Tag Archives: boys

THE P FACTOR…


I am in the midst of the P factor. This includes, but is not limited to: pee pee, #2, potty training and penises.

If I have not lost any readers as of yet, let’s move on.

I got rid of my Diaper Dekor a few weeks ago and whooped around the house in success. I had crossed over and I was feeling great. But there are still issues. My older one has constant accidents. He is the thinker in the family, and he becomes so engrossed in his activities, he ends up going in his pants rather than to take the necessary time to visit the bathroom.

My little one is the charmer. I had a terrible time getting him to wash his hands after using the potty, and stooped down to horrific tactics like lying. “If you don’t’ wash your hands after you hold your pee pee, and then touch your face, you will get terrible sores in your mouth,” I warned. “Then we have to go to the doctor and get the pinch!” This worked well for my older one, who cowered in fear and ALWAYS washes his hands.

But the little one is something else.

I caught him the other day going to the bathroom. While I watched him use the potty, I realized he wasn’t holding his penis. He was just swaying back and forth, spraying pee all over the bathroom in relaxed nonchalance. I went in there – guns blazing – asking him why he couldn’t target a very large opening. He literally shrugged and beamed a handsome smile up at me. “Mommy, I found a way not to touch my penis. I can go potty and I don’t have to wash my hands and I will never get sores in my mouth.”

I was busted.

I backtracked and explained how he needed to hold it to control the aim but am still working on it.

The penis is the biggest factor. Having three penises in the house is sometimes overwhelming. I hear women complain about the constant state of the toilet seat being up. I would NEVER complain – I long for that day. I can flip it down easy enough. But in my house, the lid stays down, and all I see is residual bad aim – pee on the floor, the walls, the seat. My hand is always cramped around a Clorox wipe.

Now the other p word – #2. Another residual effect of potty training is the backslide. They do well – perfectly well – but they have accidents or “phases” of backtracking. My little one has recently decided he likes going #2 in his underwear rather than the potty. This I discovered quite by accident.

A little while ago, I was getting ready for bed and my older one wanted to lay down and watch a tape. I began clearing out the mess of DVD’s and tapes and books and little animals with spiky pointy things that I always step on or roll over. And I found a little ball in the bed. My son spotted it, too.

“Mommy, what’s that?”

“I don’t’ know.” I thought it was playdough.

NOT.

I picked it up in my fingers and realized it was a small #2. I looked into my son’s eyes with terror. “It’s Poop!” I screamed. Our mouths dropped open in matched horror as we stared at the ball. My husband came running in. “What is it?”

“Poop!” we both cried out in unison.

Then we looked at Joshie.

He knew he was busted. God knows how long it was going on – going in his underwear and dumping it in the toilet. He didn’t even try to lie. “But mommy, I was going to pick it up with a tissue so I don’t have to wash my hands and get sores in my mouth.”

I went a bit hysterical then while I explained this was absolutely NEVER going to happen again. Do you know what my three year old said to me? With a twinkle in those beautiful blue eyes, he patted my arm and said, “Mommy, it’s OK!”

Needless to say, I have been a Nazi ever since, consistently checking his clothes, my bed, his bed, and anywhere else he lays.

And the penises.

Well, everyone knows in cyberspace that my boys live naked most of the time. They still come hurtling out every night, unclothed, yelling “The Naked Brothers have Arrived!” And the motto in my house, with two little naked boys doing dangerous stunts is the constant mantra:

“Protect the pee pee!”

I came in the living room the other night after working on my writing and found the three of them in the living room watching a Netflix movie: Night at the Museum. My husband, clad in his usual boxers, had his hand down his pants. I have questioned this intention many times – quite curious as to why this is such a comfortable position – but he grunts and waves me away, telling me to stop asking him outrageous questions. My gaze flicked to my little ones. Both boys were in their matching CARS chairs in front of the tv. Both had their hands resting on their penises, with a large bag of Goldfish in the center.

I just shook my head and walked out.

Words still escape me.

Boys. The p’s. And yet, their minds still fascinate me – their simplicity in life makes me envious. I already feel sorry for my future daughters in law when Joshie shrugs and states, “It’s ok!” to an important issue.

Still, I learn something about the opposite sex every day, especially in my role as mom and wife. I use all of it in my writing to try and create varied, interested and flawed characters with hearts of gold beyond the hard exterior.

Life is never boring in my house.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Fibbing…


Oh, those lying eyes, as the Eagles would sing. Have had some run ins lately with the old sin, which started me thinking.  Everyone lies. I love when prospective mates haul out the whole honesty card and hold it up proudly for the big 10 score points. Personally, I think honesty is a bit overrated.

Take my kids, for example.  I have been quite interested lately in the social and natural aspect of lying. My kids certainly have not been taught to lie, and they have been socialized well by society and their parents to know lying is bad. I call it fibbing in my house because it seems more kid friendly. I noticed the beginning during potty training, even before they could speak. As the smell of a poopy diaper hit my nostrils, I would march over to one of them and ask, “Did you go potty in your diaper?”

Now, I don’t know why I would ask when I know, but it is a silly mother thing we do to catalogue and rationalize all small tasks of the day. We need recognition, so if there is no one else around, we ask the child. Immediately, the answer would be a negative shake of the head. Maybe “No, no, no,” for good measure.

