Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The potty that divides them

Jonathan has thrown me for a loop.
It's been two months since Matthew became a "big boy" and started wearing underwear and Jonathan still wants nothing to do with the potty.
Nothing.
I persuaded him to pee on the potty once, but only through trickery and he's not about to fall for that again. Jonathan is breaking the pattern he and Matthew have followed since birth: he has always allowed Matthew to perfect the major physical milestones and then, just as we admit the need for professional intervention, he achieves the milestone and surpasses his twin within days.
Not this time.
If we even suggest that he pee in his little Bjorn potty, or on the toilet, or while sitting on the ring on the toilet, or while standing in the bathroom next to the toilet, or in any darned way he pleases, he clenches his fists with his arms at his sides, adopts a deep voice and growls, "no."
I am perplexed.
We have tried pushing him, bribing him, letting him be.
Nothing works.
Jonathan has sought out every other way in which to express his maturity.
While Matthew is comfortable in his 3-year-old skin, Jonathan is 8 years old most days. Some days he's 9. Today he was 10, like his big brother Riley, he said. He was 18 last week because he wanted to be old enough to drive a bus.
He screams, hollers and take the spatula out of my hands when I cook because he wants to do it too. He take the grapes from the refrigerator, carries them to the table and plucks off his own.
He puts them back.
He was furious the other day because he wanted to start the car and I wouldn't let him.
He puts on his own shoes now. He opens all doors by himself. He pushes a chair up to the counter when the phone rings and tries to answer it before I can. He wipes tables with sponges. He cleans melted Popsicle from the floor with paper towel. He brushes his own teeth morning and night and fights me bitterly when I insist on a turn.
But he will not pee on the potty.
I am defeated, deflated, discouraged.
I think.
There is one possibility, one hope that I cling to. It occurred to me this afternoon as I tossed Matthew's moist underwear and shorts down the laundry shoot.
Matthew still has accidents.
He's getting better and some days he has none. But on most days, especially near bedtime, we can count on either a trickle or a puddle. Matthew grows too tired or too distracted to get to the bathroom on time and, at that hour, Jonathan is rarely far away.
He sees it.
Matthew is potty trained in our eyes, but maybe not in Jonathan's. Maybe Jonathan is still waiting for perfection. Maybe Jonathan will not put his pee where it belongs until Matthew has made it through a few days in a row accident free.
Jonathan is a demanding little guy.
And he can be awfully hard on his identical twin.
Perhaps the pattern isn't really broken.
Maybe we're just looking at it from the wrong perspective.
I hope.

1 comment:

lynda said...

I remember potty training my twin boys like it was yesterday. I wonder if all families have a matthew and a jonathan - I sure did! My 'jonathan' named Jimmy would walk into the bathroom watch his brother Brendan pee in the big boy potty, actually FLUSH the toliet for brendan, be the first one to help him pick out a sticker for his potty chart then pass Brendan the bowl of starburts for his treat. And then tell me he needed his diaper changed!! Then one day...several long weeks later...he woke up, put on a pair of his brothers big boy underpants and never looked back - or had an accident! Go figure...
My twins have been potty trained for 14 years, and I have stumbled upon this blog while doing some twin research to help my potty trained son Jimmy gather info for his College essay which he has chosen to write about being an identical twin. I can only say that I wish blogs were around for me all those years ago. Even though I am a fraternal twin girl raising identical twin boys, at any age, it has its challenges. Good luck!