Mystery of the poopy seat

The Don is fully potty trained.  He’s been potty trained since he was two years old.  The Don would go to the potty by himself at home and knows how to put the potty seat on the toilet when he has to go poopy.  I’m just amazed that the kid knows how to go to the potty so accurately is like he knew how to go to the bathroom all his life.  One day though, after The Don went poopy, I noticed something that grossed me out.  Something I couldn’t believe The Don would do because he was so efficient with the potty.  That something was poopy on the potty seat.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I asked The Don, “Why didn’t you poopy in the toilet?  How come it’s on the seat?”  The Don just repeated what I said.   I told him, “If you need help when you go poopy, you need to tell mama.  Do you understand?”  I don’t know if he did or didn’t but I cleaned up the poopy on the potty seat, helped wiped his butt and then dismissed it.

A day or two later, The Don went to go poopy.  He took too long in the bathroom and I wondered what was up.  I came in the bathroom and saw it again.  YUCK! Not only poopy was on the potty seat, it was on the standing stool and in his underwear.  “You REALLY need to let me know if you need help. Ok The Don? Now I have to clean the potty seat, stool, and change your underwear” I couldn’t understand why his entire poop didn’t go in the toilet.  ‘Maybe he’s regressing?’  I thought to myself.  It didn’t happen every time he pooped either so he must be going through a regression.

So tonight when The Don had to go to the potty, I went with him. Usually when he says “Need help”, it’s usually he has to poop.  We tried to encourage him to go by himself to teach him privacy but tonight he was persistent in either my husband or I go with him. I followed The Don to the bathroom.  He put on the potty seat but he didn’t sit down to poop.  He squatted.  “Why are you squatting?  Sit on the seat.”  I noticed something.  Something that I didn’t noticed before.  The potty seat looked smaller than usual and the way The Don was squatting, it looked like the potty seat was making him uncomfortable to sit on so that’s why he squats.  This is the cause of poopy being on the seat.  I told The Don to take the seat off and balance himself without the seat.  Comes to find out, The Don doesn’t need the potty seat anymore. He could hold himself up to poopy now.  ‘OH, that makes sense, DUH!”  Mystery solved!


The Night Time Monster

Just when I thought that The Don was a good sleeper, someone put a monkey wrench in the plans.  We would do our bedtime routine; potty, wash hands, brush teeth, good night hug and kiss, then tuck him in and say goodnight. After about five minutes, The Don would be fast asleep. For the past, I don’t know three to four weeks, this awesome kid who would try to go to sleep as soon as his door closes, turned into the fiercest, means, roaring little tyrant that I’ve ever seen.  I call him ‘The Night Time Monster’. 

This is what I imagine The Night Time Monster
would look like. Credit

The Night Time Monster starts rearing its ugly head sometime after dinner around seven-ish.  He starts crying to go to the potty, then screams and cries that he needs help.  If the sunlight in the bathroom isn’t bright enough, then The Night Time Monster will not go to the bathroom, demand that the bright bathroom light to be turned on and would throw the ugliest tantrum you’ve ever seen if you didn’t comply.  I would have to stand by his bedroom door  so he can go to the bathroom, which was only a foot away.  He would pee then flush without getting all his pee out and run back to the bedroom because he’s afraid of the half lighted bathroom. 

The monster would go into his room and start cleaning up his toys.  He would take his time putting his toys away and would ignore you if you tell him to go faster so he can have ‘fun time’.  The monster would say, ‘roller skate please, roller skate, please.’ My husband has ‘fun time’ with The Don I mean ‘The Night Time Monster’ by having him roller skate in his room and in the hallways so he can learn how to skate.  Sometimes I would partake in the fun because I need to learn to skate too and some days, I just want that hour to myself to workout.  The monster would scream for me to skate with him, to play with him, to come with me if I’m leaving him.  This night however, I decided to take my hour to myself to workout.

