A Potty Training Cry for Help
September 25, 2009
At one end of the potty training enthusiasm scale we have the elimination communication folks holding their pantsless babies over their heads in triumph, and at the other end we have your trusty blogger, cowering behind a small fort of diapers and timidly shouting, "I don't WANT to go potty!"
So, yeah, maybe I'm a little anxious.
Jackson is twenty-eight months old. That's almost two and a half. It's, you know, TIME. Except everything I've heard and read tells me that the only time is when the child in question is ready. And everything I know about my kid shrieks, "I don't WANT to go potty!"
Until two days ago, that is. Two days ago, the boy who flat out RAN AWAY whenever I detected an offensive diaper, often in PUBLIC PLACES, began announcing, "Need potty, Mama!" In fact, the first time this happened I looked at him cluelessly. Speechlessly. Did those words come out of MY son's mouth? Moments later I came to my senses and forced myself into action. Swoop up the toddler, race him upstairs, yank off the shorts, tear off the diaper, drop him on the potty and... wait?
Jack's new-found interest in the potty is not connected, so far as I can tell, to actually USING the potty. He sings to himself. He demands stories. He tells me to sit next to him. He attempts a kind of potty chair gymnastics. One time he ordered me out with a firm, "I need privacy, Mama." To which I said, "Excuse me?" and he just glowered at me until I obediently exited the bathroom.
I have no idea what I'm doing. The plan was to wait until the summer was over, when I wouldn't be worried about racing into public bathrooms while on vacation. And now that all the vacations are over, I've decided to wait another couple of weeks, until my husband starts grad school and we begin the New Normal. I could probably make up another excuse after that. I'm not one of those people who's dying to leave diapers behind and potty training sounds like a lot of work for someone as fundamentally lazy as myself – and for something that, by all accounts, will likely stain my carpet, take over my life and possibly NEVER END.
I've rationalized this behavior with an offhand, "Oh, he's just not ready yet." But last night, in the middle of dinner, when Jack looked at me nervously and said, "Potty Mama!", I started to wonder if it was time to head to the candy aisle for Potty Bribes. That's as far as I've figured things out, though. Do I buy underwear? Pull ups? Special potty toys? Do I let him run around naked? Ask him every ten minutes, "Do you need to go potty?", because so far we are just sitting there twiddling our thumbs. Plus, the other night I do believe I was Potty Manipulated by a boy who just didn't want to go to bed. It's entirely possible he's figured out how important this potty thing is and sees the plethora of ways he might use it to his advantage.
Potty training is one of those things a lot of people choose to leave out of their blogs, and I think I will probably go that route. But not before I beg each and every one of you to tell me how it's done. HELP!