Sitting outside on a gorgeous day with the kids playing...thinking I'm so very lucky for my time so far with each of my brilliant, sweet and loving babies...then David throws a hand full of mulch at Mary Louise's face and Mary Louise retaliates by hitting David in the head with a (plastic) shovel...meanwhile Everett crawled up to a wooden bench and started chewing on it - crying as I hauled him off...thanks for keepin' Mommy humble kiddos!
Such is life - and these kids, oh my, they have been busy lately.
After way too much thought, I decided to push potty training with David again. He'd begun informing me that he was going to the corner, that he needed a "fwesh diapah pweese!" and when asked what he was doing, would often reply, "dus poopanin". Nervous to hit "that road" again, I waited, and stewed, and gently suggested...and begged a little. David's consistent response to "would you like to try the potty this time?" was "uhh no stanks!" When he started to add "you dus change my diaper in a minute", I started to get a little aggravated despite my best efforts.
I was waiting for him to be "ready" - but I think I had the wrong idea of what "ready" looked like in David. Forever and fiercely independent, David simply didn't respond to any of the tactics that worked with Mary Louise: he couldn't have cared less that friends that came to play were in underwear, bribing with pennies, toys, shows, outings, insert name of enjoyed activity here - all a no go, the shameful food bribes - not a chance (if you choose to use food, more power to you...it grosses me out - it just does - but I did it, begrudgingly, and it didn't work). I even enlisted Mary Louise to help - she coaxed David to the toilet, showed him over and over how "not scary" it could be...nope. When pushed in a group of peers, David will consistently go off by himself and play. He would **like to play with others, but if they are being anything less than agreeable and/ or nice, he does his own thing - happily - without tattling, without grimace, without so much as a shrug of the shoulders, he immediately creates his own agenda and follows through; and I love that about him. So, "ready" for him is and was very very subtle.
I was talking to my mom the other day after a mother's get together where inevitably, potty training came up. I consistently (try to) remain relatively quiet for these discussions. I don't have some sort of book I swear by (or any I have read in their entirety since prior to having kids) and saying, "I just follow the kids' cues blindly" doesn't resonate with many people (in my experience)...which is fine - but the point is I really haven't any advice on the subject other than "do your household a solid and listen to the kid" - and in the day in which some families feel forced to push the issue because of an outside pressure from an age requirement to be out of diapers for a preschool class, that advice will likely just tick off an already stressed parent.
Mary Louise literally decided she wanted to work on it...I was waiting for David to do the same...listening to the mother of an 18 month old's (random example) frustrations over the child wetting his/ her pants on the way to (activity of the moment) is completely foreign to me - unless said pants wetting was a consequence of a leaky diaper. (uh - at 18 months Mary Louise and David had been walking for about 8 weeks, weren't talking, and were in 9 month clothing...comparatively, Everett (at 9 months) can hold and function with a sippy cup, self feeds - without a tongue thrust and using a pincer grasp, is pulling up on furniture, crawling, "speaking" appropriately, and consistently answers to his name as well as 3 different nick names.) Until just recently, potty training has been a very distant second, third or fourth to things like: will they walk? will they talk? are we missing something in their preventative care? do we need another specialist consult? will there be another surgery? is that necessary? and most recently - oh my goodness...no wonder they fall so much, they can't see (well)!?!
So in talking to my mom, I had a bit of a light bulb moment. I had literally tried just about everything anyone can think of to encourage potty use. David has many MANY reasons not to want anything to do with it and one pretty big reason to try - because he can. It's within his potential. It will open a few doors that will potentially close soon if he doesn't get out of diapers. It makes me sad to see other kids he's trying to play with ask why he's in diapers. It hurts to know that even if we wanted him to participate in a 3 year old program, he'd be excluded simply because diapers are not changed in that setting. I am the one hurting, David doesn't seem to be...but I know he CAN do this and, as I said, that's why I hurt. It's because these programs, and kids will miss out on someone so beautiful and gracious, so strong, who has so much to learn and likewise, so much to share, because of something that is, in the grand scheme, incredibly minimal.
I had tried everything...but what my mother suggested: Heather. Make HIM clean up the mess. hmmmm. My stomach turned at first...then it settled...and I decided it was worth at least 1 try...
David has been intermittently pants-less for 3 days now. He is consistently running to the toilet to wee, but has yet to poop there. He has an uncanny ability to "hold it" to the point of causing a problem - which has been one of our biggest issues. I started out with 3 hours the first day. There was a mess. David cleaned it - and as guilty as I felt for enforcing our rule, David sat there and grinned the whole time. The little booger was excited to get his own cleaning supplies - and did an excellent job with the cleaning!!! UGH! How's that for a big fail?!
Something clicked though. "The incident" gave him back the power. Ever since that moment, he has run to the potty each time he felt the urge to go...and asked for a diaper each time he needed to poop. We've gone longer each day - today being our first "all day" affair. We're currently at a bit of a stand off. He knows he's in charge - but also that we can't play outside (we tried, but toting 3 kids inside when he's holding off the urge to go induces mega fits in at least 1 person...other than me), we can't have friends over (for obvious exposure reasons), we can't go places - he has yet to care about it all that much - but ML is getting REALLY restless. So, while we wait - let's acknowledge what's happening here:
People. We have progress!!!!!!! and the dirty diaper bag is filling up so slowly I don't know what to do with myself. But to celebrate, how about a couple of cute LeBlanc kid vids???
P.S. spoiler alert: we're picking up glasses today!!!