I am very very very superstitious. I was busy knocking on wood the other night—I think Kevin deigned to mention something about Sophia being healthy, and I started thumping away, ready to put my fist through the table to counteract the ill effects of his positive words.
Kevin, whose grown accustomed to such peccadilloes (and usually ignores them), looked at me with mild interest and said something intelligent about ancient pagan rituals surviving modern faiths. People still do engage in them, even if it’s contrary to what they now believe.
(I was sure that knocking on wood was a Jewish thing to do. But it turns out grim, fatalistic, magical thinking actually predates the Jews. We wikipediaed it.)
Thing is, if Kevin’s theory is correct, I’m an outlier. I really believe this stuff. I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop, terrified of saying something good, acknowledging the good things in life for fear that tragedy will immediately befall. And because I have this mindset…I actively exercise “confirmatory bias.” That is, I look for evidence that supports my way of thinking, and ignore evidence to the contrary, thus solidifying my position.
Bad things come in threes.
Step on a crack, break your mama’s back.
So, you can imagine how hesitant I am to commit what I am about to say to paper. And I’m trying to see if I can simultaneously knock on wood and type at the same time.
Sophia has pooped in the potty for nine consecutive days. Notice, I didn’t say Sophia is toilet trained. That would be far too audacious, inviting the wrath of the gods. No. I am simply stating the facts. I realize our winning streak is subject to change at any moment. I am prepared for accidents at all times. And I do all that I can to prevent them.
I am the gnat in her ear: “Do you need to go potty?”
I am the PR director, “Sophie, tell grandpa the BIG NEWS!”
I am Miss Manners, “We don’t poop on princesses….”
I a cheerleader, “Mommy is SO PROUD that you are pooping in the potty like a big girl! Go SOPHIE!”
Here’s how I finally did it. Fed up with the pull-ups, I got rid of them. I told Sophie (much as a friend had suggested at least a month ago) that we were done with diapers. From here on in, it would only be big girl underwear. My neighbor sagely suggested buying lots of cheap underwear and treating them as disposable. (Hence the princesses panties.) Granted, I had some misgivings of how not green that was. (But neither are pull-ups or constantly laundering underwear.) And after just two accidents (the Discovery Museum incident) a bed-wetting fiasco that was completely my fault (forgot to toilet her before the nap, gave her a ton to drink, didn’t pick her up the minute I heard her stir because I was too busy chatting it up with my friend Elisa) and a lot of mortification on Sophia’s part (oh how she cried at the shame of having wet the bed), she’s been clean and dry.
What it simply boiled down to was: she was ready. Physically, emotionally and intellectually ready. And when she was, she basically trained herself.
So now I’ve done it. Tomorrow, I am sure, I will wake up to find my baby distraught, her bed soaked with urine (she insisted she didn’t have to go before bed), and the gods laughing at me, because I had the hubris to announce to the world that Sophia is done with diapers.
Perhaps some sort of burnt offering will appease them. Is it illegal to burn Pampers in your backyard?