How Do You Spell Sucker? M-O-M

4 Mar

Whine: Foolishly entered the mall for lunch/shopping sans diaper bag, which of course guaranteed that at least one of my children would need a diaper change. So Big Sis ended up shopping The Gap completely commando. (Like this.)

Cheese: Not only did we make it through The Gap clean and dry, Big Sis actually used the mall potty to go #2 (after she used her pull-up first, of course).


All along, I’ve been telling myself that Big Sis just wasn’t ready. That her mind-body connection is just not as strong as other kids. That she would one day, maybe a little later than your average kid, magically discover the hidden processes involved and ‘poof’ be potty trained.

Not so much.

On one hand, I was right. It does take her longer to learn a new physical skill than her peers. Jumping, dancing, and even coloring all came a little later to her. And I’m usually ok with that. She’s way ahead in other areas: the kid loves maps so much, she could probably tell you the route from here to Kansas if you asked.  But ask her to jump on her trike and ride down the street–you’ll get a blank stare.

In fact, she took quite a while to learn how to actually go pee. And so it was no surprise to me that she was taking a while in the other department. I thought I might just have to send her to Kindergarten in a pull up. I mean, how do you motivate a kid who has a better poker face than a brick wall? When Mr. Dad (whose fault this is anyway, as he is the original brick wall) finally discovered the magic formula for her, she started going. On the potty.

So here I was believing that she wasn’t ready, that she’s just a little girl and I really shouldn’t rush her, and she really could do it after all. But here’s the thing, in cases like this, it’s really hard to tell when the not-quite-sure-how-this-potty-thing-works stops and the yeah-I-really-couldn’t-care-less begins. And that’s motherhood. You root for your kids and believe the best about them because that’s your job (and because they’re so darn cute and wonderful, too).

But sometimes rooting for your kids means telling them they can (and have to) move on to the next thing whether they like it or not. That the next thing is wonderful and awesome and way more fun than this thing we’re doing now. That although it’s hard and scary, it’s worth it to grow up. It’s difficult to know when to coddle and when to push. When to believe them that they really can’t do it and when to ignore your inner sucker and make them do it anyway. But that’s the mystery of parenting, and if I’ve erred on the side of being too soft, I’m ok with that because I’m learning too.

We are still navigating the end of the Diaper Era, but I see the dawn of Time of the Big Girl Panties on the horizon, and it looks wonderful.

6 Responses to “How Do You Spell Sucker? M-O-M”

  1. Mike Widner March 4, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

    Sarah, I’m just happy that we didn’t have to worry about that question (to push or not?) with Miles. One day, he declared that he wanted to start using the toilet and it’s been pretty smooth since then (a few accidents, but that’s no big deal). Once they’re potty-trained, though, it is quite wonderful.

  2. Sars March 4, 2009 at 3:10 pm #

    thanks for the affirmation, although I’m quite jealous of the easy potty training. I often wonder if I’m doing all this work only to end up thinking it was easier to leave her in diapers.

  3. Megan March 4, 2009 at 6:23 pm #

    E still has to be prodded and bribed to go… There’s even a term given by peds for this – potty-training resistance. So you’re not alone!

  4. rachelle March 4, 2009 at 8:30 pm #

    love it! she is a smart cookie and so are you. keep on blogging!

  5. Shireen March 4, 2009 at 11:40 pm #

    Sarah D – I love that you have a blog and what a delightful corner of the www it is! 🙂
    Cute story…even though you’re a sucker mom…hehehehe
    Happy potty-training!

  6. Sars March 10, 2009 at 9:43 pm #

    Meg-Thanks for the tip–I promptly looked up the term. We have finally turned the corner, though, I think. Phew.

    Chelle-thank you so much for your faithful cheerleading (in blogging and life in general)

    Shireeny- YAY! Thanks for stopping by.

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