Most of the nation is flipping their lids over today’s Solar eclipse but I am over here in 63% visibility land flipping the toilet lid down on another successful potty from my youngest. To many, this historic Eclipse was the highlight of their day – Me though? I’m celebrating something that feels even more Epic than the Moon giving a little “how you doin'” to the Sun. After 5 years, 1 month and 21 days of diapering butts, my house is officially all Potty Trained! (Ok, except for my two four leggers of which one is “trained” and the other has “trained” me to look for his 2am accident in the front room every morning. I digreeeessssss.)
At 3 years and 2 months old, my youngest is on the older edge of the potty training scale. Most of his little friends were ditching their diapers 6-12 months ago. So obviously he and I don’t win any “My Kid Hit Their Milestones Earlier Than Yours” Awards. Based on internet forums and Facebook it’s all a race, right? Hang on, let me go cry into my “idon’treallycareareyouactuallybuyingthis” hanky. While I could try to fabricate some educated sounding reason about why I waited so long to pull the pull-ups out from under him, there is really only one reason. And technically now that I think about it, it IS educated. It’s ME. I’m the reason! Surprise!
When it came time to potty train my first child things were different in my house. My
two and a half-year old was a seasoned big brother. After tandem changing two tushies for 7 months I was overrrrr it! (Imagine me singing those last 2 words into a microphone fashioned from pampers!) My older son is all about directions and is a people pleaser. So mom wants a poop in the potty? I want to give that to mom (add that to the list of things I never envisioned saying in my lifetime). When I finally pulled out the underwear and played hard ball with him (if by hardball you mean giving him 2 M&Ms for every pee in the potty and 5 for every poop) I successfully had my 2-year-old trained up in a week. There were tears. Oh yes. And there was alcohol. For me not him of course. But one week later with lots of chocolate covered in candy coated shell bribery I was happily down to half doodie duty (see what I did there?)
As my younger son crept closer to 2, I kept telling myself that I would transition him to the potty around 2.5 just like his brother. Except two unexpected things ended up factoring in to my grand plan. A) He is NOTHING like his brother. Take away their similar sibling facial features and these two are as different as night and day, as up and down, as Snoop and Martha. So I really shouldn’t have been surprised when I pulled out the ol’ potty and threw out my M&M deal to my younger son only to have him reply with the toddler equivalent of, “yeeeeeah sounds great and all but…Hard Pass.” And B) I am not the same mom as I was in early 2015 when I was potty training the first round. In 2015 I was neck high in baby life. I was sleeping odd hours, changing diapers, nursing, laundrying with a constant loop of Barney on Netflix mixed with crying children as my life’s soundtrack. The idea of dropping down from 2 big boxes of diapers on my weekly trip to Target to 1 box was thrilling (not going to lie – my thrills were cheap in early 2015). Let’s not ignore the fact that between the 3 nap a day schedule of my baby and the midday nap for my toddler I was home a lot – which meant taking a week to focus on the potty wasn’t really that much of a buzzkill. Lastly, I’ll admit there also was a part of 2015 me that still wanted new mom street cred. Potty Training? I got that! Check and mate! Motherhood domination! Things change quickly though and 2017 me has a schedule that’s heavily outside the house and I like it that way. I didn’t want to take a week off from my life to potty train a child who clearly had no interest in being potty trained. When I realized how much of a battle it was going to be I threw up my white flag (also known as a wipee). Who cared that my “perfect” window was closing to have a trained toddler? Who cared that we were switching into “preschooler” and I still had to carry a diaper in my purse. Who cared that one by one his peers were transitioning over to all undies all the time. With a couple more years of parenthood under my belt I had lost all desire to make any parenting decisions based on what other people are doing. Having that second child not give two hoots about all that parenting cred you racked up with your first child makes you realize that your parenting cred is largely based on luck anyhow. (Question: Can we drop our lowest parenting score? Question: does parenting get graded on a curve?) And who in this world wants to try to force the potty on an unwilling participant? So here I was with a 3-year-old still in diapers dragging my heels to potty train because :::HONESTY MOMENT::: I just didn’t want to. For the last year we’ve talked about the potty. He’s sat on the potty. He’s managed to successfully pee in the potty more and more. But for the most part we relied on diapers because there was always a good reason (hey, if you are looking for an excuse then any excuse is good enough!) why I didn’t want to tackle the chore.
Flash forward to this weekend. I had a minor cold, no desire to go to the store and we were out of pull-ups. As I weighed my options his advanced age factored in this time. If the kid can change his own pull up he can use the potty, right? More and more he’d been showing other signs of being legit ready for the wild world of underwear. Final answer. It was go time. The timing was right. So we told him that the pull ups were all gone. He told us to go to the store. We fake called the store and told him the store said they were close. Yes. We Lied. Judge away and let’s move on :::::::waiting for the judgeyMcJudgerson’s to tell their husband’s/girlfriends/bestfriends/facebookgroup/dogs how any and all lying about any and all things affects children and we are back on!::::::: And with that little white lie we pulled the plug on pull-ups for good. No turning back. Two short days later and we are potty trained for real. No tears. No alcohol. No parenting medal. Just the sweet sweet victory of canceling my pull up subscription on Amazon. On retrospect, could I have done this sooner? I mean, sure. Probably. On retrospect does it really make that much difference to anyone other than me? Let’s see – I changed the diapers before and I clean the pee off the bathroom floor now so divide by two and carry the one and NO. Does potty training a 3-year-old feel any less exciting than potty training a 2-year-old? Negatory good buddy! I may or may not have been spotted doing some version of the cabbage patch. And should you now be comparing your children to mine? NO. Please keep up here. My point is on point isn’t it? This will not be appearing on next week’s quiz. Your merit raise will not reflect your child’s milestone and last time I checked in common adult conversation you may discuss weather, sports or politics (if you are brave) but no one seems to care to know how old you were when you successfully transitioned into underwear. Go figure!
Had I stopped at one child I probably wouldn’t understand why anyone would be sitting idly by with a 3-year-old in pull ups. Had I only had my second child I probably would think that every mother around me had their shit together way more than I did. Per the usual, my own personal “Odd Couple” have me living much more grounded in reality. In our particular case, I know a lot of the delay was me waiting for it to be more convenient. It was pretty much all my fault. #Guilty (And please read that with the intended level of snark because I literally feel zero guilt over it.) I want to give my “therrible” threenanger (suffering succotash!) some credit too because without his insanely over the top tantrums and aptitude for knowing just how to make me wish I hadn’t asked him to do anything he didn’t want to do I might have been cabbage patching 6 months ago and then how would I have marked this historic solar eclipse?
So for all my TL;DR friends, Turn up Ice Ice Baby and break out your best Running Man Sprinkler combo because my
baby preschooler is potty trained!! (and yadda yadda something about an eclipse)