Potty Training

The day I got married was expected to be the happiest day of my life. Granted, I have never regretted spending 18 years with the same woman; I have enjoyed it. Now, if you know me, or specifically knew me when I was a young man, you knew I was definitely focused only on how events in life affected me. I was used to being the center of attention. When I met my wife, I learned quickly that I would have to give up personal feelings of selfishness to ensure my wife was happy.
Fast forward to this week and I learned a new level of giving that I had not experienced before: Potty Training. When my daughter was three, her nursery school helped us through the laborious process of training and basically informed us when she stopped having accidents. Whether it was her personalty or just the way things went, her training involved little effort. Not so with my son. He is going to challenge us to our very last nerve.
This morning after my son woke up, I spent every five minutes asking him if he needed to go and realized nothing I could say would encourage him. We ad to go shopping so I pleaded with him to visit the bathroom but he vehemently announced his displeasure with that idea by saying, “Nooooo.” But then we were picking my daughter up from dance, he asked to go to the bathroom. We went, and he used the public toilet in the dance center without hesitation.
I basically don’t know what I’m doing as I raise my children. Every decision seems to have two negative aspects for every one positive, and then I don’t know if I am actually right. Maybe that is parenting. People guessing what to do next and hoping their children never find out how little they know. The gig is up, mom and dad! Your amazing wisdom seems now pieced together bits of self-help suggestions with a little guesswork. You know what, though? I realize that we are all just muddling our way through the quicksand of life and no one knows the answer.
Tomorrow, when I suggest my child use the bathroom instead of urinating on the floor, I will remind myself that this one lesson will lead to a lifetime of independence. How about all those times when we don’t even realize the effect we have. Remember, your kids are listening to and watching what you do…

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