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Potty Training Or Bust

Potty Training Or Bust

You guys, we survived potty training! The first day was exhilarating. (And no, I never imagined using those two words in the same sentence!)

Potty Training, Day One

Around lunch time, Iren sat down on his potty chair and laughed with delight as he saw pee coming out. “Do some more!” “Do some more!” he squealed. And he did. He’d sit back down, let a few drops out, laugh, and go dump it in the big toilet. Rinse, repeat. Rinse, repeat. 

That first day felt like my first major “mom win.” I needed that. In one sense, I had nothing to do with the day’s success. But in another sense, I did. I researched, prepared, and coached Iren along. At the end of the day, I wrote in my journal, 

“God has equipped me to do my job as a mom well. I long to embrace it and one day soon say without hesitation, ‘Yes, I love being a Mom. Yes, I am content with the lot God has given me.’”

Potty Training, Day Two

The second day was exhausting, just as author Jamie Glowacki warned it would be. 

Iren resisted potty training, and I found myself resorting to bribing him with a pretzel or a piece of Trader Joe’s Pickle Popcorn, because that seemed the only way Iren would agree to go. 

I was much more uptight than I was Monday, and as the day went on I remembered just how important it is not to prompt him continually, and to give him space to have accidents. I wrote in my journal, 

I hope this isn’t telling of future parenting; I need to be okay with him making mistakes. Only God is perfect. 

Potty Training, Day Three

On day three, new help arrived. (Did I mention that I recruited back-up?) The first two days, an unemployed friend joined me to watch Hudson while I trained Iren. For days three and four, my mother-in-law joined me. I wrote in my journal that morning, 

“I see how every day there’s something new to be anxious about. Rather, to trust God for! Today’s area for trust is that Patti will cooperate with our potty training method. Please help us work well as a team today, Father.” 

The day felt like an emotional roller coaster ride, it was all so fast-paced. The highlight of the day was when Iren pooped in his potty as I was reading him a book. We praised him up and down. 

At the end of the day, I recorded, 

“My fear was unsubstantiated: Patti was calm and cool and played according to my potty training rules. She also brought us breakfast and lunch. Amazing. . . . I could never have done this without help. Thank You for sending Patti, God, who also did my laundry and more. Please help me love and bless my future daughters-in-law, should I have them, half as much as she blesses me and our family.” 

Potty Training, Day Four

By day four, I felt confident enough to leave the house for a small test outing. I brought Iren to the library for the first time ever. He had a blast. He asked me to help him get a “ball” (the library had planets hanging from the ceiling). We colored, he made some new friends in the play area, I checked out some books on going to the potty for him, and he went potty on their big toilet. 

A Potty Training Promise I Couldn’t Pass Up On

I knew the real work of potty training was done in just three days. That was the “carrot” that had me drooling when I first heard about the book, Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right

My friend, Caitlin, told me about this method where you could train your kid in just a couple days. That sounded too good to miss out on. So I got the book. (I only discovered recently that it has 1,166 Amazon reviews, so I’m not the only one who has found this author’s advice to be spot on!) 

Psyched Out by Potty Training

At first, what I read psyched me out:

  1. I was supposed to keep my eyes on my two-year-old non-stop for the entire process?! I’m more of a hands-off mom, plus I have a five-month-old, so that just didn’t sound doable. 
  2. I also read that Iren’s success would depend upon me not being stressed out. Ha! Anxiety has been my middle name for years now. So I put it off for a few more weeks. I think I’d rather have changed two kids’ diapers for years than potty train!

But after Iren got blisters a second time from sitting in poo overnight, I knew it was time. Iren was ready; out of love, I needed to do what was best for my boy. The author also explained that it gets harder–not easier, as many believe–the older kids get. So after blocking off a week on my calendar two times, and bailing twice, I finally “set my face like a flint.” No turning back. July 8-13 we would do this. 

And we did! I never could have done it successfully without Jamie’s book. Do yourself a favor and get a copy. If not for you, then for a young mom. The idea of potty training initially made me want to hide in a corner, but this book gave me the confidence I needed to empower my boy to learn a life-skill that he will use for the rest of his life. Thanks, Jamie! 

If You Weren’t Afraid, What Would You Do?

If You Weren’t Afraid, What Would You Do?

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?

That’s the question Typology podcast host, Ian Morgan Cron, posed in an episode I listened to yesterday. I’ve heard a variation of that question before, and it’s such a powerful one! Ian mentioned that he has started a list of what he would do if he weren’t afraid, so I started my list yesterday.

I imagine that when Ian posed that question, he had in mind big feats, like:

  • Climb Mt. Everest,
  • Write that book, or, 
  • Start that business. 

If I Weren’t Afraid, I Would . . .

But when I face that question head on, ordinary tasks come to mind:

  • Pick up a paintbrush,
  • Create a Facebook event page, 
  • Hang a picture frame on a wall,
  • Cut a piece of wood with a machine,
  • Figure out why the video isn’t working on my computer,
  • Etc. 

My lack of confidence isn’t a new revelation; marriage to Trevor has revealed just how dependent and helpless I’ve become. (He’s always trying on new hobbies for size; watching YouTube videos and then renovating our house . . . amazing!) 

Thankfully, Trevor continues to encourage me, “You can do it.” And slooooowly I’ve started to respond, “I know.” 

Goodbye Fear, Hello Freedom

In fact, the other day I was thinking,  I’ve given birth. Twice! Oh, and yes, I’ve written a book. But, I’ve given birth . . . twice! In light of that feat, I sell myself far too short. And I’m finally fed up with playing the role of helpless damsel. 

So while Trevor practiced his sermon last night (he’s preaching on Mark 14:1-11 this Sunday), I pulled the Knackwurst out of the fridge, fired up the grill, and went for it. 

I wonder if you can relate. You don’t have to tell me your answer. But do yourself a favor and ask the question of yourself. What would you do if you weren’t afraid? Are you selling yourself short? Are you walking in the freedom Christ purchased for you, or are you still living as a slave to fear? 

(Happy Independence Day, by the way!)