1. You can be the boss and your kids will be okay with it. In fact, they probably really like it. I watched one episode of Nanny 911 last month on Netflix and it was profound. In this day and age, where generations are so disconnected, I can see why that show does so well. Those ladies got some wisdom. Anyway, the episode I watched brought us through the journey with a mom who was afraid to be the boss becoming a loving yet firm and boundary-setting mom. It was beautiful to see how her children responded to her confidence in authority. I wasn't as bad as her but me being a "peace at all costs" kind of girl, I could see areas in my parenting where I did not stand up and be the boss my boys needed me to be. I applied this to potty training. I did not do it (potty training) sooner because I feared the fight. However, when I confidently put my foot down and said, "This IS what we are doing. There will be no more diapers and that is that.", Bubblegum complied with no fuss and almost seemed to gain a whole new respect for me. Huh. Cool.
2. When I am not distracted with everything else, I really enjoy my kids. Having three full days of nothing but focusing on playing with the kids was great. The house work was not priority, the meals lacked creativity but my kids and I were connected. I thought, "We should just do this all the time." Then reality set in; there were people to contact, groceries to buy, toilets to clean (especially now that are three peeing boys in the house) and laundry to be done. So no, I can't play all day...but I can be more intentional a couple of afternoons a week and really connect with these amazing children.
3. I love Mini Eggs. That isn't really about parenting but it's a good fact. I secretly cheered when we went to the potty, not just for the accomplishment of putting one in the pot but also for the celebration egg we all got afterward!
4. Favouritism hurts. I think Ryan and I are pretty good at sharing the love in this home. We believe God when he tells us not to and then gives great testimonies of the danger of showing favouritism. These last few days, Bubblegum has been getting a lot of accolades, hugs and mommy-daddy time and Munch, who is ordinarily a well-behaved kid was really struggling. The whining and fighting was more than I could bare. Ryan brought to my attention the fact that he may be feeling slighted as he too, loves encouragement and hugs. So, I cut down on my, "This isn't about you." lectures and settled for a little more love his way and it's been good ever since.
5. Sometimes, what we are afraid of does not really exist. I have learned this in way harder circumstances but it was a good and gentle reminder. I have mentioned a few times my expectation of the last three days but now sitting on the other side, I realize it was all in my head. I am glad we pushed through.
6. Boys are fascinated with the workings of their bodies. Not just their bodies but others too. Each potty time, there are spectators watching keenly. No one is shamed there. Not at all.
7. It is good to study and really get to know your child. If it wasn't for Ryan and I praying and asking God to show us who Bubbs was and then really watching him, I don't think we would have been as successful. I look forward to continuing to discover who God has made this little man to be. In this process, I have become acquainted with the funniest, most passionate and most conscientious little boy and I love him more than ever.
8. Maybe it is okay to wait until they are three. I am almost ready to take back what I said about how you shouldn't wait so long to potty train. It seems that his ability to reason and communicate have been very helpful to the process. However, I really don't know so that leaves me to say....
9. There isn't just one right way to train up a child....it is different for each child. That seems like a lot of work when you have a few children but it only makes sense, really.
10. I still have so much to learn. I mean, the kid is only three. This was just peeing in a toilet. We still have homework, chores, dating, learning to drive, personal hygiene, jobs....
I am glad I have a relationship with The One who made my little men, who knows how many hairs are on their heads and what the greatest and worst things they will do are already. I am so glad I can trust this God and can communicate with Him because Jesus Christ made a way. I am so glad he tells me not to worry about tomorrow but just to accept his mercy for this morning and he will make my path straight. I can just take a breath and move forward. So thankful.
I share my potty training story not because I am so narcissistic that I think you need to hear about my kids' toilet habits. All my posts are to encourage you moms...or dads who just need a laugh, a reminder or some encouragement in your parenting walk. I understand I also have a few kidless readers too...I hope this encourages you to your future as a parent (or scares you into celibacy) and helps you to laugh at and understand the weirdness of your parent friends.
I hope our three days of potty training have served one of those purposes for you. If it has, please feel free to comment. I would love to hear from you.
Oh yah, I didn't update you on Day Three....totally dry all night and all day. I don't even think I can take any credit. It has been a breeze. It is a miracle that our boy who claimed to love diapers and walking around in his pee and poo is now saying he loves underwear and going to the potty. Victory in The Natural Mom house! We celebrate....with MINI EGGS! Nom, nom, nom!!!