Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Post Potty Training

Ran into my friend Sue the other afternoon in the "Ladies." Had time for a nice little chat, the two of us. If any explanations are necessary, Sue has a three year old daughter. Would have had time to order out for pizza and order a six-pack.

Aidan and Matthew were so suprisingly easy to toilet train (apparently one of the advantages of twins) that it has come as a complete shocker that I now spend more time on their toilet habits than I did when they were both in diapers.

I often spend what seems like all afternoon in the bathroom with one or the other. I even have a little perch, on the corner of the bathtub, with my feet placed up on a stool, right across from the throne itself. It beings when one of my little princes announces, quite delightedly, that he has to go potty. Or pee-pee. But the star attraction is a poo-poo. Because, you see, for this phenomenal event I am expected to drop all that I am doing, rush delightedly into the bathroom and take my seat breathlessly for the thrilling moment. My prince proudly sits himself upon his throne, a serious process that involves getting the training seat off the hook on the wall, lifting the toilet seat, positioning the training seat, hauling out a stool, and finally perching proudly atop the seat.

Next comes the moment of entertainment. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that my prince now has my undivided attention. Hands folded, eyes gazing directly into mine, he proceeds to engage me in deep, meaningful conversation. "Matthew potty" he begins. (To be honest, is IS usually Matthew!) "Yes, Matthew potty" I wearily reply. "Matthew no poo-poo in his pants." he continues, either completely unaware of my disinterest or choosing to disregard it. "No, Matthew no poo-poo in his pants. Matthew poo-poo on the potty." I elaborate. "Matthew big boy." he proudly asserts. And it continues in the same vein until I finally ask if the deed has been accomplished. Usually not, the conversation having been such a scintillating diversion. And so I wait. To be perfectly honest, I have tried bringing in a bit of light reading to pass the time. No such doing. "No Mommy read book." my prince complains, "Matthew potty."

With both of them content to spend such quality time with me, and two other kids besides, the bathroom turns into something resembling Grand Central Station. Ryan comes in with a paper for me to sign for school. Andrew wants help with his spelling homework. And often Damon pops in with a question on afternoon schedules, to find me still perched on my corner of the tub, surrounded by my perfectly contented children. Honestly kids, we DO have a sofa. Which is where the dog spends his time.

Closing the bathroom door happens so rarely that I'm almost insulted when I do find it shut. How are we supposed to coordinate the weekend activity calendar with the door shut? I've tried to close it once or twice myself, but the dog tends to panic if I'm in there alone. And then one, or both, of the twins find me out, running quickly, calling to oneanother in their excitement. "Mommy potty, Mommy potty," they shout down the hallway, just in case anyone has missed this astonishing series of events. One can perch on the seat of honor at the corner of the bathtub and engage me in dialogue. "Mommy pee pee?" he begins. I believe the definition of privacy begins with not having to outline your toilet habits to your three year old.

It's better when I have them both in there with me, standing at my knees, once again completely entranced by what is going on. "Mommy pee pee, " beings one. And the other bends down to make sure. Great. As if the birthing process weren't degrading enough. "Mommy big boy." answers the other. But I really don't feel like getting into it right now and simply agree.

The alternative to having them in there with you though, is NOT having them in there with you. As in when you have two one year olds who refuse to go into the public restroom with you. Which leads either to an awkward meeting with a complete stranger, as you sit with the door open in a vain attempt to keep an eye on the kids, or to meeting a complete stranger carrying one or both of your kids in their arms and wondering what kind of a mother would let her kids wander around the ground floor of the mall on their own like that.

Quality time wih the children. I just didn't think it would mean so much time with our pants down.

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