We have a porta-potty. It’s sleek and red and made by Baby Bjorn and fits my son’s little butt just perfectly. He’s been using it a lot lately, and I, giddy at the thought of never buying Size 5 diapers again, have found myself doing things I really couldn’t have imagined BK (before kids): dutifully moving this glorified chamber pot from room to room, clapping and cheering when it’s full, even packing it into our stroller when we head out (it travels well).
Sometimes I wonder how we’re going to get to the next stage–like, when will he start actually going to the bathroom rather than letting the bathroom come to him?–but then I remember that, like all of the other phases, this one will come just in time for me to forget there ever was a previous one.
Often, when I mention a change in my children’s behavior, people say something along the lines of: “You know kids. As soon as you’re used to one phase, they move on to the next one.” Indeed, though Little A. (age 2.5 years) has been sleeping on a predictable schedule for almost two years now, other changes have come so quickly I find myself racing to catch up with them while simultaneously reaching back to remember the earlier stages in hopes that some recollection will help me guide his little sister (age 4.5 months). On both accounts, I’m only marginally successful. I like routines, and we have good ones in our home, but I’ve also found that:
A) Ironically, routines have to shift more than I thought they would based on my kids’ development and
B) My own routines fall by the wayside as I work to create meaningful routines for my ever-changing kids.
For example, I had just arrived at the point when I had figured out how to regularly pursue two favorite hobbies–running and writing–with one child when, to my delight of course, along came Baby #2, and all of a sudden, two months go by without a blog post and I barely notice because I’m busy watching her roll over and giggle when she rubs her fingers against her papa’s scratchy beard. I would like to post more frequently, and certainly plan to in 2012. But it could be worse.
Routine. It’s great, but so is flexibility. My son has decided he likes his underpants so much that he wants to wear multiple pairs at a time. Yesterday, he actually pulled on about 15 pairs of underpants and begged for my help when, due to the fact that said underpants were layered up and down his legs, he was having trouble wedging his feet into Pair #16. I solemnly helped him into that last pair. He also insists on wearing them backwards. I’d push the point, but why bother? This phase won’t last long. When I ask if he wants my help to put the underpants on the right way, and he says, “No. Because it’s OK for me to wear my underpants backwards,” I have to agree. Because really, he’s right. And if correctly positioned underpants and blog posts must wait, so be it.