I feel like patience is one of those things that just doesn’t come as easily to a person as one would like to believe. If it did, it probably wouldn’t be one of the seven virtues, right? I mean, sure, we all pretend like we’re patient … patiently waiting for the new season of our favorite show to start, patiently waiting for the newest version of our phone to be released …. patiently waiting to get through a difficult project at work, or a particularly trying season in our life. We save face and we exute patience to everyone around us, but really we’re anxious about it… even the silly things. We want immediate gratification in all aspects of our lives.
And it never changes.
Want a perfect example? Kids. They are the epitome of having no virtues. Patience? I could create a YouTube video of a new superhero and name him Captain Patience and they STILL would not be able to emulate it.
As a parent, I feel like my ability to have patience is put to the ultimate test on a daily basis. Prime example – potty training.
This adorable photo was taken 8 months ago. G decided two weeks after bringing O home from the hospital that he was ready to be a big boy. Eight months later and we are just finally wearing underwear with our pants when we leave the house. 90% of the last eight months he has spent entirely butt naked or naked from the waist down. I have seen him naked more than any of the other kids or my husband combined. I have dealt with him peeing on my carpet, on my couch, on his bed (intentionally) and in my hall closet which also led to pee in my shoes. Fan-fricken-tastic. I have dealt with him pooping in his underwear, pooping and not telling me so that I can wipe his butt which led to skid marks on my shins, poop on my lap and poop on my furniture. His carseat pads have been washed more times than I can count and I have absolutely, one hundred and ten percent, thrown away a crap ton of underwear.
Through all of this I have done everything in my power to remain patient. He grasped the concept of potty training immediately. He knew exactly what he was supposed to do and where to do it. And he did great. For about a month. Let me tell you, my patience with potty training at this point is receding to be as thin as the once popular, high school jocks hair line. But it’s almost as if he can see that I’m at that breaking point of just letting him wear diapers until he’s in middle school and he’s suddenly deciding it’s time to give mama a little break.
Today he had his first accident, other than while sleeping, in a week. We’ve only had underwear on, every single day, including for sleep and in the car. It’s been a fantastic feeling to see the toddler I had assumed was potty trained eight months ago, finally almost REALLY there.
I will openly admit that patience is not one of my strong points. Having kids has made that abundantly clear and although it has increased my patience threshhold, I still lose it multiple times a day.