Saturday, August 29, 2009

Not what I was expecting today.

*Warning, the following is a frank and somewhat graphic discussion of bowel movements. May not be suitable for some readers.*

Quiet Saturday. Katherine took Lyla to Target and Meijer to get the necessities, I stayed home with Will, vacuumed and then had a nice video conference call with 'Pa (aka Katherine's dad, aka Jeff). Katherine and Lyla came home right as Jeff and I were wrapping up so they go to say hi. Lyla really liked seeing 'Pa on the 'puter. Then Katherine fed Will and I went to pring in the groceries.

As I was finishing up I heard Katherine say to Lyla, "You need to poop? Do you want to poop on the toilet?" Lyla said yes, so I took her in there. We've been going through the motions with her as a bit of pre-potty training: If she looks like she's pooping or mentions pooping, we'll ask her if she wants to sit on the toilet and take her in there. Usually, as soon as I set her on, she'll say "All done" and want to get off.

This time was different. This time she sat up there.

We've been talking about potty training for awhile now but have yet to buy any gear for it because we haven't zeroed in on a strategy yet. So Lyla is sitting on the regular seat with me holding her up. She's so tiny that if I were to let go, she'd *kerplunk* right into the toilet.

So she's sitting up there and we're talking about what to do. She notices the toilet paper, so I explain that to her. Then I look and she's making her "pooping" face. It's unmistakable, the strained look she gets as she pushes... well, you know how the mechanics of it work.

So she's pushing, and I'm holding and... poop starts coming out. Right in the toilet. It was awesome... except for the fact that it was poop. Just because it was my little girl, didn't make the actually poop any less, uh, gross.

So she's pooping and I just start crying. I'm yelling out in excitement "great job Lyla!" I'm yelling to Katherine, who is feeding Will in the other room, "She's pooping! She'd doing it!!!" See, part of our strategy is to be as encouraging as possible. We don't want to shame her in any way, so we've been making a big deal about every positive steps she makes toward going potty on the potty. Telling us when she has a dirty diaper is rewarded with congratulatory affirmation. Wanting to sit on the toilet is cheered.

You have to realize, though, that our excitement isn't fake. We have two kids in diapers right now. We change at least 10 diapers a day... maybe more. We're really looking forward to Lyla being potty trained. But again, we're restrained because we don't want to put any undue pressure on her... she's not even two yet.

But this time, I couldn't hold back the emotion. I'm crying, I'm cheering, I'm beaming. It was an onslaught of emotion for me. My little girl growing up. My little girl figuring out how to poop in the potty. My little girl offering Katherine and I some much needed relief of the constant demands of this current situation. I'm pretty sure I heard "Cat's in the Cradle" in the background.

So she poops. She gets down and I wipe for her and we get to wash our hands in the sink. Then I send her out to tell momma what she did (sans pants since I didn't have a new diaper ready). Much rejoicing. Some discussion as to whether or not we should take a picture... we decided against it. Who wants to look at a picture of that, regardless of how significant it is? Hugs. Kisses. High fives. It was a glorious moment in the Ring household.

Chances are that this was a one time thing, that we still have a lot more diapers in the future. But the thing you have to realize is that today offered Katherine and me some hope that one day soon our kids will be potty trained. That our kids are getting older and as much as I don't want my babies to grow up they are able to take care of themselves more and more. We have a long way to go still, but at least we know that it won't always be like this, taking care of two kids under two, twenty four hours a day, seven days a weeks.

And that, my friends, is something to celebrate.