Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Potty Training: An exercise in humility?

I try not to spend too much time on my blog talking about child-rearing activities. But potty training has been a big issue in our house lately.... After about 9 years of diapers (well, some of those years overlapped) on three kids, I fancy mysefl a bit of an expert.

I'm beginning to believe that God may have created the potty training process simply as a means of humbling parents. I have really struggled with potty training and MY self image. I am a teacher. I'm a "Developmental Specialist II" who works with kids from birth to three. I'm supposed to be an expert in child development. But I struggled with potty training. Often, I felt like a failure: both as a mom and as a professional. I posted before in this blog about how I realized that even the perfect parent (God) has children who don't do their best or make the best choices. So I try not to beat myself up.

1. No matter how many books you read and theories you try the bottom line is: You can put a kid on the potty, but you can't force them to poop. My oldest was not interested. We tried everything from gentle to "you aren't getting up 'til you put something in the potty" tactics. Nothing worked. I was horrified to admit, at his 3 year check up that he was in diapers. Our doctor assured us he would be fine. 3 weeks later, he figured it out on his own. He potty trained in a day---without us setting a timer.

So when our daughter approached three, I wasn't too concerned. Then she approached 4. I tried everything. I begged. I bribed. Nothing worked. Until she was ready.

2. Just when you think you have it figured out!
My son, once he figured it out, didn't have accidents. He went from pull ups to underwear in a day. No accidents. My daughter, once she had a couple of sucesses was ready to try panties. Today is day 10 in panties. She's had a total of 4 accidents. Two of them, she made it to the bathroom, but didn't get undressed fast enough. That was until today. Today she had two (poopy!) accidents. One was at home. The other was at McDonald's--in the play area.

3. Sometimes "close" is good enough.
My youngest (2 years, 3 months) has no interest in the potty. But he LOVES Thomas the Tank Engine. Today, I found some Thomas reward stickers. He was on my lap today, and I showed him the stickers. I told him he'd get one for sitting and two for going. He squeaked, "scuse me" and jumped off my lap. After he was settled on the potty chair, I stepped out to do something. (Big brother stayed with him.) Next thing I know, I hear "Big Bubba" calling, "He peed! He peed!---just not in the potty!" Turns out, the splash guard was missing from his chair. While there was some pee in the potty, most of it was on the floor. But this time, close was good enough for me.

Your (very!) humble servant....

1 comment:

Allison said...

Congrats on peeing in the potty! LOL! Too bad he missed! It happens... I dread the potty training days.
~Allison from HP