The Pie Baker

Fresh from the Oven

Balloon Hating

I hate balloons. There was a time when I actually liked them; I found them cheerful and festive in an innocuous way. It was entertaining how these little orbs of air and latex bounced around, ricocheting from one object to another. On a few occasions, I actually filled them with water and tossed them from a 3rd floor window. (Don’t tell anyone…) So, I remember a time when balloons and I got along pretty well. That was before I became a mother.

Now, I worry about balloons. Not just worry…I actually HATE balloons. They have evolved into insidious little beasties that toy with the affections of my darling child; they cause emotions to spin out of control and possess the potential to kill. And the Pie acts as if she cannot live without one when we stroll through any establishment that has utilized balloons as decoration. Our trip to the store quickly disintegrates into a power struggle when I say, “No, you cannot have a balloon today.” Ugliness typically ensues…then I say, “Okay, you can have a balloon.” (A tip to the employees of those establishments: DO NOT offer my child a balloon without my permission. That’s just mean.)

Oh, the joy the spreads instantly! Radiating from those sapphire eyes, pleasure that cannot be contained is cast far and wide. Her little face squinches up with glee and her sparkling smile gleams brighter than the sun. I love to make my daughter that happy – in fact, I LIVE for it. Then I must be hyper vigilant to guard against loss or damage to the ecstasy sphere. I repeat like a mantra, “Don’t let go….don’t let go…don’t let go…” I sometimes wonder if I’m talking to the Pie or to myself. So in her effort to not release the balloon, she starts to bite it. She likes the sound her teeth make when they meet the expanded latex. Ick! Anyway, I suddenly can’t tear my eyes from her, waiting for the balloon to pop, scare her and be sucked into her windpipe, choking the life from her. As a lesson in compromise, I cajole the Pie into tying the balloon to her wrist. I can relax for a few minutes as we finish shopping, check out and load up the car. Then we take the balloon home.

The life expectancy of a balloon is brief, my friends. A two year old cannot conceive that nothing lasts forever. She expects her precious little ball of air to still be tethered to the end of her bed when she wakes in the morning. What she does not expect to find is a soft, shriveled squishy-ball lying dejectedly at the foot of her bed. And, folks, Mommy doesn’t appreciate something that looks like an old man’s testicle furtively nestled against her daughter. As she opens her eyes, she looks up into thin air. As she lowers her chunky little legs from her toddler bed, she steps on the object that less than 24 hours before filled her with delight. Her revulsion is evident in her squeals, which quickly melt into tears. “Where boon, go, Mama?” Oh, dear. She is saddened by the loss of her joyful little friend and I get to formulate a scheme to get the tiny bloated sac into the trash can without her knowledge. I’ll bet I spend a third of my waking hours disposing of the bodies of various toys and other items that are no longer appropriate for her to play with. I feel a bit like a hit man!

So watch out, balloons…don’t piss me off! I can poke a hole in you so fast, it will make you dizzy!

November 6, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Book Review: Life on the Refrigerator Door

I’ve decided that my blog should contain reviews of books that I read. I am a voracious reader and become practically apoplectic if I have no books waiting patiently by my bed for me at night. I do have certain standards when it comes to reading for pleasure, so I will relate to you now that you will not see reviews of science-fiction/fantasy, westerns, graphic novels, bodice ripper romances or anything that relates to war. Just not my bag. I prefer to read fiction that explores how characters grow and how the choices they make affect their growth. But I also like murder mysteries, legal and medical dramas and “relationship fiction.” I seldom read non-fiction for pleasure, but when I do it’s for a specific reason. If it comes up, I will advise.

So, the first book up for review is called Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers. This is a debut novel from the British born author and it chronicles several months in the lives of a single mother and her teen-aged daughter. The story is told entirely in a series of notes the women leave for each other and span topics such as grocery lists, school anxiety, boyfriends and illness. When the mother faces a health crisis, the notes turn intimate and become a reflection of their relationship.

