When you have a small child, it is very possible that your Fourth of July will not consist of picnics, barbecues, and fireworks. At least, not in the traditional way.
It is altogether possible, instead, that you will spend the hours from 8 am to noon “picnicking” on the cold marble of your bathroom floor, awaiting the “fireworks” of successful potty use.
You may sit there for nearly half an hour, reading book after book after book to the young innocent perched on his potty seat on the toilet with no success, only to go back into the kitchen and within 3 minutes hear the words, “Mommy, I just pee-peed in my underwear!” You are then required to patiently say, “Okay, let’s clean you up and go pick out some dry ones.”
While your husband, older son, and friends from out of town drink coffee, play games and chat in the kitchen, you will only stop in for brief periods before the timer goes off and you gather up the good will to say, “Okay, our 10 minutes are up! Time to go try again!” in a cheerful enough voice that the child will join you. It is quite possible that you will begin to seriously doubt the child’s readiness and wonder if this holiday spent on the bathroom floor will be in vain.
But by lunchtime, you may notice the world’s tiniest drop of urine on the edge of the potty seat as your child gets up. You will be so desperate by this time that you make a really big deal of that microscopic droplet and give him the coveted M&M. This could just prompt him to realize that there is a lot more where that droplet came from. The young innocent will shout out that it’s time to sit on the potty, and might really do it, begging for his next
injection of baby crack M&M. It’s altogether possible that this will go on for the next 20 minutes, turning what for most of us would be one quick trip to the bathroom into 6 different trips, each one earning another treat.
Should this happen to you, I can guarantee that you will feel such a rush of pride in your little one – and in yourself for having enough patience and faith in him to keep going – that it will be worth the cold, hard floor picnic of the past 4 hours. You won’t even mind missing an outing to see Ratatouille or the trip out with friends for the evening’s holiday festivities.
Because these are the fireworks that life is made of.
Happy 4th of July!