The Trouble with the Berenstain Bears

My 5-year-old loves the Berenstain Bears and at first, I did too.  I thought the stories were cute and simple and usually had a message that was appropriate for a young child.  Having a book talk about the experience of going to a doctor or a dentist appointment has been helpful.  I have even been able to get over the fact that the cubs names are Brother and Sister even though the other cubs in the series have REGULAR names.  Not to mention, I can never remember how to spell Berenstain (ei or ai??).  But lately I have been noticing more and more outdated gender stereotypes being perpetuated over and over again throughout the books.  The “Mama does everything and Papa is just like another child” dynamic is painful at best.  I want my children to understand that their father should help clean the house and their father should abide by the “no more junk food” rule like the rest of the family.  He should be ordering him and Mama a pizza after the kids go to bed like normal people.

I realize that all the newer books are being written by Stan and Jan Berenstain’s son, Mike.  And they are terrible.  Even my son asked me what kind of name is “Professor Actual Factual”.  The newer books focus more on adventures than real life lessons, which I suppose is a way of getting around the Mama and Papa Bear 1950’s misogynistic relationship.  The fact that the original books are still so popular though is interesting.  Surely, I’m not the only one who realizes how ridiculous it is that Mama is the default parent (aka the one who does everything) while Papa has to be told what to do and is often perceived as an incompetent fool.  He is made to look like an extra child because we all know how much women love that.

To help illustrate the obvious point, in the “Bedtime Battle” book, Mama has to explain the bedtime routine to Papa step by step even though this is something they do EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  On the cover of “Forget their Manners” Papa is alongside Brother and Sister with his feet up at the table while Mama stands there fuming. And in “Learn About Strangers”, all Papa does is scare his kids with stories of bear cub abductions, while Mama has to calm her children down and explain things at their level.   Wake up, Mama!  He is totally playing you with his “I didn’t realize whites and colours couldn’t go together in the wash” demeanor.  HE KNOWS.  He is just getting away with not having to do it.

To answer your first question, no I don’t have anything better to do with my time than criticize children’s reading material.  It’s just when I googled the year “The Trouble with Chores” was written and it came up as 2005, I practically vomited all over my blue and white polka dot duster (just jokes I only dress like that on the weekends).  I was expecting something like 1975.  Hell, even 1985.  But no.  That book with Papa laying on the couch while Mama cleans the house was published in THIS CENTURY.

To answer your second question, yes “The Trouble with Chores” does strike a nerve with me.  Mainly because I also have trouble.  The trouble lies in the fact that I am the one who does most of the chores.  The regular cleaning and maintenance of our home does fall on my shoulders.  This naturally pisses me off.  I work full time outside the home.  I organize all the school related things.  My husband hasn’t cleaned a bathroom since 2008.  But according to the Berenstain Bears, I should be cleaning up after my husband while he lounges on the couch?  Or worse yet, contributes to the mess and makes my children think they don’t have to learn to contribute? What kind of sphere of hell is that?  I don’t think so, Mama Bear.  Girl, you need to go on a girl’s weekend and pretend you are in your 20’s again with no responsibilities.  You don’t have to put up with a husband who watches too much tv, forgets his manners, and mocks his own kids love of soccer because baseball is his favourite sport.

These gender roles are outdated and they aren’t doing us any favours.  I don’t want my husband to think that cleaning the kitchen on Mother’s Day (or any day for that matter) wins him some type of award.    Mama shouldn’t have to monitor both her kids screen time as well as Papa’s.  If anything, he should use that time to clean a bathroom or do a load of laundry.  Mama shouldn’t have to micromanage the shit out of Papa because he can’t seem to understand simple directions or manage life skills most 10-year old’s can do.  I know Papa is being portrayed as a bumbling idiot, but even simpletons can be 50/50 with their spouse in terms of child rearing and taking care of the home.  After all, they are YOUR children that you had TOGETHER.  That is a dynamic I would like to see illustrated for my children.

Take note, Mike Berenstain.  Your next book could be all about a working mom and dad who have a house cleaner and routinely make macaroni n’ cheese for supper.  They also are smart enough to utilize online grocery shopping, have power naps during their lunch hour, and daydream about the dream vacation they’ll never be able to afford.  You know.  Parenting in 2017.

