As a small child I wanted a monkey. Who doesn’t, really? I also wanted a twin sister, blond hair, a banana seat for my bike and to be locked in Baskin-Robbins overnight to feast on all the bubblegum ice cream I wanted without having to save the sucked on gumballs in a napkin for later. Little me dreamed big.
In having Zoey it seems I got the monkey. She is the Bear to my BJ, my trucker’s buddy, but not the kind you pee into on a long haul. She is my high-pitched comic relief with a limited vocabulary and teeth the shape of Chiclets sweet.
This past weekend Zoey suddenly showed intense interest in her potty. Of course it was just as we were trying to leave the house to catch the ferry to Angel Island, but when a two year old says she wants to sit on the potty your world stops, you miss the boat, the movie, the dinner date, and you wait. In my case, you wait sitting on the toilet next to her. Zoey wanted company, so I—ahem—sat on the big girl potty. Our bathroom is so small that her knee rested against my ankle. I peed. She farted. Good job! And when I was done I stood up to button my jeans. No mommy! You sit down, and she patted the rim of the toilet. So I sat back down. But I’m done, I tried to explain. I don’t have to use the potty anymore. Zoey studied my face, crouched down small on her Dora potty like a sculpture by Rodin, and then smiled up at me. You can do it! Mommy! You can DO it! And for a split second she sounded exactly like Rob Schneider in Waterboy. You can DO it! It is this kind of unequivocal support that kills me, the love my daughter has for me even while trying to poop. This is why people have kids, and it is worth more than all the blond hair and banana seats in the world. This is my new dream, to be cheered on while sitting on the toilet, the dream I never even knew I had.