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Dear Son, Potty Training and Patience

 --- 2 Years and 7 months --

Dear Son, 

A lot has changed since my last note to you almost seven months ago. As you know, at the time of this notice, we are in a pandemic. I hope you only know the definition and sense of the term and not endure actual life experience. 

During this time, your mother and I have purchased a house and have relocated to Wayne, NJ. I have no idea where we will end up once you begin reading these - I hope it's in the same house because that would be cool - but regardless, here we are: still in a pandemic that emphasizes and encourages quarantine and limited adventure. 

And yes, ever since March when this pandemic really took off, the world as we know it has been flipped on its side. It's been tough, more so mentally draining, due to the demand of so many individuals - especially that of parents. Teaching. Instructing. Working. Living. Surviving. 

The silver lining, however, has been that time with you. I've said this before, the extreme stay-at-home measures your mother and I experienced on March-June 2020 during the pandemic were TOUGH. And that extends to today. However, it provided us moments we would not have been able to experience if we weren't stuck together in a Brooklyn Apartment. 

And despite an increased living space, and things being not as strict in mobility as they were months ago (you attend pre-school regularly), I find myself in one of the greatest hurdles during this time - potty training.

WHAT?! 

Yeah, potty training. I'm good at finding ways to do things, in accomplishing things, especially when the odds are against me. We can discuss this at another time. I can't speak for your mother, but your Potty training is the single most challenging experience I've had in a long time. 

It all starts with hearing, "momeee, dadeeee. Pee pee." Then there is the proverbial mental alarm that goes off initiating a millimeter of panic, excitement, intrigue, and anxiety. This is immediately followed by an immediate rush of adrenaline, thus, providing you flight transport to the nearest bathroom. Then comes your eventual mid-flight giggle to express that we had failed, and confirmed by the sight of wet stains on your pants, and thus, sealing the fate of another load of laundry to come. It is the most emotionally filled 10-15 seconds there is in life. 

My mother always tells the story of my potty training experience. She tells the famous story so-matter-of-factly. At the age of two, I one day decided to boldly tell my parents, "no mo pampas! [No more pampers]". My dad decided to go out to the store and buy one pack of underwear, and they tried it out on me. And that was it. I was done wetting myself. Never looked back. 

I used to take a weird sense of pride in that story - yeahhhhh, I owned potty training! 

But now I envy your grandparents. They lucked out. 

But in all seriousness, this process has brought to light my vulnerability as a father for you. That yes, there are times I am completely lost - we're completely lost - and we rely on raising you to the best of our abilities through honest faith and the will of our good intentions. 

And that's OK. 

The other is that this process of potty training is a small tiny slice of coping with wanting something to happen for you, and not being able to actively do so for you. There are going to be much bigger examples of this down the road. Because of course, we want the best for you. But you also have to earn it. 

Translation: A new form of patience. 

And oh yeah, lastly - you're so nasty. I'm very sure your mother would want this documented for later evidential purposes. 

So for now, we'll grow together. And make the best of this pandemic time together. But please, get it together, and get it in the potty. Both pee pee and poop poops. 

Your mother and I could use the win. 

Love, Dad

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