Wednesday, July 1, 2009
My Least Favorite Parenting Activity...
Maybe it is because I'm not authoritative in my parenting style, but potty training is my least favorite parenting activity. Right when I was feeling all smug about my skills, my second woke me with poo dripping down his legs. I followed the trail of brown, dripping poo like Hansel and Gretel. It lead me to the beginning of his journey, his bed. There on the pillow was his initial deposit. Lovely.
I was feeling so successful! I had come up with the solution, waiting until a child is closer to three than two. We did a potty day with Dad. I left with the other two boys and when I came back he was feeling pure success...so were we. Previous to this day he would stand to pee and announce, "It's not working." And he was right. Nothing was coming out. But after a day with Dad and lots of juice, it was working. Then he had a little friend over to play that he adores, and who is potty trained. Well that seemed to seal the deal. They were bonded by their visits to the toilet. They were peeing in everything....their favorite being my watering can. I didn't care! They were doing it, and I was loving it.
I bought a special toy that I would show him, "See this? You get this if you go poop in the potty."
"I don't go poop in the potty; I go pee." This was the standard response followed by, "I want that," pointing to the enticing toy.
One day he had that look of guilt and concealment. He was about to go in his underwear. I said, "Let's go potty! Do you need to go?"
"Yeah." We rushed to the porcelain throne. He sat. He went. He got his toy! I announced this on Facebook, ooops.
That was the first and last time he did this feat. It has been almost a week. We have washed too many nasty pairs of underwear. "That's it! I'm putting him back in pull ups," his dad announced. I couldn't argue, but deep down I was hoping we weren't giving up. Or making some great psychological mistake.
He is still going pee, and he's still declaring, "I go pee, not poop in the potty."
I look in great irritation and say, "Well, Mommy, Daddy, Brother, Grandpa......they all use the potty."
This doesn't phase him one bit.
I really hate potty training. I wish it was as simple as putting on the underwear, giving a bathroom tour, and handing out a marshmallow of reinforcement. So far, with our first two, it has involved a bit more parental stamina than that.
I encourage myself with this truth, "Children learn to use the potty. It will happen. All is well. Breathe."