Sunday, August 3, 2008


Potty training can leave a mother with such mixed reactions. On one hand, there are no more two year old - heaven forbid three year old - diapers to change, or money blown buying them. There's the consolation that comes with knowing your child will be able to attend kindergarten (I know several children who have given their mothers a scare in this department). Also a factor: the unexplainable freedom from an unseen chain that enslaves a mother to the bowel movements of her child. Does anyone get this, or is it just me?

On the other hand, you have anxiety. Granted, Meara is doing phenomenally well for being one week into big girl panties, but still. As you and your child venture away from the controlled environment of your home, you begin running risks. Let's take church for instance. Yesterday I had to fill in for the ward organist, which means I get there early and sit on the stand during sacrament meeting. This birds eye view of what goes on in our pew around my poor husband (who's never learned to whisper) is always an interesting perspective, but there are times it's downright maddening being unable intervene.

So I watch my family arrive. Rusty has done his best on Meara's hair, and I admit to myself there is definite improvement in this department. They file in, sit down, and are decently quiet during the opening of the meeting. Then the young men bless, and begin passing the sacrament. As usual, things are pretty quiet, until the silence is shattered by Meara's not-so-quiet voice saying "Potty". Rusty pretends not to hear her. Again but louder,"Potty!" Somewhere around the third "Potty!" I make eye contact with him and give a frantic head-jerk towards the door.

Few men can ignore as effectively as my husband, and this is the last eye contact I'm able to secure. The cries of "Potty, potty, potty!" escalate in a desperate whine, and still he just sits there. I pry my eyes off my child and glance around the room to see several people snickering as they glance Meara's direction, and others looking at me, obviously thinking the whole thing is very entertaining. Even I am having a hard time keeping a straight face, and have to elbow Niall (who's sitting with me) when he lets out a loud snort.

She yelled it at least ten times - although Annie was having such a rough time with her own children she swears she only heard two or three - and this is not one of those inarticulate toddler words no one can understand. I'm sure I wasn't the only person getting nervous about the situation. I was just about to leave the stand, when suddenly she stopped. Luckily for Rusty, whose lap was in jeopardy, she held it until the passing of the sacrament was over. Pretty gutsy if you ask me. Then he finally took her out and I was able to relax.

Situations like that make me think "What was so wrong with diapers? She was happy, I was happy enough. Why are we putting ourselves through this?" Then I remember that I go to work in September, and potty training would have been out until next summer. Hmmm, a three year old's diapers is a pretty convincing argument. So over all, I suppose I'm glad I did it now. In another month, I'm sure she'll be a pro and I'll never look back. At the moment however, I would like to give shout of sympathy to any mothers dealing with potty training (or non-potty training) at any stage. I appreciate what you're going through, and I salute you. Just remember - it isn't easy, but at some point anyway, it's worth it.


Natalie said...

Ha! Ha! I had no clue any of this had gone on. Oh yeah, I didn't show up until after the sacrament was passed. LOL Rusty was brave to wait. Sounds like Meara is doing really well.

BTW, thanks for your comments on my blog. Work went well. Dustin stepped up and bought the needed soccer gear & took care of the garbage cans by himself. All is well with the world.

by AnnieValentine said...

Do you feel sympathy for me, hmmm? You should. Meara is wonderful in every way (except poo poo) and is the reigning potty champ. I have no dreams of Rex usurping her at any time, ever. This was funny, BTW.

Kellie Buckner said...

I just found your blog on MMB. I'm potty training my two year old right now and babysitting a three year old who potty trained himself (but misses occasionally). Thanks for your blog, it was hilarious! I'm sure it wasn't funny at the time, but thank goodness we can look back at these situations and laugh. Reminding myself that I can blog about it later is the only thing that keeps me sane sometimes.