Someone unexpected told me yesterday that they read this blog, and when I asked them what they thought, their answer was this: "Man, what happened to all your stories?"
And to be honest, I wasn't sure what to think about that, because on the one hand, it's not like I don't write something 4-5 times a week, but on the other hand, yeah I kind of have been boring lately. I'll 'fess up to that. For a while I thought it was just the doldrums, and I still think that is part of it, but really, I think the problem is the potty training.
Because: potty training really, really sucks. And it is making me feel like a bad parent.
If you go and Google "potty training methods," you'll get about 16 million results. There are separate methods for boys and girls, one-month plans, one-week plans, one-weekend plans, one-day plans. There are books and DVD's and audio courses and special diapers and panties and cattle prods or something, I don't even know any more. I am really starting to think that there is such a thing as the "potty-industrial complex," which is on the same level as the "wedding-industrial complex" and the "beauty-industrial complex" and the "daycare-industrial complex" and all those industries exist solely to tell me what I am doing wrong.
And I am starting to believe them.
So there are no funny stories lately because there is not a whole lot of funny, because most of the conversations that I am having with my kid can be summed up as follows: me asking, "Shae, do you have to go potty?" followed by 15 minutes of screaming and tantrums and arguments and negotiations. And that's just me. Add in the random noises Shae is making and ... well, it's quite a caterwaul.
I know we'll get through this eventually, or at least I hope we will, and I think it will be sooner than later, but man oh man, right now? Agony. Everybody's mad at everybody else all the time and it's just an unpleasant place to be. She'll tell us when she has to pee, sometimes, but she never tells us when she has to poop, and we are talking split-second precision timing if we want to catch her in the act and get her to the potty on time.
If we get mad, she cries, and if we try to be firm but gentle, she doesn't seem to get it, like it's all a game, and I feel like we're being all overindulgent and blahblahblah and everything that everybody says is wrong with people of my generation who are now parents, with kids who don't have any rules or boundaries or discipline.
Then we whip ourselves up into a froth, where everybody's mad at everybody else and ... well, I already mentioned that it isn't exactly Disneyland.
So that's what happened to my stories. For a little while longer, anyway, they're being flushed.
But hey! Here are some random, entirely out of context pictures to thank you for reading this while big whiny rant.