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Why not?

We have finally done it. I potty trained D. Last Tuesday, W walked out of D's room holding an empty box of Pampers size 5, "We need more diapers."

I pull up Amazon and start browsing... when I think, "Why? Why am I ordering more diapers? Why am I changing these diapers?" I told W, "No. I'm not buying any more. We are out, we are out. It's potty time."

On our family calendar he wrote in Sharpie across August 30th: KIMBER PUTS HER FOOT DOWN. I put D in underwear that night and he still refused to use the potty for me. We had our first potty success right before bath time. W, ahem, demonstrated what needed to happen and D followed suit. From there, we were up and running. The next morning, I put underwear back on and there he went! I pulled out What to Expect: The Toddler Years by Heidi Murkoff and started flipping through the potty training section, just to confirm that I was right on target with expecting him to do this. She gives a list of signs on page 540 that your preschooler is ready to use the potty:
  • Physiologic readiness (age)
  • Regularity
  • Increased awareness of pertinent bodily functions
  • An interest in neatness and in being clean and dry
  • An understanding of key concepts
  • Familiarity with the toilet terminology used in your household
  • The ability to communicate needs and to follow simple directions
  • Curiosity about the bathroom habits of others
Check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check. D met and exceeded the basic guidelines to know if they are ready. Everyone that I have chatted with at play dates, park and rec classes, music classes, church, and mom groups told me how "they knew," how they potty trained. We tried everything, right down to nitty gritty bribery. Suddenly I tell D, "Well, we are out of diapers. I guess we have to use the potty." And he says, "Okay! Just like Daddy does!" That first morning, he had a couple accidents. I did a potty timer-- on my phone while we were out and on the oven at home-- for every half hour the first couple days so he had the control, "Mommy! The timer went off! Let's go potty!" The accidents disappeared. I don't do a timer anymore. I've noticed that he will actually tell me before he goes. He can take care of the, er, smaller business all on his own: pants, flushing, and hand washing. For the larger matters, we are still struggling. There always has to be a hold out with my D man. We are being patient and noticing improvement. Some things will fall in to place with time, I am sure.

Life goes on. He wears underwear all day now, even during his afternoon quiet time. I'm done with diapers during the day. We will figure out the night business soon, I am sure. He's already had dry diapers the past three nights. I may stop those cold turkey as well. Why not?

That's been my attitude lately: Why not? We already have a million things going on at once, why not go to the park and rec class in underwear our very first day of potty training? We paid for it and sure could use some time out of the house. Why not wear underwear all day? Heck, we got a puppy with 4-month old twins. Sometimes there is a lot going on, and it feels like it falls a lot on me since W is gone at school most of the day. I really need to maintain that sense of humor before I crawl in to a hole.

Last night I had to call W home from school. He was studying in the library, but the babies were melting down. L was being a wild dog, D was tired after a morning of running errands. It became a long, loud evening. The time read 5 o'clock and I had no dinner planned, nothing defrosted. W shows up and jumped right in. It's so easy to have him help... what about when he goes back out to sea? The thought is always at the back of my mind. One day in the not so distant future, I won't have a reinforcement to call at a moment's notice. He won't be able to drop everything and come home early when he's back on the boat, let alone when he's back at sea and I can't even tell him about my crazy day. Instead of thinking, "we have three years before he is on a boat," I think: we have two years in North Carolina, one year in South Carolina, and it's back out to sea. I even break down the years: this fall semester, next spring semester (2012), one more summer session, then we have our last fall semester, and he graduates at the end of the spring semester (2013), we move to South Carolina that summer, and nine months of power school. I cannot help but feel time will fly. I've talked to other wives who think this same way.

But let's focus on right now. Right now we have 5-month old twins, a potty training 3-year old, and a house training 3-month old puppy (not to mention a mean cat). Why not call him to come and help while I can? "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" Matthew 6:34.


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