Some time last week Chip decided he can go potty “all by himself”. I’m thrilled as this accomplishment really relieves a mother of a toddler from the bonds of potty training.
Diapers are flexible and easy. But kinda gross as the toddler gets older. That, coupled with the threat of askance glances from “those” other mothers encourages us to start potty training, even with the knowledge of how much harder it will all become.
Potty training is incredibly unflexable and can consume your entire day. In the beginning, you can not leave your home because the quickest route to potty training is a naked bottom 12 hours a day. If you must go out, you better know the exact location of the bathroom in every store you dare to enter. Inevitably, you will be seen careening down isles as you rush towards said bathrooms with a cart full of items, the afflicted sitting in the front, laughing joyfully at the fun ride he has procured for himself, and one or two older kids jogging alongside (or not, which means you can add screams of “keep up” to that image.) Sometimes you don’t make it. If you do, you’ll have to whip off his shoes, pants and big boy underwear as you wipe down the seat and plop him down just.in.time. Then you’ll freak as he tries to flush the toilet with his hand. Then you’ll get his pants back on (did you know little boys have to completely undressed so they can straddle the toilet backwards – I’m telling you, it makes training a little girl – who can wear a dress when she goes out – a piece of cake), get his hands washed and get everyone back in/by the cart so you can get back to the opposite side of Target, only to be told by the 6 year old that now she has to go.
Once they are consistently using the potty, parents are still slaves. Little bladders must be relieved often and it takes a pretty long time for them to get the idea of going by themselves. Until that time comes, our days are interrupted many times by the cry of “I gotta pee!”
So the fact that Chip has decided that he does not need my help anymore is pretty awesome in my book. Now, I can read a chapter of my book paint my toenails cook dinner without stopping! I usually know he has gone because he no longer is wearing clothes on his bottom half (at 2 1/2, he isn’t dressing himself.) We’ll work on that, but in the mean time, its kind of cute.
We are still mastering lifting up the toilet seat but honestly, the kid is a quick study and I’m hoping that a few intense discussions and demonstrations about what exactly happens to mom’s bottom when he skips this step will solve this. Or not if what most parents of boys tell me is true.
Leaving school last night after my last-ever Brownie meeting (whooo-hoo – I cleaned something off my plate), Chip started talking about the various vehicles in the parking lot, one of which was a fairly large dualie.
“Look! That is a big truck!”
“Oh, wow, Chip that is a big truck.”
“It has two wheels!”
You are impressed, right? No? Well, this is one example of the awesomeness of parenthood. Because I have read or seen several things on the research they have done into a child’s innate capacity for math. And so, it only stands to reason that my son, at 2 1/2, would be able to count that there are two wheels on each side of the rear end of a dualie truck. I know this is totally developmentally appropriate. And yet. I’m still amazed. Because? Because I’m his parent! Because he counted! Because I didn’t know he could count! To two!