Occasionally I speculate to myself about possible careers I could have had, if I'd been thinking more clearly during college. I sometimes say that if I could live my life over again, not that I'd want to, I would become an identifiable profession such as "doctor, lawyer, nurse, accountant", etc which would allow me to work anywhere. Apart from teacher (God bless my parents, don't know how they did it...). I would then not be tied down to a major hub of industry, able to ride a bike without fear of getting creamed by a truck or bus, or walk to work - through sunny meadows of flowers and buzzing bees, of course, and then eat lunch at home, made with home-grown produce from my garden, natch. And all my friends and family could explain what I do, as opposed to something vague in IT or finance.
After Thursday, I can now add a new list to the things that run through my head late at night, that of "Jobs I Never Want to Have". After my probably somewhere around 14-16 hours spent fully focused on The Training of the Potty, Day 2, here is what I concluded I could never be in life: a stalker, a spy, a hunter, a nature photographer where the subject only appears very infrequently and thus requires the photographer to camp out and wait for an appearance, which will usually be at 2:00 am and require the wearing of infrared glasses, an artist specializing in nude art, anything involving looking at "male parts" on a constant basis. I also have a theory that any children who think their mothers are nags are the ones who have some deep and strong memories of potty training.
We woke up on Thursday with the same amount of energy as on Wednesday, that being "little" for me and "lots" for Blake. I had done a bit of research on Wednesday night and decided that on Thursday I would adopt a more truly bare bottom approach, thinking that perhaps the feel of the fabric of the pants/undies was too similar to a nappy. So off it came, and then my day of being Blake's shadow began. I was unprepared for this question which came flying at me: "What's this wrinkly bit of my wee-wee?" and was proud of myself that I didn't go with my first answer, which would have been, "Ask your Daddy" (who wasn't due home for another 11 hours!). I finally managed to say "They're more of your boy parts," which seemed to be met with approval. Within about 5 minutes, Blake said he was cold and wanted his trousers on, so they went on over a pair of the pants (fair enough, I thought). Man, was the day tiring! It was so rare for me to be NOT right at his side, every now and then asking in my attempting-not-to-be-irritating-but-likely-failing-miserably voice, "Sweetie, do you need the potty?" Most often the answer was a groaning "NO, Mommy!" I also observed Blake doing some interesting hip swivelling/gyrations that reminded me of '80's exercise videos; although convinced that the faster the swivel the more likely it was that a bladder or bowel urge was imminent, nothing ever happened.
Sometime mid-morning, when I had very briefly let Blake out of my sight to do something for Noah, I came into the lounge to find him sitting on his little potty. I thought to myself, "Wow, this looks good!" He kept getting very excited and intimating that something was going to happen, so I just let him hang around and sat on the couch to look with sideways glances to see if there was any truth to this. After a while, he got up and decided he wanted to do something else; the potty was empty. I praised him for sitting and trying, and we went up to his room and played for a bit. After lunch came a breakthrough. We were back upstairs and Blake announced he was going into our room, and said that he needed me and Noah to stay outside. I am sure that hunter-like, my ears and eyebrows perked up; sensing that something was about to happen, I perched on the other side of the door with the potty ready. Quiet from the room. I burst in to find Blake standing, with a strange and contemplative look on his face. I had about 2 seconds before he started to say that something was happening and I swept the potty beneath him to make the catch. VICTORY! We then whooped and cheered and it was very exciting. Our elation was contagious: even Noah smiled and laughed. We phoned Matt and it was a very good moment, duly rewarded with a chocolate coin. I was feeling tired and also in need of a reward, so I had 2 chocolate digestives. We then went and watched Mickey Mouse's Christmas Special; I needed a break. By 4:30, I had a realization that despite the successful deposit of a #2, I had not seen any signs of any liquid the entire day - no accidents, hurrah!, but no anything, either, and he hadn't been in a pull-up at all for it to go unnoticed. I started to get worried that he was storing up his urine and that it was going to flood, toxically, into his blood or something. Surely he should have gone by now?! For some reason I also then started thinking about those poor people whom you read about who get stranded in a desert and have to drink their own urine...that just doesn't seem nice! I digress...
Finally, I discovered I had no reason to worry: Blake announced that he was cold and needed some trousers on, and went to put on the pair that were on the floor from the morning. That wasn't going to work, however, as he said, "Oh no, Mommy, these are too wet!" Aha! So he had had an accident, but it just didn't result in a puddle and he also didn't mention it. At least I could stop worrying about the toxic substances backing up in his system.
When Matt got home, Blake upped his game by actually sitting on the potty to do another #2; this was definite progress as he consciously decided to sit, instead of my just swooping in and getting lucky with a timely catch by the potty. More celebrations and chocolate coins. Unfortunately he didn't really get it all out and then poo'd himself about 15 minutes later. Greeeeat, but I was too tired, and also happy at the general good results of the day, to care too much.
What I did need, though, was some fresh air. We'd been inside for 2 straight days and I felt I had been Blake's shadow all day, so I popped out for a quick walk. Without meaning to sound too voyeuristic, I've loved this time of year in the neighborhood; it gets dark so early that people have to turn their lights on, which means in my recent afternoon/evening walks I've been able to look in on people's houses and see lots of nice Christmas decorations and some lovely interiors of some beautiful homes.
I do, however, just keep walking and never look too carefully; after all, I know that being a spy is definitely not a job I want. I'm going to stick to being, if not the Lyons' tamer, at least the Lyons' potty trainer. It is pretty rewarding after all, and most importantly, it can be done anywhere!