my 500 words

I came across this challenge on Facebook: "My 500 Words: A Writing Challenge."

Here's the gist... "My 500 Words is a 31-day challenge designed to help you answer that question. [The question of what it takes to be a writer.] It will help you get more disciplined, hone your craft, and finally become the writer you’ve dreamed of being."

I'm not really "dreaming of being a writer."  However, I did, at one point in my life, want to be a published poet - does that count for anything? A life of poverty maybe... not too far off from teaching.....  Anyway, this just sounded like a fun January challenge, so I've decided to do it! 

WARNING: For the purpose of these posts, I write stream-of-consciousness style.  That is, I put "pen to paper" - so to speak - and just let it loose. I don't worry about grammar or revising or editing; I just write - 500 words or a little more - so keep that in mind when reading the posts this month.

Also, these posts will moreso be for ME, so I'm going all selfish up in this here blog.  Read or don't, it's up to you.  Actually, you might not want to read all this... this... I don't know what this is.  Anyway, here you go...

 January 1, 2014
            The past few days have been great and awful and inspirational and exhausting – emphasis on the exhausting. 

            I’ve been potty training Hannah (my two-and-a-half-year-old) for the last four days now.  Overall, I’m pleased with the progress.  She’s doing good!  However, there are those “accidents” – the waterfall of pee you turn to see your toddler baptizing your carpet with – that make you reconsider embracing the pull-ups until… say… elementary school? Maybe?

            Anyway, when you look past that – which you have to encourage yourself to do OFTEN if your aim is to more quickly potty train your child and end the pee pee and poo poo wars – she’s about 75% pee in the potty and 90% poo in the potty.  Day four complete – I’ll take it.  There’s no going back, folks.  It’s a diaper free zone in our house in 2014!  And they old Christian hymn begins to play in my head, “No turning back… no turning back…”

            As for Beth, she was completely jealous that her sister was getting chocolate rewards for putting her bodily fluids and solids in the commode, so I had to come up with something for her to do as to reward her for outstanding effort/behavior – for an almost seven-year-old.  As a result, we decided that each time she read me a book, she would earn a chocolate.  The inspiration for this came from a reading challenge she brought home from school: read 200 minutes and earn a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut – courtesy of the Book It! program.

            I can remember when I was her age and completely enamored with the Book It! program.  (Yes, it’s that old.)  For every book I read, my teacher gave me a gold star to put on my Book It! pin.  After the entire pin was covered in stars, I got a coupon for my own personal pan pizza from – yep, you guessed it – Pizza Hut.  Proudly, I would strut into that franchise and claim my prize. Pizza!!! Who doesn’t love pizza?! 

            Anyway, I loved reading, so the program was just icing on the cake for me.

            So… between potty training successes and, well, let’s just call them “learning opportunities”, and encouraging my reluctant reader to read via mini peanut butter cup bait, my children have – as I said earlier - been great and awful and inspirational and exhausting.

            But you ask, “Jamie.  Can you elaborate on potty training as ‘inspirational’?” To which I reply, um… no. Not really.  HOWEVER, the time I spent with her on Monday – the second day of training -  had some nice moments. That is to say it was found in-between the potty successes and, um, learning experiences.

            Because of those moments, I was going to write a blog post entitled “A Day Spent With My Rainbow.”  Then the hours and the days got away from me.  Suffice it say this, I realized that day how very beautiful my Hannah is – not her physical aspect but her personality.  I’ll leave you with some adjectives that describe my Hannah: compassionate and silly… affectionate and strong.  She completes us.

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