It all started with an episode of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.
If you're unaware of Daniel Tiger, it's a new show on PBS during the preschool hours (right after Sesame Street) that is a re-imagining of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood using, for the most part, characters he created, like Daniel Striped Tiger. Priscilla Pussy Cat has been renamed to Katerina Kitty Cat, I think, but other than that, it's pretty much my childhood 2.0'ed for my kids, which is kind of really awesome, if you ask me.
ANYWAY. So there was an episode last week that talked about using the potty and Tova's little eyes lit up and she pulled her pants right off and sat on the froggy potty that if you've been over in the last ... oh, year, you've had the pleasure of seeing displayed in our living room. Because we keep it classy like that. And I was super excited because at least maybe someone would potty train in this house, which would just make life better for everyone all around.
So we changed our Amazon subscription from diapers for Tova to training pants in her size and crossed our fingers that this would stick, since Kiedis' urologist had recently told us not to push potty training with Kiedis because of the awesome combination of his various delays and the growing theory that his tethered cord surgery wasn't as successful as we'd hoped, and he had residual nerve damage from the whole ordeal.
Bright side, right? If one will need diapers for the rest of all time, at least we can get one to use the potty, right?
But since I'm a masochist, I made the mental crack-down decision that I was going to potty train BOTH children, because maybe the group think would help influence them, and I pretty much refuse to let Kiedis' issues give him a pass unless it is completely, 100% certain that he will never grasp the task at hand. I decided I would start on Friday, doing the whole using a timer every hour to make them sit method because Kiedis doesn't have school on Fridays and it would give me the weekend to hopefully make some head way.
To prep, I kept asking Kiedis at every diaper change if he wanted to wear his big boy unders, which we've had for about a year now, and he would vehemently refuse. And I would tell him that's fine, I was just checking, and we'd go on our way.
Until Thursday, after school. Where mid-diaper change, he got up and opened the drawer where we keep his unders, and picked out a pair from a Halloween set, joyously (even manically) yelling SPIIIIIIDERS! SPIIIIIIDERS! and he put them on.
I braced, because I knew it was going to just be a mess, but I encouraged him because, well, sure, let's give it a shot. I was going to crack down in less than 12 hours anyway.
And then, that boy surprised me.
About half an hour later, he looked me in the eyes and said "Potty?" and made the sign. I rushed him to the potty, him laughing all the way, and I sat him down, mentally crossing my fingers.
He peed, triumphantly. And stood up and said "TA-DA!" with his two little fist pumped into the sky. And I made an overly big deal about it, because that's how I am, and there was much cuddling and high fiving.
He even dumped out the little potty into our toilet and flushed. And asked to wash his hands.
A couple hours later, he did it again, just as happily. And he wanted to sleep in his unders, so we let him.
There were no accidents. But I'll be damned if he didn't run to the bathroom in the morning, saying "Potty, YAY! POTTY YAY!"
So this is all well and good, right? It appears that he's potty training on his own, at least for pee, and this is kind of awesome because at least we're using fewer diapers for him, so they'll last longer. The weekend is full of potty surprises out of him, including holding it at Target until we bought a second potty (which is why we were there) and went in the family bathroom on the new potty, and the time he wanted to go outside in just his unders and a sweatshirt and I let him because that was not a battle I wanted to pick, and he ran to the edge of our yard, shivered (it was only like, 57 degrees out) and ran back inside yelling PANTS, CLOTHES ON, PANTS and Kyle and I laughed because that wind was pretty chilly and he learned a lesson about why we wear clothes outside, finally.
He also didn't poop all weekend, so we knew we still not out of the woods.
And he went to school on Monday in his unders, a full extra outfit in his bookbag, texts to his teacher sent to brace everyone.
But then the bus to bring him home was an hour late, and he had an accident. And he was upset and the teachers were trying hard not to be upset but I could kind of tell over the phone they were, and it was this huge mess and by the time Kiedis was home, he wanted a diaper again.
So I didn't push it and I just hung my head in disappointment, because Tova wanted nothing to do with pottying either, and chastised myself for getting excited.
He went to school Tuesday in a diaper. His teacher said he went potty at school, so all was not lost, but yeah, that damn diaper.
Until he got home and asked for big boy unders and pj pants for his nap. And he was excited to potty again.
He was running around in circles after dinner, kind of doing the pee-pee dance, kind of not, and I asked him if he wanted to sit on the potty. He ran over to the froggy potty, pulling down his pants, and sat down. He gave me a funny smile, then stood up and said TA-DA!
Lo, he had pooped in the potty. All on his own.
My son is potty training. The doctors and specialists told me this was impossible, that the last signifier of a successful surgery would be this thing he couldn't do, for nerve damage and lacking synapses, and that a whole new kind of existence would slowly develop for us where we'd have to help him completely void and he'd be in diapers indefinitely.
Except, as I type this between potty sessions, he's sitting on the couch, in his big boy unders.
I cannot explain how amazing this is. Because it isn't really just about poop. It's about defying convention. It's about proving the specialists wrong.
It's about how my sweet boy never fails to surprise us in the best of ways.