It challenges my mothering abilities.
It weakens my motherhood confidence.
It shakes all the ideals that I stand for.
It questions my very being.
It fills me with self doubt.
It’s toilet training.
“Ok, today’s the day! You’re going to be toilet trained!” I enthusiastically told my three year old.
“No, not today,” he casually answered. “When I’m six, I’ll get toilet trained. I’m not ready yet.”
Now, in my book, a kid that can answer with such eloquence is a kid who should be long toilet trained.
But apparently, this little boy doesn’t go by my book.
I’ve got all the charts in place and the bribes lined up. I’m ready to go; problem is, he isn’t.
And that brings me back to square one.
What if I don’t succeed at this?
Will my kid figure it out?
Or will my kid be the first one to go to high school in a pamper?
No, it can’t happen. It won’t happen.
I know it won’t happen.
But still, I worry. Still, I doubt myself.
And then I meet my dear friend who nonchalantly laughs at the ease of training her 18 month old. I laugh along, half heartedly. And then she tells me about her mother’s neighbor’s nieces friends who trained their 18 month old.
I refuse to believe her. Not when I’m trying to train my 40 month old.
So no, in my mind her 18 month old is not toilet trained. And neither is her mother’s neighbor’s whatever. And I don’t believe it’s possible either.
But will I fail the motherhood test? Will I get a big F on my motherhood report because my 3 ½ year old is still in a pamper?
Will I get marked for effort, at least?
I think I should get A+ for effort.
The truth is, maybe I should put in more effort.
But I don’t have time for more effort. There’s still the rest of the kids who need some attention too. And I can’t cook meals while hanging out in the bathroom.
But I am trying.
Maybe not hard enough.
Maybe if I tried harder he’d be toilet trained at 18 months.
No, that’s not possible anyway.
Unless you become a slave to the bathroom, and basically move in.
But maybe it is possible.
Maybe I should force him.
Maybe I should have let him cry for hours last week, when we had failed attempt #5.
Maybe I shouldn’t have compromised.
But I don’t believe in forcing.
So maybe I do get an F for effort, too.
But that’s not fair!
I got all my kids dressed today. I made fresh supper. I let the kids use their water paints today.
Toilet training isn’t the most important thing anyway.
But maybe it is. Maybe I’m just not cut out for this.
Maybe my kid will be the first to go to elementary school in pampers.
It’ll be his fault, not mine.
No, it will be mine.
I should have done it at 18 months.
It’s not possible anyway.
I look at my four big kids. All successfully toilet trained. It boosts my confidence, and jolts me back to reality.
Right, I do know how to do this!
So what am I so worried about? Do I really think I can’t do it?
Or is it something else?
Maybe I’m just sick of getting unsolicited toilet training advice.
Yes, that’s it.
That is it! Enough theory sharing when I didn’t ask. Enough tsk-tsk looks when moms notice he’s not potty trained. Enough tips and tricks that don’t work for everyone. Enough comparing. Enough analyzing. Enough unhelpful support.
I am cut out for this. I will not get an F.
And when he’s ready, it’ll work.
I’ve done it before. I am capable. I can do it. I will do it. At the right time.
And he’s happy. That’s really what’s most important of all.
And he’s an eloquent talker.