What I would do if I had a third arm

Feeding, cleaning, and parenting three young children is tough. It’s even harder to do it with patience and love.

I managed to pull it off for exactly two days since our last post-birth helper, my mom, left to fly home. I hadn’t actually left the house yet and we were still coasting on leftovers, but laundry was chugging along and I even took a few naps myself.

Then on Thursday afternoon, Caitlyn (2) decided that she was all done wearing diapers. I did a major gut check and felt like although the timing was crazy, I needed to follow her lead, come what may.

So far, potty training has gone far, far better than I feared. But every single day since I put her in underwear has been crazy at our house. As you might imagine, it is incredibly difficult to potty train a toddler while nursing a newborn. I’m an experienced enough mother to nurse a baby with one arm, but apparently there’s a learning curve when it comes to potty training with the other arm.

I really would not be able to do it without Mackenzie. She helps Caitlyn with her pants, does reconnaissance to confirm or deny reports of potty successes and failures, doles out treats, and often runs “errands” to grab emergently needed supplies from around the house when I’m in the midst of a crisis (and there have been several. I’ll spare you the details.)

What’s in it for Mackenzie, you might ask? Potty training pays off big time at nap and nighttimes because she eggs Caitlyn on in reporting false alarms. She has discovered that long as Caitlyn announces she needs to go potty every 15 minutes, nobody sleeps! πŸ˜‰

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About beanland

Scott is a family practice doctor and Anne is a full-time mother and teacher to three beautiful girls and one boy.
This entry was posted in I am a mother. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to What I would do if I had a third arm

  1. Laura says:

    Anne, I was just praising the benefits of having an older (4 year old) child today! For the very same reasons you have listed here. And yes, there is enough egging to keep the cosmos in check πŸ™‚ Children are what keep me laughing and crying, and a great reminder of my humanity. When I was still pregnant with our third, it was suggested that God has a purpose in not bestowing an additional attached arm to mothers with every birth. She has to attach herself to someone else with an arm or two free to help. It’s a wonderful plan for community, huh? Anyway, my own mother would look rather freakish I think πŸ˜‰

    Good luck with potty training! I wish you success πŸ™‚

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