Thursday, January 10, 2013

Potty Training for Dummies: The Amnesia Edition

Dear readers, I have BIG news. I hesitate to even type it, for fear that I will jinx myself into an afternoon full of disgusting accidents but...I think my son is potty trained.

His big sister had pneumonia for the full two weeks of Christmas break and was a hacking, coughing, feverish mess. At some point I realized this meant a) we cannot leave the house, b) no one can come over and c) we had no activities, birthday parties and very little shopping to do and few errands to run. Therefore, as social hermits, conditions were perfect for potty training.

I'll admit it: at first, I was a bit arrogant about the whole thing. I vaguely remembered training his older sister at the same age (just shy of 3 years-old) and it took two days. Nooooo problem, right?

Lydia, the next time I say something so asinine, please just slap me with a sandwich.

By the end of Day 2 with my son I slowly realized I'm a huge dummy. Or I had severe potty training amnesia. Or both. You see, I forgot a few certain truths about potty training:

1. They have to be bothered by the mess. This is one of those things veteran moms tell you--that if your kid is bothered by messy underpants then he will be more motivated to get to the potty in time. Well, only a few minutes after I took off my son's diaper for the first time he peed through his undies onto the floor. I held my breath and waited for his reaction...feeling sure he would be upset or cry. Instead he looked at the puddle on the floor, looked up me, smiled and said gleefully, "Oh well! Accidents happen!" Then I'm pretty sure he proudly backed away doing jazz hands.

2. Boys have to point their junk down. DOWN. Yeah, so the thing about being a girl and raising another girl is that I kind of forgot that his junk has to be pointing down. Let's just say Big Sister and I, who were crouching by the potty, yelling encouragement, both got a *big* surprise. In the face. Eeeeeeew.

3. They don't understand how disgusting poop is. My friend Lulu has a son the same age mine and as it happens, we are both potty training at the same time. When I saw her at the library yesterday she looked worn out and defeated. She explained that her son is doing a great job at peeing on the potty but is hesitant to poop and, as of earlier that day, he hadn't gone in two full days. That morning she walked into his bedroom and discovered that he had unloaded 2+ days of poop on his floor and then decided he would clean it up himself. Using his dump truck. Because he is 2 years old and that makes total sense. *Gag*

The only silver lining was that he has wood floors in his room, but Lulu said he has been playing long enough that it was seriously ground into the grains of the wood. She concluded her story by saying, "I think I still smell it. Is it on me? Don't stand next to me."

4. I'm not actually doing less wiping. Same butt, different location in the house. And now I'm wiping a butt AND a potty chair. So this is actually double the wiping. Shiiiiiiit.

5. You pay dearly for all your own flexibility. Like many parents, I have strayed from certain rules, routines, and codes of social conduct while potty training. For example, if you are the 86 year-old man who lives across the street from us then last night you maaaay have seen my son jumping on the couch in our bay window with his junk flapping as free as the wind. Sorry, Vito. But letting him go naked saves us a few precious seconds when nature calls. However, I'm now paying dearly for this break in routine because this morning the kid couldn't understand why he had to wear pants to the supermarket. "Noooo, I no need pants." Uh, it's 20 degrees out. You kinda do. Plus, that's like a real rule...no shirt, no shoes, no pants, no service.

6. Potty training makes me twitchy. I'm now entering week 3 of training and at this point if my son even looks at me funny I leap up dramatically and scream, "OH MY MAUDE! DO YOU HAVE TO USE THE POTTY?!?" This morning he came running up to me yelling, "Mom! Mom!" and I just assumed it was too late, so I hung my head and reached for the Clorox wipes. But the poor kid just wanted to show me his trucks. I'm a little, uh, edgy. Target, if you are reading this, you would make a killing if you placed t-boxes on the shelf next to potty chairs. I'm just sayin'.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2012

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