Potty Training PT 3

When I last wrote about potty training we had put up a sticker chart and were on our way to earning a toy tractor. It took just more than a week but he got his tractor. Going with that success, we started another chart, this one ending with a new book. And admittedly, we didn’t do as great. Colt was not going consistently in the mornings, and during school was hit and miss. With our vacation to Boston coming up, I decided to slow down again. 

Once we were back, and knowing Colt was creeping up on 2.5 years old, I went back to a post I had read on Lucie’s List. I had remembered that she recommended a book and I went looking for it on my Kindle app. Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki is a hilarious read that really does break down potty training into simple blocks. 

I started reading the book during one of Colt’s naps and I am glad I did. A few things that I had thought I was doing “right” wasn’t harmful, but wasn’t helpful either. Thankfully, Jamie has a chapter on starting over. I set a date, and started clearing my mind and trying to get any insecurities gone. I had to go into this with patience, understanding, and positivity. 

Today (Saturday), Mike and I got started. We picked up the rug, conveniently ran out of diapers, and encouraged Colt to be butt naked. It started a little rough, it was a cool morning and Colt really wanted pants, but after a while we were playing trucks on the living room floor without issue. 

We had a pretty good morning. Colt started to pee-pee on the floor twice, and both times we were able to get him to finish on the potty. Dada rewarded him with M&Ms. He ate a pretty decent breakfast too, (which was an added bonus). Around 11 he asked for a snack that started to become lunch but after a few bites, he asked to take a nap. I put a pull-up on him and he dozed off pretty quick. 

When Colt woke up, I rushed into his room, maybe too quickly, hoping to get him on the potty before wetting his diaper. Unfortunately, that just lead to a cranky kid who had already gone pee. Oh well. I decided to go outside for a little while, so Colt put on his sandals and we brought his potty out back. We had a popsicle and blew some bubbles but he wasn’t too excited about it so we went back inside. 

It was very obvious that Colt needed to poop, but he did not want to sit on the potty to do so. He was farting pretty bad and every once in a while after he’d been squatting down to play with his trucks, he’d hop up and sit on the potty or jump in my lap. Mike’s mom stopped by for a few minutes, but he was still not going to go. I tried to let him have his privacy, but he’d come running after me. He finally told me one of the times that he was scared. 

I let Colt watch The Minions Movie for a while, hoping that would relax him enough to go. Unfortunately, it didn’t. And after, while Mike was making dinner, he had a pee-pee accident, and when I turned my back to clean it up, he had a second. Just another reminder why it is easier with two people. 

During dinner, Colt was uncomfortable in his booster seat and finally I was able to get him onto the potty where he finally went poop. Yes, you stop eating shrimp and scallops,  no matter how good they are,  for that. We were all kinds of excited and happy and Colt was super interested in his poop. He was a big boy who dumped it in the toilet and flushed it. Mike let him have an ice-cream sandwich, and he still ate all of his hotdog. 

Colt had asked earlier in the day if he could go to grandma’s and feed her dogs biscuits, and I had told him we could if he went poop in the potty. So once dinner was done, I slipped some pants on him and we drove over real quick. I didn’t want to be away from a potty for too long. He enjoyed the little outing and stayed dry the whole time. Once we were back home, I took his pants back off. I wanted to get one more pee in before putting him back in a pull-up, jammies, and bed. It took a bit of time, but we succeeded. 

I reflected on the day to both my mom and Mike after Colt had gone to bed. Both agreed that it had been a successful day and that we did pretty good. I was pretty exhausted. It’s definitely a strain on my patience, but mainly because we’re also dealing with a toddler that wants to jump on the couch as well. 

Sunday, we got up around 7. I told Colt first thing we had to do was sit on the potty. He was pretty resistant at first but Mike brought him a smoothie and a Nutragrain bar and he settled down. After he finished, we went to the living room and had a juice box while we watched Sesame Street. Mike made breakfast again a little while later, and Colt had still not peed. I knew it would be coming soon. 

