- Family and Parenting
Potty Training Stinks
Potty Training Boys
How old was your son when you potty trained him?
Boxes and Boxes and Boxes of Diapers
We have two little people in diapers at the moment, and an almost-teen-aged daughter who is obsessed with making articles out of duct tape. I am expecting number four in late September or early October, and the prospect of another one in diapers is so depressing, I can hardly drag myself out of bed. Though on second thought, that is probably just because I am pregnant. The need to get the potty training done is dire, to say the least. But drag myself out of bed, I must, because today is the day.
Every room of my house has a Huggies or Pampers diaper box in it, re purposed for some other use. In the front hallway, a Huggies box with a cute, half-naked toddler adorns the front door. We use it to hold shoes. In the bedrooms, Pampers boxes hold hundreds of picture books and board books we are moving into the kids' bedrooms. Some day I'll get them sorted onto the bookshelves.
Diaper boxes hold junk for the garage sale we're going to have some day, and clothes we might give away if we can ever stop the flow of unexpected pregnancies that seem to keep happening. This after almost nine years of infertility. Our cups truly run over, but our house is flooded with diapers.
Diaper Free Day
Drag myself out of bed I must, because today is the day we've all been waiting for. And this day has been a long time coming. I knew it had to be this week when we took our children to the play place over the weekend. My son is turning four this month, but he is bigger than some five-year-olds. He assumed "the pose" there at the top of the play place, and I felt the stares of the other parents boring an uncomfortable hole in the back of my head. Suddenly the parent of the one child who had been playing with my son announced it was time for them to leave, and they left quickly as we were escorting our son to the bathroom. Not long after a new pull-up was in place, he assumed the position again.
I mentioned recently to my sister who lives three states away that my son still isn't potty trained, and how frustrated I was. The phone was silent for a long time. Then she says "Sheesh, have you told him how gross that is?!!!!" Then she says very sincerely that I should shame him until he gets the idea. Well, now, that's not going to happen either.
Finally this weekend I told my son that he was going to be potty trained for his birthday. So this morning he woke up smiling, and said, "If I'm potty trained today it will be my birthday!" The things kids say! I think silently that this misunderstanding may work to our favor. My husband, who hasn't left for work yet, escorts my son to his potty seat, all the while uttering words of encouragement and praise. My son comes back into my bedroom, beaming, in his Lightening McQueen undies.
My husband leaves for work at about 7:00 a.m. and 10 minutes later, my son is wearing his Mr. Incredible underwear.
Undies by the Truckload
It is now noon, and my son is wearing his last pair of character underwear. So far our plan to set a timer every 20 minutes or so and have him sit on the potty seat has failed miserably. "It" has gone everywhere except in the potty seat. Fortunately we have easy-to-clean tile floors. At about 11:00 a.m. we experience the scene I described at the beginning of my tale. I won't repeat it again.
Little sister, a full two years younger, and almost two-years old, pushes the merely frustrating into the humorously ludicrous. Seeing her brother sitting on the potty seat, she repeatedly takes off all of her clothes and rips off her diaper, expanding her fairly meager vocabulary to include the phrase "I pooh!"
We have tried potty training at least 4 other times. I am starting to wonder if my son has inherited a defective potty gene, and imagine him going to his high school graduation in a pull up.
Remembering it is still day one of our training, and taking to heart our lack of results, I put my son into a pullup and drive him and his baby sister to a nearby school where his school-aged sister is attending a drama camp and has to be picked up. It is 108 degrees outside. Then we drive home and I leave big sister, who is old enough to babysit, in charge for about an hour while I go to the grocery store to stock up on potty treats, milk, and bread.
Gee, Thanks for the Encouraging Words...
I'm a woman, one who has spent her day dominated by a kitchen timer, pairs of character underwear, and young children who I am sure are at least one part orangutan. When I get to the checkout counter at the grocery store, I do a very female thing. I mention I am loading up on potty treats. Now this wasn't necessary, or possibly even prudent. Cashiers at the grocery store are busy people who have to do their job under time pressure. I expected a smile, a nod, and possibly, a "good luck with that." Hey, you get your encouragement where you can.
Instead, the cashier says,
"Well, ya know..." (note that this is always an ominous beginning to any statement)
"My son is now in the fifth grade, and we tried to potty train him 5 or 6 times unsuccessfully. We ended up holding him back from kindergarten because he was 5 and a half and still wearing a pull up.. Finally, instead of enrolling him in kindergarten at age 5, we put him in preschool and THEY trained him for us, but now he is a full year behind the other children."
Remember, I was just looking for "good luck with that." After giving her a look of suprised horror, I nod at her in confusion, and try to avoid the feelings of despair that are playing on my already hormonal, pregnant mind.
"You want help with that?" the bagger says, calling after me.
"I've had all the help I need," I call back, as I burst through the exit doors at lightening speed.
Driving home in the car, I resolve that I will see this through. The pull ups are expensive, my son is showing some signs of interest in being potty trained and being a big boy, and his sister will clearly follow his lead, or possible pave the way. But I begin to pray anyway, hoping for divine intervention.
"Dear God, please help me help my son put a pee pee or poopie in the potty, pleeeeeease!"
It's Potty Time!
When I got home, a surprise was waiting for me. Liquid yellow gold, sitting in the bottom of the frog-shaped potty seat. Almost a cup of it. I was so pleased I momentarily thought about taking a photo of it and posting it on Face book.
"Look what I did, Mom!" my son said, beaming at me.
"He went twice..." my daughter said, pleased to have carried out her task with success.
I brushed back a tear, wondering if I would feel this proud of my son on his graduation day, without pull ups. So that's the ticket, I thought, delegate. I just need to delegate.
"Great, I responded, let's do the potty dance!"
Now we are singing and twirling around the potty, in a primitive-looking victory dance.
"Now I'm going to the potty, potty!
Now I'm going to the potty, potty!
Now I'm going to the potty, potty yeah-ah!
do do do do do do do do!"
The next morning, I woke up with achy flu symptoms, stomach cramps, and the inability to move without feeling ill. My husband stayed home with the kids, and 12 hours later, he had completed day two of potty training. My prayers were answered.
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