Last night I picked up the kids from school. Usually my husband does it, but he was working late. Tis the season. No sooner than I got the children buckled into their car seats, Littles screams, “I have to go potty.” I ask her if she can hold it, but she is too engrossed in a game on my phone. Screams, questions, and ignoring repeat themselves at least four times until I felt confident that she had either wet her pants or could hold it for the fifteen minute drive home.
Littles has been doing awesome with potty training. In fact, I would call victory with the exception of overnight, which for the record I’m not worried about. Besides the shart accidents last week that burned through two pairs of undies, I can’t remember the last legitimate accident. However, she knows it puts her in charge.
The toddler mind works like this:
“I’m bored standing in line here at Target. I wonder if I can convince mom to go back to the toy isle. Probably not, she was a real grump when I begged for the 82nd time to go back to the dolls. Actually, I just need a change of scenery from the checkout line. It not like I’m getting any candy.”
Dancing like pants are on fire and screaming, “I have to go pottttteeeee! I can’t hold it. I have to go.”
Now if you have ever gone the route I have of not taking the plea seriously, you too may have learned that watching a puddle form on the shiny white floors of aisle 12 is horrific. Whether it is the scowl of the check out lady or the “tsk-tsk”s of the elderly woman in aisle 10, it all causes the red and white to swirl around me and a giant bulls eye to slap on my forehead.
The reason aisle 12 incidents happen is because when said toddler is bored at a restaurant where you don’t have $100+ of merchandise already on the conveyor belt and the bathroom is a hop, skip, and jump away, you submit to the ploy. She traipses off to the bathroom where she has to touch every surface available with at least her hands. If it is a really special day, she will test your limits by rubbing her face up against something. Unlike Bigs, Littles is not as adept at being able to squeeze out sufficient amounts of pee to be convincing. Instead three little drops fall, she smiles at you with her saucer eyes, and says, “Don’t flush the toilet.” The next ten minutes are then spent arguing about hand sanitizer vs. playing with soap and water in the sink, at which point the toddler sticks out their tongue to lick a new surface and she has won the battle. Water works it is.
Needing to go to the bathroom happens to be the greatest delay tactic imaginable for:
- Not wanting to eat dinner
- Avoiding being seen by the doctor
- Going. To. Bed.
- Completing getting dressed once you are half way there
- Allowing your mother to talk on the phone (or do much of anything)
Not to mention it is the perfect way to get to wear exactly what you want and not what was originally picked out. And that was all just this week… I’m not sure, but I think she has a shot at breaking Vladimir Putin. Just saying.
So last night, the final plea was made as we pulled onto the freeway on ramp. I was dissecting all the possible scenarios in my head. Trying to calculate the solution of a matrix weighing cleanliness, convenience, clean up, and time. The decision in my head was finalized that we would continue charging home. As we pulled into the garage, I unbuckled Littles first to the chagrin of Bigs, who always wants to be first. In the process, I not so subtly check to see if the car seat is soaked and in need of removal and washing on this lovely 30 degree evening.
Bigs immediately jumped out and ran inside after he was unbuckled to use the bathroom himself. I’m trailing behind yelling, “No. Your sister has to go.” She is out in the garage exploring the recycling bin, which isn’t that interesting or explorable. I realized, like Bigs, I hadto go too. No sooner than sitting down, in waltzed Littles, “I have to go peeeeeeeeee. I’m going to wet my undies.” I pulled up my pelvic floor midstream and moved over. We are so close and I had dinner to make. No need to add clean bathroom floor to the list.
Up on the potty she went. One teaspoon of pee later she threws her hands up in the air and cheered, “I did it!” I poundrf my head into the wall and prayed that she isn’t the boss of me forever.