Monthly Archives: July 2012

Bennett vs. his underpants

Bennett has now been potty trained for two months (cue happy dance) and it’s been four weeks since he had an accident. It all went down quickly and better than I could have hoped: Blake forgot to bring a new diaper for him after swim lessons one Sunday, I forced Bennett to go on the potty in the change room (he was complaining, “My penis hurts!” = “I have to go pee!”), and then when we got home I never again put him into a daytime diaper.

This may seem like a harsh thing to do to a special needs kid (and believe me, there were lots of accidents in the beginning, including a No. 2 for the babysitter!) but I read a blog post by a mom whose son has the same genetic condition as Bennett, whom she toilet trained at age three. So I thought, “We are so done with diapers.”  With lots of reminders about peeing in the potty, and plenty of praise for keeping those Nemo briefs dry, Bennett took to the toilet.

Toilet training has led Bennett to discover the joy of flushing items down a magic portal.

In fact, it’s fair to say the act of flushing things other than plain water down the toilet has proven a source of unrelenting fascination for my son. The potty has become a magic portal, a watery gateway to another realm. Where does the pee and poop go? What does that hole in the bottom lead to? In recent weeks, Bennett has launched his own unauthorized experiment to find out. He has tried flushing the following items down the commode, with varying degrees of success:

  1. Two small tubes of toothpaste (success!)
  2. One large bath towel (um, not so much)
  3. A Beauty and the Beast book (ditto)
  4. His runners (they float)
  5. Three pairs of Nemo underpants (as a friend commented: “Maybe the Nemo briefs are just trying to find their way home to the ocean?”)

I pity the sanitation guy who discovers two tubes of toothpaste and three pairs of Nemo briefs.

It reminds me of the Robert Munsch book Love You Forever, in which the toddler boy flushes his Mom’s watch down the toilet. It’s exasperating.

I think Bennett inspired the cover on Munsch’s classic children’s book.

Bennett’s antics look hilarious in a blog post (I mean, flushing Nemo gonch? He’s clearly a comic genius) and in reality it is funny when you catch him in the act. Me: “Where are your underpants?” Bennett smiles. Me: “Where are they? Well? Answer me.” Bennett: “I flushed down toilet, Mommy!” (I mean, he’s so proud of himself, you almost want to congratulate him.) Me: “That’s a bad thing you did! We don’t flush underpants! Only pee and poop and toilet paper! OK?” And then three days later he’s at it again. Sigh.

Maybe I need to invest in some Shrek gonch. Surely an ogre is too big for a journey down the magic portal? And at any rate I suppose I should be thankful — Bennett hasn’t tried flushing my watch. Yet.

Climbing Kili for a Cause: Update

It’s been a month since we launched our fundraising effort for our son Bennett’s integrated special needs school. To date we have raised $3,775 for Renfrew Educational Services in advance of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in September.

Summit success on a Mt. Fernie training hike.

We have been wowed by all the support and we are on track to meet our goal ($5,895, or $1 for every metre of mountain from sea level to the summit). And, I am going to be on Global TV in Calgary to talk about the climb and the cause this morning (at 8:24 a.m.), so please tune in!

Over the past four weeks I have clocked 152 miles (350,000 steps) on my Fitbit, hiked to the top of Mt. Fernie in Fernie, B.C., dragged the children on a mud hike and spent more money than I thought was possible on outdoor gear at Mountain Equipment Co-op. I have yet to tackle the steps at Scotchman’s Hill but they are next on my hit list (Fitbit will be thrilled).

We are so keen to train for Kili, we dragged the children on a “mud hike.”

This training odyssey has not only helped me feel more prepared to tackle Kili in seven weeks, it’s led me to discover some great hikes for kids in or near Calgary — look for write-ups in future posts.

Tomorrow I fly to San Antonio, Texas with Bennett for the annual Chromosome 18 Registry & Research Society conference. I’m looking forward to finding out more about our son’s genetic condition (18q-), learning about the latest research and meeting other families with kids like Bennett. Everyone will have a different tale and I’m looking forward to hearing their stories, and sharing our journey with B.

Drink of the Week: Pink Panther

I guess it’s fair to say I’m on a bit of a bourbon kick (the children are out of school all summer, after all). My drink this week is a Pink Panther. It kind of sprang off the page and begged me to drink it when I was perusing the cocktail list at the new National Beer Hall on 17th Ave. S.W. in Calgary.

Sexier than the Strawberry Lemonade (also made with bourbon), the Pink Panther features watermelon puree (yum) and housemade basil syrup (double yum). It’s strong but not overpowering, and the watermelon (which pairs so nicely with basil) almost tricks you into thinking you’re guzzling a healthy libation. It’s definitely the kind of cocktail you want to shake up when the kids are squabbling on a sticky summer afternoon.

Bourbon, watermelon puree and basil syrup make this National Beer Hall cocktail a hit.

Pink Panther

  • 2 oz Buffalo Trace bourbon
  • 1 oz basil syrup*
  • 5 oz watermelon puree (just add watermelon to a blender and hit “puree”)
  • Top club soda
  • Basil leaf garnish (optional)

Build the drink over ice in a 500 mL mason jar (or 16 oz pint glass) adding the bourbon, basil syrup and watermelon puree, screw the lid on and shake, then add more ice and top with club soda. Garnish with a basil leaf.

*To make basil syrup, combine 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water and 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Let stand for 30 minutes, then pour liquid through a strainer into an airtight storage container (discard basil) and chill before using.

–Recipe courtesy Stephen Phipps, cocktail co-creator for National Beer Hall