It’s Raining Underpants. It’s Raining IN the Underpants. The Underpants are Reigning Over Me.

This timely T-shirt available at Amsterdam Gifts on!

This timely T-shirt availabe at Amsterdam Gifts on!)

The week between Christmas 2012 and New Year’s Day 2013 will be remembered in this household as the week of Underpanting the Piddle Producer. Next Monday, Gbot merges with preschool, and dropping the diaper is part of the deal. And so we are working on becoming a four-underpants kind of family. We’re almost there, but I admit to procrastinating. Diapers are easier. So an all-out effort to direct piddle into the potty had been postponed. Yesterday we were a nine underpants family, but as Noah knew, things must get wetter before they get drier.

As we gain underpants, we are also gaining pedals. Mbot received a letter from Santa this year:

A handwriting analyst would nail Santa as a kind, patient, tired, right-handed forty-five year old woman.

A handwriting analyst would nail Santa as a kind, patient, tired, right-handed forty-five year-old woman.

This morning, the pedal bike was under the Christmas tree.

“I am the luckiest boy in the world!” Mbot pronounced.

And that’s a take.

Other things that happened today that probably will not occur on New Year’s Eve, 2013:

1. While making Gbot’s bed, with his help (in theory), I found under the bed a.) Gbot and b.) twenty-six Swedish fish beside an empty bag labeled “Swedish Fish.” I had been wondering where my Swedish fish had gone.

2. In an unrelated incident, while oohing and aahing over Mbot’s new bike, I heard plaintive calls of “Mama, Mama,” from the bathroom. Investigation revealed that Gbot had climbed onto the bathroom counter, where he’d conducted a thorough investigation of the medicine cabinet and, apparently, brushed his teeth, and could not get down.

3. In a completely unrelated incident, except that it again involved Gbot, Gbot applied my new concealer, which I’d had heart palpitations while paying for last week, across his lips in an effort to make him “as beautiful as you, Mama.”

Am I beautiful when I'm angry?

Am I beautiful when I’m angry?

4. In another completely unrelated incident, except that Gbot was found at the site of the incident, Gbot was caught, before breakfast, standing on a toy suitcase in order to reach the gold-wrapped chocolate coins on a high counter. When he was told to get down, he replied, “I was not getting into trouble. I was just doing my exercises.”

5. In a fifth and completely unrelated incident, except that once again, Gbot was there, both bots embarked on a “Look, it’s raining small, clean clothes!” extravaganza, and so instead of going outside to ride a new bike, they sat on their beds without talking (in theory) while I picked up, folded, and returned to the drawers so many miniature shirts, pants, and pajamas that, by the time I was finished, both guilty parties had fallen asleep.

2012 December 31 007

Exhausion sets in after the fifth misdemeanor.

Exhaustion sets in after the fifth misdemeanor.

May safety, happiness, and peace rain in your home in 2013!

Potty + e – t + r = Poetry

Simile Man! Found on, although I don’t know who drew the fab pic.

Overheard from the bathroom:

Mbot: “I need to go as fast as a wolf catches a bunny!”

Several hours later, over heard from the bathroom:

Mbot: “I need to go as much as a meatball needs to be eaten!”

And I just don’t think anything more needs to be said.

Friday Flashback: Potty Training Payback

I have no recollection of an incident with an antique potty training seat, but my mother claims this was me. Circa 1969. But there are no other witnesses to confirm.

Mbot has long mastered his waste management systems, and now we are deep into Gbot’s adventures in potty training. I know—only because it happened to Mbot–that this won’t last forever or even into the teenage years. And I can appreciate the cuteness of Gbot’s blond curly head bent between his knees on those momentous occasions upon which he examines “the family of poop–there’s daddy, that one’s mommy, and there’s Mbot, and there’s me, and look! That’s Aunt Susan!” (the little one bobbing around on top) that has miraculously appeared in the toilet below him.

But that is the exception. Usually the whole family ends up in the Huggies.

But have you ever noticed that even adults with spectacular memories–people who remember looking through the bars of a crib at twenty months–can’t remember being potty trained?

It might be better if the human brain did, in fact, cling to ancient events like tearing off diapers, wailing until superhero underpants are administered, and then promptly letting loose a torrent of pee. Remembering being a potty trainee might make us more patient and empathetic when we become the potty trainer.

Several months into Mbot’s “change of life,” my mother, possibly tired of listening to me complain about being constantly surrounded by human excrement or the threat thereof, sent me this picture. I have trouble imagining that I once derived glee from terrorizing a potty seat and a mother. My mother was laughing about the picture, and so apparently she has forgotten not only the trauma of her own potty training, but that of mine, as well.

Eventually, I will miss the babyish blond curls bobbing over the toilet. But I will not miss the poop family.



Potty Rockets (A Play)

Our day:

Act 1 (From a stool in the bathroom, where I found Gbot at 6:02 a.m., smearing my too-expensive old-age concealer all over his pajama top):

Gbot: “I am putting this on my shirt to make my shirt pretty.”

*   *   *

Act 2 (From the back seat):

Mbot: “Mom, are you old?”

Gbot: “Are you going to fall apart?”

I lied of course, and said no. Everything’s relative. And, if, like they say, the dust in one’s house is made up of ninety percent human skin, then yes, I am falling apart and am accumulating at record speed, along with the other ninety percent of our household dust–the dog’s hair–in every corner.

*   *   *

Act 3 (From the middle of a pool of potty on the kitchen floor after an extremely rare accident) :

Me: “Oh, Bug, it’s okay. What happened?”

Mbot: “I got shot by a potty rocket.”

Those darn potty rockets. They’re everywhere. After I’d mopped up with peroxide, he exclaimed, “Wow! Potty makes the floor shiny!”

So email me and for a nominal fee, I will send you an endless supply of custom, freshly homemade potty, made right here in America. It’s just the thing to get all that dust, which is really mostly you, up off the floor. I wonder if it gets concealer out of pajamas?


Liquid Gold: Adventures in Pediatrics

Room "odorisor." I think that's British for "DE-odorizer." Available for 5 pounds sterling at, but we'll sell you some for less.


Yesterday, Mbot had his 3 1/2-year check up. The nurse brought in a small plastic container with a lid. “Let’s see if we can get a urine sample,” she said. Mbot’s first.

I felt like she had suggested I get a scraping from the back of a gila monster’s throat. But all four of us (Gbot and his ear infection, too) tromped into the small bathroom. And, while Gbot fell out of the bathroom (this can actually happen, when one succeeds in unlocking the door while one is leaning against it and is caught by surprise), Mbot achieved his goal.

I rescued Gbot and then screwed the lid on Mbot’s treasure. I held it up for him to see.

“Wow, that’s amazing!” he exclaimed. “Potty in a cup! Where shall we put this, Mom?”

We decided to bring it back into our exam room and place it on the high counter where we could admire it before the nurse took it away. It was a moment of glory for urine the world over.

I’m glad I didn’t have the video camera with me; it’s not the kind of thing you want to show the relatives a movie of on Thanksgiving twenty years from now. Because the beauty of it wasn’t in the urine sample itself, but in the wonder it evoked. I can’t remember ever being so impressed with my pee, except maybe after I’d eaten asparagus for the first time.

Pee. And the control and calculated distribution of that pee. The magic of realizing that you can direct the powers of nature into a cup. And the associated responsibilities of that power: where shall we put it? In a world ever more oppressed by drought, it’s an important observation, and a thought-provoking question.

Even if it is just pee. It’s amazing.