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Potty Training Patience


 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,  gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23, HCSB).

It's funny, I was reading through my recent posts, and I realized that a recent theme has been busyness. Last Monday, we started on a new adventure with Little E, one that's giving us the blessing of many hours at home together, and I immediately started chomping at the bit. I wanted to be on the go, and had trouble with the thought of being at home. It seems like God has given me the exact thing I've wanted, time at home, yet I'm still impatient.

Monday started Day 1 of potty training for us, and it's certainly been an experience! Our daughter is stubborn, extremely so.  I was tempted to quit an hour in. I tried having her go every 15 minutes or so, which was meant by screams and flails. Spreading out the time has helped a bit, but also increased our rates of accidents. The protests have continued, but so have the random sucesses.

With a 20-30 minute drive into town and back, it makes more sense to stay at home this week. I honestly think my daughter is enjoying the attention. We’re reading books, dancing to music, coloring pictures and playing with building blocks. It’s hard to describe the look of pride on her face when she does get things right. A grin spreads from ear to ear. It’s the sweetest thing. She’s also equally proud of her big-girl panties. Now, if we can just curb the accidents, we’ll be all set.

This whole experience has been a bit more stressful than I expected it to be. Perhaps I thought she’d get it right off the bat, that she’d always be excited to go potty. She was very interested in the whole thing, before we started Day 1. Perhaps my own emotions are running a little to crazy. That could be possible as well.

I’ve been looking for a way out, an excuse to not keep going. I wonder if she’ll ever fully get the hang of things, or if we should just back off for a few more months. I worry that I rushed things, that “I” wanted this, not her. But then I remember how excited she’s been about the potty in the last few weeks. How she’s wanted to try it. I start to think about the successes, instead of the failures. The high fives, the special treats, the cheers, the dancing. Yes, she may fight this with her stubborn will, but she’s also, slowly succeeding. It may not be complete success over night, but she’s getting there. I do pray that something clicks for her, and the stress, for me goes down a bit. Because I truly want her to succeed in this. As much as I hate seeing my little girl getting older, it’s a fact of life. Her pigtails, long legs, jabbering words, remind me of just how big she’s getting. She’s growing up. The little girl who was once a tiny baby, is now perfectly independent. Sometimes I worry about how the next couple months will work. What traveling with a potty trained child over the holidays will look like. But I can’t live my life in worry. I’m sure, whenever we started potty training, there would be inconvenience involved. This was honestly a good week to start trying, before Thanksgiving and Christmas got too awful close.

And so, we move one not losing faith, and praying things finally stick for our sweet, but stubborn girl.  


Lord Jesus, please give me patience, even on the tough days. Help me to demonstrate your love in the way I live my life. Oh, and help this potty training thing to click for Little E, so that I stop pulling my hair out. Amen.