Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Potty-Training Gods Be Damned!

Okay, the coast is clear. I think. I can blog freely about this without pissing off the Toddler Potty-Training Gods. Here goes...

It's been almost two months since Goofy Junior has been potty trained. Or rather, since he potty trained himself. Yes, you heard that right. Here's the scoop.

The day before his third birthday, we got a note on his Daily Activity Sheet. "Alex told me he didn't want to wear his diaper today. He had an accident at 11:30am. Bring extra underwear and we will try again."

Okay, lest you think my boy was running around daycare commando, let me clarify that since Grammie Goofy bought him several pairs of underwear (f'ing Bob the Builder, no less), he had requested to wear said underwear every day. So we put them over his diaper. We're no dummies.

We weren't ready for a potty-trained boy. I've seen potty-trained boys in Target grab their crotch while their moms are in the midst of power-shopping at the exact opposite end of the store as the bathrooms. Ugh.

I wanted the freedom of the diaper. The freedom to take a long car ride without stopping for Junior's bladder. The freedom of grocery store, library and restaurant outings without needing to accompany Junior to the restroom, help him "perch" on the giant toilet seat, before deciding, no, he doesn't really have to go. Then watching in horror as he hops down and opens the sanitary napkin disposal box. Eek! Where's that hand sanitizer!?!?!

Anyway, the following day, Wednesday (his birthday), he informed us that he was simply not doing the diaper thing anymore. After much whining (from Mr. Goofy & I), we caved. We sent extra pairs of underwear to school and expected the worst. We were so wrong....no accidents! Then Thursday - no diaper...no accidents. Then Friday - no diaper...no accidents. Then (uh-oh!) the weekend. Now we had to deal with this potty-training gig. But we passed with flying colors...no accidents. I think I asked him every fifteen minutes if he had to "go".

Thinking that we had somehow raised a genius (since he is adopted, we can't really take genetic credit for this), we mentioned it to our peditrician at his visit a few weeks later (and still no accidents). She said, "Yeah, that happens a lot". HUH!?!?!? WHY DID NO ONE TELL US THIS? She also said, "A lot of times, kids just know when they are ready." WTF?!?!

All those books with all those methods for "potty learning", "early potty training", "painless potty training". Stickers. Charts. CIA-like bribery methods. All that fucking pressure!!!!! On the kids AND the parents. WHY?!?!?

After discussing this with several other parents, it hit me. The "do nothing" method does not sell books! Stickers, charts and CIA bribery methods do. Parents want their kids to succeed. To excel. And hell, yes, we want to brag about them succeeding and excelling, too. I'll be the first to admit it.

I'm not really sure how to conclude this other than to just get the word out. If you darling-dear is not seeming to "get" the potty training thing, RELAX. WAIT. Give them the tools they need (underwear, little potty seat/chair, etc.) When they are ready, they will make their move.

And you'll save a lot of stickers.