Friday, May 7, 2010

A Potty in the Bush is Worth 2 Giant Grins

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I violated a critical Mommy Standard today.  G squirmed and jumped as we waited for his school bus, his joyful eyes watching his brand-new SpongeBob umbrella as he twirled it overhead.  I made an executive decision to keep that joy intact.  His telltale signs pointed to Potty Emergency.  I did not panic!  Instead, I told him that he could go pee on a bush if he needed to, pointing.  So off he went, thrilled to be a boy and "go" outside - because he could.  A porta-potty novelty in his own front yard, sneaking behind a bush in view of passers-by should they care to look.  As he skipped back, I checked my pockets for my ever-handy-hand-sanitizer.  Not finding any, I told him to wipe his hands on the wet grass to clean them.  GASP!  Where was my sense of dignity?  My germ-o-phobia?  Instead I laughed out loud.  So did G, but I'm not sure he got the full irony.  Or maybe he did...

You see, just a few days ago, I turned a corner.  G has been resisting the potty for a couple of months, not going until he's frantic.  He dances around, he grabs his front, his behind, but he always makes it.  His dance ritual has become a form of stimming.  No accidents, but I worry about UTI's and his misery.  I'm not sure why this new aversion came about after 9 months of potty perfection.  I've over-thought this as much as every other little crisis in our lives.  It's always been a rule to go potty before we leave the house.  G is resisting this more frequently with bigger, louder, kickier tantrums.  With kid's baseball season upon us, this becomes more critical than ever, to avoid those stinky Johnny-on-the-Spot germ factories at the ball fields.  Yuck!

Just a few days ago, I completely lost my composure after 35 minutes of prepping G to go potty before leaving to go to N's ball practice.  I sobbed all the way to practice, imagining the entire neighborhood heard our LOUD scuffle.  Each of us screaming, crying, slamming.  I shuddered to think how out of control we sounded, because we were!   Even N and M were freaked out as they waited in the car, and they've seen this potty tantrum countless times.  But they rarely see me react in kind (or shall I say unkind).  G screeching, me yelling.  I even stomped my a 2 year old.  Sigh.  We were late.  I gave in.  I was embarrassed and ashamed to lose it over a 4 year old and potty.  I try so hard to be patient, to encourage, to head off disaster and tantrums before they start.  I'd just been a rotten role model for my kids and half the city. 

I've decided that for now I'll give up on this one and let G work it out himself.  He hasn't had any accidents and doesn't have UTI's or constipation issues,so I can give it up to the Goddess of Special Potty Needs (I pray to her daily).  I haven't had an epiphany yet, but it could happen.  This is G's hot button of the moment, but that doesn't mean it has to become mine.  I'd rather have the neighbors see my little guy peeing behind a bush than hear us screaming.  Is that so wrong?

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