I think the time has come. I do. And it’s got me flummoxed and over thinking and wanting to stick my head in the sand. Oh yes. It’s time to teach the kid to use the potty.
EGADS. This cannot be. Can’t I wait another year? Can’t I pay someone else to teach this lesson? I mean, I’m going to pay someone to teach him to do long division, surely someone can be paid to teach him to poop in the potty.
Up until this point we’ve been really relaxed about the potty. About a year ago he got a little potty, and a kid’s seat for the big potty, and we’ve let him explore them on his own. No pressure, no stress. And he’s peed several times. YAY FOR THE POTTY. Yesterday, in fact, we were out and he asked to use it, and then did. In public. THIS IS AMAZING. But we really haven’t emphasized it, beyond offering. And I think that needs to change.
More and more frequently, he’s waking up in the morning with a dry diaper. And he’s been coming home from daycare in different clothes than he went in, because he’s been leaking through. (Now, I know this could also be rectified by changing him more often, but he’s definitely holding it, and then going a LOT at once. Because I’ll check him and he’ll be dry as a bone after 4 hours and then 15 minutes later, his diaper is bursting.) So I think he’s ready.
Sadly, I’m not sure WE are. And why aren’t we ready? Because of POOP. He doesn’t have any sort of regular poop schedule. And he often has very loose, almost watery poop. Sometimes he’ll tell us he’s pooped with a “Me no have poop Mama!” declaration, but we’ve never caught a poop on the potty. And if I take him out of diapers and put him in underwear, and we don’t catch those watery poops…we’re gonna be in for a mess of disgusting proportions. And I’m not sure I can handle that. I’m also not sure I can send him to daycare with that potential in good conscience.
Now, I’ve devoured information on the internet. Some advice says, “Go ahead and leave them in diapers, but offer regularly.” Some says, “Into underwear! And let the messes fall where they fall! They’ll figure it out!” Some says, “Spend 3 days at home with a naked kid and everything will be peachy at the end!” Like all parenting endeavors, there’s no one size fits all approach, and I’m having trouble sorting out which one is going to fit us best.
Training pants? This is a route I’d like to go. Something that he can pull up and down himself, but with a little more absorbency than underwear. I’m pretty confident that he will pick up peeing in the potty pretty quickly. So it just comes back to poop. Do I just need to resign myself to the possibility of poop all over my life? In his carseat? On my carpet? All over the aisle in the grocery store? I mean, I’m a pretty easy going parent – my kid has barfed in a lot of places and I’ve managed to stay cool and not worry too much about any mess I’m creating, but poop? Unnnnnnnhhhhh.
So, for those of you that have done this – I beg you – share your wisdom, and experiences with me. Not the stuff you’ve heard, but the stuff you did and how it went for you. Let me learn from your success. I don’t want to send him to kindergarten in diapers. (I know! I know! They won’t let him into kindergarten unless he’s using the potty. I don’t want my kid left behind because he doesn’t like the potty! Why didn’t Bush create a policy for THIS problem?!)