Around eight thirty-ish, I come upstairs after my workout to take a shower.  As I’m coming up the stairs, all I hear is ‘Mama.  Mama please’.  So I quietly creep up to the third floor to take my shower as my husband is finishing up daddy fun time hour.  After my shower, I walk pass The Night Time Monsters room and he sees me, my husband says to him, “It’s time to take your shower, then you can read daddy ‘Go Dog, Go’ and get ready for bed.” 

“Mama, go upstairs with you?” The monster whined. 

“You’ll see me later, after you showered,” I told him. 

About eight forty-five-ish, I’m in my writing room checking emails, when I hear the monster and my husband come downstairs and into his room.  The two of them read ‘Go Dog, Go’, and then get ready for the bedtime routine.  When the monster comes into the writing room and says good night but before he do he makes one request.  The one request that I use to love to hear but, since he became the monster, I really dread hearing those words.  He said, “Mama tucks you in.”  ‘Shit’ I say to myself. About three weeks ago after I had my explosive breakdown, my husband took over the duty of tucking The Don in so I can be free at night.  The monster was persistent in his conquest in having mama tuck him in. 

After the bedtime ritual, I came in to tuck The Night Time Monster in and my husband was free.  The monster said that he was hungry. The monster said that he was thirsty.  The monster said that he wanted to skate again.  The monster said that he wanted a story.   I told him we’re not going downstairs to eat because I warned him that if he doesn’t eat all his food that he doesn’t get anything else.  I told him he can have some water instead.  I told him no more skating or story reading until tomorrow and it’s time to go to bed.  The monster took a sip of water, laid in the bed, and turned on his Baby Einstein mobile to help him sleep.  I thought I defeated him and he wasn’t going to ask anymore questions because he knows that mama knows he’s stalling and doesn’t want to go to bed.

I walked down the stairs to the kitchen to get some snacks before I start writing when I heard this loud, obnoxious, ear piercing roar coming from The Don’s room.  It was The Night Time Monster in full swing.  I could hear the stumping of his feet above the kitchen ceiling.  I could feel the vibrations of his crying, roaring, and screaming for “MAMA!”  My husband, sitting at the dining room table eating his dinner hearing the screams and probably glad that he didn’t get to tuck him in tonight.  He dodged the bullet this time.  I told my husband if I can’t handle The Night Time Monster, then I’ll him know and he can handle him.

I walked upstairs, passed The Night Time Monsters room, put my snacks and water on my writing table, went to the bathroom, took a deep breathe, and went into the monsters layer.  The monster was crying, yet no tears; I demanded him to tell him want he wanted. 

The monster said, “Eat!” 

“No, I’ve explained this before.  You didn’t finish all your food and there no more to give.” 

“No more food,” the monster repeated.                                                

“No more food but you can drink some more water. You will eat in the morning with daddy for breakfast. I’ll tuck you in again and you go to sleep. Ok?”


I tuck him in again and before I left the room, the monster calmly said, “Good night mama.” Just like that, The Don went to sleep without any more protest.

What the hell was that? It’s like The Don returned and the night time monster left so quickly.  I didn’t know what to make of it.  Was he testing me to see if I would break?   These bouts with the night time monster aren’t pleasant at all.  I’m ready to start flipping a coin with my husband to see who would put The Don to bed at night.   ‘Go away Night Time Monster. Stop possessing my boy and return my sweet boy to me because I need my me time and you’re in the damn way.’


In an Blink of an Eye

Bambino is on the move.  He started crawling on Monday.  All of a sudden, he started to crawl.  No notice, no memo that told me ‘Hey mama, I’m going to crawl in a few days so get ready for your heart to sink a little because I’m on the move.’  It was like magic that he started crawling.  Not only is he crawling, he’s cruising too.  Cruising from the sofa, to the chair, to his crib, movements almost ninja like where a few days before were non existent.  Where did my little Bambino go? 



