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Byzantine Catholic convert, wife, mother to eight children.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Potty Training and Confession

I admit, I'm a little bit lazy when it comes to potty training my kids. Having the first four children in fewer than four years contributed to making me slothful in this area. There really is no efficient way (at least none that I have discovered) to aid the two year old so she doesn't fall through the public toilet, and at the same time attempt to keep the one year old from crawling over to the next stall to go fishing, all the while sporting a very large prego belly in confined quarters. I'd much rather just change a diaper.

Back when child #1 was 18 months old I tried everything in the book to get her to cooperate. We kept on with this endeavor all through her second year of life, and it wasn't until she was three years and three months that she decided she was finally ready. After much frustration, I learned that when she really was ready it was easy as pie....or M&Ms, or whatever the bribe of the day happened to be. We had no accidents and no problems from that time forward, but each child is a little different.

At any rate, things have become slightly easier in this department now that most of my children are older and are willing to help train the toddlers. Last year, all three of the older girls thought it was a lark to put their little sister on the toilet and encourage her to go. Who need's a Baby Alive doll when you've got the real thing? This worked out wonderfully well until the girls lost interest and Kathleen suddenly decided she didn't want anything to do with the potty. So we put things on the back burner until recently. Now Kathleen has been going half the time on the potty and having accidents the rest of the time. The thing is, she knows how to go on the potty, she wants to go on the potty, but sometimes she chooses not to. The other day I caught her grunting and turning red in the kitchen. When she saw me looking at her she said, "don't mommy" and ran out of the room so I couldn't see what she was doing (as if the scent wouldn't give her away). As I am cleaning her up after every accident she very sincerely proclaims, "I'm never going to go in my pants again mom." She has a firm resolve that she will never do it again.....but she does do it again, and again, and again. We are making progress, and eventually she will overcome, but it's a process.

All of this got me thinking about confession. When we sin, it is kind of like making a stink in our pants. We may not really want to do it, but we give into a sudden urge and we find ourselves in a mess once again. Sometimes we run and hide because we don't want God to see what we are doing, but he does know because our sin stinks to high heaven. We are heartily sorry, and we confess our sins, we firmly resolve to sin no more with the help of God's grace, and we are sincere in that resolution. However, we often find ourselves, once again, in a pile of poo. At that point we have a choice, we can wallow in our filth, or we can humbly submit ourselves over to be cleansed by confessing the same sin, yet again, in the wonderful sacrament of reconciliation. We may find ourselves confessing the same thing numerous times before we overcome, but if we are consistent, God will give us the strength we need to persevere and conquer one sin at time.

The Church, in her wisdom, gives us this season of Lent to spend a little extra time reflecting on the sins that need to be rooted out of our souls as we look forward to celebrating the Resurrection of Our Lord with a clean heart. I am so thankful we have a loving Father who is so patiently merciful with our messes.

I'd love to meditate on this a little longer, but I see that there is a puddle on the floor behind me to mop up.

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
 Psalm 51: 1-2

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