Jan 26, 2009


Even though Nicholas turned 4 in October, he has moments when he reverts back to being 3. If not treated, this condition can be nearly fatal ... not for the 3-year-old, but for those around him.

In my Christmas letter, I said something to the effect of, "If babies came out of the womb acting 3 years old, the human race would be extinct." I stand by that statement. Do you have, or have you ever had, a 3-year-old? This is what it can be like to assist Nicholas in the bathroom when he is stricken with Three-itis (and what it was like almost EVERY time he went to the potty in 2008):

Nicholas: "Pull down my pants."

Me: "Buddy, you can pull down your own pants."


Me: "Nick, you are 3. Please pull your own pants down."

Nicholas: [almost in tears] "Mommy, pull down my pants or I might pee on mah-seff! I can't HOLD it any more!"

Me: "FINE. THERE. Do everything else by yourself, because you are old enough and you do it every day."

Nicholas: [pouting, but peeing]

Me: "LOOK WHERE YOU'RE PEEING. You got it on the wall. Aim your penis at the potty."

Nicholas: [swivels hips to the right, but over-corrects and splashes the side of the tub]

Me: "Are you KIDDING me? DO NOT SWIVEL. Purposefully aim your penis toward the potty."

Nicholas: "I'm finished." [walks toward door]

Me: "You are NOT finished. You didn't flush and you didn't wash your hands."

Nicholas: "I don't want to."

Me: "I understand, but you have to. Skipping those things isn't an option. Now flush."

Nicholas: [grudgingly slaps flusher; luckily for him, it actually flushes]

He stomps over to his stool at the sink, and naturally, he first tries to wash without soap. I insist on soap, so he pumps it onto his hands and plunges his hands straight into the running water without scrubbing at all. I pump more soap into his hands, grab them myself and scrub them together. He tries to rinse without washing the tops of his hands, I grab them again and show him how to be THOROUGH and PREVENT HIMSELF FROM GETTING SALMONELLA IN THREE MINUTES when he goes downstairs to grab a cheese stick.

He dries his hands on his pants, despite the towel hanging two feet away, and off he goes ... until an hour later when he has to pee again.

I realize that some moms consider this a battle they're willing to lose. They don't make their kids wash their hands EVERY time they go to the bathroom. And maybe by the time Jake gets around to pottying on his own, I will have given up on this particular thing. But for now, it still ranks pretty high on my list of Things I Will Teach My Children So That They Will Become Responsible, Hygienic Members of Society. And it is EXHAUSTING.

1 comment:

Patrice said...

Ah, the things I have to look forward too. :) You're right, it does sound exhausting. Get this though. One of the little girls I babysit twice a week will be 4 in March and is not potty trained at all. They've tried. She refuses. Last week her mom just started making her wear panties, and even though I try to get her to potty ALL the time (ask her every 30 min-1 hour), she adamantly says no and then will sneak off to her bedroom and will pee all over herself and on her bedroom (carpeted) floor. Talk about three-itis!!!

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