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Friday, January 9, 2009

No Perfect Mom Here

Warning: The following story contains "real mom" moments.
They're not very pretty.

This morning M had a potty accident on one of the covered dining room chairs (which also went onto the carpet). I asked her why she hadn't gone in the bathroom, then took her into the bathroom and stripped her bottom layers. After sitting her on the toilet, I grabbed the paper towels and started cleaning up. After the initial cleaning, I went to grab the cleaning solution and check on M in the bathroom. I hadn't lost my temper. Yet.

My mouth literally fell open. She was standing on the floor in a puddle of urine with a pile of poop between her legs. I lost it.

I dropped the bottle of solution and roll of paper towels and shouted at her. Why would she get off the toilet and go on the floor? I warned you, not pretty.

M started crying, I had to take a deep breath, then I got down on my knees (careful to avoid the puddle between her legs) and apologized. I hugged her and calmed her down while cleaning her up and putting her back on the toilet. I inwardly chastised myself for losing it with a 2 1/2 year old who is still potty training. It was an accident, and accidents happen. No, I don't understand the mind of a 2 year old who gets off the toilet and then goes on the floor, but I don't need to. I shouldn't have lost my temper.

After I finished cleaning up the bathroom, and then finished cleaning up the chair and carpet in the dining room, I called all the girls to me (since they had all witnessed it). I confessed to them that I shouldn't have yelled, that I wasn't showing self-control, and that I was wrong to shout. I said I was sorry and asked them to forgive me. They smiled and hugged me and we went on with our day.

I was tested to see if I was REALLY sorry when M had another accident not even 2 hours later. I had told her to go to the bathroom and go potty. She did go to the bathroom, but instead decided to get up on the stool and look at herself in the mirror, and then had an accident. I had to take a deep breath, but I didn't yell. I felt like she had disobeyed, but now that I think about it, she did follow my directions. She "went to the bathroom and went potty", just not on the toilet. I guess I'll have to be more specific next time.

God, I'm sorry for falling short and losing control. Thank you for your forgiveness. Thank you for the chance to humble myself to my children, and for their forgiveness and love. Please help me to point these precious children to you, demonstrating to them that we all need your forgiveness, and that I, too, need to lean on you for help.


Cap said...

Lord knows I'm no expert on kids, but you might ask either her or your doctor why M feels better standing up while going than sitting down. Could be that it just 'feels better', since the muscles you use to go are a little less cramped up when standing. (Compared to sitting, if you're not used to it.)

And wow, patience. I would've needed to bang my head against a wall for a few hours with that. Kind of makes you wish everything could be covered in linoleum.


Ambervanness5 said...

Hi Jessica,
It's actually kind of ironic that I came onto your blog at this moment and read this potty training story. Rayna turned 3 in December and we are still struggling big time with potty training. She has accidents all the time and I'm getting VERY frustrated. I also find myself yelling and then asking her for forgiveness. It can just be so frustrating sometimes and everyone tells me girls train so quickly! So then I guess I think 'ok, what am I doing wrong??' and maybe take it out on her, when it's really my own pride issue that is really making me mad. I want the day to come when I can say "she is potty trained"...But everyday we still struggle and I get so tired of cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Thank you for helping me keep the perspective tonight! Cory is out of town which makes it that much harder doing this solo :) See you on thursday at Bible Study! Amber

Jessica said...

Krista said:
"Hey Jessica,
Thank you so much for being so real in your blog. It helps to know that other Christian mom's do fall short on occasion, that I'm not the only one. Not many people would blog about yelling at a child, but I too have done that.... and I just want to say thank you for being honest and you did a great thing by apologizing to all the girls and I'm sure it was very humbling to you as well. You're doing a great job raising your family! and one of these days I just might try your homemade yogurt recipe :)"

Jessica said...

Thanks, ladies. I know I'm not alone, which is one reason I decided to post it. None of us are perfect, and we all need God's help and forgiveness. Thank goodness he takes us where we are!

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