Monday, February 20, 2012

I'm not afraid anymore!

Words beyond price to a mother of two under three years of age. "Mama, I'm not afraid anymore!" And yes, this nearly brought me to tears of joy or relief, or something, I don't know what.

Oddly enough, all of this has to do with potty training. We had hit a wall. Completely. He would NOT go #2 in the potty. He would, however, bolt out of the room, hide in a closet, in the dark, with the door closed, to do his business.

I started promising the moon, almost literally. One day, after a success, we took the train to town nd back, very early in the morning, because I had promised a train ride ASAP if he would just go.

Then, nearly two weeks after that, I did something drastic. Knowing while I did it that he might be 35 and in therapy when it finally came out (no pun intended), but I forced him. He dashed off to hide and I kept promising fresh baked cookies THAT DAY if he would just put it in the potty. With him screaming "I DON'T WANT TO!" I shoved his little shoulders down to sit him on the potty until he finally did it. Yep, that's me. Super mom.

I did bake him cookies within 30 minutes of that traumatic experience (which was a fun thing that I'll tell you about in a minute). And promised to do that, or the train, or ice cream for lunch or WHATEVER ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH WILL MAKE YOU GO IN THE POTTY!!!

Tonight. the breakthrough. And once again, it was his Papa who had the fantastic potty-training instincts. It was a very long process, and it started out with him screaming, "I DON'T WANT TO!!" But I managed to not even go check to see, because I knew what was happening. And since I was having absolutely zero success, I was happy for Papa to make a go of it. It took a very long time (about 40 minutes). I later learned that there was hand holding, singing, shoulder shoving, bouts of privacy, and minor rewards promised. In the end, his reward was two gummy bears. Twice the reward for going #1.

I made a huge deal of it, even waking up the sleeping baby I was holding when they told me. We all went upstairs to put on his PJs for the nightly ritual. I was still bragging on him and hugging him when he said, "I'm not afraid anymore!!" Papa was barely in the next room and darted back in. "What did he say?" said Papa. "I'm not afraid anymore!!" Dawning understanding between Papa and I.

We still have no idea what he was afraid of. He still can't answer why questions on any subject. I'll have to look up in my child psychology book when that starts happening.

So maybe we'll have better success with the potty training now. At least I'll know that singing and hand holding might be necessary. But it's so hard for me to be that patient when there's usually a baby crying in the next room.

Mama's memories:

The fresh baked cookie story. After a successful (and probably traumatic) potty episode, we baked sugar cookies for breakfast at like 7:30am. I had a mix packet that needed water and an egg. He helped me stir them up while standing on his stool at the stove.
I let him eat the dough raw (my favorite part, always). He giggled and grinned.
We baked them and watched them change through the oven door. He giggled and grinned.
We pulled them out and ate one while it was nearly too hot. He hesitated at first, but ate the second half of my hot cookie.

Then I got out my glass of milk for the coup de gras. He reached for his usual milk sippy cup. I said, "oh, no. This is the best part. Let me show you how." We sat down on the kitchen floor. I dipped the still warm cookie into the milk and fed him a bite. His little mouth made an O shape, his eyes rolled heavenward, his little hands flexed open, and he pressed his fingers to his neck. Absolutely priceless reaction that I hope I never forget.

We all had cookies for breakfast that morning and I nearly gave myself a tummy ache. Sooo much fun!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment