You guys, I have really big news this morning. I don’t know if you’ll believe it. I don’t even know if I believe it. But I sent Abbott to school today in Fruit of the Loom underwear.
That’s right ladies and gentleman, real underwear. The kind that leaks when you pee in it and sags when you poop in it. Real 100% cotton undies.
Mhmm, that’s right. I’m done with diapers in my house!!!!!!!!!!!! (I’ll stop now because there are literally not enough exclamations points in the world to convey my excitement on this point.)
As you might remember, potty training was pretty easy for me the first time around. Matty, bless his heart, could be bribed to kill someone for the right prize (AKA a $3 rubber dinosaur from Target) and, as our pediatrician recently pointed out, is basically only living to please the people he loves. He excelled at potty training.
Bot, on the other hand, can be bribed if the conditions are right. And by “conditions” I mean he’s 100% content with 100% of everything happening at the moment. I’d say that happens, like, 4.5% of the time. And as our pediatrician also recently pointed out, Bot lives his life completely to please himself and gives zero fucks about anyone else except Matty. You’re right, she didn’t say the second part but she can’t, it’s not professional. I can, however, read between the lines and I live with him, so I have no doubt that’s actually what she wanted to say.
Much like coming to the decision to potty train Matty, I was gently nudged by Bot’s teacher. Every time we’d pick him up, she’d tell us how great he did trying to go potty in the potty and eventually pottying in the potty. It grew from one time a day to multiple times a day. And then one day at pick up, she told me he had run up to her while playing on the playground to say he had to poop. If that’s not a nudge, I don’t know what it is.
That night I went home and looked at our calendar. Like most parents and social people, our calendar looked like one giant doodle. “Seth Den”. An origami paper airplane drawing. A long twirly arrow. Another origami paper airplane sketch. A shittily drawn house. A poorly drawn car. “T.S KC”. A heart. Another poorly drawn car on a weird line that looks like it might be a road. Seriously. If a meteor hit Earth today and decades later survivors found our shit covered in a thick gray dust, they would think they found ancient hieroglyphics.
Anyway, moving on, this weekend was the only three-day weekend I had and even though Seth was going to be out of town, I knew it was time. Early last week I went and bought $75 worth of shittily made prizes with magical appeal and started to drop conversational seeds about potty training into Bot’s mind. He seemed partially interested but only because Matty wears underwear and, again, Matty is literally the only person he cares about pleasing.
Day one was a half day because we ended up having to go to my parents’ house and potty training there. He wasn’t super impressed with the prizes but Matty (of course) was ALL about the fucking prizes. He immediately claimed his role as their keeper. He would monitor (aka brainwash) Abbott while he “picked” his prize and then Matty would be the one to reach in and “give” it to him. As you probably guessed, Matty didn’t actually give him the prize. He’d either hand it to Abbott and then follow him around until Abbott to set it down so he could pick it up OR, even more frequent, would hand it to Abbott and then ask him if he could “see” it and then just never give it back and call it his.
Bot had one potty accident that day and I was optimistic for day two.
Day two was a fucking disaster. I spent the entire day sweating, taking deep breaths trying not to lose my mind and essentially trying not to cry. The morning was accident after accident after accident (and deep breath after deep breath after deep breath). It took all of the patience I had and, at times, patience I didn’t have. He had other shit he wanted to do and other people he wanted to hang out with. The toilet and I were not a priority and I felt it. I had to remind myself “he’s only two-years old” time and time again.
That afternoon, we ventured out to the hospital to visit my Grandpa and my outlook on potty training at that point could be best summed up with the phrase “fuck it”. He had an accident within 30 minutes of being there (and after going to the bathroom three times). So, he spent the rest of his day in just underwear and it was more of the same until that evening when he had to poop.
Bot has always had a hard time with his number twos. He’s been on a healthy dose of Miralax and probiotics since he was old enough take it and it’s always been a sort of a painful experience for all of us. I knew coming into potty training it would be our biggest hurdle. I hoped going on the potty would help a little but we had no such luck. He cried and screamed and jumped up and down. He squeezed my hands and stared into the depths of my soul as he cried, “WHAT IS THAT?!?!”
I didn’t know what he was talking about but then his very first turd plopped into the toilet. Suddenly the frustration of the day faded away as we celebrated his first poop on the potty. We spent the next two hours on and off the potty. Bot trying to poop, me trying to console him. We ended the day with a pull up and a lot of worries that it was too soon.
Day three, Bot woke up dry and told my Mom he needed to potty on the potty almost right away. Throughout the day he pulled me and others into the bathroom so he could pee and ended up having ZERO potty accidents. He pooped once in the potty and had two poop accidents shortly after in his swim trunks. While I gathered a pile of wet poop out of his diaper with a bunch of napkins (the closest thing I could find) I thought about Seth. While I sprayed the shit marks off of his trunks with the hose, I muttered, “your dad owes me” under my breath and my aunt laughed.
If only I was kidding.
When we got back home last night and reunited with Seth, he took over. At one point Abbott yelled from his bed, “I HAVE TO PEEEEEEEEE!” and Seth looked at me, rolled his eyes and said, “It could not have been like this all weekend.” Referring to the number of times Bot needed to go pee and try to poop. I shot him a look and he smirked.
As I got Bot dressed for school this morning in his big boy underwear, I did get a little teary eyed. At one point, not long ago, the cost of school, diapers and formula seemed like it would never end. It was overwhelming. We were right there in the thick of it. We weren’t getting any sleep. Every family outing felt like a chore and, at times, a waste of money. And suddenly, the boys are both out of diapers, one will be out of preschool next year and one will be starting. We can go places without a stroller and a diaper bag. Life feels so drastically different from just that short time ago.
Who knew potty training my last baby could be such an emotional journey?!
They say the days are long and the years are short and I feel that entirely, but I really wonder how long today is going to feel for Bot’s teachers. Hopefully not too long. But even if it’s the longest day of their lives and Bot has eight accidents, if I’ve learned anything, it’s that tomorrow will be different.