You guys. I am officially the proud, PROUDEST, parent of a handsome, independant, hilarious, witty, potty-trained little two-year old man. Did you catch that? I have a POTTY-TRAINED two-year old! WHAT?! I mentioned last week that I had went to Target and bought a bunch of cheap toys with the intention of keeping Matty home last Thursday and Friday to rip the potty-training bandaid off and I actually followed through on my intentions and WE DID IT! We really did it. I may be 75% grayer in my cranial region but who needs beautiful hair when you’re unemployed and only wash it three times a week anyway??? Psssshtt.
I’ve worried about potty training for months and months; I’ve dreaded it, I’ve had nightmares about it and I’ve made a couple failed attempts at it. But with nothing better to do and some gentle nudges and hints from Matty’s teachers, last week I decided it was now or never. Last Wednesday, on the eve of PT-Day #1, I casually mentioned to Matty that I had done some shopping and that he and I would be staying home for the next two days to learn how to potty on the potty. He asked if Abbott would be staying home, I said no. He seemed thrilled. I told him he’d get prizes every time he peed or pooped on the potty and he immediately jumped to his feet and asked to see them. When I pulled down the large container of goodies, his eyes widened and he insisted on looking at each item one by one. Then, he asked if he could go potty. I could never have imagined what happened next.
He walked to the potty, sat down and…PEED. Just like that, he peed! What?! I went nuts with excitement. Matty laughed and clapped his hands. Seth came in running. Abbott wobbled in after him. There were yays and high fives and laughs and, of course, a long debate on which toy to pick. He chose a Hot Wheel. Later he asked to go back to potty again and Seth took him. At one point I stopped in to see how it was going and overheard Seth talking to Matty.
“Matty, stop pulling on it like that; you’re going to hurt yourself. You can’t keep pushing on your peepee, that’s not how this it works.” Then Seth looked over at me. “God, I can’t stay in here, we’ve got to get him off of there. He’s going to hurt himself.”
We were off to a good start.
Thursday was a long day. Potty training, even in theory, doesn’t sound easy but I wasn’t really at all prepared for how mentally stressful it would be. I mean, it was essentially like walking on egg shells all day. I spent all day staring at Matty, analyzing his facial expressions, how he was sitting or standing, how his legs were positioned, how he moved. I strained to remember the last time he had gone to the bathroom (because I’m not one of those organized people who writes things down). I asked him if he had to go potty at least 800 times that day and he said no 788 times in return. He had three accidents, one of which happened while I was on my hands and knees picking up Abbott’s room and Matty was standing two feet from me. I heard the sound of water hitting the hardwood floor and my head could not have spun around any faster. Matty was standing there at the edge of the rug, just watching the pee hit the floor.
I lost it for a brief moment before remembering this was new for both of us and I found myself carrying a tearful, pee-covered little buddy to the bathroom while apologizing for upsetting him. I’ll be the first to admit it’s ridiculously easy to forget kids don’t know any better in the seemingly most obvious situations, and asking “why did you do that?” doesn’t help anyone. I wish I could say that was the first and last time I asked him that, but it’s not.
Friday, Matty did even better. We had ZERO — let me repeat that, ZERO — accidents! It was just as stressful because I still had to watch and analyze his every movement and follow him around with a towel and Clorox Wipes BUT it was awesome to see things coming together so quickly. I was amazed with how quickly he was learning, how easy he made it seem and proud beyond belief. We spent a lot of time sitting in our small bathroom having conversation after conversation, our voices echoing between the walls. Matty told me about the time he was in Hawai’i and saw two black whales that weren’t that big but were scary and also happy, a colorful version of a story I’m sure he’s heard from Seth or I about our trip to Hawai’i. I read him books and we sang Baby Beluga on repeat. It was a strange but cozy way to bond with my baby and I in a weird way I enjoyed it.
The weekend presented other challenges in the form of plans outside of the house, beautiful weather and a busy baby brother keeping him preoccupied but we made it through every outing, including a walk to the ice cream shop, the local march for science and a long trip to the grocery store without any accidents. At home, we had a couple pooping accidents and mishaps – including Matty taking a giant dump two feet from the toilet and yelling at me, “MAMA! DON’T TOUCH THE GREEN SNAKES!” when I bent down, dry-heaving, and tried to clean it up. He’s a quick learner with a BIG imagination, that is for sure.
I sent Matty to school today in big boy underwear and when he arrived, his teachers were so proud of him. It was really heartwarming. I mean, he’s definitely going to shit his pants today and I’m sure they know that but it’s great that they could share in my joy nonetheless.
We’re all in on the potty-training journey now. Let’s rejoice!