Potty training. I said it on Instagram the other day, and I'll say it again: If you've potty trained a kid before, you know just how much the toilet can make or break your day.
This is my fourth go at it, so I assumed I'd be pretty much a pro by now. I mean, my first three were all potty trained before the age of two. Impressive. I know. None took longer than a week to become accident-free, and my third basically potty trained himself at 18 months. (I'm not even kidding, people!)
A year ago I would have told you these potty training credentials with a small smirk and lots of inner pride, because, well, clearly I had it all figured out. You see, there's this window of time that is ideal for potty training, yet parents in America typically only begin the process well after that window has closed. And this is why parents struggle so much! It's not about waiting longer, it's about starting earlier! It's all about the window.
Quinn, the little sweet lovely thing that she is, is a gift to the world on so many levels. I am blessed to be the recipient of those gifts every day! One of them, however, is a (very large) piece of humble pie. And a stark demotion in my p.t. credentials.
She has, for lack of a better analogy, flushed all my theories right down the toilet. And everything that should be flushed down...she puts in her pants.
It's been nine months now. Nine months of hit and miss. Nine months of me saying, "This is the week," and "This is the day." "Enough is enough!" And yet...here we are.
Still potty training.
I am incredibly thankful for a nine year old big sister who has both more compassion and more patience than I. At this point she is probably responsible for any progress Quinn makes. I'm thinking, "JUST DO IT! POOP IN THE DAMN POTTY!" And Ava's like, "Come on sweet girl! I will sit with you while you push and give you high fives when the poop comes out!"
Which is probably why today, when Quinn and I got into a poop battle, Quinn asked for Ava...and told me to leave.
And, no, today did not end with high fives and potty success. It ended just like this.
I know, I know, she won't go to kindergarten in a diaper. But I've had all my other parenting methods and theories pretty much blown apart by this point, and I was kind of hoping to leave the young years behind with at least one parenting methodology delusion in tact!
I suppose I'll have to settle for taking it one day and moment and kid at a time. And it's true, she won't go to kindergarten in a diaper. Right...?
(Just a note to the soft-hearted out there...Quinn received plenty of hugs during the making of this short story and was not kept on the potty under any kind of duress. Going potty is just emotional, ya know?!)
This post is part of a personal project called Short Stories. The previous post in this project, Short Story: Coloring, can be viewed HERE.