An admission of cluelessness.
We put potty training off with our oldest daughter for quite some time because it’s easy to find excuses to put off potty training.
“We need to wait until it’s warm outside,” as if we planned to teach her to use the yard the same way we’d teach a dog.
“We need to wait until our newborn is older,” because our two-and-a-half-year-old is showing us how much easier it is to reason toddlers who don’t mind peeing their pants.
“It’s just easier to leave them in a diaper.” Of course it is, and it’s also easy for four-year-old’s to make fun of four-year-old’s wearing a diaper, although Leah likes her own waste so much I doubt she’d mind the taunts.
There are many others, too, because as the last excuse explains, it’s easier to leave well enough alone. After all, Leah not being potty trained actually makes it easier for us in many situations. At restaurants we don’t need to be making long dashes to bathrooms carrying a leaky child or have to explain to servers that we need extra napkins for our seats even though no food or drinks have yet arrived.
But giving them the skill of using a bathroom is an essential one in our culture (and most cultures I think), and the longer we put it off, the harder it was going to become.
So last weekend we began the 3 Day Potty Training method because if you’re going to do it, do it big. The fact that the method was developed by someone title the Potty Queen was some cause for concern but if someone was willing enough to name themselves after a poo chair, I decided I’d give them a try.
Obviously, a three day method is geared towards intensive training. You spend every minute asking your child to tell you when they need to go potty and then literally bribing the crap out of them when they do tell you.
I’ve heard rumours that some children take hours to learn how to use potties, and I’m glad, because our country needs solid leadership and those kids are destined to be those leaders.
Our kid is on day five. To be fair, she’s making great strides now, and I think it took me three of four years to learn how to use the potty, but I didn’t know potty training was going to be so hard.
I’m proud of Leah for trying, but if I have this conversation again, I’m going to throw up in a potty:
“Leah, just tell me when you need to go to the potty.”
“Ok, but just tell me if you do need to use the potty to go pee pee or poo poo.”
“No pee pee.”
“I know, but if there is, let me know.”
“You don’t know if you need to go potty?”
“Mike you’re not supposed to ask questions like that!” I hear Andrea remind me, and she’s right. Apparently asking questions to them is the most dangerous thing you can do to an in-training toddler.
And she is, on the floor. Because for eight seconds I had a conversation with my wife.
We’ve since improved our techniques and have implemented a very generous pee pee poo poo prize system wherein she gets stickers for every time she goes on the potty. Since bringing this into play she’s improved her control twenty-fold and within a week will have used up the money we have left on our line of credit.
So now we’re at the point we always get to when we try and introduce something new to Leah—is she just playing stupid to get more presents out of us because we’re the stupid ones?
I personally think so, especially since, only this morning I asked Andrea if we should implement a similar reward program for her if she sleeps in her own room all night long since her sleep has gone wigdy during the potty training days.
So to any parents out there who have not had a fun time dealing with potty training, of course you haven’t had a fun time, what were you thinking? But also, I hate it too. But there will be a time as you walk your daughter down the aisle or watch her accept her diploma on stage where you’ll be happy you cleaned up pee for a few day.
It gets better.
Originally posted at www.puzzlingposts.blogspot.ca.
Photo by makelessnoise/Flickr.