Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Brown Decade

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My husband and I have officially closed a decade long chapter of diapers.  It all began in March 2003 in a dimly lit room on the 4th floor of Memorial Hospital. I should have been sleeping, but I was still on a birthing high. Not from the joy, more from the drugs. That extra dose of pain killers they put in my IV sent me to crazy town. Spewing memorable quotes like "He has a butt chin" and "I can't believe I  pooped on your hand".
I heard my husband call for the nurse in a panic thinking that our new son had expelled his intestines in his diaper, only to be educated that the black tar was not his guts but a natural occurrence for newborns.
That is how Don was given his first glimpse into an education that little did we know, would continue for the next ten years.  At two different times we had two in diapers.  With this last one, the 2 for 2 was brief (pun intended).  But diapers continued for the next  2 years 10 months.
With our last one, he is the closest thing to a self trained toilet user that we have ever known.  His brother was his accomplice in toilet bootlegging before we even knew about it.
He would have been trained months ago but when we embarked on our road trip to Florida he had the I felt it  would be the WORST time for under-roo enforcement.
I haven't spoken about this road trip until now and it is still very difficult to relive.

As we were in the mountains with cars surrounding ours Mount Oscar erupted. Apparently he had the stomach bug that had infested his school. In an effort to save something (I'm still not sure what because his clothes and car seat were ruined) I used my hands as a bucket as he vomited repeatadly into them and I threw the puke outside the window.  All from reaching backwards from the passenger seat  at 75 MPH. His brothers provided the commentary and the only thing that shut them up was when some of the vomit I tossed out the window sprayed their back window.  When he was finally finished (or so we thought) I turned around and  tried to clean my hands with McDonald's napkins which have the absorbancy of sand paper.  What we hadn't discovered was that he was erupting from the other end too.
We rode in silence until reaching the first available truck stop which also happened to sell fireworks.  I poured a Gatorade on the window in an unsuccessful attempt to clean it off. The sorry excuse for a truck stop only had 2 one person restrooms.  When I emerged from the bathroom holding a pale naked toddler I looked like I had been to battle with a port-a-potty.   We are all still suffering from post traumatic stress after, what has now been named the Brown County incident, mostly in part to the 3 sippy cups of Nestquik he had just consumed, to be honest I don't even know what state were in. Thankfully we only had 16 more hours to go.

I digress.

Here we are exactly 10 years later and I can finally omit diapers from my weekly shopping list.  If a two year old can act embarrassed of his family he certainly does when we break into the potty song when he using the toilet.  Its similar to a birthday at the Olive Garden. Word spreads quickly that someone is on the potty and once we confirm success the family breaks out in unison to the Potty-song. Its now a vintage song that  Don and I made up with our first son. It has 3 verses and when sung correctly, has operatic moments.  I will admit the excitement around Oscar's success had dissipated amongst his brothers, but Don and I are still front and center singing with gusto. Some people reward with M&M's we reward with a performance (jazz hands included).
I think that is why I have seen Oscar trying to sneak in to do his business unannounced. He is trying to avoid the production. He has even been known to have flushed, washed his hands before we even were on the second verse.

So that's it.  To think, I was only 25 when we began this journey.  I didn't know then, that I was not the only one who is capable of pooping in another person's hand.  I didn't know how many hours I would sit on a bathroom floor reading the entire Elmo potty series at least three times.  I didn't know that the character on their underwear would determine their success. I didn't know that I would risk a speeding ticket in order to get to a clean toilet in time. I didn't know that two adults would act like complete lunatics in an effort to avoid changing a dirty diaper.

I also didn't realize until now that our relentless effort resulted in my baby being capable of doing one more thing, on a growing list of things he can do without the help me.  In fact, all the time we spent reading in the bathroom has resulted in his ability to read without me too.

I spent so much time encouraging independence that I failed to realize that now, just a little bit,  I may miss his dependency.  But until his daddy, or his brothers have the stomach to be a hand bucket on the highway, I know I will always be needed for that job, and unless its in college, one I will do so....happily.

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