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Chronicles of Parenting

Chronicles of Parenting: Life Lessons Learned On The Potty

by Jocelyn Jane Cox

Welcome to the Chronicles of Parenting by local author, freelance writer, blogger and parent-of-toddler Jocelyn Jane Cox. Read on for advice you never knew you needed and the chuckles you know you really need, tailored to those who live in the Great State of Parenthood.

Greetings from the bathroom, where we have learned a lot in the last few weeks. Not only are we making progress as civilized human beings, we feel certain that these lessons have far-reaching applications and implications. For example…  life lessons from potty training

  1. Bribes can euphemistically be called incentives, rewards or prizes. This is true whether you’re dealing with a briefcase of large bills, dinosaur stickers, or knock-off matchbox cars from the Dollar Store.
  1. If the incentives are too enticing, this could result in working too hard, i.e. staying at the office until all hours of the night or sitting on the tiny potty with tense anticipation for 30 minutes at a time.
  1. Not everything happens when you want it to or where you want it to. Our control is limited and also vast. Just as we cannot completely control when we find a mate or our dream house, we cannot control when the pee comes; we can only control what we do with it when it gets here.
  1. You must contain both patience and the capacity to act quickly. This is true when dealing with the stock market and the rate at which you travel (saunter? run? sprint?) toward the bathroom.
  1. Accidents happen. It’s not always about what happens in life, but how you react to it. No need to cry over a broken vase, spilled milk, or spilled pee. (Then again, laughter isn’t exactly an appropriate response either.)

Want to learn to ride? Need to borrow a kids bike to participate? Email to find out how!

Helmets required for kids and adults. Parents must accompany children on escorted rides.

Net proceeds to benefit
The Nyack Center.

  1. Time is linear but existence is not. In other words, sometimes we progress and sometimes we take a few backward steps on the way to our goals. When you fall off the horse, or the diet, or the potty, you just have to get back on again.
  1. On a more scientific note, liquids are more easily removed from solid surfaces such as hardwood floors, than from softer materials such as carpets, couches, and car seats.
  1. You should always always always tell your friend if she has spinach in her teeth. It is the decent thing to do. Likewise, good friends tell good friends if their house smells like urine.
  1. Undergarments can be fun! Just ask the owners, founders, and millions of devotees of Victoria’s Secret. Or, for entirely different reasons, just ask my two year old, who is currently and proudly sporting Thomas the Tank Engine.
  1. Tears of sadness can coincide with tears of elation. As in: “This tragic movie is so beautiful!” As in, “I’m graduating from high school!” As in, “My child is getting married!” As in, “My baby is no longer wearing diapers!” Sniff, sniff, and woo hoo!

Jocelyn Jane Cox. Photo Credit: ©2015 Dave Zornow

Jocelyn Jane Cox is a  freelance writer and author. Her 2012 humor book on life in the New York suburbs, The Homeowner’s Guide to Greatness: How to handle natural disasters, design dilemmas and various infestations, is available on Follow her on Twitter at @JocelynJaneCox.


The Chronicles of Parenting is sponsored by The Palisades Center, your one-stop-shop for fun. Come to the Palisades Center for Munchkin Mondays, childrens’ concerts throughout the summer in the East Court. See the complete schedule of summer events at



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