People complain about the inconvenience of changing diapers. This is something that just doesn't resonate with me. Diapers are easy. Diapers and contained. Diapers are portable. I kind of love diapers. I could do without their expense and the colossal amount of waste they produce, but as far as convenience goes, I have no problems with diapers.
I do, however, loathe potty training. I didn't mind it with Primo but back then I had infinite time and tons more patience, and the luxury of arranging my schedule entirely around him. With Seconda, I remember it being an annoyance but - you know -- unavoidable.
The third time around, I think it is a distinct possibility that Terza never gets potty trained, not because she is averse to it - because I am. I bought her a potty just after she turned one, but only because we are at Ikea and I saw one and I have zero ability to resist impulses to buy things at Ikea, particularly when they might actually be useful. We've kept it in the bathroom, talking about it from time to time and occasionally, she'll sit on it, fully clothes, and all of that is lovely.
But recently, my grandmother, who watches Terza sometimes, has been encouraging her to use the potty (my mother gave her a hand-me-down potty that she purloined from God knows where) and now we're in it.
A few days ago, Terza came up to me and announces, "I gotta go POTTY!" and she's all proud of herself and enthusiastic and so who am I to stand in her way.
"OK!" I cheered, pulling off her pants and diaper.
Obediently, she ran to the potty and sat there for a few seconds I was busy helping Seconda with her homework by this point so details get fuzzy. But soon after I saw her toddle into the bathroom, I saw her toddle out again, and I thought to myself "I should put a diaper on that kid." Unable to tear myself away from the rousing game of Double Compare required for Seconda's homework, however, I did not. Then, about a minute later, Terza ran over to me and proclaimed, jubilantly, "I did A POOP!"
If this was a scene in a movie, you'd definitely hear the Jaws soundtrack now.
I was filled wij foreboding.
"Over DERE!" She pointed in the direction of her bedroom. Terrifically proud of herself.
"Will you show Mommy?" I asked.
"Sure," she replied, causing the dial on the Cute-O-Meter to nearly fly off.
She took my hand and led me into her bedroom, where it stank. REEKED. It smelled as thought twenty elephants had just moved their bowels in her bedroom.
"Where?" I asked again, mincing my way forward so I didn't accidentally encounter the turd with my foot.
"Hmmmm," she muttered, trying to remember. It was exactly as if she was trying to figure out where she'd parked her car. Then, all at once, she did and she pulled me offer to the far corner of the bedroom, by the window, behind the crib.
Nicole is a parenting writer who contributes essays and articles for magazines like Parenting, Parents, American Baby and Babble. She lives in Brooklyn with three children, one husband and a morbidly obese goldfish.