Claire is 15 and apparently a high achiever at school. She is focused on herself, her friends and her school work (as is any teen-ager). Her mother works many shifts at the local hospital as a nurse, so their varying schedules practically demand that they communicate through notes left on the refrigerator door. In almost every note, one of them states that they need to talk in person, but for whatever reason, neither is very available to the other. When the mother is diagnosed with breast cancer, her daughter’s inquiries are at first waved away, but eventually they both understand that it’s the only safe way to communicate while each is filled with rage, sorrow and pain.

This was a very quick read for me. In fact, I finished it in about 30 minutes. It was short, but quite powerful. One thing I missed: actual handwriting. I wanted to see images of notes complete with doodles, grammatical and spelling errors. I think it would have lent a more personal air to the communications rather than the clinical feeling portrayed by just page after page of the same font.
The story, though, was a universal one: love conquers all. As the notes progressed, the reader became privy to the inner workings of the mother-daughter relationship and revealed that even through anger and sadness, love still exists.

The book was technically sound and at times was a bit sappy, but the sudden loss of the mother to cancer felt honest and raw, filled with emotion from the daughter that was somewhat lacking in previous notes. As she writes to her dead mother, Claire shares her memories of their time together during her mother’s illness and gives updates regarding her social status and school work. It’s equally healing for the character and the reader.

If you’re looking for a book that is simple, humorous and emotional, then this is a good choice. However, don’t expect much character development, back story, descriptive narratives or plot. The best thing about the book is that it can cross generations and expose how mothers and daughters communicate – without or without a notepad.

November 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Precious Moments

When you become a parent, other parents tell you how rewarding it is. How all the hard work, stress and angst that you experience is totally worth those tiny glimpses of wonder, those moments when your child reveals her true self and fills you with awe. Until recently, I thought it was all a big load of bull poopie – an old wives tale to keep you from stuffing them in a box and leaving them in the garage. But now…now, I know better.

It was one of those truly precious moments; I was struck dumb and tears rolled down my face with pride and pleasure. The Pie read her bedtime story to me. Not just babbling nonsensically while looking at pictures, but actually telling me the story that coincided with the words in “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle. It is her favorite bedtime story and she loves how much food the caterpillar eats and how she relates when the caterpillar gets a stomachache. And she always seems surprised when he turns into a beautiful butterfly – even though we have read the story in the neighborhood of about 827 times! Here’s the scene:

I told her to choose her bedtime book, and as usual, she opted for the caterpillar. She climbed into her bed and said, “Me read.” I don’t like to irritate her at bedtime, so I humored her. She sat cross-legged in the middle of her pink and white gingham sheets, placed the book on her lap, held her fist to her mouth…and cleared her throat. She opened the book to the first page and began …

“Light of moon…egg..lay…leaf.” Page Turn.
“Morning…sun up…pop!… tiny caterpillar (hatapeer).” Page Turn
“Look for food.”
“One apple…” Page Turn
“Two pears…” Page Turn
“Three plums (free pumms)” Page Turn
“Four Strawberries (fo rawbess)” Page Turn
“Five Oranges…” Page Turn
“Cake, ice cream cone (eye reem cone), pickle, cheese, salami (wammee), lollipop, sausage, pie, cup cake (cucake), watermelon (mellamelon). Night….TUMMY. ACHE!” Page Turn
“Day…eat leaf…all better” Page Turn
“Not hungry (hungee)…not little…BIG FAT caterpillar (hatapeer)!” Page Turn“Made house…cocoon (coon)… poke out…” Page Turn
“Beautiful butterfly (booful buhfwy)! The End”

As she closed the book, she looked up at me with pure delight in her eyes but it turned to concern as she saw my face slick with proud tears.

“OK, mama…it OK,” she said.

“Yes, baby,” I said. “It is OK.”

November 3, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Which Witch

As I perused the aisles of the party store, looking for the appropriate accoutrements for the Pie’s Halloween costumes, my eye was continuously drawn to the witch costumes. As many as four variations on the theme were available, or one could mix it up to customize a unique witch look. From childhood, my memories of witches conjure images of green mottled skin, a giant hooked nose and long talons. All witches back then seemed to accessorize with a skinny, hissing black cat, a flowing black dress and a tall pointed hat with a wide brim. The options at the costume store included the standard green cackler witch, the mysteriously sensuous witch, the one-humped crone witch and the perky, overtly sexual witch. I don’t remember ever dressing as a witch for All Hallow’s Eve, but this year, I definitely feel like I could pull it off.

