Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cell-Phone Life Coach for Poddy Training

Scott and I had been having a discussion about our older children and their respective life challenges. Our oldest was going through big life changes with their move to CA and her husband beginning school. The three middle kids are deciding on college, relationships, and finances. The youngest one is scraping her knees and losing teeth, and our second to youngest just became a teenager.
As we moaned over our parental role in these situations, Scott laughed in exasperation,

"Why did we think poddy training was so hard?"

A few days later I was enjoying a phone-a-thon with a close friend that has children the same ages as mine. She related some of the same challenges in parenting older children. I laughed at her unsolicited quip,

"I used to think poddy training was so hard."
Ironically, I received the following phone call less than 48 hours later from my oldest daughter.

"Mom, poddy-training is NOT going well. I just don't know what to do. Brookie peed everywhere yesterday but in the poddy. I have to do a load of laundry just to have some clean undies for her to wear tomorrow."

While we talked, Brookie actually peed in the poddy and the phone was handed to her while she sat on her toddler throne.

I found myself squealing into the cell phone, "Oh, Brookie, Gramma loves you! Are you going pee-pee in the poddy? What a big girl! Are you wearing big girl panties?"

After I made all the appropriate cheers and affirmations to Brookie, I continued the conversation with her Mommy, giving her the appropriate cheers and affirmations.

I related stories of poddy-training, being open with my wins and regrets, but encouraged my daughter that it would only get better.

I finished by telling her the laughable irony of her phone call. I related the two poddy-training conversations with Jana, not to demean her struggle with getting the pee-pee and poo-poo in the poddy, but to acknowledge that for right now, poddy training IS the biggest thing in her life. It is huge. It is a daunting task. Motherhood is not for wimps, the posters and greeting cards like to remind us.

But poddy training is called training because it is just that - TRAINING. It isn't just about training the kid to put bodily ickies where they can be flushed away and go bye-bye. It is about training the parents to be diligent, consistent, kind and encouraging as they train their child to perform a new task.
Poddy-training is as much about training the parents
as it is about training the child.
It paves the way for training in bigger, better and harder issues.

So, Jana and I each face our days with stamina and courage. She is wondering if Brookie will ever get her all her pee-pee and poo-poo in the poddy, and I am wondering how I can use my past experience to encourage myself in parenting older children.

After all, all six are poddy trained.

All six wipe themselves.

All six flush their own poddies, most of the time.

Now, if I can just get them to hang up a new roll of toilet paper.


  1. I'm about to enter that world again with my almost two year old. I've been putting it off, but can't much longer. When do you start Chemo? It's soon, isn't it?

  2. I am supposed to have radioactive iodine treatment this fall, but I am changing docs AGAIN. :) Pray for a doc that works for me and with me. Thanks.


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