Henry dislikes going to the potty alone. He insists on having someone with him while he’s perched on the porcelain throne.  toilet+seat2

I’m not sure why he considers the act of elimination to be a social event. In my experience, group trips to the bathroom were limited to middle school dances.

His urges tend to coincide with this-is-not-convenient-for-mommy-moments. He invariably informs me that he has to go potty when I am up to my elbows in something else (cooking dinner, doing the dishes, digging in the garden, etc.) and would rather not be chanting: “Push it out, push it out, waaay out.”

I realize that this is his way of getting attention, but there comes a time when enough is enough.

“Mommy, come with me,” he begged while doing the pee-pee dance. And I suddenly decided that the Dictator needed to be challenged. “Go ahead,” I said. “You can do it. Go to the bathroom by yourself.”

Thus began the contest of wills.

For half an hour, we were at impasse. He became a sobbing, whining, whirling maelstrom; I became an implacable, inflexible, unyielding element. Henry was going to go potty by himself, even if I saw St. Peter as a consequence. He wound his body into the shower curtain and tugged. I sat on the floor in the hallway with an issue of National Geographic and ground my teeth into nubs.

“You can do it!”

“I caaaaaaan’t!”

“Yes, you can!” (See how I absorbed the election propaganda.)

“I caaaaaaan’t! Help meeeee!”

“If you pee in your pants, you will be wet and Mommy is not going to help you change. Just pull your pants down and sit on the toilet.”

“Nooooooo! I caaaaaan’t! Mommy! Help meeeeee!”

I stared at Mayan ruins.

That’s when the screaming began.

“Henry!” My voice was sharp and I knew it. “Just pull your pants down and sit on the potty! You can do it! I know you can!”

He stopped screaming and faced the wall.

Silence descended. Finally, when I was on the verge of giving in, he flipped up the toilet lid, pulled down his pants and scooted himself onto the potty (sans stool). He peed.

“I did it!!” His eyes were crescents as he beamed with satisfaction.

“I’m so proud of you for doing it all by yourself!”

“I went potty all by myself!”

Thank the good Lord.