Elmo made me cry today. Like “ugly, mascara running down your face” cry. Why is it that the most heart-wrenching moments of parenting happen when you least expect them? This phenomenon should be included in all of those “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” books. Chapter 14: How Not to Ever Ever Let Your Emotional Guard Down with Tiny Humans.
Over the last two weeks, Lucy has been casually entering the world of potty training. Every parent has their own potty training adventure for their children. For us, I say “casual” because Chris and I have been trying to play it cool to minimize any stress for her … but, I think we have been about as “cool” as two chaperones trying to fast dance in a middle school auditorium. Potty upstairs. Potty downstairs. Toilet successes resulting in polite smiles and “we are so proud of you, Lucy!” moments whereas on the inside we are giving out high fives to anyone with hands and participating in rowdy applause. M&Ms were introduced as positive reinforcement, and Lucy quickly became number one at number one. All the while, during this transition phase, still in diapers and/ or pull-ups. Still my baby.
Tonight at day care pick-up, Lucy’s teacher recommended we start introducing her to underpants for a small period of time each night. “Great idea,” I casually said and smiled, proud of myself that I had already washed the underpants Lucy got from my sister as a gift. “You get to pick which ones!” I cheerily said to her in the car. Once home, we both bound upstairs and find our way into her colorful bedroom. She starts rifling through her bin and proudly says “these!”, holding up her new pink and red Elmo ones. She then spends the next five minutes getting frustrated when they’re “too heavy”, which is her word for tight. I try explaining that both legs aren’t meant to go in the same leg hole, but she’s the expert here, folks.
Finally … success. She couldn’t be more proud of herself … and I burst into tears. Tears because she’s growing up. Tears because her thighs don’t have that baby fat on them anymore. Tears because I hate her day care teacher for being right.