My three-year-old has a cavity. I know what you’re thinking — what mother allows such a thing to happen to a child that just barely started using his teeth? I am ashamed, but I blame potty training.
Potty training is not going well; I think Liam, my ten-month-old, will figure it out sooner than the three-year-old twins. After all, he started taking steps at eight months, found his way to the dog food without a hitch, has been creeping up the stairs with ease, and lately has been throwing himself on the ground tantrum-style when I take things away from him, e.g. dog food. The other boys were definitely not this advanced at this age.
But potty training is just not going as expected. I knew it wouldn’t be easy so I didn’t have high expectations, but I didn’t think it would be this bad either. Training two boys while working full-time, and being pregnant was, I thought, going to be the Trifecta of potty training failure but little did I know that trying to train the twins after the baby was born was going to be the real challenge.
I end up dragging–and I wholeheartedly mean dragging–the three-year-olds up the stairs with Liam on my hip, repeating over and over and over with less and less patience “You have to go to the potty; all big boys use the potty; daddy uses the potty; if you want to go to school, you have to use the potty. Are you a baby Liam? You’re acting like baby, Liam! Diapers are for babies; pull ups are for babies. Do you want a prize? A present? Do you want to go to the park? Go swimming? A lollipop? No? How about a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup?”
Bingo! Peanut butter cups become the sole motivator of bathroom trips.
Now a cavity has made its cozy little home in the back of Rowan’s mouth, which is the worst part, right? Wrong! The worst part is that peanut butter cups and and every other bribe I can think of no longer works because they cause cavities. Swell! For all the strides they were making, we are back to square one, and I’m left with a $200 filling to pay for.
But I’ve decided to take it all in stride. All kids eventually get out of diapers just as they all end up losing their baby teeth – and I know one day I’ll learn as a mother to give myself a break.