Our new normal caught most of us off guard, we never expected it to last this long, and even make a comeback, despite our bests attempts at patience. Mini-skirts make comebacks, Afros make comebacks, even beards make comebacks, but Uncle/Aunty Coronavirus also had to tick the box that it made a comeback, and globally for that matter. Till this is over, keep staying safe and keep using a face mask. Now to the topic at hand for today: Patience. You know how you had core courses in University that you had to do well in or risk having your G.P.A. goals altered, so is Patience a core course in Parenting with a 5 point credit.
We are parents over little human beings; little they may be, but still humans. They are all wired differently, each with their quirks and strengths, and they develop at their own pace. There is no microwave you can pop your kid into, to hasten the developmental process. You have to be patient, letting each child bloom at their own divinely appointed pace, without losing your cool or tampering unduly with the process and maybe ruining the outcome.
Remember I shared with you a while back about potty training kids and I promised to let you know how I fared? Well, here I am presenting my report and what I learnt. If you did not read the earlier blog on potty training, don’t worry you can catch up here. So when lockdown hit us, I was like “by the end of this lockdown, I want to achieve potty training for my 2 year old twin boys”. Noble move abi? However, I am sure some of you might think I left it too late. I know right! When I had my other kids, my potty goals was always achieved by the time they turned 2, as my motivation revolved round the fact that I could not have 2 kids in my home wearing diapers at the same time. Remember this was back in the day when if your friend travelled abroad and asked what they could get for you, you shouted DIAPERS as a mom. No one cared for chocolates or all the other fancy stuff. Now we have diapers made in Nigeria thanks to Pampers and the other companies. We have surely come a long way. Back to my report before I digress.
So since the twins are my last card, checkup as we say for those of us who play cards, I got ready for this task. The younger twin was ready to cooperate because sometimes while giving them a bath, he would pee in the bath tub, and then he learnt to pee on command, however the older twin was a different story. He is such a private human being, and does his business shrouded with the secrecy of FBI plus DSS plus M15. As his mother I can hardly count the times I have seen him pee and this is saying a lot. When I first brought the potty to him to get familiar, brother took off running and crying. So what was I to do?
The plan had to go on but now with modifications. I faced the younger twin and we continued our progress, while the older twin just used to peep in from afar to see what we were doing. Later on he got comfortable enough to come closer to observe the potty proceedings like International observers at National elections, and later on even gathered boldness to shout out loud the dreaded word “Potty”, even though he would not use it. So we achieved potty training for twin 2 in a few weeks with 1 or 2 accidents and we were in the all clear.
End of story right? Wrong. Few weeks ago I decided to try again with Twin 1 and believe it or not, he warmed up this time, but I found out he prefers the adult toilet to using a potty. He also surprised me by training himself for dry nights. He can sleep without a diaper at night and this happened in 1 week, meanwhile twin 2 who started first has not achieved dry nights yet. So you see how this ended with a different outcome despite my initial worries of delay. This is where we may miss it sometimes as parents especially mothers and begin to compare. Everyone has their time table and our impatience may ruin it and even give our children unnecessary complexes to deal with.
Patience is really key to raising our kids. Let us try to keep our frustrations to ourselves and not project it onto our children. My husband had a laid back approach to the potty training. I felt it was something I had to do by a certain time, and he was like “if the boy is not ready, he is not ready, keep wearing him diapers”. That was when I chilled o because truly there is no prize given for first child to be potty trained by a certain age and all that, for child or mother. This issue of patience in parenting cuts across many areas and not just potty training – breastfeeding, introducing solids, talking, sleeping through the night, academics, chores, etc. Our impatience can truly ruin the process and backfire on your good intention of making progress. Observe your child, take cues and thread gently. They will all get there, you will see.
picture credits: the internet