Colt didn’t eat much for breakfast, and I was starting to wonder if he needed to poop again. We were playing with trucks in the living room when he had his first accident. I got him on the potty while Mike cleaned up the puddle. Colt asked for M&Ms, but we told him that was only for when he didn’t have an accident first. He seemed OK with that. 

A little while later Colt was starting to do his poop routine from the day before. Of course the few times he rushed to the potty, he didn’t go. He had another pee-pee accident, at least this time we got him on the potty in time for him to finish. I was starting to think I was missing his queues, and was getting a bit upset with myself. But I was good not to show it, and promised myself to pay more attention. 

Mike had to leave to go to a quick side job. I didn’t really want him to go. But knew I had to knuckle down and just focus on Colt. He was running up and down the hallway when he came barreling into the room yelling, “I pooping, Mama!”. He sat down on the potty and I held his hands and he pooped right away. We took the bowl into the bathroom, flushed the poop and I rewarded him with some M&Ms. 

Before lunch, we had one more near miss accidents. We got half the pee-pee in the potty, but we had made quite the mess getting there. Even with the potty within reach it is almost always facing the wrong direction. Colt helped me clean up and then we watched some Chuggington until it was lunch time. He ate pretty well this time, and I told him he was to use the potty when he was done and then he’d take a nap. I read him a book while he sat, and he went pee-pee in the potty! We cleaned up and put a nap time pull-up on and I tucked him in bed. 

Colt woke up from nap with a slightly wet diaper, sorry, pull-up. According to Jamie’s book, we don’t need to be concerned about if he’s dry or not after waking as it’s more important to focus on the day hours, unless we were going to also attempt night training. I considered it at first but decided against it since we also have daycare to contend with. We headed back out to the living room and played. This time I was really watching his face intently. 

We waited. I watched. Minutes turned into hours. I offered Colt a cup of water. And still nothing. I double downed and gave him a juice box. I think it was a good 3 hours before he finally broke the seal. And then we had two accidents where we caught him quickly and got him on the potty, but then he didn’t finish before insisting he was done. Of course, then we started dealing with the over energized toddler who hadn’t gone outside today. We finally got him to sit down on the potty and he finished emptying his bladder. 

After dinner, Colt was again running around the house and challenging authority by jumping on the couch. Mike finally had enough and sent him to his room for a time out. I snuck in behind him and left his potty with him and told him to use it if he had to go. After a minute I decided to check on him as he was being pretty quiet, and low and behold Colt was sitting on the potty! “Are you going potty buddy?” “Yeah” he said as I came around in front of him. He pooped! Without saying a word, he sat on the potty and pooped! I made a huge deal about it and Mike came into the room. Many high-fives were given. He proudly took his poop to the bathroom to flush. Mike gave him some M&Ms and took him outside for a “tractor” ride. 

I have to say we had a really successful second day. I don’t think it will be an instant end to diapers. And I know that we have plenty of accidents to come. Not to mention, we need to work with daycare who seems really relaxed about it. Colt will be out of school and home with me again tomorrow for one more day to practice. I’m really proud of my big boy. 

The Jury Duty Experience PT 3

I can’t believe I forgot to mention the closing arguments in PT 2.

The Prosecutor had a power point presentation and spent a lot of time on the definition of the various charges as well as reminding us what evidence proved those charges to be accurate. It seemed pretty open and shut to me. 

Unfortunately, Defendant #1’s attorney wasn’t done with his theatrics. He proceeded to pretend that he was the 2nd Defendant and act out the day. He pretend to be driving the car where some drugs were found. He pretended to get a message from one of the other 2 men found in the house. He pretended to run from the cops and to throw his pretend drugs around the room. Even his client covered his face and shook his head at the display. To me it just made me feel like the Defense wasn’t taking anything seriously. 

