Iâ€™ve learned something very important in the last two days- parents have no shame.Â Particularly, potty training parents have no shame…noneâ€¦absolutely zero. It is impossible to have any qualms when you are cleaning urine off a carpet or cheering riotously for a kid who just peed (sort of) into a potty chair. Oh, and by cheering, I mean so embarrassingly over the top that Iâ€™m glad my husband isnâ€™t here to see it. I can honestly say I never envisioned doing this in my life, let alone, dare I say, have fun with it.
It all started when my niece, who is three months younger than my son, started potty training several months ago. The mother in me panicked and I thought, â€œMy kid is behind and destined to be that â€˜smelly kidâ€™ having accidents on the school bus.â€Â However, I also dreaded the whole potty training ordeal and I rationalized that he shouldnâ€™t start with a new sibling coming, but we all know that was just procrastination. So, despite my nagging urge to delay it more, I decided it was time to potty train after the 4th of July.
My sister-in-law and mother of the gifted trainee mentioned above, told me about the 3 Day Potty Training Program. As I read through it I started to get excited, I could totally do three days of potty boot camp and be done! Essentially all I had to do, according to the author, was to put my son in underwear and stay near him so I could see when he started to urinate. When he started I was to run him to the bathroom and put him on the potty. Even if he didnâ€™t â€˜do the dootyâ€™ I should praise him heavily and sometime within 3 days of this it would just â€˜clickâ€™ and heâ€™ll begin holding it for the potty. The writer suggested not having another child to take care of, but with my husband out of town, I figured my 4 month old would probably get hungry, so ignoring him completely wasnâ€™t really an option.Â So I cleared my schedule, pre-mixed a ton of bottles for the baby and away we went.
We started at 9 a.m. with a pair of undies. We restarted 20 minutes later with a fresh pair of undies.Â Once more at 10 a.m. with another pair of undies. At 10:30 my rational brain finally kicked in (while I was scrubbing you know what from my carpet) and I decided enough was enough, undies just werenâ€™t cutting it. I donâ€™t know about the author of that potty training plan, but from even 2 feet away I couldnâ€™t see his underwear getting wet until it was far too late.Â Maybe she has special â€˜hypercolorâ€™ undies for her kidsâ€¦.hmm, invention idea! (And bonus points if you are old enough to remember hypercolor)
Anyways, in the past when women told me about potty training, several had said they let their kid run around pant-less and just dealt with the mess. I used to think it sounded downright gross until I realized I was still cleaning up messes AND now adding to the laundry load. Plus, there was no way Ry would learn like this. So off went the undies, (closed went the curtains) and we started over yet again, our way.
About 30 minutes in we had our first â€˜eventâ€™. Ry started to pee, got up and ran to the bathroom. He tried to finish in the pot but there was nothing left to do. Still, I thought this was tremendous (insert insane cheering here) and rewarded him anyways, especially since he apologized for the mess. Gotta love that. Two more times went by like this before naptime. I went to my Facebook â€˜familyâ€™ for advice and got a lot of promises that he would get it figured out eventually. (Trust me; I was keeping them overly updated)
After naptime it was much of the same but instead of having nothing left for the potty, he was splitting it half and half. (Very fair of him I thought). This continued until bedtime, including a successful if not small #2. I was so proud!
This morning came and I thought okay- todayâ€™s goal, getting to the potty before it happens. Again the diaper came off at 9 a.m. and I prepped my scrub brush. To my utter amazement, not too long had passed and I heard him run to the bathroom. When I got in there he had used the potty and although left some overspray on the floor, he had no â€˜messâ€™ to show me in the carpet. It turns out he was doing better when I wasnâ€™t â€˜hoveringâ€™. I was shocked and happy, but cautiously optimistic. Another three or four â€˜eventsâ€™ went by with no mess and I had dropped the cautious part of my optimism and decided to up the goal of the day to getting into undies.
It turns out my son liked that idea, I guess even exhibitionists get sick of being naked ALL the time, and happily slipped them on. However, within 20 minutes when he had to go, he tried to get to the potty but the undies wouldnâ€™t come down and my bathroom floor looked like a golden slip and slide. So much for the underwear. He wouldnâ€™t even think of putting on another pair. Back to the internet for a little research and I found out I needed training pants, not underwear, and apparently there is an open secret that they are very different. The lady with the â€˜3 Day Potty Trainingâ€™ warned against training pants but I will say on the record, unless your child is capable of easily getting undressed and dressed with tight spandex waistbands-get the training pants.Â I guess Iâ€™ll be doing the â€˜pant-pullingâ€™ duty until the hubby gets home and I can go to the store. I donâ€™t mind, I figure Iâ€™m saving a few diapers a day.
I will add that this latter issue has helped because before, Ry would run to the bathroom on his own without telling me. Heâ€™s a little independent so I was cool with thisâ€¦okay, who wouldnâ€™t be happy they werenâ€™t drug into the bathroom every 20 minutes by a panicking toddler.Â Anyways, now that he is wearing these impossible undies, he is telling me he has to go. Maybe itâ€™s just me, but I think this will come in handy when we go out of the house and potty chairs arenâ€™t a few steps away.
In the end, I think that is what the 3 Day Potty Training program was all about, getting them to know when they had to go and being able to hold it in until mom and dad could help. I figure in this regard the writer was right. However, I donâ€™t know any parents who have 3 days to devote entirely to this, right down to not showeringâ€¦yes, you read that right, or sleeping next to their kidâ€™s bed to see if and when they pee at night.Â (yup, she said that too)Â I forgot to ask my sister-in-law if she did that.
What I do know is that it turns out that kids really need to work on this themselves and all we can do is be there, armed with a lot of patience, and ready to shamelessly wipe up any accidents or butts that need it.