Sunday, August 21, 2011

Potty Training

For those of you who know me well, you are probably wondering why in the world I am posting about potty training when my children are 4 and 1/2 and almost 7 years old!  The type of potty training I am referring to is not the conventional kind one thinks of when one becomes a parent.

By "conventional" I simply mean "parent training" where your young child trains YOU to take her potty every hour on the hour until she "gets it."  No, the type of potty training I am talking about today is a much more important kind dealing with a parent's sanity.

In my line of work I deal with young children, which means all day long I am burdened with repeating myself 20 times, getting asked questions after every statement I make, dealing with puke, other bodily fluids, and my personal favorite....boogers.  Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my job as a kindergarten teacher!  My sanity, however, has a very hard time keeping up when, at the end of a long day, I come home to the same behaviors and bodily fluids I have been dealing with all day long at work.

Which brings me to the topic of "potty training."

When my children were infants I was not one of those mothers who was scared to death of germs, or of people holding my babies without washing their hands, or one of those mothers who had to do everything herself.  But there was one thing that I did that I now find to have been very stupid.  Whenever I decided to get cleaned up for the day, I wouldn't ask anyone to watch my infant while I showered even if someone else was in the house with me.  I would simply bring them into the bathroom with me, sitting in their bouncy seat, and enjoy their cooing with I bathed.  As the kids got older, they may not have stayed in the bathroom with me, but we have always had an open, or unlocked, door policy where our bathroom is concerned.  Which brings me to the present day.

I was stupid to have invited my children into the bathroom with me at all.

For those of you who have seen the kids' movie: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules, you will know, and can relate to, the scenes which I am about it describe.  In the movie, the boys' parents leave them alone for a weekend in the house with the instructions that no one is allowed over while they are away.  Of course the boys don't listen and they end up having a party.  (A pretty tame one really, which was nice to see in a movie, that consisted of too much pop, food, and loud music.)  The next day their parents let them know that they are coming home early, so the boys scramble to get the house cleaned up.  They are very proud of the job they have done, until they walk by the bathroom door and realize that one of their friends has written Roderick Rules in permanent marker on the outside of the door.  They rush to the basement, where conveniently there is an extra door stored, and change it out.  Then they realize that while the original bathroom door had a lock on it, the new one in fact does not!

Everything is fine until their dad has to use the bathroom.  He can be heard commenting: "Hey, didn't this door have a lock on it?  Huh, I must be losing my mind.  Oh well."  The boys sigh with relief.  Then their mom uses the bathroom.  She, of course, notices that there is no lock.  She confronts the boys, who try to convince her that there never was a lock, to which she responds: "Don't try to tell me that this door never had a lock on it!  I KNOW it had a lock on it!  Sometimes during the day the only solace I get is from going into this room, locking the door, and tuning all of you OUT!"  (Or something to that affect.)

I can TOTALLY relate to that mom's rant.  There are times during my day when I invent reasons to go to my bathroom and lock the door.  But my kids are too smart.  They will stand outside my door and berate me with questions, or knock on the door because they think it's funny to hear their mom scream at them, I guess.  Well, no more.  We are going back to basics.....Potty Training 101.

The children are no longer allowed in our bedroom, which will also help with tripping over their toys in the middle of the night.  And now when I go to use the bathroom (IE, escape from my children) I not only lock the bathroom door, I also close and lock my bedroom door.  Then I close and lock my bathroom door, turn on the fan and sometimes the water, and relish in the quiet oasis that is now my bathroom.

Strange?  Yes.  Necessary for my sanity?  Absolutely!

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