Lately, I find myself wanting to possess the power of a witch: to fly unencumbered through the sky, avoiding the rush hour traffic and idiot drivers that act like they are the only ones traveling the road; to wave my hand and produce wads of cash with which to spend on practical, as well as frivolous, items; to speak a few lines of gibberish (most likely peppered with an F-bomb here and there) and bend others to my will – particularly my stubbornly opinionated daughter at bed time! I’ve sat through enough psychology courses to know that the underlying meaning is that I feel powerless in everyday life and want to gain some control of my environment. Yeah – I get that.

But what about all the other witches out there? Those everyday witches that aren’t dressed any differently than the average desperate housewife lurk in offices, restaurants, banks and even drug stores! There’s the Lawyer Witch that sneers at me as I smoke outside my office building; there’s the Neighbor Witch that always puts her trash in my yard to be picked up; there’s the Office Witch that squints at me as I enter the door and never has a pleasant thing to say.

One thing I have learned through all my years: even witches have a fatal vulnerability. It may be animals, or babies or chocolate or wine, or – as we famously know – water. Hey, maybe that’s what I need to control: the chances of encountering that one thing I know will do me in…for good.

October 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Jon and Kate + 8 Divided by Greed and Multiplied by Hate

It’s not a matter of global importance nor is it a spotlight on the plight of the homeless or starving children. It’s not even equal to the unexpected death of a self-proclaimed King of Pop music. But it is a media phenomenon that has depleted my patience and previous fan status of the show. I speak of “Jon and Kate + 8”, of course and I think it’s time I have my say on the matter.

I admit, begrudgingly, that I have watched this little show take on a life of its own since the very beginning. Back when Kate was a brunette and 20 pounds heavier and Jon cared little of his quickly advancing hairline, they were a nice little family from Pennsylvania facing the challenges of raising 8 children – 2 sets of multiples. What am I saying? Everyone knows about them. How could we not? They are everywhere! This insidious couple makes appearances, separately of course, at every opportunity and launch into their “he said/she said” tirade.

I wonder why they think we care what happened in their marriage? I wonder why we actually do! Over the course of 5 seasons of the show, I witness, along with America, the disintegration of their relationship: Kate’s browbeating, shrewish behavior, Jon’s emasculation and eventual loss of dignity. I think most of the country saw it coming, so I have to wonder why they didn’t? And what about TLC – the network that is slowly declining in programming choices to the level of Fox – not one nitwit in that bunch had the sense to say, “You know, these folks are stressed. Let’s give them a break and let them be a family.”

Nope – it’s all about the money! Show me the money! On the one hand, I can totally get behind the idea that making a little TV show to help pay for my brood is not all bad. But when it was obvious that the show was no longer about the children, it was time to pack it up. In my opinion, this show has gone on far too long. Yes, the children are adorable, but we don’t get to see them enough. All we get to see is the parents arguing with each other – or ignoring each other – and their passive-aggressive machinations to get what they want.

Why don’t we, as American television viewers, treat them like the tantrum throwing children they are? Ignore them. All they want is attention and the more they get the more they want. I was saddened and heart-broken knowing that those children stood to suffer the most by this train wreck. And now it has devolved into the lowest, most debasing arguments of all: money.

But isn’t that what it was all about in the first place? Not having money, needing, money, making money, saving money, spending money. These people make me sick when I see that they have turned into and I grieve for the lost childhoods of the Gosselin offspring. I see myself struggling daily to make sure that my child gets what she needs and still I know that I would never (or I would at least thing twice about) allow myself to be swallowed into a media mix-master to be manipulated for money. I will do (and have done) many things I am not necessarily proud of to provide for my child. But that ain’t one ‘em!

