As soon as W turned two a bell went off somewhere. It chimed that it was time to turn the page. Many pages. I thought I could celebrate easy times since I could stop with the math of trying to figure out how many months old W was. No one really tells you that as soon as you can say his age in a scale between “he just turned, he is, his age and a half, or almost the next age” an entirely new crop of age related math problems surface.

It starts innocently enough. A message from a baby newsletter you subscribe to, just casually letting you know that there IS a time for all things. And dear new mother, age two is potty time.

Good to know.

Then a few months go by. Your baby (weep!) stops being a baby and is a full on toddler. He is running and jumping and living life at volume 11. You make him a cake, put two candles on it, sing him a song and the next thing you know your one year old is TWO!

And now your baby newsletters will no longer be baby newsletters. They will be preschool newsletters. No big deal because super advanced mother that you are- you had your kid in preschool a full WEEK before he turned two. ha!

But then there goes that bell. Softly at first. It’s a sort of a whisper bell when your Mother comes home from shopping with her grandson and she just happens to have purchased training underpants. But she HAD to because the boy asked for them because they had rockets on them and, well, clearly rocket pants are pretty awesome.

The bell chimes again several other times in several other small ways. Friends who are beginning the journey, other children in school that exit the bathroom triumphantly as we arrive in the morning, “I went in the potty!”

And then this bell goes off:

Not so much a nudge any more now, is it? Sure I can shrug it off a bit because W is a boy and according to this it’s really potty time for 2 year old girls. But holy eff! POTTY TIME?? Now? Says who?

I don’t have a little toilet for W. I don’t have a plan of action. I have no idea how to begin this process. But what I do know is that every time the subject of potty training is anywhere near me I tense up. Even a recent exchange between friends with older boys about when to teach the boys to pee standing up had me stumbling.

Doomed. That’s what it is. I feel DOOMED.

I know I am not the first single Mom who has had to potty train a son and yet it is certainly an easy flag to fly. Of course I can’t potty train my son- that’s a man’s job! And there is no man around for him to emulate. I don’t even know what potty training looks like. oooof.

Another bell chiming around here is about where W sleeps. I am zero (and I do mean ZERO) rush to convert W’s crib into a toddler bed. I would happily let him sleep in a crib until, well a long time. And of course part of it is that W still very much needs to be contained as he is going to sleep and as he wakes up. It can take him upwards of 30 minutes to fall asleep some nights and the idea that he could just be roaming free in his room nearly makes me faint.

And yet as early as 21 months the newletters started preparing me for the BIG TRANSITION to a “big boy bed”. And virtually all of W’s peers have graduated out of the crib.

So how do I know when W is ready for these things? And beyond that, how do I know when I am ready? And there is no moment in middle school where boys discuss the age they were potty trained with a moment of pride or embarrassment, is there?

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