Warning: this entry talks a lot about bodily functions. I type the word poop far more often that I have ever desired to.
We are in the throes of potty training Child #3 at the moment. Matthew is 2 1/2 and is right in the middle of the process. I should mention here that I hate, hate, HATE potty training. You gotta do it, they gotta learn it, but man, it is SO FRUSTRATING. Two steps forward and one step back, over and over and over again. In the grand scheme of childhood, it really doesn't last very long, but in the moment, it feels like you will be rinsing out poopy underwear for the REST OF YOUR LIFE.
True to form, each one of the children has approached the process in a unique way. Joshua was very methodical. We set up a reward chart with stickers and trips to the Dollar Tree and all the trimmings. He liked the process and he liked staying clean. What he did NOT like was "being stinky" - that is, going poop in the potty. He would wait every night till we put his nighttime diaper on him to do that business. It was frustrating, but he eventually broke free of that. The last hurdle was overnights, and that took him quite a while - into his kindergarten year. (Someday, he will hate that this is published.) He has finally arrived at the point of bathroom independence, and we couldn't be happier.
Anna, of course, had no method to her madness. She was all over the place. She took forever to get trained just because we couldn't quite nail down her pattern - being Anna, her typical pattern was no pattern at all. She eventually figured it out, and oddly enough, she got the nighttime thing a whole lot faster - she just started Pre-K, but she is completely diaper free. Who-hoo!
And then there is Matthew.
This brings us to our story of the night.
Matthew, the laid back one, really just can't care less what is in his pants. He's doing all right with the #1 process, although the adult in charge generally has to be the initiator and take him every hour. The problem lies in the #2 area. Unlike Joshua, who hated being dirty, and Anna, who would often cry at her perceived "failure," Matthew has absolutely no problem just going ahead and doing his business right in his pants. Not only that, he usually won't get around to telling us about the problem - we have to discover it on our own. After all, no skin off his nose, or any other part of him, for that matter.
So tonight I discovered that he had, once again, used his underwear as his own personal toilet, and I hauled him into the bathroom for the cleanup and post-poop analysis. Sean followed us in for support.
"Matthew," he said in his best Daddy voice, "where do we go pee and poop?"
"In the big boy potty," Matthew said happily.
(At this point I had to start coughing to cover up the laughter because, dangit, he's just so cute.)
"Yes Matthew," I chimed in "and did you make a good choice or a bad choice?"
"Bad choice," he answered nonchalantly.
"Matthew," Daddy continued, "we want you to make the good choice. It makes us sad when you choose to poop in your big boy pants."
At which point Matthew answered:
"But it makes ME happy!"
At which point I had to dive behind the shower curtain to hide the fact that I was busting a gut trying not to laugh.
Matthew started giggling. He thought the whole thing was hilarious.
Daddy hung his head in dispair.
We'll get there...I know we will...in time...
Just not tonight!