Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Adventures in PT

I once read somewhere that potty training a toddler would test the parents patience and be both emotionally and physically draining. But that the experience was twice as hard for the toddler. Think about it, they spend the first one and half to three years (give or take) of their lives doing a basic bodily function one way and no one minds. Suddenly their caregiver expects them to do a 180 and to recognize the signals that we automatically take for granted but they've never thought about. Not only we expect them to recognize these but then take appropriate action. It can be confusing. There are all these theories out there as to the appropriate time to begin the process of teaching a toddler to use the potty. Arguments are abound as to "early" versus "late." And pros and cons of each. Years ago most children potty trained shortly after they could walk. But with the advent of the disposable diaper and working mothers, these days it has been pushed to the average age of three- an little earlier for girls.
WC was three when I was expecting CJ. The thought of two in diapers-even disposable was not appealing. Luckily he was ready. I used the timer method. I took a long weekend, he picked out his new big boy underwear and the diapers were gone with exception of night. Three days later he was fully potty trained.
Fast forward to CJ. This child has been doing things his own way since he surprised us by arriving three weeks early. Silly me set out to potty train him the same way that worked for WC. Now I could make him go sit on the potty when the timer went off but I couldn't make him actually go in the potty. He would sit there and then leave the bathroom and promptly urinate in the kitchen floor. We spent weekend after weekend being frustrated. Downtrodden, I abandoned trying for a few weeks. His daycare provider insisted on using pullups for the convenience. They don't help. Pullups are a diaper. I think I kept my cool in front of him fairly well while wanting to scream. I swore that I didn't think the child would ever potty train. Then the strangest thing happened. One day he declared that diapers were for babies. And was decidedly not a baby. I told him if he didn't want to wear the diapers then he had to pee in the potty. That was all she wrote, except for a couple of timing accidents. He decided he was going to wear underwear and not diapers. This child is going to be my trouble. He can do anything he puts his mind to, then problem will be what he puts his mind to (or doesn't).

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