To say that welcoming and assimilating four children, all under the age of 8 into our home at one time has been an adjustment, is like saying that a hurricane is a little windy: it just doesn't capture the magnitude of the event! As many of you know from our previous blogs, not every day has been filled with the ecstatic, euphoric and warm fuzzy feelings that one hopes to feel often and intensely in your family. But recently, we got one of those moments. A rare, we're-all-in-this-together, family event. And just what was this special moment? Jonah, the 2 year old, used the potty for the first time! It was a momentous occasion as all seven of us gathered in the smallest room in our house. There, in that 5x6 bathroom, the little fellow kept us spellbound for a period of time much longer than should have ever been the case. Let's break it down for a minute.
The event all began within the context of usual bedtime routine. This is that time each evening when dinner is out of the way and kids are generally doing anything and everything to avoid going to bed. The boys streak through the house, requiring multiple prompts to put on their PJs while bigger sister wanders aimlessly from room to room trying to instigate play amongst the troops. Mom and Dad are barking out orders and directives like a drill sargent, while Jeffrey tends to avoid the entire chaotic scene by immercing himself in his XBox games. But this night was destined to be different. In the middle of the usual pandemonium comes an excited little voice proclaiming "Potty, mommy, potty!" Ah, music to a mom's ears! Parents wait countless days for such words as family resources are poured into seemingly endless supplies of diapers and pull ups! Its amazing the joy that one feels over that one simple word "potty" uttered by a toddler clutching his crotch firmly with both hands while in desparate need!
But that one word set us in immediate motion. It was like a warning sirene going off on the deck of the USS Nemesis! "All hands on Deck! All hands on Deck! The two year old is going to the potty!" Ah-uuuu-Ga! Ah-uuu-Ga! Mom immediately grabbed Jonah by the hand and sprinted to the bathroom while busily instructing patience to a 2 year old and trying to wrestle his diaper to the ankles in haste. By this time, the news that Jonah was being fitted for seating on the upstairs throne spread throughout the ranks and in a flash the entire rank-and-file had gathered in the tiny bathroom. All 7 of us!
Jonah was hoisted to the throne where he commanded the attention of the entire family. But was it for real or just another delay in going to bed? The red-face, the puffed cheeks and the various grunts and moans were dead giveaways that this little fellow meant business. This was a determined effort to produce while under the pressure of skeptical siblings who were not yet convinced that he was indeed going to use the potty. "Are you sure, Mom?" "I don't know Mom. I don't see anything", Judah stated as he squirmed around the backside of the toilet hoping to get a better angle. "Come on man, you can do it!" came the admonitions of Jeffrey who at this point had assumed the role as head cheerleader in this momentus occasion. At this point, the entire crowd followed Jeffrey's lead, breaking out in variety of cheers and chants, spurring the young tyke on to greater heights.
"He did it!" Mom announced! Judah, peering down the dorsal view, confirmed the sighting. It was one solitary rabbit-sized pellet floating proudly in roughly 3 gallons of water as the crowd now broke out in cheers and high fives! "See if you can do another one, Jonah!" Judah shouted! Jaden jumped into dad's arms laughing and for a moment, sharing in his brother's acheivements. While that was as productive as Jonah could get, we nevertheless broke out in a chorus of Luther Vandross' "One Shining Moment" and rehearsed the entire event for the next 30 minutes. Bedtime was now shot and it took us an hour and half to get things back under control. But, for that one shining moment, all the frustrations, fears, quirks and questions about our new children faded into that wonderful experience known as ...family! Its the experience defined by being together in close quarters, cheering on one of the gang on who is struggling, rejoicing in another's acheivement and sharing the joy of being together. All we can say is that it is the strangest things that bind us together!...
Russell (taking credit ...or blame, for the post) and Karen Thomas