October 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Right Thing to Do

I have known a very special young woman practically her entire life. Her mother was my best friend in high school and I spent a large portion of her childhood with her. Due to issues between me and her mother, I missed watching her grow into an adult and it has been over the past 2 years that we have gotten incredibly close again and I am profoundly proud of her. She is a single mother of a 10 year old son and works in a large retail chain as a manager. Her career is important to her, and so is her family. Because she believes it’s the right thing to do.

When her cousin’s children were recently removed from the home and the parents jailed, she displayed incredible valor by petitioning the court for custody. When custody was granted, she set about converting her garage into another bedroom, and worked practically round the clock to make her home inviting and comfortable to 3 small children. I knew in my heart that it was a blessing to her and the children and that she would succeed beyond measure at helping to heal these damaged children. During the preparation, she never once considered herself – she always placed the needs and welfare of the children first. She never questioned why she was doing it, she just knew it was the right thing to do. During one small moment of doubt, she asked me if I thought she could accept the challenge that lay ahead of her. I told her, “I know of no better person to take this on.” It is the right thing to do.

As I shared her story with my co-workers, many of them stepped up to the plate to donate toys, clothes, personal hygiene items and other necessities to the children. People who had never met this young woman came out of nowhere to help provide for them. She was in no financial position to buy all new clothes, toys, toothbrushes, shoes, etc. for the children and total strangers to her helped out with so many things that were needed. Because it was the right thing to do.

I have wondered to myself if I would have done the same thing if I were in her position. Would I have turned my entire life upside down? Would I have done construction on my home to accommodate 3 children who had serious issues? I believe I would have let my own doubts and fears stand in the way of allowing the children into my life. I don’t know if I possess the intestinal fortitude necessary to accept that challenge – even if it is the right thing to do.

When the children arrived, it was somewhat of a shock to her. She was used to managing only one tween son; now she had a 6 year old boy, a 4 year old girl and a 2 year old girl. She created a loving environment with routine, discipline and affection – something to which neither child had been exposed. In the ensuing weeks since their arrival, the children have faced obstacles of their own, but my young friend has provided wise words and a soft place to fall for them. Because it’s the right thing to do.

No one knows what the future holds for this extraordinary young woman and her new “add water and stir” instant family. But I know that whatever happens, it’s the right thing to do.

October 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Ghetto Fabulous

I did it of my own free will. Left to my own devices, I came to the conclusion that the Pie should witness first hand the joy and fascination of the circus. I grew up attending the Shrine circus with my parents and later volunteered there selling novelties and concessions. My time spent at the circus was wondrous and entertaining. I only wanted my daughter to share the experience. What the hell was I thinking?

The Pie is 2 years old. She likes animals and shiny things… seems only likely that the circus could combine those things into a memorable night out for a toddler. So, I enlisted the aid of my friends, the Pie’s Mimi and Poppy, and we set out for… ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, The Ghetto Circus!! The event was held in a field under the Big Top (uh, huh…sure) and it had been raining lightly most of the day. After slogging through the mud to the tent, we were seated in make shift bleachers that opened and closed on a whim, seemingly by the power of a poltergeist.

Since I paid a ridiculously inflated price to upgrade from my FREE ticket, we were luckily seated near the center ring (the ONLY ring) so the Pie had a pretty good view of the…um… action. I, however, enjoyed the talents of a pole all evening. As we waited in our cold, hard seats, I scanned the crowd in attendance. The first thing to catch my eye was an ice blue track suit trimmed in silvery metallic fabric. Sporting this ensemble was a large Jewish woman just of the plane from Boca Raton, covered in “dinner jewelry” and proudly displaying her bouffant, highlighted wig. Apparently, she had decided that her general admission seats were unacceptable and decided up upgrade to the VIP ringside seats – which, by the way were white plastic patio chairs placed precariously in a mud hole. As I watched her sink into her VIP white plastic patio chair, then further into the mud, I thought the show was about to start with a parade. But I was mistaken. A local family who evidently knew more about Budweiser than birth control ambled along in a line before me, chaotically attempting to keep their brood together. My guess is that Mama Freak couldn’t name her natural hair color if her life depended on it and that Daddy Freak hadn’t seen his own feet in nearly a decade. What a sight they were, with the dozen or so little Freaks peeping up around them like baby birds for cotton candy, popcorn, sno-cones and lighted novelties. Just precious.

