We've been working on potty training lately.
You were potty trained in Haiti. When you were there and Papa got there to bring you and your friends to America you would tell him when you needed the toilet. Papa said sometimes he was pretty sure you just used the toilet as an excuse to get away from the other 200 children that were crammed into Foyer post-earthquake.
Then we came to America and started all sorts of meds for parasites and you weren't sure you wanted to talk much so we didn't push it and we went to diapers.
I actually typed "went back to diapers" until I remembered that you'd have just been bare-butt naked in Haiti. No disposables there.
We won't talk about how the kids at your O just "went" wherever and twice a day they'd spray down the concrete. You ate, played, pooped and napped on that concrete. There were also a couple of buckets (literally) in the tiny alley behind the building. I don't even want to know how often those were "cleaned".
And they wondered why you were always sick.
Anyway back to the here and now - Mama made you a chart and every time you tell us when you need to go potty you get to mark off a box. At the end of the line of boxes, you get a Thomas the Tank Engine toy from "the Walmarts".
Before Mama introduced "The Chart", you'd actually sometimes tell me you needed to "go potty". Since "The Chart" you seem to be humoring me. You now tell me that you need to "make a box for Percy".
Yup, that's what you call it. "Make a box". Call a spade a spade, right? It's like you're saying, "OK, woman. I'll play your little game if I must."
We've propped the couple of trains that you're working toward up on the wall above the shower. You can see them in their packages and sometimes I've found you standing in the bathroom, looking up at them longingly. I'll ask you what you're doing and you'll turn to me with determination and say that you need to "make a box for Percy".
And I love that now you clap for EVERYONE that goes potty. You're so proud of ME and you've even asked me if I, too, am "making a box for Percy".
Sadly, no. Mama isn't "making a box for Percy". By the time you hit 37, people expect you to do things without rewards. But we'll hold off on that lesson for a few dozen years.
You're just awesome, Little Man. I can't get enough of you.
I love you,