Some seconds last an eternity. Some days are gone in a flash. Time is a tricky thing in this human experience, particularly with little humans around. “I turned my back for a minute…” strikes fear into every parent.
Allow me to tell you about the last hour and 20 minutes. Buckle up.
1:23pm : After a delightful play-date with new friends, the boys play happily on the deck.
1:26 pm: Jonathan’s attempt to close the screen door results in the tiny metal latch driving underneath his thumb’s nail bed. Blood and tears ensue.
1:31 pm: First aid is administered. I am eventually informed that a Band-aid and TWO mommy kisses are enough, if he is allowed to finish his television show.
1:34: I hear a toilet flush and realize William had gone upstairs unattended.
1:35: I remind myself not to sprint up the stairs while pregnant again, catching my breath and a faint whiff of toilet use.
1:36: I discover William “Donald Ducking it” ie: wearing a shirt and nothing on bottom.
1:37: No poop is found. No Pull-Up is located. I dress Will fully.
1:38: I remind myself to call my mother in law and do so while there is relative quiet.
1:39: I pass by the bathroom as the phone rings. She answers.
1:40pm: I walk past the bathroom that I had cleaned thoroughly with bleach that morning and realize the pervasive odor is NOT Clorox any longer. The phone rings again.
Also 1:40 pm: My intention to greet her with, “Hey! Quick question for you. Should I grab anything special when I get groceries tomorrow?” comes out as “Help! Where should I look for missing poop?”
1:41 pm: I silently wonder if she questions why her only son chose to marry me, an individual who clearly needs help on several levels.
1:42-1:51: 6 Clorox wipes, soap, a scrub brush, a young priest, an old priest and holy water are used in the cleaning and exorcism of the toilet and potty-seat that only William uses.
1:51-2:34: My mother in law remains on the phone with me as I clean and conduct a losing game of Hide and Go Seek. William stands by, giggling.
I examine all fundamental evidence: ONLY William uses that potty ring. He clearly pooped. He flushed. His dismount resulted in a mess, however there is no other evidence.
HOWEVER, I have never witnessed him ascend the throne or disembark without help. The step stool sat by the sink, where he often moves it to try to wash his hands. He certainly could move it, although such events have never before been witnessed.
Behold, the REAL GAME of THRONES for every mother of potty training boys.
2:35: I give up my very thorough search, consoling myself that I would be able to smell any missing pay-dirt. 3 teachers and 2 nurses have informed me he is memorable as the most foul load-producer they have encountered, which I take as a professional assessment.
2:36: I call a friend to validate and confirm this encounter as a success. She does.
2:37: I reward William with M&M minis. He giggles, quite pleased.
2:38: A mighty thud resonates from the upstairs, followed by a scream and crying. This rare occurrence happening twice in one hour feels like watching two comets colliding.
2:39: Jonathan reveals that he was flying through the air NEAR the coffee table and tripped. Blood is pouring from his lower lip.
2:40 His loose tooth remains in his mouth. His permanent tooth is undamaged. Less daunting streams of blood continue.
2:41 Jonathan shows me bruises to his thigh, his cut lip and his banged head. He does not confess to jumping off of the table but informs me a medical professional and a punishment are not necessary. He eyes the table incredulously.
2:42 I return upstairs, relieved that William is playing, although he is once again nude. I put his Pull-up and pants back on for the 17th time today. I sigh.
2:43: I receive a text from a friend that she is ill and cannot come to dinner. I console her, shun the germs of the infected, decide to eat Breakfast Casserole for dinner and put William in a playpen long enough to recount these events.
2:53: An hour and thirty minutes has passed since the initial cascade of events. It feels much longer as I recount them.
Perhaps after dinner and bedtime I will realize how monumental it is that my 4 year old who has endured such physical setbacks has used the potty totally unassisted. It will seem unbelievable despite my efforts of the past 9 months. It seems late to most and miraculous to others. All I know is, it is time for breakfast…for dinner. It’s about time.