Extreme Potty Training: A Diary
"Don't do it."That's what my doctor replies when I float my toilet-training game plan. "Are you insane?" asks my husband, Paul.
"You just want to ruin our rugs so you can buy new ones at Pottery Barn."
I'm aware of the standard advice: Wait to potty train until your child shows "interest." Do it gradually. Twenty-four months is too young to start, especially for boys.
But I'm on a mission. Two of my girlfriends trained their boys bootcamp style at age 2, and they insist this method will prevent the Russian Parliament -- level power struggles that can erupt when kids start later. Indeed, I know a mom whose 3 1/2-year-old insists, "I don't want to poop in the toilet. I don't care what other kids are doing. I want my Pull-Up." I'm hoping to get my boys comfortable on the potty while their conversational skills are limited to "Big truck! Dirt!"
I'm also eager to slash our $150-a-month diaper bill and minimize our contribution to the local landfill. Plus, hoisting 30-pounders, kicking and screaming, onto those hard plastic public-restroom changing stations -- well, I'm just not that into it.
So here's the plan: Come Monday morning, we'll say "Bye-bye, diapers!" except when the boys sleep. I've re-arranged my work schedule to devote the entire week to supervising basic training with our exceedingly patient nanny, Amanda. On the advice of my friends, we're giving the boys three weeks, total, to catch on.
I'm hopeful yet skeptical, given the apparent cluelessness of our recruits. There's Private Ian, a wily redhead with his own agenda. Though he has sat on the potty before, Ian has flunked every "readiness" quiz on the Internet. (Is he uncomfortable in dirty diapers? No. Is he proud when he does something that pleases you? Nope.)
Private Toby, an earnest towhead, is seemingly more suited to the task. A neat freak, suck-up, and born follower, Toby would make an excellent communist. Or vice president. He recently started noticing his dirty diapers but has yet to grasp the concept of "wet."
Let boot camp begin!