This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves
to be my disciples. John 15:8

Ripping off the Diaper

>> Wednesday, April 23, 2008

One of my earliest memories in life was sitting on the floor of my parent's bedroom one afternoon, doodling in a phone book as my mom and dad called every toy retailer in the greater metropolitan area in which we lived, searching for a He-Man action figure. I don't remember which characters we already had hanging from the ceiling of our bathroom, but I know that they could not seem to get their hands on He-Man himself. I know that Masters of the Universe sounds like an inspired decorating choice for anyone in the early 80's, but this had nothing to do with aesthetics and everything to do with potty training my brother. He was being bribed with members of the Grayskull Universe, and my parents were hoping to nab the leader of the crew as the ultimate prize for Kevin once he mastered his potty universe. (This story is so legendary in our family that Mark and I wrapped up The He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special for Kevin under the tree this last December but demanded that before he watched it, he had to go use the big boy potty.)

(Kevin has got to be loving this right about now)

My parent's struggle to potty train my brother had the unfortunate side effect of terrifying me of the prospect of training my own children. I remember how difficult it was and was certain I was facing the same process. Shortly after I became a mother, my mom and I were garage sale hopping and I spotted a dusty old book that sounded promising. Something about potty training in only one day. I decided it was worth the fifty cents to see if there was anything to it. Eying my find, my mom declared "Hey! I had that book when I was potty training your brother!", at which point I dropped that book like it was hot. No thank you.

Fast forward a couple of years to a few months ago when Mark and I were finally ready to embark on the journey. Well, maybe not ready, but we had put it off long enough. We went to the library, checked out the "potty kit" for boys, which came complete with "Everyone Poops". The kit also had a book for me. A book which only further convinced me that I would never be able to do this. I envisioned accident upon accident and frustration upon frustration. When Elijah came down with a cold shortly after we started the process, I was more than happy to cling to that as an excuse to put it off some more.

Easter came and we decided to put 'Big Boy Underwear' in Elijah's Easter basket. Determined to capitalize on his excitement, we officially started the process the following weekend. We had already had the blessing of gleaning tips from friends who had gone down this road before us, and the general consensus was that Pull-Ups, aside from nighttime, were a bad idea. They were a crutch and the best thing to do was to "rip off the band-aid (or in this case, the diaper)". I was sure this doomed me to ridiculous amounts of laundry and the rental of a carpet steamer, but we went ahead with the plan. As of Saturday morning, Elijah would no longer be wearing diapers. Period.

And guess what? He's potty trained. And he has been since that first Saturday. Believe me when I tell you that it has nothing to do with anything I've done that he was so easy. I had tried every thing I could to make the process harder than it had to be. If Elijah had listened to me (or at least the thoughts in my head), he would still be wetting his pants during church. Fortunately, he had his own agenda. He wanted to be a big boy and wanted to be done with diapers. He thought it was great fun and was more than willing to comply. I had been so certain that it had to be a difficult process that I have been unwilling to actually call him officially potty-trained. I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for the novelty to wear off and the ugliness to begin. But it's been three weeks. And he has had less accidents than I would need only one hand to count. So I'm finally ready to announce to the world, with enormous relief, that I have potty trained my first son!!!! And it was pretty painless!!!

(now I've done it....he's going to wet his pants while I'm at Bible study in the morning, isn't he.....?)


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