The second Defense Attorney made much less of a spectical. However he implied that in his so many years of working for both the Prosecutor and the Defense, he’d never been on trial with another Defendant that he was trying to prove to be the guilty party. He stated that they were helping along the Prosecutor. She disagreed. 

We were then given our rules and sent back to deliberate. 

Within a few moments, we elected the one juror as our foreman, and I was elected to take notes and polls on the white board. We ran through all 10 charges and took a quick vote just to see where we would agree. I think by the time we were released that day, we had come to unanimous decisions on 2 charges. 

Friday was more difficult. We were struggling with the definition of “Right to Control” which was one of the elements in the definition of Possession of a Controlled Substance. Every one kept bringing up scenarios and disagreeing on just about everything. You could tell a few of us had reached our exhausted points and it was just getting too loud and everyone was talking over one another. At the end of the day, I reminded the group that we were not speaking about random objects, like coats and wallets, but only Controlled Substances. We all agreed to let it go for the day. We would think about it over the weekend and come back to it Monday morning. No one wanted a hung jury, but I think a few of the jurors in the minority were starting to see it as an end result. 

Monday morning we were advised right away that we were not to deliberate until they told us to. So we sat having small talk and coffee. At some point, the clerk came down and got juror 7. She was the juror who works in the court house for a contract company. She had been one of the few in the minority who felt there was to much doubt for any of the charges of possession to be guilty. I was starting to wonder if they were going to replace her with the alternate. 

Soon they came for our foreman. And then surprisingly they came for juror 10. It was after she left, that I learned from another juror that 7 had asked an attorney either for the definition of right to control, or had asked if she was allowed to look it up. He told her no, and that either could result in a mistrial. 7 apparently told 10 when she got in that morning that her notes she had taken over the weekend shouldn’t be used. 

I still don’t know how exactly the courts found out. Soon we were all called into the court room and told by the judge that she was declaring it a mistrial. We were all pretty bummed but I think also relieved. She reminded us that should we ever end up on another jury, we needed to respect the court and only consider information that was presented during trial and told to us by the judge. 

Overall it was an interesting experience. I wouldn’t mind doing it again. At least now I would have a better expectation. I’m still slightly bummed our 6 days didn’t pan out into anything good. I’m hoping they will be retried and the next jury will be able to convict them. 

The Jury Duty Experience PT 2

Trial started immediately after the jury was sworn in. The Prosecutor’s opening statement was really well spoken and clearly explained what they felt had occurred on the date in question. They were going to present a number of witnesses, a pile of direct evidence, and she made it clear that they would be establishing circumstantial evidence to tie it all together. 

The Defense attorneys took turns with their opening statements. The both of them arguing that the other’s client were the guilty one and not theirs. I immediately felt like they were in cahoots to make it seem like both men couldn’t possibly be guilty because if one was truly guilty, the other couldn’t possibly be. Of course, illiciting doubt is their job. We were released for the day when they were done. 

First thing the next morning, we were back in the deliberation room, talking casually, enjoying the coffee and donuts, and secretly hoping the Defendants were taking a plea. No such luck. The day started with a detective serving as a witness. He had been the first to enter the house that day. He had witnessed the 2nd Defendant running from the dining room and entering the kitchen, where he found the first Defendant. After a few hours of back and forth questioning between the Prosecutor and Defense the released the witness and we were able to go to lunch. 

That afternoon was more interesting in my opinion. After briefly questioning a second cop who searched the vehicle, the next witness was a chemist from the crime lab who had tested the drugs found at the scene. Again, I was very impressed with the chemist who was also a very professional, well spoken woman with years of experience. She did not let the Defense trip her up the way that my least favorite Attorney was trying so desperately to do. I really wish that I had studied chemistry and gone into forensics like I had wanted to when I was younger. 

After that, the Lead Detective took the stand. Of course, it started with Mr. Defense Attorney arguing that the detective shouldn’t be declared an expert if he was also a witness. Which I found interesting given that he did not have a problem with the first detective or the chemist being declared experts. 

