Saturday, August 12, 2006

Chief cook and bottom washer

We are in the thick of potty training. It's not pretty and it's not fun. Actually, it's probably one of my least favorite parts of parenting, ranking right up there with vomit clean-up and suppository insertion.

I'd like to just ignore the need for it. I mean, I didn't graduate from high school with anyone not potty trained, so obviously it happens eventually. I could just keep putting him in diapers until he goes to school. He would certainly, by then, take control of his own situation when the other children made fun of him.

But, alas, my graduate school counseling professors would probably frown on my parental short-comings, as well as the obvious potential long-term negative emotional effects on my child, so I will forge ahead into the dirty, mucky, thankless job.

Landon eased into the whole "Big Boy Potty" concept quite suspiciously. In fact, the picture far left shows how we both began this journey; unsure and ignorant to what would lie ahead. He started out by putting his sister's panties on over his diaper, followed by their shorts. More panties and shorts were then added to the head region, resulting in several turbin-like get ups that were fun to look at, but less than helpful when potty training.

We eventually coaxed him into the "Big Boy Pants" seen in the next photo. He adores those. Not only do they feel soft and less plastic-like than his diapers, but the added bonus to a two year old boy is...well, let's just say that we spend much of the day saying, "Put that back in there!"

Today he has driven me to the brink. We've been through three pairs of underwear, had three baths, and have cleaned up numerous "tinkle spots" throughout the house. The baths are the result of unexpected "poop encounters;" unexpected to me only, as he knew what was coming.

I've started several loads of laundry and am in the process of trying to bleach the last two pairs of "Oops Mommy wook what happened!" underwear. I had to excavate them from his soiled bottom without tainting his recently washed legs; an art form for experienced moms and dads. I was somewhat successful, but baths followed nonetheless as I am paranoid of him getting sick from dirty, poop-covered hands.

In between carpet, potty, bath, and laundry runs, I've managed to wipe big brother's bottom as well. He can do all but the 'wiping sufficiently' himself so the job isn't too bad. Standing there with Hayden, trying not to breath, I realized that I have several more years of this and I better quit belly-aching and just do my job with a smile. And besides, the added practice in holding my breath for long periods of time will be helpful in my eventual training for deep-sea free diving(?) (Never mind, I'm getting loopy from all the ammonia in the air.)

In reality, we've hooted and we've hollered and we've high-fived. We've had small successes and Landon is feeling proud. He loves his big boy pants and he is becoming more proficient in tinkling by himself. Our next lesson is in aiming at the water. Well, actually, our next lesson is in convincing him he doesn't need to point "it" straight up so he can watch what is happening, or during his next bath I'll be washing his hair and face, instead of his bottom.

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