My husband and I potty trained willingly at 18 months according to our mothers. So 7 years ago when I had Z I thought that would be how it would go. When he was a year and a half I bought the fancy little toilet that starts singing when you pee in it. I also got a package of big boy underwear, a potty training doll, and M&M’s for rewards. I took pictures of everything and documented the whole process because I would most certainly be blogging about this in a month, teaching other mothers all of the secrets of how to successfully potty train their children.
One month later I was cowering in the linen closet eating a king size bag of M&M’s. I quit!
I tried again about 6 months later because I was pregnant and I was not about to have two children in diapers at once. Not me (typical thoughts of a first time mom). Not long after that I was devouring M&M’s in-between feedings and changing two sets of diapers. That’s right, I had quit round two of potty training Z. However, it wasn’t long after changing a tiny newborn’s diaper that I decided that Z was too big to be in diapers and he was surely ready to be wiping his own bottom. You know how having a newborn makes your other children instantly double in size? It’s a crazy phenomenon. At that point I decided Z was done with diapers, and it turns out this time he finally was. Although, let’s be honest, it was not because I decided it.
I regret almost everything about that experience. He wasn’t ready and I was really pushy. If I learned anything in the midst that whole year of on and off attempts it would be that I need to calm down and have a lot more patience. I have seen moms struggle with potty training a 4 year old, so I am not in the camp that says “wait until they are ready and then they will never have an accident and the whole thing will be effortless”. Sometimes waiting a little longer helps, I’ve also seen it back fire. There is definitely no one right way to do it. You just have to go by what works for you, your child, and in some cases the child care provider even has a say.
Now that I am doing this potty training business for a third time I am experienced enough to know that I have no idea what to expect. I have decided to at least TRY round one with Ezie when he is 2 and a half, which is in a week. I have one week left to do my regular household duties without having to panic about where Ezie is going to do his doodie. The truth is, having a child that can take care of their own toilet needs is glorious, having a child that needs their diaper changed really isn’t that terrible when you are used to it. It’s the in-between stage that will cause an otherwise strong warrior mother to beg for mercy and wave the white flag. Alas, I have one more week before potty training purgatory. I guess it’s time to stock up on M&M’s.
PS- I never mentioned anything about potty training SJ, because as many of you know, I didn’t. She was like me I guess, in that she hopped on the toilet as a one and a half year old and never looked back. Sure, she had accidents, and it was always the worst timing when she did. But at least she was self motivated. I already know Ezie does not share the same zeal for the bathroom as his sister did.