Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The waiting

It's been interesting, the last few days, as we've really gotten the potty-training thing into high gear - with great hopes of getting it over with sooner rather than later. It's been a very uneasy time around the house, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the ever-present "waiting for the accident" which has and will surely come again. I give great credit to our wonderful Nanny J., who is a committed to this as the rest of us for her stamina and dedication to getting us all through this stage in Dear Alex's development with a minimum of fuss and a real spirit of hope for the dear girl's progress. It's like this - Dear Alex has spent a large part of the last few days running around the apartment naked - much to her delight, but also to facilitate immediate access so that she might "pee pee on the potty" instantly, without encumbrance. While the whole experience of the delightful little girl running naked through the apartment has it's moments of fun, it also carries a certain tension for daddy, waiting for the inevitable accident, and it requires a certain watchfulness that is maddening. As I'm between jobs and home, I signed up for this "pee-pee patrol" to help Nanny J. help Dear Alex into the "big girl" world of underwear and the responsibility of knowing when it's time to go - she's not quite there yet, so every moment on a sofa or a rug without a diaper has become fraught with tension and an accident waiting to happen - no bad so far, but it's been hard to do anything else as we watch the clock and wait for the time (every twenty minutes or so) to put Dear Alex on the potty, just in case. Most of the time, she's been a good sport about it, but it does interrupt her play and free-range fun around the house, and leads to a lot of crying and protests of "I want to get down" and "I want to play" - to her credit, Nanny J. sits patiently and encouragingly through it with Dear Alex on the toilet until we surrender, with hopes for the next time. So far (two days and counting) we haven't had any accidents on the floor or furniture, but we also haven't kept up with the business of cleaning, doing stuff around the house, and figuring out what's next for me - It's a fine and learning time to watch Dear Alex go through a thing that separates the the big kids from the babies, and gives her a certain pride, even though she hasn't quite gotten it right yet.
I know that she's already figured it out, and is just waiting to make the connection with the urge and the action of elimination and we'll be through it quickly, like all of the other bits of development we've been through. I'll miss the needfulness, and the simple act of care that changing that midnight diaper has come to represent for me, but I know that there will surely be more trying needs and changes to come. In the meantime, the waiting is the hardest part.

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