All Akimbo: Potty protestations and other tales

toilet.jpgBy Kim Blakely, Mojo’s mama

Mojo is in defiance mode.

It seems to be mostly where I’m concerned though, and it’s not an absolute, across-the-board attitude – it mostly rears its ugly head when I tell him that we need to go to the potty before we head out the door, or when I insist that he get in bed before midnight, or when I try to brush his teeth so they won’t all fall out of his head.

(I know! Maybe if I stopped being so unreasonably demanding, this little problem would completely resolve itself, right?)
I told you a little about our recent beach vacation in the last post, but I think I left out the part about how amazingly easy it was to get there and back with a 3-year-old. I was all set for a rough car ride; it’s 10 hours each way, and the last time we made the trip I was utterly exhausted at the end from all the dancing and singing and face-making and reading and game-playing I had to do from the backseat just to keep Mojo entertained.

This time? It was a piece of cake, with just one stop each way, and he was oh-so-easy to keep occupied. It was actually only the stops that made me want to tear out my hair.

We left at 5 a.m. with Mojo still in his pajamas and a Pull-Up (which was dry), and I didn’t make him go to the potty because I thought there was a real possibility that if I didn’t disturb him too much he might go back to sleep. (No dice.)

We drove until 11:45 a.m. and then stopped for lunch, and that’s when I tugged Mojo’s pajamas off and stuffed him into shorts and a T-shirt. His Pull-Up was still dry. I rushed him to the potty … where he promptly threw a monster of a temper tantrum because he “did not have to go!!! Wah!!!”

People, he had to go. He REALLY had to go. He hadn’t been since before he went to bed the night before. So what was all the screaming about?! He refused to go for a while as we stood in the bathroom stall but he finally went, and we quickly washed our hands and fled the scene. (Why do people have to point their condemning eyes at every woman with an irate kid?)

I thought that was an isolated incident and moved past it. Suffice it to say, that wasn’t the only time we butted heads about the going-to-the-potty issue.

Now, I should tell you that he stays clean and dry 98.5 percent of the time these days, almost always telling me when he needs to go and holding it until we get there. The problem seems to arise when I need him to go before he says he needs to, like if we’re headed somewhere and there’s a chance he won’t make it there (i.e. a long car trip) or if we’re going to be involved in some sort of activity that would make a trip to the potty inconvenient.

This isn’t always an option because most days it’s just Mojo and me, but for purposes of this trip I considered that maybe if someone else took him to the bathroom in these situations the whole process might be less unpleasant. But when that came up he started crying and threw himself in my arms, sobbing that he wanted me to take him to the potty. And then when I did take him, he wailed about not wanting to go.


The teeth thing is particularly dicey. Mojo had his first dentist appointment last week, and the hygienist mentioned that there was “staining” on one of his back teeth. It’s not a cavity, but I suppose it could be, and the last thing I want him to go through is a close-up with a dental drill. I have long brushed Mojo’s teeth twice a day, and after that visit I have been even more thorough about it. But, oh, if there’s one task I could hand off to anybody else, that would be it. He hates it, even with the strawberry toothpaste I finally found that he says doesn’t taste awful – and he protests loudly. But here, again, he insists that I be the one to brush.

I know these tales might make him seem like a spoiled brat, but, really, for the most part, he is a laid-back, well-behaved little kid. When I tell him to pick up his toys or stop doing something, all is well. He even asks my permission to do things that he’s not sure are allowed. And when I say, “No, you may not (jump off the back of the couch/eat five cookies before dinner or otherwise/paint the cat blue/etc.),” he’s relatively OK with that.

So what is up with this?! Should I just invest in a good pair of earplugs and move on? Is this just a phase, a rite of passage to prepare me for the difficulties of discipline in coming years?

Lucky for Mojo, he’s cute and he says funny things. I like him, and I’m willing to look past all this. (OK, truth be told, I’m pretty much aware this is all the result of my own shortcomings. If I were better at this parenting thing, all of this would be simpler and easier. And quieter. I’m just not exactly sure how to make things better.)

In other news, I didn’t ovulate when I should have. The general timeline with Clomid is that ovulation should occur five to nine days after the last pill. I ovulated 13 days after the last pill, and because by then I assumed I wasn’t going to ovulate at all, we completely missed our chance.

This two-week wait is, therefore, even more devoid of hope than the usual ones. At least I won’t have to wonder, right?


  1. Mojo’s behavior sounds exactly like my childrens’ at age 3. It is so funny to read about it and not be going through it any more! Really pathetic attempts on the part of a genuinely sweet kid to exert some control. And don’t worry, he doesn’t do it with other people, only with you. Yeah, it’s just a phase — you might even miss it when it’s gone.

  2. I had that problem but I got that stuff that the kids swish with first and it turns their teeth blue and then they have to brush it off. Now I can’t get them out of the bathroom because they think it’s pretty neat. Just make sure not to swallow it!

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