Two days ago my mother-in-law called and asked how potty training was going. "Today. . . was not a good day," I sighed.
no more," she said, relieving me of the burden of reliving the tragic events. "I wish I could offer some advice but I actually have no memories
of potty training," she added. No memories? How is that possible? I thought about that for a
When I got pregnant the first time and was
morning sick, mothers reassured me that I would forget the trauma of
pregnancy and delivery. I'd be aware that it happened, but my body
would release the trauma during the final stages of labor. Otherwise,
very few women would repeat the process. I found this to be absolutely true. I remember being sick and nauseous and achy, but when I read back on blog entries I wrote during that first trimester I am shocked by how much I seem to have forgotten. My
mother-in-law's insight has given me hope that potty training, like
pregnancy, delivery, and a sleepless newborn, is a trauma my body will
forget. That way, in two to three years time when I have a little boy
ready for diaper liberation, I can again tackle this feat without a
full-blown anxiety attack.
When I started this blog four years ago I was a newlywed, suffering (in denial) from medication induced-depression, and wondering why I didn't feel like glowing and giggling all the time like the other newlyweds at work. I tried to put up a front for a while because I was afraid exposing my fears and weakness would result in a confirmation that I was alone in those thoughts. After all, every blog I followed at the time was full of roses, pictures of picnics, and long declarations of love for perfect spouses, marriages, and lives. Sometimes I resented those blogs for lying and not exposing the trails of life alongside the blessings. I made a decision to avoid negativity but to also be honest about life as a wife, employee, student, and mom, and the highs and lows that came from transitioning in and out of certain roles. I hoped someone would read my words and feel less alone as a few of my raw and unglamorous notions resonated with their current perceptions. I prayed that they could find comfort in some of the places I found comfort so their burdens could be lifted a little.
I've sat down
many times to write out some of the disheveled details of the ugliness
through my apartment so parents potty training by the book who don't see consistent success in a day, three days, or even a week will know they are not alone. Parents who realize their battle in the bathroom with a three foot tall pillar of stubbornness has become about power and not poop need to know they are not alone. But I can't be that voice. I'm hoping to forget this experience someday, and
have no desire to relive it by writing about or reading back on it in
So to conclude this chapter of trauma I will say this: potty training is still a work in progress. I made it to a point where I
thought Andrea and I were both so traumatized that I put her back in
diapers so we could heal our relationship before we try pushing this at a
later date. That lasted about twenty-four hours before she peed in the
potty to show me she could handle big girl undies again. I'm
trying to be patient and Andrea is trying to be brave. We both are
learning, making mistakes, having successes, but we're doing it
together. Hopefully, the final result will be deeper love and
understanding for one another and consistently dry panties.