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July 28, 2004

Faulty merchandise

Get ready for this: According to the package for the Fisher Price Piddling
Doll... she's fitted with a magnet and so is her potty, so "There's No Mess!"
She's only supposed to go when she's "Firmly pressed against the back of the
potty." Score one for the kids, because we have foiled yet another "mess-less"
marketing ploy. I'm thinking maybe this is why it was on clearance. Heeeey-
maybe I can get my kids employed as product testers for all the tip-less,
spill-free, unbreakable and otherwise eternity-rated products. In other
faulty merchandise news: My mom's stress test went well, and they did not
uncover any problems with her heart. They've upped her blood pressure medicine,
and it seems to be working. She's also feisty as all get out, so I think she's
on the road back from freak-out land. Thanks for all the good wishes. We'll
need them again as her mammogram appointment gets closer. My blisters have
finally healed after the donut debacle of last week. I get to spend the
afternoon cleaning muddy handprints off of the exterior of my home. The two
oldest must have felt territorial this morning, because they mixed up a mud pie
and proceeded to mark every surface they could reach. I knew I was in trouble
when I saw my son waving at me with his little "toodle-loo" wave and tear off
around the corner of the house. That is a big BIG sign that I need to
intervene. My two oldest are only 17 months apart, and function like the
dynamic duo. That wave was supposed to reassure me that all was well. His mud
splattered hands were a giveaway though. I slowly set my coffee cup down on the
counter, and walked as serenely to the front door as I could. Oh, crud. Every 6
inches of siding there was a muddy paw print. The recycling and yard waste
containers were tagged. The doors, the windows, the swingset, the fence. They
were both beaming at me. Mommy! We made paw prints! Luckily they wash off
with the hose, and it's all outside. It's my bad luck for not watching them
carefully. I was loading the dishwasher and feeding the baby. Playing outside
is better than allowing them watching yet another show on Nick Jr, right? Why
oh why didn't I get a fastidious kid? Probably because the Parenting Gods are
siding with my mom, again. :)

July 27, 2004

Just like a real toddler

I'll admit it freely. I am a potty training wuss. My youngest is 19 months.
She's been carrying around the bjorn potty for a month. She's watched the Once
Upon a Potty video a zillion times. You would think that I would have learned
after the first two kids. The Potty video instructs kids NOT to empty the potty
onto their head. My wunderkinds take this as a challenge. Someone once told me
that kids under a certain age don't hear the word 'no' and 'don't'. You say
Don't jump on the couch! They hear "Jump on the couch! (WAHOO!) Seems to be
true in my house. Okay, back to potty training. Today we took a victory lap at
Target, in celebration of our successful trip to the DMV. That's right. I'm a
briber. Thing number 700 on the pre-kids list of THINGS I WILL NEVER DO. I
suggest to all newly pregnant women that they keep one of these lists. It's
great comedy a few years down the road. The oldest wanted a Pretty Pony. My
son wanted something in a Brachidactyl. I know my dinos, and there is no such
thing. But whatever. My youngest is the only one of my kids to have any
interest in baby dolls. She loves to be a little mother. Actually, now that I
think about it, she loves to bring the dolls to me for me to give them gok-gok
(her word for nursing.) I rock them and pat them while she beams at me. Maybe
she thinks it's funny to watch me play with dolls. Hmmm... We cruised the doll
aisle, and I saw a likely winner. The Potty Training Doll by Fisher Price.
She's made from that groovy vanilla smelling vinyl and comes with her own dolly
sized potty. Aha! We can act it out and praise the dolly! What a fabulous
learning tool! On the way home from Target, the baby fell asleep. The two big
kids abandoned their new toys for the chance to make the doll pee. After force
feeding the doll and filling the potty a few times, I took it away and dried off
the floor and cushions where they had been playing. When the baby woke up, we
showed her the doll, explained that she used the big girl potty and gave her the
sippy cup to feed her 'baby'. Four hours later, and I'm still finding wet spots.
The doll, rather than sedately using her potty, has been piddling all over the
house. Yo! Fisher Price! Let's fit this thing with a microchip that only
releases the water when her plastic butt is firmly planted on the potty, eh?
How hard could it be to do that? My potty training aids have once again
abandoned me in my hour of need. Instead of a helpful tool to show my toddler
the joys of using the big girl potty, I've gained another kid with bladder
control issues. It's so realistic I could scream. That's it. I'm inventing the
Potty Lock Electronic Peeing Doll. I'll be rich. Can't you just see it in the
Right Start or Sensational Beginnings catalog?

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