For the last three years, I have been absolutely distraught about potty training. I did my typical “Mommy” routine of research, trying different approaches, and we would still have accidents. My grandmother has trained many children, but her technique did not work with him. I read books to Caden about using the potty. He went to the bathroom with Charles, which would always lead to a commotion with clamoring and a series of “no, no, no” and “stop.” I asked other parents who told me a wide range of ages for their child’s potty success. We certainly did not want to increase the pre-established age range. But, Caden wasn’t getting it.
Then, it happened; Caden decided it was time. We are proud to proclaim Caden is pull-up free during the day. He shakes fist making the appropriate “potty” sign when he needs to go. We are so proud of Caden; we are proud of his determination and perseverance.
Even without saying the words, Caden is constantly making his opinion clear: “I can do it by myself.” I find that having a child with a disability makes “babying” incredibly easy. No matter how much I advocate for children with special needs, I need Caden to remind me he can do it by himself. He can feed himself; I just have to clean up the mess. He doesn’t want me to wait on him; he wants to help dish the ice cream or pour the milk. He wants to attempt to put his clothes on; then, come to me for help. He wants to cover himself up at night; he jerks the covers out of my hands if I try.
He wants to grow up.
And, I have to let him.
After all, that is the dream, right? Independence? Of course, I treasure each milestone Caden meets. However, I also know each milestone is one less “thing” I get to do for him. I am always redefining my role as his mother. Just a week ago, he needed me to buy pull-ups. Now, he needs me to buy cool underwear for him.
At least I still have laundry, cooking, and cleaning! There’s little chance Caden will say, “I can do it by myself,” on those necessary chores for a long time—I hope—I think.