Noah's been doing a great job with his potty training. Over the last week, we've slowly been letting him become accustomed to "big-boy underwear" for a couple of hours at a time. Due to the success of the last few days, Noah spent all of yesterday actually wearing underwear from wake up to bed time. In fact he repeated that victory today, but this story is about yesterday. Now permit me to set up the story...
Our big thing with Noah is that he needs to tell us when he has to go to the bathroom, that way he doesn't have an accident, and the kid's been getting really good about running up to us and shouting "Momma, Dadda, potty!!" While delivering this message he seems to posses this look of urgency that suggests he is not in fact fooling around, and if we were to fail in getting him to his destination, the world, would come to a very disastrous end. Therefore, we take the boy and his cry for assistance with the utmost seriousness and do everything in our power to escort him (Rather quickly, because honestly, who wants to clean up that mess? We do it enough with our dogs.) to the potty. Once there, Noah will very quickly assist in removing his pants (thanks Kim for teaching him how to slide them off) and will then struggle to get his undies off. Finally, he climbs up to the toilet, positions himself, carefully aims, and in most cases will successfully fire. The grand finally consists of a round of applause and high fives from all parties involved.
Set up complete, we shall now proceed to the punch line...
Last night Kim was at her usual weekly CCD class, teaching the Public School kids of our Parish all about the wonders of the Catholic faith. This means that I'm left to babysit, err I mean, bond with my two boys one evening a week. With Kim being gone, that means I'm in charge of keeping the schedule and basically getting everyone through a 90 minute period alive. With about 15 minutes left to go before total Philson Household lock-down, I had Harrison ready for bed. Dressed in his jamies (I'm a daddy, I can say the word jamies with a straight face and not be laughed out of a room full of men) in my arms, bottle in mouth, and lights off. It was heavenly. Noah was at the time playing trucks in the other room, gracing Harry and I with the occasional visit to make sure everyone was okay. On the last occasion, Noah entered the room with that look of urgency. "DADDY, POTTY!!" he cried with no regard to his semi-sleeping brother. In a flash a multitude of scenarios ran through my mind; put Harrison down, and take Noah to the bathroom, send Noah there by himself, let Noah wet himself. (okay three scenarios) In the end I decided that to set Harry down would ruin the work I had already invested in putting him to sleep. He would wake up and cry, and require additional comfort that would clearly take up valuable "Daddy time" that theoretically should be mine and mine alone. Without giving my words much thought, I calmly looked at Noah and said "Noah, can you hold it?" (I like to pause here to give other parents a chance to laugh at the stupid question I just asked)
Immediately I regretted my words. The kid gave me a look of confusion mixed with disgust. "But dad, I get in trouble when I do that" his eyes said. In the end, the child's obedience over ruled his frustration, and very slowly he raised his hand, and then firmly grabbed onto the front of his pants. Very clearly doing what Daddy had asked less than a second ago. The effort to restrain my violent laughter was tremendous. If I gave in to my impulse reaction to hysterically laugh at Noah's action I would essentially have nullified my efforts to keep Harrison asleep. The kid would have woken up and cried and I would have needed to soothe him, and would then need to clean up my urine stained two-year old.
In the end, my will-power overcame my primal urge, and I sent Noah to the bathroom. Harry finished his bottle just as all of this occurred, so I was able to put the youngest down, and then take Noah to the bathroom where we were met with additional successes. Through the entire ordeal, his underwear stayed dry. We celebrated our victory with a round of applause, a few "yeahs!" and one or two high fives.
This story very clearly has a moral, two year olds take things literally. Therefore never use such expressions as "Well gouge my eyes out with a dull steak knife" in your young child's presence. I highly doubt that story would end with applause and high fives.