Just Go Outside and Play

There have been plenty of parenting moments in the last 5.5 years since I became a mom where I have thought, “Hmmm that’s not how I thought that would go.”  In the beginning, you are just feeling it all out.  I mean how can you expect to know what you are doing even though you bought all those “what to expect” books but never actually read them.  But you figure it out.  The feeding, the sleeping, the potty training…you just muddle your way through it and somehow you have walking, talking, little humans who have their own personalities and interests.  There are many things I feel like I am a pro at (they don’t call me the Sleep Enforcer for nothin’), and others that I take day by day. But there is one thing that is baffling me.  My children’s ability to play independently/with each other. The problem is THEY DON’T.

I am not the kind of parent that spends every waking minute crafting amazing ideas and adventures for my children.  I didn’t grow up that way and I have shit to do.  I mean who is going to vacuum my floors if I am busy racing Hot Wheels?  Surely my children can race each other and I don’t have to be a part of it, right?  Wrong.  I seriously don’t know why my kids cannot seem to “just play”.  I remember being 4 or 5 and playing FOR HOURS in our basement BY MYSELF.  I had older siblings who were in school full time and there I was…playing dolls in my room alone while my mom did whatever she did (clean, watch Another World, I really don’t know).  Point is I want my kids to be able to use their imagination and go play in the basement without me having to a) be there b) entertain them c) prevent them from killing each other. 

Before you chime in on what kind of parent you think I am, I am loving and kind.  I do hang out with my kids and take them places, but I also work full time outside of the home and I have to cook and clean and buy shit.  It’s the way the world works.  I don’t have the time or the energy to make a Batman lair out of Lego every single day.  I take my kids to the park, on walks, to the grocery store. But I also need to be able to get things done in my house while they are in it.  I don’t want to have to take a vacation day from work just to be able to wash my windows. 

My kids (age 5 and 3 for reference) seemingly cannot play on their own for any longer than 2 minutes.  I will have them set up in the basement with all the Hot Wheels track and cars they could ever want and I go to escape upstairs to make dinner and two minutes later, they are both begging me for a snack and to “be with me”.  Charming I know.  I know that five years from now, when their independence will be greater and they won’t literally be nipping at my heels, I will probably miss the constant attention.  But this truly isn’t what this is about.  This is about not having a friggin’ clue about how to get my kids to play without my involvement.  “Go outside and play” literally means nothing to them.  And they have a playhouse and toys in our backyard that I never had.  As I often tell them, “You know what mommy had to play with when I was your age?  A rock.” 

I thought play was natural.  Children would invent and create and explore all on their own and the parent was there to yell, “Lunch is ready” and all would be good.  Maybe it’s because I was the youngest in my family, and a girl, that I was able to play so well on my own.  My boys have each other, but can’t get along for more than five minutes. Or maybe this is just a stage.  Or maybe I need more patience.  Either way, I don’t know why it is so hard for them to play without ME.  It would probably help too if my boys were at the same stage and could play the same things.  My 5yo likes books, puzzles, superheroes, and Lego.  My 3yo?  Throwing things down the stairs and jumping on top of them.    For now, I’ll continue to encourage independent play and try and model using your imagination (like when I pretend to be the Real Housewife of Saskatchewan and I have a never-ending supply of money to order clothes online).  If my kids’ biggest problem in life is that they had a mother who always told them to “go outside and play” then I feel like I have done my job as a parent.    And I’ll be able to enjoy watching them play through my super shiny windows.


42 Day Challenge: If you post it, it will happen

The 42 Day Challenge-If you document it, well, nothing will probably happen

Alright guys.  I’m officially putting myself out there.  Oh, you think I have already done that?  HAHAHAHA.  Nope I haven’t.   I routinely use self-deprecating humour, or talk about my challenges with depression and motherhood.  But this challenge…. well this is a new ball game for me in being real and candid about something I gloss over time and time again.  This next blog post (or series in this case) is going to consist of daily diary entries documenting a “wellness” challenge that I am deciding to put myself through (which is absolutely an euphemism for a weight loss challenge).  Oh Lord help me, but I am 100% going here.

