Following the lead of so many others this week, I could tell a heartwarming back- to -school tale, a tale that documents how we ended the separate classroom experiment and began our days in the three year old room--together.
In that case, an appropriate title might be: Reunited and it feels so good.
Or, I could parcel this tale in another package, a package that neat wraps up our potty- training adventures and happily proclaims, "We are all potty-trained!"
In this case, an appropriate title might be: Potty- trained and it feels so good.
Yet, as is often the case, the stories are not so simple or so separate.
In February, I mused about our lackadaisical approach to potty- training.
In March, I ruminated over our decision to separate Emily and Andrew at school.
In April and May, I reflected Emily's potty training progress and Andrew's blossoming speech. By the end of May, she was completely potty-trained--even through the night. Drew was definitely talking more, if not always clearly, yet his potty training progress was pretty much stalled.
In June, we celebrated birthdays and wondered how in world our babies were suddenly three.
We watched proudly as they played like big kids in the bounce house and our hearts melted as they started referring to each other as "My Andrew" and "My Emy."
Occasionally, my heart would break, too, when one asked to stay in the other's classroom at school.
In July, the preschool director asked me if I had thought about what I wanted to do when it was time to move them up. We could keep them separate. Drew would move to the three year old room, and Emily would move to the older three/four year old room. Emily was ready. Drew would just need to be a bit further along in the potty training process. She felt we could get him there by August. Or, we could put them back together in the three year old room. Still, Drew needed to work on the potty training.
While I was torn about whether or not to put them back together, I was not torn about the issue of working on Drew's potty training. I felt strongly that he needed to move up. He was clearly the oldest in his room and he needed more interaction with kids more his age. At the same time, I understood the potty training concern, and I felt a bit guilty that we hadn't worked on the issue more.
From there, we got serious. And, somewhere in that process, Drew and Emily tuned into the fact that moving classrooms had something to do with Drew learning to go to the potty.
One day in July, the teacher reported that Emily had been providing Drew with some "coaching." Their classrooms share a bathroom, and Emily joined Drew in the bathroom and told him, matter-of-factly, "If you don't use the potty, you can't go to Miss Michelle's class with me."
We all had a good laugh at her persuasive techniques, and admittedly, we all played into it a little bit. We wanted Drew potty trained and he wanted to go to Miss Michelle's class.
After a couple of weeks of staying dry during the day at school, we decided to go cold turkey on the pull-ups. Countless changes of clothes later, Drew was pretty close to potty trained, even staying dry all through the night.
All the while, he kept his eye on the prize: being reunited with Emily and being in Miss Michelle's class.
As I watched his progress and his perseverance, there was no doubt in mind as to whether we should keep them separate or bring them back together.
So, last Monday, Drew and Emily entered Miss Michelle's class--together.
I know there might be all kinds of educational and social advantages to having them apart. Right now, I think they are learning just fine-- together.
After all, they conquered potty- training--together.