We don't want him to develop an early habit of giving up too easily, or of just standing back and letting someone else do it for him. We try everything within our power to encourage and motivate him to do it himself - within reason, of course! And it seems to have caught on in some areas - one of which caught me by surprise.
Yesterday morning, while I was getting ready to go to town, he apparently decided he had to go to the potty. Normally, he would make a great fuss about this and insist that I had to accompany him or it would be the end of the world as we know it. However, on this day, he decided he could do it himself! While I was blissfully unaware, putting the finishing touches on my hair, Ethan got himself to the potty. And this was not just a #1 potty... No, this was a #2 potty emergency. (you can tell where this is going, can't you?)
When I walked into the living room and didn't see him anywhere, I called for him. When he didn't answer, I looked in the kitchen and dining room. Nobody. Finally, it dawned on me that he may be in the bathroom.
Sure enough! There he was, sitting on the potty, smiling. When I walked in to see how he was doing, he said "I have poop on my hands." Well, that was enough to stop me in my tracks! I backed away a bit, as I didn't want to get anything on my town clothes. (and did I mention that Ethan already had his town clothes on?) "How did you get poop on your hands?" I asked calmly, reaching for a wipe. It took him a while to answer, but he finally stood up and pointed, saying "It on the potty seat."
Needless to say, what followed was a cleanup of EPA proportions, which ended with Ethan having to have a clean shirt, because the long shirt tail had become involved in the potty seat catastrophe. And I think I may need a new package of wipes in the bathroom.
After I texted Brian about it, however, I began to chuckle. Chalk it up to another one of those things that you never really thought you'd do - before you became a mom, that is.
But then I realized - Ethan had tried to do it himself. He hadn't called for me or asked for help. He had put forth his best effort, and I had to applaud him for that. We just need to work on his technique a little more!
We all have "it's too hard" moments/days/weeks, don't we? What do we do when that feeling hits us? When the day has just been one big conflict with our child/children? When we learn that yet another of our friends/relatives/loved ones has died, suddenly or after a long illness? When we're not sure we'll be able to pay all our bills this month?
Speaking for myself, sometimes I just break down and cry; sometimes I stick my head in the sand and hope that the situation or difficulty will go away. But the one thing I always do, is pray. I know that nothing I do will make the situation any better, if God isn't part of it. And I know that there are some situations that only God can handle. And while these situations ARE hard, God Himself says that nothing in this life can separate us from Him and His love for us.
I never dreamed that being a mom would be harder than working a 40-hour week! And there are some days when I just want a hot bath, a glass of wine and a LOT of peace and quiet by the time Ethan's bedtime rolls around. But I am so thankful for the blessing and opportunity to stay home and teach him and see all of his "firsts" and wonderful moments! (along with all the not-so-wonderful ones!)
Brian and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on May 3rd this year, and there are days that I feel that I may be too old for this "mom of a preschooler" thing, but with God's help, we keep pushing along, plowing through issues and problems as they come up. And taking time to stop and smell the roses... or look at the earthworms... or stare at the toad in the window well... or see the shape of an alligator in the clouds... Those are the moments we live for, aren't they?