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In which Archer potty trains himself & Jude gets poison ivy

Internet, I’m pretty sure that God has an enormous sense of humor. This is evident in many ways but perhaps best of all in parenting.

For example, there was firstborn Jude who was and still is pretty much an easygoing kid. He was easily corrected when he was little (despite that one time when he heaved a shoe at Simon while he was driving, just like that Iraqi reporter who beamed George W. Bush at a press conference) and I only had to give The Stern Mother Look™ and he’d shape up.

Then there was Archer.

He Who Does Not Want To Go On A Cruise Forevermore. He Who Shrieks Daily In The Car. Archer of 1000 faces. The Miracle Baby of All Miracle Babies.  (It’s such a complicated relationship, amiright? The highs! The lows!)  He’s forever keeping all of us on our toes and reminding me that temperament really is a thing that begins at birth. He’s a puzzle I can’t quite figure out and just as he can be infuriating, he turns it around and is all together delightful.

Look at his sweet little angel baby face. Gawrsh I just love him to pieces.

(JUST DO NOT CROSS HIM, WHATEVER YOU DO.)

So I guess what I’m saying is this: to suggest that Arch is strong willed is putting it mildly. I’m learning how to choose my battles and daily I’m wondering if in fact maybe I was a strong willed child too? (I wish I could ask my mom. GAHHH GRIEF STRIKES AGAIN.) And I’m reminded that strong willed children have several desirable character traits with the caveat that you have to train them along the way to not give in to the Dark Side. And it’s very possible that he will be less inclined to give into peer pressure and he might possibly Lead the World Against All Evildoers. WHO KNOWS at this point.

But then out of the blue last week, Archer confidently announced to me that he needed to go potty, please and thank you. We were at the lake with my dad, wrapping up the One Room Challenge stuff. Dad raised an eyebrow and said “Well if the kid says he needs to go, then take him!” And three times that day, he sat there on the grownup potty (AS IF he would even deem to sit on a training potty! NO!) and took care of business. Ever since then, daily, he asks to go. It’s like he woke up one day and said “Today is the day.”

Internet, I am in no hurry to move this along. Because do you know what potty training means? It means being able to get out of one’s own bed in the middle of the night should the need arise. And I, frankly, am not ready for Archer to have that amount of freedom on a regular basis. The crib is my last stronghold in the battle against Losing All Control.  So will I take him to the potty when he asks? ABSOLUTELY. Will I be in any big rush to hurry this process along? No I will not, thank you very much.

Meanwhile, last week Jude came down with a raging case of poison ivy from head to toe. As it turns out, apparently we have OODLES of the delightful green stuff (NOPE) in our newly renovated backyard. Jude sadly told me that he rubbed some of it on Archer’s foot and will he now be getting in big trouble because he seasoned his baby brother with the evil green leaves?  (Um, no – also I don’t think he actually rubbed poison ivy on Arch as there has been zero evidence of any rash popping up on the baby.)  Poor Jude is already my sensitive skin snowflake – his eczema has also reared its ugly head in addition to the poison ivy. So on Monday once the  stuff spread up to his eye I decided we’d skip school and head to the doctor. And then on Wednesday, the medicine made him sick and he woke up puking. Sooooo the last week of school has been a total wash.

Third grade was gone in the blink of an eye and here we are on the edge of summer. My goal for summer is to enjoy my boys and to relax. The end. We will have a vacation with my brother’s family to Florida and Jude will attend camp. There will be trips to the lake and adventures at the pool. But mostly I want to  keep in mind the honor and privilege of shepherding these boys, their precious little souls entrusted to me. And as I remember my own mother whose fingerprints are all over my life in a thousand seen and unseen ways, I recognize that though I might feel like nobody sees the minutiae and mundaneness of motherhood, they are going to be impacted by this daily work.

The long days and the short years.

But seriously, kids, please. Stay in your own beds all night long, ok? Mama is tired.

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  • Bethany Kerns

    Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog and your writing, Rachel. 🙂

  • Laura Bennett

    I hear you on loving the crib. 🙂 But no need to tie day time and night time potty training together–and most kids aren’t developmentally ready for that at this age anyway. Our kiddo decided to potty train at 2 years 2 months, and a year later, she’s still in diapers and a crib at night. Doesn’t seem to cause her any confusion, etc.