Friday, December 02, 2005

All women are aware of the notion that, once you've given birth to a child, the joy and beauty of that little baby just makes the pain and agony of delivery sort of float away, and you won't really remember it afterward.

I'm here to tell you that's crap.

I remember every detail about my son's birth, from the tense, crampy pain of the beginning labour, to the full blown cut-this-thing-out-of-me-then-kill-me-promptly pain that comes later. I remember recovery, breastfeeding, sleepless nights, and the whole shebang.

My son is now 3, and we've been steadily potty training for about 3 months. Like I've said, while I will never forget the agony of childbirth, I think potty training will surpass it in the memory banks.

Potty training is one of those uncontrollable things, like getting your husband to put down the remote while you're watching "Lost" and he's trying to get updates on the hockey game during every commercial. You ask him to do it, you plead with him to do it, but ultimately, you have little control over whether or not he will do it. It's the same with potty training. No matter how much I cajole, plead, and bribe Derek to please, please, please go on the potty, it's not really up to me, as to whether he will, or invariably, won't.

I hate that.

I've spent evening after evening these last months, sitting on the bathroom floor getting hemmorhoids, while I read Derek book after book and waited for those precious drops to fall into the toilet. Finally now, we are at a point where Derek understands the concept, and can consistently hold his bladder long enough to get to the potty.

I have to admit though, that I've been playing it safe a little bit, by keeping his training pants on overnight, so that he (and I) can sleep well (I know that he isn't quite ready to go a whole night without an accident yet). Except that, whether psychologically, or purposefully, he refuses to go number 2 on the potty, so every morning his training pants are dirty.

We've hit a wall. He's training himself not to go number 2 during the day, which means he's always going at night, which means that I can't take the training pants off (I'm not so cruel a mother that I would purposely instigate nightly rituals that begin with his crying at 3:00 a.m. because he's dirty, then necessitate my having to put him into a bath, change the sheets, and get him dressed in new pajamas, all while I'm swearing and cursing under my breath because neither of us wants to be up for another 3 or 4 hours yet).

So what does a mother do? And when will the agonies end?