Last week I received the enrollment form for Macks’ preschool for next year. While filling out the form I noticed the sentence “All incoming preschoolers must be fully potty trained.” “Oh he’ll be potty trained by then,” I thought to myself. “He will, won’t he?” I asked myself again. “I mean, it’s a year away, of course he will be using the potty by then.” I was desperately trying to convince myself of something that I honestly wasn’t completely sure of.
The thing is, Macks has his own timeline for when he wants to do things. He’s still not sleeping through the night, he’s still in a crib (for those nights he does sleep in his own room,) and he’s still wearing diapers. Maybe it’s because he’s our third child, maybe it’s because we aren’t forcing him, or maybe it’s because he’s not ready. And to be completely honest, I’m in no rush to do any of those things with him.
I was speaking with someone the other day about how Macks had kept me up all night the night before. I mentioned that I feel like I’ve been stuck in the newborn phase at night for over two years now. “He’ll get there,” this person assured me. “Eventually he’ll sleep so much, you’ll have a hard time waking him up rather than keeping him asleep.”
That’s the reality. He won’t do these things forever. These (nearly) three years of waking up every night or changing what feels like millions of diapers, will feel like a short moment in time come 30 years from now. And it’s then that I’ll miss the moments of walking into his dark room with me squinting my eyes half asleep to pick him up out of his crib and have him lay his head on my shoulder and fall quietly back to sleep. Or the funny faces we make to each other as I lay him on the ground to keep him occupied while I’m changing his diaper.
As a mom of three I am rushing to get everything I need to get done in one day when it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. Rushing to get out the door for school, rushing to get to ballet, through the grocery store, to bed. At the end of every single night I feel as though I’ve tried to speed through the day so that I can check more off of my to-do list. But what do those check marks really accomplish in the long run? Nothing really.
So what would rushing Macks out of the diapers or out of his crib a few months early really do? Nothing really. I guarantee that I won’t remember 30 years from now what age he was when he accomplished these things. I’ll just know that he did it. And he will do it. In his own time. Without the rush.