Monday, July 11, 2011

Potty Training

It's that time again.
Potty Training--the time when all mothers wonder whether or not their sweet little child will ever learn use the toilet instead of their diaper.
Potty training time is when a mother can look forward to the end of cleaning up someone else's poop and pee. Because you know every woman always thought it would be glamorous to wipe off someone else's hiney. Deep sarcasm here.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my children. I consider it a privilege to kiss their cuts and scrapes and rock them when they have a temperature and read them stories "just because."
However, cleaning up poop has never, and I do state NEVER, been part of the "delights" of motherhood. Especially that poops that finds their way out of the diaper and either up the back of child or down the legs and onto the floor.
Motherhood is a joy. Poop is not.
But we do the yucky along with the lovely because they are our treasures.
Sweet Precious Jewel potty trained just before the age of 2. Then we took a 2 week trip to see my parents in Mexico. It was rather distracting for an almost 2 year old and she couldn't be bothered with using the toilet instead of her diaper. It was 6 months before she re-trained successfully.
Mr. Smiles was a breeze. He was just within weeks of turning 2. He was speaking in full sentences and I thought, "why not?"
I thought boys would be difficult. He wasn't. But, I think it's because he is so close in age to his older sister and he already copied everything she did. Potty training was honestly done by her and not me.
I just took him to the store and let him pick out his favorite underwear and then told him not to poop on Thomas's (the train) face. He took that duty very seriously and trained completely within just 3 days much to my surprise and delight.
Good Lookin' was also very articulate by the age of 2, and was showing signs of wanting to get rid of the diaper (by the way, I used cloth with my first 3 and I think that also has something to do with potty training early).
However, I was just a couple of weeks from due with Nater Mater and we were facing a move as well as a possible C-section. I did not want to try potty training at the same time. Who really wants to drive themselves crazy with more than they have to? Not me.
My mom came right after Nater Mater was born and stayed for 2 weeks. She noticed that Good Lookin' was ready and she potty trained him. Again, quick and easy, but I can't take the credit.
Now for child #4. He is a bit different in some ways than his older siblings.
The most obvious is that at the age of 2 he was NOT talking in complete articulate sentences. No, he only had about 6 words and that worked just fine for him. His older siblings understood what he wanted and doted on him, so what was the point of actually forming the words? (my theory)
He also is the child I only used cloth on for the first year and then put him in "store diapers."
Needless to say, he is now almost 3 and just beginning to potty train. I don't really care.
So far, I've never met anyone who went off to college un-trained and I'm fairly certain he'll be trained before he starts Pre-K in the Spring.

We tried starting a month ago. After 2 weeks of him totally not getting it and instead thinking it was funny to "poop on Mater's head," I decided to back off and try again later. Just this past week, he was out in the garden with me watering the plants. He decided to strip off his diaper and play in the water. Suddenly, he looked down and SAW he was peeing. He was delighted!!! Totally and absolutely delighted!
He then tried to go around the yard and pee on every tree stump and small bush and blade of grass that he could get to. He grew a little frustrated that his "pee not woking mommy!" I laughingly explained it would soon again and that he could pee on the grass later. "Otay mommy."

This is my attempt to get him to use the toilet. Polar Express worked for his older brother. It did not work for him. He peed right over the edge and onto the floor and then asked "why mommy? why?"

I roll eyes and clean up floor.

He's got it now thanks to the grass and yard!! And he no longer grins when he poops "on Mater!"

I am still letting him go around in just his cute little undies.

1. Because we have no neighbors and no one knows where we live.

2. His siblings don't care and neither do I.

3. It's so much easier to just get underwear off than a pull-up or pants when you are not quite 3 and not so coordinated.

Now, if I can just toilet train him, I will consider myself successful. So far, he simply likes to run out to the yard and "pee in da' gwass mommy. pee in da' gwass.


Joy said...


I love your laid back attitude!

Soaring High said...

I totally forgot to mention that I also let them pick out whatever treat (candy) they wanted for a treat for whenever they did go. I set a timer every 30 to 45 minutes (although that didn't work for Nathaniel) and just took them. They got one piece of candy just for sitting on the toilet. Again, didn't work for Nathaniel. Like I say, every kid is so different and you have to find what works for them (peeing in the grass in his case).

Wendy said...

I love how you usually potty train before they are 2 instead of waiting until they're 4 or something. It also gives me encouragement to potty train James at that age. I've done that with the girls but never with a boy!