Traveling with Toddlers … Stop: Potty Time!

A long road trip is an adventure in and of itself.  With three young kids, that adventure turns into an odyssey — an odyssey in endless pursuit of the next bathroom.

Of all times, Isaac (our two-year-old) has chosen this to be the perfect time for getting serious about potty training.  (For which, we are of course grateful; however, his timing coincides with our month-long trek across the Midwest, Ontario and Louisiana.)  Amazingly, during our nine-hour drive from St. Louis, Mo., to Toledo, Ohio, Isaac managed a dry diaper the whole ride — well, almost.

On our approach to Toledo, Isaac sounded the alarm that he needed to “go potty.”  We informed him we were “almost there” and suggested he just “hold it” (something that must sound very confusing to a two-year-old — why, after all, would you want to “hold” your excrement?!).  Moments from arrival at the hotel, a little voice from the back seat sounded through the minivan, “Oh dreat!  I just peed in the tar!”

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Touring Toledo: Hometown to Jaimie Farr, Katie Holmes … and Sue (Lapp) Jenkins

Emma & Caleb strut their stuff along the Maumee River in downtown Toledo, Ohio.

Emma & Caleb strut their stuff along the Maumee River in downtown Toledo, Ohio.

Isaac precariously balanced on the beams of a downtown art structure ... only to fly of the end, landing a perfect dismount.

Isaac precariously balanced on the beams of a downtown art structure ... only to fly of the end, landing a perfect dismount.

Holy Toledo!  It's an invasion of turtles! ... The kids enjoyed the wildlife along the Maumee River and marveled at the number of turtles we spotted on one single log.

Holy Toledo! It's an invasion of turtles! ... The kids enjoyed the wildlife along the Maumee River and marveled at the number of turtles we spotted on one single log.

Jubilant July

The three Jenkins ninos (Isaac, Caleb & Emma from left to right) have enjoyed summer at Papa & Mimi Jenkins' home.  Here's a shot of them on the playland at Papa's house.

The three Jenkins ninos (Isaac, Caleb & Emma from left to right) have enjoyed summer at Papa & Mimi Jenkins' home. Here's a shot of them on the playland at Papa's house.

On the fourth of July, the Jenkins clan celebrated Grandma Beltz's 90th birthday and enjoyed visiting with many family members who were in town for the festivities.  (This was the best we could manage at our attempts to get everyone facing the camera. ...)

On the fourth of July, the Jenkins clan celebrated Grandma Beltz's 90th birthday and enjoyed visiting with many family members who were in town for the festivities. (This was the best we could manage at our attempts to get everyone facing the camera. ...)

Preparing Palates for Costa Rica? … Hmmm

It’s a beautiful, sunny afternoon in St. Louis.  The children and I are revving up for our month-long journey across the Midwest, Ontario and Louisiana, that will hopefully bring us closer to our ultimate destination of Costa Rica.  As I’m preparing my list of “to-dos” for our journey, I sent my boys (Caleb & Isaac) out to the back deck to enjoy popsicles in the warm sunshine (within eye shot, of course).

About ten licks into the popsicle consumption,  the boys emerged through the back door, sticky fingers and all, and announced they’ve been eating ants.  “Ants,” I exclaimed with a mortified look on my face.  “Really, ants?”

“Yeah,” said Caleb matter-of-factly.  “They’re good — but only the little ones, not the big ones.  The big ones are sour.”

“Um-hum, ants,” added Isaac, “yeah — ants.”

“You’ve been eating big ants and little ants?”

“No, just the little ones,” said Caleb.  “They taste good.”

“Yeah, the wittle ones,” mocked Isaac.  “The wittle ones are dood!”

“Huh … so the popsicle wasn’t enough for you?”

“Umm-um-um,” said Caleb (in mock ‘I don’t know’ fashion).

“Ooooh-kay … well how about you go back out on the deck, leave the ants alone and finish your popsicles.”

“Okay,” the daring duo said simultaneously.  (Boys depart scene.)

“What is this,” I ask myself, “preparation for the mission field or one too many episodes of ‘Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern’?”