April 20, 2009

Challenge is a Matter of Perspective

As I was driving away from the last city council meeting I was thinking about the challenges I face.

Behind me was the challenge of wrangling a budget to come up with $33,000 more dollars to pay for new insurance for city employees. Behind me was a company in bankruptcy that left us with an $8 million bond that we have to pay without them. Behind me were problems of varying shapes and sizes, small, large, unruly, hulking, lumbering, rampant and the ever-lurking potential problem that can jump out at you like a thrill-seeking gremlin with a penchant for surprises.

Ahead of me was a little boy who won't pee in the toilet. No matter how many different ways you try to trick him.

I wanted to drive back to city hall where the problems seem small by comparison.

I dialed Hubby who was at home with the kids.

Me: Hey, uh, my meeting is running long. There's a problem with some stuff in the thing.

Him: The thing? (I could tell he was confused.)

Me: Yeah. I mean, well, the problem over at the east side of the... you-know. (I'm not very good at lying.)

Him: Which side of the "you-know"? (I could sense he was trying to trip me up.)

Me: East. The east side. YOU know.

Him: Um, not really. When are you coming home?

Me: Is Tristan potty trained yet?

Him: We just started yesterday.

Me: Oh yeah, that's right. (Long, awkward pause. After a while I thought the call was dropped.)

Him: So, you're coming home when?

Me: Um, I guess right now.

Him: And that problem with the stuff in the thing at the east side of the you-know?

Me: Oh, I guess that'll fix itself without me.

And then I pressed harder on the gas and turned toward home, driving farther into the night.

[photo credit: the _ml]


  1. Sounds like you are under a lot of stress.

    If it makes you feel any better my three year old isn't doing so hot with the potty training. Today she told me she had to pee and then peed on my foot.. yup right on my foot.


  2. "Me: Is Tristan potty trained yet?

    Him: We just started yesterday."

    Hahahaha! If he isn't three, don't bother.

    City council. Difficult decisions facing you, sounds like. But you are right, the potty training thing is what you will remember. Hang in there, with all of it.

  3. Jill: I'm happy to report I haven't had any pee on my foot yet. Although he's peed on the carpet several times (fabulous, just FABULOUS) and after his nap, while he was still in his diaper, he managed to pee in my lap WITH A DIAPER ON. How does a kid pee on you while wearing a diaper?? I think that must be the magic of the "directional hangy-down". I'm not sure.

    MJ: I think the biggest problem is me, not him. :) It's a fundamental flaw in our relationship -- control-freak mommy vs. stubborn, willful boy. Not a good combo.

  4. There's nothing wrong with wearing a diaper well into your teen years. It doesn't make you weird, it makes you "a very special boy".

    By the way, I saw you trying to weasel into my European trip! Not cool!

  5. Shawn, I knew there was something "special" about you! I just wasn't sure what it was.

    As far as the European trip goes -- to the victor goes the spoils or all's fair in love and war or neener neener neener... just pick the one that fits best for the situation.

  6. This is the multi-tasking that makes women so powerful. How many Captains of industry have to deal with bankruptcy and potty training in the same day? let them try that on the Apprentice.

  7. Madame DeFarge: That made me laugh so hard it made my husband suspect that I'm not actually working like I said I was while he is making dinner. You got me busted!

    Hey, maybe someone should do a Celebrity Apprentice Mom's Edition!

  8. Potty training does not sound that fun. Don't blame you for wanting to go back to the "smaller" problems. I feel like that sometimes, too. Easier to deal with so-called big problems rather than the small ones that personal concern me.

  9. Sometimes I feel like running in the opposite direction too. Or sleeping until every obstacle has been hurdled. But, thankfully, I don't and, ultimately, I'm glad I was along for the bumpy ride.

    As is true with every milestone, bad and sadly good, "this too shall pass". Hang in there.

  10. Both of my boys seemed to somewhat self teach the potty at three. The eldest turned 3, hopped out of the tub one night, and peed. The younger one didn't mind being wet, but got the hang of #2 very quickly. But they did some odd, odd things...

    When I was pregnant with my first, the thought of potty training kept me up at night. That and when they get the stomach flu.

  11. LOL. "Is Tristan potty trained yet?" hee hee. You know what, though? Don't forget every mom needs ME time!


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