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Potty Training: 4 Down and 1 to Go!

potty trainingI have five kids. Four of them are aged five or younger, the youngest just a tick over two. As you might imagine, with such a relatively large gaggle of junior associates, there are a few things about parenting children through the early years that I’m flat-out over. Is that so wrong?

One of them is the baby monitor, because those damn things are littered all over our house. FACT: At Casa de Osborne, we have more monitors than a lizard zoo.

Though, to be fair, lizard zoos may not even exist. And if they do, I’d never wanna visit one because, truly, lizards give me the creeps. It has to do with an iguana named Stan and this super weird night in ’98, but there’s no time for that now.

Another thing I’m tired of? DIAPERS. In fact, a few weeks ago, I reached critical mass as it pertains to changing them. Yes. A meltdown ensued.

Now before you might be tempted to play the ol’ “What does a dad know about changing diapers?”, I would say the following: The vast majority of dads know plenty about it, thank you very much.

And odds are that every dad with triplets has experienced something most moms have not — the dreaded triple deuce. Which, naturally, calls for a back-to-back-to-back change.

And let me assure you, there’s a high degree of difficulty associated with such a transaction. Fatigue is often a factor, especially if it goes down in the middle of the night.

Regardless, I’ve been knee-deep in diapers for nearly six years now. And on that fateful day when I reached the diaper-changing critical mass, I announced as much to my lovely wife in response to her request to change our youngest. She had an announcement of her own: “I don’t care.” Followed by: “Chop chop, Pooh Bear.” (Oh, Caroline. You and your double entendres…)

Anyway, as hard as diapers have been on me, potty training has been even harder.

Oh, sure, it’s totally cute. I mean, what’s not to like about seeing your adorable toddler scooting around on that cute little plastic potty deal? But anyone would confess that it’s also challenging.

And potty training triplets is an exercise in misery that left me shell-shocked. Too much action! It was like some bad game show where the winner gets a cookie and the host gets doused with errant streams of urine. And after the triplets finally made it through, this host had had enough.

Which is why now that Luke is going through potty training, I’m most upset about it.

Until, that is, something dawned on me the other day. Namely, the sports fanatic inside of me has finally reached a scenario he can relate to as it pertains to potty training. With our oldest child and the triplets well past the harrowing stage, we’re officially at the 4th-down-and-1-to-go mark!

This seems apropos on so many levels. I mean, we are scant weeks from the start of football season (just a little over two from the start of the college season), so the timing of my little potty training metaphor is spot on.

Plus, 4th down and 1 to go is when the tough get going. It’s when the strong minds and able bodies find a way to grind out a much-needed yard, all so they can advance their own interests. All so things, at least in their world, will be exactly as they should.

So, yeah, maybe potty training isn’t my favorite thing about parenting the most junior of my junior associates. But if I can just find a way to grind through it, surely I’ll move the chains. Turn the page. Thus allowing my lovely teammate and I the opportunity to embark upon a brand new world.

One in which, it’s worth noting, I will NEVER again be involuntarily called upon to change another diaper.

Your move, baby monitors!

What do you like least about parenting children under the age of three?

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