It has been 477 sunrises since day 1 of potty training with Jrue last Memorial Day weekend. We have scaled all kinds of exciting rituals and challenges in the potty-going itinerary, but always keep our eyes on the shallow finished end.
Whatever that may be.
For some context, I am the eldest of three girls. For a short time as a child, I wished for a brother. I may have asked for him verbally and received chuckles from my mother, as I’m sure her third (last) attempt, and subsequent X chromosome from my father, signaled baby factory closing forever.
I was only interested in the toys a brother would bring.
My request was obviously a generation too soon. Out of all of the women on the maternal side of my family, I birthed a bouncing boy right out the gate, much to the extreme delight of my parents. They finally “got” their boy.
At week 18 when Jrue was gender-confirmed, I began extensive research on mother-son relationships, stereotypical boy behavior, and the ever-present uncertainty of taking care of…a whole penis. There were no penises between me, my sisters, and my mom. My father is, of course, male, but it hadn’t occurred to me early on that there was a difference “down there.” Even the cat’s male endowment didn’t yield any type of inquiry. Call me a goof in my naivete.
Imagine my fascination and utter horror in eighth grade health class, otherwise known as “sex ed.”
I suppose I then began a weird survey of the male sexual organ.
After Jrue was born, he went through the circumcision process. I received specific instruction regarding gauze placement, ointment application, and cleaning caution. On the morning of the day after we brought our little boy baby home, my mom and I broke out into hysterics when we discovered that boys may not only pee as soon as the air touches their certain area, but that urine can soar in arcs. My reaction at Jrue’s first instance was to put my hand over the fountain to try and stop it, laughing so hard, I peed a little on myself.
I had to learn the hard way about tucking his “part” into the diaper to prevent leaking. I had to witness exploration attempts in the bathtub as he giggled at “the snake” bobbing on the surface. When we transitioned to underwear, mommy had to be careful when pulling them up too quickly since I could slap and pinch by mistake.
On-the-job training is tough.
Now that the hubs and I are chest-deep in potty-training, I have changed my thinking to embrace more open-mindedness when it comes to Jrue and this agonizingly long process. We went from taking a poop on mommy’s bedroom carpet during those first few days to, now, moving from sitting on the toilet to standing over it forwards.
This part is not fun at all.
I see where we are quite clearly. I’d like to call this level in potty-training “darts.”
It’s a darts game for this toddler boy to learn to pee upright facing forward over the toilet. The bullseye is constantly elusive. That circle is too difficult to hit. In my brain, the big hole filled with water is a pretty large target to miss, but Jrue insists on maintaining the most nonchalant attitude about making it. He literally just stands, enacting the motions, and goes, not looking down, not caring to include the bowl in the least. Because of his tendencies to hold his urine for hours, it shoots out like a fire hose when he finally relieves himself. With the force, his stream, uh, moves.
Jrue had may as well just pee in the corner of the bathroom with one leg hiked up, like a dog. At this point, that’s how I feel. I can’t keep my bathroom clean. I am scrubbing the floor everyday to rid it of the urine stench and fussing, ordering him to aspire to more greatness when it comes to this.
I have no solutions here.
I never learned the competitive nature of darts as a professional game, but I am quickly becoming an adversary of it.
Jrue’s non-aim is making me crazy.