We did it.
After weeks of hemming and hawing around it, talking it over briefly over the impatient tones of our offspring, who recently haaaaaaaaaaaate if Mommy and Daddy try to have a simple conversation not revolving around them (oy vey); of failures causing us to frown in despair and search each other for encouragement and further justification for a course, any course, of action; of moments of gleeful surprise and unprecedented display of comprehension and action, we finally committed to Sparkle Motion, as it were.
We cancelled our Amazon subscriptions to the kids' diapers and wipes.
Because my kids are 95% potty trained.
(insert happy dance here)
While most parents greet this as a victory in operant conditioning (while they may not actually realize that's what's going on here, but it is, trust) for us, for us it is different, it is monumental, it is indicative of a completely different life course than what we'd been previously told was possible, one far better and more "normal" than we'd dared to hope from that first moment we heard the words "spina bifida."
Sure, for Tova it is a milestone and it means that whatever comes her way for preschool in the fall it will be that much easier for everyone, as she actually wakes up in the night to potty (most of the time) and is very good at being vocal about her needs and, let's face it, the child is incredibly motivated equally by praise and food. So this is all good and well and awesome because yay, no more diaper butt.
But for Kiedis, for Kiedis this is everything. Absolutely everything.
This is the final tenet of his spinal surgery being considered successful the last item in a laundry list we were given to wait for, to aim for, to see how normal our baby boy would be, and how late we were to getting the issue addressed marked by the basic motions we take for granted -- walking, kicking a ball, being able to use the bathroom, pedaling a bike -- that he could or could not do.
We didn't even know then that he was special, that not only were we fighting his nerve endings and spinal column and growth rate, but we were fighting his neural pathways and his information processing and his comprehension and ability to act.
We just knew that it was going to be a long time before we knew if we did the right thing at the right time.
This doesn't just mean that his nerve endings are in tact, or that his surgery was successful or even that further surgery should not be required on his spine (while his kidneys are another issue all together, but one major life-sustaining organ at a time, please) -- it means that he understands and has learned and is capable of so much more than we have been lead to believe up until this point. It means he can do so much more than we've been giving him credit for. The feeling that fills me when I think of this now known truth is nothing short of fantastic.
This is fantastic.
I know we've been down this road before, and he regressed so fervently that I wished I could have bit my tongue clean off for even tempting fate and saying anything, and for months afterward with every soiled diaper I cursed myself for the jinx of my own writer's brain for being impatient to tell a story that wasn't yet actually lived.
Yes, there are accidents, and I don't foresee a great change in that status because they are, after all, still a preschooler and a toddler, but the weight of this accomplishment as it is for both of my children is such a burden to finally shrug off of our shoulders (and out of our budget, lord) that I can't help but be so proud of them, of what they are capable of despite what others may say or think or label, that I am bursting.
It was probably the best Mother's Day gift, ever, to cancel those subscriptions in complete confidence that we are making the right decision, that nearly five years after we found out we were pregnant, we are done with diapers.
Kiedis proving that he can put his shoes on himself without prompting was just the icing on the cake.