Mountain View Mommy: Sand, Trucks and Testosterone

July 7, 2007

Yellow and Brown alert

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 6:26 am

Potty training (paw-tee tray-nee-g):

moments of absolute genius, followed by moments of unadulterated stupidity

That should be the definition in Webster’s dictionary.

One of the reasons I have not been blogging for a bit has been due to my love of summer with my kids. However, it has also been because I am consumed with pee & poop. Potty training has sucked me into this vortex where all I think about is where the next accident will be, and whether I will be prepared.

Do I have two outfits in the car at every given moment, for a play-date that might last more than an hour? If he hasn’t poop’d in a day, is he going to be constipated? Will he poop on the potty? Or will he run and hide and poop in his pants? Should I try to get him to the toilet when I see him doing the ‘grab my crotch’ dance? Or should I let him tell me? When do I back off? When do I push it?

Everyone wants to give you advice. And being a novice to potty training, I had been suckered into believing the few preachers that said, “oh it’s easy… when they are ready, you just train them for a few days and it’s done!” Voila! I am ready. He is ready. Why are we still cutting the underpants off this kid and tossing the underwear into the garbage can, because he used them like a disposable diaper!!!?

I had prepared myself for the accidents. I smile, make no big deal about it. Calmly wipe myself with disinfectant spray from head to toe and hose him down with a power sprayer. However, inside I am seething. I am not mad because I am callous mother who can’t understand this is new to him. I am mad because he actually does it on purpose. Yes, you might not believe me … but he does.

One day he was doing the potty dance, when I asked him if he had to pee. He had been going on the potty pretty well for weeks… yes, there were accidents… but he clearly knew how to do it. Well this time, he yelled NO in my face. Ran to the sandbox. Squatted, and pee’d into the sand – while looking straight at me. Seriously. How does one stay calm in the face of that sort of adversity? I about wanted to kill him. I just turned around and let him stay there. And frankly, he didn’t care. Not one bit. So those of you, who advise… ‘leave him in it, they won’t like it.’ Well, this kid doesn’t mind.

We had been at it for about 3 weeks and I almost gave up every dang day of those weeks. One day would be amazing – he would tell me he had to go and we would go. One day would be horrible – he would refuse to go near the bathroom all day, not even once. One day he would go in himself, not need my help in any way. And the next, he would tell me he liked pooping in his pants. I have bought at least, AT LEAST, 24 pairs of underwear. And we were down to 4 today.

But, after all this complaining… I think we have turned a corner. We conquered the pee in the last week and a half. He has had no accidents. I attribute this to the fact we went on vacation and he was surrounded with people every minute of the day. Thus he had no privacy to have an accident (he typically likes to hide). So he got used to asking someone to go to the potty – on planes, in strange homes, on the beach, at the park, in the middle of a wedding! It was amazing. Nothing like performing under pressure.

But the poop was still a problem. He did great on vacation. But when we got home, the first thing he did was go back to his old ways. I about rammed my head into the wall with frustration. I have talked to every woman I know with an older kid, trying to figure it out. Finally I just let it go. I just stopped trying and bought about 12 more pairs of underwear and figured… I am going to wait him out.

I think he felt my resolve to do nothing, say nothing, and just wait. It must have daunted him. Because this week, I think we have turned a major corner. There has been no more accidents. None. And he tells me when he needs to go. And he takes care of his own clothes. And he washes his hands. It was like the heavens opened up and the Pee Fairy came down with her magic wand and told him, “you shall now use the toilet and use it well.” And so he has.

With this comes a freedom I didn’t actually know I was missing. Seriously, I can’t believe that I can take this kid places and not worry about bringing the diaper bag, an extra change of clothes, wipes, and Balmex! I feel like I walk about 2 feet taller, and I want to tell everyone I meet “he’s potty training”. But I don’t have to. He does it for me. The other day he ran into the airport full of people and yelled, “Mommy I pooped on the potty” as loud as he could with this HUGE grin on his face as he raced up to me for a big hug. As we did our victory dance, I didn’t care that 100 people were watching us. They should have joined it, it was definitely something to celebrate!

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