Hello, America. It’s me again. Sorry it has been so long. I will try to do better. But no time to waste with apologies. I know you forgive me. (Thanks, America. Kiss, kiss.) Down to the business at hand.
That’s right, America. I’m sure you’ve seen this coming. I’m not just two anymore. Now I’m TWO-AND-A-HALF. Whatever that means. (Mommy tried to explain it to me. Because naturally every not-just-two-year-old IS ABLE TO GRASP THE CONCEPT OF FRACTIONS.) Anyway, no putting it off. It’s time I finally buckled down. And potty trained my parents. I’m going to be honest with you: it won’t be easy. They’re stubborn. And willful. And sometimes I think they just don’t WANT to learn.
You can see what I’m up against.
Truthfully, Mommy has been too preoccupied with “moving to the new house” and “finding her way around town” and “working” and “trying to prevent me from stapling my thumb . . . again” to give me much help. So, it’s probably up to me to learn how to use the potty. On. My. Own. Most likely, on the mean streets of . . . okay, at preschool. People, DON’T PANIC. I have connections. I have a friend at school who knows her way around a potty. She is also not-just-two. But this kid DOESN’T EVEN WEAR DIAPERS. (Crazy. Am I right?) Apparently that’s what you do when you gain full control (OKAY, partial control) over your plumbing. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m in no hurry to give up my diapers. Well, some of them. I LOVE the diapers with the big Elmo eyes on them. You know. These:
NO. They are not “creepy”. (And NO, I don’t want to hear any slander about the guy who voiced Elmo.) These are the only diapers that I will agree to wear. There are exactly six of them in every package of sixty-four diapers. I agree with you: TOTALLY UNREASONABLE. Why waste all those perfectly good diapers with pictures of Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch? It’s like Pampers hates the environment. Or maybe they just hate children. Know your audience, people. Know. Your. Audience. (“Oscar the Grouch is my favorite Sesame Street monster,” SAID NO TODDLER. EVER.)
Given the totally unacceptable Big-Elmo-diaper-to-other-useless-and-unacceptable-diapers-ratio, I recently decided it was time, America. I decided to learn to use the potty. (With or without Mommy and Daddy’s help.) And be done with diapers. Once and for all. (Sort of.)
It only took me a few days. (People, this isn’t rocket science. It’s mostly a geographic shift.) I think I have it down now.
Now, how do I tell my parents?
Me: Mommy, I wanna use the potty.
Mommy (trying to tear herself away from some activity that is not teaching me to use the potty): Ohhhhh. Really? Are you sure? Now? (SIGH.) Okay.
SERIOUSLY, WOMAN? IS THE PROBLEM THAT *YOU* DON’T KNOW HOW TO USE THIS THING . . . OR THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO SHARE IT WITH ME? I DON’T WANT TO INCONVENIENCE YOU. BUT UNLESS YOU PLAN TO ACCOMPANY ME TO COLLEGE TO CHANGE THESE (BIG ELMO) DIAPERS, LET’S GET THIS GOING. CAPISCE?!?
Mommy (reluctantly) got out the little blue practice potty. I sat down. Eureka.
Mommy: It’s okay if nothing comes out.
Me: Mooommmy. (eye roll.)
Mommy: Just take your time.
Mommy: Don’t get frustrated. It will happen.
No, I’m not exaggerating, America. She really can be that thick.
Me (gesturing wildly at the potty): MOMMY. PEEP PEEP.
Mommy (finally checking the potty): Emma! Good job! Hey, Dan– Emma just went on the potty.
Daddy: Emma-chan! Yatta!
I’m pretty sure that’s Japanese for: “Even though I couldn’t be bothered to fully assume my parental duties and teach you how to void your bladder in something that won’t sit in a landfill for the next 20 years, you managed to have figured out how to do it yourself. Well done.” That is, of course, a loose translation.
It’s more poetic in Japanese.
Anyway, you’d think I would have gotten my point across. You’d think that my little demonstration would have motivated Mommy. Or even Daddy. To kick the potty training into high gear. Not so much. The little blue potty sits there. In the bathroom. Collecting dust. Mommy never suggests I use it. Daddy never suggests I use it. Jacob and I flip the top down and use it as a stool when we brush our teeth. Otherwise it is just a big blue plastic reminder of what could have been. (Don’t cry for me, America. Remember. I have people.)
Every now and then I hear Mommy have this conversation with one of her friends.
Mommy: Yeah, we really should start potty training. I mean, she seems interested in it. And they practice at school. And she can get her clothes on and off.
YES, AND . . . ?!?!
Mommy: All the signs of readiness are there.
Signs of “readiness”? For my own information, Mommy, is one of the “signs of readiness” THE ABILITY TO ACTUALLY USE THE POTTY?!?
I’m not going to lie to you, people. Sometimes I wonder how this woman made it through graduate school.
Until last week. When Mommy finally decided it was time to “motivate me” to potty train. (Can I get a collective eye roll here, People? Three, two, one . . .)
Mommy: Emmy, once you learn to use the potty all the time you won’t even need to wear your diapers.
Mommy: You’ll get to wear undies instead.
Oh. I knew that.
Mommy: Just like your friend, E— at school. Would you like that?
Me: I want UNDIES, Mommy.
Mommy: Okay. Well, how about we get some and once you start using the potty all the time you can try wearing them . . .?
Really, Mommy. Really? You’re going to make it that easy? I get the undies NOW? BEFORE, I’m truly potty trained. And this is going to motivate me to potty train HOW EXACTLY? (Did I mention that Mommy got a degree in clinical psychology. I KNOW, RIGHT?!?)
Mommy took me shopping for undies. I made it clear to her that I had some requirements. For example. There is only one acceptable color for undies. (Or anything for that matter.)
Me: Mommy, I want PURPLES.
Mommy: Okay, we can look for purple undies.
Me: PURPLES, Mommy.
We went to three stores. None of them had packages of purple undies. Finally Mommy bought a package that had ONE pair of purple undies along with a bunch of pink and blue and yellow ones. (It’s like the Big Elmo diaper dilemma all over again.) That’s fine. I will simply only wear the purple one.
As soon as we got home, I insisted on putting it on.
Me: I wanna wear undies, Mommy.
Mommy: Okay. As soon as you learn how to go on the potty EVERY time. Until then, let’s put them in your drawer.
Me: I wanna wear PURPLE UNDIES NOW.
A brief negotiation followed. Mommy explained that undies were for kids who were totally potty trained. I explained that I understood. But that purple undies were for Emma NOW. I think she heard me. I put on the purple undies. Over my diaper. And wore them for three days. (I know what you’re thinking: BRILLIANT.)
And now I’m SUPER motivated to potty train.