But, I want to not only Thank God that it's the end of the week - I want the end of the week to remind me to be thankful for something. Yes, of course we are all grateful for little things each and every day. I would be nothing if I wasn't thankful to God for all the blessings He has bestowed (that's right, bestowed) unto me and my family. But, I want to be more intentional about it. I want to stop and really take notice of something in particular each week. And I want to put it out there - for you all to see and potentially stop and contemplate something you might be thankful for as well. It might be a person, maybe a place or thing, or even an abstract feeling or attitude. Heck, it could be a new frozen yogurt flavor for all I know...let no grateful stone go unturned. I think gratitude is at the core of humility, and humility must come before authenticity. So here it is - the start of me being publicly grateful for who knows what.
This week, I'm grateful for little victories. It's not surprising, perhaps, being the first full week of the new year. We are each nervously sitting through each hour of the day with our own little resolutions, trying to build up minutes into hours into days that formulate a new habit that creates us a little bit closer to who we would like to be...or so we hope. So, yes, sometimes getting through an entire day without digging a spoon into the peanut butter jar (not today) would be considered a little victory - hooray! But, for me, in particular, little victories came in the form of potty training. Dry undies. Successful bribing. Clean carpet. Unused diapers.
That's right, I said it and I'm not ashamed. Potty training. Each ONE of us, like it or not, had to actually learn how to use the toilet - and let me tell you, we should each be thanking our mother's a little bit more for it!
I know I mentioned a few months ago that Matilda was interested in potty training. Well, we had a go at it and then it was just melt-down-city from there. So, instead of turning into World War III (no pun intended - one or two making the obvious jokes) I decided to just leave it up to her, so to speak. I just kept it positive. I would ask her very often if she had to go, and when she wanted to, we would do it - otherwise, we wouldn't. Well, I am super duper proud to say that she has been VERY interested in it this week, and today we had our first fully successful day of potty training! I can't believe it! Granted, we're still a little shaky on the whole "tell mommy ahead of time" thing - I'm still having to initiate the journey to the potty and ask her about a zillion times a day if she has to go....but, hey, again - I'm not thankful for total success yet...no,no, I'm thankful for little victories- like today!
Parenting Matilda is so minute to minute. The girl is busy and moody and has more energy than a chihuahua hopped up on Red Bull. So, to grasp focus long enough to actually sit ANYWHERE (let alone a potty!) and do what you are supposed to do is a huge milestone for this girl!
Now, who knows if it is the cute My Little Pony undies, the bag of leftover Christmas treats I'm bribing her with, or the actual developmental progress of becoming a "big girl" that's motivating her...but, I'll take it!
Thank you, Lord, for giving me moments of success and peace today that help me know there is a light at the end of this tunnel! Thank you for each dry half-hour that passes. Thank you that I didn't have to get on my hands and knees and scrub the carpet today. Thank you that You made us capable to learn these crazy tasks and remember them and only get better at them. Thank you for placing just enough little victories throughout my day as a parent so that I know I am going to survive and find joy again - even in the middle of my naked toddler screaming what could only be incoherent obscenities at me in her own language.
Potty training today was very representative of the bigger picture of parenting. It is unpredictable. It is messy. It is embarrassing at times. It can challenge your patience (and hearing) beyond measure. At some point you won't know what to do and you will give in to some sort of method you would have sworn you would never do prior to having children (i.e. I will never give my kid chocolate four times in one day for using the potty!) But, in between all those times are just enough unimaginably precious moments that make it so entirely worth the next half-hour you can't help but want to stick around for more. A hug. A kiss. An "I love you mom-mom". And a dry pair of My Little Pony underoos. Well, hallelujah. Little victories go a long way.