I knew this blog was coming. I knew that somehow, some way when I potty trained Colin, there was sure to be a good story, and boy was I right.
We've been gradually working towards potty training for a few months now. I knew he wasn't ready for awhile because he never woke up dry in the morning and just never had the voids that Maddie did when it was time to potty train her. I also feel like I started a little too soon with Maddie and there were more headaches than victories. There may be a slight chance she'll need therapy as a result of my aggressive potty training technique. To my defense, I trained her when Colin was only a few months old, was sleep deprived, desperately wanted to get rid of at least one set of diapers, and many times rushed her along because I was either nursing Colin on the bathroom floor waiting for her to do her duty while he was screaming at the top of his lungs because I had ditched him on the family room floor in order to rush her to the potty.
We have finally gotten to a point with Colin where he understands "Potty Training" has nothing to do with riding a train and he now refuses to wear a Pull Up. A few months, back we started by simply having him pee on the potty before he went to bed each night. This was more out of necessity since he outgrew nighttime diapers and the nighttime Pull Ups don't absorb as much. As a result he would wake up with a wet bed.
He actually had done pretty well adjusting to this routine, except he usually threatens to pee on Maddie as he aims his wiener at her. Then he goes into a soliloquy about how he is "Pee-Pee Guy" and shoots bad guys with his "pee gun." Sigh. Typical boy.
Over the last week or two, I have started putting him on the potty periodically throughout the day in an attempt to keep him as dry as possible. With each trip to the bathroom comes a new discovery. He investigates himself and asks a lot of questions. The questions started simple. "Mom, what is this?" I decided not to use any cutesy words for it, so we call it either a wiener or quite simply a penis.
I then had to make sure that his "discovery" didn't prevent him from aiming it into the toilet. He is like a contortionist and treats his stuff like Silly Putty. It even makes me uncomfortable. A few days later he moved down to his testicles and began trying to figure those guys out. "Mom, what are these?" Again, I tried to be as straight forward as possible and tell them they are his testicles or some men call them "balls." Then he asked me what they were for. A million answers popped into my head, but rather than answer him I told him to ask Daddy.
The latest inquiry came the other day. I have never really been that self-conscious or discrete with the kids since they usually bust open the bathroom door even if I do close it. It never really made much difference to me and I got used to the fact that I probably will never pee alone again. Of course, with Colin's new found curiosity came the realization that I don't have a penis. He was trying to go on his potty chair and I happened to have to go as well. Without skipping a beat, I dropped trou and went as well not realizing what his view from his potty chair was. (Side note: I can't believe I am going into great detail how I went about relieving myself as it pertains to my son. However, this is the reality we live in as parents and there is no such thing as privacy, modesty or a moment’s peace.)
But I digress, Colin caught a glimpse of what I had versus what he had. Suddenly an alarmed look came across his face. "Mom, where's your wiener!!" I explained that I am a girl and girls don't have wieners. “Boys have penises and girls have vaginas.”
He became even more perplexed and tried to get another glimpse. I feverishly pulled up my pants to avoid being the subject of his anatomy lesson any longer. He finally stopped trying to figure it out and proclaimed, "Mommy, you have a wiener but yours is broken." Oh. My. God. I don't even want to know what image in his little mind created that conclusion. Then he told me, "Mom, you better go and get one!"
I gently explained that it isn't broken and that you just can't go out and get one. I realized that there was more to this conversation that I am sure he can learn on MTV at some point and simply restated my previous statement. "Boys have penises and girls have vaginas." According to Robert Fulghum, everything I learned, I learned in Kindergarten, in this case it was Kindergarten Cop. Then he started asking about various members of our family to take stock of who had what. "Does Daddy have a wiener?"
"Yes, Colin. Daddy is a boy so he has one."
"Does Maddie have a wiener?"
"No, Colin. Maddie is a girl like me. She doesn't have one."
The list continued to grandparents and close friends.
Later that evening I was helping Colin get his bike out of the garage. He looked up at me and proclaimed, "Mom, I think you're gettin' a wiener."
Hmm. Was it my extraordinary man-like strength lifting his bike that brought him to that conclusion or just wishful thinking that maybe I would just sprout one so we could be alike? Whatever the case may be, all I could do was chuckle and shake my head. My neighbor was watching this exchange from afar and inquired why I was laughing and shaking my head. All I could tell her was that Colin was writing my next blog for me.
The next day, Colin continued his inventory of who had one and who doesn't even outside of bathroom time. "Dad, you know Jimmy right? (Names have been changed to protect the innocent.)
"Yes, Colin. I know your friend Jimmy."
"Do you know his daddy?"
"Yes, I know his daddy. What about him?"
"Does he have a wiener?"
"Yes, Colin. Jimmy's dad is a man so he has a wiener."
Then Colin proceeded to list off everyone he knows. Let's put it this way, if Colin has ever met you, chances are he has inquired whether or not you have a penis or not. And if he isn't sure, he'll come right out and ask you. Case in point, the girl who lives across the street got caught in Colin's crosshairs as they were doing sidewalk chalk the other day. "Hey G, do you have a wiener?" This poor 8 year old didn't know what hit her. She hadn't been informed of Colin's most recent phase and was completely mortified.
Yesterday the kids were at a friend's house for a playdate and he interrupted playing with his toy to turned very nonchalantly and asked my friend, "Hey, do you guys have wieners?" Luckily I was able to explain why my son asked if she and her 6 year old daughter had penises. My fear is that he will start doing this out in public. I can just picture him asking a server at a restaurant or shouting it through the grocery store at an innocent bystander.
In addition to his curiosity about parts of the body, he is interested in all things poop. I can't say I'm surprised since it is his favorite word. He told me a little story the other day about his poop. I asked if he had to go while he was sitting on the potty and he told me that the poops were still in his butt watching a movie about shooting guns made out of poop. Hmm. Very creative.
The next time he told me there was a mommy poop, daddy poop and two poop kids inside his butt watching a movie. He went on to tell another story about what they were doing, where they were going, etc. etc. Honestly, I just wanted his poop family to come out and join us in the toilet so I didn't have to sit in the bathroom any longer. Unfortunately, most times his new friends end up having a party in his Lighting McQueen underpants instead of where they belong in the potty.
Then there is the eternal question--what is poop? I tried to be as honest and intelligent as possible since most of his future conversations on the subject won't be, and told him it is all the food he eats after his body takes the good stuff out of it. I also told him it is called "waste." That stressed him out and he cried, "I don't want to waste!" I further explained that if he didn't poop, he would explode. Turns out he'd rather waste than explode, and he accepted that answer.
As of right now, Colin has mastered the pee thing. He even tells me when he had to go as opposed to peeing under his train table. The poop thing is a work in progress and we are working on bribing him with Matchbox cars to go tell us before he goes in his pants instead of after-the-fact.
I do have to say that Maddie is paying back her debt to Colin for all the times her potty training left him lying helpless and hungry on the floor while I sat with her. Now she sits with Colin in the bathroom and reads him books. It gives me a chance to actually write this entry as opposed to sitting on the bathroom floor discovering how many parts of my toilet I missed when cleaning. I guess it the silver lining to having two kids 23 months apart and all those diapers I've changed over the last five years.