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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yet another post on potty training. Because it hasn't been discussed enough.

I don't even like the word "potty." It's cheesy. But toilet is kind of gross, isn't it? And any other term (Urine Release Training?) is kind of pretentious. Pretension implies over thinking and over thinking is the death of potty training. I started reading John Rosemond occasionally after a friend told me all my parenting advice sounded just like his, which made me believe he must be very, very smart*. Now, I don't agree with everything he says, but I am a huge fan of not over thinking every little parenting decision. Recently, he wrote a column about potty training I thought was spot on, as they say in jolly old England. I wonder if he would approve of my technique.

I don't really remember training my first son. He was a little past his second birthday, there were some wet pants and it didn't take too long. Maybe a few days. The X-Man, who I am sure will one day thank me for putting this on my blog, was potty trained by his brother and two cousins, on vacation. He must have been just over two, because there was still Easter candy in the freezer at the beach**. We were there on vacation with my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and their children. O. was 5, so the two older cousins would have been 6 and 4. The X-Man was 2. I told O. and his cousins that every time the X-Man used the plastic potty, which I had placed ceremoniously in the middle of the living room, everyone would get a piece of candy. I believe they were those Whoppers colored to look like eggs. I love those, so I always buy too many and have leftovers. By the way, if you are anything like me, it will make you feel much better to know the living room has hardwood floors, no carpet.

There was much excitement. Really, I think my method was sort of Montessori-like, don't you? Big kids helping little kids, peer pressure and all that. He was trained in one day. Incidentally, he didn't even care about the candy. He liked the fanfare. The second day, the big kids tried to talk me into one piece for a pee and two for a poop. Unfortunately for them, he was already trained. I totally would have fallen for it, too.

The Tank turned two in July. He's not particularly interested in his Go, Go Diego potty (gross, and an insulting $19.99)

Diego Potty

and he enjoys throwing nuts and raisins into his more stylish lime green potty from Ikea (just $3.99!)

Potty from Ikea

I would sincerely like him to be trained by November 26th, when we leave for vacation. Diapers take up way too much space in suitcases and I don't want to try to buy them in the Dominican Republic. So I offered the big kids $25 each at the video game place if they would take care of it by November 26th. Initially, the plan appeared to be working, but their enthusiasm has waned. My mother mentioned she would consider matching my donation, but paying $100 to potty train a toddler seems like it might be crossing a line. Let's see how desperate I get.

I might just take care of it during our vacation, when we'll have several days to pay attention and be consistent. It really doesn't help when one of us puts him in underwear and leaves the house without letting the remaining parent know about the puddle potential. And it certainly doesn't help that The Tank is with a babysitter two days a week and at the drop-in nursery three days a week***. Making someone else potty train your kid hardly seems fair. Or is it? I'll have to over think that one.

As you may remember, the kid is pretty into politics, so maybe I'll just tell him America voted for change and it's time for him to step up to the plate potty.

Namasté, y'all!

* Because that guy gets paid to say random stuff about parenting that may or may not make sense, just like me. But I don't get paid. From this day forward, I would like one dollar for each piece of advice I give, solicited or not. Pay up. Even if the advice is useless.

** That comment may seem random, but it is foreshadowing. I am so fancy!

*** And, um, in the church nursery on Sunday morning. And with a sitter one or two nights a week when we go out. Do I at least get points for using the same sitter? And I swear I'm with him a lot. But when I type it out like that...


Anonymous said...

Depending on how determined you are to have a potty trained toddler on your vacation, you may consider trying the following (assuming you would like to devote even more time to this task):
1. Use pull-ups from now on. That way if there is an accident regarless of where you are or who he's with, no big deal. But if/when he remembers to go, he can.
2. Put a stool (as in a step stool, not the technical term for poop) in front of your toilet at home and see if he's more interestd in using that like his big brothers. If you want to be a real hippie mom, bring him with you to pee too.
3. And lastly, maybe add a little blue food coloring to the toilet water for added incentive and a wow-factor.
Another option of course is to suck it up and pack diapers and let this process happen more naturally.
Now please do not tell Rosemond what I've suggested as I'm not so sure he would agree.
Good luck!

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

I wanted to comment yesterday but didn't have time with so much going on at my office, but this post was useful for me since I'm inching toward potty training my kid. I don't know if I can be so ambitious as to try it in only a day, but well...this does give me some hope.

Blog O' Beth said...

I failed miserably at potty training my daughter and so sent her to Nana's house where she was trained in a week. I love my mother-in-law. My son flat our refuses to even sit on the potty otherwise contemplate using it and he'll be 3 in 3 months. Sigh. If the paying somebody to do it works out let me know.