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Less mess the second time around

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By Bryan Marshall

The second time around, things are always a little bit easier.

And, when it comes to potty training, that is the best news possible.
When my oldest son finally mastered using the toilet life just got a little bit easier.

We did not have to spend ungodly amounts of money on diapers anymore.

Our house did not constantly smell like a garbage dump. (Although the bathroom tended to have a pee smell when his aim wasn’t the best at first.)

A huge relief was off our shoulders and potty training was the first step in the realization that our little boy was growing up fast.
Now our youngest, who has only been 2 years old for a month, is hard at work trying to learn what feels like is a tougher task than learning to crawl, walk or even talk.

For two years, whenever he needed to go, he just went without any worries.

Better yet, he had mommy and daddy to clean up after him.

So, for a young kid, he sort of had it made in that department.
While 2 years old may seem a little young to start potty training, it is the age that our son’s daycare likes to begin the steps to a diaper-free lifestyle.

We went through the same process at the same age with the younger son to great success.

But, trust me, there were many bumps and messes on the road to triumph.

Since we did not use pull-ups at night, sleep became a luxury that we did not always get to enjoy.

Instead of enjoying some shut eye, we got to enjoy giving our little one middle of the night baths.

I learned to change the sheets of the crib with my eyes closed partly because I may have still been partly sleeping.

All of the rough patches were worthwhile, however, when our oldest was finally potty trained in less than a month.

Sure, there were a few accidents now and then, but don’t we all have accidents from time to time? (I’m looking at you, Al Roker.)
Maybe it’s because he has seen his older brother go to the bathroom for all of his days on Earth, but the training seems to be going even smoother this time around.

It’s been a couple weeks and he has gotten the knack of letting us know when he needs to go to the bathroom.

Sometimes, he does not enjoy sitting on the toilet and he will do what looks like a dance as he attempts to simultaneously slap at you and not fall in the toilet.

Occasionally, he says he needs to go when he doesn’t just to see us go into high-alert mode as we whisk him away to the bathroom.
But, it’s a good step.

He is down to about an accident a day now.

Sometimes his only issue at daycare is not pointing in the right direction, to put it delicately, to not get it on his pants.

I learned that the hard way one night when I was sitting with him trying to get him to pee in the toilet.

As he fought and whined, he suddenly got quiet before urine started gushing on his legs, all over me, on the floor and a bit on the wall.

That mistake WILL NOT happen again, that I can promise you.

Another lesson he is learning on top of potty training is how to take his pants and underwear off and on.

He has done a pretty good job getting them on the right way, but since he has a 50-50 chance maybe he’s just been lucky.

It was pretty alarming one night to go in his room to check on him when he was sleeping and find him laying down with only a shirt on.

I think he was initially afraid to have a bowel movement because he went almost five days before one arrived in his pants, accompanied by tears.

Lately, when we have been forced to put him in timeout in his crib, he has decided to punish us by taking that brief time to poop.
And, yes, one time he did it after taking his bottoms off.

After picking up the remains and taking off the sheets, a thought hit me suddenly.

How do I know that nothing rolled out of the crib and onto the floor.

So, like looking for a needle in a stinky haystack I got on the hands and knees in search of any runaway poo.

Luckily, there was none or at least none that I have discovered yet.

The sweetest moment of this whole ordeal happened a few days ago when my wife was downstairs with the kids.

She ran upstairs briefly to get a few things, leaving the boys playing by themselves.
Immediately, our youngest son had to go to the bathroom.

However, instead of an accident, our 5-year-old grabbed his brother by the hand and walked him into the bathroom.
He helped him pull down his pants and even got him a stool to stand on to sit on the toilet.

Amazingly, he even helped with the aiming aspect as he encouraged his sibling with phrases like ‘You can do it!” and “Good job!”
It’s moments like that when you think to yourself, “Maybe, I’m not doing too bad a job at this whole parenting thing.”
(Bryan Marshall is the staff writer at the Grant County News. He can be reached at bmarshall@grantky.com or by phone at 859-824-3343.)