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Still here. Just working and reading and, in the most absorbing task of the last two or three weeks, potty training. But do you know what?
 This time last week, I was near despair. Telling myself that this was nothing in the grand scheme of things and that he certainly wouldn’t be in diapers at the age of 12, or even 5, but still, his stubborness on the matter was starting to get to me. He’s 2 3/4, and I had waited to train him longer than I had Joseph for a couple of reasons. First, all the traveling we were doing this summer, and secondly, I imagined that if he were older, he’d be more reasonable, less willing to be messy, and more willing.
Well, point one was well taken, but point two was not, for I forgot that as intelligence grows, so does another quality: will.
I’ll spare you the details, but those of you who have been through it know the drill. The first line of attack is first thing in the morning – he’s been dry most mornings for a year, so that’s prime time, you would think, to just let go without thinking, without that blasted will coming into play. Not so our Michael, who was for many days determined to resist. And resist.
But gradually, he caught on, and finally decided he didn’t actually like wet pants very much. As is usual with little ones, it was, at first, all about putting him on frequently, and not depending on him to notify us of need, and when he did get to that second level, it was usually too late anyway. The low point was last Saturday night, when Michael the Dad said he would take them to the Reds game, while Katie and I did something else. “Uh…” I said, “I don’t think that’s such a good idea.” And at the end of the evening he agreed – he’d spent what time they were at the game responding to Michael’s declarations that he had to go every ten minutes,  only to march to the restroom and have the little one, confronted with the actual moment of truth, refuse. 
Followed by the aforementioned disaster at the Newport Levee Barnes and Noble.
But do you know what?
It’s Thursday, and earlier this week – Monday or Tuesday – it all just came together. No accidents, big boy pants, and now he races off when the need strikes, refusing help, which has not been a problem so far, and you know it could be.  It’s one of those many points of parenthood when, in the midst of it, you just think, “Man, I hate this. I HATE this. This is the WORST thing about parenting” But then, in an instant, it passes, and you think, “Huh. That wasn’t so bad.” Which is the result of some chemical God works into our system – the same chemical, lower dose, he puts in us so we forget what labor feels like.
(And yeah, it’s sad that after a day of silence, that’s all I’ve got, but there you go.)

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