Let It Flow - How Potty Training Taught Me About Writing

4 years ago

Being a parent involves a lot of research.

At least, for me it does. From the moment I became pregnant, my life was a flurry of books, websites, magazines, and online forums. I read voraciously, wanting to be sure that I did everything just so.

Trouble is, there isn't exactly one way to get the job done. You have all sorts of theories on just about everything you do. What to eat and how to exercise when you're pregnant, how to labor and give birth, how the kid sleeps, eats, learns, poops; the information is endless.

Long before the little man was old enough for me to be concerned about it, I read up on potty training. I purchased a potty chair when he was just over a year and started to introduce the idea to him. At first, he seemed to think it was a cool new addition, all bright and shiny and red.

Then, he lost interest. As we got closer to an age where I thought potty training could begin, he wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. Trying to get him to even be in the same room with the potty resulted in blood-curdling screams. If the house next to me wasn't empty, it's likely someone would have called the authorities.

So, I gave up. If he wanted to spend his future in adult diapers, so be it.

Then, just a few days ago, he came up to me.

"Mama. I want the train on your butt."

First off, my kid needs to work on his pronouns. But the important thing here is that he was requesting underwear. I grabbed the Thomas the Train undies and explained to him that he shouldn't pee on Thomas. The first day, he would do his little dance, I'd lead him to the potty, and while he was reluctant to follow, once he was there, he did what had to be done.

Today is day three. We haven't had a single accident since he put that train on his butt. Or changed over to the Star Wars on his butt.

Which made me think...potty training and writing aren't all that different.

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