The girls are getting ready for potty training and I’m trying to be all nonchalant about it. You know, like “Every kid is different. They’ll show me when they’re really ready and then in a matter of days they’ll be wearing underpants.”
But it’s killing me a little bit.
Not only do they occasionally take off their own poopy diapers while hanging out in their cribs, but they also have a new thing I’m calling “See the Poop.” As soon as I undo the tape on their diapers when I’m changing a poop, they yell, “See poop! See poop! See poop!” And then they do kind of a sit-up maneuver and crane their necks to look at the poop globbed all over their little bums.
If I start wiping before they’ve seen the poop, they get really loud and agitated about it. Sometimes they’re distracted, or singing, or picking their noses or something while I’m wiping them, and they don’t remember to yell “see poop” until they’re all clean and I’ve already wrapped the diaper up into a compact little nugget of gross.
Then they Freak. The hell. Out.
And I have to either deal with the weirdo tantrum of a child enraged by not being allowed to look at her own feces, or just unwrap the damn diaper and show it to her.
If their diaper is just wet, sometimes they like to claim that they do actually indeed have a poop. I try to politely correct them and say, “No, you just have pee this time.” But they insist. “No! No just pee! Poop! Big poop!” So then I say something like, “Do you mean that you need to poop?” Whoa. Wrong thing to say. “NOOOO! No need poop! Big poop diaper YES!” And now I have a dilemma. This is such a weird thing to get all worked up about. I don’t want my children to think that it’s okay to just make up whatever you want and other people will go along with it. Obviously they need to learn about telling the truth and the difference between fantasy and reality. But they’re two, and we’re talking about poop, or the lack thereof. And even though they’re really smart and perceptive and often open to reasonable discussions, they’re also capable of complete irrationality leading to what looks to me like a huge emotional breakdown. So far, my awesome parenting strategy had been to say quickly, “Yup. Sometimes you poop,” and then try to change the subject using my Excited Voice. I don’t know. What would you do?