First of all, what's the etiquette on blogging about your kids' potty training experiences? Is that a mommy no-no? Will their friends get a hold of this in high school? Is it gonna come back and bite me in the ass, so to speak?
Well, no matter. This one's not gonna embarrass anyone. And anyway, what teenager in 2025 is NOT gonna have a mom who exploited her/his childhood for internet fodder?
So I'm in the midst of potty training my little three-year-old. Things are going pretty well at the moment. She's wearing undies, having very few accidents, using the toilet at preschool...all the good stuff.
But we were at home the other day, and she was doing her "pee-pee dance." I said, "Elena, looks like your body's telling you to use the toilet."
And she said, "No. I'm Elsa!" (from Frozen, obviously. She's been Elsa since she was a 100% diaper-wearer).
I said, "ok, Elsa. Time to use the toilet."
She said, "but Elsa doesn't use the toilet."
I asked, "oh, does she use the potty? You can use the potty instead." (We give her both options. Probably another parenting no-no, because it can confuse the child, but in a moment of desperation a few months ago I bought her a tricked-out potty that sings when it senses anything hitting the bottom, intended for piss or shit but will also make noise for my five-year-old's Playmobile action figures and apparently the wind in the middle of the night. We still have it, for no good reason.)
She said, "no, Elsa NEVER pees or poops."
I said, "Yes she does! EVERYONE pees and poops!"
She insisted, "No, I never saw her go to the toilet in the movie."
She had a good point.
I went on to argue that they never SHOWED anybody going to the bathroom in the movie, but it happened in the scenes that were cut out. And I agreed with her that they SHOULD show the queen going to the bathroom and wiping herself and flushing the toilet and pulling up her pants and washing her hands, and that we'd better tell the movie-makers to include that next time.
So, my Disney writer friends (you know who you are), I'm so grateful when you bring us along to Disneyland on your day-pass, but what would really make my life awesome-er is if you could write in some bathroom scenes for the royals in your stories (especially those with special powers). It would help a lot. Thanks!
I hate to see Halloween pass without my annual crazy-MOMster post.
If you know me (or happened to read my posts from HALLOWEEN PASTS), you know how obsessive I can get about costumes. All my neuroses and parenting fails find their home at Halloween. But I like to think I’m learning to mellow out as a mom and let my kids do their thing (while I bite my tongue and say to myself over and over “it’s just a costume. It’s not a reflection of you as their mother.”) Here's a pic from last year, when I took a deep breath and agreed to Samson's firefighter costume.
Even though his was mostly store-bought, I got to be original and creative (read: obsessive-compulsive) with the rest of our attire...Is everybody on Pinterest as cray-cray as I am?
(In case you're wondering, Elena was an old lady rescued from a burning building. Rob was a fire station pole-- not a paint huffer as his friend Lou mistakenly thought.)
Anyway, you can imagine all my “opportunities for learning” this season when Samson wanted to be a cop (not a good year for those), and Elena said she wanted to be Elsa from Frozen.
My wannabe-progressive Silverlake mom self was horrified. First of all, cops and guns have been an issue in our house (a topic for another blog post). And Elsa?! Aside from being a Disney Princess/Queen-with an unattainable body, it’s the MOST unoriginal costume you can pick. She even has her own drinking game!
I’ll admit, at first I did try to convince my kids to pick more unique, less gender-obvious choices. How 'bout the feminist bookstore chicks from Portlandia? Or some fuzzy animals? Hey! We could all be the cast of Facts Of Life (my dream costume, when we all get a little bigger).
But what I’ve learned from Halloweens past, and parenting in general, is you gotta (sing it, Elsa...) LET IT GO.
Well, I did. I let it go. I knew the kids would be happiest wearing what they chose. The cold never bothered me anyway.
Besides, this way was easier. We already had their costumes! Can’t pass that up. My M-I-L had sent us an Elsa dress, and Samson has a jr. police uniform he puts on every now and then, just in case he gets called in on a case.
It’s liberating to have the costumes checked off the list.
At least, for the kids.
I decided, I can’t control what they wear, but I can control myself. And my husband.
Mama Po Po and Rob-Elsa were conceived.
So even though the kids’ costumes were done, it’s not Halloween without my traditional neurotic scramble to construct the perfect costume(s). I funneled all that “creative energy” (aka Crazy Momsterness) into my own police uniform and Rob’s grown-man Elsa costume.
I won't get into all the slutty options they have for lady cops, or how Elena knocked over a dirty old porcelain sink at Out of the Closet as I madly searched for an authentic badge (Turns out, they're illegal. Impersonating a cop, blah, blah, blah. I ended up making my own out of construction paper).
The lunacy really came out when I got into Rob's costume. I'll just give you a recap of my lowest moment:
I’m standing in line at Jo-Ann (the fabric and crafts store), waiting to have some teal chiffon measured to make Rob’s cape. (No doubt everyone else in line is making costumes for their children, not their husbands). I’m intent on creating an outfit as similar to Elena’s as possible. Why should she have a removable cape and Rob shouldn’t? That wouldn’t be fair.
It's taking a while and I realize everyone has numbers like at a meat counter. I pull number 07. They were only on 78. I debate whether Rob needs the cape. I have precious alone time two days before Halloween and I’m wasting it at Jo-Ann, one of the most stressful/depressing places one could be this time of year, second only to Michaels. But the cape is important. Who is Elsa without that cape?
The numbers move really slowly. Stupid Jo-Ann is just not set up for the Halloween rush.
I wonder if Jo-Ann has the same political views as Hobby Lobby. Ooh, Hobby Lobby would've been a good costume this year! Coulda woulda shoulda...
I go through the usual time-money debate in my head. Maybe it’s not so bad to get more fabric than I need if it means I can get out of here sooner. kid-free mom-time is gold. I ask if I can just buy the entire bundle without waiting to have it cut. No, they have to measure it to price it out, even if you're buying the whole 9 yards (literally).
I honestly consider stealing the fabric. Or taking it but throwing down $20 and running out the door. But what if I get caught, and have to admit I needed the fabric for an Elsa costume FOR MY HUSBAND!
Ok, this is crazy. I’m leaving. I put down the fabric, purchase the t-shirt, tiaras (one dollar!) and puffy paint I already collected, and walk out to the car. I’m Letting it Go.
Whatever, he can still be Elsa with the wig and tiara, the snowflake tee, and the giant satin skirt I got at Goodwill (lucky find! The Universe really stepped in there.)
I get into my car, turn on the ignition. Stop. Turn it off. I Realize they might be close to my number by now, or at least rounding 100 and beginning again at 00. A fresh start. The cape will make the costume. The cape is the COMEDY.
I go back in the store. They are at 103! I’m close! My fabric is right where I left it, in the aisle with the wood glue and pom poms.
Hurray! Elsa will be complete. I just need some sticky velcro to attach it. Good thing I’m at Jo-Ann! Gotta love Jo-Ann!
Well, if you saw any of my Facebook pics, you’d know the costumes were a success. (Rob is trending). And we-- I mean the kids-- got lots of candy. Arendelle lives on!
Ferocious MOMster can retire. Till next year...
P.S. Can we all agree? My husband is a sport. For the costume yes, but also for putting up with me in general. God Bless him.
If you've made it this far, why not add a comment? How many Elsas came to your door? How many of them were grown men?
Marian Belgray's an L.A.-based standup comic and writer/producer who's contributed to HBO, Cinemax, Nickmom, Comedy Central, Pampers, Funny or Die, and Parents.com, and has created numerous comedy videos.