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Potty Training: Two Days In, and Totally Lost

Taylor Newman

We started potty training yesterday. We’d been working up to it for a while, having placed a potty in plain sight and made it a regular topic of conversation, encouraging Kaspar to sit on it now and again (with or without a diaper or clothes on) and even narrating our own trips to the bathroom (not in extensive detail… just, “Here I go to use the toilet!” and the like). We got a DVD all about Elmo and the potty, which Kaspar watches with rapt attention, too, so we figured that by the time we went for it, he’d be all set to put his pee and poop where they belong and we’d be off and running. Well, we were off and running all right... just not quite in the way I imagined.

Toileting is an active part of Kaspar’s core curriculum at his Montessori school, too; his teachers let us know during orientation night that kids develop adequate body awareness around the 18-month mark to get the process underway, and that, with training pants and patience on our part, they’ll potty train pretty quickly. We held off until now (Kas is 20 months old) because we had so many other changes under way, what with our recent move and shifting schedules, but last weekend Kaspar pushed his diaper down himself, peed three times in the kitchen and then in the potty, just like that. I texted a photo to Aaron, who was working, and jumped up and down like a total spaz; Kaspar found my excitement entertaining but evidently didn’t quite make the connection that the pee that went in the potty was at its source; inspired by that moment of spontaneous glory, we got some training pants and decided that this weekend would mark our deliberate start-date. Then we asked Kaspar if he’d like to use the potty. And when he said yes, we helped him out of his diaper, and waited.

He peed a little bit in the bathroom, on the floor. We took the always-positive angle and cheered him on, gesturing toward the potty for the next time. He ran into our bedroom, stood intently by the bed, and peed there. I grabbed paper towels and all-purpose cleaner and spent the next fifteen minutes following him around, cleaning up puddles and playing it cool, just saying “Hey, all right! Now let’s try for one in the toilet.” He was definitely in control of his bladder function. And he had zero interest in exercising that control even remotely close to the potty.

I think that once the diaper came off, we were supposed to stick with that and never look back (except at bed time?)-- take the quick and dirty approach-- but… these are new hardwood floors that were getting peed on, and Kaspar showed no signs of slowing down. We made it through one training pants poop before I caved and put the diaper back on him.

I really am down for this whole thing, but… I think I need some guidance. I anticipated that Kaspar would wet his pants, or hold his pee, or pee in the corner and then in the potty, like last week. I didn’t expect that he’d have a field day peeing all over the house. We tried the potty again today and the same thing happened. Kaspar apparently loves to pee. He’s clearly having fun. But the potty is no longer a part of the equation for him. I’m starting to wonder if it ever was, or if last week’s potty-prodigy teaser was just a coincidence…

I’m definitely going to ask his teacher’s for their advice on what to do next (and I’ll let you know what they say). And I’d love to hear from you, too; have your kids done anything like this? What was your next move? I know Kaspar will potty train just like everyone else does… but like I said, I didn’t see this particular twist coming, and I’m not sure how to put the potty back in potty training before we have to buy new rugs and furniture…

Was potty training easy or difficult for you (well, your kids... and you)? Fast or slow? What approach did you take, and how do you think I should steer Kaspar’s enthusiasm for peeing in the direction of the potty itself?

PS. Despite our little speed-bump, I'm pretty excited about the potty we found for Kaspar. It’s made from plants, is biodegrable, ergodynamically designed and promises to be long-lasting… which may be a good thing, cuz it looks like we might be here a while. Anyway, check it out.

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