Hello. Are you out there? Are you reading this? Please get back with me.

Ivory Towers
Image by James F Clay via Flickr

This  is an off-the-cuff blog from a person who is tired of living in an ivory tower.


It’s off-the-cuff since I am actually writing it on Word Press as opposed to writing it elsewhere and adding it.

I am the person who feels like I am living in a ivory tower because I don’t know if any one is reading my work.

I have statistics that say that a few people look at the column every day, but I am not getting any feedback. One attempt I made was to add a facebook “like” button at the bottom of each post, but I don’t know if any one is making use of it.

I don’t know exactly how to look for comments, but mostly what I see on my dashboard comments section are pingbacks, concerning where my blog appeared in the places I have asked that it go. I also see that my Alexa numbers for both this blog and my charity website are dropping. These are good signs that the blog and website are healthy.

Only I wish for more. I want dialog, conversations, remarks good or bad. I want to make a difference. And if I am, I want to know that I am.

I have written about all sorts of different things from body language and personal anecdotes  to a serious study of poverty spells. I have written about brain entrainment, potty training and backyard wildlife habitats.

The only dialog I have had was over the body language blog about George Washington’s rules. That was a rather silly discussion, but at least it was a discussion.

Hello. Are you out there? Are you reading this? Please get back with me.

Blogging books from Amazon.com include:

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Lazy Mom’s Potty Training for Toddlers

Cover of "A Potty for Me!: A Lift-the-Fla...

Cover via Amazon

My kids potty trained themselves. It was simple.

Before I explain, here’s some history of where the current ideas of toilet training toddlers came from.

Dr. Benjamin Spock (no, not Mr. Spock) in the 1940s wrote “Baby and Child Care.” His ideas included taking the child to the toilet at set times all day until the kid had an accident on the potty. The parent rewarded the child with candy or a cheap toy and kept training, slowly stopping the reward. Spock’s starting age was when the toddler was a year and a half. That’s how my mother trained me.

By the 1970s some people still used Spock. Other information was to wait until the child was mature enough which was when your child started giving people his toys. So the experts said.

The reward idea had stood the test of time. Having a child’s potty chair in the bathroom from the time the child was about a year was another idea.  For a complete list of potty training products you can go to  http://www.pottytrainingconcepts.com/

Other than cloth and paper diapers, there were no disposable pull-ups or night wetting disposables. There just were extra thick training pants and regular pants with cartoon and superhero characters on them. These were the goal.

I gave birth to my son in 1977. When he was a year old I put the potty chair in the bathroom and he saw his parents using our big one. Sometimes he sat on his, lid up, lid down, in his diapers or for a second or two before the bath without a diaper.

When he was two, I began seriously potty training him. I bought him a book. It’s not around any more, but here are two from Amazon.com you might consider: A Potty for Me!: A Lift-the-Flap Instruction Manual by Karen Katz (Hardcover – Dec. 28, 2004) and Where’s the Poop? by Julie Markes and Susan Kathleen Hartung (Hardcover – Mar. 30, 2004).

The reward system almost broke the bank. For two weeks I rewarded him with small plastic animals, dinosaurs, and the occasional M&M, all of growing more expensive each day. Then I started to gradually cut back. The first time my son didn’t get his goody, he reverted. No reward, no behavior. I knew he knew what to do. He was just too clever.

As proof of my lack of brains I tried the same stupid tactic again.

On a shopping expedition we discovered thickly padded Big Boy pants. I bought a pair. At home I showed my son the pants, told him what they were for and told him that when he was ready to be a Big Boy, come let me know. Then I put them on the refrigerator.

One day he came to me and told me he wanted his Big Boy pants. I gave them to him. After that, he had one bowel movement accident. I took him out to the backyard spigot, told him I was through cleaning poop and from then on he had to clean his Big Boy pants himself. That was his only accident.

He was 3 years old when he potty trained himself.

I gave birth to a daughter seven years later. I refused to do rewards. I realized that kids want to act like adults and would when they were ready. From the time she was a year old the little potty was in the bathroom. When she was almost 1 1/2, we bought some Big Girl pants. She didn’t want the thick padded ones. She wanted the ones with cartoon characters. I got them and put them on top of the refrigerator waiting for the day she was ready to be a Big Girl. One day she said she wanted them.

She also had only one accident, so we went into the back yard to the garden spigot. She cleaned her pants and that was her only accident. She was 1 1/2.

“What did you do?” asked our Mother’s Day Out teacher, my mother’s age. “Nothing,” I said smiling.

There is lots of information on toilet training out there, self-help books, articles, videos on line, store bought books, or you can do nothing.

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The bone of contention

miniature schnauzer puppy
Image by Odalaigh via Flickr

Do you see the schnauzer puppy?  Do you think he is cute?

He is really a bone of contention.  One of my dogs, a 15-lb. mostly Min Pin, has two views on him.  The first is that when he gets too close to me, he is a usurper who needs to be put in his place.  The second  is that he is her adorable little brother that she plays with and protects.

What this means for me is that I am a bit in the middle.  In fact I have been bitten for being in the middle.  When she is mad at him and goes for his gullet with her teeth, I have stopped her with my left arm.  I have two small black and blues from that.

When she decides that one of my other dogs is going to hurt her adorable little brother, she attacks the other dog.  Did you know that dogs hold on and do not let go?  Did you know that getting between a 15-lb mighty mite and a 35-lb normally laid back but now angry bitch will result in pain to the person who gets between them?  I have a royal bruise on my left arm and wrist and a nice claw scab on my left ankle from protecting my big dog from my smaller dog while the bone of contention looked on squealing in horror.

My lower arm swelled up and required ice and aspirin.  It’s now purple around my wrist front and back.  I wonder what Cesar Millan would say.  I decided that I was absolutely no good at potty training or even having dogs.  I may have dreamed that I was the leader of the pack after watching hours of the Dog Whisperer, but . . . .

So I gave up.  I turned it all over to God and told him I was getting out of the way.  But when mighty mite went after the old dog because the puppy was harrassing the old dog, there I came swinging a giant basket full of stuff to get between them.  I’m sure that looked unusual, but you can’t bite someone if there is a giant basket full of stuff between the two of you.

Right now the bone of contention is lying by my computer chair, all innocence.

Do you see the puppy?  Do you think he’s cute?  Guess again.

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Dog Training

A black-and-silver Miniature Schnauzer puppy n...
Image via Wikipedia

Do you see the schnauzer puppy?  Do you think he is cute?

Do you know how to potty train a very stubborn puppy?  I have piddle pads in strategic locations.  I put him, all 5 pounds of him, kicking and screaming into a crate at night.  I have other dogs who decide they want to go out from midnight until dawn and wake him up.  At 2 a.m. he screams in the crate.  I think to myself, maybe he has to do something.  I take him outside.  He waits until he is back inside and pees on the rug.

He will take a s–t when and where he pleases.  It maybe on a piddle pad or maybe not.  Sometimes I don’t find the s–t until it’s as hard as a rock.  Sometimes he finds it and uses it as a teething device. We sometimes call him Sir S–ts Alot.

Right now he is chewing on my computer chair.  He isn’t very discriminating.

Do you see the puppy? Do you think he is cute?  Guess again.

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