Personally, I think it might be interesting to see how honest I can be about food and exercise and those challenges knowing that absolutely anyone could possibly read this.   I have a pretty toxic relationship with food and food related things.  A lot of that is a long history that is probably best served in the office of a mental health professional.  Not to mention it’s a touchy subject that I really don’t want to TALK about, so I suppose that means I should.  It’s complicated like most personal things are, and has been decades in the making.   But here I am closer to 40 than I’d like to be and was recently reminded that I am three years away from routine colonoscopies, so I figured perhaps I could document my journey to take my health to new heights (you know I’d go all Bachelor cliché on you and no, there will be no helicopter rides to amazing locations on this journey).  If there is one thing I feel confident about it’s writing and using humour to deflect difficult issues.  So, I am starting a diary of sorts as I try and use the next six weeks to create better habits that stick without driving myself insane.  Basically, I am using my summer holidays to try and have some self exploration and give myself a bit of a challenge.  Perhaps being accountable to the Internet will either be helpful or be good for a laugh.  Truthfully, I think it will be helpful for me whether or not it helps or entertains anybody else. Worth it. 

This won’t be without challenges though.  For the sake of being concise shall I list them?

1.       I like to drink booze. 

2.       It’s summer and I really like to drink booze on a boat.

3.       I spend a lot of time on a boat.

4.       My kids try and kill each other whenever I don’t give them my undivided attention, which makes workouts difficult.  But surely, they won’t die if I do some jumping jacks in my basement.

5.       I also really like pizza.  I’m not really sorry about that.

6.       I don’t like working out when I am not at home in the privacy of my own basement where no one, other than my 5-year-old, can comment on how I don’t do any of the moves like the girl in the workout video.  So, time at the lake I will have to improvise some workouts/just say no to ice cream and it should even out.

7.       I am well aware that I could start doing this in September once everyone is back into routine and I won’t be tempted with the booze/ice cream/debauchery that is summer holidays.  But where is the fun in that?  Plus, everyday can be a holiday or a reason to indulge if you let it.  I also want to get started while I’m off work because, you know, I’ll be less crazy/tired/ready to give up.  Hopefully.

 Why I want to do this:

1.       Ugh those damn kids of mine.  I need to be a good example and even though I have made my disdain for Kraft Dinner very clear, I know that I want them to be active and to stop bothering me about wanting Bear Paws every waking minute.  I have started finely grating chicken and vegetables in most things they want to eat, so I do feel marginally successful already. 

2.       I have clothes that mock me in my closet.  I really want to bypass them and get into a smaller size as payback.

3.       Perhaps my narcissistic tendencies would be better served through documenting a weight loss challenge instead of thinking of one liners so some celebrity will retweet me on Twitter.

4.       Because why not right?

 The “Rules”-Just to set the stage for where I am at and what I am prepared to do and not prepared to do

1.       Start using My Fitness Pal again.  It is a good little tool if you use it consistently.  My calorie goal is 1340 per day.  So basically, if you eat at a restaurant, you can only eat that one meal for the day.  Also, if you drink on a boat that is pretty much your day as well.  Truthfully that doesn’t sound that bad.  Oh, but I won’t be giving you a food journal or pictures of my food because that is dumb.  I’ll talk about the day and what went on and such, but I will not bore you with a complete run down unless you really want to know.  I mean if I eat an entire sleeve of Oreos I’ll tell you (I have never done that by the way…just saying).

2.       Exercise daily.  30 minutes is enough though.  I can’t fathom trying to orchestrate more time in my day.  Did you know my children get up before the sun?

3.       Drink way more water.  When I am at home, especially in the summer, I don’t find this task difficult, so for the duration of this challenge I feel like I have it in the bag.  When I go back to work though, my room is like a meat locker and I wear like 4 sweaters, so water is usually the last thing I want.  But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. 

4.       10,000 steps a day.  I have a Fitbit, which I actually really like.  When I’m working, I actually get 10,000 pretty easily.  When I’m on holidays it is much less.  Which surprises me, but I guess yelling at my kids from the couch isn’t really walking. 

5.       Stop making excuses.  I do this way too much.  I’m too tired.  I’ll do it tomorrow.  Oprah has struggled for years too and if she can’t do it, ain’t nobody can.  I need to have a personal chef/trainer/butler to even have this work.  Eating salad makes me sad.  The best things in life are not only extraordinarily expensive, but also delicious.  I will always have cankles no matter what I do (this really is true…curse of being short).  I have to give my kids the ipad and television just to be able to work out/shower in the first place and I could use that quiet time drinking coffee and updating my Instagram.  And on it goes.  Alas I need to invest in some dry shampoo and wake up extra early and just do it already.