Watching his ninja like movements on the floor and cruising on the furniture, I really started to notice how small he was.  This small little person moving around, crawling on the floor, stumbling sometimes making great strides moving farther and father away from me.  There’s a sadness in my eyes full of pride but also full of loneliness because in that moment Bambino isn’t the same baby he was eight months ago. 

Last night the family was in The Don’s room and I was trying to nurse Bambino.  Bambino drank a little but he was more interested in crawling and cruising and started to push me aside to get off from lying on my lap.  My husband told me that Bambino didn’t need me like he did eight months ago; that you can see it in his eyes that he’s a different person from just a few days ago.  It’s amazing what a little crawling can do.  It changes your outlook on things.  Now Bambino sees things differently because he’s on the move.  There’s so much to do. 

When I finally got him to nurse at the end of the night, I looked at him laying on my lap and notice how big his was.  He barely fit on my nursing pillow, now I have to cradle him in my arms.  I remembered when he was so small, helpless, and fragile; with a blink of an eye he’s eight months old, a heavy twenty pound baby not quite a toddler but still a baby…my baby. I remember feeling this way when The Don started to crawl too.  The feeling that I been forced to let them go and to explore their world without me…without me.  Never did understand the saying, “Life goes by in a blink of an eye” until last night.  I will get use to the fact that Bambino doesn’t need me just like The Don doesn’t need me unless they REALLY NEED me.  Bambino’s growing, changing, developing; I try not to look at it as a bad thing, it just means that I must be doing something right for him to thrive the way he is now.  Next time Bambino, give mama a little warning when you reach a major milestone so I can be prepared to cry next time.  I will cry tears of joy that you are succeeding; tears of sorrow because you’re one step closer from leaving me. 

Extended Sleepover

I’m in a poetic mood tonight.  As a poet as well as a story writer, I think sometimes a poem can say a lot about what a person is thinking and feeling better than a story.  So I wanted to try something different on my blog and tell my story in poetic form instead of story form.  Here it goes:

Extended Sleepover

I knew this day would come.

Time to let him go.
Bambino is asleep now.
Sleeping so peacefully,
it’s time to move out.

For eight months I called his room my home.

Waiting, anticipating, for the wake up call,
to change his diaper, to feed, to comfort my little munchin’
during the night time hours.
But for the past two month,
I was stalling,
because I was scared
to let him go.
I didn’t want to move out.

I needed him more than he needed me.
Didn’t think I could be so
selfish, wanting to be with him more.
Bambino’s cries are a rarity now,
most of the time,
I don’t get the crying call,
and I was willing to wait around
one more night for his cry. 
His cry for help.

After all the skin problems, reflux problems

and cradle cap problems,
I felt that he still needed me more.
But not anymore.

He was fine.

I knew he was fine.
But I still couldn’t let him go.
I dragged this on too long
It was suppose to be only until he slept through the night.

Bambino’s easier now.
He’s growing now,
more confident now.

I can’t believe that.

It’s true, I see
that he doesn’t need me.
Like in the beginning.
It’s time to move out.

Taking my pillows and blanket

to the comfortable bed that I neglected so long ago.
Keeping the baby monitor close to my pillow just in case
when I can hear his crying call,
I will run down the stairs and into the hall.

But for now I will put my mind to rest,

and tell myself it is for the best
that I leave his room.
Trusting that he will be ok,
No, that I will be ok.

Vanessa Spiritoso


When I become a first time mother, I was stressed, tired, sleep deprived, and frustrated. I just felt overwhelmed while my husband was well rested, energetic, and relaxed. Until one day, my frustration got to the point where I got upset when he wasn’t helping out with the baby. I would tell him that he wouldn’t come to help me when the baby cried constantly or come and offer to watch the baby because I needed a rest. My husband would tell me, “You didn’t ask me” or “You need to let me know if you need a break.” I thought it was common sense to help your wife with the baby, but I guess that’s not true. Speaking with other moms who husbands behaved in the same manner, I know there are more clueless husbands who are not stepping in to help their wives with the baby unless they are asked to. So I created a list for husbands so they understand what to expect when your wife brings home the baby:

