As I sit here, collecting my thoughts and trying to put them into some semblance of order about today’s topic, I think back and wonder what messed up, cracked out, delusional part of my brain honestly thought potty training two kids at once would be a good idea.
I mean, I’m sure people do it all the time. Like people who have twins, or people who find enjoyment in finding new and unique ways to inflict torture upon themselves by sticking lit cigarettes in their eye.
It all started two weeks ago when I went to get Lila up from her nap. I walked in to discover that she had removed her own diaper, and, with the images from the last time that happened still fresh in my mind, I raced over to her expecting to find poop smeared everywhere her little hands can reach. Everywhere. Yes, there too. And there. Yep. I KNOW I should have put pants on her. I said I know now back off.
Anyhoo, I was shocked to find the bed, and her diaper which had been discarded I can only assume maliciously on the floor, dry as a bone. Seeing an opportunity, I asked her if she would like to go on the princess potty.
Yes. For the low low price of one sucker, obviously.
To my amazement, she went. I gave her the whole jar of suckers. And a sleeve of Girl Scout Cookies. And a Camaro.
To refresh your memory, it will be exactly one year next month since I’ve been trying to potty train Ellie. And we’ve tried everything. Dora undies. Elmo potty DVDs. Potty books. Princess potty. M&Ms. Suckers. Cookies. Stickers. Balloons. Set the microwave timer for 30 minutes and have her try. Take the potty into the playroom. Take the potty outside. Stand on my head. Slit my wrists.
She’s not interested. The more I encourage her the more she resists. So I let up, thinking it will happen when it happens. It never happens.
During the next two days Lila really started to get the hang of it. Also, she really likes suckers and will pretty much do anything for a quick sugar high.
Finally, the allure of attention captured Ellie and she wanted in on the action too.
For a split second there I had a beautiful vision of a future where I smell normal. Sure, I’d still have Hadley’s diapers to deal with, but if two of the three go away then maybe I have a fighting chance to begin to reintegrate myself into society.
I saw a future within my grasp of an afternoon where I didn’t look over to find one of my two daughters red faced, teary eyed, staring off into space and grunting behind the art table, knowing that soon their problem will become my problem. Wondering what consistency of hell I will soon come face to face with. Praying please God, let it be small and well-formed.
And the money… oh the money. An economy sized box of size 5 diapers is $30 and wipes are around $15. We go through two or three a month.
Tears of happiness sprung to my eyes as the three of us cheered in unison “go Ellie go! go Ellie go!” in our small bathroom as Ellie smiled on the potty. I envisioned us holding hands, skipping gayly through fields of daisies, stopping every so often at strategically placed port-a-potties to flaunt our newfound fecal independence.
This was actually happening.
For a split second I thought this was actually happening.
In what I can only describe as a technique of self-preservation, I blacked out for the next two days.
I only have brief and vague flashes of images of me on all fours, frantically cleaning up someone’s puddle of urine on the kitchen floor while someone else is behind me pooping on the couch. And all the while Hadley is clinging to my boob for dear life with her little gums as I scrub.
Ellie decided that giving up her own personal poop slave wasn’t worth the occasional butterscotch Dum Dum and after one brief stint on the pot went right back to allowing me to do her dirty work. And, wanting to be just like her older sister, it was only a matter of minutes before Lila decided the princess potty was yesterday’s news.
Frankly, I can’t say that I blame them. If I knew then what I know now I wouldn’t have been tricked out of the ability to poop in the car by a few lousy M&Ms either.