I like to think that I don't give up easily.
It's not true, of course, or not entirely. There are plenty of well-documented cases of my falling at the first fence and not bothering to get up for another try. Chocolate avoidance, for example. I'm pretty rubbish at sticking to that plan. Violin practise. Though of course that was between the ages of 7 and 15, so I can't be blamed for pushing that little shortfall to the back of mind. And frankly, I imagine my whole family were relieved I didn't torture the poor strings any more than was strictly necessary.
Then there was anything remotely scientific at school; I loved the idea of understanding the building blocks of life in chemistry, physics and biology, but when it came down to it I just couldn't be bothered to remember periodic tables, equations or cell structures.
And oh yes, there was that brief flirtation with sailing when I was teenager that ended in tears after only a few trips out. Turned out that once I got marooned on a Topper sailing dinghy in a flat calm in the middle of Christchurch Harbour the appeal of the open waves and pulling on an uncomfortable wet-suit lost their lustre pretty quickly.
But on the other hand, there are things I've persevered with. My relationship with Husband (pre his being that) when he had the temerity to move to Moscow for four years shortly after we met. My determination to make it to a particular job in a particular profession came good, even if it was then cancelled out by my belief that being home with the Boys was the right course of action for our family. Which I suppose is something else that I've stuck at. My undertaking to visit the gym 3 times a week for a year; I'm more than half way through, and surely the results will start showing soon? (Though of course the failure of the chocolate avoidance plan might have had some impact on that...).
So, when I say that I'm thinking of putting this whole potty training exercise with Boy #2 on hold, you'll understand that it's not a decision I would take lightly. I don't know why it's such a big issue for me; before he was three, it didn't bother me in the slightest that he was still in pull-up nappies. 'He'll do it in his own time' I used to think. 'No hurry. Why be constrained by Society's expectations? It's nobody's business but ours, really...' The month he hit three though, suddenly all restraint and reasonableness on my part flew out the window. Suddenly, I worried what other people were thinking. Plus, it just seemed wrong to be putting a nappy on a child who can count to 10, puzzle out complicated toys, include role-play in his games, tell jokes, and take the mickey out of me.
But you know what? I just think he's not ready. For a few days, it looked like he was getting it, but the last 8 or 9 have not been good and frankly, all that's happening is I'm getting pissed off with the mopping, the wiping, the spooning and the laundry. And I don't like myself like that, or what it's doing to how I interact with Boy #2.
So, I think I'm going to take the advice of the wise souls (thanks Sam and Expat Mum) who have commented and told me not to sweat it. Back to nappies tomorrow, and try again in a month.
It's only potty training, when all is said and done.
(And the relief that results from my writing posts about something other than poo or wee won't only be from me, I imagine...)