Sunday, July 13, 2008

I'm Goin' to Moe's

In one of my favorite shows, "The Simpsons," every time Homer gets into trouble or something bad or unpleasant happens at the house (usually from his doing), he abandons the situation by announcing that he's going to Moe's, a bar. I don't have a Moe's to go to when I want to escape the house, but there is a Home Depot that "huddled masses, yearning to be free" can go... and I've been wanting to go there a lot lately.

Today was a good example.

We've been working on potty training Matthew for a few weeks now, not consistently, but as off and on, about the same as Matthew is enthusiastic for the procedure (which he isn't). He likes to wear pull-ups and he likes to wear his new underwear, and I thought he understood the concept of how the toilet works and what he needs to do when he feels like he has to go to the bathroom.

In fact, there was a time for a while that he would try to go about 10 or 12 times a day. Every time I didn't know where he was, I'd always find him in the bathroom with his pants in the hall, his diaper on the bathroom floor and him sitting there patiently waiting for something to happen. When I'd walk in, he'd usually look at me and say, "Privacy, please."

Lately, his interest in using the bathroom has waned, and I really can't blame him. When you can take care of business right there in your pants, no matter where you are or what you are doing, why bother with figuring out the toilet? It's probably just a hassle for him.

Today, I spent the majority of the day hacking down the weeds in the planters between the patio and the grass. I pulled up all of the plants too and pared them down to manageable sizes, adding a layer of landscaping cloth in the planters to keep future weeds from sprouting through. I wanted to alternate with different color wood chips and a couple kinds of rocks, as it adds a little color to the backyard. It just proves that I watch too many home improvement shows on HGTV and DIY.

Kara had gone off to run some errands, so I was in charge of the youngin. Natalie was all to happy to help me dig in the dirt and Matthew quickly grabbed a shovel to search for worms (when he found them, he made sure they were sufficiently covered so they can go about their business.

Before Kara left, she put him in a pair of his new fancy underwear, which he was quite elated to show off. Because of this, I was adamant about making sure that he told me if he had to go to the bathroom, explaining that he is in big-boy underwear and big boys don't pee in their pants. Well, he assured me in no uncertain terms that he didn't have to go to the bathroom right then and that I'd be the first to know if he did.

All was going great for the first couple of ours. Kara came home about the time that Matthew was returning from the garage with a cup of water. As he was standing there telling me about all that he had to go through to the get the water (the paper cup was in the pantry, while the water--in a Arrowhead bottle--was in the garage fridge), he took a drink, spilling it down the front of his shirt, which is pretty normal.

"Hey, you're spilling your water," I told him. "You're getting it all over you."

"I have to pee," he announced. "I am peeing."

Sure enough, the cup was level and "liquid" was still draining down his leg and puddling under his toes. Matthew giggled. My solution was to pull off his underwear and hose him off on the lawn, but Kara intervened and took him inside to get cleaned up. I'm sure he would have loved the hose though.

A few moments later, he was back outside, naked from the waist down playing with some toys on the patio. I suppose Kara thought it was just easier to send him outside without any pants on, just in case he did it again, there would be less to clean up.

Sure enough, as I was grabbing my keys and wallet, Matthew comes in the back door to announce that he had pooped "outside the house," which he thought was just hilarious. Kara thought Matthew had said inside the house, so as she was looking around the kitchen table for it, I quickly discovered smack dab in the middle of the patio.

Hey, Kara sent him out there without any pants on, she can face the consequences!

Me: "I'm going to Home Depot!"

And I did. I needed wood chips and some river rock.

Of course, after a full-day's work in nearly 100-degree weather (with some kind of strange high humidity) half of my planters look really nice; I didn't have the energy to do the other side.

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