I have a confession to make. My child is not yet potty trained. It's probably not something I should write about on my blog, but quite frankly, it has mandated a huge chunk of my life these days, so it seems only appropriate to give it at least one entry in this adventure I call my existence.
It's true, I wrote a blog post back in February exalted in praise that my stubborn little man was finally out of diapers. It was the honest-to-God truth that he was fully trained. He hadn't had an accident in over a month and it was nearly effortless. Then life happens, and there isn't much we can do about it. My dad passed away and we flew back for his funeral. The whole ordeal set little r off course, and we haven't been able to get back on since.
The whole potty training thing is easily the most stressful parenting responsibility I've had yet. No one prepares you for this. A good friend of mine said that she used to lock herself up in the closet and eat dark chocolate to deal with the stress. I have been there. Lots of tears, frustration, need I say anger? I'd like to think it's because my child is brilliant. He's too smart for his own good, so it's a game for him. It's a miserable game though. I often think this potty training bit is going to be the end of me. Did I already say they don't prepare us for this? They really don't...
We have good days and bad days, and awesome weeks and horrible weeks... Losing Papa was really hard on him, and it really set the timing off. One of the biggest pieces of advice is never to potty train your child during a life changing event. Well, at this point, I was massively pregnant, which meant little r's entire world was about to change pretty drastically. And then we had the big move this summer including a transition to a new school that is mostly likely going to require that he be completely out of diapers.
We can do this... That's my mantra. And we have tried everything - literally everything. I could create dozens of blog posts telling fantastic stories about where and when my little man has decided to have an accident. Ikea, Ramstein Airport, local biergartens, just to name a few. All experiences were classic and humbling. I'm certain there is no other experience that reminds you that you are human than dealing with the dreaded accident. Moms really do earn their badges when it comes to cleaning up poop. Man, do we ever...
Today we had an epic potty training fail. It was seriously collasal in every way. Little r's kindergarten had prearranged an afternoon picnic where all of the parents could come enjoy an afternoon with the kids all together. We ended up at a park in our little town because the sun was far too hot for the kids to take the long hike to the original location. So, little r played his heart out in the park. He was a classic boy getting into mischief by exploring trails behind bushes and hanging out with the older kids (I am in so much trouble when he gets older). He was also spending a lot of time rolling, sliding, and throwing dirt. Finally, after a couple hours of constantly searching for him, he came to me whining about his back end being all wet. There is no water in this park, so what the heck?!
He looked like something the cat dragged in. Covered from head to toe in dirt and sand. He even had sand in his eyelashes and buried deep into his hair. It was kind of awesome, I'm not going to lie. I went to reach for my camera, and then I smelled it and my whole mood shifted. I haven't a clue how long the poor dude let himself run around with a mess in his pants. It was long enough to make a ginormous disaster of a mess and give him a horrible rash. Putting him in the stroller in this condition was not happening and it was far too hot to make him walk, so I had to change him in front of all of his friends and their parents. He screamed bloody murder and you really would have thought the kid was dying because his little behind stung so bad. Baby C decided the world had to be ending, so it was time to scream, too. All my mom friends can vouch for me on this, when the baby and the boy are both screaming, your nerves stand on end and your heart strings are pulled.
After I got things all cleaned up, I plopped him into the stroller wearing nothing but a diaper and hid my face as I scooted out of the park and headed home. A necessary shower later, and little r was begging to go to bed. Poor kid was completely worn out. I have to give it to him, this has been a stressful couple of weeks with the move and all the pending life changes. He also played super hard with his friends all day in the heat. That was not exactly a restful way to end his afternoon or mine.
I'm staring at a bottle of wine wondering whether I should relax on the porch and enjoy the sunshine or make myself do a session of yoga. Both sound fantastic, so maybe I'll squeeze it all in.
We are going to survive this somehow. Big R and I might not have any hair left or we may have turned a little batty, and that dark and lonely closet cetainly looks tempting from time to time... But I know we'll get there. My hat goes off to all my friends that had a wonderfully successful go at the potty training ordeal. I wish this on no one.
So, that's my confession. I have no reason to believe this story will not end successfully. It'll happen when he's ready I suppose. Until then, cheers, I'm having another glass of wine.