Friday, October 23, 2009

It Shouldn't be so Easy

It Shouldn't be so Easy:
The Tale of One Mama, Two Potties, and Two Children . . .
(and a terribly long blog post with no pretty pictures.)

I must face it.
I am one princess pack of undies away from never having another child in diapers.
It shouldn't be so easy, Lilly. You know this, right?

Like today, when I am occupied, I call to you in the other room:
Lilly, take off your diaper. It's wet. Mama will come change you in one minute.
[Rip] [rip] [thud] I hear as you undo the straps and the diaper lands on the floor.
Then you say to Ian:
I have to potty.
And upon entering your bathroom to see Pink Potty still in 3 pieces from mama rinsing it out from your big pee/poo last night, I hear you say . . .
"Oh, bread it." (which is what my 2 kids say when they're frustrated, like we'd say "Darn it." I know--weird.)
By the time I make it in to help you, you practically have Pink Potty re-assembled. You sit down and do your business, stand up, I wipe you, and you are on your way.

You expect no sucker, no sticker, no gum, no fanfare, no acknowledgment of a job well done. You simply know: this is what one does. Period. And you do it, as you have every day off/and on for a week, with no one asking or watching, you just take care of business.

It really shouldn't be that easy, Lill.

Ian made me work for it. Really work for it. It was Blue Potty, not Pink Potty, and Blue Potty didn't get much action. Even though Blue Potty brought the promise of suckers and treats and videos if Ian would merely sit on it. Even though filling Blue Potty meant earning that coveted, unbelievable toy perched atop the refrigerator, collecting dust for months.

Blue Potty was alone. And no amount of toys, treats, character undies or self-help potty training books for mama could change that.

I am happy to say that my son did make it out of diapers by age 3, but I won't bore you with the burdensome details. I'd prefer not to re-live that chapter.

Ian and I grew and changed together. We painstakingly lived out every milestone in slow motion, to thunderous applause and cheering crowds behind the family video camera always freshly charged and waiting in the wings. He needed me for every step of the way, right (?), and I was there, at the ready, hand extended, scaffolding in place, for him to succeed at every turn.

But with this 2nd child, I am busier with two at home, and milestones are reached so effortlessly as Lilly makes it her mission to accomplish all that brother can do. The video camera can't make it in time, and so it waits for the day when she is grown and expresses resentment, the-- "Why are there so many videos of Ian and not me?"

I realize what a different mother I have been to each of them, and yet they are both precious in their own unique, wonderful ways.

Blue Potty was a lesson in parenting for this mama. Blue Potty was about ME rushing, and Ian not being ready, but being pushed. Blue Potty led to disaster.

So thanks for all you taught me, Blue Potty. Pink Potty's success is a lesson learned from you.

And Pink Potty, give me time. I'm not quite ready for those princess panties, yet.


  1. I loved reading this...for several reasons. One because you write so beautifully and two, because I remember the blue potty push...and dust collected toy/treats--I was there with Aven too. And in the last month Paxton has only pooped in his diaper a few times. And just says "poop" and off to the toilet we go. I didn't even believe him the first time he wanted to use it! NO bribing, no sticker chart. Not even his own potty. Just the same duck ring that Aven uses. The only requirement is that I sit in the floor and read a book to him.
    Why do we push and then struggle to let go??
    Anyway, I'm right there with you sister.

  2. This blog made me laugh out loud! I think that will be my new line..."Oh, bread it!" :-)
    Fun to see you today! Your kiddos are precious!!!