We as parents will end up having a difficult, emotional time with certain events regarding our kids. Like the first day at Kindergarten/High School/College, as well as the graduation from the latter two. It’s something that I’ve discovered recently though, that sometimes it’s things you don’t expect.
Our usual routine involves my wife picking up Emma from daycare after she gets done work. I do the dropping off in the morning but there are occasionally days when Wifey is working late and I’ll do the picking up. It’s a fairly simple process, I go to the room she’s in for the majority of the day, pack up her stuff, then go get her from the “evening room” where the last of all the kids go before they are picked up. Today was slightly different.
I got there a bit earlier than all the other parents, so she was still in her usual room, which has a bathroom that includes a fully functional (but incredibly tiny) toilet for the toddlers. As I’m getting her stuff together she’s helping to clean up as she always does, until I feel a little tug on my pants.
“Daddy I have to go potty.”
“Ok hunny! Go ahead, I’ll be right there” I say, figuring if I don’t get there in time to help, there will at least be a teacher to do so.
A few minutes passed while she was in there and I noticed that the teacher, being fully aware that she was using the potty, wasn’t going in. Ok, whatever, I’m here so I’ll do it. But instead, I found out how truely “growing up” affects me in a way.
I peered into the bathroom from where the food is kept and I watched her be completely self-reliant. She had just gotten done peeing and wiped herself (a task that can be quite frustrating at home, as she rips of way more toilet paper than necessary), and pulled up her pants. Snapped the snap, went to the sink, rolled up her sleeves, and washed her hands with soap and hot water. After which she dried her hands thoroughly and very confidently left the bathroom to throw out the paper towel.
Holy shit. She did it. We did it.
I looked around expecting a fanfair but there was none. I was a bit freaked out like “Oh my God, my kid, she did a thing!”
But this is what it’s about. We teach them and we show them the “ropes” of life and at some point, they learn it well enough to do it completely on their own.
Fuck, this is crazy. Tying in with one of my recent posts, it’s pretty clear that I’m going through a tough phase dealing with the fact that she’s growing and becoming more independent, despite her toddler tendencies. One of these days I’ll get over it though, I’m sure.