Finally, the show began and the Ringmaster, who much too closely for my liking, resembled the comic book store owner from The Simpsons, announced the first act, the Spinning Hoochie Sisters, or something like that. The two gals did some aerial stunts and then spun around on a pole “high above the earth” and when they did, a pouch of sparkly confetti burst forth from their beauty supply store add-on pony-tails! It was mesmerizing. Really, I mean it. They were followed by a sad little pack of poodles that ranged in color from eggshell to ecru to just plain beige and were sorely in need of a brush – and perhaps an electric razor. In any case, they managed to jump around a bit and roll down a slide on a skateboard. The canine performers were led by a chick that looked suspiciously like the lady that runs donut shop by my house, and she managed to garner a smattering of applause from the dozens of people in attendance. Nice job, Maria!

Now, I like to pay attention to details. It’s a gift… and a curse. As the show worn on… I mean continued, I noticed that the performers were the same group of about 8 people. The Flying Hoopdeedoo Family were the same people as The Flipping Yaddayaddas, who were the same people who defied the “Double Ring of Destiny” – I didn’t catch their names. The advertising featured a statement that the circus brought together “hundreds” of performers from around the world but they must have had the night off. Some of those gals looked like the circus wasn’t necessarily their first choice of career, either…if you get what I’m trying to say. Although, some of the “stunts” looked very familiar to what I have seen take place on a pole in a dark room with loud music. Or at least what I’ve HEARD about… er, okay, moving on.

Here’s the kicker: the Pie absolutely LOVED it! She was enraptured by all the sights, sounds and smells of the circus – particularly the animals. She loves animals and relishes every opportunity to interact with them. Her dark blue eyes sparkled with delight as the ladies performed daring stunts and the men displayed feats of strength. She nibbled on cotton candy and even went home with an inflatable SpongeBob SquarePants. She chattered all the way home about the circus and everything she saw. She rode on a pony and experienced things she had never even imagined in that very actively imaginative brain! So, for her, the ghetto was fabulous!

October 6, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Average Person

Most of the people I know would consider themselves average. A generally accepted definition of “average” is something not out of the ordinary. Is that really so bad? I am a student of words and believe that a word can carry many responsibilities and inferences based on how it used, the tone of voice used when spoken and the context. In our current society, we expect everyone to excel beyond our wildest dreams – our favorite teams to pound their opponents into the turf, our favorite shows to win every award for which they are nominated, our children to talk at 9 months, read at 16 months, solve algebraic equations at age 3 and win the Nobel prize by the age of 5.

There’s too much pressure to be excellent. I used to harbor a deep-seated fear of my own mediocrity, but over the years, I have embraced the fact that I am not a stunningly beautiful woman, nor am I a wart-laden, socially inept ogre with a unibrow. I’m average looking. And I can live with that. In fact, there are times I long to be average – just another one of the teeming masses. I am what they call a “plus-size gal” and would give a kidney to be an “average” size. I’d like to be part of the average American family – with two parents, a house, 2 car garage, adorable children and a purebred dog. But instead I am a single mother of a toddler who works full time to barely make ends meet. And if the truth were to be told, I would venture to guess that there are more like me that would like to admit! I think there can be found a certain joy in being average.

If I push myself to achieve excellence all the time, I will push myself right into an early grave! Sure, there are times that I must be above average – parenting, my work, my writing – but sometimes, it’s OK to be just average. Do I want to spend an extra 15 minutes hand washing the dishes before I put them in the dishwasher because I want them to look excellent as they sit in my kitchen cabinet? Nope. Do I want to lose valuable play time with the Pie because I desire outstandingly shiny floors? Um…uh-uh. Do I agree to lose important sleep time in exchange for a spectacularly ironed shirt? Hell, no!

These days, every institution – from schools, corporations, lemonade stands – touts their goals of excellence. If all those entities are so excellent, where’s the balance? Where’s the enterprise? I remember when Avis started advertising that they try harder…there was no need to lie and say they were number one or the best. They knew they had things to work on and admitted it. I respect that. Ito me, it takes great courage to embrace ordinariness. I don’t mean to withdraw into oblivion, but to tread surely in a forward motion. You know what they say: The tall nail is the first to get hammered.

