Monday, November 21, 2011

My #1 doing the #2

I'm feeling rather sheepish these days.  I have been putting off potty training my son for months. Not so much because I didn't think he was ready but because I had a somewhat paralyzing fear of what it would entail and couldn't seem to muster the energy to actually overcome it. I have been to medical school, spent countless 36hour shifts awake in residency, ran a marathon, and birthed two kids but somehow the idea of having to transition from the ease of diapers to the constant vigilance of a mother with a potty-training child was just too much of a hurdle to jump. So I dawdled.  Fortunately, though, my son (and my husband) are less intimidated by pulling out their collective man parts and peeing into the wild blue yonder.  Two weeks ago, my sweet first child decided the potty was a pretty neat thing.  He wanted to sit on it at night and was fairly successful for most of the week.  So, last weekend, as I spent half the day at work, Matilda stayed at home with both kids and asked Jack every 10 minutes if his newly donned Cars underwear was dry and to remember to tell him if he had to potty.  It was mind-numbingly repetitive.  After 48 hours of this, I wasn't feeling like we had gotten very far and my worst fears of this whole potty-training mess seemed to be materializing.  The entire following week at daycare, Jack wanted nothing to do with the mini-porcelain throne at school.  He would show anyone within a 15ft radius his new underwear by dropping his pants to his ankles in dramatic fashion and grabbing his crotch in an innocent though exaggerated way while announcing he had on UNDERWEAR, but pee into the toilet he would not.  Oddly enough, this past weekend, something just clicked in his tiny weird brain and he never once missed an opportunity to visit the shiny white seat.  When I went to pick him up today from daycare, the report was a total success. Not one accident. When I heard those words, I expected angels to come out of the air vents and the teachers to burst into harmonious song.  I expected Jack to come around the corner wearing a crown and sash reading "Worlds Smartest and Most Pee-Perfect Boy."  I expected, at the very least, incredibly approving looks and butt-slapping congratulations all around.  But, alas, it was said with as much fervor as what color Play-doh my daughter ate that day.  Anti-climatic is an understatement.

That's all to say, I had steeled myself for a multi-month battle with the mini-plastic commode and now feel rather embarrassed that I came dressed for a joust to what materialized as a jovial game of badminton. I'm sure writing this post will be the moment when my luck turns and the urine-wars begin but, I hope with emblazoned optimism, that my first born son will continue his trend of placing his #1 and #2 in the proper and much less disgusting receptacle.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Isaac's Third Birthday

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

What My Dad Does At Work

I got this email today from Dad:

From: Sandy Lee
 Jim Shaw
Subject:  UNC Mascot & Handler,

I think I remember this guy when I was the NC State Wolf.  He was the handler for the UNC Ram mascot.  Let me guess… Poli-Sci major.  I think he was voted man-of-the-year by the student body.

Sanders Lee, AIA, Sr. Project Manager | CH2M HILL | Spartanburg
Office +1 864 599 4348 | Mobile +1 864 809 1683


From: Jim Shaw
To: Sandy Lee
Subject: RE: UNC Mascot & Handler


I believe you are mistaken.  That fellow is head of the animal husbandry dept. at State Farm Tech, and kidnapped Rameses.


James W. Shaw
Dennis, Shaw & Drennan, LLC
P.O. Box 891
Spartanburg, SC  29304
(864) 582-0708
fax: (864) 582-0934

From: Sandy Lee
 Jim Shaw
Subject:  RE: RE: UNC Mascot & Handler

You’re half right.  He did indeed earn a graduate degree at NCSU.  Prior to that, he was student body president at UNC while earning a double degree (English Lit/Anthropology).  Wasn’t he the social chair of your fraternity?

Probably a pack of Lucky Strikes in his shirt pocket.  Ramses sure looks happy under his care.

Sanders Lee, AIA, Sr. Project Manager | CH2M HILL | Spartanburg
Office +1 864 599 4348 | Mobile +1 864 809 1683

Friday, November 11, 2011


I spent my entire childhood and in fact much of my early adult life haunted by the constant admonition that, were I unable or unwilling to serve forth a male heir from the seed of my loins, the fine Linford line of the Ab Shaw family name would die with me, the last male descendant. And so it was to my great relief that on January 28th, 2009, we brought Jack kicking and screaming into this world, the first great-grandson of Jupe Shaw.

And yet, for the last three years I have been chilled by the burden I must one day place on his shoulders, that he too must likewise go forth and prosper in order to sustain the Shaw name. I thought of this again this morning, home from work with a sick Caroline, as I stumbled upon that tremendous Montana Presbyterian Flyfisherman's tale - A River Runs Through It. As I watched, Caroline engrossed in tormenting the dog, I witnessed anew the relationship of the two brothers that is sketched so clearly by Norman Maclean. I saw their coming of age, as they fish, and fight, and have great adventures together, and come back home and hug their dear mother. I knew that I would miss Doc's ultrasound this afternoon, but I was struck at the time by a sense that this new one would be a boy.

And so it shall be, for as Kim returned home to share the news, we told Jack he was going to have a little brother. "Neat," he said, grinning from ear to ear. "Can I have a brownie too?"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Good Night, Chesty Puller!

Jack hummed along with me tonight during my adagio rendition of The Marine's Hymn at bedtime. Happy 236th, Mother Green!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Father's Fear

I am afraid that I have made a great and terrible realization about my daughter - such a turn of fate as is a righteous shock to the genteel sensibilities of my family and the generations that have come before us. Caroline - sweet, dear Caroline - how it pains me to say this:

I think you have the makings a Dook fan.

How do I know? Your recent propensity to flop to the ground and wail at even the slightest physical touch...

Please, please don't continue to do this. Think instead of your father, and your father's father, and his father before him, and return to your legacy that is that fine shade of Carolina Blue. You just need to learn how to suck it up and take a little body contact from your brother and the dog.