Monday, October 1, 2012


My middle child, Mona, as we affectionately call her, went to half day kindergarten all but two days last year.  Long story short, that's over 175 days of public education...and she never once used the bathroom at school.  Not once.  She was scared to death of the flusher.  Some careful strategy on her part and a school day that lasted just over 3 hours allowed her to come home everyday and use her own potty before lunch. 

She headed off to first grade 4 weeks ago with a big backpack and a big problem.  From the time she headed out to the bus each morning to the time she returned home she would be gone for nearly 8 hours.  And she was bound to have to use the loo.  For several days, we asked about it and she avoided the question.  End of discussion.  I wrote a note to the teacher to have her make sure Mona knew where the bathroom was.  She did.  I suggested to the big sister that she escort the middle bit to the bathroom when they got off the bus first thing in the morning.  Refused.  So we waited.  And didn't make a big deal out of it, because that is the best way to push this kid over the edge.  But I secretly packed a pair of extra leggings in the bottom of her very big backpack...just in case.

Then at the end of the second week of school, she came in the door looking rather smug.  Something was up.  She unpacked her bag, brought me her folder and casually tossed out the comment, "By the way Mom, I used the bathroom at school today.  Just so you know."

Everyone stopped in their tracks.  She beamed.  This was a very big deal.   

When you rise to the IS an occasion.  And in this house, that gets you candles.  In your after school snack.  And a strange wonderful family that sings together, "Happy Bathroom to You!  Happy Bathroom to You!"

It is what it is?

Actually, if you know my mind at all, you know I don't believe that.  You know I believe things are what you make them, not what their name or date or circumstance says they're supposed to be.  And when, after nearly 200 days at school, you finally work up the courage to use the bathroom, that's a special occasion.

We all need more tiny candles and silly songs to mark the occasion.  Go buy yourself a wee pack and just see how you'll start looking for a reason to light one.  To mark an occasion.  Start seeing things for what you make them.


  1. A special friend is due with her first baby any day now and this trip to the flower market was to dress up our apartment for her that's an occasion!

  2. I LOVE this!

    You are making wonderful childhood memories for your girls to treasure always.