Anyone who is kind enough to read any of my posts or to be my friend knows I talk a lot about poop. I have become the stereotypical Mom who constantly shares details of their toddlers bladder and bowel movements. Very rarely a day goes by without a poonami story or a tale of being covered in pee!
A year ago this week we started potty training. I bought a book, I studied it, I planned, I booked time off work. I had it all figured out (so I thought, as we often do as first time Mom’s when we start something!) We started with naked time and I watched his every move, after a few days we tried joggers and attempted a few short trips out. Then we did the ceremonial introduction of big boy pants. We tried longer trips out.
3 weeks in, I wanted to burn the book.
After about 2 months of him probably only going to the potty a handful of times, I gave up. I was exhausted and emotionally wraught by the whole thing. I had found Motherhood pretty easy up until this point. But I can honestly say that this was, and still is, the hardest part of parenting for me so far. After dragging him tantruming in to the loo at a pub during a birthday meal as he hadn’t been all afternoon, being headbutted then being peed on and soaked to the point we had to leave and go home, I had had enough. I suggested to my Husband that I thought he needed to go back to pull up’s.
We gave it a few months and tried again. Another ceremony of pants and potty’s ensued! We had a little success, but accidents were, and still are a frequent part of our day. We have tried every trick in the book. Reward charts, ignoring accidents, being nice about accidents, being cross about accidents, explaining why we go to the toilet, spending a small fortune on crap toys and having a ‘surprise bag’ when we go, a choccy treat (I hate this one but occasionally, needs must) and nothing seems to work.
I see posts on Facebook and hear Mommy’s chatting about starting potty training, or how they did in a week, or how after a few days their toddler is still having accidents and I can’t help but do an eye roll and chuckle. If you do it in a few days, I want to high five you and know your secret! If you are only on day 2, then you may have a few more days, weeks or months of learning ahead – it can take a while as I have learnt!
I have spoken here rather selfishly about how hard it has been for us as parents, and it’s easy sometimes to be all consumed with how hard it is for us and forget that it’s stressful for the little person that’s trying to learn too. I have to remind myself of this sometimes, and it does help me to be a little more patient especially when I am dealing with a full on mess.
What helps us now, still being a year in and still potty training? – Humour, lots of spare clothes and always, always take a carrier bag and lots and lots of wipes out with you!