1.         Don’t wait until she asks you for help with the baby. HELP HER! – Don’t just stand there like an idiot, help her! Your wife is probably overwhelmed with the new baby. She’s too focused on how to be a good mother and is scared out of her mind because she’s afraid of getting it wrong. She’s too occupied with feeding the baby, changing the baby, comforting a crying baby that she’s not on the look out to find you to ask you for help. Matter of fact, she shouldn’t be asking you to help take care of your baby. Jump in and help you wife out. Oh you’re nervous? How do you think she feels? At the point when you think she doesn’t need your help, she will need your help. Asking to help will make her feel confident that you have her back when she needs you even if she doesn’t need your help at that moment.

2.         Start bonding with the baby right away – It’s never to early to bond with the baby. Yes, your wife is mothering the baby, but there are chances where you can jump in and bond with the baby. For example, when she needs to take a break, tell her that you will mind the baby while she naps or while she’s getting something to eat. Change the baby’s diaper, feed the baby, play with the baby, or simply hold the baby. I know you can’t rough house with a baby (because that’s what your instincts are telling you to do), but the slightest touch of your hand is all the baby would need for you to start a bond with him/her.

3.         Realize that her parenting style will be totally different than yours – Don’t compare parenting styles. What you do to help the baby sleep will be totally different in the way she helps the baby sleep. Don’t force her to do it “your” way because you feel comfortable doing it that way. If she puts the baby to sleep by nursing and you put the baby to sleep by tiring the baby out, the goal of putting the baby to sleep was accomplished right? Let her have the freedom to mother the baby the way she feels comfortable just like you would want the freedom to father the baby the way you feel comfortable. As long it doesn’t cause any harm to the baby, does it matter what methods the best? Get over yourself.

4.         Just because she gave birth doesn’t mean she knows everything about being a mother – Ok, I wrote a blog on this topic and I’ll say it again. Just because she gave birth, she doesn’t automatically know how to be a mother. Being a mother takes trial and error and years of experience. I know she’s not as great as your mother (and will never be) but it took your mother years of experience to be a great mother and you need to give your wife that chance too. She will forget things e.g. pacifiers, bibs, diaper bags, favorite toys, etc, but she is trying. Don’t make her feel bad when she forgets things you jerk. She is learning as she goes just like you. Have some compassion.

5.         Realize your needs and wants will come last – I find it interesting when a baby enters the picture that the husband thinks that nothing will change in their relationship with their wife. HA HA HA! A baby is a life changing event, what do you mean nothing will change? Remember the sex you were getting every night? Nope not going to happen cowboy! You’re lucky if you get sex; well at least for the first three months anyway when a new baby arrives. Remember that cold beer she uses to get for you while you’re watching the ball game? Isn’t going to happen. You better walk to the fridge yourself. You’ll be lucky if you can get a hello from her let alone a cold beer. The only bottle you’ll see her carry is a bottle of milk for the baby. Also, don’t expect her to cook dinner either. You better use those cooking skills or start obtaining cooking skills or have microwaving TV dinner skills and make yourself some dinner, and while you’re at it, make your wife a plate too.

6.         Show her appreciation– I can’t say this enough. Show your appreciation to your wife. She just gave birth to your beautiful baby; that baby ruined her body and pushed it’s big ole headed out of her narrow canal and probably suffering some tearing or maybe had an episiotomy or if the baby was too stubborn to come out vaginally, she had to endure the pain of a c-section. She gained weight, grew stretch marks on her belly, and suffer the most excruciating pain of her life giving birth and you’re complaining that you can’t sleep because the baby’s crying? (If you are complaining about the baby crying, refer to #1). So yes, show her appreciation and thank her, thank her daily because she didn’t have to do that for you…and you’re welcome.

