Monday, May 7, 2012

Don't tell Ethan...

...but we've casually slid back into the world of potty training learning!

There is a standing "joke" among families of chronically ill children that you don't mention your plans around said kids.  "Home" becomes "the h-word" and it never failed that when we talked of going there, something would happen and keep us in the hospital another 10 days.  Want to brag about how well they're doing and plan a weekend getaway to celebrate? A bone-eating infection will set in and cancel those plans.

It sounds silly, I know, but I haven't even called the grandparents with the "he's wearing underwear!" news for fear that it will totally jinx the past couple of days.  Not that I worry he'll get sick, but just that my mentioning of the subject will stop him in his tracks.

But, I'm here to tell y'all - my boy has grown up a thousand percent on me since Saturday afternoon! It all started when I heard a funny noise coming over the monitor.  I quickly recognized it as the sound of the velcro tabs on his diaper being removed, and I ran up the stairs before things could get messy.  What happened after I walked in his room blew me away - it went a little something like this:

Me: "Hey buddy.  You're naked! Why did you take off your diaper?"
Ethan (handing me his diaper): "Here, Mama.  I don't like my diaper."
Me: "You don't? Why not?"
Ethan: "Because I want to say, 'bye-bye diaper'.  I want underwear."
Me: "Well.  OK, then."

And that was it.

He's been in underwear since about 2:00 Saturday afternoon and, while he's had major amounts of accidents, I'm just glad he's actually going.  Compared to our experience two and a half months ago, this is totally encouraging and reassuring!

It's kind of ironic that all of this is coming just days after I bought and began reading The No-Cry Potty Training Solution by Elizabeth Pantley.  This book has completely changed the way I think about this experience and I know, without a doubt, that I'm much more relaxed and patient this time around.  I know there are some of you out there who are also in this phase of life with your little one, so I want to share an excerpt from the book that really struck me.
"Consider your expectations when teaching your child something new.  When teaching him to draw a picture, what do you expect will be the first thing he'll put down on paper? A family portrait? No, it's a scribble! And you'll delight in his effort and post his artwork on the refrigerator door.  Over time, and with practice, that scribble will take shape until eventually your child will draw circles and squares and soon houses, people, and animals.

Now think about this next new event in your child's life: toilet training.  You can, and should, approach toilet training the same way that you do any other new skill - step-by-step, over time, with joy, kindness, and patience." 
-p. 14, The No-Cry Potty Training Solution by Elizabeth Pantley
Wow.  It seems so elementary, but it took me reading those exact words for it to click.  With everything else our children do - walking, talking, reading - we give them ample time and space to learn it, and applaud each small milestone along the way.  Why should learning to use the bathroom be some rushed occasion, dumping all kinds of pressure on parents and kids in the process?

Not to mention the fact that I pray the fruits of the spirit over Ethan and myself on a daily basis, but was majorly forgetting about them in this process.

Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control.

That's good stuff, my friends! Just showing grace to myself and being OK with the fact that this won't happen in a day is huge.  Taking a step back, forgetting about how "everyone else does it", and giving Ethan what he needs - with joy, kindness, and patience - is freeing and, dare I say it, fun!

If y'all had been around for the potty dance party we had last night, you'd know exactly what I mean.

Today has gotten off to a great start, too.  We are currently 3 and 1, with the successes standing tall over the accident.  He's proud, I'm proud, and I think we'll call the grandparents now!


Carolina Carters said...

Woot woot! Go Ethan, go!! (In the potty, of course! ;)

Kim Smith said...

Way to go, Ethan! When we attempted potty training with Palmer, I spoke on the phone with a counselor and she said to remember that, for toddlers, learning to use the potty is the same as learning to walk and talk. You can't make them do it before they're ready; they will do it in their own time, and I have found that to be true. I'm so glad that it's going so well. Awesomeness!

Tara said...

Yay Ethan!! I am right here with you my friend!! Cheers and prayers for you on this journey! Love that quote you posted too...there is a LOT of learning going on for me as well with our potty training experience...more than I expected!

Becca said...

hooray! :-)

Anonymous said...

....and the grandparents are very proud of Ethan and his parents!!

How cool was that... I don't like my I will never forget that one!!

Love you guys,
Grandma A

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