[on a scale from wit to whimsy: Ticklish Funny]
We’re in the middle of my favorite chic-but-cheap superstore when my four year-old gets that look on his face. “No!” I yell, to the consternation of a lady who’s trying to pick out perfect melons.
I think hard…I have a cart full of groceries, no diaper bag, and exactly twenty minutes to pay out, load my stuff into the car, and be at the pick-up line at my oldest son’s school.
I know what you’re thinking. Four years-old and still not trained? Trust me, I feel the same way. We’ve tried everything with son #2:
• the encouragement technique: “You can do it!”
• the peer-pressure technique: “Doesn’t everyone else in your class wear underwear?”
• the shaming technique: “Only babies go in their diapers.”
• and finally, the bribe technique: “If you go number two in the potty, we’ll buy you ANYTHING you want from the store.” (By the way, the price limit of said reward has escalated in recent months. He could ask for a live pony now and I might say yes.)
Nothing has worked. I’m not Catholic, but this sure seems like Purgatory—or at least, one of Dante’s circles of Hades. According to my extensive (okay, two-minute) Wikipedia research, there is actually a level where people are covered in human…never mind.
The other day, I sat in the bathroom across from our little man, doing my best to affirm him. “You can do it!” I said.
Then I got so desperate for victory that I started chanting, “Push it out, push it out, w-a-a-a-a-y out!”
I’m on the edge here, people.
Back to the store. In one of those “can’t believe I’m doing this” moments, I decide that paying for groceries is more important than letting my little angel have another teachable moment.
I can stand the smell for a few minutes. I’m just not sure my cashier will be too happy about it…still, we’re in a part of town I don’t frequent too often, so I’m not that concerned.
I am concerned that this trial of parenting patience and stamina will never be over. That’s why it’s so nice to know that I’m not alone. In my saner moments, I remember that parents have potty-trained their offspring for thousands of years, and they survived the process. Maybe with a few extra grey hairs, but still.
I also know that my son is growing up fast, and he won’t be at this juncture forever. So I’m peddling for patience, gritting my teeth, and shelling out hard-earned cash for glorified diapers.
And I remind myself of a cliché that seems terribly, pun-fully appropriate here:
This, too, shall pass.
Photo by JeepersMedia, Creative Commons, via Flickr.4