Friday, July 30, 2010

Happiness Through Potty Training

Man of the hour...
I am in the throws of potty training my nearly 3 year old son, Zach.  It really is not all that OR a bag of chips.  It tests my patience, threatens my inclination toward cleanliness and causes me to remember that my goal is to be a good mother and not a shrieking howler monkey (see: Jack McFarland from "Will and Grace").

For starters, I am a neat freak and my least favorite thing these days is watching my boy pee all over the place.
Let's go back a bit.  We bought him a potty for his second birthday last August.  We had everyone jump up and down and clap and shout "Hooray!  Hooray!!!" when he opened it.  He was intrigued for about a minute and a half.  Then he wanted cake.   His potty was buried under a pile of discarded wrapping paper from other more interesting toys and he never looked at the thing again.

Any time we tried to put him on his potty throughout this past year, he would cry and freak out.  Naturally we thought that he simply wasn't emotionally ready.  So we didn't push it.  Then one day a couple weeks ago, we were at the park playing with one of his favorite new pals,  Martin.  Martin's mother is Russian and his dad is from the Middle East.  In Russia, little tots are potty trained far earlier than they are in North America and, as a result, Martin (who is younger than Zach) was pulling his diaper-free pants down willy nilly to pee on the bushes whenever he felt the urge.  Zach was intrigued.  And so thus began what my husband and I refer to as: "OPERATION GET THIS KID OUT OF DIAPERS."   After all, he showed a bit of interest finally and he does begin preschool in the fall.   And I would like to have him out of diapers and accident free as much as possible (or at least for the 4 hours a week he is in class).

Thankfully, progress was made right away!  After a year of avoiding the potty like it was a box full of poisonous spiders, Zach sat on it first thing one morning, at our request, and he actually peed!  We jumped up and down cheering  (our voices reached embarrassingly high octaves)  and we congratulated him with a little treat as a reward.  However, the challenge I am having right now, besides the fact that I am about as impatient as can be, is that he will not go to the potty voluntarily and so he pees all over the floor several times a day.  On the bright side, my floors have been mopped more in the last week than they have been in the last year.  (I'm a neat freak, not a get down on my knees and scour/wash windows/mop floors/or dust freak.)

At first, I followed all the expert potty training advice and cooed, "That's okay Zach.  Accidents happen.  I know you'll get there next time."  But now, I'm not entirely sure how to keep my inner spazz from emerging when I see a lake of urine on the floor.  I am genuinely shocked to see all this pee all over the place.  And he walks in it.  Gah.

As for the times when he takes a big steaming dump right in his skivvies, can I just state publicly how happy I am that we chose a dark brown color when we bought our sofa two years ago?

And there you have it.   I have found happiness at last in one small area of my life this morning and it is in this:  No matter how hard you try, you will not find skid marks on my sofa.

If that isn't unadulterated jubilation, I don't know what is.  But I will keep looking for more evidence of the stuff and report back soon.
After I hug my sweet little guy for all his progress and for his ability to produce an alarmingly generous stream...

Yours in the quest for potty-contained p*@% bliss,

The Happiness Detective

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