Diapers, Pull-Ups, Training Pants, Underwear, or Naked?
Miniature potty, removable seat for regular toilet, wall mounted urinal, or outside?
Reward with stickers, candy, money, or no reward for “productivity”?
Wait until they are ready, or do it when you are ready?
What am I talking about? The choices involved in potty training a child.
It has reached the point where The Boy must be potty trained. The preschool he will attend beginning in September, does not allow children unable “to use the bathroom with minimal assistance.” So, he must learn. We have been waiting for him to show an interest. But now it is make or break time, do or die, because the registration fee is non-refundable (and it was enough for a decent dinner out for DH and me). Don’t judge me for waiting so long, it’s really not my fault.
Snark Girl is to blame. When she reached the age of 2 we began hearing, “She isn’t potty trained?” “She’ll never learn if you wait too long!” (I have no idea what kind of grade that person received in Logic 101.) “It’s past time. My child was potty trained at 1 year old!” (Yeah, big deal, your kid is 6 and routinely walks around showing her underwear to the boys in her class. Brass pole in her future?) We bowed to peer pressure (we don’t normally do that) and tried to potty train Snark Girl. We should have tried to potty train a mule instead. Snark Girl did not want to do it, no interest in it at all. If we nagged her too much, she would just pee or poop on the floor. So after three months of NO progress, we gave up. OCDiva had just been born and it was too much. We thought we’d try again in a few months (I think we all know that didn’t happen). Time passed.
We ignored the fact that our 3 year old daughter (with the vocabulary of a 1st grader) still wore a diaper. Her sister was wearing one, it wasn’t a big deal. Then we reached “do or die time”, yes preschool enrollment. We thought we were in for another fight, but once we explained to Snark Girl that she would be LEARNING all kinds of things and PLAYING with OTHER KIDS, she was on board. She potty trained (night and day) in under 3 months. We had setbacks of course, and ended up bribing her to get her to stop pooping in her pants. But she was trained in time for preschool. No trauma. No drama.
With OCDiva we didn’t even try. We waited until, at around age 2 ½, she BEGGED us to let her stop wearing a diaper. It was great. She watched what Snark Girl did, potty training was completed in under two months. It was fabulous! She was trained in time for preschool with a year to spare!
So you understand why we just waited on The Boy to decide? We thought he would come to it on his own. He likes to be clean, shouldn’t that translate to not wanting to wear a wet/dirty diaper? Uhm, no. I tried the “naked” method. All this resulted in was various sections of my floor getting Clorox wiped multiple times a day, although toward the end he did start peeing in the little potty pretty consistently, as long as he was not distracted by playing. But he hated it, he cried and begged for a diaper. Nothing worked as a bribe or enticement. Preschool? Doesn’t care, he’ll just play with Hulkster and hang out with me. Big Boy Underwear? Nope, diapers and Pull-Ups are fine, thanks. Bribes? No thank you, don’t need anything. Despair and irritation was setting in for all of us so I gave up. The despair deepened. Until dinner tonight.
We happened to go out to dinner tonight. We were there for a long time (bad waitress, go see the post on my Facebook page) and suddenly, The Boy said, “I need to go pee!” (Yippee!) I kicked DH under the table (he was talking to OCDIva) and pointed at The Boy. DH said, “What is it Buddy?” “Daddy, I need to go pee! Now!” So off they went to the men’s room. I waited, afraid to get too excited, but hoping.
DH and The Boy returned to the table. The Boy said, “I wash my hands in da sink.” (Aanndd?) “Oh, and I pees in the potty. “
Hallelujah! Angels are singing! There’s rejoicing in the street! The preschool deposit is not wasted!
He proceeded to use the men’s room three more times at the restaurant. I don’t what The Boy thinks will happen tomorrow, but I have news for him, from now on, he’s not wearing a diaper unless he is sleeping!
Hmm, wonder if that policy will convince him to keep taking naps . . .