POTTY TRAINING 101…


I’ve always been of the notion that when your child is ready to be potty trained, he or she will let you know. They, themselves, will get tired of lugging that bum apparatus around, they’ll see mum and dad using the toilet and will want to do it themselves. I also wanted Liam to be developmentally ready, to understand the concept of using the bog, which I think makes the transition from diaper to toilet easier.. when you know WHY and WHEN and HOW, compared to being dragged kicking and screaming whether you need to go or not. I must be honest and admit that when Hannah was born and the price of diapers doubled in our house, I reallllly wanted Liam to “go potty” as soon as possible so as to alleviate the financial strain two babies can cause! With that said, we waited until his second birthday to introduce him to the Royal Throne.

Liam’s school had already started the process and I proudly packed his tiny underpants into his school bag, as requested. Unfortunately, they came back wet in a plastic bag everyday – I can only assume this meant he was not the leader in the Pee Parade. I made a pact with the teachers, that I would reinforce this lesson by letting him use the toilet at home. I was slightly confused to start with; I’m a girl – girls sit, boys stand, right? But Liam’s peeing tool didn’t even reach the top of the toilet bowl if he was standing? Ok, what about a little stool! This made him about the right height but his tackle couldn’t stretch over the rim of the toilet bowl (I get the feeling Liam is going to kill me for this entry when he is older).

So sitting it was! He found the whole experience most amusing, I’d run the tap to encourage his bladder, he’d giggle like I was enduring this exercise for his entertainment only. After a few weeks, he was urinating like a professional. So much so, that he was bored with it and really just forced a wee because he could see the joy I derived from him making a tinkle in the toilet, I’d clap and cheer and high five – once he’d washed his hands of course. I wanted to take pictures but my husband put his foot down. So we had the weeing down pat, now for the harder element of potty training – excuse the pun.

He still prefers to go in his nappy. Preferably around the corner, or behind the couch where no one can disturb him. Occasionally he’ll even go into the bathroom to be alone, but he won’t get on the toilet to perform the necessary – go figure. So you can imagine my shock when two nights ago, he declared that he wanted to poop in the “toywit.”At first I thought this was a diversion; it was bed time, we had just prayed, read and were tucking in. His usual pre-bedtime diversions include demanding another drink, wanting to say good night to ALL his plastic animals, enquiring where every family member was i.e. Liam: where’s daddy? Me: daddy’s having a bath. Liam: ohhhh oookkkkkk. Liam: Where’s Little Lamb? Me: Little Lamb is sleeping. Liam: ohhhh oooookkkkk. Liam: where’s ‘Leka (Zoleka). Me: SLEEPINGGG. Liam: where’s Toto? Me: OH NO ITS TIME FOR BED NOW. So when he said that he wanted to go to the toilet I was taken aback. Anyway, I went with it. He took his seat and I waited, there was some grunting, some face pulling and then RESULT. Of course I was thrilled, called Dad, shed a tear, etc. After the pandemonium, I was ready to help him off the loo, but he was not ready. So we waited and waited, I took a seat on the floor, he just kept the conversation up, ignoring my enquiry as to how far he was, asking me what colour the bathroom mat was, what colour the face cloth was, what colour my eyes were. And when I yawned, he wanted to know if I was tired. NO, I like sitting on the bathroom floor waiting for you to finish your poo. When he had run out of conversation, a rare but beautiful thing, he pronounced that he was done. We then had to stand and inspect his offering at the bottom of the toilet bowl and when he was satisfied, he flushed with much aplomb. I was ready to haul him off to bed, but we had to ceremonially wash hands, and only then was he happy to trot back to bed.

As I kissed him goodnight, he held both my cheeks in his hands, our faces almost touching and said “Liam a good boy.” Melting moment!

Ok so we aren’t there yet – he still wears diapers, and between his dedicated teachers and myself, we let him “go potty” whenever he wants to, and we coax him into going even when he doesn’t. And I wait patiently for the day when he announces that this diaper thing is for babies and he declares his bottom a diaper free zone. And unlike most parents who would pool that extra money created from not buying diapers, towards education (yes diapers are THAT expensive) – I will buy chocolate.

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