I am ecstatic! And in disbelief! And hoping with great anticipation and a bit of trepidation!
“What could cause this?” you ask?
I will tell you. Alex, who will be two in a couple of weeks, has decided to start potty training. “So what?” you say? Let me tell you about our potty training experience with Ryan. We began early because we knew that Alex would be coming along. We read all the articles and books that we could find and listened to several episodes of PediaCast that talked about potty training. We talked to others who had already been through it. We got several books, videos, stickers and other rewards, a special potty chair, and even a doll (boy) with a potty chair. We did everything that we could to make potty training fun, desirable, and understandable. We showed him how we would potty. We got him fun underwear. We tried the method of putting him in the underwear and getting him on the potty every half hour or so. He would pee or poop in the underwear five minutes after we had taken him off! We had an occassional success here and there and we would get really excited and give him a reward. First we tried a sticker chart. He didn’t seem to care very much about that. Then, we tried M&Ms. That did a little better, but not much. Finally, we tried little Hot Wheels. At first, that didn’t seem to work at all. I finally gave up for a while. Then, we went to Ryan’s 3 year check-up. For nine months, we had 2 kids in diapers full-time and I was ready to be done with it. The pediatrician sat Ryan on the examining table, got right in his face and told him that he had to use the potty for his pee and poop. She told him that I would get him some Bob the Builder big boy pants (she didn’t know how hard they were to find!!!) and that he could not get pee or poop on Bob. She spoke to him like he was a 6 or 7 year old kid and about two months later he was completely (even nighttime) potty trained! So, it started out rough, but once Dr. Keefe told Ryan how life was going to be, he did it. And fairly easily.
So why am I so excited about Alex’s victory today? Because I didn’t DO anything!!! We’ve talked about where pee-pee and poopy go. Everytime he throws a fit when I change his diaper, I tell him that if he would do it in the potty, then we wouldn’t have to change his diaper. He likes to sit on the Bob the Builder potty seat that we have. There have been many times that he has gone in and put it up on the potty and asked to sit up there. He would sit up there and point out the characters on the seat, then get down and be done. We haven’t read any books to him. One day, when he wasn’t feeling very well, I let him watch Potty Power, but he fell asleep during it!
Tonight, while we were in Target, Ryan suddenly had to go potty. We went to the restroom and Alex watched Ryan potty. He watched VERY intently. In fact, I had to pull him back a little so he wouldn’t get in the stream! When Ryan finished, I clapped and did a little “Yay, Ryan! He pee-peed in the potty!” Then, I let Alex flush it while Ryan washed his hands. Alex pointed at the potty and said, “Potty?” I asked if he wanted to try and he said yes, but I made him wait. I was being lazy and didn’t really think anything would come of it. We checked out and headed home. In the car, Alex began whining a bit and saying, “Pee-peeeee.” When we got home, the boys got ready for a bath. Alex went over to the potty and put his potty seat on there. So I placed him up there. The next thing I knew, he was peeing in the potty!!! And he was actually making it in! I started cheering and clapping. He grinned and did some more. Ryan cheered and clapped. Alex did more! I called Chris in and he cheered for Alex, so Alex grinned and yep! He did more! We gave high fives all around. Alex could hardly stop grinning. It was so cute!
So, I’m really hopeful that this will be the beginning of an easy road to being potty trained. Oh yeah, another reason that I have a lot of hope for this is that there was hardly any pee in his diaper. That makes me think that he just might have held it until we got home. Of course, I have to also remember that this could be one time and the next time that we have a success could be days from now. But I’m hoping that it won’t be. I’m hoping that if we just don’t make too big a deal out of it, but cheer his successes on, then he’ll just do it. No schedules. No stickers. We’re just going to let it be part of life. Just like when children learn their letters. We don’t give them stickers and candy everytime that they learn to name a letter correctly. We just give them approval and encouragement. It’s just one of those things that we have to learn and it’s not a big deal. Potty training feels like a bigger deal because it’s so nice for the parent (and saves about $20/mo). But I wonder, if with some kids (like Ryan), potty training becomes intimidating because we make it a big deal.
So, I’m ecstatic that he made a giant step in the right direction, but I’m going to try to not get my hopes up and just let the potty be part of life — not a mountain to overcome. And we will see how it goes!