The Pie Baker

Fresh from the Oven

The Little Things

It is often said that it’s the little things in life that bring the greatest joy. I agree in most cases and would rather have little things: diamonds, sapphires, tequila shots, thighs….follow me? But one of the most spectacular little things I have ever witnessed in my life came by way of, naturally, my daughter.

The Pie’s potty training has had its ups and downs, but for the most part, she does very well – especially when she is naked from the waist down. Without the pesky encumbrance of her pull-ups or big girl panties, she willingly sashays into the bathroom, takes a seat on her Elmo potty chair and does her business. Every visit to the potty elicits great celebrating from me, including the obligatory high five and the somewhat embarrassing “Pee-Pee in the Potty” dance. I suppose we had fallen into what seemed a mundane routine, so the Pie mixed it up a bit.

Last weekend, as we sat together on the floor of her bedroom, playing with stuffed animals and planning world peace, she suddenly stood and gave me a puzzled look. She held up her chubby little index finger and said, “Be back, Mommy.” She was gone for several minutes longer than usual for a pee-pee visit, so I decided to investigate. I found her perched atop the Elmo potty chair and the following conversation ensued:

Me: “Are you going pee-pee in the potty?”

Pie: “No…poop.”

Me: “Are you sure?”

Pie: “Uh huh…poop in potty.”

Me: “Can Mommy see?”

She stood and turned…and there, in the green bowl of the Elmo potty chair lay the most beautiful pile of little turds I had ever seen in my life! I was overcome with pride and elation that I think I actually scared the Pie a little. I applauded, yelled, laughed and even cried at the milestone I had just witnessed while she furrowed her brow and cocked her head. I ran to the phone and called everybody closest to us and then grabbed the cell phone to text everyone else. I even changed my Facebook status to reflect the wonder that just occurred.

So why the big fuss over a few pieces of dookie? In the simplest terms, it was a relief. I have heard and read horror stories about potty training, especially when it comes to the #2 phase. Close friends shared with me tales of their progeny refusing to poop in the potty until they were 11 or something….OK, I exaggerate, but they were very close to school age before they could do both functions and completely eschew diapers and/or pull-ups. I feared the struggle that might ensue with my extremely stubborn daughter and worried that she might grow up with issues that only intense therapy could begin to resolve.

But not my kid – nope. She has fully embraced going in the potty – when it’s on her terms, of course – and I can’t wait for the move up to the big potty! What next?

August 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Word Power

Ever heard that old rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?” Who said that? Where the hell did that come from? Sure, it’s a nice thing to tell your kids if some bully is harassing them on the playground, but it’s not true. The more we perpetuate that rhyme, the more we are lying to our children! The truth is that words are the most powerful, hurtful things that exist! There are a few instances I can remember in my life when I would rather have been poked with a stick or smacked with a rock than endured the painful words that someone said to me. Some of those instances were unintended word injuries – minor flesh wounds, if you will – but mostly, the words hurled at me were meant to disarm, to cause pain and to devastate.

Most of us in polite society would never consider slapping or hitting a friend, a family member or someone we love. But we don’t think twice about slinging around words that can cut just as deeply as any knife or cause just as much damage to the heart as a bullet. When we call someone “stupid,” we make little sores on their insides. Without an opportunity to heal, that person will eventually believe he or she is stupid and will be devoured by those little sores that grew into malignant tumors. When we tease children relentlessly, we think it’s funny, but with every word, the child starts to second-guess what’s true – starts to question what’s real. As adults, we must be careful of what we say to and around children – it is our obligation to be the gatekeepers of their language acquisition and usage. What they learn now, they will apply later in life.

Some hurtful things said to me that have left scars:

• You could be so pretty if you weren’t so fat.
• You will never be a ballet dancer.
• You need to change completely in order to get a man.
• I wish I had never met you.
• No, I will never love you.
• What are you going to do with the little bastard? (this from my father’s evil wife when she learned I was pregnant)
• You just say you’re happy being single because you can’t find a man.
• If your mother hadn’t died, you father would have killed her. (Again, a jewel from my father’s wife)
• What’s wrong with you that you can’t keep a job?
• You’re adopted – you’re not really family.

Unfortunately, I am guilty of using words as weapons. In a situation where I find myself frustrated, confused or afraid, I use sarcasm and jibes as my armor. I know I have trampled on the feelings of friends without even knowing it and I feel terrible about it. I know how it feels to have words used against you, so I would never want to subject a loved one to my own attack – whether overt or not. Words carry different degrees of meaning for different people, so we can never be certain that our words are accepted with their intended meaning and purpose.

My mother, a scrappy little woman of 4 feet 11 inches, taught me that I needed to speak up – no matter what. I was a shy, fat kid who never really felt I belonged to anyone or anything, so she forced me to come out of my shell. I think sometimes, people want to push me back in a little! So to those people, I apologize for my insensitivity and hope that you can forgive the slips of my tongue that has left their own scar on you.

August 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment