Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Hallelujah! Woe is Me.
On Sunday, exhausted from a long week, and drained from church services, I got down on the floor to change Conor's diaper. The contents made me want to wretch, and I said out loud, "Okay, Conor, this is gross. I don't want to do this any more. It's time for you to be a big boy and go poo-poo in the potty."
He did, after all, just turn 3. And while he's been going potty periodically like a big boy for a year now, the games were over. I decided it was time to get serious.
Originally, it had been my summer goal to get him potty-trained. But summer didn't happen as I had planned, and other things snatched my attention and emotional reserves.
But Monday morning, as I pulled back in the driveway after taking the big kids to school, I thought to myself, "Jenna, just do it. Both feet in. Just think: this can all be over in 3 days! So you'll have three days of accidents and laundry. In 3 days it will be over!"
I marched Conor in and took off his pants. And his diaper. He looked confused.
"It's time, Conor. You are a big boy now, and big boys go pee-pee and poo-poo in the big potty."
I'd never done the naked thing before, but I didn't want to mess around, and training pants seemed, in the past, to give him a false sense of security.
He was praised with hugs and kisses (and a gummy worm) for each successful big boy potty time. He was rewarded with episodes of Sponge Bob, which is, of course, a big boy show.
He didn't have a single accident all morning. But come naptime, not knowing what to do, I diapered him up and sent him to bed. A double whammy, almost immediately. Yuck.
Yesterday, he graduated to big boy underwear. Which he kept dry all day. And during naptime. And, I just discovered, all night long. (I wasn't messing around.) I am so proud of my little big boy.
And as I walked through the kitchen, my heart filled with jubilation that yes, we may finally be out of the diaper stage, (and think of the money I'll save!) the full reality of that statement hit me like a two-by-four right in my mommy heart, and I burst out in tears.
No diapers means no baby. Could it be that that stage is really over? I mean, trying to face the facts, I realize that there may not ever be another baby to diaper. Of my own, anyway. And that feels incredibly sad to me.
Thinking about this, I believe that the real work of mothering doesn't happen in full swing until a mother is required to provide for more than just the physical needs of her children. But at the same time, nothing makes a mother feel more mommy-ish than having a baby. And now, hiding behind the baby stage is coming to a close. We've already put away so many of the relics of babyhood. The diapers were the last to go. And with them, a piece of my heart, which will always crave a baby in the house.