6.       I have finally created my own Facebook page to share updates and such.  Better than putting it in my regular page feed.  I am hopeful that those who will follow my page will do so willingly and want to read what I put out there instead of feeling forced to glaze over my shit when I put it in a generic Facebook post.  You guys all get that.  I will put daily updates on my blog and link them through Facebook and Twitter (follow me @sadeatingsalad…yes that really is my twitter handle because it’s fucking true).

7.       Oh, and I’ll be nothing but honest.  Because what would be the point otherwise?  I am so far from perfect and I know that I will have some pitfalls along the road.  I will not deprive myself because that don’t work either, folks.  It is what it is and if I feel like a drink…well I’ll have one.  I wouldn’t be Carmen otherwise. 

8.       Lastly, my birthday will be happening during this next 42 days.  Obviously, this day does not count.  I will have my cake and fucking eat it.   

Day 1 starts tomorrow, Monday, July 31st.  Wish me luck. 



Brush Your Teeth With Soap and Other Things to Try in 2017

Anyone else feeling like they wish 2017 would just get better already?  I know I’m not alone here.  This year is pretty much the worst.  Not only am I currently developing an ulcer worrying about everything that is wrong with this province/country/world, but I also am dealing with the fact that I hate every item of clothing in my closet.  The struggle is real.  To add insult to injury, I had someone ask me if I was pregnant today and now I will have to burn the one sweater I do like, as it will forever taunt me that I look pregnant wearing it.  So, since eating my feelings is obviously not the answer, I decided to think of a few ideas that might help get me through the rest of the year.  Obviously, this will be in addition to alcohol and online shopping.

1)  Apply to be on a reality TV show.  Now I realize my options are limited for obvious reasons.  I’m not a crazy fame whore, so the Bachelor is out (well that and already being married is probably frowned upon).  No one has offered to be my partner for the Amazing Race, plus I would hate every challenge that involves heights, driving, dancing, or eating gross food, so that’s pretty much the whole show.  I have an aversion to sweltering hot temperatures, bugs, and not showering, so Survivor would be a nightmare.  That leaves Big Brother.  Even though I would be labelled as “the token old mom” I think I would win everyone over with my wit and complete lack of personal boundaries.  Plus, with my memory I’d kill at those mental challenges.  But trust me when I tell you that I would make all of you be a part of my fan club and wear t-shirts with my face on them.

2)  Wear actual jeans.  I don’t know how it happened actually.  Wait…no, I do.  Maternity pants.  That’s where it started.  Those comfortable, buttonless pants.  Once I got a taste of the good life, it became an addiction.  Then they came out with pajama jeans and my life became complete.  I haven’t worn actual blue jeans in like 6 years.  I go from stretchy pajama jeans to black dress pants to yoga pants.  Someone get a pair of Mom Jeans immediately.

3)  Brush my teeth with Dove soap.  Yes, you read that right.  I spend my days with people who have nothing better to do than think up clever life hacks and this one is actually pretty legit.  I’ve tried it (no judging) and it works.  Your teeth will be shinier and I swear my mouth has never felt fresher.  Well, obviously because I am literally washing my mouth out with soap.  I shave a little off the bar of soap and mix it with toothpaste.  It has to be Dove soap though…something about the Ph balance…Google it.  When the idea was first presented to me I dismissed it like I do most things.  However, after personal testimonies from several people who tried it, I felt it would be negligent to not look into it.  According to various internet posts from people who have no credentials whatsoever, it seemed like perhaps 4 out of 5 fake dentists can’t be wrong.  However, I only tried it once and clearly, I need to work this into my daily “make myself presentable” circus.

4)  Get a tattoo.  I said it last year when I wanted to get one and never did.  I want it to be subtle, have meaning, and look cool.  Is it too late to consider a lower back tattoo or has that fad died out?  The only thing I know for sure is a face tattoo makes it really hard for people to take you seriously, or hire you, so that’s out, but I am open to suggestions.

