having two in cloth is not the same.
double rinsing. double duty. double mess. less time and energy for zen-like laundry habits. green guilt as i toss them into the dryer and disdain as their beautiful white luster wanes.
also, diapering a baby is completely different than diapering a child who can communicate articulately and just seems old enough to know better.
i know, i'm not being fair here, just honest. dylan's not even three, you can't rush these things, they'll learn when they're ready, etc etc etc. none of those truisms makes the drudgery of diapers any more pleasant to bear.
and the line that cloth diapered kids potty train earlier? that has not been my experience. dylan has been flirting with potty learning for over a year. OVER ONE YEAR, PEOPLE!
since two summers ago, we've had daily conversations about using the toilet. we've read the books and made up songs. she'd humor us, occasionally. some weeks more than others. we've had good days and bad days. we picked out treats for putting #2 when it belongs: pink piggies and then gummy bears. (how horrible is the phrase "potty snacks"? eek.)
i ate them all. every single one.
several weeks ago, after cleaning up two puddles that dylan informed me plainly were NOT accidents, i gave it up. i could not control this. trying was making me crazy and resentful toward a little girl i love so much.
we put the tiny underwear away, and i tried to handle it all with a bit more grace.
james woke up with croup our last night at the shore. we came home and canceled a play date and dinner with two families. the social week i'd been looking forward to suddenly became another week at home--and a rainy one at that.
my kids are both pretty healthy (which i never want to take for granted), but it seems whenever we make plans, one of them gets sick. or the other party does. we say we'll reschedule, but weeks can turn to months, and i'll realize an entire season has changed without much community.
why is making friends such a painfully slow process?
having joined MOPS and le leche league, i know far more women than i did a year or two ago, but sometimes i just want to fast forward to that moment of really connecting and feeling known. and i want my kids to grow up with buddies, too, and not have to wait until they're in school.
this week i witnessed a miracle: dylan asked to do her thing on the potty. and then she did. she stayed dry in underwear and used the toilet without fail two days in a row. we had one minor setback today, but she's staying dry here on day three as well.
a lot of potty training "experts" (is there really such a thing?) advise clearing your schedule and staying home to completely focus on the task at hand. that seemed like a pretty lame way to spend the better part of a week, and i scoffed at the idea, yet here we are, housebound, and dylan finally decided she's ready to do it.
i'm not so naive as to think i've seen the end of two in diapers, but i am encouraged.
my surrendering control yielded fruit. a bright spot in a rainy week.
and during one housebound naptime, a new friend called.
we talked a bit like old friends and the day didn't seem so gray.
last night i fumbled dinner. the clock was creeping towards bedtime when i finally put it in the oven, so i set out a bowl of apple wedges and carrots sticks, and sat down with jim while it baked. james and dylan chased each other gleefully around the coffee table, the baby double-fisting crudites. we crunched and laughed and enjoyed ourselves as a family.
a unforeseen moment of beauty, carved out of frustrating circumstances.
out the window, the sun was setting. the sun that hadn't shone all day--or much at all since the beach last saturday--glimmered through the clouds, warm with orange and pink.
light persisting through the darkness, casting out shadows in unexpected, beautiful ways.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.