Friday, July 25, 2008

Cleaning Up

Potty training is hard stuff. By the way, before we go any further with this, I realize this isn't the world's most pleasant subject. I know, you probably don't need to read all about this fairly awkward subject, but I assure you, I'm going somewhere with all this, so bear with me... As I said, Potty training is hard stuff. It's one of those parenting things about which there are seven million opinions and everyone is an expert. It's one of things as a parent where you're constantly second guessing yourself and never fully convinced you've got it right. It's one of those things parents quietly compete about... Like, “Well one day little Jimmy just tore off his diapers and never looked back, and he was only three months old...” yeah, right, whatever. Our experience has been that potty training is a difficult and long process rife with successes and setbacks, anxiety and applause.

Right now Norah is smack dab in the middle of the storm. She has good days and bad days. Sometimes she’ll wake up dry as a bone, and use the potty all day long, staying dry right up until bedtime. Other days, we use every single pair of panties in the house and have to do laundry twice just to keep her clean. Some days you’re thinking, “Man, this girl has got it down! She’s totally potty trained!” and then the next day you’re like, “Just give me the ibuprofen and get outta my way!” It’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or something… we go from Potty Pro to Suzy pees-a-lot in no time… and if you ask her anything related to the potty, no matter what her state, the answer is always, “No.” If you say, “Do you need to go potty?” She says, “No.” If you say, “Are you dry?” She says, “No.” If you say, “Well then, are you wet?” She continues to say, “No.”

The problem is that you’re not allowed to freak out, fly off the handle and tear your eyeballs out of their sockets while inventing new ways to cuss under your breath. Day in and day out I watch my amazing wife just keep her cool and continue this steady stream of relaxed encouragement; so as not to plague Norah with ‘potty accident guilt’ and I’m just mystified… How does she do it? When Norah has an accident, (especially when it’s about the fourth one in an hour) my brain feels like someone is shoving bamboo shoots up my fingernails and I want nothing more than to lose control! I’m thinking, “Are you joking me?! Again!? I have to clean this up again?”

This morning was one of Norah’s bad days and as I was soaking and scrubbing some undies with a steadily rising temperature, I remembered something… My Father never loses His cool on my bad days. That’s right, I have good days and bad days and sometimes; like Norah, I’m not even a good judge of whether or not I’m clean, but my Heavenly Father never flies off the handle… nope, He just cleans me up, and that’s because of Jesus. Precious blood was spilled for me and because of that, I’m clean; and if I mess up in some way, I’m cleansed again. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” This is not some kind of carte blanche for more and more sin; no, it’s because of His loving tenderness and forgiveness that I want to grow. Now, if I can only learn to be more like Him for my sweet little Norah…

Here are a couple pics of the girls c hillin' at church, playing the piano and just being cute:

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