The Nine O’Clock Dryer

I love, love, love my children.  I do not, however, love potty training.  When Macy was a little over two, I decided that it was time for her to be potty trained – I was pregnant with Selah and didn’t want to have two kids in diapers.  This is a wonderful idea, but unfortunately one that was not meant to be.  Macy was just about the most disinterested kid ever in potty training and despite my best efforts, and lots of tears, she was NOT potty trained by the time I had Selah.  And once Selah was born, any progress that I had made in this arena was completely erased – as most of you multiple kiddo mommies know – some kids digress quickly once a new sibling comes.

And so after that experience – complete with lots of questions and advice from our Asian friends – I was not in a big hurry to potty train Selah.  Especially with Kate as a newborn.  So I didn’t.  I’m sure plenty of people were wondering about my mothering skills and if I’d ever take that girl out of her diaper.  She was doing really well at school and off and on at home, but I hadn’t really committed to the whole thing.

But now it’s time.

For a day or two, I tried the pull-up method.  You know, where you put your kid in a pull-up and try to practice going to the bathroom for the day.  But they’re in a pull-up, so it’s not that big of a deal if they have an accident.  I’m guessing this works for some parents, but it wasn’t really working for us.  I don’t think there’s quite enough of a…ahem…consequence if said child has an accident and they don’t really understand how the whole process works.

So we decided to go cold turkey and jump to the real deal.  No more pull-ups, no more diapers.


Actually, things went pretty well.  I think the combination of her personality and her older age were really working in my favor.  Of course, there were some accidents, but those are to be expected.  I really kept my patience, cleaned up quickly, and stayed positive.

And then the dryer went out.

Now I should pause for a second and reflect that most people around the world live – quite well – without a dryer.  I knew we could do it, but I was hopeful we wouldn’t have to for long.

After much googling (and several other accidents including the sheets/mattress pad), we decided to buy a new motor for the dryer.  Jeff got set up in the laundry room and started taking apart the dryer.  I took the girls to swim and when I came back figured we would be well on our way to having a new dryer.  But it was not in the cards.  After taking off the girls’ wet bathing suits, hanging up their wet towels, spreading out the wet plastic mattress pad they sleep on in hopes it would dry completely before bedtime, I realized I hadn’t seen Selah in a couple of minutes.  This is a dangerous thing during potty training days.

“Selah?!  Where are you, baby?”

No answer.

“Selah.  Selah?  Can you hear me?”

No answer.

I can feel it.  It’s not going to be good.

I find her climbing out of the toy box.  Wet.

Oh, man.

I pick her up and run to the toilet.  Sit her down.  Run back to the play room and try to do damage control – pulling out everything I can and putting all of it by the sink.  I look through the tags on each of the baby dolls, animals, blankets, whatever and they all read – “spot clean only”.  Who are these people that make spot clean only toys for children?!  Machine-washable only people!

I clean up Selah, clean out the box, do the best I can to clean up the animals/blankets/dolls.  I go check on Jeff.  The broken motor is NOT coming out of the dryer.  He’s tried everything.  It’s looking like a no-go.  The machine is pretty old and apparently, that motor likes being right where it is.

Jeff keeps trying while I bathe everybody.  Eventually, he and Dad decide the thing is not coming out.

I call Sears.  I ask how long it normally takes to get a dryer delivered.  Two to three days.  I ask if we came in tonight if that would help speed up the process.  Yes, he says.  They could go ahead and get the order in.  I start thinking about three days without a dryer while I’m potty training.  I wonder how many sets of sheets I have in the closet that I could pull out.  I look around at all of the wet clothes I’ve already accumulated.  As I’m wondering this, the guy on the phone tells me that they have a few dryers that are on clearance and we could take right away, if we were willing to install them ourselves.

Ding, ding, ding.  We’ve got ourselves a winner.

Jeff goes to Sears.  Picks out a dryer on clearance.  And brings it home.

This is how I felt about seeing that dryer.  Macy just acted it out for me.


I’ve never loved an appliance more.

So here’s to another day of potty training.  Bring on the wet clothes.


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