It turns out the frozen tundra of north Texas is no match for my white-hot need for productivity. Although I have not been able to leave my house in 48 hours, and although my children and I are like albino salamanders that are almost see-through for want of sunlight, we have been busy. Like penguins. Who look like salamanders. Pale ones.
I thought it was just as good a time as any to try a little potty training. Friends have told me the best time to potty train is when the weather is warm so you can let them run naked through the house. The theory is that wintertime is too cold for such shenanigans, but gosh durn-it if Drew wasn’t wearing a turtleneck, zip-up cardigan and fur-lined snow hat — with nothing whatsoever on the bottom.
Tuesday consisted of back-to-back showings of “Toy Story”, the potty seat set gamely in front of the screen. My first goal was simple: acclimate Drew to this new form of seating. He has shown a real ambivalence, almost fear, of the potty seat. Whenever he witnesses friends using a potty, his face is fixed in an expression of awe, like they’ve volunteered to dangle their private parts over an alligator habitat.
To my delight, not only did Drew gladly sit on the potty, he managed to produce a few little droplets. Thanks Pixar.
But the day was long. I decided it might also be a good day for Fancy Makeup Practice, because don’t you hate the two or three times a year that you have to do your fancy makeup and your hands start shaking because you feel so inadequate? When else can you practice but a day when no one will see you publicly and wonder why you look like Ke$ha wearing Nike Tempos? I wanted to try my hand at Golden Eye/Bold Lip because it was the look I was hoping to achieve at Sarah’s wedding but fell woefully short. This was basically a success except I made a mental note of the importance of regular application of Chapstick or lip gloss due to the fact that ultra-red lipstick looks cakey and flakey after a while. Especially after leftover pad thai.
Then suddenly, having just been so glamorously made up, I was summoned to the living room. “Peed on floor, Mommy,” said Drew. And there it was, a puddle that seemed to begin on the floor next to the rug and end somewhere actually ON the rug. He had left the TV room and peed elsewhere, like a soldier going outside the camp.
And so the day went. The initial misting of urine in the potty was but a tease.
When Gordon got home I begged him to let me go to Kroger so I could get out of the house. My gym was closed due to the “inclement weather” and for me the next best thing is eating donut hole samples in a bakery. Despite the hazardous conditions, I left, and the first thing I noticed when I arrived was how horrendous everybody looked. This is not atypical for Kroger, but the cold seems to give people extra permission to exert as little hygiene-maintaining energy as possible. No one had showered, shaved, or brushed their hair; everyone was wearing pajama pants and galoshes; no one had bothered to wipe their nose. There was certainly no one sporting Golden Eye/Bold Lip. Sure, I hadn’t showered either, my hair was stringy and pulled back into a deceased ponytail, and I was wearing an oversized long sleeve t-shirt, mismatched beanie and yoga pants. But I was wearing lipstick with “Ultra” in the title and I think that should count for something. It was Ok, though; anything to get me out of Urintown (the only Broadway musical I have no interest in seeing, incidentally).
Wednesday was a little more successful. Again, Drew was outfitted with Eskimo-worthy clothing except for his bare bottom half. This time I instructed him to simply INFORM me when he had to go to the bathroom instead of just sitting him on his potty like it was a Lazy Boy. I was hoping to see whether or not he can actually TELL when he needs to pee. I put “Toy Story” on again, sat him on the couch underneath a folded blanket, and waited.
While I waited, I tried my hand at Smoky Eye/Neutral Lip.
(If you’re wondering where my other child was during these proceedings, she was taking her morning naps.)
And lo! If there wasn’t 1/3 cup of urine deposited into the potty seat receptacle as the credits rolled! Drew was grinning from ear to ear. This was certainly more than a misting; this was a generous shot! I did a little dance, sucked his cheek in a powerful kiss and gave him a tiny bit of a Hershey bar. Plus two stickers.
In my arrogance, I raised the stakes by putting him in big boy pants plus a pair of jeans. After all, he was potty trained. No. No he was not. After two more accidents and two pairs of pants/underpants soaked, I decided strict nudity was the surest bet for success. Which means we’ll have to stay at home until he is seven and could feasibly wear a kilt.
That’s one long snowstorm.
I do know this, by that time I will have perfected Urban Eye/Pouty Lip, which might make it all worth it, except he’ll be a seven-year-old wearing a kilt with Ke$ha for a mother and then will it really matter?