Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Oh, the Potty!

We've been potty training around here for over a year.

I didn't want it to be that way.  I wanted to wait until he was three.  Because that's when my nephew was potty trained.  And because I didn't think our son was ready and I trusted that when he was, he would do it.

Unfortunately, everyone at his old daycare started potty training, so we were included by default and it's been over a year of potty talk, potty books, potty mouthing, potty commenting (LOOKATTHATINTHEPOTTYMOMMYYYYYYYY!!), and potty missing.

Finally, I can say we are trained.  Ok...I can't really say that.  It depends on your definition of 'trained'.    I thought potty trained was defined by no longer needing to be reminded to go potty and just going on your own accord and not having any accidents during the day or at night.

A year into it, I am defining potty trained as able to be out of the house and more than 40 minutes from home for an entire day without any back up underwear or the potty seat.

Thus, as of yesterday, we are trained.

It didn't happen overnight.  Clearly.

We just talked about and read about the potty a lot leading up to this past Christmas when Santa took all the large diapers (he had to leave the baby diapers for The Ladybug [THANK YOU SANTA!]) and left brand new, sparkling, Thomas underwear.  Ok...they didn't sparkle...but Little G's eyes did when he saw them, so that counts.

We spent a week naked at our house.  Um.  Just the toddler, naked, that is. My mom was visiting us, which made it a bit cramped since our house is pretty small and we basically quarantined us for a week.  Over the course of the week, we would try to make him sit on the potty every twenty minutes, hydrating him as much as we could.  He quickly realized two things 1) he didn't want to pee on himself and 2) drinking anything made him have to pee.  Coupled with his number one desire to NEVER do what the parents want...NEVER NEVER NEVER...he figured out that if he refused to drink, than he didn't have to pee.

The kid would go all morning, without peeing no matter how many times he sat on the potty and then it would be nap time and we would use a pull up in which he would pee immediately. (The silver lining being that once we finally got him trained, that would mean we had a kid who could go all morning and not have to pee every hour.) Finally, we did what every nurturing parent would do...we stuck him on the potty and put his hand in a bowl of warm water like he was drunk jock at a frat party.

It worked...until the next time -- when splashing the warm water became our focus.

Eventually, over the course of the week, he 'got' it.

The crazy-great thing was that very shortly after our potty-training boot camp, he started telling us when he had to poop and then running for the potty.  That was all sorts of awesome because I can NOT tell you how I promised myself I would neeeeever wipe poop off of a kid bigger than a toddler and then of course had a kid who was bigger than a 4 year old at the age of two and a half.

Anyway, as with everything with most kids, there never really is a specific cut off or definitive moment that developmental milestones happen.  I actually wrote about this exact concept back when Little G was still little: Motherhood Myths. It's been five months since our boot camp and he's been progressing.   My husband was willing to wave the 'potty trained' flag a couple of months ago, but I wasn't so sure.

But yesterday, I ended up 40 minutes from our house with a days worth of activities planned and the realization that my carefully packed potty bag, complete with seat and two changes of clothes in plastic bags was still hanging on the door of our bathroom.  Oops.  I looked at Little G and said, "Little G, Mommy made a mistake and left our potty seat and your extra clothes all the way at home so we are going to have to be extra careful about listening to our bodies so we know when we have to pee."

And we did it!  Granted, I had to suggest, and sometimes insist, that we go the the bathroom. But he sat on big toilet seats, he peed standing up (which he oddly has an aversion to), he even told me when he had to poop.

So I'm calling it.  We're potty trained. Oh yeah...and Little G is too.

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