Friday, June 4, 2010
Depending on How You Look at It
Last Friday was either a high-light or a low-light of my motherhood.
WARNING: If you don't like reading about potty training, don't bother reading this.
We've been discussing and working on potty training off and on with Sambo for a couple of months now. he was about 90% pee trained a couple of months ago, but we weren't really serious and didn't really make it a priority. (And by "we" I mean "G.") So, that fizzled. He never would poop, which wasn't a huge deal because that's how Buddy was potty trained too.
However, I know he's totally capable of getting fully potty trained. I don't believe in potty training where the parents take control and ask the child 100 times a day if they have to go. He's not that sort of kid anyway. Things have to be his idea. As stubborn as our firstborn is, this little one is a lot worse. So Friday I got to thinking that if I gave him a good enough reason to poop on the toilet, maybe he'd do it. I know he can do it! And really none of this matters so much because I love having him be baby-like but his diapers are FOUL.
We had just sent Buddy off to school on the bus on Friday. It's always a bittersweet time of day for Sambo because he LOVES school buses and looks forward to seeing it drive up everyday. But it's really sad that Buddy goes off to school without him. Most days Sambo gets his backpack and fills it with a snack just like Buddy. And every day he tries to convey -- in his very broken English -- that he wants to ride the bus with his backpack and snack too.
That's when I got the idea. I told him that only big boys ride the bus. And if he wants to be a big boy and ride the bus he has to go poop on the toilet. Well, wouldn't you now, he took off his backpack, took off his pants and dropped a small load right then and there in the toilet. We had to run some errands and after the errands came a nap. After his nap I told him that I was going to take him on a bus ride, but first he had to get the rest of his poop out. So he sat down and went. Got it all out.
There were cheers and there was jubilation! We ate candy and partied like it as 1999. But then it hit me that now I needed to pay up and take him on a bus ride. So I looked up the public bus system online and figured out a plan. When G came home from work we determined that he would drop us off at a transit center just outside of Portland. I'd ride the bus downtown with the kids, get off and transfer to another bus, then we'd ride across the bridge to OMSI, the science museum for a movie (we had free passes that were expiring later that weekend.) G would meet us there with the car. It sounded like an adventure I was marginally willing to take on, but within minutes we were in the car.
Luckily I had just come off my vacation in NYC where we rode subways several times a day because taking my small boys by myself in the pouring rain on an outing on public transportation at night wouldn't be my usual choice of fun. But to say Sambo had a wonderful time would be a gross understatement. A very obese woman thought it would be fun to ruffle his hair right when we walked on the bus. She kept calling him "fat head" and even told us how to say fat head in Spanish. I literally had to say, "OK. I think that's enough" to get her to stop rubbing his head. And then the bus driver went on a 5-minute tirade to herself about how bicyclists never obey the rules of the road then they wonder why people hit them with their cars. And then I realized I had bought the wrong zone pass. And then we got off on the wrong stop and had to call G to come pick us up so we wouldn't have to walk a mile in the rain. Otherwise, it was enjoyable. Sambo kept shouting "WOW!" and "BUS!" about 3000 times and of course this was Buddy's first crack at public transportation so he had about 4000 questions. So based on their enthusiasm, I guess I'd call the outing a huge success.
Except Sambo hasn't pooped on the potty since.