I have decided after painstaking calculation this afternoon that at least one-third of my life, by conservative estimate of course, is now consumed by pee. We are in the dead thick of potty training our two-year old while I am simultaneously growing a human. This means that on an average day, I am peeing, taking my son to pee, asking if he has to pee, rejoicing over the fact that he just peed, or cleaning up pee - pretty much nonstop.
I am surprised by the sheer volume of it. On the toilet bowl. On the bathroom floor. On the shower curtain we gave up on and finally threw away. On the once beautiful, now fading Land of Nod bedding in his room that gets washed at least once a week. And of course, in the not so proud moments when I laugh or sneeze too hard because let's face it - life happens. (See Matthew 7:1-2)
Life happened first thing this morning when my sleepy-eyed boy stumbled into our bedroom smiling from ear to ear in pee-filled pajamas. Life happened when, just as we were preparing to leave for school, he asked to go potty three times back-to-back, peeing a total of 10 drops before I finally discovered he actually had to poop, not pee (tough distinctions for a two-year old.) Life happened again this afternoon when his teacher called from school to say he had an accident during nap time and didn't have an extra shirt, and earlier this week when he ran out of shorts and ran to greet me in his classroom wearing only his bright red underwear and signature grin.
There's lots of life, (read: pee) happening over here.
I am most surprised by my own reaction to how pee - or should I say the absence of it - is changing me. The genuine joy I experience when Lincoln has an accident-free day, for example. Or how exciting it is every time I take him potty and his underwear are dry. I may never know whether he's motivated by the fruit snacks we award him individually as "treats," or the praise we freely give in the form of songs, dances and impromptu freestyles when the pee actually makes it in the toilet, but what I can tell you is that this kid is growing up right before my eyes. And as usual, I can't help but being a little emotional when he shrieks (as is usual custom), "I did it!" at the sight of his own pee, or when he tells me, "I go pee like daddy," ever since Musa taught him how to pee standing up.
This is the side of potty training no one warns you about. They neglect to tell you that one day you may find yourself tearing up while your son goes potty because well, you might just be 25 weeks pregnant, but also because these accomplishments, no matter how small, are also your accomplishments. The day he looked up at me with those almond brown eyes and said earnestly, "Haffi potty please," - that's a day I will not soon forget.
There will be many more accidents on the road to potty training I'm sure. Many more outfit changes and washing machine cycles and Swiffer jet pads and equally as many bathroom trips of my own while baby #2 weighs heavy on my bladder. The three-day method didn't really work for us so we're on the long-term plan. But the thing is progress is happening over here. My baby is growing up. I remind myself that one day he won't need me to help him with his shorts, or remind him to stand on his tippee toes, or make sure he actually rubs the soap on his hands before running them under the water (#boys). One day he will have the urge to go, and well ... he'll just go. Part of me eagerly awaits that day, and part of me (albeit a very small part) secretly dreads it.
For now, there are drops of pee on the toilet bowl to wipe. I will ask whether he has to go potty at least half a more dozen times today. I'll sing his potty song and cheer with him when all goes as planned, and I'll be there with Lysol and baby wipes in hand when he doesn't make it in time.
It's not the most glamorous stage of toddler life or motherhood, I'll admit. But this is our story. And these are our memories. I'm trying to embrace them all ... to remember that life is happening, in every bathroom trip, every accident, every success. And yes (sigh), even in the pee :-)