The Prosecutor continued making her way through piles of evidence. Photographs, clothing, kitchen equipment used to mix drugs, plastic bags from the trash, and drugs. There were bags of heroin, fentanyl, crack cocaine, and marijuana. While intriguing, the amount of money those bags were worth was sickening. And depressing, with the current epidemic of opioid related deaths. Interestingly enough, my (least) favorite Defense Attorney objected to the Prosecutor pointing out how dangerous fentanyl is, stating that “it wasn’t fair” which was laughably overruled as that was not a proper objection. 

Wednesday we got started after lunch. It was the Defenses turn to question the Lead Detective. While I believe that the officer handled the case professionally and under proper protocol, his lack in documentation of his surveillance, and later questioning of the defendants at the scene was disappointing. And that was it for the day. 

Thursday morning we we in for a surprise as the Prosecutor introduced phone calls made from Defendant 1 to Defendant 2 while in jail. They were recorded and were played for us to establish that one of the defendants was known on the street as “Snowman”. This was important to note as 2 people who were seen in the gallery of the court room were wearing t-shirts that read “Free” above a picture of a snowman. 

After lunch, we were given our instructions, and an alternate was selected at random and dismissed. We were released back to the deliberation room. 

The Jury Duty Experience PT 1

A few weeks ago I received a summons to report for jury duty from the Oakland County Circuit Court. I promptly filled out the questionnaire and then forgot about it. As a matter of fact, I pretty much forgot about it until they sent me a follow up letter because I hadn’t returned the questionnaire.

Leading up to my summons date, I had been pretty laid back about it. The last time I had been called was a really quick and painless experience where I was dismissed within an hour of arriving. Though as someone pointed out, there was a good chance that must have been a day later in the week. Monday’s tend to be a busier day for the courts. 

Last Monday, I arrived a few minutes early and was able to get a seat in the back of the large room that held the jury pool. I watched as the room filled with people. It wasn’t hard to notice that the majority of the people were white women. There were a few dozen white men. And even fewer people of color.

The first group of jurors were called by number and I watched them line up down the hall and be lead out of sight. Shortly after the intercom started calling out a second group of random numbers. Sure enough, about midway through, they called my number. We made our way up and had our badges scanned as we lined up in single file. A few of us took the opportunity to use the restroom knowing that it would be a while before we got the chance again. 

I learned that there were 45 of us total. And in the gallery of the court room, it looked like a much more diverse group. We took an oath, and the judge introduced the prosecution and defense teams as well as the defendants. She asked if we knew anyone, and I laughed to myself when the man seated next to me stated he was an optimalogist and he thought one of the defendants could be a patient. He was not dismissed. I didn’t have long to get comfortable on the wooden bench, as I was the fourth person called to the juror’s box. 

Voir Dire began. The Prosecutor was a professional, well spoken woman, who was very experienced. She was assisted by the lead detective on the case. She lead the questions at first, mainly wanting to know if we knew anyone involved in the legal system, what we did for a living, and if we had ever been a victim of a crime. 

We learned that the case was involving the two defendants who had been arrested at a home during the execution of a search warrant. Each of the men were charged multiple times in relation to the possession and intent to distribute various controlled substances. They each had their own Defense attorneys. 

Right from the start, I disliked one of the Defense lawyers. He was loud, animated, and very unprofessional. He acted too friendly with everyone. Even the Judge and Prosecutor gave each other looks of disapproval. I thought that I could be dismissed simply because I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes. 

But I was not dismissed. At noon we took an hour lunch break. Upon returning, the selected jurors were dismissed and replaced one by one. Out of 45, minus our 13, only 11 people remained left in the gallery. People who were dismissed either knew someone affected by substance abuse, didn’t speak English as their first language, openly admitted that they were biased, or surprisingly, were engineers. 

When all was said and done, our jury consisted of 10 white women, 1 white man, and 2 black women. I am not sure that is what was meant when they said a jury of your peers.