Friday, April 20, 2012

Best Birthday Present EVER!

Last Friday was my birthday. Yes, Friday the 13th. (I feel it's important to mention that I came into the world on a Wednesday, which carries far fewer superstitious concerns.) I'm at the point in my life where I don't really get many birthday gifts anymore. That's okay. Most of the things I want (a Diane Von Furstenberg dress, a beach house, the chance to sleep in until 9 a.m. just once) are not really feasible anyway. That's why the unexpected surprise I got during my birthday week was so incredibly awesome.

I was picking the girls up from school and happened to look on the chart on the closet door. It lists things like how long each kiddo napped, her mood and her bathroom behaviors on that particular day. In the potty slot, it said in big letters "Alexa is ready for big girl underwear!"

YES! Finally! I started having visions of all the things I could buy with the $50-$75 a month I would save without having to purchase gigantic economy boxes of diapers and pull ups from Target each month! WooHoo! Babysitter money!

Under the exciting note about Lexie's panty prospects, the teacher had written in smaller letters something to the effect of "Yeah, Avery's not really ready yet, but if you want to start her at the same time, we can do that." Um, no thanks. I may masquerade as Super Mommy, but there are seriously only so many simultaneous accidents I can handle at once. Plus, I'm not sure there are enough pairs of Yo Gabba Gabba panties available in the world to outfit both of the Wonder Twins during this special time of transition.

So, Avery is waiting. It's actually part of our super secret strategy to get Avery to go. Geof and I hope that by letting her see Lexie succeed at toilet training, she'll want to follow suit. For once, the leader of this dynamic duo will become the follower. At least, that's our plan.

So far, this approach seems to be working. Avery has peed once in the potty at school this week, which is huge, and she's tried to put Lexie's Minnie Mouse underwear on over her shorts. She cried when we told her to take them off. "No! I want some!" Nope. Not until you bid diapers bye-bye and get serious about potty time. It's the old "you want what you can't have" mentality. Sort of like me and size 2 pants.

Lexie is definitely unknowingly aiding and abetting our plan to get Avery potty trained. She started wearing her big girl panties last Friday and has been doing impressively well ever since. There have been accidents, but like Elmo says in his potty training DVD, "Accidents happen, and that's okay."

Don't get me wrong. Cleaning up after the accidents is not my favorite thing in the world. But, I understand it's a necessary evil and a means to an end. Sometimes, though, it's really gross. Let me give you an example.

On Saturday, Geof went golfing, so I took the twins to the Knightdale Public Library for storytime. Mommy did not check the schedule before leaving, so I was unpleasantly surprised to learn after we arrived that the library is not having Saturday morning storytime in April. Fail.

Instead, we made a craft out of a paper plate and cruised the aisles for books about animals, Sesame Street and mice who eat cookies. With the librarians' help, we checked out five stories without disrupting too many of the other patrons. (It's hard to maintain the tomblike silence in a library when you're traveling with two toddlers.) At the librarian's recommendation, we then took a walk on the pond-side trail next to the library.

I knew that it was probably not too smart to be that far away from a potty (the woods doesn't count in this scenario, since we're not camping or on a Farmhouse fraternity hayride), but I took them to see the water anyway. On the way back to the car, Lexie said, "Mommy, I need go potty." My response to try and beat the pee? "Run!" I yelled.

The twins went thundering down the path to the parking lot. I scooped them up and hustled back into the library (I know all the old people were thinking, "No! It just got quiet in here!") and straight to the potty. I corralled the girls into the handicapped stall, which is the only one large enough for all three of us and the enormous diaper bag full of spare pants, and got Lexie turned around appropriately in front of the commode.

Just as I was breathing a sigh of relief and feeling victorious over Lexie's bladder, there it came. A puddle around her feet. ARGH.

When you think about bathroom accidents, you think wet pants, wet underwear. Oh, no. It's much more than that. It's wet socks and wet Crocs, Lexie's primary shoe of choice.

So, here I am trying to mop up the pee, remove the soaked clothing and footwear, get Lexie on the potty and yell at Avery for crawling under the stall door and repeatedly flushing every commode in the restroom all at the same time. 

Probably 20 minutes later - after threats of Time Out and no lunchtime trip to see Ronald McDonald - we left the bathroom with clean hands, dry clothes and minimal remaining patience. (Well, that was only me.)

I had to laugh when a woman witnessing this ordeal in the restroom commented, "They're so much fun at this age. Enjoy it while you can." I must have looked at her like she had four heads, because she quickly added, "My son is 17." I replied, "Bless your heart."

I'm sure when Avery and Lexie reach their teenage years, Geof and I will look back on life, say "Remember when we thought potty training was hard?" and burst into laughter. It's similar to our response to people who talk about how hard raising one child is.

We'll get through it some day, but only after doing copious amounts of laundry and enjoying some premium adult beverages.

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