Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Two days ago Miss Dorothy Grace announced she was too big for diapers. We put her into some undies we had waiting in her drawer for this magical day and discovered she was also too big for her undies. She found a pair that didn't pinch too badly and wore them while she ran to the corner by the end table in the living room and peed on the floor. She asked for a fresh pair of undies and pants and before long she was peeing on her bedroom floor too. She waddled to me, legs very stiff, in her soggy purple sweatpants and said, "Mommy, you're so proud of me for wearing undies and very big diapies". So we strapped on a size six diaper and I said to myself she's just not ready yet.
As a woman who sent two children who needed to constantly be reminded to use the potty to kindergarten and had one child who toilet trained because we ran out of diapers one night and she wanted a bed time story so she said, "I don't really need diapers" to keep me from going to the store (she NEVER had an accident...she was four years old) this whole "not ready" thing sounded like I was up to my old B.S. again.
I've never been a mother in another time, so I can't know for sure, but it seems to me like my mother peers and I treat growth toward independence like child abuse, maybe more so than mothers who came before us. All discomfort is to be avoided because of the possible emotional damage (but no growth comes without discomfort). Before I end up with five adults fighting to live in my basement rather than attempt independence I decided to move forward with Operation Underpants.
In my new state of mind (poo isn't punishment) I stuffed Israel and Dorothy into the van and drove to the store so Dorothy could pick out fun and pretty undies to make the transition from pooping in her pants to pooping in a bowl more enjoyable for her.
At 10:55 am we were back home and she was giggling, "Close your eyes.......SURPRISE!!!", as she flashed me the pinkie Elsa and Anna undies she had put on under her dress. At 11:02 am I caught her gripping her play kitchen with her knees pressed together trying to hold whatever wanted to come out of her IN. I ran like I had wings on my feet to get her ducky potty for her and made it back before she LET IT GO! She sat there, playing bongo drums on a duck toilet in the middle of the kitchen floor forever then got up with out any action. Same at 11:15 am and 11:32. I was ready to grab her a diaper when a voice in my head said to me Every milestone your children have reached has included a little discomfort. Let her figure it out now. Better to be uncomfortable at the age of three in your own home than to be uncomfortable when you're five and at school.
At 12:34 pm, I heard, "Clean my potty", being shouted over Phineas and Ferb's voices.
It is now 1:04 pm and the pinkie undies are still clean (but we have twenty seven more pair just in case) and my independent daughter is proudly sitting on her throne, waiting to do what she'll do every few hours for the rest of her life.