Being a perfectionist can practically paralyze you into believing that nothing is ever good enough. But when it really matters, some things just have to remain average. What a burden it must be to feel you have to be perfect all the time – perfectly groomed, perfectly articulate and perfectly charming. But that’s a little intimidating to average people who are just trying to make it through the day without shiny floors and ironed shirts!

September 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What Could Have Been

I’m a person with a very vivid imagination; when presented with a situation, I am the first to imagine how it will play out. From start to finish, my mind plays a little mini-movie of the dialogue, the setting, hairstyles, fashion, etc. I wish I could somehow stop it from happening, but then again, I’m not 100% sure I would want to lose that. I use it almost as a form of training to be prepared in handling whatever turn each set of circumstances might take. I can envision all the things that might be said, actions that might be taken and all the possible results.

That is why on Labor Day, I found myself in a panic. I had planned to spend the day hanging out with the Pie and just generally being lazy, but my aunt called me mid-morning to inquire about the status of my Dad. See, since my mom died, my father’s sisters have appointed themselves the watchdogs of my dad; too bad they live so far away. So when any issue arises regarding my dad’s health or general welfare, they’re on the horn to me faster than a duck on a junebug!

“Aunt Dee” : “Do you know why Jack isn’t answering the telephone?
I wanted to respond: “No, but if you hum a few bars….”

Anyway – since Dad is very hard of hearing and equally hard headed, there could be at least 4 or 5 actual reasons he wasn’t answering the phone, so I called. And I called and I called and I called. In fact, for about 2 hours, I called every 5 minutes. In that time, the aforementioned active imagination went into overdrive. I kept trying to calm myself with an internal dialogue that went a lot like this: “He’s outside and doesn’t hear the phone, that’s all. No need to get all bent out of shape.” And faster than a new Porsche on the Autobahn, I thought “Oh, God – bent out of shape” – like my father could be bent out of shape in the backyard as a result of tripping over one of the 627 various pieces of junk furniture, PVC pipe or other ridiculousness!!!

Finally, in a brief moment of clarity, I decided to just get in the car and go on a look-see. I packed the Pie’s backpack with necessary items such as pull-ups, water bottle, drink mix sticks, a book and a toy and snacks. I didn’t know how long we’d be gone. Then we got in the car and headed north. And don’t think I didn’t try calling on the cell phone either! The drive takes about 20 minutes and I think I rang the thing about 58 times! Unfortunately, the Pie knew something was up….she was unusually quiet in the back seat and didn’t chatter away like she does. She watched out the window as the landscaped passed and I couldn’t help but wonder what she was thinking.

In my mind, I was trying to process all the possibilities of what I might find when I reached my dad’s house. Would he be conscious? Would he be in bed or on the floor? What if he fell in the tub? How would I get him out? What if he was bleeding or had an appendage trapped under another one of the 627 various pieces of junk furniture, PVC pipe or other ridiculousness? And what if, God forbid, he had passed peacefully while he napped in his recliner? I imagined the TV blaring away while the phone rang incessantly next to him and his body cold and stiff in the La-Z-Boy. What would I do with the Pie? Who would I call first? Where were the important papers? What is his favorite hymn?

All of this irrationality was further inflamed when I pulled into the driveway…I was immediately transported in my mind to the day my mother died. I sensed an eerie quiet about the house that I remembered feeling when I got out of the car on that January day. I took a deep breath, shook my head to clear out all the negativity and took the Pie’s hand. We approached the front door, not sure what we would find. Of course, the screen door was locked and just as I was about to begin hacking the screen out with my key to reach the lock, my dad opened the front door. We both jumped back a bit at the unexpected sight of each other and then I started scolding him proper!

We eventually learned, after about a 45 minute investigation, that the phone cord was not fully plugged in to the phone/answering machine base. So let this be a lesson …don’t let your imagination run away with your good sense. And make sure your elderly parents know how to operate their electronic devices!

September 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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