Potty training as a writing distraction

Yes you read that correctly. Hubby and I spent the last weekend helping our daughter with potty training our three year old grandson. He needs to be trained for day care and preschool and it made me realize how similar housebreaking a puppy and potty training a toddler can be.

  • Puppy: regularly taking them outside to do their business, lots of praise, cleaning up accidents, watching for them taking the position prior to the deed.
  • Toddler: regularly taking them to the toilet, lot’s of praise, cleaning up accidents, watching for the pee/poop position signs.

Yeah it’s pretty similar.

Toddler couldn’t care less about the whole process and get bored, however the puppy wants to please the adored pet parents. So the biggest difference comes into play – convincing toddlers, by negotiation, this is a good thing for them. Easier said than done my friends.

It took us a few tries before the perfect negotiating tool revealed itself. He can only ride the school bus from day care to preschool if he goes potty in the toilet! This kid is crazy for buses. So…the task was on. He was spending the weekend with us while his mom, who is a teacher at a new school, was setting up her new classroom, running a bunch of errands, and having some peaceful nights sleep before the hectic school season starts.

Hubby and I have this-right? Charlie calls his grandfather Poppa and I am Nannie. He was having a good time with us and we started doing the potty breaks.

 “Charlie, let’s try to go pee in the potty.”

     “No.”

     “Let’s just try, remember you have to potty on the toilet to ride the bus.”

     Insert big sigh here and he goes with the person who initiated the topic.

Poppa and I tag teamed this, and the first day (Friday afternoon) there were some accidents, not unexpected. Then it became a watching game. We kept our eyes on him since he was wearing big boy underwear, not pull ups, so no leak barrier.

We didn’t let him carry a cup full of juice around all the time because we were watching the I/O on the little human. He had a busy day, and actually did the deed in the toilet. When he discovered Poppa stands up to pee, he refused to do it in the potty chair. He wanted to stand up-it’s what guys do.

He woke the next morning with a dry pull up, got up, got some breakfast, said he had to pee and proceeded to pee like a race horse. Damn we were proud. This kid might be a genius. He was having fun, playing with Hot Wheels, and I was talking to his mom. I looked into the kitchen when I spotted him crouched down, sort of hiding, and very still. This is not good. It took only a few steps toward him to smell it. Yeah one of those. At this age they poop like adults and it’s a gag fest.

As the day went on he was telling us the pee thing, and didn’t do another #2 (thank God,) and we felt he was getting it. He went to bed that night, awoke again with a dry pull up, same routine as Saturday morning. We went to church, he wore big boy undies, and got lots of reminders about telling Sunday School teacher if he needed to pee/poop. Got out of service and went to pick him up-no accidents, not issues-woohoo! Met his mom for the hand-off and she had a good afternoon with him.

Today same morning as the last two. Except he didn’t pee before going to day care (insert here he is in a class for fully potty trained three year olds) where he proceeded to have three accidents. Okay so we jumped the gun on this one. But this kid has the idea, it will happen. At this age the focus when having fun and playing is not there. Plus it was a new place and maybe he thought the only place he had to do the potty stuff was with Poppa and Nannie and mom.

So it was interesting, my hubby was a rock star, Charlie is going to figure it out, and his mom will be able to ditch the diaper bag.

The moral of this story-I didn’t do any writing, none.

Cheers!

-N

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She’s a baby

My puppy Millie is a lot of work for me. I expected this and am doing my best but she requires constant watching. I am trying to read her behavior to know when she is doing the potty walk. She puts everything in her mouth and I am regularly fishing out all kinds of stuff out of her mouth when I see her chewing.

She also has strange sleeping hours. Last night for the first time she didn’t wake me at 2am. We were, however, up at 6am which is a bit more normal. Thank goodness for strong coffee.

Just like with a human baby I get things done when she is asleep. I crate her when I shower and don’t ever just relax. I find myself watching for her and being aware of where she is.

The good part is she loves being with me, follows me around and she is starting to get the potty training idea. She is fun to play with and is so beautiful. Her German Shepherd ears are starting to lift which make her look so cute with one flopped over and one standing up.

Puppies are cute but I am looking forward to the ease of having a mature trained dog.

-N

I’m hiding out again

Yes I’ve been hiding out, only talking to a few people by phone. It’s hot out and I don’t like it. My air conditioned house has been my hide-out. I’m thinking a lot and my mind is wandering all over the place. My dreams have been crazy, very busy with places and people, causing me to be very restless in my sleep.

My newest story is slowly forming on paper. I know who some of the people are and a little about their personalities. They are like new and interesting people you meet at a party and only have a few minutes to get acquainted before it’s time to leave. I have a couple of them well planted in my mind. The sound of their voices are clearer. Some of the relationships are materializing like cirrus clouds high in the jet stream.

I am starting to tease out their stories. Their backgrounds and needs are pushing through. But there are several who are only ghosts floating through my pen as I construct the diorama of this location. This story has been pounding into my brain the way a song lingers in your mind. Dialogue passes through and pictures of scenes, but they aren’t connected yet.

I’m looking for a mystery. One that is old enough the clues aren’t obvious. Any suggestions? Who is there? This can get messy when I don’t focus on what is already set in place.

What do you do when you are looking for the next step, the next phase or the next light bulb moment? I guess I retreat and retrench. I’m a bit muddled in my feelings and the next few days personally will need me to let this flow. My wine is good and my paper calls.

This story is bubbling just a few thoughts away.

Oh I will be getting a puppy. A beautiful German Shepherd female. Perhaps she will be my muse.

-N