Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ode to Potty-Training in My House

Alex potty-trained himself this week. No big deal, just hops up there and does his thing. I don't know what clicked in his head (he's 3 1/2), but it did. He gives a big grin and an exaggerated thumbs-up and off he goes.

And now I understand the snotty potty-training parents/experts. If all I ever had was this experience, I would be definitely bragging to my friends about 'how EASY boys are' and 'how MINE never had any problems' and 'have you tried the floating Cheerios?', etc. ad nauseum. The only thing I can point to is that last Sunday morning, the church nursery ran out of size 5s, and he was HORRIBLY offended by the pink pullups. Maybe he thought that was the punishment for big boys who 'didn't get it.' Hence the move from blank stares to success. Who knows? But let me tell you, I had KATHRYN first. The following is a gritty mommy tale, with TMI. Read at your own risk... ;o)

Kathryn, the dear (spoken sarcastically), was petrified of potties, petrified of going 'poo', scared to death of everything. She was afraid of the kiddy chair, the unfolding adjustment thingie for the big potty, the hole in the potty, flushing, sitting... did I mention EVERYTHING?! She would hold everything, giving new meaning (and true meaning) to the word anal-retentive in my mind. Suppositories were a necessity once or twice a week, accompanied by screaming, shrieking, pain and agony. She once held one of those for 3 hours! I tried everything, read everything. We bought her favorite candies (skittles) and toys- she was sooo excited. But when she realized effort on the potty was involved, she never asked for or looked at them again. They sat forlornly on the counter for weeks; she never snuck any and even asked about them. Sigh... Note to all incredibly frustrated mommies: don't shoot yourself in the foot.

I'm probably going to get hate mail on this story. (Disclaimer: I NEVER say, "Come on, kids, I'm going to leave you." I think threatening children with abandonment to get obedience is akin to cruel and unusual punishment. Children should come because you say come. So the following incident was birthed on a rough day, and will be forgiven by all tired parents, no doubt.)

I had stepped into the bathroom and closed the door. I was doing what we all must do, when Kathryn yells through the door in a panicked tone(age 2 1/2), "Don't flush yourself, Mommy!" I have at this point heard that sincere warning approximately 15 gazillion times. Did I mention I'm tired? For some reason, I flushed the toilet, gave a fading shriek and fell silent. "Mommy?! Mommy?!" Revenge accomplishes nothing; that little trick set us back for MONTHS AND MONTHS. Thank goodness she doesn't remember this ;o)

All this reminiscing to say "Thank God for an easy one!" and if you're in the middle of potty-training purgatory, it's probably NOT because you've overlooked the guaranteed perfect method. Give yourself a break. They all figure this out before their first date. They're all different, and this, too, shall "pass"! Leaving the computer to burn all diaper coupons... wahoo!!!


dorcas said...

Poor Kathryn, but that has to be the funniest potty training story I've heard yet. Yeah for your little boy. I also thought we'd never get out of diapers. Blake just didn't care. Finally, just after he turned 4 we went to an event that had childcare. We were just at the door where he saw all these children doing fun things when I read the sign that they had to be potty trained. He was NOT happy. Neither was I because now I had to entertain him for well over an hour with nothing to keep him occupied. At any rate, a few days later he announced that he had to go to the bathroom and aside from a few accidents that was the end of it. I totally understand your joy!

Juwah said...

WICKED, Nate married the right girl! :)
So happy you got an "easy" one. Don't you think having the hard one first is better? Anything is easy after your experience with Kathryn(bless you my friend). And so I say "amen" to your encouragement to tired Mommies.

Matt and Silvia Decker said...

Go Alex go!! So happy for both of you.

Beth Stetler said...

Love it! :D

Sarah Cook said...

Okay, I am laughing and laughing at that potty story... trying not to laugh too hard for fear I might awaken my family.