Is being an underachiever so bad? It sure seems easier than trying to claw your way to the top or compete with all of the overachievers…
Let me point out some of the things that an underachiever (probably) never has to do:
- Never have to toss someone under the bus – and for that matter…
- Never have to take credit for someone else’s achievements
- Never have to kiss anyone’s ass
- Never have to put in “face time” – hell, that you showed up is an achievement in itself
- Never have to play the comparison game, you know the one: I have a better house / car / job / spouse / top / purse / vacation home, etc.
- Never have to pretend to read the newspaper and know about the latest market / economic trends, who won the game last night, and what’s happening outside of your own little fiefdom
- Never have to play golf
- Never have to pretend to like golf
- Never have to answer the phone if you don’t want to…except perhaps to make friends with the telemarketers
- Never, ever have to make small talk.
Now I’m not suggesting that tossing someone under the bus or doing any of the above are the keys to achieve, or that becoming an underachiever is by any means a glamorous aspiration…though it does have a particular appeal some days. So, would it be so bad if you turned out to be one?
I am, literally, waist deep in toilet training my 3 year old. YES, I know I may be late out of the gate but sue me, I have a full time job, a 7 year old that also needs my attention and a love life to maintain with Mr. Niceguy! In any case, I was told by the teachers at his daycare that in order to progress to the pre-school, he would have to be toilet trained by September. I was told this in January and figured it would be a piece of cake…like it (sort of) was for my older son.
March Break came and went, as did Easter, Victoria Day weekend and Canada Day Weekend…and still, I am no closer to having a toilet trained toddler! I have poured through books, internet sites dedicated to toilet training, mommy sites and blogs and even WebMd to determine if there was a medical condition impeding our success (God forbid I’m to blame!) I even asked his GP who basically told me that I had to be patient and, in not so many words, to basically, lay off.
Let me digress and provide context here. My parents submitted a picture of yours truly, their first born genius baby, at the ripe age of sometime well before 18 months, to a local publication, sitting gleefully atop the potty, reading the Beirut Business Journal. Thanks mom and dad for that ingrained pressure.
Anyway, feeling utterly perplexed, I decided to turn to trusty Google and found:
…toilet training is a mutual task, requiring cooperation, agreement and understanding between child and the caregiver, and the best potty training techniques emphasize consistency and positive reinforcement over punishment – making it enjoyable for the child.
What about making it enjoyable for the parent???! I guess I could have been more consistent and not raise my arms up in defeat every time he answered my questions, “Do you want to do pee pee in the toilet? Would you like some chocolate? I will give it to you if you go to the toilet?” and “Don’t you want to be a big boy like your brother?” with a resounding, “NO!”
Continuing on…I was dumbfounded to read about Elimination Communication, a practice that was recently observed in Vietnam where infants were potty trained starting at birth and achieve success by 9 months of age:
The 4 keys to Elimination Communication include: the baby’s signals, the baby’s natural timing, common potty timing, and the parents’ intuition. It is believed that a deeper bond is created between child and parent through the strengthening of this communication.
Well…I guess we missed THAT boat. @#%@#$!!!! I can only figure out one out of the four keys: like I always have to go in the morning and so that’s likely common potty timing…but what is this about the baby’s signals? The natural timing? And clearly my intuition has been TOTALLY OFF AS HE IS NOW 3 YEARS OLD!!!! Seriously? The only signals I get are when we are in the full throes of the act – I defy ANYONE to tuck my kid under their arm like a football and reach a toilet / potty / any patch of grass in time! And when you become a practiced sprinter like me (did I ever mention that I used to run 100m dashes in elementary school and was really good?) – even if you make it to the toilet / potty / patch of grass, good luck trying to get him to GO!!!!!!!!!
So during these past few weeks of “training” all while battling a bad back, acupuncture treatments, multiple loads of laundry (because let’s face it, the 3 year old could care less if there are “presents” in his undies) and tears of frustration while I ask all my other mommy friends (and even non-mommy single guy friends – that’s how desperate I’d become), I have decided to throw in the towel. What’s the worst that could happen? I have a brilliant, headstrong, loving and funny little boy…so, in this instance, and for the time being, I’m going to declare myself an underachiever…and I’m feeling more relaxed already…