7.         Spend time together– This is important to spend quality time together. No, not the two of you and the baby. Spend some time to reconnect because if you haven’t realized, the baby will get in the way of your “quality” time. Don’t leave it up to her to tell you that she wants quality time either. Having quality time at home watching a movie together and ordering Chinese food is good, but you can do better. Make plans to take her out to get AWAY from the baby if you can. Date her again so you can realize why you love each other which probably the reason why you guys made a baby in the first place.

8.         Offer to give her time to herself – Ask her what the best time for her to take a break so you can watch the baby. Don’t wait until she ask, refer to #1.

9.         Be understanding – She will get upset. She will break down. She will feel ugly sometimes. She will yell at you for no apparent reason. She will get depressed. She will get frustrated. She will cry. Having a new baby is very overwhelming and you may not understand what she’s going through. But whatever you do, don’t try to fix it for her. She will need an ear to listen to her. Unless she asks you for a solution, don’t give her one. She needs your understanding not judgment or solution. This leads me to the last point…

10.       Be there for her – Be there if she needs a shoulder to cry on. Be there if she just wants to talk. Be there with her in silence if she wants you to. Don’t pull away from her if she seems distance because she’s tired and is focusing on the baby. Ask her, “Are you ok?” She will appreciate that. Maybe she will open up to you and if not, she knows that you are there when she is ready to.

I’m sure that I may have missed some other important things that husbands should know, but these are the ten things I wish my husband knew after we brought home our son three years ago. I hope this list will help husbands be more aware of what the wives are going through when they have a new baby and what he can do to help her. The first three months are usually the roughest on the wife so she is going to need the support of her husband the most during those times. So when the baby is crying hysterically and your wife looks like a sleep deprived zombie, don’t just stare and stand there in horror, get over there and HELP HER!


Hunger Games Part Two

The Don could be a excellent poker player if he wanted to be.  He could read faces, and would call your bluff to make you fold, and then win the game with only a pair in his hands and laugh in your face because you fell for his bluff. The Don can be a devious little monster I tell you.

If you read part one of the Hunger Games, wait to you read about what The Don is cooking up in part two.  Ok, in part one, The Don wasn’t eating his food without the guidance of my husband who use “imitation” to make him eat forbidden food like salad, vegetables, and any other food that’s not sweet or a grill cheese or pizza. The Don would eat his food but then he wouldn’t eat it until my husband or myself ate it with him.  But when he didn’t eat his food, well at least with me, I would save his food as leftovers for him to eat when he gets hungry. 

Lately, as I’m about to put him to bed, The Don asked for something to eat.  One night he asked to eat some nuts, “No, it’s time for bed.”  I tucked him in.  Then about five minutes later, I heard him screaming for me.  So I came in the room and asked him what’s wrong.  The Don came out of bed, into the hallway and then looked down the halllway.

“What is it?  Can you tell me what’s wrong? Can you point to what you want?” 

The Don point down the hall and said, “Nuts, please?” 

I figured that he didn’t eat much so I took him downstairs to finish his leftovers.  It was salad and fake chicken nuggets.  The Don was taking his time eating his fake chicken nuggets and didn’t seem that hungry at all.  I’m starting to suspect that he was playing and wanted to stay up a little long so he used the “hunger” card. After he ate the little bit that he ate, he seemed satisfied and went to sleep.

Last night he tried to pull the same “hunger” card and asked for some dried mangos. He didn’t finish his food again and I told him that he wasn’t getting anything and don’t ask because he should of ate his dinner. I told him that he can drink some water before he went to bed and hopefully that would hold him.  That seemed to work and he went to bed.  So I guess he wasn’t “that” hungry.  I told my husband what happened and I told him that I think The Don is “playing” like he’s hungry because wanted to stay up.  My husband was like “I wouldn’t mind if he ate with Daddy if he was still hungry.” 

