Monday, December 17, 2012

Murphy's Law of Motherhood #5: Ur-in(e) Trouble!

"Mommy, I peed!"  Yes, this phrase is a daily occurrence for parents of potty training children.  With any luck, it is candy to the ears (meaning the child is in a restroom hovering over water), but it can mean utter disaster.  Two instances of this sort come to my mind from personal experience.

The first was in Alaska.  For some reason, I thought it would be an excellent idea to take E-girl (then 2 1/2) and J-boy (7 months) to McDonald's by myself.  I believe it was the only restaurant with an indoor playland within 15 minutes of our home.  Call it cabin fever if you will, but I was about to go stark-raving mad being at home at the end of a long winter with two children under the age of three.  (For those of you who do not know us, my husband was rarely around due to his schooling, and E-girl was known to
regularly assault the poor infant with a pink plastic teapot.)  After settling in at a table, E-girl headed off to play as I tended to the baby.  About ten minutes later, I heard, "Mommy, I peed!" come from the very top of the over-sized playhouse.  I was so thankful that I still carried an extra change of clothes, but God bless the poor woman who had to climb up in that tunnel of nastiness to clean it!  I imagine there was probably a trail from the apex down, and I'm certain our daughter was probably the first child in history to do such a thing.

Thankfully, E-girl was a pretty quick learner, so we dealt with few accidents.  The boy, on the other hand...makes me want to slap the Potty Train Your Child in a Nanosecond authors in the chops with a wet pair of pants.  All the signs of readiness were there, but every child is different.  His training has not only cost us double the laundry loads and a small fortune in nitrile gloves, pullups, and carpet cleaner; it has nearly cost me my sanity.  Since summer has entered the scene, I've been allowing him to choose to use the toilet or a tree.  Yes, I know it may seem rather barbaric, but what man does not enjoy watering the lilies?  The child rather liked having the novelty of choice, so it did work in our favor (i.e. he voluntarily went more often, and I had less bathroom messes to clean up).  Off and on throughout the last year, we have gone to using "big boy underwear." In retrospect, maybe we should've just pulled the plug on the diapers/pullups altogether to avoid confusion, but after cleaning up mess after nasty mess, I succumbed to self-preservation mode. One can stick their hands in the toilet only so many times before losing one's mind! 

During one underwear season, I heard "Mommy, I peed!" from the den.  My only thought was, "Aw, geez!  Not again!"  I walked in to find him standing in a puddle on the built-in bookshelf seat.  A quaint, sparkling stream was flowing off of his foot, into the puddle, and onto the new carpet.  Joy!  As I was soaking in the scene, E-girl pipes up, "Mom!  He peed on my library book!"  I snatched the sopping book out of the stream and sprinted toward the kitchen, hoping to save it (because only the Lord knows how much they're going to charge to replace that thing.  What's a little pee after all we'd been through the last year, right?)  As I ran past the trashcan, my brain finally decided to function, and I realized that one drop was enough to consider it a loss.  Thanks to J-boy, our library will now have one Henry and Mudge book without dogears and boogered pages.