We talk in various ways with Daniel about the baby brother soon to be joining our family. In yet another view on a preschooler's concept of "time" - every time I head to the doctor's office for an appointment, he asks if I'm coming home with the baby. I smile, and explain that it will be summer, and warm, and practically his birthday before he gets here. (If only it were so easy!) He will also randomly tell me about how he will help with the baby when he gets here. This includes things like changing his diaper, and pouring milk into his cup. Hmmm. Breastfeeding may take a little explaining... And when we were coasting through the kid's department of a store yesterday he picked an outfit off the rack and asked if it would be good for the baby. The clothes were a near-fit for Daniel, so I explained that his little brother would need to grow into something like that. It's all been very sweet.
Moments above alternate with the days that I have to hold onto my patience with both hands as my independent-minded four year old and I butt heads over every. Little. Thing. Clothes to wear for the day are not right, by virtue of the fact that Mommy picked them out. We can't leave the house while he struggles with his coat zipper. He appears to be living on tortillas and string cheese lately. And once, this past winter, he was determined to help me move a pile of snow out of our driveway. To the point that he moved my pile of snow back into the driveway so that he could move it out himself.
And we've been in a potty-training conundrum for quite some time. Daniel has peed on the potty like a champ for awhile now. Wears underwear to preschool, doesn't have accidents... but when it came to the inevitable poop on the potty, he requested a pullup and to go do it in his room. Nothing, not even outright bribery of every kind could dissuade him. He'd proclaim to one and all that he would get this or that prize if he pooped on the potty, but when it came to the moment there was so much fussing and crying over it all that I would give in and it would be a pullup in his room for the deed.
Grandma and Grandpa came to visit last week. There was some cajoling, and fussing, and one missed day of "going." The next day he agreed to sit on the potty. I could hear him chattering away to himself, flipping the pages of a book while he sat. And then. I could almost hear a catch in his little voice as he said: I did it! Daddy took him to Target, to pick out a grand potty prize. And while there's some work to be done regarding the logistics of such things as wiping, we've been going on the potty ever since.
I feel slightly silly, and maybe it's just pregnancy hormones, but I found myself tearing up at the jubilation in his voice at his accomplishment. Here's to my stubborn-sweet son, who does it all "My way!"