Monday, March 17, 2008

Dispatch From Ohio

So, we made it to Columbus, Ohio: me, Erika, Hilary, Aaron, Gretchen and Oat.

Besides the fact that the babies cried off and on the entire journey, and Hilary announced every hour that she really, REALLY wanted to go home, and I got a speeding ticket for going way too fast in my desperate desire to get the 8+ hour ride over as soon as possible - well, besides all that, the trip was great.

We are staying with our dear friends the Scogginses, and so far everyone is having a wonderful time. Katrina and I took the older kids to see Horton Hears A Who, and we've just been hanging out, eating a lot of Mexican food and drinking a lot of margaritas - and really, what's wrong with that?

There has been one rather ironic development, and that is that Gretchen has decided she wants to potty train. At 20 months old.

What this looks like in practice, in case you're curious, is that every ten minutes Gretchen announces, "Iwa poop! Potty! Iwa potty!" and I drop everything, run with her to the bathroom, strip her of all her clothes, and hold her on the toilet seat so she won't fall in. And then she may or may not pee (she has yet to poop), and I congratulate her on what a big girl she is, and try to re-diaper her with the most tired sticky tabs ever seen on a diaper.

Now, what's ironic about this, is that I would have sworn up and down that if there was anyone who deserved an early potty-trainer, it's me. After all, Hilary didn't poop on the potty until she was significantly past four years old. Four years old! It was embarrassing, being the mom to the oldest kid in swim diapers at our tennis club. Hilary told me once, "I will NEVER poop on the potty," and for a while there, I believed her.

But no one ever told me that having an early potty-trainer is no picnic either. If Gretchen really is going to potty train, that is. Maybe she just enjoys the way the world grinds to a halt every time she utters those magic words. Or maybe she likes ticking off the names of all the big kids she knows who poop on the potty, which we do as she sits on the toilet: Eka (Erika), Nana (Hannah), Irry (Hilary), Abna (Andrew? Jonah? Who knows? She's not even two, she can't really talk!) But the fact is, Gretchen's just too little. She can't undress herself at all, or stay balanced on the seat. She still has a bladder the size of a peanut, so it's unreasonable to expect her to be able to go any amount of time without peeing. And worst of all, she can't even have a rational discussion, as in, "Gretchen, do you really have to go, or is this another false alarm?"

If you're wondering the magic age at which I wouldn't complain about potty training, it's three. That's when Erika did it, and the whole process was over in a week - no accidents, no pull-ups. So easy.

Still, I understand the conventional wisdom is to let your kid potty train at her own pace, so if Gretchen keeps asking to go, I'll keep taking her.

It may very well be a LONG trip home.

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