Sunday, May 4, 2008

Potty Training

I will come right out and say that potty training has been one of the worst part of being parent. I dread it with a white hot passion. My older two trained (or "learned", as I guess the current PC term is) fairly easily. But it was still a very unpleasant experience. There was the occasional accident, which is just beyond gross. But to keep it from being traumatic, you must keep a smile on your face as you assure said sobbing child that it's ok. Gagging or vomiting is not allowed.

There's also complicated choices. Do you have them use the small potty or the big toilet? If you use the big toilet, do you use the special seat adapter or not? Using the little potty is definitely less scary to the kids. Problem is, you then have to teach them again on the big toilet. Even bigger problem (in my mind) is that once a child is successful, one must clean out the little potty seat. Going out in public is another complicated thing. Do you put a diaper on them and undo a bit of the progress made? Risk going out in underwear and hoping they don't have an accident? Once they become the least bit proficient, my kids began the world potty tour. Every single store's bathroom facilities must be visited. The public toilets are much scarier than home toilets, so it was a weird, scary fascination for them. Luckily for the toddler with sudden, extreme urges for the potty, I remembered the location of all toilets in the local area, as I was on the world potty tour myself when I was pregnant.

Then there's the matter of undergarments. Do you use regular underwear or pullups? Underwear makes them feel bigger, but there's also the cleanup involved. Pullups are expensive, and the child often views them as diapers.

So, as you can see, I really do have teaching my kids how to use the potty. The process is much grosser and messier than just dealing with diapers. That's probably why I haven't suggested the potty much at all with S. She turned 3 recently, and I had to pay another $35 for a box of diapers at Costco this week. Something in me snapped, and I decided to teach her. She's been showing signs of readiness for months, but I was too lazy. It's actually been going really well. In the 3 days she's been in panties, she's had two accidents. One of which was not her fault. She needed to use the potty NOW, and it was in use. We couldn't get her to another one in time.

We were out with friends recently, and they were in the process of potty training their child. They expressed frustration over how difficult the process was. My husband replied that he thought potty training was a really simple, easy process. If looks could kill, he would be dead three times over. I think the sharpest looks came from me. I replied that it's definitely easy to potty train a child when you go to work all day and make your wife do all the work. I love the man dearly, but sometimes I wonder if he resides in an alternate universe.

1 comment:

Chardell said...

Omigosh! I was dying laughing when I read what Jim said. That's just how it goes isn't it? Rob helped a lot with Sage's potty training because I kept saying "No she's not ready". Turns out she was very ready and I was just dreading it. Maybe I'll try the same thing with Noah so I can enlist more help again.