I realized very early on that potty training was the single-most exasperating task when dealing with toddlers. With The Oldest I was relentless. “Do you need to use the potty?”, “Did you use the potty?”, “Why won’t you use the
fucking potty?” I seemed to believe that the only way I could prove my worth as a mother was to have this mammal potty trained at the earliest possible moment. It seems that, by societal standards, if your child isn’t potty trained before their off the breast you’ve failed as a mother and your child is viewed as an imbecile (maybe that’s why so many mothers breast feed until their child goes to Kindergarten?). With this child I was acutely in tune to every noise, action, or lack of either, that would signal that he was about to evacuate some orifice in his body. It got to the point that every time I called out, “what are you do-ing?” the poor child answered with, “I’m not poo-ping!”
The Middle was drastically easier. That child sees what his older brother is doing or has accomplished and instinctively sets out to best him. I kid you not, this child potty trained himself!
And now, with The Oldest, I’ve had a completely different experience. You see, I’m older, I tire more easily, and I just don’t have the drive for perfection that I started with. Once The Baby figured out how to pee in the pot (and its been pretty hit-or-miss about how consistently he actually uses it) I kind of took a less compelling route to total potty independence. He has underwear in his drawer, but let’s be honest, the Pull-Ups are so damned convenient and easier to deal with when I forget to make him potty. On top of that, this kid is a little more worldly than the others. When I asked him why he wouldn’t poop in the potty, he explained, very seriously, that “I’m just not ready.” When I pressed him further, “Well, when are you going to start pooping in the potty?” he lovingly cupped my faced in his tiny little pudgy hands and very patiently said, “when I’m ready.” So, not needing to make any more work for myself, I let it go. When a kids not ready, a kids not ready, right? Why push the matter?
Today, apparently, he was ready. He rushed into the kitchen where I was putting away groceries and said, “Mama, I have to poop!” Now, I know he’s new at this, and it’ll take some time to develop his skill and figure out how everything works, but so far, that one turd, which I’m sure is just a regular sized turd, has required 8 trips to the bathroom, each of which produced a single pellet. Making this one poop an eight part series.