Monday, October 26, 2009

Potty Talk, Part 2

Thought we were done with the Potty Talk?  No chance!
Dear friend J has been asking about potty training--boys, in particular. As 12 year olds,  J and I happened to do our first babysitting job together and both get our handknit sweaters weed on during the inaugural diaper change...if we'd only known we'd both birth two of our own boys and still get soaked almost 30 yrs later!!   Anyway...J's Boy In Question is 2 and she's ready to rock...What I know about the difference between boys and girls and losing the diapers is that boys seem to have less interest (could it be that, very sexist of me, they don't mind being wet and chilled as much as little girls do?) and the process can be slower.  Past Potty Parents, please comment with your advice!

Note about this journey, whether your child is male or female:  Potty Training will make you late for your other kid's soccer game,  burn the cookies, delay bedtime, and make siblings rather bitter as you sit on the bath mat by the throne reading storybooks, telling knock-knock jokes...and occasionally pseudo-napping with your head on the side of the tub until you hear the sound of victory.  Or smell it.  Good lord.

One mama I know sat her boy on the potty every 20 minutes for a few days and was apparently pretty much done after that.  Sweet!  MrTheKing started gradually when he was almost 3, after being subjected to weeks of the "I'm Going to the Potty, Potty" song during a video which shall remain nameless.  We saw little interest/compliance, and so plied him with M&M's: 1 for a #1 and 2 for a #2... a few weeks of chocolate and food colouring. We had to move the jar to a high shelf since he felt some poops were worth about 17 of them. Thankfully, he forgot the candy as he got better at responding to the signals from within.  'Til that happened, we had him try every 2 hrs plus whenever we left the house, and used pull-ups when we went out until he was 3.5 yrs old.  I do remember him perusing videos at the library when he was about 3.75 and peeing straight down his leg onto the stepstool while whimpering in disappointment.   The librarian must have had kids because she brought me paper towels and a smile and he still got to take out a Bob the Builder DVD.  The Duck (aged 2.75) is way more interested in the independence part of the potty game than MrTheKing ever was.  Earlier start (shout out to Nanny L), plenty of accidents, but proud as can be and pull ups are on for anywhere but home or the playground.

I can't resist showing you this family's method of coercion--which involved either hiring Elmo or just his outfit--to acknowledge how desperate some overcaffeinated, sleep-deprived parents get when they just can't get the potty party started...may none of us need to go there...

Okay, J, here's a short list of tips that I can think of:
1. Good to own both the little potty and the Dora Seat (or whatever yours is that sits atop the toilet)
2. Make sure Jr has a step stool so he can try a stand-up pee for variety
3. For sit down pees, make sure the penis is pointed downward between the legs! 
4. Boys love to take it outside for practice--and are not so self conscious about shrinkage
5. For practice with aim, there's another great use for your stale cheerios
6.  OMG...I can't think of anything else!

Again, you vets out there, Please leave your comments for her!

Good luck and Godspeed, Mama J.   2 boyz in dipes n we R feeling U.


  1. Great Blog. One thing I struggled with our first child; and still am not quite sure how to deal with the 2nd child is how much to push when they are resisting. Example: I know the child has to do a #2, so I pick him up and take him over to the Dora seat. Sometimes he's into it. But sometimes he kicks and screams and throws punches and will do almost anything to not sit on the pot. Is it OK to just let him do it in his diaper once in a while? I don't want him to have a negative experience at the time of action do I? He might not want to ever do it on the potty again. How much power of choice do I give him? It is his body and experts say not to rush potty training. Do I let him choose sometimes and sometimes choose for him to keep progressing? Still not sure.

  2. Going diaperless just never comes soon enough, does it? We fantasize about a future of cleaner hands, lighter bags and fuller wallets. As soon as my daughter reached the age of 'potty potential', it felt like one more test of my parenting 'skills'. I was destined either for failure or success. I tried to ignore the evil voices saying, "do something or she'll be in diapers for the rest of her life, the laughing stock of every social community!". But, there was another voice saying, "she's not going to want to sh#t her pants forever". I tried to crank that nice voice in my mind but couldn't drown out the fact that most 3-5 daycares that won't take a kid in diapers. It's hard enough to get in to ANY daycare so we certainly didn't have the opportunity to be choosy. (What the hell would we do without childcare?!)

    Honestly, those days are a blur. I have no idea how long it took to potty train her, but it definitely wasn't as painful as some stories I've heard. Our strategy was all about getting some good family bonding going in the bathroom. The best way to teach is by example, right? Now, now, don't let your imagination go too wild. I have my boundaries. But nudity isn't one of them! I suggest grabbing a couple good books and warming up your croaky, sleep deprived singing voice and taking a seat next to your potty partner for some family style hang time. You never know what might happen!

  3. My first daughter had very few problems potty training (although it did require an encouraging phone call from Cleo the Misfit Unicorn) but I had a heck of a time with my youngest and we did a little stop and start training until I decided to give up the fight and try again in a few months - at which point she decided the time was right (go figure!!) I remember thinking the Diaper Dayz would NEVER end, but rest assured my dear sister, this too shall pass!!!


DreamHost review