A friend on Instagram recently posted “What are you grateful for today?” and for me, the answer came very quickly: Change.
By this point in life, most of us have been through some pretty major changes — from cross-country moves, to marriages, to divorces, to loved ones dying, to children being born, to career changes — it’s endless. When I think about the changes in my life that were most terrifying, underneath was often a kernel of hope and excitement.
Recently, we’ve experienced two big changes that, while not earth-shattering, certainly affect all of us in fundamental ways.
First: Both S and W have learned to use the potty. We’re in the process of getting S through the night, but he’s been diaper-free for about three weeks. W still wears a diaper at night but she’s stopped wearing them for naps and we’re going to a tackle overnight soon. But friends, the math is undeniable: ONE DIAPER PER DAY.
One a day, baby!
Yesterday, we put away the changing pad. The diaper pail is about to go bye-bye. I put the various diaper bags into donation piles. OH. MY. GOD.
Now believe — we still have the occasional accident where neither Corey nor I is fast enough to get them where they need to go. But the thought process, the connection of Oh I feel this and I need to go there to take care of it is real. And there is definitely no going back now.
My dear friend Jen recommended the book Oh Crap, Potty Training and I loved it. The tone, the process, the psychology, everything made sense to me. More importantly - it works.
Like everything else with parenting, potty learning takes determination, vigilance, patience, a sense of humor, and fortitude. From everyone. We are so proud of the kids for tackling this and for learning in their own ways.
I am consistently amazed at how things can seem in stasis for an interminable amount of time. You drift around your life thinking sweet jesus this will never change and then, suddenly, it does. And while I know the value of appreciating this time, this stage in their lives, I bid diapers adieu without a shred of nostalgia.
S also started preschool this month, and while he’s definitely doing better each morning, I’m waiting for the day when saying goodbye to him doesn’t feel like getting punched in the heart. He’s only been attending for seven days and I know this is a transition that can take time but UGHHHHHHITSUCKSITSUCKS. Like, the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end for a couple hours after I’ve left him.
However. That kernel of hope and excitement I mentioned. Exhibit A - I’m writing this post. And hopefully will be able to write more, now that one kiddo is busy all day and the other is, well, just one kiddo.
And according to his wonderful teacher, S recovers quickly and has a great day. I know this is true because when he talks about school, he tells us about the many, many things he does that he enjoys. He often describes his lunch as “delicious.” That pretty much does it for me.
I know how good this is for him, for all of us. We are lucky to be able to give him an opportunity to thrive without us. With new adults and social situations and challenges that will expand his mind and heart.
But, ouch, mine.
Maybe the changes are a little more earth-shattering than I thought.