“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:18-19
By: Kerri Young
Today is a big day. My sweet C is turning three. I have been looking forward to this birthday for about four months now because we decided it will be the day we are done with diapers. I thought about trying to potty train little man back in April before number three came along, but after he became hysterical at the mere sight of the potty seat I figured he wasn’t ready and came up with another plan.
Instead we decided to hype up his birthday because that’s what we did with his big sister, and it worked. After a month of talking about it, K was potty trained the day she turned two. Literally, she woke up that morning and said, “I’m going to wear big girl panties” and quit wearing diapers cold turkey…without accidents…even overnight. It did take her about a week to go number two on the potty, but the promise of a trip to Chick-Fil-A was all it took to persuade her.
So, we have gone to all lengths to make going on the “big boy potty” sound like the greatest thing ever; including purchasing underpants with every character imaginable from Thomas the Train to Lightning McQueen to Buzz Lightyear, promising a reward of going swimming in the indoor pool at the university where we work without big sister, and selling him on the joy of standing up to go pee pee just like Daddy and taking aim at things like Cheerios and Fruit Loops floating in the potty. Yet I have zero confidence that potty training C is going to be as simple as potty training K, because, really, K trained herself.
Nevertheless, we have talked this day up so much that if you ask him what happens on October 17th, C will tell you it’s his birthday and he’s not going to wear diapers anymore. Interestingly enough, in the last week as the “big day” has inched closer C has started to say things like, “I don’t want to grow bigger.” Or, while looking at his baby brother as I change his pants, “I want to be little like D.” Last night as I was baking his birthday cake he looked in the window of the oven and grumbled, “I don’t want a birthday cake.”
I’m 99.9 percent sure that this is preschooler speak for, “I don’t want a birthday if you are going to take away my diapers and make me go on the toilet.” As a matter of fact, while my husband was changing his pants before he went to bed last night, we asked him if he was excited to be three and he held up the lone diaper lying in the basket and said, “I still have one diaper.” Sigh.
Even still, it’s time. Changing dirty diapers has become a torturous experience for all of us because his bottom gets raw in less than five minutes of contact with poo. Because his bottom hurts when we wipe it, he’s not really excited about coming to tell me when he’s stinky…thus creating a vicious cycle of a bottom that sits way too long in poo and can’t ever get better. I just keep thinking, “If you only understood how much easier it will be when you can go on the potty….”
One day last week as I was wrestling with him to be still so I could get his bottom clean (not an easy task with a 30 pound ball of energy), I was getting increasingly frustrated and I yelled, “Please, be still! I’m trying to help you! If you don’t let me help you it’s going to hurt even more!” He stopped kicking, and flailing and screaming just long enough for me to finish the job and as I was putting a new diaper on him I had another one of those “aha” moments that seem to come so frequently with parenting.
How many times in my life is God thinking, “If you only understood how much easier life will be when….” as I have acted just like my little C? When God wants to teach me something new or take me someplace for my own good that I’ve never been, how often do I cling to what I know even though it’s clear it’s not God’s best? How many times have I balked at God’s direction or leading because I’m afraid or even too content with the way things are even though I’m miserable? How often have I stubbornly sat in my “poo” or, worse yet, thrown a fit wallowing in my “poo” while God has been whispering to my heart, “Be still! I’m trying to help you! If you don’t let me help you it’s going to hurt even more!”
Let’s be encouraged! God has a unique plan and purpose for my life and yours. He sees the big picture and knows the best way to move us along for our good and His glory. Thank goodness He is also full of grace (so much more than I am!) and meets us right where we are to help us accomplish this new thing one day at a time.
So, today as we celebrate my sweet boy’s third year of life, I want to remember that just like he doesn’t understand how much not having to wear diapers anymore will improve his daily life, I am not always capable of understanding why it’s necessary for God to do a new thing. But, that’s okay, because God IS and as long as I trust Him, He won’t let me sit in my “poo” forever.