Hello friends! First, let me say, I apologize in advance for this blog post. It may very well exceed the limits of good taste and propriety. But sometimes, I can’t believe this is my life, it is so ridiculous. But then, the more absurd it is, the more I think I should share it, because who doesn’t need a good laugh now and then? And if it happens to involve me or be at my expense, well, I am good with that.
I started potty training Bette this weekend, which I have held off doing it, because I wanted to make sure she was ready and had enough language to understand the concept. Because she is already three years old, I honestly thought the whole experience wouldn’t be too bad. I mean, I have already successfully potty trained one child. How hard could the next one be? Turns out, extremely hard. And as you can see, it has been a delightful experience for the whole family.
I did learn two valuable lessons over the weekend; two things that I had suspected, but never confirmed as postivitely true. Until now.
1. Bette is totally ready to be potty trained.
The girl can hold her bladder for hours. Really, hours. Her massive fluid intake or that she often seemed to approaching the human limit for bladder control are irrelevant to how long she can actually hold it. She just held it and held it and held it.
2. Bette is also as stubborn as a mule.
Because she could hold it for hours at a time, she refused to actually go in the potty. It didn’t matter how many times I put her on the toilet, or how long I made her sit there, she did her best not to go. At one point, she sat on the toilet for 90 minutes. 90 MINUTES! I mean, what in the world?
And I tried everything. I coaxed her. I cheered her along. I offered candy treats. And nothing worked. She cried. She fussed. She played. And she refused to go until she was good and damn ready.
After awhile, as she was sitting on the toilet, I gave up trying to convince her and decided that I wasn’t going to let her crying and fussing get to me (which adorably, she did until she was hoarse). Instead, I plopped myself down on the stairs across from the bathroom and read a book. I find this to be completely inexplicable now, because as an introvert, I should have been a basket case. I should have been pulling my hair out.
And it could very well have been that my two level limit of concentration ( Level 1: screaming child; Level 2: reading a book) was not exceeded. If anything or anyone else had needed my attention, I probably would have fallen apart and started crying.
But I have also been praying lately that the Lord would grant me a more gentle and quiet spirit, which is something I am in desperate need of, particularly the gentle part. Quiet isn’t really a problem for me. I can be quiet all day long, at least on the outside, even if I don’t feel quiet and calm on the inside.
But I really lack the quality of gentleness, so much so that I usually have to check myself before speaking. I can be much too direct and brash. And I am always sticking my foot in my mouth and saying something stupid. A little more gentleness would go a long way in me.
I think the Lord may have poured out a momentary gift of supernatural quietness and gentleness on me, enabling me to not get upset, mad, or frustrated. It is the only way to explain my reaction to the absurdity of the whole situation.
Bette screamed the entire time I read my book. She screamed when I walked away from her for a few minutes. And she sobbed if I tried to periodically help or coax her, mostly so she wouldn’t forget why she was on the potty in the first place.
But man, am I glad that God meets us where we are, at all times and in all places. And I am so thankful He is willing to give us what we need when we need it, even in the midst of the most ridiculous circumstances.