One-hundred Twenty-three Ways to Pee


This past summer as parents we had a pretty significant breakthrough in our world of raising children. Just as we began attaching the velcro flaps of some size one diapers (and wondering how many times we would need to refinance our house to afford them), we were able to ditch the size fives. We somehow, with minimal resistance were able to get our two-year old potty trained before he hit two and a half. We felt great about it. We celebrated as a family this monumental moment. Sure…It took about 350 stickers entered into a “potty-book”, and there were days/weeks where we were sure that it was never going to happen; but all in all the time, energy and tricks we needed to use were a lot less substantial then anticipated.

With this new skill came a new phenomenon. Madden began to show such curiosity and creativity towards peeing that I was convinced he was training for some yet to be invented Olympic event that involved urinating. There had always been some boring, long lasting, classic maneuvers he used. Peeing in the tub had became a fan favorite. But all of a sudden, we were ready to explore the full range of possibilities that involved our stream.

First came the intrigue with location. You’re out running an errand or at a restaurant and right on cue you hear “Daddy, I got to pee.” Every public restroom absolutely had to be looked-over by the newly self-appointed health inspector. Hannafords, Wal-Mart, Porta-potties…We visited the bathroom of a diner in Rochester no less then eight times in one meal on the way back from the ocean. It’s hard to tell your newly potty-trained two-year old that seven times is enough; the last thing you want to have to do is strip him down from his pee-soaked clothes in the 5 x 5 stench filled cell of a bathroom, when you deny him number eight. He’d pee’d in the woods, pee’d in a hole on the beach, pee’d on the fence at the park, pee’d in a pond. But as annoying as this process had become, I had at least heard of such an interest.

What I hadn’t caught wind of is the variety of ways that a two-year old will attempt to sit or stand to go. We needed our pants off, then our pants at our ankles, then one ankle. We had to be sitting on his training potty, but then we had to be standing at his training potty. But then we wanted to be sitting again; this time on mommy and daddy’s potty, both facing out-then facing in…and then we even needed to be kneeling on the potty, which was just weird (but this one seems to be sticking, literally). We had to be held up to the potty, but then we wanted mommy and daddy to leave when we potty. We would need a stool to stand on to go potty, but then we would need to be sitting down when we flushed the potty. It was an extremely experimental phase, and I’m not convinced we are done. But I’m waiting for the day he asks to sit on the water tank of the toilet (I have my limit).

Like all boys, he prefers to pee outside. And to be honest, I hope that lasts. He has pretty bad aim.


Madden in the Morning

I’m what I’d call a “free” morning person. I love it when I have no place to be. I leisurely get my coffee and relax as the sun pours into our living room. Or at least I used to. I’m also the stereotypical father/teacher who on a work day doesn’t get going until I’ve got a 32 oz. cookie dough ice coffee in me from Aroma Joes. Going waaaaaaaay back to 1998, I was a junior in high school. I drove my sister and myself to school everyday. I also for a short stint picked up a friend of hers to catch a ride with us. Fifteen years later, my wife (the girl who caught a ride with us), still reminds me of how pissy I was on those drives. Apparently, I hardly said three words to her in the forty or so 7:00 AM trips we made together. I was a charmer (she must have fell for my strong, silent type personality). Anyways, the point of this rambling, confusing intro on mornings is……..well I don’t know how I completely feel about them. But really, anyways….

Madden…Ohhhhh Madden. I never realized that a two year old could “not be a morning person”….Until I met Madden in the morning. And since the start of summer, one of my daddy duties has entailed being in charge of dragging a tasmanian devil from the room next door.

It starts a little something like this…Somewhere between 5:15 and 6:30 AM:


*Open door to room*

“Hey buddy! Good morning, how did you sleep last night? Did you have any good dreams?”


(Well good *&$%!#@ morning to you as well)

Don’t worry, that last part was just my inner voice. But literally, the boy has started each and every day with a diaper change since his day of birth. Yet every morning he is just as shocked as the day before when I disclose to him that I’m going to be the evil dad who will torture him with a fresh, soft, dry diaper applied to his rear end.

From there I attempt to entice him to come cuddle with his mommy and I for about 20 minutes so I can shake the cob webs that have been forming from my 6 hours of broken sleep and 3:00AM sit-downs with the 2-week old. Hmmmmm, crawling into mommy and daddy’s bed, snuggles and hugs, early morning I love you’s!!!!! Sounds like a treat, right? WRONG! He wants no part of it. As a kid, I spent the first portion of my life wandering down the halls in the middle of the night to my parents bed, just so I could wake up and be with my two favorite people. But the mere suggestion of it is intolerable to Madden. He’s been sleeping for 10 hours, he’s ready to go. Dad. You better be ready to go to. So I stumble down the stairs with 36 pounds of two year old in my arms and a heaping pile of blankets wedged in between, and I plop him down on the couch.

*Ahhhhhh, Here we go, a chance to relax with my coffee. He’ll have his sippy of milk and a couple books. I’ll throw on the fear mongering morning television program news, life is good…..

But wait, the two mistakes we bought a couple years prior to kids dogs are trotting up behind us. (I immediately vow to not overuse the cross-out text feature) They’ll need to go out immediately or they’ll pee in the house.*


“I will bub, I just gotta get Norm and Gert out to go potty”


I throw the sippy of milk in his lap and book it for the door. A few minutes later I come back to him crying. I cautiously take my spot to the right of his throne (damn it crossing things out is fun). I make the conscience decision to ignore this, because I’m all about making him realize the world doesn’t revolve around him. I move right into our first book mid sob. By this point, the cavalry (mom) has overheard the carnage taking place and is coming down the stairs to provide ground support.

Mommy no come downstairs

“uhhhhhh, no Madden , mommy IS coming downstairs”


Awwwwww Madden, you make us all feel so welcome in the morning. And so, we give our son the time he needs to snap out of it; and the pep talk it takes for ourselves to tolerate his demands, cries and tantrums until he’s out of his grouchy fog. My wife and I get our day started by shooting some smirks and knowing glances at each other as we try not to push his buttons too much. I try to not let my blood boil as I endure the worser parts of what a two-year old is capable of, and before we know it, we’re on our way. We share laughs and fun times, we give our kisses and hugs, we make special memories. Luckily, the boy is a superstar the other 23 hours of the day. I love him, cranky mornings and all.