In May of 2011, I dismissed class for the last time and began a new chapter in my life, full-time dad. I taught middle school for seven years, but with two kids and a third on the way, I wasn't able to give as much time to teaching as it required, plus I wanted to spend more time with my own kids, instead of someone else's.
My wife and I have been married for nine years. She spends her days (and some nights and weekends) as an OB/GYN, or as my kids like to call it, “catching babies.”
We have three kids. First Born is eight years old, but likes to pretend she’s in college. Our son, Middle Man is five, but we’re convinced by the way he talks about things like “beautiful sunsets” that he’s an old soul, and our youngest, the Blonde Bomber is only three, but already has the attitude of a teenager.
Our kids provide us with an endless amount of stories. Writing and retelling these stories for Indy’s Child has been my part-time job for the past three years.
You can contact me on Facebook at True Confessions of a Stay at Home Dad or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 26, 2012 | 08:18 PM
My son Henry turned three years old a few months ago and up until just a few weeks ago he was still wearing diapers.
We had been through potty training before, but with our daughter it was very different. She was in full-time day care when she learned to potty train shortly after turning two.
The daycare pretty much potty trained her for us. It was, as far as we were concerned, a pretty simple process.
Things with my son were a little different. We tried several unsuccessful short-term potty training sessions over the past year or so. A few weeks ago we all hit our limit. Henry was screaming about his diapers hurting his bottom, my wife and I were frustrated with him and frankly, I was tired of changing the diaper of a person that could consume an adult meal from a restaurant. I'll spare you the details, but let's just says things were getting unpleasant.
That morning my wife Amanda took Henry to the store. An hour later they came back with candy, toys, stickers, a poster board, a stack of brown paper bags and most importantly, a plan.
We made a sticker chart, and put all the toys and candy in brown paper bags so each time Henry used the potty he got a grab bag and could have whatever was inside. Everything went inside the grab bags except for a box of a dozen shiny new Hot Wheels. Those stayed on display on top of our counter and were only given out if the ultimate in potty training successes happened, a poop on the potty. He was excited, Amanda was excited and I was skeptical.
One unforeseen problem with all of this was big sister. She was seeing all these cool toys and candy available to her brother, but nothing for her. We decided if this was going to work we needed her on our side. So, new rules, if Henry got a bag, so did big sister. Suddenly, she was his biggest fan.
Things started off that morning very successful. In the first few hours we put over 15 stickers on the Potty Chart. Both kids ran around the house with a sugar buzz from eating so much candy. Our motto that morning was, "Every Drop Counts," and we followed it too. If a single drop of pee went in the potty, we celebrated like we were winning Olympic Gold.
After we could see things were going well enough that this might actually happen, we decided to throw Henry a potty party.
For dinner that night we had his favorite food, pizza (which we were going to have anyway) and cupcakes for dessert, because we figured everyone needed more sugar. We also gave him some presents, new underwear, of course.
Finally, we made a ceremony out of packing away his diapers and sang a made-up potty song based loosely off of Happy Birthday.
The potty party was a success!
Now we have only one child left in the family with diapers!
Believe it or not, less that a week after the potty party, my wife started talking about wanting a puppy. As she's talking about how much fun it would be, all I can think about is their being another living creature in this house without control over its own bladder.