A few weeks ago, my strong willed, fiercely independent two year old decided she was finished wearing diapers. As in “I not wearing diapers. I wearing underoos.” At no point in the preceeding two years had I felt like she was ready for this step. While she dabbled in appropriate bathroom behavior, more often than not she had elected to skip the potty and use her diaper instead. Which, I must admit, was okay with me. My husband and I are not big potty pushers. When our kids were ready, they were ready. This made the actual process of training fairly easy, which was ideal for both us and our kiddos. However, with the preceeding three, there were signs. Like waking up dry in the morning. And asking to use the potty on a semi-frequent basis. And requesting a diaper change immediately after going. This was most definitely not the case with our youngest. But, being the relatively easy going parent I am, I decided to give it a whirl. How bad, really, could it be?
The answer? Pretty bad. In two days time, our little lady made it to the toilet a grand total of three times. Two, if you eliminate the time where she started in her pants and finished on the potty. We went through more underpants than she owned. I washed a week’s worth of laundry in the span of 48 hours. It was rough. And then, on the third day, something clicked. We went from a change every hour to just once in fourteen. The next day she stayed dry until bedtime. I was elated!
For the past seven years, we have had someone (if not two someones) in diapers. I am pretty positive that we have single handedly kept the Target diaper department in business. I can tell you which stores have the best changing stations, and which you are better off using the trunk of your car. I have wiped bottoms and changed babies on benches and in strollers, standing up and sitting down. I have lugged a diaper bag here, there, and everywhere. And miraculously, in a few days time, it was over.
For some time we’ve been packing away all things baby. The toy basket in our little one’s room has slowly transformed from a trove of sweet and safe baby-friendly treasures to one overflowing with teeny tiny choking hazards. The crib is gone, and a big girl bed has taken it’s place. There are only a handful of books left on our shelves that aren’t filled with paper pages. And the era of sippy cups and little utensils is nearly at an end. Now that I’ve swapped the diaper bag for a purse, the transition is almost complete.
I have been looking forward to this change for quite some time, and with quite a bit of trepidation. I was afraid, with my tendancy toward depression and a somewhat elevated degree of sentimentality, that I would be deeply affected by our aging family. And I was, but not at all in the manner I expected to be. The freedom to go where we want to go without a second thought, to be unburdened by naptimes or diaper changes, is a wonderfully amazing freedom to have. As much as I loved being mommy to babies, I love it even more to be mom to four self-sufficient big kids. Will I miss the snuggles, the giggles, and those itty bitty fingers wrapped around mine? Of course. But the snuggles still come, just a little less frequently. They all still love to laugh and I LOVE to hear them do it. And occasionally, on a really good day, they still reach for my hand.