Writing Checks Your DVD Collection Can't Cash
February 04, 2009
Or, Why I Didn't Post Yesterday
So. For the record, Noah has been successfully potty-trained since the summer. At least, in one -- ahem -- aspect of the undertaking. The second -- cough -- aspect has been kind of a no-go, and my word, am I making a lot of unintentional puns already. POOP. I AM TALKING ABOUT POOP.
This is, apparently, super-normal, and considering the kid lives on a diet of bread, cheese, milk and bananas, we had Bigger Issues to worry about. Bigger Issues I have no interest in documenting, except to say that constipation + stubbornness = honey child, I don't give a shit (bwah!) WHERE you go, JUST GO ALREADY.
Recently, however, we've gotten that situation under control, and were simply waiting for Noah to decide when Noah is ready, one of the biggest loads of crap (bwah! hah!) we've ever been told about potty training.
(I know, I know. Some kids just wake up one day and decide to do it and everything works perfectly and the blessed angels sing and these kids' mothers become insufferable bores about the whole thing, what with the respecting of the delicate little bottom business and desires of the child and such. Let me tell you, the only potty-training assvice I will ever offer is that if you can avoid trying to train a three-year-old, DO SO. Make at least one honest hardcore attempt when they are still somewhat compliant and a few pounds lighter and easier to wrastle. Three-year-olds are scary. Do not engage a three-year-old. Teach your two-year-old how to use the toilet and where the Cheerios are and then like, check in on them in a year. Or two years. I haven't been hearing very good things about Four, to be honest.)
Personally, we've learned that Noah will be ready whenever Noah is offered the correct bribe...and then is sort of forced to accept that bribe through the luck of good timing on our part. For number one, it was -- of all things -- BUTTONS. Goddamn buttons. He was fascinated with all the spare buttons from my sewing kit, so I drew some buttons on a Ziploc baggie and told him he could have a button everytime he used the potty. For every accident, he lost a button. We went cold turkey to underpants and yeah, he lost a few buttons and I did some extra laundry, but in under a week, he was trained and the proud owner of every spare button in the house.
We've offered him a variety of bribes to finish the process, but none have really been enough. Candy bars, special outings, toys -- so. not. interested. I was okay with not forcing the issue, but dude. Three-year-old poops are disgusting. There's no Pull-Up in the world capable of containing some of them. That's a MAN, man, if you know what I am saying. However: he will go when he is ready, I maintained, through gritted teeth and a smile and a bottle of vodka.
It turns out, he was ready yesterday. There was some cajoling and repeating and repeating of the poop bribe du jour: a candy bar AND the 101 Dalmations movie, which he'd watched a couple weeks ago at my in-laws and has not shut up about since. We seized on this and dangled the chance to watch it again over his head, like a carrot.
(By the way, since I seem to get the same snide comment almost every time I mention the fact that yes, we own a TV and yes, Noah occasionally watches it, which apparently means he watches it ALL THE TIME, NON-STOP and thus leaves us NO TIME in the day to talk to him or read him books or do anything that would potentially help his speech, let me huffily clarify: Yes, he watches TV all the time, non-stop and we make it a point to never talk to him or read him books.)
(Seriously, though. He watches maybe one show a day. Little Bear before his nap, or Blues Clues as a reward for eating a good dinner. We have family movie night once a week where he gets to pick a Pixar movie. Exceptions are made on sick days or snow days, because I AM NOT MADE OF MAGIC.)
So where was I? Oh, yes. 101 Dalmations, which Noah calls the Dadamations, which kind of sounds like an avante garde dance troupe who could give Sparkle Motion a run for their money, but is also pretty cute. We did not actually have the DVD, but Jason assured me it was available On Demand. Bribe away!
I pulled up the movie On Demand while Noah proudly chomped away at a leftover Halloween Kit-Kat and oh, there was much rejoicing, and then much scowling as Noah eyed Glenn Close as Cruella De Vil and looked back at me with much suspicion while I frantically looked online and through our Tivo options for the animated version. Netflix? iTunes? Amazon UnBox? FIVE ZILLION OPTIONS FOR INSTANT MEDIA GRATIFICATION, all of which offer nothing but the live-action piece of crap. Try explaining that to a child who has only ever known the magic of TiVo, who can request any specific show (and episode) at any time of the day, who cannot grasp that sometimes certain shows just aren't ON, who will one day roll his eyes at my talk of just five channels and aluminum foil on the TV antenna and how we watched Sesame Street AND WE LIKED IT and snow, uphill, both ways, with only VHS cases for shoes, and that's if you were LUCKY.
I found it divided into 10-minute segments on YouTube, but by this point Noah was crumbling into despair. "You need to FIX IT," he sobbed, pointing at the television, "Dats all WRONG."
What else could I do? I put the kids in their coats and in the car and drove them to the nearest store and prayed and prayed and prayed that their online in-stock status thingie was correct, thanked the nice man who held the door for us by ramming him in the shin with Ezra's stroller, and ta-daaaaaaaaaa! Procured the correct version of the Dadamations for Noah, who regarded the DVD with awe and wonder and proudly handed it to the cashier and proceeded to tell her exactly why he was getting that movie.
We came home and watched it together instead of taking a nap. People smoke and smack each other and call each other idiots and you know, talk about skinning puppies and Cruella is clearly the stuff of toddler nightmares. It was everything Noah hoped it would be, and I was Parent Of The Year for a few hours, until he -- ahem -- demanded it again at 11 pm.
The moral of this story, I think: Wait until they're ready, or at least lay off the fiber.