Snakes and Worms

We are fully potty trained here. All 3 of us. It is a major accomplishment.

By fully potty trained, I mean EXCLUSIVELY big boy underwear. Or naked.

We gave away our last pack of diapers and I still have half a pack of pull-ups. I intended for him to wear those to sleep in, but he really doesn’t need them. We have always talked about the potty and been pretty open about going potty in front of him. We got serious about training in late December, and by the beginning of February he had mastered it! I wasn’t expecting to do it so early, and was a little apprehensive at first, but he just decided he was ready. He is only 29 months old, and I’ve heard rumors that boys take longer, so I’m very thrilled to have reached the latest milestone in parenting. We are officially out of the baby stage and into the full on little boy chapter of life.

Now that my little guy is potty trained, we have run into a different sort of challenge. My kid likes his poops.

After going poot in the potty, he will look at it. He gets very excited and thinks that he has made snakes or worms. Yesterday, after a pretty impressive potty session, he said, “Look, Mommy! I made a ‘nake!” He was beyond proud of himself. I responded with appropriate excitement over my child’s bowel movement and then said, “Ok, let’s put it in the big potty.” It was time for a melt down. “No, Mommy! Don’t flush my ‘nake!!! I love him!”

How do I explain to my child that although he has, indeed, made a masterful creation with his body, it is still poo and it is going down that toilet.

I think I said some variation of that. Somehow, the snake made it in the toilet. But then we had to admire it in the big potty. “Can I touch it?” my son asked while he reached into the toilet. “NO!” I responded and grabbed his hand out. “But why Mommy? I want play with my ‘nake!”

“Because, child, it is poot. We do not touch poot.” And with that, we tried to flush the toilet. But we couldn’t. Because it clogged. Before flooding the bathroom, we hightailed it out of there and moved on to another activity, such as refusing-to-get-dressed-because-“I want be naked.”

Fast forward to today, when he made another impressive creation. (Seriously. How does such a little person make such big things?)

This time, he made a worm, apparently. So we went through the same routine of being impressed and trying to get it in the toilet and my son being distressed as to why we had to flush his worm. Except this time, he managed to touch it.

So I got to clean up poo from his hands, his bottom, his little potty, the big potty, and the bathroom wall where he tried to wipe it off.

I’m kind of regretting the whole potty training thing. On the plus side, I can now add “snake and worm wrangler” to my resume.

Thank You Worm

This morning was a very fussy morning for my toddler. He fussed about getting dressed, about going potty, and about eating. He fussed about his friend coming over for a play date and sharing his toys, even though he’d been looking forward to the play date all day yesterday. He fussed at me about pretty much anything that was happening all day.

As the play date was ending, we walked his friend and mommy out to their car. Since we were outside, my little guy noticed that we needed to put more food in the bird feeder, so we did. As we were filling the feeder, he noticed a worm crawling on our walk way. “Look Mommy! A worm!! Can I get him?” he said as he picked him up. We marveled at the worm a little and then I said, “Be very careful with your worm and be very gentle with him.” “Ok Mommy!” my little one said as he ran off with his worm in hand.

I finished filling the bird feeder and straightened the hose and some things around the yard as my little guy took the worm around the yard and showed him various things. I overheard him explain to the worm that he could not crawl in the road, but he could ride in his little car. I saw him carry his worm and put him in the cup holders of his cozy coupe. I saw him show the worm sticks and leaves. Then, he came over to me and showed me that “Uh oh Mommy, my worm broke! Can you fix my worm Mommy?” He had pulled off one tiny bit of the end of the worm. “No, Mommy can not fix the worm,” I answered. “You just have to hold him very gently.”  “Ok, Mommy!” said my little one, and he was off again.

A very short time later, my dear toddler came back to me with worm segments squished all over his hands. “Mommy my worm is squish!! Mommy fix my worm!”

“I can’t fix your worm. Why don’t you wipe the pieces on the grass and we’ll go wash hands. We have to wash our hands if they have worm parts on them.” “Ok Mommy,” he responded as he wiped the parts on the grass and then followed me inside for hand washing.

Since we had made it successfully inside and it was lunchtime, I started the process of cleaning up the mess from the play date and fixing lunch. The entire time my little one followed behind me as I walked from room to room and was whining (in his most whiny voice), “My worm squish! I need my worm! Fix my worm! My worm squish. I need him!” Feel frustrated, I replied (in my not nice Mommy voice), “I can not fix your worm. You squished him. He is gone. You need to stop whining. That’s enough.”

“But I miss him!!!” came the response from my son, in almost tears. I knew I needed to change tactics. I put down the dishes I was carrying and squatted down to my son’s level. “I am sorry you are sad about your worm,” I said as soothing as possible.

“Yes, I am sad because he was be-you-full,” my sweet boy said, his eyes brimming with tears. My heart melted.

I offered,”It’s ok to be sad about your worm. But now he is in worm heaven. We can not fix him, but we can say a prayer for him. Dear God, please take care of my worm. Amen.” My sweet boy came into my arms for a big hug, and then walked over to the refrigerator magnets. “Yeah, Mommy, sometimes worms squish and sometimes Noahs get sad.”

He makes my heart smile.

Thank you, Worm, for being my little boy’s friend today. Thank you for giving your life to his exploration. And thank you for helping me to remember how important it is to cherish the little things. You were beautiful worm, and so is my little boy, even on a fussy whiny day. Thank you, Worm, for helping me remember that.