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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Reflections on a Potty Chair

There are certain things you don't share on your Facebook page. Really. I think there has to be a line drawn where things are socially acceptable and not. I know a woman who posts such things as her husband grabbing her in intimate ways in front of her children, and I've cringed. I'm sorry, but those are things that are just reserved for you and you alone. You won't see those kinds of things on my page.

This morning, something happened in our home that was momentous, but it's not something I'm going to throw out to my Facebook friends. Not that it's inappropriate, it's just that I don't think the world needs to know. Here, though....Here, I can share anything and everything I want to, but I will say, you won't be reading about how, where, when, and in front of whom my husband grabs me. Sorry, folks. I'm sure you're sorely disappointed.

#7 starts preschool in September. I've been asked to teach writing twice a week and am very excited about that prospect! The program is run through the high school, and the teacher is FABULOUS! So, I will be working with high schoolers (an idea I TOTALLY LOVE!) and preschoolers, and who doesn't love that? Well, I'm sure there are many who don't, but I assure you, I'm not in their ranks. I mean, how could I be considering the life I live?

Anyway, one little point here that you may have overlooked is the fact that #7 HAS to be potty trained before school starts. Ha! Yah. No pressure, and surely no stress, right?

Okay, so now you know why I haven't been blogging much. Besides many projects I'm working on right now, my mind is in the toilet--literally.

It's not that it's been a tough journey, and by my saying that don't assume the journey's over. Oh no, it's just begun. It's just that, you know, who really wants to do this job?

image credit: potty-training-tips-by-caitlin
My other kids were all fall and winter births. They had to wait until they were almost four to start preschool. #7, though, is a June baby. Here we are, just barely three, and getting ready for school. Yikes! Mentally, I'm not ready to be focusing on this task I dread.

I feel like I've potty trained a different way with every child. I've pressured. I've bribed. I've begged. But, I finally feel like I have some sort of grasp on it. So much of it is just plain attitude, but isn't that the story of everything in life?

Here's how it went this morning....#7 came into our bedroom. The Warden and I were still laying in bed (I was up working on a slideshow with a good friend until 1:30). She said, "Mom, can I have something to eat?" The response she received was, "As soon as you go sit on the potty, we'll take you down and get you something to eat." She messed around for awhile (not literally) and then asked again. Well, by this point, I was thinking, as I'm sure you are too, that she'd already gone in her Pull-Up, so eh...yah, kid, go sit on the potty. Nothing too sensational--just like every other day this past little while.

She finally went in. She sat for a few moments and then she says, "Mom, I went in the potty." Just like it was something she said everyday, so I still didn't think too much of it. The Warden, whose side of the bed is closest to the bathroom got up to check. Sure enough!

Well, as you can guess, there was some MAJOR whooping and hollering going on in the master bedroom. "YAY!...Nice job!...I'm so proud of you!" You know, that kind of stuff.

She came out BEAMING!

I just have one thing to share on this whole matter....I think, when you want a child to learn something new, there has to be a level of discomfort for the child.

In this case, she's been wearing panties around the house for the past week or so. We've let her have the accidents. She hasn't liked it. We've let her clean up her messes. She hasn't liked that either.

To some degree or another, we've had to push her into making the change. It's had to dribble down her legs at times. She's had to do a lot of wiping and scrubbing.

So, my final conclusion, if we want our children to grow and develop into responsible human beings, we can't shield and protect them from all that is uncomfortable. We actually have to judge when they're ready and give them a little nudge, and sometimes a push, in the direction toward the next step they need to take.

To be honest, I'm sharing this, not for the masses, but for myself. I know there are going to be things that are FAR more uncomfortable than potty training in my future. There's going to be poop to clean up in other areas of life. Who knows what life will hold as children leave home, and I have to trust that they've figured many of life's basic lessons out while they were under my roof. I hope they've learned that it's often only through discomfort that there is growth and progress. Sometimes life just just hands you puddles and a whole lotta poop, but once it's all cleaned up, life is better than ever, and you're better than ever. I also hope that they've learned that that poop doesn't have to be self-created, and more often than not, shouldn't be. Let life hand you the poop; you don't have to find ways to make it for yourself. Self-sabotage is just plain dumb.

#7 has taught me something funny in her habits. Something that counteracts self-sabotage. One thing she does after going potty is she grabs her toothbrush and brushes her teeth. Not sure why, but I guess the lesson to be learned here is to be good to yourself. When you do something good, keep doing good. Be a blessing to your own life and to your own self.

I just got done writing and found that #7 was nowhere in sight. I went on a hunt, and would you care to know where I found her? In my bathroom sitting on the potty! YAY again! I sat and read her potty book to her (thank you, Megan!) and blew bubbles for her until the room was practically filled, but sadly, no success this time. Darn! On the contrary, she promptly went downstairs in the kitchen, and when I turned around, there she was with her pants half down standing in a puddle. Not sure what she was up to, but at least there's hope, right? We're definitely heading in the right direction. If nothing else, she knows the proper tools and methods for cleaning a floor and is becoming quite well-versed with the laundry room.

I hope I'm teaching them all to clean up properly. Little did they know that those spraying and wiping skills'd be a metaphor for so many of life's lessons in their (and my) futures.

1 comment:

LeAnn said...

On how I can relate to this one. My potty training skills changed with each one also. A wise woman once told me that you wait until they want to go shopping for a pretty pair of panties and then they are ready. At least with one of them it worked. Blessings to you and prayers, also. This was a fun read.

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