My mother’s most common complaint about me when I was growing up was how difficult it was to teach me anything involving physical skills. Diving into pools, tying my shoes, catching a ball, it was all nigh impossible to teach me. She’d watch me do bellyflop after bellyflop, let the ball smack me right in the face, and fiddle about with the laces and wonder what in the world was wrong with her teaching.
Then, one day, I’d just get it. Out of nowhere. One day bellyflops, the next day perfect dives.
Well, it turns out my son got a lot more from me than just my hair. After a weekend of potty training, it turns out he’s wired in much the same way.
I studied and researched potty training, determined to attack it with a PLAN. Aidan took one look at my plan and said, “No thank you very much.”
Frustrated to the point of tears (because of my failure to do it right, not his) I put him down for his nap and sat down for a good, hard cry. Ten minutes later Aidan was asking to get up, and a minute later he was using the potty like he’d been doing it all his life.
I have absolutely no idea how that happened. I can’t take credit for it, I don’t even understand it, but it sure made a happy ending out of what was turning into a pretty dismal day.
It’s a good reminder to stay humble about the whole parenting thing. Sometimes your kid is awesome because of how you’re raising him, and sometimes he’s awesome because you got the heck out of his way.