Thus Begins a Never Ending Journey
There I was several weeks ago in Indy ready to babysit for Jack and Owen. I have done this routine since Jack was born nearly five-years ago. I enjoyed helping raise my three children and my granddaughter, who are all adults today. However, over those several decades, you often forget about some of the problems facing young children.
Case in point: Owen who will be three this summer had done well in stage one of potty training...doing number one. However, he just began stage two. Owen's mother told me to ask Owen often about whether he had to go poopy. This would be a reminder. I did not remember just how troubling the learning process of mastering doing number two was for my kids and granddaughter. However, Owen reminded me quickly.
Owen knew the game plan. If he went poopy for the first time, he would get a Hot Wheel car carrier truck with its car as a reward. Several times during the day both Owen and Jack wanted to see the toy sitting atop the refrigerator just waiting for Owen to master going poopy for the first time in a potty. Owen clearly saw the reward looming before him. However, you could see self-doubt written all over his face.
Looking at him, you could see him questioning whether he was big enough to pull off this endeavor. While Owen worried, can you imagine my worries? Was I going to be up to the challenge? Could I encourage Owen even in the face of his fears? Am I able to help Owen become a big boy today?
Owen worried, and I worried; were we both up to the challenge? Time would tell. I must have inquired about his need to go potty several times hourly hoping that while sitting on his potty that he could go poopy also. Finally, I saw a concerned look on Owen's face. So acting like a very nervous grandfather, I put him on the potty. He sat there with a most pensive expression on his face.
After a minute, I picked him up to see how successful we both were. There it was...one small half-inch pellet of poop. I announced to Owen that he had succeeded. Owen wanted to see his success in the potty; he was delighted. Nonetheless, I suggested that we would try again just in case he had more to do. We waited, and we waited.
During this entire poopy endeavor, Jack was as concerned as I was. He encouraged his brother and told him that he could do it. When Jack saw the first pellet, he praised Owen for his accomplishment. As we all waited to see whether Owen could do more, we both showered Owen with praise.
Finally, Owen was tired of waiting and wanted up. As I started to pick Owen up, another poopy landed in the potty. This one was two-inches long. The excitement resonated throughout the house as if it was Christmas morning with dozens of gifts to open.
After getting Owen's pull-ups and regular pants back in place and cleaning up the potty, I looked at Owen. He just looked at me and did not say anything. Again, Owen just waited. Finally, I realized that he was waiting for his reward. I picked him up and hugged him. I told him that he became a big boy today...and would get his reward. He unwrapped it, put it on the kitchen table, and admired his car carrying truck along with its car.
While Owen's excitement was understandable, Jack was also excited about the success of his brother. Then both Owen and Jack began playing with the car carrier truck.
Owen did become a big boy that day, but interestingly, what Owen was going through that day was in fact not the end but merely a beginning of a long process. During his life, Owen will question and wonder whether he can master many problems facing him during his life. There will be countless times for him to address that concern of his capability regardless of his age.
In reality, what Owen faced several weeks ago, is merely a microcosm all of our lives. We all face various dilemmas. Owen's fear and trembling was very real for a two and a half year old toddler. Remember that our fear and trembling will rattle us at the same level of worry as when we faced going poopy for the first time. We too will wonder whether we are capable of a long list of things as we grow into maturity and even old age.
PS. While babysitting the following week, I again asked Owen about going to the potty. Again, he was successful. We then went back to playing games. However, two minutes later, Owen looked concerned. Therefore, back to the potty. Talk about success. He then did four additional large poopies. Therefore, as a celebration, I am teaching Owen and Jack to sing a famous song by Queen. Owen is a champion related to potty training. Jack is a champion related to being a loving and supportive coach of his brother. Finally, I was successful in helping Owen deal with potty training two weeks in a row.
If you wish to join in and sing with Queen, here are the words to We Are The Champions.