So... yeah... been busy enough here at work that blogging has fallen by the wayside as I've been working through lunch. D'oh!
Anyway, I thought this next incident was blog-worthy, so here goes!
Milo has been potty training. It has been an excruciating process for the poor lad -- he showed some early interest at 17 months or so and even pooped on the toilet then, but seemed to have decided that once was enough and the evil toilet monster might just gobble him up if he were to sit upon it again. We began to notice him running and hiding to poop a little after his second birthday -- about the time that Violet came around. My pocketbook was eager to reduce our diaper expense by half, so we gently asked our young man if he was ready to try the potty again.
"Nooooo - oooooo - oooo - ooo - oo - o!"
It wasn't as if we were asking him to sacrifice life, limb or Star Wars guys...
As the months rolled by, he continued to respond with panic every time we mentioned the potty -- as if some evil were lurking inside, ready and waiting for little boy bums as a delicacy. In May, Scott and I made a decision that we were not even going to say the word, that we wouldn't make the suggestion when he announced, "I'm pooping!" as he would do with great regularity -- perhaps just to tease our hopes, then dash them as he scooted around the couch, out of reach, so that we couldn't drag him to the greedy toilet monster.
We vacationed to Minnesota, dragging two whole boxes of diapers -- baby-sized ones for Violet, boy-sized ones for Milo. While in Minnesota, we asked our boy what he was going to do for his third birthday. I expected a pretty normal answer -- "Eat cake and open presents!" but was surprised and tickled when he sang, "When I am threeeeee, I am going to go on the potteeeee and give my binkeeeeee to the babieeeeeees who need them!" I recounted this conversation numerous times, but did not truly expect that he would do either as the binky was his comfort object and the potty his mortal enemy.
However, my sweet little boy surprised me when, about a week after his birthday, I asked him if this was the day he was going to give his binky to the other babies. We were walking into Target, trying to avoid the black stickiness of spat out gum, and he said, "Yes. I'm going to bed without my binky tonight." At bedtime, however, he firmly disputed my claim to his intent, though we decided that this was a great opportunity to teach him that you must follow through with what you say you're going to do. So we tucked him in and listen to him cry for about an hour that he missed his binky. Sleep snuck up behind him, though, and captured the night without further incident. And we were now a binky free household...
Emboldened by this success, he awoke one morning with an almost dry diaper. And, without warning or assistance, he marched into the bathroom, removed the diaper, lifted the lid and seat and tinkled in the potty. All by himself and without any suggestion, prodding, or help, for that matter. He flushed and washed his hands and came back out to join us in the other room. We were speechless as he matter-of-factly took his space on the couch -- as if he hadn't just cleared that developmental hurdle. Naturally, there was much cheering and calling of grandparents and hugging and kissing and such. Apparently, all he needed was to think that potty training was his idea, then he was off to the races.
It has been nearly two months and, due to lack of accidents (as in NONE), I feel safe saying he's potty-trained. He's been able to wait long enough to dash to a public restroom or drive the last five miles home. He's even torn himself from play to use the toilet without prompting. He seems to be a pro at this!
Until last night. We were out at Scott's parents and headed out the door to go to Joensy's for supper. Scott asked Milo if he needed to use the bathroom. Nope. I asked Milo if he needed to use the bathroom. Nope. He's used the toilet at grandma's house before, so, even though it's a dated blue throne, he's not afraid of it. He was confident that he did not need to use the bathroom.
Until we are about to turn onto the interstate. From the backseat we hear, "Uh-oh. I'm tinkling!" My head snaps around so fast that my hair swirls to catch up. "You're tinkling right now??"
"No. I have to go tinkle."
Scott sighs, "Milo! I asked you if you needed to go potty three minutes ago. You said 'no' so now you're going to have to wait until we get to the restaurant."
Milo groans, "I caaaan't!" Thirty seconds later, he starts whimpering and squirming in his car seat. Then he starts crying.
Scott and I exchange looks. We've never been in this position before. Milo begins calling, "I have to tinkle! I have to tinkle!" What do we do? We're five minutes from the restaurant, but I don't know if he can make it. We don't have another pair of shorts with us. Plus, I don't want him peeing in my car.
Scott hits the hazard light on the dash and slows the car as he pulls onto the shoulder of the highway. He glances over his shoulder into traffic and hops out, opening the passenger door behind him. He unbuckles our son, then directs him to climb into my seat so I can help him tinkle in the ditch. He's not wearing shoes and I notice a streak of mud on the side of his leg.
I help him unsnap his jeans shorts and pull down his underwear. I grasp him around the waist and set him into the ditchweeds, noticing how sinewy he feels -- that his baby-softness has about evaporated into the muscle-y hardness of a boy. I remind him to not hit my shoes or his clothes and he unleashes a hot stream that instead hits the frame of my car door, then is redirected towards a large yellow flower. Target practice.
The ditch is full of life, spiders and crickets scramble away from us, Liliputian next to Milo's feet. It smells of wild mint and deep grass. Cars scream by behind us, their view of my naked child blocked by the bulk of my husband.
When he's finished, I duck him back into the car, but he is more interested in seeing the spiders, so he protests as Scott packages him back into the safety of his car seat.
As we climb back into the car, an ambulance pulls up behind us, lights flashing. The driver bounds out of the vehicle and approaches our car, his query, "Is everyone OK? We saw you doubled over and wanted to make sure that you weren't hurt or sick."
"No," Scott admits, sheepishly, "We're potty training." The driver smiles knowingly, nods, and heads back to his rig. It was really nice of him to check on our welfare.
But we weren't hurt. Not really. Not if you don't count growing pains.