We have reached a major milestone. At least I *think* it is a major milestone. I will admit that I am not too sure now that it has happened.
Let me explain.
For eleven years I have had at least one baby in diapers, at one point we had four small children in diapers at once!
Eleven continuous years of changing diapers. While going through this very long season of my life I assumed that when the time came to potty train our youngest child there would be a major life shift. The skies would open up with great bands of pink light and cherubs would float down strumming harps. Okay....maybe I am over dramatizing a bit.
I oscillated between excitement and sadness as I thought about the day our family would no longer need to purchase diapers.
What would life look like with no babies in the house?
How would I deal with the knowledge that that part of my life was over?
Would I always long for what was now in the past?
Well the time has come and gone. Our youngest daughter decided to potty train herself one month before she turned 3 years old. It wasn't a great time for me to go through potty training another little one. Our older 5 children had full schedules, my husband was gone yet again, and we were constantly on the go. I didn't have the three or four days to spend at home taking a child to the potty every 10min like I did with our oldest. I also refused to buy pull-ups after potty training our first two children.
Even though this wasn't the "right time" for me, it was for her. I bit the bullet and we went cold turkey on the diapers.
I packed a big tote bag with her extra potty seat (exactly the same as the one we used at home) lots of extra pants, undies, and socks. I then proceeded to drag our newly potty training 2 yr old to every activity, outing, grocery shopping, and sports lesson for 6 weeks. I assumed we would go through a lot of clothes and I would be washing her car seat daily.
Just the opposite happened however. She has never (6 weeks later) had an accident in public. She is able to use public bathrooms just as easily as our home bathroom. I find this to be a huge victory. All of our older kiddos were terrified of the public bathrooms for a very long time. Our 6yr old twins are still scared of them.
So what does our life look like now that we have no babies in the house? Well, exactly the same really. I am still picking up dirty laundry off the floor, stepping on bread crusts that were thrown under the table, wiping up peanut butter off the stair handrail, wondering who broke the microwave door, and trying desperately to stay on top of the dirty laundry pile. I still have to take Little Bit to the bathroom and inevitably fight with her over the fact that "no, we can not throw your panties away because you have already worn them once".
I expected the movement away from diapers would leave me feeling some how bereft. That could not be farther from the truth. My life is still just as full as it was before...perhaps a bit busier since I now have to stop what I am doing multiple times a day to take someone to the bathroom again. I do not find that I miss having a baby as part of our lives. I sometimes have a brief moment of longing when I see a friend with a new baby. I however then look at our family and I am content.
Our lives are complete just as they are.
We will continue to grow together. To experience new and exciting moments together as a family. There will be milestones. There will be disappointments. We will weather them all together, happy in our lives.
If the Lord feels moved to bring another little person into our unique level of chaos I would welcome them with open arms. Until that time I am content to watch our six little blessings grow and mature into the amazing people I know they will be.
Diapers? Who needs them!