Monday, May 13, 2013

So Soon We Forget

This is a potty-training post. Those of you who don't like to read posts with the words "pee" and "poop" in them should stop reading now.

Cutest little boy - and little
boy butt - ever, right?
My first official attempt to potty train two-year-old Will lasted fewer than six hours. Though I thought he was both physically and mentally ready to transition from diapers to underwear, by noon that day - which happened to be Mother's Day - it became apparent that neither Will nor I were ready to conquer the epic feat that is potty training.

A few months later we tried again, this time using the three-day potty training bootcamp system. At the end of the prescribed three days, Will was essentially 100% potty trained during the day, 80% potty trained during nap time, and 60% potty trained at night. So while potty training Will wasn't exactly "fun", it wasn't all that rough either. In my opinion, six hours, three days, and a few months of sporadic accidents in exchange for a potty trained little boy was a pretty good deal.

Bucky Badger meets
Minnie Mouse.
On the potty.
I tried potty training two-year-old Hallie so, so many times with absolutely no success. That girl could not figure out how to release her pee while sitting on the potty (she'd read books and sing songs on the potty for between five and 45 minutes, declare herself finished, stand up, and pee all over the floor), though that didn't matter much because at least 75% of the time she REFUSED to sit on the potty anyway.

After a particularly stressful week - at least with regard to bathroom activities - I explained to Hallie's teachers that I'd decided to temporarily walk away from potty training because I thought Hallie just wasn't ready. I didn't realize Hallie'd been listening to our conversation until later that afternoon, when she commented on how she'd wear her Minnie Mouse underwear when she was finally ready to "put her pee in the potty". I thought nothing of it, since I'd already decided to temporarily wash my hands of potty training, and moved on to talking about Hallie's day at school.

The next morning, Hallie woke up, took off her diaper, put on a pair of underwear, and declared herself potty trained. And you know what? SHE WAS. It was like she needed to prove me wrong. "You think I can't put my pee in the potty? Just watch me, woman!" Typical Hallie.

So while potty training Will and Hallie was thoroughly time-consuming and challenging, I don't remember the process as particularly painful or frustrating. I will admit, however, that time seems to have warped my memories (It's like giving birth... During labor: "THERE'S ABSOLUTELY NO WAY IN HELL I'M EVER DOING THIS AGAIN!" 20 minutes after giving birth: "Let's have another baby!") because last week I was reminded of how mentally and physically exhausting potty training can be...

Last Monday mom, sister, two-year-old niece, Lily, and infant nephew, Carter, surprised us with a visit from the cold, snowy North. My sister, Sara, had put Lily through the three-day potty training bootcamp about a week before their visit, and while Lily'd done well at home, she wasn't yet fully potty trained and certainly wasn't ready for a 20-hour car trip and a week-long stay in someone else's house. Lily pooped and peed throughout my house - on the kitchen chairs, on the couch, on the bathroom floor - and "left her mark", if you will, at Brazos Valley Gymnastics and Old Navy.

One morning, while Hallie was at school, my mom, Sara, and I took Lily and baby Carter with us to Macy's. After a bit of shopping, we stopped at the Clinique counter to learn more about their new eye cream. Lily was pretty annoyed that our shopping trip had gone on for so long - you know, all of 37 minutes at that point - so she ran away from the counter. I ran after her, picked her up, and carried her back to where our small group was gathered. As I set Lily back down on the tile floor, I noticed, with both my eyes and my nose, the poop on my arm. And then I noticed, again with both my eyes and my nose, Lily running away again. But this time, as Lily ran away she left behind a poop. And another poop. And another poop. A trail of poop that Hansel and Gretel could have followed across the tile floor, through Macy's, and toward the entrance to the mall.

I can assure you that if Lily was my kid, I'd have instinctually run after her. But because Lily isn't my kid, I instinctually just smiled, rolled my eyes, and watched her little butt wiggle as she ran away. I honestly considered taking a picture.

But then I snapped back to reality and frantically alerted Sara to the situation.

It's always good to be prepared
while sitting on the potty.
While Carter continued to sleep soundly and my mom and the Clinique employee continued to discuss eye cream, Sara caught Lily, returned Lily to the counter where I made her stand completely still, and cleaned and sanitized the floor. Then Sara and I carefully carried a kicking, screaming, poop-covered Lily (well, Sara carried a kicking, screaming, poop-covered Lily and I carried the diaper bag) to the Macy's bathroom...where we stripped her buck naked and gave her an actual bath in the sink. (I'll spare you the details regarding why a bath was necessary.)  Then we gave the bathroom a good cleaning as well.

Eventually the three of us returned to the Clinique counter, met up with my mom and Carter, and finished our shopping. We stopped to pick up Hallie, but then we headed home instead of risking another disastrous accident at the last stop on our list. There was no way I was taking Lily to the public library.

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