In his tragedy Medea, Euripides wrote:
Quem deus vult perdere, dementat prius.
(Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mothers with two sons to potty-train.)
Okay, my Latin might be off by a smidgen, but that’s what he meant. That Euripides was totally brill.
My potty-training experience has been a journey of Homeric proportions, with a duration to rival The Odyssey and a casualty list to shame The Illiad — at least as far as undergarments are concerned. The clashing of wills, the shedding of tears and the conflagration of tempers has ever threatened to lay waste to our little corner of the Peloponnesus.
If you think this is hyperbole, let’s trade lives for an afternoon. 1
So as to keep this post on the upbeat — and you know that’s where I live to be— we are making progress and are close, so very close to the goal. We are, despite semi-regular accidents, in a mostly liveable stage where [details redacted] and I’m only averaging seven loads of laundry per week.
But there is one tiny thing that I would rejoice to outgrow. The Potty Queue.
How have my two sons — through some bizarre trick of osmotic transference, as yet uninvestigated by modern scientists or paranormal experts — managed to completely synchronize their bladders and bowels? Honestly, the coordinated precision with which “the urge” strikes my little boys should be the envy of NASA and The Rockettes of Radio City Music Hall fame.
But so it is. Whenever I’m conducting one son on his excursion to the “big boy potty,” I’m sure to be treated to the appearance of his brother suddenly beset by a similar, and equally urgent, call of nature. And they’re not even twins. How does this happen?
It’s not that we lack the facilities, but neither of my sons have reached an acceptable level of independence where toilet needs are concerned. Ours is a supervisory deficiency. I’m sure it’s only because I’ve been mothering less than six years, but I have yet to master that little trick about being in two places at once. I feel like such a failure.
My own mother had two sons, both now functionally potty-trained — at least as far as I know — so I’m clinging to the dim hope that this, too, may yet happen for me. And since I don’t play the lottery and I have yet to complete my future New York Times Bestseller, successful potty-training is the only jackpot for which I’m in active contention — which leads me to believe I have an outside shot of actually landing triple sevens on this one.
In the meantime, has anyone ever seen a two-seater potty? Craigslist came up empty.
- And no offense, but please don’t flood the comments with your suggestions or admonishments on what else we should try. Heard it all. Tried it all. Been there, done that, disinfected the floor afterwards. I promise. ↩