5)  Start a home business.  I have a billionaire’s sense of entitlement, so naturally my meager salary is not enough for me to live the life I was destined for.  I have been thinking about several options, but I really want to commit to see it through.  Here are my options.

a) Write a book. However, the price to self publish is a bit beyond me, plus would anyone buy it (I mean aside from my mom)?  Maybe a Kickstarter campaign would work if I even knew how to do that.

b) Set up a deal pushing products on Instagram like all the rejected Bachelorettes. “Don’t you just love my new Fossil watch?  I look so pretty wearing it, and you could too!” or “My hair has never been shinier thanks to Sugar Bear Hair.  Use code ‘carmenb’ to get 15% off!”  I mean I could do that.

c) Turn things I love into a job. I love writing, watching TV, making passive aggressive responses to things on Facebook, selling things on Varage Sale, and not being woken up when I’m asleep.  I am really hoping that I can meld all these worlds together and create the perfect business.  Here’s hoping!

2017 can’t be the year where everything turned to shit. Let’s raise the bar, one Dove soap at a time.

Tooth Fairy Ideas and Where You Can Shove Them

I am now in the stage of parenting where I am learning all about the tooth fairy.  To be honest, she seems like a Pinterest “everyday is magical” wench.  Yup I just said that.  My 5-year-old has his first loose tooth and things went from “maybe the Tooth Fairy will bring me a quarter” to “what is the Tooth Fairy getting me for my first tooth?  A trampoline?”  WTF.  Since when are teeth that big of a deal?  My son asked me what I got for my first tooth to which I replied, “Well, it was 1987, so probably nothing.  Maybe a quarter, but most likely it was a nickel.”  Like seriously.

Remember the 80’s and how our parents were WAY less into parenting?  It was awesome.  But I’m a mom in 2017, and all of a sudden I have to have elaborate celebrations for everything and now I find out that “the first tooth” is actually something I have to celebrate.  Come the hell on, you guys.  Which one of you upped the anty on making a big deal out of EVERYTHING??  First I had to have 24 days of Christmas delight with that stupid elf, and now I have to invite the Queen for supper because my kid lost a tooth.      Continue reading “Tooth Fairy Ideas and Where You Can Shove Them”

Day in the Life of Your Toddler

From morning until night, life in a toddler regime can be difficult.  My almost 3 year old is a monster right now, you guys.  A holy terror that is breaking toys, all my earthly possessions, and most notably, my spirit.  But it’s hard being 3.  Here’s a look at what life is like for the toddler who is running my insane asylum.

My room is dark.  I don’t like that.  Hey my pull-up is wet-I’ll just take that off.  Oops I think I pee peed in my big boy bed/jumping apparatus.  Better call my mommy to fix that.  I don’t know what “for the love of everything, it’s 3 A.M” means, but I’m sure glad I have a sleeve to finally wipe all that snot on.  No Mommy, don’t go.  I want a song.  No, not that song.  Hmmm maybe a story would be a better idea.  Where you going Mom?  Don’t worry I’ll scream cry for you again shortly.  Maybe I’ll let you settle down first and then call for you.  You seem to bolt out of bed faster that way.

Good Morning!  Yes, get these urine soaked pj’s off me already.  Ha ha try and catch me to put those clothes on!  Remember if you try and put me in jeans or a shirt with buttons you will be dead to me.  Thanks in advance for continuing to dress me like a homeless person.  I will scream for sweatpants that are neither too lose nor too tight, but those preferences will change daily.  Thanks for understanding. Continue reading “Day in the Life of Your Toddler”

The Not So Silent Struggle

I wasn’t going to write anything about today.  I usually say something as a means to help support mental health initiatives and to be a voice when so many feel shame and the need to be silenced.  But, honestly, today I feel shame and the need to be silent.  I feel nervous.  I feel like I could be doing more damage to myself than I want to.  It’s hard to be vulnerable and candid when everything around you seem to be crumbling.  I just want to pretend like it doesn’t exist.  I want to go on as if it’s business as usual and that I am not feeling the way that I am.  But if there is anything that I am it’s outspoken, and somehow, I just have to say something.  Someone out there might feel the exact same way.  And when you know what it feels like to have people not understand you, this could be a glimmer of hope for someone.  So, I continue.  I talk.  Because I have to. Continue reading “The Not So Silent Struggle”

My New Years “Non-Resolutions”

New Years “Non- Resolutions”

I hate New Years.  I always have.  When I was younger it was the pressure to have “the most fun ever”, which often turned into god awful evenings.  I’d overdrink, pass out in a bathroom, and miss the actual countdown.  I even spent one countdown in a porta potty where I counted down the time with the stranger in the next one.  Classy.

