How do we define success in life? Well, if you’re a mom, and you probably are if you are reading this: Successfully potty-training your child ranks up there with starting your own fortune 500 company. I’ve been through it and it is still something that is a source of pride for me. I think this and then I remind myself-
EVERYONE IN THE WORLD IS POTTY-TRAINED.
It can’t be that hard…Duh!
But maybe, just maybe… it is that big of a deal.
I got this in am email, I’m sure a mom wrote it:
SUCCESS IN LIFE
At age 4 success is . . . not piddling in your pants.
At age 12 success is . . . having friends.
At age 17 success is … having a drivers license.
At age 35 success is . . having money.
At age 50 success is . . having money.
At age 70 success is . . .. having a drivers license.
At age 75 success is . . having friends.
At age 80 success is . . not piddling in your pants.
This blog article can also be read at DC Metro Moms… It’s a fun site!
Potty training… I’ve done everything. And I’m happy to say…
I hope I’m not jinxing myself by writing this.
But here it goes…
We’ve had ups and downs; I’ve had good ideas and bad mistakes.
This is just one mom’s journey.
First of all, I thought I’d be different. How hard could it be? So I went to a free potty training seminar before I attempted anything…
In the seminar we basically learned to devote 2 days to potty training. Plan fun activities inside and don’t go anywhere… and your little one needs to wear a big shirt that hangs down to their knees… and nothing else. This helps them ‘realize’ the sensation of having to ‘go to the bathroom’. Okay, I thought, I’ll try this.
We started at 8am, used a timer to remind us periodically for our son to ‘practice’ going to the bathroom, baked cookies and other fun stuff and at 6pm that evening my son announced for the first time that he had to go ‘pee pee’
and he went in the toilet.
Victory! I knew this wasn’t going to be that hard! I’m prepared; I’m a well-informed mother!
What I haven’t mentioned yet is- that was this time last year.
My son really never wet his pants again, but pooping was a catastrophe. Yeah, I had about eight months of cleaning dirty underwear.
I think it’s partially due to boys standing up to pee (which they instinctually change to after a couple of days) and having to sit to have a bowel movement.
He could never quite get to the toilet in time. It wasn’t that bad, he wouldn’t go completely in his pants, but it got tiresome
(oh really, motherhood and potty training sometimes get tiresome Sherlock?).
So what did I do? I did everything.
I made a chart with stickers on the refrigerator. I then quickly changed the chart to only reflect positively on successful trips to the bathroom. I gave him rewards when there were a lot, okay a few, stickers on the chart. Then I started to reward him with a new book every time he did a completely successful day…
I quickly realized this was not practical- financially or- on any other level.
So then I took the advice of a mother of three boys and just let it alone.
That didn’t work either.
So what happened?
I was almost giving myself an ulcer anticipating starting school this past September because all of the 3’s classes (which my son is in) had to be completely potty trained. So about a week before school started I talked to my son. I told him how much I loved him and how much I believed in him and that he had to go ‘BM’ on the toilet at school, that’s the rule. He looked at me very matter-of-factly and said, ‘Okay’.
He has never had an accident since…
at school or at home.
I now believe there is truth to the old dictum that says: when a child is ready to do something, they will do it… but not a minute earlier.
I am happy to be done with potty training. And I am also a little wiser now.
I don’t know anybody who has potty trained their child completely in a couple of days. Accidents happen.
Potty training teaches a parent humility…
in a good way-
I’ll never forget helping my son out with a toilet trip that was just a little late. I got him cleaned up and took a deep breath and went over to the sink to wash my hands. I washed them and sat down on our couch and started to relax when I smelled something. I smelled my hands. My hands smelled?! Then I looked at them and realized that somehow I had a little bit of poop under my fingernails.
That’s all that needs to be said now, isn’t it? I started to laugh.
And if you are having problems with potty training… just remember:
Nobody goes off to college in pull-ups; everybody learns eventually!