The Crispy Bata has turned 4 in the last week, and for some reason it is almost as if someone took my 3-year-old and replaced him with and identical-looking but differently acting 4-year-old.
For example, the child who once was so resistant to even going near a toilet has basically not needed a diaper in the past 5 days. Iz am amazed at the difference in him. It’s as if he has never even seen a diaper or know what it’s used for. When we were at the supermarket, I asked him if he had to potty (because I didn’t want to leave a cart full of perishables in an aisle while trying to locate a bathroom), and it was like he was offended that I would ask. Because DUH, he would tell me when he had to go!
We were even more surprised when, at a time that all 3 of us were slightly sick with a cold, G woke up in the middle of the night and announced, “I have to go potty.” I was so shocked that he would even do that (especially since he had been wearing a pull-up to bed). In the past he would have just peed in his pull-up without waking up. I was so tired that I told him if he wanted to potty, he had to do it by himself. Half-awake, I heard him go into the bathroom, pull his stool up to the adult toilet, sit down, pee, and then flush. If I had had more energy, I would have stayed up and cheered. As it was, he crawled back into bed with me and fell asleep.
He did this twice, 2 nights in a row. The second time, B was conscious enough to witness it. The previous night he had been sleeping, and I’m pretty sure he thought I dreamed it or something when I told him about it.
What with the new potty-learning skills under his belt, I didn’t want to push anything else new, such as transitioning him to his own room … But this insane new child that has been traded for our old one actually suggested sleeping in his own room himself several time. Of course, he didn’t actually sleep there — he ended up coming back to his regular spot in our bed. But it was definitely a change from the boy who was scared of even being in that room alone.
The boy who was scared of the doctor’s office last year willingly followed all directions that the doctor and the nurse gave him. The instructions during the hearing test were confusing for him, but he even sat still for the shots –until the needle pierced his skin, and then he started screaming, “I don’t like this! I changed my mind! I don’t want shots anymore!”
He has even insisted on dressing and undressing himself (with some minimal help while his huge melon is stuck inside a shirt, so he can’t tell that I’m helping). When he was creeping up on his 4th birthday, we asked him to do things like use the potty and he would respond, “I’ll do that when I’m 4.” We tried to explain to him that he had to practice.
My other theory, besides my son being replaced by a clone, is that he really just needed to get comfortable mentally with the idea of potty-training. By giving him a deadline of FOUR YEARS OLD, with about 2-3 months notice, he was able to use that time to slowly get comfortable with the fact that at that point, we would expect him to act out this particular behavior. Although we would probably have gone easy had he been unable to do it, in his mind it was absolute: “Four-year-olds do not wear diapers. Four-year-olds use the toilet.”
In a way it’s a very sophisticated way of thinking, considering he’s 4. But he’s taking being 4 very seriously. I’m hoping this is a sign of more good things to come.