Praise God, Allah, Buddha, Zeus, Steve Jobs and whoever else was recruited to play on the divine dream team that bequested upon us the holy miracle of this blessed Sunday urine.
I never thought this day would come. Never. EVER. We started trying to potty train Ellie over a year ago, on her second birthday. I read every book. Every article. Participated in every online forum. Took a million pieces of advice. Sacrificed a virgin chicken out in the driveway. Nothing worked. People just kept telling me, “Don’t worry. She’ll be potty trained before she goes off to college! LOL!!!” 🙂
I wanted to roundhouse them in the throat.
The last piece of advice I took was to just let it go and wait for her to bring it up. Which I was MORE than happy to do at the time. I grinned through clenched teeth as her junk was splayed out on a bench in the middle of the botanical garden for every child molester to see while I publicly wiped her poopy butt. I bit my tongue every time I filled out a loan application to buy the mega pack of diapers. I smiled and muttered, “Good for you!” as she informed every stranger within earshot that she was peeing in her diaper in the middle of Wal-Mart.
But my inner control freak took over and I couldn’t maintain my silence. Ellie and I are both the eldest of three girls, and I know we think in many of the same ways. I decided to channel my inner 3-year-old and get in her head.
Back before I spent the better part of my 30s screaming for an epidural.
Back before I spent the better part of my 20s wondering when all these men would stop acting like such ass holes and just let me baby trap them already.
Back before my college years, where I… I… well I don’t remember much from that time. It’s all just more or less one big haze.
Back to my childhood. Oh hey – I’m in my old room! Hello Dolly Parton poster on my closet! I want to look just like you when I grow up. Now, let’s see. Why wouldn’t I want to go to the bathroom in a toilet like a normal human being? Hmmm… surely I’m above pooping in my pants. What could be keeping me from this? What’s more important than M&Ms, suckers, balloons and anything else a parent can promise a kid?
And then it hit me with all the force of Dolly Parton’s boobs. I remembered the three or four times we really ‘tried’ and thought about how the day ended with me crying frustrated tears asking her what her freaking problem is does she want to grow up to be a diaper wearing outcast as I scrubbed pee out of the carpet for the fourteenth time.
She’s scared to try because she doesn’t want to fail and disappoint me.
Ew. What’s this stinging feeling in my heart?
I decided I had to fix it.
The next morning when she woke up we had a little talk.
“Hey Ellie! You want to wear your Dora undies today?”
In the past this is where I gave up and Googled ‘drug dealers with suburban home delivery’. But not today. Today I was going to make it right.
“Hey, what if we just put them on, and if you have an accident, no big deal! We’ll just try again!”
“Look at these cute sparkly ones! Let’s throw ’em on, and if you pee in them, so what? Who cares? Mommy doesn’t care! Mommy loves you no matter what, as long as you go to college and get married and get a decent paying job! And hey, maybe it wouldn’t kill you to win a pageant or two along the way? What I’m trying to say is that if you have an accident we’ll just keep trying!”
And it was that easy.
The first day we had some successes and some failures, and I reminded myself to let the failures go. Not a big deal… it’s only pee. And by this morning she was telling me when she had to go and making it there in time.
So that should just about do it for now.
Until our next challenge, which I’m sure will be something like why can’t I just pick a therapist closer to her pre-school because there’s a lot of drive time when you go twice a day.