Sunday, January 29, 2012

You can lead a child to the potty - June 2011

I needed a distraction today. The weather near where my daughter is at Bible camp has me pacing. But, for a distraction I was thinking maybe researching the best and cheapest hotels near Lake Winnie, or downloading pictures to Shutterfly to make a photobook for last year, or maybe even just continuing to read "The Whispering Pines" on my Kindle App. But, just like the radio in the car, the kids have control. Caleb has chosen today to potty train.

Since every new parent in my immediate radius is asking for advice from me, an older mother of four, about how and when to potty train - if you didn't catch that sarcasm, I will let you in on it, no one has asked - here it is: You don't potty train a kid, either you train yourself to take him constantly, or you let him do what is natural and let the kid potty train himself. Save yourself a lot of worry, a lot of good mommy/bad mommy and just a lot of yucky days with your kid by accepting that this is one of the many things that you can't control in his life. He will potty when he wants to, and not even necessarily when he is ready, much to the chagrin of the awaiting mom -been there, done that. And it won't be when grandma says to, it won't be when cousin Billy did it, it won't be when Suzy in class did it, it won't even be when big brother did it (thankfully!). He will decide when he wants to use it, and stay with it - and those two things may not be on the same day. Caleb has been pooping in the potty since February, well before he was three. However, he would not tee-tee, not for a buggy full of toys at Walmart. And, young moms, since you are asking, the diaper is your friend. Do not be in a hurry to have to drop everything you are doing, leave a buggy full of groceries, stop the car at a filthy gas station, and run your kid into a nasty public bathroom. Because once they start with the underwear, before they learn to hold it, you've got to have a plan of action to make it happen immediately. I actually, use to keep a tiny potty in the back of our SUV with wippees. It was like a little traveling bathroom.

Yesterday, Caleb finally said "yah" (he's moved on from speaking Chinese to Swedish with still only a handful of English words that he uses) when I asked him if he wanted to wear underwear. So, we got out the underwear that I had for Eli (since he didn't wear them when his bottom was this small, they were like new) and put them on. He's had small accidents where I can tell he is learning to stop the flow, but he is getting the "hang" of standing up to do it. So, when he tee-tees in the potty he gets to get a car out of my hot wheels bag. So, we (he)are experimenting today with getting to get cars. He has asked to potty a few times when I know he didn't need to go. He would stand there in front of the potty on the stool really still with his little shirt raised up. Then he would look down at his little tee-thing and yell "GO". Then wait, "hmph... GO!" Then he would sigh "uh-uh, mama." Sometimes those things have of a mind of their own, too. So, I'm thinking we are headed out of diapers and then into a big boy bed by the weekend so that he can use the potty at night and in the mornings when he needs to. I will save the potty training stories of my other three for another time, but just like their births, they each had their own way. Just like the storms I'm glued to watching in TN, this too will pass. 

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