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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Potty Training... aka Mommy Training

"Mommy I'm poopy. Change me." I sigh and start to change my now three year old's diaper. We just can't seem to conquer this potty training thing. We are trying everything... sticker charts, m&m's, wearing panties for days, setting a timer to keep our potty times regular, watching potty time Elmo dvd's over and over. At a friend's suggestion, I have even tried making the twins wash out their own poopy panties in the toilet! They were grossed out, but obviously not enough to bring change.

So when I open this kid's pull-up, I am surprised. It is clean and empty except for a small Winnie the Pooh toy. I pull it out and say, "Baby, you aren't dirty, this is just a toy in your pants." To which she responds with uproarious laughter, "But Mommy, I pooped a "Pooh!" Oh. My. Surely if you are old enough to be this witty, you are old enough to use a potty!!! I admit I did get a good laugh though...

If you are old enough to change your own poopy diaper without telling anyone, you probably shouldn't be wearing one either, right? And how about if you can hide in the closet and pee in the preschool snack bucket which you then hide under the dining room buffet for hours? Doesn't that indicate some readiness? What's really bad is that one day they had changed themselves after a nap (I knew because they confessed and because of the poop on the wall), but I could only find one of the poopy diapers! Trust me, there was evidence that there had been two stinkers in the premises, but it actually took me two days to find the second diaper smashed under a toy bucket. In the meantime, I had called my mom to lament that this must mean my whole house smells, and I am so immune I can't tell anymore! I mean, for heaven's sake, shouldn't I at least be able to smell which room that thing was hiding in!? And I really do try to keep things clean around here, but I think three sets of diaper booties is more than any can of  Lysol can handle!

When I ask Abby why she doesn't use the potty, she just says, "I don't have the words to tell you." Now that is probably truth! A lady at work told me what I have to do is stay calm and positive and not show any negative reactions when they have accidents. That's when I decided that potty training is really mommy training! This is not about them. It must be about me learning oh my goodness a new level of self-control. I really am kind of a clean freak and wiping up pee off my floors and furniture and oh my gosh sticking my hands down in a toilet to wash someone else's poop out of their Dora panties (or princess or Minnie Mouse... not motivating them either) and then being expected to smile and say positive things is a serious stretch! This is a new level of character that I have not attained!

So as I type this, mommy boot camp is in full force, and my pretty tablecloth is in the washing machine.   Oh just because they pulled it out of the dining room buffet and used it to mop up some pee that they were hoping I would not discover. And I wish they would just come to me.

And I can't help but wonder how often does God wish I would just come to Him. Is He wondering when we will stop trying to change ourselves and getting you know what all over the place? Does it seem just as foolish to Him when I try to clean up my own messes and hope He won't notice? Or when I hope that the conversation I stuffed under that toy bucket won't eventually start to stink? Or my lack of self discipline won't show up all over the walls? And if we ask ourselves why do we run, perhaps we would look in a mirror and say "I don't have the words to tell you."

So tonight I am feeling a bit more humble. And a little less frustrated. Perhaps my kids are not so different from me after all. And I am reminded that Daddy God is not angry with us. He is waiting patiently (unlike me) and lovingly for us to learn to run to Him. Not once. Not even once a day. But over and over again all day long. Not so He can scold us, but so He can help us to grow up.  In Him.

1 Tim. 4:8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for this life and the life to come.

PS In my defense, Makiah and my cat were both super easy to train. And even 18 month old Maddie Grace has actually asked to use the potty and then really gone! But oh these twins...

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