It just seemed like the right time. My scheduled was wide open and the weather was to be great so we could spend the week outside. People always says how much easier it is to potty train little girls.
In fact, based on what I’d read, I thought staying home and dedicating a few days to this endeavor – just my sweet tot and me – sounded strangely relaxing.
Oh the naivety.
The reality of trying to get a two-year-old to sit on the potty every 10/20/30 minutes is a battle all on its own. Let alone keeping an eye on her every movement in the in-between to catch any accidents before they happen (and then calmly and swiftly extracting said small person from play time to immediately sit –once again – on the potty).
Can I be totally honest? It was overwhelming, all-consuming and exhausting.
After three naked days (her not me) at home with relatively few accidents, we ventured out into the world. Donning new underpants and a patriotic summer dress, we pulled into the Target parking lot.
“Okay, here we go!” I told her. “Do you need to go potty?”
Head shake “no.”
“Let’s just try going potty before we shop,” I encouraged.
We walked to the public restroom and I carefully positioned her on the toilet. Nothing.
“All done,” she exclaimed.
“Okay,” I tried to keep my tone positive. We washed our hands and proceeded to do a little shopping. Every few minutes I’d ask some version of, “Do you need to go to the potty?” All received a resounding “no.”
Twenty minutes later I pushed the cart back towards my car. As I lifted her out to place her in the car seat, I realized that sometime during our shopping trip, her “no” should have been a “yes, Mommy I do need to go potty.” She was soaked.
Two days and multiple clothed-accidents later, found me sitting on a park bench an hour from the start of the 4th of July parade watching my precious child soil yet another patriotic dress in the middle of a playground.
And that was it. Time to change plans.
As much as my pride tells me to just keep at it (and honestly, I feel a little embarrassed that I couldn’t tackle this thing in one go), wisdom tells me she isn’t ready yet and we need to take a break.
So, I’m leaning into the support and encouragement of moms who’ve gone before me. Trusting my own intuition when it comes to my child, and believing the words of friends who tell me when she’s ready, I’ll know (and that someday – probably fairly soon – she will be ready).
I’m learning to let go, of my time table, my plan, my pride. While potty training may only be a tiny bump when you look at the challenges of a whole life, in this season God is shaping me into a better, more flexible, mom. And that’s nothing to poo-poo!
“The times we find ourselves having to wait on others
may be the perfect opportunities to train ourselves to wait on the Lord.”
(Joni Eareckson Tada)