Wednesday, March 12, 2014

February: A Welcome Detour

My little year-long family makeover plan has once again taught me that, beyond the aspirational level, I am really not a very linear, organized, or systematic person.  I am forever coming up with plans that I almost immediately throw out the window.  Not that this is a bad thing necessarily--flexibility is definitely an asset when dealing with children.  I'm just kind of baffled at why I continue to insist that there be a plan in the first place, when making plans is work itself and apparently wasted work where I am concerned.

So--we did not do the February meal makeover as previously described.  And, given that March is almost half over and I'm not really doing anything and anything really, I'm going to assume the meal makeover isn't going to happen this month either.  But February has not been a failure, my friends. Quite the opposite, it has been an absolute triumph of the mommy spirit.  I am happy to announce...Wait for it...

LAWSON IS POTTY TRAINED!!!!

What??!? you say. How can this possibly be? Just last month he was telling you that nature trackers don't use the potty (and he had a point).  He was gleefully pooping in his diaper right in front of you and cackling away like some kind of deranged hyena-dictator-terrorist.  Well, it's true my friends. It's true.

(Cue the Morgan Freeman narration)

As Vanessa Williams once sang, "Sometimes the snow comes down in June.  Sometimes the sun goes round the moon."  And sometimes when you least expect it, toddler boys decide to use the toilet.  This is the story of one such boy, and I dare you not to be inspired.  

(OK, as much as I love him, enough with Morgan Freeman.  This really is beneath him. You can just go back to reading this in a regular voice.)

Lawson's teacher had been bugging me for a few months about his lack of potty training success.  "He's the last one in the class," she said, "The other kids really want their pizza 'potty.'"  Whatever, lady, you just don't want to change anymore diapers, and I can totally understand that.  But here's the thing, when Lawson pees all over my furniture, there is no cleaning people for me to call to deal with it.   So diapers are the lesser of evils in my book.  Plus, Lawson's other-worldly big sister potty-trained herself.  She announced one day that she would start using the toilet, and, unlike her mother, she sticks with her plans.  But Lawson has repeatedly demonstrated himself to be very much of this world.  This chaotic, cruel, fallen world.  He was not potty-training himself.  The teacher was bugging me, saying he was ready, I just needed to put him in underwear and let the pee rain down.  And worse, she probably was right.

So I girded myself for battle.  I cleared off the schedule for the day.  I filled a bucket with soapy water. I covered the furniture with tarps.  I positioned the Disney Cars potty seat (with south effects) on top of the toilet.  Lawson donned his Angry Birds underwear.  And I waited.  And he peed.  On the floor.  Over and over again.  Not one drop of urine was deposited in the toilet.  Not a drop.

I took him to school the next day in pull-ups, defeated.  I reported to Ms. Cindy that I believed she was wrong, he was not ready, and I had the puddles to prove it.  I went to work.  A few hours later, I got a call.  It was Lawson on the phone (no, really), and he had something to tell me.  "Mommy, I pee peed in the potty!!!" He could not have been more proud of himself had he decoded DNA.   Even more miraculously, he did it again and again (Fortunately, he quit calling me after the first time).  And then he did it AT HOME.  Yes.  Granted, I put him on the pot as soon as we walked in the door and left him there to play his iPod until bedtime, but still, all manner of human waste products evidenced themselves in the toilet.  Then he did it again the next day, and the next.

Now, he's not batting 1000 yet, and there have been mishaps.  For awhile there, I feared he would still need to be holding an iPod in order to poop when he was 25.  That was the only way I could get him to sit there at his usual hour of defecation (6 PM EDT or Eastern Defecation Time).  But gradually he stopped demanding his iPod or candy or other kickbacks in exchange for his performance.  Now he actually asks to go to the bathroom.  And all this in the space of about 3 weeks.   It is like Moses has parted the Red Sea of Diapers.

It is an emotional time in our house, and I don't mean in the Classic Mom sense of bemoaning my babies growing up.  I don't do bemoaning babies growing up.  I'm in fact already dreading having grandbabies because parents these days seem to expect a lot in the way of childcare from the grandparents.   It is more akin to what I felt after finally, finally completing my PhD after wading through 8 years of academic crappola or what I am imagining I will feel Saturday after running 26.2 miles (and probably needing to go potty at that point, let's be honest) and what the Israelites must have felt viewing the Promise Land, filled with milk, honey, and potty-trained children--WE HAVE SURVIVED.  Praise God in heaven, we are done with bottles and diapers and breastfeeding and spoon feeding and sleepless nights and carrying a full luggage set with you just to go to McDonald's and dare I dream, even Elmo.  Yes, Elmo, your days in our house are indeed numbered.  We can look forward to at least a few years of reasonably comprehensible conversation, reasonably interesting interests and pastimes, a reasonable amount of love, devotion, and respect before we are plunged into the confusing and maddening world of Justin Beiber and his ilk.  At that point, I plan to claim I am an illegal Canadian immigrant and self-deport myself.   Or maybe just have Morgan Freeman narrate everything.