The reality of being the mother of two children hit me about 14 days after my second daughter, Emma, was born via emergency C-section. While recuperating in the hospital, my two-year-old, Sydney, decided that she no longer wanted to wear diapers "like her baby sister" and only wanted to use her potty. Though my husband and I were happy that she had taken an interest in potty training, the timing could not have been worse.
There I was, alone with my two girls for the first time, breastfeeding Emma in the blue and white glider while her big sister played quietly at my feet with her Dora the Explorer doll. For a moment, my anxiety about caring for more than one child at a time dissipated. Suddenly, Sydney sprung to her feet and yelled, "Mommy! I have to make a sissy right now!"
"Alright," I faked in a calm voice. "Give me a second to finish feeding Emma." I looked down at my two-week-old, who was nowhere near finished eating. I just didn't have the heart to put her down. "Mommy, I have to make NOW!" Sydney cried. It dawned on me that if I didn't get that child on her potty, we were going to have a full-blown wet-pants crisis on our hands.
I hoisted myself up, wincing in pain from the C-section, and with Emma still clinging to my breast, I escorted my daughter to her potty. "Go to it," I said, pointing to the toilet with her Elmo potty seat fitted on top. "I need help!" She tugged at her still-buttoned pants. Ack! I forgot about that part. Performing a deep knee bend, I used one arm to hold Emma and helped Sydney with the other. Still in a squat with Emma on the boob, I then lifted Sydney onto the potty seat. She instructed me to leave the bathroom because she wanted "her privacy." Exhausted from my acrobatics, I collapsed back into the glider to let Emma finish feeding.
A moment later, I heard, "Mommy! I want to flush all of the paper!" I opened the bathroom door just in time to find Sydney trying to flush an entire unspooled roll of toilet paper. "No, wait, honey. You can't flush that!" But I was too late. The water in the toilet bowl rose quickly, spilling over the sides and flooding the floor. "Mommy!" Sydney screamed. With lightening speed, I de-latched Emma, who promptly began to wail, and put her down in the bassinet. I picked up Sydney (who also promptly began to wail), and rescued her from the ensuing tide. As I unclogged the toilet and mopped the floor, I decided that I wouldn't tell my husband, Phil, what had happened, for fear of looking completely incapable and foolish.
Later that evening, Sydney announced, "Daddy, I have to go to make a sissy!" As Phil got up to help her, he turned to me and proudly said, "Aren't you glad she's potty trained? It must make your life so much easier!"