tell my dad about that part.

However, I’m sleeping more soundly (yay!), drinking more water (when I actually remember to drink, so there’s still work on this one…) and not spending money on stupid sodas all the time. I wish there was an app for how many sodas I haven’t poured down my throat in the past 24 hours per day and how much I’ve saved by not doing. (I know there’s one for smoking!)

Will I be soda free forever? Nah. Probably not. Will I feel the need to stop at the vending machine at work EVERY time I walk through the break room now? No, not unless they get a better flavor of La Croix in that bad boy, because who wants that lemon crap. I know I won’t ever switch to diet because that shit is nasty and I promise I’ve really tried to like it.

In my near drinking future, I see plenty of lemonade, which our toddler calls YEMEN.

And as soon as this 32 degree weather leaves this week, I’m going to stock our garage mini fridge with Summer Shandy and some delicious cider.

 

introducing Ozzy to the Harlem Globetrotters

Ozzy has been going to basketball games since he was seven months old. We always said we weren’t going to push any sports in him, but the Minnesota Lynx don’t count in that little rule of ours. As it turns out, he’s crazy about basketball, or GO GO as he calls it. Like legit crazy. He practices at home every night and plays with our awesome daycare provider’s 12 year old son anytime he gets a chance. With all that, we were pretty excited to take him to the Harlem Globetrotters game last weekend. 


He wasn’t so sure at first. 

There were the standard Globetrotters antics that are possibly the same ones they’ve been using for years, but still just as entertaining. That kind of thing was lost on this little 2.5 year old. But then the action started right after I got back from the souvenir stand. He doesn’t mess around once the ball is in play. 


He was most impressed with all the slam dunks. Who wouldn’t be? I have a feeling we might need to buy a backup hoop for when he slams the one we have into the ground that final time. I can’t wait to take him again when he’s older. 


For now, a couple of hours of basketball hijinx that happens right over naptime is pretty exhausting. 

how not to be a successful (or well liked) sales person

For starters, I feel like I should qualify myself as an expert on this topic based on the following experience:

Example 1: I worked in this pilot program at Best Buy for a couple of years where customers thought they were calling into these random stores in Michigan and Ohio, but their calls were actually being routed to a call center in Minnesota and it was my job to convince the people calling in that they should buy whatever it was they were asking about over the phone with me. Most people hated it. I couldn’t really blame them. I was, however, always the top one or two in getting people to buy that shit.I once had a lady call in around Christmas time to see if we had Josh Groban’s Christmas album in stock. Of course we did. And because some manager or director or someone was listening to one of my calls, I asked the lady if she knew Josh Groban and Barbra Streisand sang some duet together on some other random ass album and she wanted to buy that one, too. And that’s when I became a legend (at least in my own mind.) She loved Josh Groban. I just wanted to make sure she didn’t miss out on other things Josh Groban related.

Example 2: I worked for an educational software company for about 4.5 years, most of which was spent in trying to sell this software to schools during a time where so much of their funding was being taken away. Nothing really makes you feel much worse than calling the principal of a school and trying to talk them into buying software that cost tens of thousands of dollars when their teachers were spending their own money on pencils for the kids in their class. I sucked and I sucked hard at that job because it just wasn’t cool. So, I got fired. One of the best things that ever happened in my life and it was all because I wouldn’t put my morals aside to sell a bunch of… crap.

See? I’m a total sales pro.

Worst Example of a Sales Person I’ve Seen in the Last MANY Years: I have season tickets to a major sports team in the Twin Cities. This will be the third year that we’ve had them and, in that amount of time, also our third season ticket rep. Based on this guy’s ridiculous antics, I’m almost expecting a fourth one to come anytime soon.

I reached out via email to my sales rep because I wanted to find out what tickets would be available for my office to purchase for the season. He called me. I didn’t answer because I was at work, so he emailed me back. We were able to exchange a few emails, but I obviously need some levels of approval for spending that kind of money, so I hadn’t gotten back to him by the next day.

Within the span of 11 days, he called me five times. Okay, okay. I get it. Commission based. But then he took it a step too far. He very resourcefully dug up my work phone number and called me there. I didn’t answer it because I recognized the number since he’d been calling me every other day for the past nearly two weeks. Plus, hi, WORKING.

And then he took it a giant leap too far. Immediately after he hung up from my work phone, he called my cell phone from his PERSONAL CELL PHONE to get me to answer. At least that’s what I assumed before I answered it, but deep down, I didn’t really want that to be true. But it was.

I said, “Hello?” and he definitely didn’t expect me to answer based on his reply of, “Uhhhhh…” and then his introduction. He asked me his sales questions. I told him I didn’t know yet. We exchanged departing pleasantries, but I couldn’t let it go, you guys. I said, “Hey, Name That Rhymes with Snake, is this your personal cell phone?” He totally gave me this noise that I always use when I’m mocking someone who sounds like they’re talking out of their ass and it sounds something like, “Wuuullllllll…” If I would have been on an actual telephone, I would have slammed that receiver down so fast. Man, I miss those days.

I emailed him telling me never to call me at work again. He apologized via email and asked when he could call me again. And that’s when I realized it was like a REALLY OBSESSIVE BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND. I wanted to write him back and tell him the only time I wanted him to call is if someone was in physical harm, but my wife told me that was too much.

But, c’mon, sales people. I get you have a job to make and some mouths to feed and I appreciate. What I don’t appreciate are these kind of shady antics. If you think this is the best way to go about business, I’ve got news for you, man.