Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Right in the Middle

So I've spent the last two days potty-training my two-year-old. Potty-training-YUCK! I think this task is probably one of the most daunting, messy and stressful tasks that parents face during the little years. Okay, that's just my opinion but, it's what I think. So, with that great attitude in mind, a couple of weeks ago, I had decided to get this whole thing over with this week as the holidays are approaching and my window of opportunity (Elle being immobile) will be closing sooner than I know. Plus, once I have to start feeding her solids, that's going to take up a lot of time at first as well. So you get the drift. Now was the time to do it.

He had been ready for awhile. I'm sure those of you who have never done this before are asking, "How do you know?" Well, I'm going to give you a brilliant response-I don't know. I just knew he was. Maybe because I've gone through it twice now and one of my kids was ready when I did it and the other wasn't but at that point, there wasn't any going back. But anyway. He was ready. I had been letting him go pee pee like his older brothers for months, I just hadn't held him to any standards. Probably totally confusing for him but, I didn't care. At least he was getting familiar with the whole thing. Which brings to mind...

For those of you new to this oh so fun activity, potty-training falls into two camps. There's the potty-training in a day (or three which was our method) camp that basically has the parent throw out the diapers and put the child in underwear right from the get-go. You then follow the child around and run them to the toilet every time they start going to the bathroom teaching them to know their body's signals and such. It takes a concentrated effort, a lot of time on the front-end and much perseverance from the parent but the child is usually trained fairly quickly.

Then you have the gradual approach where the parent gets the child used to the potty. They wear diapers sometimes and underwear other times. It's all very laid back rather than stressful and running frenzied to the toilet. The only deal with this method is that it takes forever...plain and simple.

To be honest, I've surprised myself. I started out the militant and crazy mama who was running children to the toilet and nearly having a heart attack doing so. What if he pees on the carpet? What if I have to clean up smeared poop? Aaaaaahhhh! Now, I guess I've already done so much of that, (have you read our story about Caleb and the twisty slide in San Luis Obispo?) I just don't care. I'm just not stressed about it. Big deal. Poop is poop. I can wash my hands.

I'm also over them getting it right away. They'll get it. Everyone gets there at some point; so will they. I know that regardless of what method I do, they're still going to have accidents because they're little. It's just the way it is. I just have to stay with it and try to be positive. I still run kids to the toilet when I'm training them but I'm no longer frenzied. Well, at least most of the time I'm not!! Ha ha.

So I guess that puts me right in the middle. I was okay letting Joshy dabble in potty-training for awhile in order to get him more familiar with the toilet but when it came time to actually do it and take the plunge, I went all for it and put him in underwear. I think that combo did well for him.

So that's me. Right in the middle. Isn't that where we find ourselves over time, the more children we acquire and the more time God has to humble us, teach us and mold us into the parents He wants us to be? I guess it's not such a bad place to be.

Joshy's doing great by the way. That kid has been a champ. I'm sure it has nothing to do with my skills (believe me, I know this by now) and more to do with him being the third boy. He's got a lot of catching up to do in his mind.


  1. Ugh. I need to do this too... and being 8 months preggo (or maybe that's just my excuse) makes me SOOOO not into it. I need to just TAKE THE PLUNGE. Thanks for the encouragement.

  2. I hope someday when they are older, your children will feel nostalgic and want to read all of the great things their mom blogged about. I wonder what I would think if my mom had a blog (or I guess back then it would just be a mailing list) and she talked about potty training me. It's like the ultimate showing people you're baby pictures mortification experience...hahaha. I love it. (Although I somehow don't think the boys would ever care)

    Interesting to know there are different camps of thought on potty training. I just assumed you, you know, just figured it out eventually. I've got a lot to learn!