See how content and happy she looks? It’s all an illusion.

This potty-training experience has been like having a thousand tiny stick-pins stuck into the back of my arms, one by one. For 18 months.

People are always asking for my two cents on getting their kid to crap on the toilet. My advice? If you can afford it, outsource it.

Clearly I have no idea what I’m doing in this area. And it’s not from lack of research. I have spent dozens of hours surfing parenting sites and have read several books on the subject. All I found is that there’s a lot of useless advice out there.

Both Myles and Clare wore diapers until just before their fourth birthdays. Both were maddeningly content to walk around in saggy pullups and let us scrape the toxic paste off their butts at least once a day.

By some miracle, Clare seems to have caught on over the past few weeks. I’m not even sure if it’s anything we said or did. I’m thinking she would have just done it on her own, right about now.

Maybe with number three, I’ll just skip the pain and agony, throw a potty in front of Elmo and hope for the best.