Last week I talked about the top 5 signs my son is ready for potty training, and I geared up by reading a highly-rated and seriously detailed book. I honestly thought training the trainer was the way to go. Then reality slapped me back to the ground.
I had the book and the potty
training doll and the treats. Then I forgot my precious book at work. In a
panic, I downloaded it on Kindle Saturday morning (training day). Then my mind
started flooding with endless questions: In what order do I perform all the
steps? Do I warn him that we’re starting the half-day marathon called potty
training? What if he doesn’t do anything – do I still reward him? What if there
are interruptions, or he just keeps asking for treats? My mind was reeling.
By mid-morning I called it
quits. Yep, I chickened out of potty training. I felt ill-prepared to take on
this momentous task. Monday morning I polled my friends to see what method
worked best. And you know what? Most of them had an unorganized, downright
lackadaisical way of going about the whole thing. I began to wonder if it was
possible that I was overthinking this. Who, me? The one who analyzes processes
like a chef hunting down the Perfect Recipe?
Based on my friends’ input, I decided
there was one small step I could take: I would begin with one small ritual with
rewards. So last night, I excitedly told my son that we would start learning
how to use the potty before bathtime. If he went, he could get a special potty
treat as a reward. He sat on there for maybe 10 seconds before deciding he
needed that treat. My reaction? “Oh well, that’s okay. We’ll try again next
time. Let’s take a bath.” I didn’t give him the treat, which he wasn’t happy
about, but we moved on.
This morning as I was in the
bathroom putting on makeup, he came in and I asked if he’d like to use the
potty. He said “Yeah.” I took him through the steps of pulling down his shorts,
helped him get into position, and reminded him to point his thingy down so that
when pee comes out it will go straight into the toilet (no guard on this seat).
What did he do? He farted. Ha!
He looked up at me in surprise, and I exclaimed “Good job! Mommy’s so proud of
you.” He decided he was done, and we moved on. There was no mention of a treat.
When I dropped him off at
daycare, I mentioned how ready he is and they said that no, he hasn’t gone
there yet either. Not 10 minutes later, one of the teachers called me to
announce that he pulled off his shorts, marched right into the bathroom, and
peed in the toilet. I told her it was okay to give him a gummy bear as a special potty treat.
Can I just tell you how much
that made my day?!
I know, this is just the beginning. And complete success could be months away. One small step for (little)
So, for now, I think I’ll take
my hands off the reins and follow his lead a bit more. I will encourage and
praise him for every tiny effort. Maybe, like a fellow mommy blogger, I’ll just
say no to potty training.