I can be quoted saying that while motherhood has had its challenges, night feeding a newborn was probably the most horrendous few weeks of my entire motherhood experience thus far. Mind you I have two children, so I’ve passed through this particular flavor of valley-of-the-shadow-of-death twice. Now, I don’t know if my memory is failing me, or I’ve been spoiled, but all of a sudden, getting up to take my toddler to the bathroom to pee now seems like the worst thing ever. It’s a real pain in the diaper! Though I refuse to wake my daughter up to pee in the middle of the night, (because I cannot be cruel to myself), I’ve definitely sobbed when she has asked me to stop whatever it is I am doing, to take her to the loo at any given point in the day.
In this particular instance, I had been up working till late because as most parents know, any after office-hours work or personal time does not start until the auspicious hours of at least 9pm. On this particular occasion, I took a nap from 10pm to 12am so I could pull an all-nighter to try to get the maximum utility for the tiredness I was going to feel in the morning anyways. At about 4:15am, my second daughter wakes up. She’d started waking up in the wee hours of the morning and refusing to go back to sleep unless given another bottle of milk, or being cuddled till she fell asleep. So when I heard her starting to whine on the monitor, I knew I had to get her quickly before she woke her sister up. Because one toddler up at 4am is bad enough and might still go back to bed. But 2? They will start hailing each other like they haven’t seen each other in years and that’s when the party starts! No-one gets any sleep at this point.
So I rush to the room, give her milk, but just before she passes out, my older daughter wakes up and sees her sister drinking milk! Now she wants her own. My goodness! I try to shush her and get her younger sister to sleep but that one is now triggered. Her play mate is awake! Meanwhile, its 4:30am at this point and I’m starting to feel sleepy again, I still haven’t finished my work, but I have to stay up so these children who are now out of their beds do not hurt themselves unsupervised. I’m just getting comfortable lying in bed watching them when my older daughter hits me with: “Mummy I want to drink water. Mummy I want to use the toilet” Bam! And Bam! I put my face in my hands and real life cried for a few seconds. “What have I done to deserve this?” I thought to myself.
I have shamelessly asked her to wee in her diaper. Not once. Not twice. In this particular instance, I definitely asked her to do just that, while thinking to myself that this is definitely a #momfail moment but “Whatever!” (with a capital W). That’s what diapers are for. My daughter then proceeds to proclaim with all sorts of righteousness: “No mummy. I don’t want to go in my diaper!”. “What kind of presidential candidate is this?” I think to myself. “You’re just two!! This makes no sense. Please in just this instance/moment, be the baby that you are!!!” But I kept these words to myself as I sheepishly drag myself out of bed and take her to the bathroom.
Anyways, sorry if you thought this was going to be full of useful tips on how to potty train your child. Just google and you will find lots of things on elimination communication and such. My child is well on her way to being potty trained, but not completely there yet. I also have the younger sibling waiting patiently in the wings to follow in her sisters footsteps (or worse). But I take no credit for their progress, and just a little credit for the consistency/reinforcement of taking her to the potty when they asks. My sole advice is if you can’t, let the school do it for you. They get all *this* credit. Shhh! When is International Teachers Day again?
Photocredit: Laurie Boucke Infant Potty Training