There have been many challenging experiences we’ve muddled through as parents these past five years, but nothing has been more excruciating than the process of potty training our son. Many months have passed since our daycare insisted on the use of underwear as the tool that is going to get us there, and while that worked in a week for my daughter, with the boy we are still cleaning poop laden tighty-whities on a daily basis.
This has been going on for months. Actually, I just looked back and we’re a few months shy of a year.
You’d think I’d have gotten used to it after a while, but every time that bagged up package of poop came home I died a little inside. Yes, a little dramatic perhaps, but you spend hours upon hours washing your hands and see how you feel because the poop smell it just…lingers. It gets in your nostrils and becomes a part of your very being. For over nine months my life has been inundated with close encounters of the second kind slathered on cotton, and I have had enough.
We tried everything. Stickers and treats and promises of the best presents came to no avail. He weighed the pros for proper poop displacement and decided it just wasn’t worth it to him. “Leave him be,” our pediatrician said, “He will go when he’s ready.” So we waited, and waited, and waited some more.
Then one day while I was out shopping for something random I spied some Cars 2 matchbox cars and figured I’d give it a shot. I showed him one and promised that when he decided to poop in the potty they would be there waiting for him. He wasn’t having it; those cars sat in a bag for several weeks. I kept dropping hints now and then that when he was ready to put that poop in its proper place, Francesco Bernoulli would be handed over to him in all of its fender-less glory. Finally one day last week he decided he was ready, and a few days later he was ready again. He has now added Francesco, Finn McMissile, Flo, and Mater to his collection. We’re talking major progress here!
And he is so proud of himself. And we are so very proud of him.
Oh! I can see that blessed toilet-flushing, swirling light at the end of the tunnel! There it is!!!
But then we came upon an unexpected problem: the five year old is seriously pissed.
“I didn’t get any presents when I first pooped in the potty. I just went! This is NOT. FAIR. I have been going potty since I was three years old. I should have been getting presents all along.”
She then requested poop compensation, to be paid retroactively, for the past two and a half years worth of successful deposits.
I’ve got to hand it to her, she has a valid argument. I have no idea what profession she will choose when she gets older, but she already has the makings to become one hell of lawyer.