I like to think that I am a reasonable person (which of course doesn’t make it true), so am I being unreasonable to think that The Boy is ready to be potty trained? He is three, and my newly purchased copy of Potty Training for Dummies seems to imply that all rational people start the potty training process at the age of two (yes I actually bought a Dummy book for this task). I decided to skip the readiness chapter, because he is three for Pete’s sake! We have had some form of a potty since he was maybe 18 months old and I had silly illusions that he would magically potty train himself by 2.5. Sadly it didn’t happen. The Girl was born last year, so we followed the much touted advice of “don’t even bother training him now because he will just regress when the baby is born,” and it has worked well in that for the past 14 months we have been busily diapering two children. It is getting old, and since I can have long conversations with The Boy I’ve decided he is certainly capable of emptying his bladder and bowels into the toilet.
So the fun begins. I should add that a younger boy at daycare started wearing big-boy-underwear to daycare last week, so perhaps I felt like a slacker for not being more proactive about The Boy’s potty progress. Anyway, I’m basically clueless and so is the ever helpful DH. I got some advice online and from our wonderful DCP that perhaps in The Boy’s case we would just need to switch him to big-boy-underwear (which I will now refer to as BBU so I don’t have to type is anymore!) to see what happens. Hmmm, what happens is that The Boy pees all over your living room couch while watching Toy Story for the 1000th time, and I have a little fit about it and put The Boy back in diapers. The Boy is not fazed.
I read that some children are really excited to wear BBU. BBU is not all that attractive to The Boy, even special Disney Cars BBU, not all that interesting to The Boy. Pull-ups and the like are treated just like diapers, and lets face it they are just diapers that can be pulled down and he knows it. We tried a sticker chart, with the ultimate reward being a new Thomas line train…not fazed. We have tried bribing each attempt at pottying with food (most recently gummy worms), not fazed. He’s been watching us pee for years, but apparently this has done nothing except to lower my privacy standards when I’m in the bathroom. Of course he has been watching DH pee, which has led to The Boy’s new insistence that “I stand,” which is so far from ideal it makes me shake. I mean he is pointing everywhere but in the toilet when he stands, imagine the mess if he actually manages to pee!
We recently purchased an anatomically correct boy doll that drinks and pees when you press his tummy (handy…if only The Boy would do the same). The Boy loves the peeing doll, but I don’t know if it has made much difference in his willingness to use the potty. All I have left in my arsenal is a whole heap of positive talk and reinforcement, and the idea of having a potty party at some point in the future. The Boy went to daycare in a Pull-up this morning because I was too tired to try to make him pee before we left. I am a potty-training drop-out. It turns out that diapering is just easier. Perhaps if we wait until The Girl is ready it will be easier to just train them both at the same time? It is so odd that something we just take for granted can be so difficult to teach a child. The book makes me feel like an insensitive ass for even having some negative thoughts when The Boy pees himself not 2 minutes after being on the potty and producing squat. I am supposed to praise his efforts, and reassure him that I am not upset about the wetting (I’m really struggling with this one since I am in fact upset!). I’m supposed to tell him, you are trying so hard, I’m sure someday soon you will be able to use the potty just like a big boy! Ugh, all I keep thinking is “Do or no Do, there is no try” –Yoda
So the big question is, do we buy a potty video to add to the arsenal, or am I just grasping at straws now?