Friday, August 26, 2005

Making the Bladder, Gladder

Rejoice and sing out; my son is potty trained! He now has the ability and interest to tell us when he has to relieve himself. If this seems silly to you, come talk to me after your child is three.

Truth be told, I loved diapers. Unless an odor prompted you to change the things, you could go hours without having to think about it. Naps were the perfect time to say, “Oh, I guess I should change this four pound urine sack.”

For the past three months, day care has been practicing the art of bladder control. Their timely regiments are as precise as a drum corps. When Corey was at home, his moms would follow similar practices and the instruction continued, encouraging all the proper actions.

But come to Daddy & Pop-pop’s house for the weekend and everything would be lost and revert back to the beginning. We truly were disastrous in the art of toilet-training.

First, let me just say that kiddie underwear is awesome in the fact that they have characters all over them. When he comes over, his duffle bag contains Shrek, Buzz & Woody and Nemo under shorts. The kid even has his own boxers!

The first weekend at our house, we practiced with underwear, and the adventure lasted a whole 4 minutes. I was groggy, changed him out of his night-time diaper and brought him downstairs. “Do you have to pee?” I asked.

“No,” he said. (Good enough for me.) “Okay, go ahead and play with toys while daddy gets coffee.”

(Count with me the 45 seconds it took until yells came from the living room.)

“Daddy, I go pee-pee.”

Smack dab in the middle of the living carpet, was the off-yellow circle beginning to increase in diameter. Mentally, I make note that we’ll need another set of matching leather ottomans to cover yet another spot on the rug.

Day one was awful. We’d ask him to pee but he wouldn’t want to. Then I came up with the brilliant idea that I would have him watch me go and like tom Sawyer, that would encourage him. That worked well until at one point, Larry noticed Corey was fidgeting.

“Corey, want to watch daddy go pee pee?” he offers.

I look over panicked. “Um, daddy doesn’t need to pee pee. In fact, daddy couldn’t squeeze a drop of liquid out if he tried.” Trust me when I say that passing a kidney stone would have been easier than what attempted.

Of the seven pair of underwear that were packed, we managed to use six by dinnertime. It is important to explain that ‘boy parts’ need to be aimed, not just taken for granted that they are always pointing in the ideal direction. I’ve learned to appreciate that once tiny gap between the bowl and the toilet seats. You’d be amazed how an accurate aim can soak a pair of jeans and Bob the Builder boxer/briefs.

It also seems that communication regarding the amount of beverages consumed is crucial between parents. We literally flooded this poor kid with liquid that was releasing at record speeds.

So on day two, we set kitchen timers to remind us; one hour if drinking, two if not. It was the Paul Revere of potty-training. Buzzers went off constantly. The system worked well and the kid stayed dry. Though it left others confused.

Late in the afternoon, the familiar ‘buzz’ rang through the kitchen.

“Corey, time for pottie,” announced Larry. At once, I realized how Pavlovian our lives had become.

I looked over in despair. “Sweetie, that’s actually the chicken. It’s done.”


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