A guy gave me a break-up mix cd once. A double break-up mix.
It had this song on it by Modest Mouse and it’s been ringing through my head for three days now:
“Hey, haven’t seen you around in a while
I didn’t go to work for a month
I didn’t leave my bed for eight days straight
I haven’t hung out with anyone
‘Cause if I did, I’d have nothing to say
I didn’t feel angry or depressed
I didn’t feel anything at all
I didn’t want to go to bed
And I didn’t want to stay up late
When you’re living your life, well, that’s the price you pay
Whenever I breathe out, you’re breathing it in
Whenever I breathe out, you take it in again
I’m feeling this positive/negative, positive/negative”
Delightful song, isn’t it? It did no good to improve my break-up mood but I did listen to both cds repeatedly. For the record, it had been my turn to end the relationship after we had taken turns breaking up with each other a few times. Those were just false starts. (false ends?) This was it. Kaput. This song = awesome break-up song if you like to give yourself more misery.
Why did this song come up in my head again? Well, it should be the theme song to the famous-on-the-internet potty training method called, “3 Day Potty Training.” Really. After you spend three days straight not leaving the house and asking your daughter 101 times a day to let you know if she has to use the toilet, well, you’ll feel a bit like a zombie. A bit like the song lyrics above. Trust me. At the end of yesterday, Cassidy gave Scarlet a brief break from our three day shut-in status and let her play with the boy next door. I saw them out the window, whooped with delight and ran out the front door and down their driveway yelling, “Thank god! I haven’t taken a picture in three days!” And pictures I took. My next door neighbor is really lovely, in so many ways. She was the perfect first adult face to see in three days. I sat down next to her, shook my head, and pointed to my outfit: hippie shirt, ripped, skinny jeans, extremely bright rainbow-striped socks that say, “My Lucky Socks.” I wasn’t accustomed to being in public. I honestly felt like I had been through a war. I had.
The Potty War, a three-day war or a three-year war, comprised of 101 battles that sound like this:
Us: “Let me know if you have to pee or poop (cringe), ok?”
Her: “Noooooooooooo!” (pees on floor in retaliation)
You may be wondering why we enlisted our only two-year-old in “Potty Boot Camp.” I often wonder that myself. We were in no hurry. She’s not starting daycare or pre-school. There are no big trips on the horizon. We really just did it because we had a three day weekend and it takes three days and neither of us wanted to do any part of it alone. We are mellow parents, as you know. It’s a gentle training method that’s supposed to work if you do it to a “T.” But if for any reason we did it to a “T” and it didn’t work, we would have accepted that answer and waited a few more months. She is only 2.2. I was almost three!
I’m not going to write about the method – that’s for the author of “3 Day Potty Training” to do. Her name is Lora Jensen. And I’d bore myself to tears writing it out. Although, I do believe I could have written it better. It’s a great method. Seriously. I wasn’t the one to think of it and I probably never would have. This woman has five sons that she trained this way. She’s a Potty Genius. I am not. I just found some holes in the writing – mainly, what about life after the three days? She seems to think your child is just magically 100% trained, both for day and night, and that’s that? Cause…there are an infinite number of reactions to this training method because there are an infinite number of children in this world. Lora has never met Scarlet.
And that’s where we come in. As my aforementioned lovely neighbor, Susan, said: “You have to take what you can from these things and then add your own intuition.” It’s as simple, and as complicated, as that.
Here’s what I know. Scarlet is bright, receptive and old enough to control her bladder. We felt ready. She was a good sport. We were exhausted. I went to the bank once for 20 minutes and that was my only non-Bowman human interaction for three days. She understood it all. She wears underwear now and really rocks the look. Well, she rocks any look.
And we do know that there will be accidents and bed-wetting for years… because that’s what kids do!
It was a hard three days. The nighttime was worst. On the first night and the only time this happened, she woke up crying, surrounded by cold pee. This was hard. I was barely awake but my heart was broken. She was cold and wet in the middle of the night and her life was forever changed. The only life she knew for two years – life with diapers – was over. Gone.
But she is resilient. Her whole life is one big alien trip of weirdness. Mostly everything is new when you’re that young. So she gets accustomed fast. She moves on. I’m the one with the broken heart. I must repeat that 17 times. Scarlet is wonderful. This potty training method is wonderful. I was the one not ready, initially. Cassidy was ready. Scarlet was ready.
It hurts a bit, to grow up. It hurts a lot, for me to watch her grow up. Sometimes she hurts. But I hurt worse.
Here are the pictures I took after three hard days without taking pictures. I was rusty. My camera had been in cool a/c for three days and had a tough time adjusting to the soup-like humidity. And, all of my settings were off at first. And, my kid wouldn’t stop moving. And, I’ll stop making excuses. I did the best I could. We all did the best we could.