My last post was about anxiety. The one before that was about me being sentimental about my wonderful son. I need a change. I need to write something happy. (My son being three and great is happy, but has no humour.) In the case of today’s short post, I’m going to write about my most recent ridiculous fight with my toddler.
He’s three. We have many fights. I knew it was coming. I’ve had many warnings about the threenager. I knew that he has quite a bit of attitude, and is extremely stubborn – although he comes by the stubborn part honestly. This last fight was so over the top dramatic that I need to share. Like I said, my posts lately seem to have lost some humour. That’s my fault, but I’m hoping to lighten the mood. I’m hoping to lighten my mood.
Yesterday, my son and I went to the Children’s Festival. I can write more on that later. It was a really fun morning for the two of us. We had so much fun participating in all of the activities, and he was in a great mood. We were sitting down in a pile of dirt digging for fossils when my kiddo looked up and told me he had to pee. If he says it, I don’t question him. Especially when we’re in the middle of digging. I picked him up, and headed for the portable washrooms. It’s an outside event so we didn’t have many options.
We walked into one, I closed the door, and lifted the toilet lid. I explained we were in a porta potta, and told him he could pee right into the toilet. He took one look, and said, “No, Momma. This is dirty.” I tried to convince him. I showed him different options, but it was a big no. So we left. I had seen some public washrooms outside the festival. We headed to those ones. Everything went well. He peed, we cleaned up, and we went back to the Children’s Festival.
We played and discovered a bit more before we decided to cross the river and have some lunch and a milkshake before we headed home. As we left, he said something to me about wanting to show me the porta potties. The line up was long so we skipped it, and I pulled the wagon away. I wasn’t sure why he wanted to show me, but I wasn’t willing to wait if he didn’t have to use it.
I promise the toddler argument is coming, but we need lots of back story. Mostly because that’s the only way I know to tell a story.
After lunch we headed home. After a quick nap we headed out again for an afternoon at the Spray Park. He’s recently fallen in love with them, and I think that’s wonderful. Spray parks are a free activity that gives him a chance to play with other kids, and me to sit back and watch him laugh and run.
We were about an hour into the afternoon activity when he said, “Mom! I have to pee and poop!” As a mom, when your kid tells you he has to poop, you get him to a toilet. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any public toilets near the spray park, so we went to the car and headed home. As we were driving, he starting telling me he wanted to poop in a porta potty. I explained that we were heading home. It was closer, cleaner, and involved no parking or line-ups. He politely ignored my reasoning and insisted we go to the porta potties. I explained it was downtown, and we were going home (a five minute drive compared to 20 minutes of driving and then finding parking).
We got home, and once we finally convinced him to get out of the car, he was still telling me he had to use a porta potty. “Mom, get in car. Drive downtown. I poop and pee in porta potty.”
My partner and I tried to convince him our toilet or his potty was a porta potty. He knew better. We argued and argued until I let him know he could poop in his pants if he wanted. He has been in underwear for a while, but was in swim diapers under his swim romper. Apparently he can hold it a long time to get his point across.
I tried to make him sit on the potty, and he said, “I WILL NOT. I DO NOT LOVE YOU MOMMY.”
We video-called Grandma and Grandpa because I needed a way to laugh at the situation. They laughed with us. He still wouldn’t use it.
We knew that no reasoning was going to win this fight against my strong-willed toddler. He had not pooped yet that day. In my head, this was a very serious situation. It was going to have to come out.
Just as I was about to give up on the whole concept of motherhood and winning arguments, my partner pulled a chocolate treat off the fridge. He showed it to my son, and said “If you poop and pee, you can have this.” My toddler ran to his potty, and my partner was a damn hero.
I cannot believe I forgot bribery. When reason doesn’t work, there is always chocolate on a stick that looks like a unicorn horn! It was a half hour of fighting and repeating ourselves, but I’m pleased to say we won. It’s not really a win, but I’m calling it a win.
My child pooped and peed, and then we went outside so he could eat some of his unicorn horn. (It’s a horn right?) He ate about three bites before running off to play so we have it in the fridge for the next time we feel defeated in our toddler arguments.
I know that trying to get inside a toddler’s brain is a scary thing to do, but I honestly cannot figure out his logic. I think he must regret not trying the new experience of peeing in a porta potty. He said no, and he wished later he had tried it out. If my theory is correct, I’m okay with that. Trying new things is very important. I will always look back at the time I didn’t bungee jump with regret. (I still don’t want to do it though. I’ll take paragliding over bungee jumping any day.) That doesn’t mean I ever want to say no to new experiences.
The great news is that someday, he will get his chance to use a porta potty. And he will learn to loathe it like the world does. Gross.
That’s the story. We had a fight about him using the porta potty, and as in most parenting matters with a three year old, there was nothing to do but laugh.
A porta potty.
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