Training Day


Okay. I’m psyching myself up. Tomorrow’s it. The big day. The day Dean says bye-bye to diapers.

It’s go time. (Like, as in “I gotta go, Mom!”)

Hoo-hoo, hee-hee…I feel like a swimmer about to hit the pool. New undies, check. Treats for rewards, check. A full day clear of obligations, check. Pull-ups for night time, check. The proverbial carrot dangling in front of me (i.e., no pooping in the pool this summer,) check.

It’s not like I haven’t done this before. I potty trained Andy at 2 years and seven months. Kate at 2 years and four months. Luke, 2 years and 6 months. I should have a little more confidence, right? I should feel more prepared.

This is usually how it goes: the night before I pour over for the bazillionth time “How to Toilet Train in Less Than a Day,” copyrighted 1976. I scour the house for our one Betsy Wetsy doll, then in a moment of exasperation and dread, I turn to Paul and beg him to do it for me this time, just this once. “But your so good at it!” he patronizes. Then he leaves town on a business trip.

The next morning, I rally, shower, shave and shine before the kids wake up (not my usual MO these days) and dawn my apron with her pockets brimming full with treats, in anticipation of “the sound of music.”

“Today’s the day!” I sing brightly over my toddler as he yawns and stretches. Then I load him up on salty foods and plenty of drinks, drinks and more drinks and some beverages too. By the end of the day, he’s had at least two dozen opportunities to practice his new skill. And after a long, never ending day, a few accidents, and after some serious doubts and a strong desire to call it quits…he gets it. By George, he gets it!!

Then we sing, do our potty dance and go out for ice cream.

Okay, just focus on the ice cream parlor. Double scoop. Waffle cone. You can do this. You can do this. You can do this!!

Oh Paul, won’t you do this one for me, just this once?


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