When you become a parent – try as you might to separate – you double your victories… and your failures. It’s hard to say whose more excited when the first smile cracks on your child’s face, or the first laugh rises from their belly. Is it them? Or is it us, watching as their lives unfold and we bear witness to all the little changes.
It’s not particularly poignant, and definitely not unique, to find excitement when you have dry days during potty training season, because it is a remarkable moment for him/her. It’s a turning point in childhood and for my child, it’s filled with a mix of feelings – joy and pride, sprinkled with a dash of fear and anxiety about what “growing up” will do to his current understanding about his world.
Moments of obvious pride are often quickly followed by reflection and questions about the other “growing up” sorts of things: the start of school, sleeping alone, ending nursing time… growing up. It’s one part excitement, one part anxiousness, and two parts confusion. Growing up is tough – but growing up and not understanding the why can be down right scary – for all of us.
So, on this eve of our first dry undies day, I am one part excited, one part anxious, and two parts confused – about how I ought to feel as my baby becomes less and less my baby and more and more himself: independent, strong, and bold.
Who knew potty training could be so emotional – for me!