Yesterday Dylan decided that he was no longer going to wear "baby diapers'...because they're for babies. Phew! That was all I needed to hear to get the potty training train a-rolling, he needs to be out of diapers before he starts school in August anyhow. I stashed his diapers away in the closet and said, "That's it! No more baby diapers, buddy!" and he went the rest of the day without incident. Earlier in the day I knew he had to poop and I asked him if he wanted to go in the potty. He replied "No" and went in his diaper. But being two-and-a-half going on thirty, Dylan ran into the bathroom, took off his soiled diaper, and flushed his poop down the toilet. Um. Great job, kiddo! So here we are without diapers. We took a family trip to the store this morning to buy big boy underwear by the dozens and he sort of melted down when we tried to get him to use the bathroom in Target. I agree, public toilets are way scary, sweetheart.
I knew before I had children that potty training was going to be harder on me than it would be on my kids. When I was five a neighbor boy peed on a tree in our backyard and I lost. my. shit. I cried, screamed, stomped my feet, until my mother came outside and I told her that, gasp, MICHAEL PEED ON OUR TREE! I told my neighbor friend that I hated him for peeing on that tree and that I never wanted to see him again. My mother stood there helpless, feeling awful for Michael who had just done what little boys are supposed to do outside, and watching me completely meltdown.
I've got a touch of obsessive compulsive disorder when it comes to germs and excrement and things out of order. Always have. Just thinking about my dogs prancing around in the same grass they pee in and then walk into our home makes me wish we didn't have dogs at all, and so I try not to think about where those paws have been. I won't touch a public doorknob if I can help it, and if I have to touch it I seek out the spot on the handle where people would be less likely to grab. I once had a fight with a then-boyfriend when we were hiking because he peed on a spot where I wanted to take pictures. I'm telling you, I've got a pee issue.
And I'm really weird about it. I can handle all bodily functions if I am in Mama mode--I'll be the first to hold my loved one's hair should they vomit and I can change a million diapers--but if there is a chance I might step in the vomit or the pee then I am totally freaked out. I turn into that five-year-old version of myself and mentally stomp my feet at the prospect that there is pee somewhere I might accidentally touch someday.
When I ask my husband to wash our son's hands and he squirts a dab of antibacterial hand sanitizer on them, I cringe hard. Those fingers that our kid just stuck up his own butt are totally still dirty, sweetheart.
SO here is my sweet little preschooler learning how to use the big boy potty. He's working so hard on trying to get to the potty when he has to go, but he has had two accidents already today. This is new and I keep trying to encourage him that he really is doing such a great job despite a few misses. I got him this truck today and told him that big boys get to play with big trucks and suddenly his car carrier wants to accompany Dylan into the bathroom on each attempt.
How do parents do this, like, seriously? We birth these tiny humans who completely depend on us and need help wiping their little butts and figuring out how to eat and sit and walk and talk and learn and suddenly they need us to teach them how to be self sufficient. I mean, pee on a big boy potty? Where is the owners manual for this? I know I need to relax and not stress Dylan out with my obsessive--"Do you have to go potty? Do you have to go potty now? Do you have to go potty yet?"--chatter but I really don't know what the hell I'm doing. However, until I am able to fondly look back on these potty training days when they are nothing but a distant memory, I will be Dylan's biggest cheerleader and support him in his big boy endeavor; despite hating every second of potty training I really am so so proud of my favorite little man.