30 May, 2010

Adventures in Potty Training

Have you ever seen a flustered mother w/ oddly dressed children in public & asked yourself "What was she thinking?"

That was me on Mon. After sitting very nicely in an office for 3 hours it was time for us to go & man, were their spirits up! Charlotte was crying for water so we stopped off at the library first for the water fountain, AC & stories. She has been doing SO good w/ wearing panties out & about. She made her water on a public toilet for the first time, the usual kind w/ a split seat. I held her on there & she did her business on 2 separate occasions. I was so proud! After loading up w/ books, we went to the park to eat some sandwiches I had packed & run off steam.

There aren't any municipal pools around here, but there is a water feature w/ different fountains that are sensor motivated. After nibbling on the food & 2 seconds of swinging they spotted a solid little 4 year old running through the fountains in naught but his red briefs. Bowing to the inevitable, I let them run through after some hesitation on their part. Soon 2 little girls in swimsuits came by. My 2 were fully clothed, but I keep extra emergency hiking clothes in a rucksack w/ spare shoes in case we get stranded. Miranda was sleeping on me through most of this. Charlotte came up to me about 30 min. later saying "Pee". This usually means that she has already peed, but she was already soaked from playing in the fountains.

I walked her to the bathroom & saw that it was too late, so I figured it was time to go. I had no towel, only a heavy baby blanket. Good so far. Then I hit a wall. I had neglected to replace Charlotte's clothes; I had used them last week during the hoof trimming when she had muddied herself in the goat pen. She's soaking wet so she can't be in her car seat. I figure I can cover her w/ a light receiving blanket & she can ride home naked, though that wouldn't be comfortable for her in her car seat, or I can dress her like I used to do my Barbies when there was only a piece of fabric. I am big on blankets, but a receiving blanket is not quite big enough to tie on her growing frame securely. I would normally fasten it w/ barrettes or hairpins but I've not got any. I could secure it w/ earrings, but unusual for me, I'm not wearing them, only a pin instead. A pin, how thick am I? Jubilation!

I fashioned this toga, put another receiving blanket under her seat to act as an in
case diaper while Victor got dressed in the back of the van (he has too much dignity & modesty to get dressed at the picnic shelter like the other little boy did)declaring he didn't need shoes & we headed off.
We were tired still thirsty & they were hungry as they had only nibbled at their sandwiches. It had been 5 hours out of the house & well on the way to Quiet Time. At least Miranda was zonked out by the sun.

Turning onto the road that leads out of town Charlotte starts up again w/ her angelic smile & killer 1 word.
"Charlotte, did you pee pee in the van?"
"Did you already pee or do you need to pee?"
"Pee car."
"No! Do NOT pee in the car! Did you pee in the car?"
"Pee car."
"If you did not pee, hold it!"

Going about in public w/ 3 children, 1 in a toga is not what I had anticipated for today, but that is the spice of motherhood I guess. I made a quick turn into the Food Lion parking lot where I could get out & check her seat. It was dry!
"Good girl for holding your pee pee Charlotte, do you need to pee?
"Need pee!"
Sigh. I grab a buggy/cart, place Miranda's seat on the front startling her & crying, Victor tries to jump on the rear to hitch hike in his socks & Charlotte wants to hold my hand. I make them switch & try very calmly (but quickly) to explain to Victor why he needs to wear shoes, forget the tying & you must walk, you are a big boy, this is a race against Charlotte's bladder.

He is upset but follows me w/ trailing laces & flapping toungue, Charlotte holding onto the back & (please don't notice), at the angle she's bent back from, her bare butt cheek is exposed from her flapping toga. Everyone who works at Food Lion knows all of our names (I love small towns), but I'm hoping they don't notice that I have no intent to shop or buy & am only using the cart for speed. Thankfully, their bathroom is on the right hand side of the store in the back instead of catty corner the entrance. I did pass 2 other customers, but smiled so forcefully, I didn't see their eyes cut away to her outfit.

The bathroom is no good. It is completely done in some kind of polished stone but I like the handicap stall because it has it's own sink & is plenty big enough for 4 people. Charlotte ran to the air dryer happily exclaiming "Sanitizer!" & it came on automatically. I think it's meant for a carwash application, it easily had 2000 watts & was very LOUD in that little stone room. But not as loud as Charlotte's & then Miranda's shrieks. Poor babies, I have to unstrap Miranda to calm her down, put her down so I can lift Charlotte onto the toilet & coax her to do her business. But she has no business to do! At all.
I run through various possible punishments, but none would make the connection in her head for putting us all through this; she didn't actually do anything & I know they don't mind an affront to my dignity. So, tying Victor's shoes, we leave past a whole new slew of customers & waving checkers, Charlotte's toga waving at them just as gaily. We've since had great success in just taking her little toilet w/ us & having her use it when we're done.

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