So, at the ripe old age of 1, my children knew how to lie.

As time marches on, they get more experienced. Just last week, I had an incident with my older son which really perplexed me.  He has always been pretty honest. I try to install the idea that if they tell me the truth, I may get mad at the act, but telling me is the RIGHT thing to do. If I ask him why his brother is crying, he usually shrugs. But if I ask him a specific question and say, “Did you hit your brother and make him cry?”, he will usually answer affirmative, with a detailed explanation of why he had to hit him. But it’s good enough for me.

Anyway, last week we had a difficult dinnertime (more difficult than most) and Jake would not eat. He wanted dessert, but didn’t want what we cooked for dinner. He also had not eaten lunch. I knew he was hungry, so I had to battle between my need to get him to grow, between my need to discipline and send him to bed hungry. Growth won that night. I told him I would make him a turkey sandwich and if he ate the whole thing, minus the crust, he could have dessert.

Now, formal dinner was over, and I was trying desperately to squeeze some writing time in. I gave him the sandwich and shut his door and began writing.  In a little while, he called me, and when I pried myself from the computer I found his door open and my dog, Lester, inside the room going crazy. I looked at Jake with suspicion, because I had a feeling something was up.  “Did Lester take your sandwich?” I demanded. My two dogs are always hungry and my kids eat like they are in prison, with their food tucked protectively against themselves, or very fast before the dogs can manage a way to steal it.  Jake shook his head firmly. “No, Lester didn’t eat it.” I was still suspicious because the dog was chasing himself in circles around the doorway, seemingly looking for something.  So I asked him straight out: “Did you eat your sandwich?” Which he nodded seriously and replied, “Yes, mommy.”

Then it happened.

The dog finally noticed where the scent was coming from (I love him to death but he is not very smart), and with a leap, he knocked over the garbage can, unearthed the full turkey sandwich, and gobbled it up.

This happened within seconds. Jake and I stared at each other, both in horror.  Then my son got a sheepish look on his face. An Aww, shucks, mom, no big deal, type of look.

“You lied to me.” I did not know if I was accusing, upset, or actually admiring at his cunning.

A pause. “Sorry.”

And I knew it was the best I was going to get. So, I did the lecture on fibbing, and telling me the truth  no matter how scared he was.

He reminds me of his father. My husband cannot lie to save his life – thank goodness, this is a good thing. There was a period a while ago when he was desperately trying to quit smoking, and (I thought) had finally succeeded. He was moody and mean for a few days and then he passed through. We went to a party together and I was praising his discipline for quitting, and basically telling everyone how proud I was of him. I never noticed his silence.

The next day, I needed to get something from his jacket and found a pack of cigarettes in his pocket. I was enraged because he had been lying to me. I marched in the kitchen to confront him. “You’re smoking!” I accused, waving the pack of Marlboros in the air like a red handkerchief to a bull. “You lied to me!”

I remember the look in his eyes: typical deer in the headlights. But that man stared at me, stared at the pack of cigarettes and  pretended to be shocked. “Those aren’t mine,” he said.

My mouth dropped open. “These are not your cigarettes?” I repeated stupidly.

He shook his head firmly. “Nope. I don’t’ know where you got them, but they’re not mine.”

“They were in your jacket pocket.”

Silence.  Then the man shrugged and gave up. “OK.” He paused. “Sorry.”

Yep. Like father, like son.

Let’s talk writing lies. I always have my heroine lie about her feelings for the hero. Same with the hero to the heroine. My absolute favorite part of a book is the moment each of them realizes they are in love. It’s such a “Come to Jesus” moment. Sometimes, it’s as simple as having her heart leap when she sees the hero in a vulnerable moment. Other times, the hero needs to sacrifice something big in order for her defenses to crumble. And having men fall is even more fun –  they love pretending it’s just sex and no emotion so the punch is even greater. Lying is important to character growth and causes inner conflict. Sometimes outer conflict.

Personally, I don’t think all lying is necessarily bad, so I am a hypocrite. When my husband bounced a check and told me about the large service fees charged to our account, I ripped him up and down and sideways. For days, I groaned about the money we had thrown away because of his error. The next month, I bounced my own check and received two fat service fees.

I never breathed a word.

In my mind, some truths do not need to be stated, for a person’s survival. In my mind, sometimes not saying anything really isn’t a lie.

But this is a sticky subject. I’m not talking about lying in regards to cheating on a spouse, murdering someone, or causing anyone harm. I’m talking about the little lies that make up our daily life and soothe our stress. Lies of denial, lies of omission, lies for survival.

A friend: “How do you like my new haircut?” “I love it.”

A spouse. “Was it good for you tonight, baby?”“Absolutely.

A boss. “Did you finish that report?” “I’m almost done – you’ll have it within the hour.”

A creditor. “Did you mail the check?” “Yes, the check went out in today’s mail.”

A relative. “Did you like the shirt I bought for Jake?” “He’s wearing it now.”

A child. “Mommy, is there really such a thing as Santa Clause.” “Yes, honey, I promise you Santa Clause is real.”

You decide.