6/30/08

Well, They Do Make Adult Diapers...

Elmo pottyYou only have to glance at the thickness of What to Expect the First Year and similar tomes to realize that being a parent requires an enormous amount of knowledge and work. Just when you’ve mastered one skill, you need a whole slew of others. Take potty training, for instance. Even while I’ve been patting myself on the back for handling certain baby milestones -– like getting my son to give up the bottle and pacifier -– I am aware that a much bigger issue is looming: toilet training.

My attitude towards this subject is much like my feelings about doing my taxes. I dread it, I resent it, it feels too much like homework, and I hope that if I ignore it, it will all just go away. That said, our pediatrician struck fear in my heart when she mentioned at Miles’ 2-year checkup that after 2 ½, potty training gets exponentially harder. Oh, goody.

Now, I haven’t totally buried my head in the sand on this subject. Long ago, I actually purchased an Elmo potty seat, the kind that fits inside the regular toilet seat. This purchase was made during a certain trip to Babies R Us when Miles was not in the shopping mood. Unfortunately, the potty seat aisle contains approximately 4,012 options.

As I was standing there scratching my head, Miles was shouting, “Want dat! Want dat!” He was pointing at a box of “pee targets” (I believe that’s the technical term), little colored puffs of what looked like Styrofoam that you float in the toilet to encourage your little boy to aim for the bowl and not his shoes. I absentmindedly handed him the box and continued perusing the potty chairs. Before I knew it, he’d torn open the package and popped some of the pee targets INTO HIS MOUTH!! I screamed, snatched the box out of his hands, and ran the hell out of there.

With such an auspicious start to the potty training project, it’s no wonder things didn’t get much better from there. A neighbor gave us a little potty chair that plays music when something hits the bottom of the bowl. As soon as Miles discovered this, he wouldn’t stop sticking his foot into the potty or throwing random things into it, like trains and toothbrushes. When he would agree to sit on it, he’d spend the whole time flipping the little “pee shield” up and down. On the big toilet, he’d wiggle around and unravel roll after roll of toilet paper. About the only part he seemed interested in was the flushing.

OK, so I guess we’ve accomplished Part One of potty training: get subject familiar with the toilet. He’s a little TOO familiar with it, if you ask me. Needless to say, my bathroom cleaning frequency has increased dramatically. The doc also suggested letting Miles run around without a diaper on whenever possible. Is she CRAZY?! We just got a new couch! Anyway, we tried it. This strategy led to more than one puddle on the floor.

I kept pressing the doc on just how exactly to get from Point A to Point B. The most I could get out of her was, “One day he’ll go in the potty by accident and he’ll make the connection.” Uh-huh. I see. One day, it’ll “just happen,” huh? Or like it says cryptically in this little book I got at Target, No More Diapers!, “…and then one day, it worked!” Vague enough for you? Well, it’s been several months and we’re still waiting for “it” to “work.” Until then, I’m keeping the T.P. and the pee targets out of reach.

PICK O’ THE WEEK: Can someone please recommend a good book or DVD on potty training? No More Diapers is not cutting it! YouTube offers this hilarious Japanese cartoon, mysteriously subtitled “Manage to go the toilet – Pants man!”

8 comments:

Dooneybug said...

Your doctor just scared me too.

My son just won't sit there for more than 5 seconds, even with a book. Potty training seems like one of the most challenging parent tasks yet! Is there like, a potty training camp I can send him to?

MamaNeena said...

I am not above bribery when it comes to potty training. I really feel that moms should be allowed to do whatever works for them. For my son it was peeing outside...go figure!

lizarosenberg said...

One piece of advice that everyone always gave us is that "he'd do it when he was ready". In other words, if he wasn't interested in potty training, no amount of coaxing from us would do the trick.

They were right. We tried it the first time in the summer of 2006 when he was approximately 2 years and 2 months, and we failed completely (our home became "puddle central"). We gave up, and tried again a few months before he turned 3, at a time when a few of the other kids in his pre-school were going through it as well.

That time, we succeeded. There were still puddles and accidents, but because he wanted it too, it was much easier. I blogged about it here.

In any event, every kid does it at their own pace. Miles will succeed when he's ready - not when you're ready (unfortunate the way that works, eh?).

Kelli said...

"A Potty For Me" by Karen Katz was a big hit with my daughter. It's a lift the flap book, bright colors, it rhymes...very cute. I wish I could give you some encouraging, magical advice...like those crazy people who claim you can "potty train in one day". Those people are just plain liars.

Just like with all the other milestones, every kid is different. I am not looking forward to this with Noah either.He's started asking to sit on the potty though so I know it's coming soon. But from the first time,these are a few things that worked for me - M&Ms as a reward, stickers on a potty chart, setting the timer so I wouldn't forget to take her, and pull-ups when you are out and about until he gets the hang of it.

Good luck, girl!!! Keep lots of chocolate on hand for yourself too...you deserve rewards too. Potty training is tough, but you'll get through it!

Brandi Boggie said...

Can I call you to come potty train my almost 2 yr old boy? The though scares me and well you will have mastered it first so ... I just though...

Brandi Boggie said...

I don't see the reason us BOTH having to endure potty training a little boy so once you have it mastered, I'll just send my almost 2 yr old over and well... just a though?

Spin Mama said...

My daughter has just finished potty training. I will tell you the main thing I learned: Potty training is way more about you than the kid. If you're relaxed, he'll be relaxed. If you're stressin', so will he.
My daughter loved the girl equivalent of The Potty Book -- For Boys. We read it often before and during training.
I was anticipating potty training since she was born. It was not near as impossible as I thought it would be.
Good luck!

Mom2Miles said...

Sure, Brandi, why not? If I ever figure it out, maybe I'll open a potty training school for boys. :)

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