I heard the bedroom door slam.
I looked around the room and counted three boys. The three big boys. Where was my two year old? Filled with instant suspicion I opened his bedroom door to find him and his guilty looking face of concentration and effort.
“Go mom! Go!” He yelled at me.
Hmmm… His alarming response told me that I should definitely ‘not be going anywhere.’
“It’s potty time man! Come on, we go on the potty, not in our pants, then you get a honey stick!”
“No honey stick. I hiding!” He shot back.
This scenario went on for a few weeks. I’d find him behind the couch crouching.
“No find me!” He would yell.
I’d find him behind the stroller, attempting to seek some peace.
“I hiding!” He would wail.
Poor kid. When you have a family of 6 living in 800 sq. feet, you’re going to have a lot of difficulty finding a safe haven outside of the actual bathroom, which he refused to go in to do his business.
So one day I brought down the old blue training potty from on top of the washing machine. The potty with the little bear on the front of it, and the potty that had been a companion to all three of his big brothers.
I set it down and we stared at it together, his little hand inside of mine. He was wary of it. And he was happy with his current state of lifelong diaper wearing.
I gave him an inspirational speech. I popped a jelly bean in his mouth so that he’d stop crying while he was sitting there. And I handed him his favourite Lightning Mcqueen chapter book written for 7 year olds. The book that he diligently flips the pages in while repeatedly saying, “Oh! My McQueen, go fast!”
And then I gave the boy some space; and do you know what? There wasn’t any crying or protesting this time. Just silence.
It was like I had built him a safe tiny bridge to the porcelain throne. It was like, I had given him the gift of bravery.
Some time later I heard excited shrieks of, “I did it Mom! I did it!”
He had indeed.
We had conquered fears with patience and creativity, good books, and jelly beans.
So naturally the big brothers cheered him on. They on purpose (with some suggestive encouragement from their mom) overreacted with great enthusiasm for their little brother’s accomplishment. It was instantly a party of 5 people cheering and clapping, and I’m pretty sure we texted Dad and called Grandma too.
Even if it seems like an insignificant milestone, over here we choose to make all of our milestones significant together.
He still sometimes forgets and slams the door now and again, which is my loud notification to go and seek him out. But a few days ago he slammed the door and before I could walk over to it, he sheepishly opened it again and stared at me with really large eyes.
All I said was, “Do you need to use the potty?”
He continued to stare at me for a moment more, clearly fighting the battle in his mind of “Should I, or shouldn’t I?”
And then he gave me a little grin and said, “Yeah mom, I go potty. Where my McQueen book?”
And off he ran. One step closer to his diaper free future.