The last few days, as Kenny’s gotten over the stomach bug that ailed him, I’ve put underwear on him instead of diapers for the afternoons. He has responded with pride and enthusiasm, and has been quite disappointed when today we left the house and I put the old Pullups back on. He hasn’t even had any real accidents – just a dribble here and there.
But the best part of it, is the lingo he’s adopted in his new Big Boy role. Though I have only referred to the new clothing as “underwear,” Kenny has taken to calling them “Unders.” As in, “I want to wear my Unders in the car! I won’t pee-pee in ’em!” and “Mommy, I have to potty or so I don’t get my Unders dirty.”
As I’ve become more serious about potty training, I am forced to admit the obvious: it’s really me and Casey, the Parents, that need to be potty trained. We need to spend a couple of days at home all day, faithfully taking him to the commode, and not relying on the convenience of diapers, which are in reality, so much easier.
I’ve thought a lot about how different we are than our own parent’s generation lately. My mom didn’t work outside the home, and she was really “home all day”with us. When we were Kenny’s age, she probably didn’t run errands four different times a week, or take us to the mall just to get out, or run around like crazy to play dates and activities and various appointments. Oh, I’m sure we had a social life; it was just most likely with our neighbors, and we walked to their houses. And I know that she got groceries and the like, but it was probably a once-a-week outing, not a compulsive daily ritual to get in the car.
With Kenny sick earlier this week, we stayed exactly in our four walls for two straight days – an anomaly to be sure. And I realized how different the dynamic is when you really do “stay home” with your kids. Suddenly there are no battles getting dressed, wearing “unders” and potty training is fun, and there is more time for stories and coloring and playing silly games. At one point, we sat on the couch for nearly an hour and read books. Then we moved on to play blocks in the floor for another hour. Because of the often and impending vomit, I wasn’t getting up trying to squeeze in chores, or looking at the clock getting mentally ready to go somewhere.
I’m not saying that I am suddenly going to stay home all day from now on – the reality is that we have commitments and places to go, and the bigger reality is that we don’t have any playmates in the neighborhood, so if we want any kind of social life, we’ve got to get in the car. But these sick days have been a good reminder that life isn’t so bad with a little less motoring around and a little more snuggling in.
As for Dudley, we have been to a second round of vet visits, and he is doing much better, though we still haven’t gotten to the bottom of what’s going on. They have ruled out quite a bit, but have gotten no closer to a true diagnosis. Stay tuned.