The boys were playing "wrestling match" in the other room. Will was being awesome-- letting Liam win every once and a while and being sufficiently gentle. It was about one hour until bedtime and we had made it through day one of our potty training reboot without a single accident. We had about twelve successful trips to the potty and I was patting myself on the back for my vigilance as well as the restraint I demonstrated by not posting everyone of these successes on Facebook.
I knew something was up when Will erupted into manic laughter and screaming. Liam was standing in the corner with his legs spread wide and his baggy pants leg bulging. Liam was unsure, but Will couldn't have been more pleased with the situation. Poop is number one on his list of Funniest Things Ever-- right up there with butts and that ridiculous obstacle-course-television-show that I can never remember the name of.
Three years ago, our potty training approach with Will was organized and efficient. We had a chart. We had stickers. We had treats. We had special underwear. We had a potty. In every room practically. We had a plan! We were all over it.
Our potty training with Liam was pretty much the opposite of that.
It reminds me of this story from Will's t-ball league.
Bill and I had signed Will up for t-ball this Spring. T-ball was supposed to be the introduction to baseball. Kids learn how to hit, catch, throw, etc. We showed up to our first practice and we noticed that some kids had cleats-- good ones. And their own helmets. And bats. And equipment bags. And Under Armour. (I was running 25 miles a week last winter and I didn't even feel the need to spring for a fifty dollar long sleeved tee. These were 5-year-olds barely breaking a sweat as they played tag in the mother loving outfield.)
At this first practice, the parents were lined up along the chain link fence watching practice as the kids took turn hitting. It was fairly obvious that some of these parents had laid some major ground work. (They had a plan!) A bunch of these kids knew more about swinging a bat than I do. They knew where to put their hands and how to stand and shift their weight and follow through and they pretty much looked like little Jeters and A-Rods.
It was Will's turn and he pretty much had no idea. His hands were too high. Then they were too low. His body was turned the wrong way. He was swinging at the ball like he was a one-handed-Luke Skywalker. He was nowhere near the ball. He was having so much trouble. It was fairly obvious that some of these parents had been working with their kids for quite some time. It was equally obvious that we hadn't thrown this kid a single ball. I felt bad for Will. Like we had failed him in some way. It wasn't embarrassing, but it was uncomfortable. My heart was kind of breaking for him.
Just as I was envisioning my poor child being scarred for life by this moment, something brought me back to reality. Something exponentially CRAZIER.
Bill yelled out, "Come on, Will. You remember. Just like we do at home..."
Whaaa!? My mouth hung open as I turned my head to look at him.
Just thinking about it makes me laugh.
There's a happy ending to the story though. The coaches withdrew the tee for the second half of the season and for the last two games, Will had a hit every time he was at bat. He won the MVP ball in one of those games. He wasn't scarred for life and neither was Bill.
We've kind of done the same thing with poor Liam. He's up there at the plate and just peeing and pooping everywhere. We're standing at the fence and shrugging our shoulders and looking around. Jeez, kid. Get with it. You're almost THREE for crying out loud.
For the last five months, he'll go in his pull-up. We'll change him and say, "Where are you supposed to go..." And he'll respond in sing-song fashion, "...in the pott-teeee!" Every so often, he'll do it right and we'll reward him...
But really, we haven't put the time in. We haven't followed a plan!
So we've got a three day weekend and we're pretty determined that this is going to be it.
Freedom from diapers and potty treats and special underwear for all.