And then the next day happened.
Why I decided to try to start potty training my 3 year-old when I have a brand new infant in the house is beyond me. I knew that it was going to be hard, but I also thought that eventually it would get better.
IT DID NOT GET BETTER.
Not only was I cleaning up random puddles of urine all around our house (after stepping in them and soaking a sock each time, of course), I was also trying to calm a fussy baby AND monitor the toddler while he spent 90% of the morning in the bathroom.
I should have known this would all backfire.
After lunch, my son was sitting on his little throne for the millionth time and I thought it was safe for me to run downstairs and throw the laundry from the washer into the dryer so that his baby sister may have some clothes that were not covered in spit up. I was down there for less than 20 seconds when I heard the telltale sound of a toilet flushing.
No. Nonononononoooooooooooo WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?!!!
See, I had left him sitting on his tiny potty that does not involve him having any control over our septic system. But, he can walk, so of course he hopped right off of that mini seat and ran for the real deal when I left the room.
I high-tailed it back upstairs as fast as my neuropathy riddled legs would carry me and crossed my fingers as I entered the bathroom. There was my little cherub, standing next to the toilet with his hand poised over to the handle, ready to try to flush Buzz Lightyear "DOWN THE HOLE! THE HOLE MOWWWMMMM!!"
I breathed a huge sigh of relief as I realized Buzz was still sitting in the bottom of the bowl and I donned my gloves and scooped him out, vowing to never leave my son in the bathroom by himself ever ever EVER again. Crisis averted! I turned around to take "Mr. Buzz Lightyear" to the sink to get a proper wash-down when my son said, "MOW-OM! R-D-D-D-OH" went down the hollllle!!"
Stop. Slowly turn back around to look at child.
(Forced calm voice): "What did you say, Buddy?"
(Mournful toddler voice): "R-D-D-D-OH went down the hooooooole....get R-D-D-D-OH!"
Crisis NOT averted.
R-D-D-D-OH is our son's way of saying R2-D2. It is his favorite toy that he stole from his Auntie's house on Thanksgiving and he hasn't gone a day without playing with him since. Apparently R-D-D-D-OH had been specially chosen for the maiden voyage through our pipes.
I would like to give myself kudos here, as I did NOT scream. (Except for in my own head.) In the beginning of this ordeal, I remained perfectly calm, cool and collected. I did what any sane parent does these days. I Googled things like, "what to do when toddler flushes toy down toilet" and "will toilet be okay when kid flushes toy?" and "how to take apart toilet."
4 hours later....
I had most definitely LOST my cool at this point. The bathroom had tools and kitchen utensils (because I thought a butter knife might work when a flathead screwdriver did not???) and books strewn all about the floor. My 3 year-old was still perched on his little potty, only now he was decked out in my loafers and a plastic headband with a watermelon card stuck to it ("Headbands" for those of you who are not up on the most recent games for children.) His crazy mother was sprawled across the closed toilet lid, frantically trying to get behind it to unscrew the entire contraption from the floor because THIS IS WHAT ONE OF THE WEBSITES SAID I NEED TO DO AND IT TOTALLY SEEMS LIKE SOMETHING I CAN HANDLE TAKING APART AND THEN RE-INSTALLING, RIGHT?!!?!?!
When the toilet ultimately refused to budge from it's spot on the floor (I would be very thankful for this later), I loaded all 3 kids into the minivan for a last-minute trip to Lowe's to get a new toilet snake. Earl was due home from work in an hour and I could NOT tell him that our son had f*ed up our septic system.
Long story cut short, the snake did nothing to help us retrieve the toy.
R-D-D-D-OH was gone for good. (Unless my prayers are eventually answered and he will just show up back in the toilet bowl on his own one day.)
Earl came home to a very different house on day 2 of us being on our own. There was NO dinner cooking in the oven. The children were NOT bathed. The house was most decidely NOT CLEAN.
I am pretty sure when the toddler was the first and only one of us to go to the door to greet him, and he did this without pants on but with the headband and the boat shoes, my husband decided right then and there that he was the chosen parent not to lose their sh*t that night.
Good job, Earl.
Basically my expectations for my parenting dropped from "being Susie Homemaker" to "keeping all three children mostly alive until Dad gets home" over the course of 24 hours.
Self compassion, people. It is necessary for survival!
Keep hanging in there. Each day is a new day!