The Aftermath of Independence

Posted on by jen

author’s note: Skip this topic if you are, say, in the middle of lunch. Also, props to Lis for letting me talk about poop in a public forum.

We’re in that awkward stage of potty training where Spencer is learning to wipe. Because at first, of course, children master the act of getting the goods into the potty. But they are in no way able to do the clean-up job. Nor would we want them to try. So we moms and dads do the dirty work, reminding ourselves that it is better than a diaper blow-out.  Purse your lips tightly and try not to let your eyes water.

Anyhoo. This is my third child, I have run out of attention span. So I generally pop his bum on the potty and walk away to enjoy other pursuits while he works out the details. Eventually, the sweet cry of, “Mommy! Wipe my butt!!” bellows from the bathroom. Ah, children are precious miracles. Good job bend over wait one more here let’s wash hands ok now you can go play.

Well, the other day, as I am lounging with a magazine and a box of chocolate in the living room, Spence trots up to me and says, “I wiped all by myself.” I do not remember hearing water run. I’ll take a moment while the ramifications of those two sentences sink in.

While the immature part of my personality wanted to yell, “eeewwww! Don’t touch my chocolate!!!” the parent in me took over. “Good job. Hey, let’s go wash our hands together.”

So he washes, I clean. Then I clean some more. Because let’s face it, kids are gross.

Potty training has been more of a challenge with this child than with my other two combined. I’ll save the rant about soggy sheets for another day. But the fact that he’s starting to handle his own clean-up is a good sign we’re in the home stretch. Also a sign the Bluegill room has been working on independence skills, which I appreciate very much. (Having been through the kindergarten years, I know it’s not over yet. But I also know my EC3 kids were way better prepared for that level of DIY than many other tots.)

Frankly, this transitional period is really hard. It’s one of those cases where it’s less work for me to do it myself, than it is to clean up the aftermath of independence. I’d get back to my magazine way faster. My goal now is to have enough patience to allow him time and space to practice, and the attention span to direct him to hand washing BEFORE he leaves the bathroom.

I guess Mommy’s back on the job. Wish me luck. Let me know if you’d like to borrow my magazine and space on the couch. I won’t be needing them for a while.

This entry was posted in Parent Perspective. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *