It is no secret that kids are messy. Toddlers in particular are very messy. The messes had been pretty mild until the last couple of months. Now she entertains herself by emptying bathroom drawers, dumping out baskets of toys, taking apart all of her puzzles with no intention of actually putting them back together etc. It’s quite frustrating when I'm cleaning and she is alongside me making a mess with something else. I could go on and on with the stuff she likes to get into.
I am trying to keep my sanity by attempting to have some acceptance for this stage in her life. I can't possibly spend all day cleaning up after her so I just have to deal with having a messy house most of the day. I do make her pick some things up but as quickly as she can make a mess it takes her about ten times longer to clean it up. I just try to maintain age appropriate expectations.
Up until this morning I would say Stella was a semi-pro mess maker. She was doing well but still needed to color on a few walls or smash a little more play dough into the carpet before she could really go pro. Well today she made the leap to a total professional. In fact, we are probably going to get her a uniform where we can post her sponsors: Clorox, Resolve and Huggies baby wipes. Today she made the mess of all messes. If you are wondering what it could be let me just tell you, today we attempted to begin potty training.
We have been preparing her for weeks for this day. She is very excited about the potty. She loves her Dora potty seat and enjoys sitting on the toilet and flushing. She has been showing some signs of readiness and has even peed on the potty twice. I was all set to start this morning. We had her big girl panties, Dora of course, and planned to be home the majority of the week to do the training. I fully expected to have a few accidents but what I got was beyond my worst nightmare.
Thinking back I should have known with the very first accident that she wasn't ready.
Accident #1: We were in the bathroom helping her dolly practice going potty when I noticed she was wet. She was probably wet less than five minutes but it didn't even phase her. She had underwear on and could totally feel the wetness and it didn't bother her one bit.
Accident #2: I was giving her lots of juice to increase her opportunities to go to the bathroom. We had just tried to go to the potty about five minutes before and it was a no go. We had gone back to the living room and as I was looking at her she looked down and there she went on the carpet. Sweet.
Accident #3: It happened in seconds. I heard a grunt and oh no, but oh yes she did. I tried to rush her to the bathroom so she could finish but apparently things are flowing just fine for her. Glad to know we won't be needing any reading material for the bathroom. Luckily she was still into wearing the underwear at this point.
Accident #4: She tires of pulling her panties up and down and ditches them. I figure what the heck, if she pees I'm going to have to clean it up anyway, so what's the difference? We are having issues with her snacks at this point. Lately she thinks it's fun to dump out her bowl of goldfish on the table then fling them onto the floor. Today she had Cheeze-its and after she dumped them on the floor she thought she should also smash them into the carpet. My patience was a little lower at this point and I decided this behavior needed a time-out. So what does she do? Yep, she pees all over her time-out chair. Her chair is not plastic.
This whole process had become increasingly frustrating and thoughts of self doubt and failure began to creep into my mind. There might have been a tear or two by this time. I am pregnant after all so let’s keep that in mind. Though I am losing confidence by the minute and my patience is wearing thin, I press on! This was supposed to be hard right? And that brings me to our last and most catastrophic accident.
Accident #5: She had her morning poop already, were good to go. I can focus on at least getting her trained to pee on the potty. We can do this! Wrong, soooooooooo wrong. We are playing in our play room and I leave her side for maybe a minute. I stop in my tracks, it's quiet. As I walk back into the front room I hear her say "messy, messy". OH GOD, PLEASE NO!
A little side note about me, I am not good with emergencies. I freeze, panic and freak out before I figure out how to handle the situation. A few months ago when Stella was sick she threw up all over me and my bed. Luckily, Mike was home so I just yelled "Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiike!" He looked at me like I was crazy for just standing there but I was dumbfounded.
So I am standing there looking at Stella, who is naked from the waist down, witnessing what is quite possibly the most horrific site I’ve ever seen, and I am temporarily frozen. There is no Mike to yell for. It was horrible. Let me remind you she was not wearing underwear. It was everywhere. On her toy horse, her hands, in between her toes, smashed into the carpet. Holy crap, literally, how did she do this in one minute! I finally jump into action and run her into the bathroom but she is touching me! She is touching me!!! I put her in the tub and she touches the wall. I am looking at the evidence on my arms but can do nothing because she is going to get it everywhere. I grab some baby wipes and do my best to wipe her hands and feet. I leave her in the tub for a second so I can go grab what hasn't been smashed into the carpet before the dog can eat it. Are you gagging yet? I don't know how I managed this without throwing up. I must have been in shock.
I got the situation somewhat under control and cleaned out the tub so I could get her cleaned up. I must have soaked her in that tub for a half hour. I scrubbed her down twice and double checked her finger nails. After she was cleaned and dressed I had the joy of cleaning off her toy and doing my best to clean up the carpet. My conclusion after day one of potty training, SHE IS NOT READY. I think we both may need months to get this nightmare of a day out of our minds before we will try again.
I have some feelings of guilt, failure and disappointment but now I mostly feel relieved. If we had to continue training tomorrow I might just go crazy. Seeing that I'm pregnant I'm already half way there so it would be a quick trip. Like most mistakes I make as a mother I feel bad for a while but I am forced to move on for the sake my family and my own sanity. If you dwell on these things I think it takes away from your ability to be a good mom and wife. Live and learn right? The memory of this day, and the smell for that matter, might stick with me for awhile.