So tonight, The Don ate a grill cheese sandwich for dinner; that’s his favorite meal. He ate it all.  As soon as I was about to put him in bed he asked for salad.  Now I know the boy don’t like salad like that and why he asked for salad I don’t know.  Remembering what my husband said about not minding The Don to eat with him at dinner, I posed the question to him about letting The Don eat with him.  My husband didn’t mind. I knew The Don was playing me but what if he’s going through a growth spurt and needed the extra calories?  I told The Don to go downstairs.  The smirk that came on The Don’s face certify that he was bluffing and he just didn’t want to go to bed yet.   Damn it! I fell for it again.  I gave him some dried mangos and nuts.  He took his time again eating, playing with the nuts and dried mango pieces on the plate all the while blinking his eyes trying to stay awake. The Don won this hand.

My husband and I discussed what we should do about this behavior.  My husband suggested that when he finished his meal to offer some type of snack or dessert  ten minutes after and say after this he gets nothing else to eat.  If he doesn’t finish his food, tell him that he doesn’t get anymore food and he would have to go hungry that night. So there it is the plan to beat the house I mean The Don at his on poker I mean hunger games.  I’m be ready next time and I’m going to call The Don bluff.  The house isn’t going to win this time.  I have to work on my poker face and hopefully The Don would fold before I do.

Mamas Afternoon Off

It’s rare that I can get to enjoy an afternoon without tending to the kids.  This wasn’t my husband being nice and thinking on his own saying, “My wife is exhausted and she’s such a good mother to the kids. Let me take the kids so she has some time to herself.”  Nope, that would have been nice but that didn’t happen that way.

Two Sunday’s ago, I felt I was about to explode.  The Don was going through one of his tantrums and Bambino was cranky because he was cutting his teeth and the husband was going to his man cave to get away to have “his” time.  Well, a couple months back on Sunday’s, I started a one hour me time where I get away from the kids for one hour to do what I want to do.  For some reason, that only lasted for about a month then back to me not having time for myself.  I felt like I was being taken advantage of by the husband because he could go to his cave for an hour or two to get away while I’m dealing with the kids.  I decided without telling the husband in advance that I was walking the dog.  I’ve put Bambino in his crib and put The Don in his bedroom.  I told the husband that I’ll be back in an hour or two.  I was tired of being considerate when it comes to my husband’s time to get a break while I don’t get one.  At least I should get one on the weekend.  I left the house with our dog and depressed by walking down to the river on Kelly Drive and relaxed.  I didn’t care that the husband was upset that I left and wasn’t considerate of “his” time.  Sometimes you have to make a dramatic exit in order to be heard.

So Sunday I had an afternoon off.  I told the husband that I needed some time to myself at least an hour.  He said, “Why don’t I just take the kids all day?” 

I said “Sure if you want to and ask your mother to come along with you guys and go out.” 

While the husband mind the kids, I got to do something that I haven’t done in a while…watch some DVD’s by myself uninterrupted.  No requested from The Don that he needed or wanted something.  No changing diapers or nursing Bambino.  No cooking lunch for the family or dinner.  Just me, myself, and I lounging on the couch.  I watched one of my favorite movies “Troy” with Brad Pitt and Eric Bana.  I love the story but seeing Brad Pitt sexy body and fighting moves is what I wanted to see.  I’m getting gitty right now thinking about his body in that battle armor…hehehehe!  I also decide to watch “1408” with John Cusack and Samuel L Jackson, two of my favorite actors.  I guess I was in the mood to watch something scary.  Then for dinner I pop in an Amy’s frozen dinner and then I went to bed. 

It’s a shame that I had to get some free time by being dramatic.  I can’t see the husband saying “Hey, do you need a break?”  I have to tell him that I need one and take it without wavering.  Because intentional or not, he would take advantage of getting his time and not considering mine.  I really enjoyed my afternoon off but it went so fast.  It’s important to save my sanity and to ask, no demand some time to myself.  I don’t want my sons to feel that they can take advantage of mama either.  The boys will understand that just like they need time away from Mama, Mama needs her time. Because if I don’t take my time, who else is going to give it to me?