My four year-old is not toilet trained yet. This makes me embarrassed, frustrated, and flummoxed—sometimes all in the same minute. I really think he might be the first kindergartener to go to school in Pull-ups.
We’ve tried everything:
- the encouragement technique: “You can do it!”
- the peer-pressure technique: “Doesn’t everyone else in your class wear underwear?”
- the shaming technique: “Only babies go in their diaper.”
- and finally, the bribe technique: “If you go number two in the potty, we’ll buy you ANYTHING you want from the store.” (By the way, the price limit of said reward has escalated in recent months. He could ask for a live pony now and I might say yes!)
Nothing has worked. I’m not Catholic, but this sure seems like Purgatory–or at least, one of Dante’s circles of Hades. According to my extensive (okay, two-minute) Wikipedia research, there is actually a level where people are covered in human, well, never mind.
The other day, I sat in the bathroom across from our little man, doing my best to affirm him. He seemed to really try, and I felt the slightest glimmer of hope. “You can do it!” I said.
Then I got so desperate for victory that I started chanting, “Push it out, push it out, w-a-a-a-a-y out!”
I’m on the edge here, people.
I know it’s just a stage, but I’m glad he’s awfully cute. Otherwise, he might spend all his waking moments in time-out.
Or I might run screaming out the door.
Better yet: I’ll leave, and let Dad handle the potty challenges. If I kept score as to who’s changed the most diapers, he’d be waaaay on the losing side. Maybe I should “cash in” all that mommy-duty capital now.
(Okay, I’m back now. I had a temporary break with reality.)
I know in the big scheme of things, potty training is not a world-shattering event. I also know that one day, the hubby and I will look back on this time in our lives with nostalgia, saying “why did they have to grow up so fast?”
Still, it’s hard. And it feels like it will never be over.
That’s why it’s so nice to know that I’m not alone.
Today, I read an online article called “God Sees.” The author, Mary DeMuth, wrote: ‘When we attempt to potty-train for the umpteenth time, having given up on M & Ms, begging, and tears, God sees…He sees what we’ve hidden and is especially fond of rewarding what we’ve done for Him secretly (Matthew 6:4).”
I ask You, is God’s timing perfect, or what?
He used Mary’s words to remind me that even the smallest, way-out-of-the-spotlight details of my days matter to Him. Perhaps the unsung moments of life are truly the most important of all.
So I’m praying for patience, gritting my teeth, and shelling out hard-earned cash for glorified diapers.
And I’m encouraging myself with the fact that if the boy doesn’t have a breakthrough soon, at least we’ll gain an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records.
©2008, Dena Dyer