Friday, July 4, 2014

Potty Training is Hell

I no longer fear Hell. I am in the midst of potty training.

My 2nd son just turned 3 and 3 years seems plenty long enough to have been in diapers. He is excited about the prospect of being a big boy who wears "underwears" and goes to preschool. But when it comes to doing his business, he doesn't want to bother with the potty.

If there is 2nd place prize for a time in your life when you receive the most amount of unsolicited advice, potty training your kids would get it. Obviously 1st place goes to pregnancy. Apparently we have a lot of opinions to share about having children and getting them out of diapers.

So this is how it typically goes. I mention that I have started potty training. The other person says one of the following-

When he's ready, he'll potty train in a day.

No one goes off to kindergarten, school, college, etc in diapers.

Boys are harder to train than girls.

Wait until he shows signs that he's ready.

Let me tell you all about each of my kids potty training experiences.

I appreciate all the advice and the poop on the floor anecdotes that make me feel like I'm not alone in this crazy parenting adventure. Like the birth of babies, this is common ground that we have all marched upon. And despite that fact that we may have taken very different paths, we all got a baby in the end. And we will all potty train them at some point.

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But we do take different paths and that's okay. I don't think there is anything wrong with waiting until 4 or 5 to fully potty train. I also don't think there's anything wrong with starting before 2. It all depends on what works for your family.

I have read countless books on the subject, most of which go something like this-

Little Jake is curious about the potty. Are you curious? Little Jake had an accident. That's okay! Little Jake would rather play with toys right now than go potty. That's okay! When he is ready his mommy and daddy will help him to the potty.

My kids love the pictures of butts and potties and poop. They laugh and laugh.

Here is how the book goes in our house though. Mom says I need to use the potty. It is not a question if I want to use the potty, I need to sit and try. Sometimes there are tears. But there is nothing that can replace the feeling of pride plastered on their little face when they see their own feces and urine in the little cup attached to the potty.

So I keep plugging away, cleaning up lots of accidents along the way. He will get there. It's what works for our family. After all I have successfully potty trained one kid already and miraculously, we survived, still not quite sure how exactly, but we survived.

I see it as 1 down, 2 to go. Then I enter the golden ages of parenting, that glorious place known as Diaper-Free. That place where there are a million more new things to stress over but at least you don't have to lug around that damn diaper bag anymore!

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