A funny thing happened to me today, and it reminded me of one of my very first posts to this blog. Both involved potty training.
I snuck off to the shower earlier while my kiddos were playing nicely in their room. Halfway through my relaxing shower, the two-year-old comes rushing in. She has business to doo. She peels off her diaper and sits. A few minutes later, I’m hanging over the bathtub trying not to drip all over her as I wipe her bum.
I resume my shower, and she goes off to find a pair of “big girl panties” to replace the diaper now flopped face-down on my bathroom floor. Instead of enjoying the rest of my time in the water, I hear her struggling with getting her legs through the proper holes and I ask the older one to help her little sister out. I shut off the tap, pull back the curtain, and am affronted by an unpleasant steam that is not coming from the shower.
I clean up her mess, but I’m not upset. I’m laughing. It’s the only way to get through days like this. Hashtag MomLife. Also, I’m pretty dang proud of how well she’s doing with this whole potty training thing.
The old blog post that today’s episode brought to my mind shares my experience with teaching my older daughter to ditch the diapers. It includes a “how to” with step-by-step directions. It’s a great approach for the first-time mom without a clue. It taps into my own mother’s wisdom. She raised five kids, so she has some great tried and true methods.
Instead of sticking to the timeline in my 2018 post, however, I’ve been able to be a bit more patient. For one, I don’t feel restricted to a two-week window. As a first-time mom, I needed everything to go exactly to plan. I had to see the clear path through the woods and be confident with the course before setting out. With the second child, things feel less like a test and more like an experience. I’m much more relaxed and at ease with my parenting now that I’ve been through the gauntlet once and came out fairly unscathed.
Instead of leading with the second child, I tend to follow a bit more. I’m better versed in toddler and I’m able to read her cues. Also, the second one is better at communicating her needs than her older sister was at this age—having an older sibling helps in that department. She’s also easily incentivised by M&Ms, which is a new trick I never used with the first kid. Either way, I’m not inclined to push the younger one to stick to the plan.
Secondly, it’s summertime in Spain! Potty training a kid in summer is easier. She won’t freeze her tushy off. So, I’m cool with her running around in undies until she figures it out.
I suppose my slow approach also has to do with my age and stage. I started this blog while I was staying at home with my older daughter and working on my Bachelor’s degree. I am, now, tackling my thesis for my Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing. Once I complete this terminal degree and my youngest goes off to school in September, it will be time for me to rejoin the workforce. My stay-at-home-and-study days are nearing the end. Each milestone (my children’s and my own), puts me one step closer to the door.
I’m taking the awful job of potty training slowly and enjoying every little steaming success, because this is the last summer I’ll be able to spend with these tiny humans without a 9-to-5 dragging me off to work.
Time flies, mamas! The only real advice in this post: Hold your kiddos as close as you can for as long as you can.