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Sunday, November 24, 2013
Earlier this fall, I woke up one morning and decided it was a good day to potty train. I know some people potty train gradually and others quit diapers cold turkey. I had been doing the gradual thing since the beginning of the year but couldn’t stay on top of it after my son was born. I eventually got tired of changing two sets of diapers (mainly chasing down my toddler when she needed a diaper change), so potty training seemed like a good idea.
I should have prayed about it first.
What ensued was one of the most hellish days in my two-year parenting career. She had four accidents after breakfast—all within the space of an hour. The baby was cranky, so I had to hold him while I watched her “clean up” (read—wipe her pee all over my kitchen floor). Twice she peed on the carpet—one of those being a trail from our bedroom to the living room, because she was running to tell me about it. The most dramatic time was when she told me she had to go potty while I was nursing the baby, so I nursed him with one arm and then carted her off to the bathroom with the other arm, because I didn’t want to clean up one more accident.
By the afternoon, I felt like my day had gone down the drain—literally. I was exhausted from coaxing her to go potty, washing out every single pair of underwear she had, and following her all over the house with Clorox wipes.
In retrospect, I should have planned to do it over the weekend, when my husband would have been home to help me. I should not have tried to cook or clean or do anything else but potty train. I should have prepped my daughter more and waited for a day when I had gotten enough sleep. I should have waited until she was begging me to let her start using the potty.
But that’s all just methodology. What this first round of potty training really did was expose a few more areas in my life that needed sanctifying. Things like cleanliness and being sanitary, which were once virtues in my life, became too important. When I started resenting the ever-growing pile of laundry or getting angry when my toddler had an accident, I began to realize that something wasn’t right in my heart.
I’m still learning. I still get frustrated and angry when she has an accident. But just as my daughter needs grace as she figures out this stage in her life, I also need God’s grace to tear down the idols in my heart, so I can be the mom that He wants me to be.