I can’t count the number of times we’ve said this to each other. We may or may not have been crying into pints of ice cream at the time. Who am I kidding, we’ve never done that. Whole pizzas, perhaps, but I’m definitely putting ice cream on the “to cry into” list because I’ve read that salt is really good with chocolate.
In fact, we probably should have just named RR “Not When She’s 16” because it entirely sums up her personality. There we sit, watching the latest debacle that is our daughter’s development thinking: Huh. Well. She won’t not be able to do this when she’s 16, right? She’ll figure it out. And then we go back to giving her grapes to add.
For example, RR would not roll over. At 4 months, she had not made any effort to roll over. We both know that I haven’t read a single baby book – relying on you all to keep me from losing my mind – because I am not the sort of person who can be trusted with rules. I’m not that sane. I do, however, look at an occasional developmental milestone chart, find I’m on some emotional roller coaster of epic proportions, and talk myself off the ledge. I asked the doctor why RR wouldn’t roll over. SHE talked me off a ledge. We resorted to the only thing that has kept us going: There’s no way she’ll be 16, on the couch with her boyfriend or girlfriend, fooling around, and NOT be able to roll over. She’ll figure that shit out damn quick.
She won’t be 16 and not be able to…
Anytime I think about her driving a car, going on a date, or slamming the door to her room, I remind myself that she won’t do any of those things without figuring out how to roll over. It works. I don’t think I’ve ever actually SEEN her do it, but I know she can. Finally.
And so here I am. She can’t figure out how to pull down her pants. Or pull them up. The child will be THREE in June and she has never tried to take off her own clothes. She looks baffled when I suggest she might try taking off her own diaper or unfastening her own shoe. With potty training upon us, this pants thing is pretty critical. She can hop on one foot. She can spell more than a handful of words. She has the musical rhythm of a Rolling Stone. But she can’t pull down her elastic pants.
That’s okay though. She treats the idea of the potty like it’s the devil come to swallow her ass. This weekend we tried the panty technique, going through 7 pairs of shorts and panties in the space of an afternoon. On the final attempt, handfuls of rabbit pellet-esque droppings spilled onto the floor and rolled under every possible piece of furniture, her having eaten something that didn’t give her the…flow…she needed. Never once did she attempt the potty. But I’m pretty damn sure she won’t be 16 and not able to use the potty. Pretty sure.
Potty training is one thing for which folks have plenty of advice because every kid seems to have their own secret to unlock. We are trying (or have tried): waiting until she shows interest, watching her friends, pull-ups, elastic waistbands ad infinitum, naked time, panties all day, potty books, not worrying about it. We are not despairing. Mostly. And, most importantly, to her I believe we actually appear laid back about it. Which is why I have you. Because she can’t go to her new school in August unless she’s potty trained and that’s about 13 years shy of 16.
We’re in trouble, Elmo.