For the past week, I have been confronted by something that most people would perhaps find trivial. Well, after celebrating the fact that Kwezi had graduated from pampers to a fully potty trained belle, it seems that again; I celebrated too soon.
Kwezi has been off diapers for a reasonable amount of time now. She only wears a diaper when she is going to sleep because first, she doesn’t like her sleep interrupted and second, I am not ashamed to say that I am one of those mothers who are mostly too lazy to get up from their sleep to go through the motions of lifting fully asleep, tall and heavy children, and placing them on the potty.
Everything has been going well with our little arrangement and my wallet was happy that I now only get to buy one or two packets of diapers a month as compared to five when she was not yet potty trained. I had already celebrated and filed away this milestone and was now looking forward on working on forgetting about my love for sleep and concentrating on how to make her be independent enough to wake herself up and use her potty but all of a sudden, things changed.
Kwezi started off by peeing on herself once. Then it was twice. The third time really got me so angry that I gave her a few slaps on the bum while screaming about how the potty is “in her face” and is to be used by all means. She cried and said ‘mummy sorry’ and I hoped that was the last time we would be talking about this.
When my mother called a few minutes later, I told her about my frustration. She sighed and very slowly, asked me not to smack her again because small accidents happen to children. In my frustration, I also explained that I only consider it an accident if it happens once or twice and not every day for more than a week. My mother told me to be patient because the brain of a three-year-old functions way more different from that one of an adult. She explained that I should not overreact if we go 10 steps ahead and one day, she takes five others back. This, she explained, was part of child growth and development and all I needed was to be patient.
My friend Isaac, who has three teenagers of his own came to visit later and took me through a whole crash course on child development. Then like any modern mom, I made a cup of tea and went to “research” on Google. Both my mother and my friend were right. I have calmed down. For now, I have asked the nannies to take her back to square one where they make her sit on the potty every 45 minutes so that she can retrace her steps. Parenting has its sometimes weird frustrations but we shall overcome.