Friday, June 13, 2014

Potty or Parent Training: Part 3 of Ages and Stages

One would think that I am a potty-training expert since I have six children. Nope. My youngest, although he saw his four year old older brother go through this rite of passage a year ago, has no intention of using his potty.

Drew turned two in December. 
His adamant nature showed itself about two months ago. He has purposely aimed his “pee pee water” towards the tub drain hole only twice. He frowns at the Elmo toilet insert I bought. In his opinion, the other baby potty is only useful for standing on to brush his teeth. 

My other sons were closer to three years old when they decided that potty-trained was a worthwhile endeavor. I suppose I should be encouraged that at least Drew stands next to his four year old brother as he models the standing up option to relieve himself.

So although various cultural traditions, some experts and other daycare-attending toddlers prove that a 2 ½ year old boy can relinquish his disposables, pull-ups or cloth diapers to the world of No More, I’m just going to wait until he is willing. I’m not going to force the next stage of his life. It’ll come.

I share all this to say, I’ve come a long way as a parent. The toddler tantrums, the pubescent mood swings for both males and females, the whining, and even the dishes left in the sink by one of my legally adult children, don’t raise my frustration to 212 degrees in 2 seconds anymore.

My twenty year old son, Chris will start his senior year this Fall. He was the first one to actually “move out” and go to another city for college after two years at our local community college.  He is in the normal stage of desiring more respect. Here is a scene from early May:

(I turn the car off after arriving home from picking him up after final exams)
Me: You are driving tomorrow to town for our chiropractor appointment.
Him: (silence)
Me: (looking over)
Him: Could you ask me first?
Me: (putting a lid on my initial reaction) Well, before you drive my car around this summer, I want to ride with you one time. Plus I get tired of driving
Him: (nodding his head while holding in his own thought bubbles) I’d at least like to be asked, not told.
Me: But then you can say no, and I don’t want that. (a slight smile)
Him: This is true…
Me: (the "aha" moment happens. I read 
Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs so I know what men need...even sons) 
Me: Since I don’t want to give you the option of saying no, because I am still your mom and this is still my car, what about: I’d like you to drive tomorrow
Him: Yeah, that’s better.
Me: (shocked) Really?! So it’s just the wording?
Him: Yes.
Me: Okay, I’ll remember that. (The following silence echoes the conversations that he and I have had in the past year that have healed, restored and brought mutual understanding and a deeper appreciation of one another.)

I’m stepping into a new season of parenting adults. Pray for me!  However, this next stage will help the whole family put to practice all of the valuable teaching that we’ve obtained through Christian books on relationships, communication, emotional honesty, and gender differences. It will be a good summer.

So, since I’m done with some of my daily “author” work, I’m going to start on the summer chore schedule for my oldest four kids. How do you assign chores for teens and adults that have entirely different schedules and have the house in order the way you want it all the time????? LOL

My expectations are too high. I will forget my Better Homes and Gardens  fantasy and settle for maintaining basic neatness and cleanliness.  

Ecclesiastes 3
New King James Version (NKJV)

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
    And a time to die;
A time to plant,
    And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,

    And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
    And a time to build up;
A time to weep,

    And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
    And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,

    And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
    And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,

    And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
    And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,

    And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
    And a time to speak;
A time to love,

    And a time to hate;
A time of war,
    And a time of peace

Lord, help us know the times and seasons that You are ushering us into as fathers, mothers, daughters, sons and guardians.

Part 4: To be posted early July

Part 5: The End (late July)