It only took six months, but here at the Philosofik Dad Network’s Decision Desk, we are officially calling Joshua potty trained.
It’s been nearly a month since Joshua’s last accident of note. Poop has successfully made it into the potty uninterrupted for about three weeks. His breeches have been dry and clean all that time. So, future accidents notwithstanding, the deed is done.
There is no aspect of this experience I will ever look back on with nostalgia, sentimentality, or even a wistful smile. The only easy thing about it was losing perspective on his progress after days turned to weeks turned to fortnights turned to seasons. I could not enumerate how many times I lost track of how far he’d come while wiping pee off my floors and poop off his bum. Some parents probably get all teary-eyed remembering their little cherubs dropping a deuce in their drawers, but not me. There is no version of reality, no darkest timeline I can conceive in which, years from now, I fondly remember wondering how, exactly, poop got on the mini blinds in the bathroom. I’ll wonder, but fondness is unlikely to be my feeling on the subject.
I’m proud of him, of course, but not in the typical, gushing, beaming parent sort of way. I would feel that way if he had, at any point, shown any initiative or enthusiasm about the task, or even any joy in his newfound ability to befoul a toilet bowl instead of his PJs. Instead, my pride is that he overcame enormous reluctance and recalcitrance to do it anyway. Frankly, I’m more proud of his parents for dragging his unwilling body across the potty training finish line after six months. It’d be like that time in the Olympics when Derek Redmond’s dad helped him across the finish line after he tore… I dunno, his leg off or something. Except in Joshua’s case, we just basically just carried him while we ran the race. But at least we won!
So now, the last big milestone of his pre-school years is on deck — reading. He’s already starting to read, and has been for a while, but it’s confidence he lacks rather than phonetic ability or an understanding of word construction. Once that’s done, it’s just a long grind until he drives, I guess. He can roll over, put himself to sleep, sit, crawl, walk, talk, eat on his own, and keep his undies clean. Near as I can tell, reading is the last big one of his pre-school years and then we’ll have a full-blown human being living with us, albeit a short one with a number of narcissistic tendencies and ego-maniacal demands. Basically, we’re living with Kim Jong-Un.
But at least Kim Jong-Un no longer craps on my mini blinds.*
*Seriously, how did he do that?