Let's just say this, to begin: I wasn't planning to start potty training Tyler for another six months. He is a few days shy of two and a half, and Tucker was well past three and a half (I feel like he was closer to 3 and 11/12, but my math and calendar awareness may have been skewed by the exhaustion of the journey) before essential skills came together for him in that realm.
So, I had no intention of even beginning the adventure for a good long while yet.
However, Tucker had other plans and an entirely separate timeline. As the two boys fell asleep in their bunkbeds, Tucker began planting seeds in Tyler's mind. He talked about how to use the potty, what happens for big boys who do, and the merits of the accomplishment.
And his seeds began to take root. When we picked Tyler up from his Sunday School class, his teacher said he had sat on the potty. I'm sorry... what did you say? Which son? Ours? Really?
Two mornings ago, after breakfast, Tucker said, "Tyler, I need to go potty. Would you like to watch me?"
"Yes!" He hopped down from the table, and the two of them went straight to the task. Tyler watched, Tucker narrated and demonstrated, and they gave each other a high five after they flushed and washed hands.
(I could not make this up.)
Tonight, as I was fixing dinner, I heard them coming down the stairs, chatting. Tucker said, "Well, Tyler, do you think you need to poop?"
"Yes. I think I do."
"Okay. I have a special potty for you. Let me show you." He walked into the bathroom and retrieved the training potty we have been using as a stool for all intents and purposes. "Are you ready, Tyler?"
"Yes. I'm ready. Mommy, can you take off my diaper? I'm ready to sit on my potty."
Sure. Why not? I smiled to myself. What can it hurt? I'll let him pretend.
I listened to coaching, encouragement, and adorable prodding in the bathroom. ("You just pushhh! Pushhhh! That's right, Tyler! You're doing dwate!")
And then, of all things on God's green earth, I heard, "Good job, Tyler! You pooped on the potty!"
Robb and I froze in our dinner preparations. We stared at each other, in utter disbelief, our hands hovering over our separate tasks.
Robb said, "Well, you better go check that out."
Sure enough. Gold. (Well, figuratively speaking.)
We stopped everything. Hold on just a moment, Broccoli Casserole. Someone just started potty training at our house, with apparent success. This is a banner day. We sang, danced, paraded, and doled out m&m's, since that's the standard prize for such accomplishments, even moments before dinner.
Tucker said, "And me too? Can I have a treat too?" Well, good heavens, yes. You are potty training Tyler. I should say so. Heaps of chocolate for you, my son.
So, away went the diapers. Out came the Mickey Mouse underwear and the Pull-Ups. And Tuck is all about his role, reminding and coaching. And could I say, this is one of the best perks I could have ever imagined about having two boys. And I definitely never, ever imagined it.
All of that to say, we are well into potty training at our house, and I appear to be superfluous in the decision or the process.