Tuesday, July 29, 2008


How do you know you’ve been slacking in your motherly duties?

The other day, I’m downstairs watching Project Runway when Homer comes down and climbs up beside me on the couch. I notice that he’s wearing a pair of Gus’s too-small underwear, rather than his usual Pull-ups.

“So, you’re wearing big-boy undies now?” I ask.

“Yeah,” he says.

“That’s cool,” I say, thinking, I'd better put a pair of Pull-ups back on him before he pees all over my couch oh my gosh Heidi Klum did NOT just say that...

The next morning, I go in Homer's room to get him up for the day, and I see that he had emptied his dresser drawer all over the floor, so I scoop up all his clothes, open the drawer, and what do I see? A stash of Gus's smallish underwear in Homer's top drawer. Hmm.

Then I wake up Homer, and I'm surprised to see that he is still wearing underwear, and, in fact, wore them to bed the night before, not Pull-ups… and he’s dry.

“You slept in big boy undies?” I ask.

He pushes past me, without answering, in a half-awake, sleepy state. I follow him as he staggers into the bathroom, lifts both toilet seats, and pees. He looks back at me over his shoulder, kinda wobbly, with his eyes half open, then he shakes it twice, tucks it back inside, flushes the toilet, and closes the lids.

“You’re peeing in the potty now?” I ask.

He pushes passed me, yawning, and stumbles downstairs to the kitchen. I follow him and watch him open the pantry, climb up the shelves, and retrieve a box of cereal, almost as big as him. Then he pushes a chair over to the cabinets, climbs onto the counter, and gets a bowl. Then he grabs the milk from the fridge, realizes that he’s grabbed the skim by mistake, puts it back, and grabs the 1%.

“Do you need help?” I ask, awkwardly.

He stares back at me with a blank look on his face, grabs the remote control, turns on the TV, and switches it to Backyardigans. He places the remote next to his bowl, and pours his own cereal and milk.

Kids aren't born with that kind of independence, they learn it over time when you stop doing stuff for them. It's like I always tell my kids when they ask for something, "I'm not your slave." And look how things have turned out. Homer potty trained himself, and makes his own breakfast. Next, he'll be able to survive in the woods by himself. And I'm the one who taught him those survival skills by allowing him to fend for himself.

In other news...

I drew the name for my contest and will post the results next.

Also, I might finish that story I started a while back today, you remember the one...


Memzy said...

Remind me how old that kid is again. Cuz this is the best motherly story I've heard in a loooong time. I love it.

ajesplin said...

He's 3--turned 3, June 28th.

Cristin said...

WOW what a great mom you for allowing your child to fend for himself. That's a valuable tool that I wish Bub had, if I don't change his diaper it just hangs to his knees till it falls off then he comes to me asking for me to help put his heavy diaper back on.

Sam, Shel & Co said...

I won't tell this story to my sister who is having all kinds of problems getting her 3 year old to "poop in the toilet". They're next door for the summer, and anytime we leave the house we tell Tanner to "poop in the toilet". Yesterday, I gave him a hug and told him to poop in the toilet and his mommy would be SO happy. He looked me, gave me a big sigh and said, "You know, Aunt Shel? It's just NOT my favorite thing!"