Now that I am old and boring, New Years has become about buying new workout DVD’s and re-adding My Fitness Pal back onto my phone.  The actual evening is spent deciding whether or not it is even worth it to stay up until midnight.  Then there’s those resolutions.  They are always the same.  Lose weight, have more “me time”, cut out processed foods, refined sugar, wheat, carbs, dairy, recalled hummus products, blah, blah, blah.  Nope not doing it.  Don’t care.  I’m going to make the “non- resolution” list and really commit to seeing it through.  2017-Dare to Dream (which is a much better title than the famous 2008-It’s not too late…to get your life together). Continue reading “My New Years “Non-Resolutions””

Top 15 Things I Could Be An Expert On

1)      How to make my kids do the ugly cry by asking them to put on pants.

2)      Cooking meals for people who want whatever we ran out of yesterday.

3)      Losing and gaining the same 20 pounds.

4)      Watching HGTV, which now qualifies me as a realtor, home improvement expert, and structural engineer.  Don’t even get me started on talking about open floor plans and granite countertops.

5)      The entire menu at Boston Pizza (kid’s menu and fishbowl combinations included).  I even have a great idea for a kid’s appetizer platter, which would include ½ piece of pizza, 1 bite of grilled cheese, 1 chicken finger with the breading already taken off and discarded on the floor to be eaten later, 19 hotdogs, and 1 bite of every adult entrée.

6)      How to look for minuscule Lego pieces that have disappeared (naturally) and life cannot possibly go on without them.

7)      How to make mountains out of molehills.

8)      Playing Hungry Hungry Hippos with a 4-year-old that cheats, and a 2-year-old that eats the pieces.

9)      Sudoko. The original brain workout from Japan is the only friend I have at work.

10)   The entire contents of Superstore, where to find every single item, and the absolute best and worst times to go there based on fresh produce and my intolerance for people who block the aisle debating over different kinds of mustard.

11)   How to clean diarrhea out of a bathtub and safely clean all bath toys (by putting them directly in the garbage).

12)   How to sell ANYTHING on Varage Sale.  I mean someone drove to my house to buy a lint roller.

13)   BEDMAS.  I teach math, so I swear I go over this daily.  I am considering getting it as a tattoo.

14)   Naming my children’s stuffed animals.  Both my kids sleep with like 30 stuffies and obviously, it is my job to name them because I have to do EVERYTHING.  Some are easy because they come with names (Elmo, Cookie Monster, Pooh Bear), but then those generic ones which I’ve named Ted (a teddy bear), Lamby (a lamb), Blue Guy (a blue bear), Froggie (a duck…just jokes he’s a frog), you get the idea.  This is otherwise known as not giving a shit.

15)   The proper way to take the dishes from the sink (which shouldn’t have been there to begin with, but whatevs) and load them in the dishwasher and then explain to my husband about how this is a job literally EVERYONE can do despite age, gender, or general laziness.


3 Day Potty Training Does Not Exist

The hardest part of parenting…potty training.  Well probably not.  I’m sure making sure your kids don’t do drugs and that they are happy and making good choices when they are teenagers is probably a lot harder.  But in my life, right now, it is potty training.  Although this is my second kick at the can (well technically third since we tried potty training this past summer with #2 to a complete disaster) my feelings towards it have changed.  I have two boys, born almost exactly two years apart, but their potty-training adventures were vastly different.  Of course, I know that “each child is different” (yeah yeah don’t care “child rearing expert mom”) and it would be unfair for me to compare, but I am.  Not in the way my boys took to potty training, but more in the way I approached it.  This right here is why birth order matters.  Things are always different the second (or third of fourth) time around.  This is why siblings with the same parents and same home environment growing up can have very different experiences in the way they see their childhood.  I know my boys will reflect on their childhood much in the same way because of the differences on how I approach them and their different “milestones”.  Although there have been and will continue to be many differences between how I have treated my boys (breast feeding, moving to a big boy bed, bedtime, the list goes on) for now potty training will be the comparison point of documentation when my boys want to later argue how they are so hard done by. Continue reading “3 Day Potty Training Does Not Exist”