Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Joys of Potty Training

Potty training isn't the greatest joy of parenting.  The title of this post was a trick.  Did you fall for it?  Did you really think it was joyful?  If so, I'm guessing you are a first time parent who hasn't gone down this road yet.

It is a necessity, for sure, because I doubt my children will want me diapering them up before prom or a job interview.  But, it isn't my favorite.

I remember freaking out with my first child because I knew I would have to "demonstrate" how to go potty.  For someone who still turns on the fan, runs the water and locks the door just to tinkle (even when I am alone in the house), this was a traumatic thought.  Leave the door open for someone to see?  My face is flushed just typing that sentence.  And, I am very protective of my private bathroom time (as described in my Are You Bleeding, Choking or on Fire?  post).

So, my potty training MO has been to show the oldest child how its done and then let each subsequent child train the next.  By the time #2 (yes, that is a potty joke) was ready to potty train, the oldest was eager to show him how big kids use the potty.  This was convenient for me because I was big, uncomfortable pregnant with #3.  (no, that is not a potty joke)

In all honesty, I was not ready to potty train the second child when he was ready.  He was barely two years old and I figured he would just regress anyway when the next child was born about a month later.  I tried convincing him to play with toys instead of going potty.  I pretended I didn't see him banging on the door.  But, it didn't work.  He was ready to go.

Poor boy missed out on all the fanfare given to the oldest.  He got no M&Ms.  He got no stickers.  He got no jubilant potty dance from Mommy.  Instead he got a half-hearted thumbs-up and a "Good job, Buddy." before I laid back on the couch to stretch my sore back.

This pattern repeated for my third and fourth child.  I never really pushed potty training.  I figured they would get it eventually.  If I used cloth diapers I am sure I would feel differently.  And, I have had at least one child in diapers for the past 9 1/2 years.  I have forgotten what it is like to live without wiping another person's butt.

Which brings me to my newest potty adventure.  Veronica is asking to go potty.  Well, not with words because she isn't really talking yet.  But, she grabs herself and points eagerly to the toilet.  As coincidence would have it, pee came out at the same time she was sitting a couple of times.

And so another round of potty training may be starting.

And a tip to my good and faithful readers - DO NOT TEACH YOUR BOYS TO STAND UP TO PEE!  This is one of my biggest pieces of parenting advice.  You may think its cute now, but you will be wiping up those messes around the floor for years if you do.  A friend has also told me a cautionary tale about a fast-falling seat lid and little boy parts.  The visual makes me cringe.

We save standing to pee for those "special" times when we go out to public bathrooms or peeing alongside the road on car trips when they "really, really gotta go."  We have also only purchased books about girls potty training because the boy books show the child standing.  I don't want my boys getting the idea too early that there is a fun way to point and shoot, so to speak.

Save yourself a bunch of aggravation and save a bunch of Lysol.  Sit.  Sit. Sit.


Mike and Katie said...

Did they do any potty training with Veronica in China? I did infant potty training with my first daughter and read quite a bit about how come it is for kids to be undiapered in other countries.

Kristin said...

No, Veronica had not had any potty training in China. I have heard of some families having good success with infant training their children, but I'm going to admit it. I just don't have the ambition to do it! It is always nice to hear how alternate ways of doing things work out so well for other families.