Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Beauty of Potty Training

All mothers look forward to potty training. It is like the mecca of motherhood. We strive for it, yearn for it, and anxiously await the day our child kicks the diaper habit. I have finally reached the utmost pillar in my pilgrimage to mecca. I have potty trained my last child. Suddenly, the birds are singing, the sun shines a little brighter, and life begins anew. It wasn't easy getting to this step. My youngest, Charlotte, is by far the most opinionated of my daughters.

Adelyn and Paige, my other two daughters, were trained by their father, who eventually decided he'd had enough. He looked at them one day and said, "I have had enough of this. From now on you will use the potty." In the way that has been driving mothers crazy for centuries, they did what he asked without question. What is it about dads that makes children listen to them? My theory is that our kids spend so much time with me that they know exactly what string to pull to make me lose it. I think they like to see me twitch.

Anyway, back to Charlotte. The little, opinionated darling completely refused to even entertain the idea of potty training. I would ask her it she wanted to try going on the potty like a big girl. She would tilt her head, look at me from beneath her eyelashes, and seem to ponder it for a while. "No, I want my diaper." This went on for weeks. Nothing I said would convince her to try potty training.

One day we went to the zoo. On the drive there, my older two daughters had to go to the restroom. We stopped so they could go. Charlotte wanted to go with, but my Mom, who was riding with us, said, "Leave her with me. Maybe getting left behind will make her think again about potty training." I don't know what was said in that car, but when I came back Mom had worked some Grandma Voodoo over Charlotte. Later, when we were home from the zoo, Charlotte decided that she would grant me permission to sit her on the potty.

The first week did not go well. By the end of it, Charlotte was back to loving her diapers, hating the potty, and generally disregarding everything I said. (Ah, the joys of being a parent to a two year old.) The next week my husband was gone on business, so I was forced to walk the potty training road alone. Let me tell you, that road is damn bumpy.
After a week of cleaning up accidents, Charlotte was finally trained. I had washed countless pairs of underwear, gone through at least two bottles of Lysol, and quite possibly lost most of the hair on one side of my head. But it was all worth it. I don't have to change diapers anymore. (Which is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!) The best part of the whole ordeal was when my formerly diaper-loving daughter protested the use of a diaper at nap time. "No, I want my panties!' I swear those words rank up there with her first "I love you, Mommy" on the happiness-o-meter. I have reached my mecca of motherhood, and I am loving every second of it.

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