Thursday, January 30, 2014

Forrest and the Magical Moving Potty

I couldn't write yesterday because time just ran out, as I was dealing with all that this rural life brings. I spent a lot of time on the phone yesterday, and when I was finished, it was way too late to grease these creative wheels and write. So I let Fun-a-Day down, but I have not given up! Blog #27, Day #30 of Fun-a-Day, commence!
My son is potty trained, toilet trained, whatever you want to call it. He is "late" to it, at 3 1/2 years, although late is as late does, and to Forrest, he was right on time, so maybe that designation of late is meaningless. It has taken, and still takes, incentive of fruit leather or yogurt pretzel-- yes we have successfully limited the sweets in the house, though he does get his fair share of maple syrup and blueberry jam. That incentive, coupled with high fives and poopy/pee dances, often with our son naked and shivering in the morning cold, has sealed the deal. He is even using the potty at his new childcare space, that awesome one I wrote about before. Yes, it continues to be awesome.

Why is this of any interest at all to anyone at all? It might not be, but I want to write about a new phenomenon in our household-- the magical moving potty.

It started with -15 degree mornings. I suggested we move the potty into the living room so the drastically under-heated bathroom wouldn't be a disincentive. He was glad to oblige to this. And then it took on a life of its own.

I'm sitting in my bedroom, and poof the potty and Forrest appear. Stay with me, mama, he insists. I'm in the kitchen cooking, and wham-o, there's the potty, and Forrest, and he's pulling his pants down. I want to go upstairs to the bathroom and Forrest demands I bring the potty up so we can go together. Forrest can carry it around on any floor it might be on, and it seems we move it almost daily up and down.  It's quite a potty-rich environment we are in these days.

At the same time Forrest has discovered the Magic School Bus books. We don't have a television, but he discovered that there was more than one of these fun books, and he was hooked. They are a vehicle for teaching science, through the plot hinge of the magical bus that changes the size or shape of its passengers, and travels in time, and can change children from solid matter to light energy, et cetera et cetera, all under the watchful eye of Ms. Frizzle, a curly haired red-headed seamstress teacher who makes dresses that match the book's theme. It's really pretty exciting and I get reminded of science I used to know, or have integrated incorrectly into my daily knowledge.  Forrest is eating them up. Today we took out four of these books from the library.

So-- the magical moving potty is born. He is developing a comfort and love for his potty, where he does not read, but rather sits and tells himself magic stories. He is learning the subtle awareness of his body, and wants to share it with us.

I also know that Forrest is moving into the time of his life where closeness is marked and clear. At least I think he is. He is affectionate and connected with us. And he is not a little afraid, sometimes, of the dark spots, the funny noises, the open doors leading into places where no one is. It doesn't feel abnormal, but it does feel like the magical thinking of his growing mind is winning the day these days.

That's all right with me. When we live in magic-land, so much more is possible and interesting. But I see a lot more clearly now, thinking of his magical school bus, magical
potty, magical fear and grand imagination that proliferates almost every moment of his life-- I see our responsibility, as adults, to lead him through this magical and confusing land of newness. Because really there are no limits of imagination, and if he's left on his own with it, there are many places he could go that I don't want for him. Not yet. Not until he has the experience to connect with that dreaming.

I see Forrest's consciousness like an opening flower, in a rare season of winter, streaming life and learning and desire to be seen and loved for himself, in all his permutations. His room gets this lovely morning sun, and we've put two plants in his room. I want to nurture him just as we placed these plants, and care for them through the winter. And he'll surpass all my knowing, all my growth and imagining. He will imagine himself into his life, and I will be there, to witness and love him through it all.


  1. christine greenlandJanuary 30, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    My son grew up with this story... Hope Forrest (and you) enjoy it.

    Christine Greenland

  2. Too sweet, and too funny! I'll have to remember this when time comes to potty train my own little son. Also looking forward to sharing the magic school bus with him!