Friday, February 3, 2012

Training Begins

I promise not to post naked pictures or shots of him using the restroom, but I will tell you that potty training is, by far, one of the toughest things I've had to do in our parenthood journey...  and this is really only day 1.  For months, Daniel has shown signs of being "ready."  Yet when we'd attempt, I'd get so frustrated that I'd call it off.  I hated the messes and the dirty underwear, and I just wasn't willing to do something that was so hard.

Sounds familiar with life, right?!

He's become quite dramatic over dirty and wet diapers lately, so much so that he cannot stand to keep them on.  He'll walk around like a bow-legged cowboy until someone changes his diaper.  AND, in the case that we don't act quickly enough, Daniel is quite capable of undressing himself, pulling off his diaper, and bringing you the wipes.  I'm serious, this kid floors me at times.

I have been telling Brian that the day of potty training has been fast approaching because with our third set to arrive in May, I cannot imagine the cost, frustration, and stinch of having three little boys in diapers.  I really have been talking it up to Daniel as well, because I know he's the type of kid who has to do things on his own.  He is independent, determined, and sassy.  All of which are making this process rather difficult. 

I believe the Lord really is teaching me (even through this messy process) how my strong will gets in the way of His will at times.  I have a tendency to give up on things when they get tough, and I often want to give in if they aren't going just as I planned.  I get mad and angry and throw pitiful fits in my daily life when God doesn't answer my prayers just as I thought He should. 

In fact, I'm learning that life with a toddler is the same way.  Daniel's strong will is getting in the way of my will, and I can try to push this child all day long but until he realizes that what I am doing and asking of him really is best for him, it's just not going to work.  This is just like me with the Lord.  Until I realize that what God has in store for me is best, I'll keep fighting back and giving up.  Why do that when He is the giver of all good and perfect things?!

So, without giving to many details and to spare those not-yet-parents the thrills of this, I'll just share what I've learned thus far with Daniel...  my 21-month-old potty trainee.
  • Getting upset over a mess actually makes me look like the toddler.
  • I wouldn't want make-believe characters all over my undies either.
  • Don't try to convince your child that the aforementioned characters will be angry if they get pee on them.  It doesn't even seem the least bit realistic.  (Daniel actually laughed at me and said, "Nope."
  • Lying to our children about how the potty makes them big kids is pointless.
  • Rewards aren't necessary.  Let's face it, if I train my children to pee with M&Ms and suckers, what am I really teaching them?!  That if you do something everyone in life has to do, you'll get a treat?  That's just not truth.
  • Praise your child when they deserve it.  Don't punish them for something they are just now learning to do. 

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