Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Half a Glass of Water

Today the glass was most certainly half full. This isn't the case on many days: I'm too often a battler of pessimism. But when it comes to Oliver I definately lean towards the positive interpretation of things. He makes it easy. I look at him with his bright smile that goes all the way to his eyes and his easy-going nature and all I see is potential. There is not a half-empty glass in sight when it comes to him.

So, on to the glass of water, the one that is half-full. Nap time in our little green house is the hardest time of day for me because it also happens to be the pooping hour. Really. Oliver schedules his poops around Sammy's nap. I could (and often do) sit him on the potty every fifteen minutes for two hours leading up to nap time and he will wait until I go off to put Sam in bed and then immediately poop his pants. He and I both know it is going to happen and it doesn't matter how many threats or wild promises I make. It's like he thinks those are the rules of the game or something. I always know when it is happening, too, because the house becomes unusually quiet. It's like I have this sixth, pooping sense or something. So when I think Oliver might be pooping I have to decide to a) either stop mid-spell with Sam and go check or b) wait until he is fully asleep and risk having a big mess to clean up. Because here is the other thing: once Oliver has soiled his pants, the mess usually doesn't stay in his pants. It used to be much worse, especially when Sam was younger because if I chose option A then I had an over-tired infant wailing as I cleaned up poopy boy and poopy room. And if I chose option B, which happened a couple of times, then I had more than a passing thought of just moving out and getting a new home. "Oh," I imagined saying to Nik when he would come home to find our bags packed and on the porch, "Let's get a new house. This one's been pooped."

Most of that is over now. But those days, the poop days, were dark. I couldn't write about it. I couldn't talk about it. All I could do was get though it, stock up on carpet cleaner, and trade grim, poop jokes with Nik. So anyway -- and yes, I am getting to the glass of water -- at nap time today I ushered Oliver into his room and asked him to lay down with a book while I put Sam in bed. Then I went to my bedroom with Sam keeping one ear perked towards the hall. Then it got quiet and I looked down at Sam, whose eyelashes were fluttering softly near sleep. Another five minutes, even just three minutes, was all I needed. But a lot can happen in three minutes. And then I heard a new sound: water rushing in the bathroom. What was this new twist? I gathered Sam up higher in my arms and walked towards the bathroom. And there was Oliver filling a glass full of water at the sink, which surprised me because 1) I didn't even know he knew how to turn on the water, 2) he's never even attempted that before and 3) normally he has the endearing habit of just sitting wherever he is and yelling "Water!" at the top of his lungs to indicate his thirst. So there I stood, with a huge, stupid grin on my face watching Oliver drink down a big glass of water, totally not careing that Sam was now wide awake. And when he was done, Oliver walked over to me, handed me the glass of water and happily exclaimed: "I did it!" Before going back in his bedroom and climbing back in bed with a self-satisfied look on his face.

"Yes, Oliver. You did it!"


  1. I don't think there's anything better than realizing our "kids" have a skill that we didn't think they had. What a nice surprise!

    I was cringing reading about the poop problem and praying that we don't go through the same thing one day. Glad to hear that has passed.

  2. Ohhh, I so know about those dark poop days. Conor is just coming out of them. We purchased a carpet cleaner because I just couldn't spot clean his room anymore. I thank you for mentioning it today because, for a long time, I thought I was the only one on this earth who has gone through that (not that I would wish it on even my worst enemy).

  3. HOORAY! Way to go, Oliver! We, too, have dealt with the poopy pants issue - though for the most part the "issue" has stayed inside the pants. Even then it can be trying on the patience. We've had some success with a sticker chart - no bad repercussions for accidents, but the ability to earn a prize for using the toilet.

  4. Wonderful job Oliver. You certainly "did it" all by yourself. What a big boy!

  5. Way to go Oliver! You did do it!