I've been having parental panic attacks about Jack and his potty training. Molly has been day time potty trained for well over a year, whereas Jack has resisted: EVERY. SINGLE. ATTEMPT made at housebreaking him. When Chris registered the minions for kindergarten a few weeks ago I came to a very serious realization. I can't send him to kindergarten in diapers and he has less than six months to get his s%@t together (literally).
DISCLAIMER: This post is about potty training, so if that type of thing is not of interest, feel free to read this post comparing how youthful nights from your early twenties can be eerily similar to going out "partying" with your kids instead.
Logically I recognize that developmentally for a pre-schooler, six months is an eternity and that he'll be a very different child than he is today. Obsessively based on my research and conversations from other parents I know that boys, for a reason that is unclear to most, just take longer to potty train than girls with most boys being day time potty trained somewhere between three and four years old, but I still panicked.
After months and months of praise, stickers and smarties as rewards for going on the toilet, we were no further ahead. Even worse, Jack's diaper was dry almost every single morning proving, in my mind anyway, that he had bladder control he just didn't care to exercise it. He would routinely walk over to me, diaper fully loaded with demands of, "Mommy, It's time for your to wipe the poop off my penis and balls." a frequent request which infuriated me on so many levels. When he was 'working on something' and I'd asked what he was doing he'd respond, "pooping in my diaper." followed by, "can you clean it up now?"
Last Monday something changed. We picked him up from daycare and were told that he'd been dry all day so they decided to put him in a pair of underwear instead of a diaper and just see what happened. He kept his underwear dry for the rest of the day. The next night when he had an accident he was heartbroken that he had forgotten and cried. I have never been so thrilled to see my child cry as I was that afternoon. Suddenly we were all playing for the same team. This week we had three accident free evenings and he's so incredibly proud of himself. He didn't need treats as motivation (although he still demands them) and now he's daycare approved to arrive in underwear and not a diaper.
I know that we still have a big hill to climb and that there will be accidents. There is currently a potty that is sometimes filled with urine in my TV room that is not a part of my long term decoration plans, but provides motivation to keep the couch dry when he's watching Dora the Explorer. Little boy laundry is at an all time high.
I put all of this pressure on him...read soooo many books and articles about potty training causing frustration for everyone in our house, for what? I need to let my children tell me when they're ready for what's next instead of fretting. I'm fairly certain that a dry pair of size four underwear is the most majestic and beautiful trophy I have ever seen (next to the potential for an email from daycare informing me that Jack qualified for the $240 monthy potty trained child discount).
To read 5 things we didn't know about early days of potty training click here.
To read about Molly's potty training successes click here.
To read about a failed attempt at potty boot camp for Jack last summer click here.