Monday, February 3, 2014

Listen closely…they could be right.

I have a confession. I hate teaching a child how to use the toilet. It is, rather was, one of my least favorite parenting duties. So when I found myself feeling unsure as Lila started the process I took to Facebook as I do with most quandaries. There's nothing like a little firsthand advice from an assortment of folks who may or may not know each other, let alone agree with each other. It's truly a brilliant place to get answers.

Anyway, when I asked my potty training questions on Facebook you can imagine I got just what I wanted. I read about every possible approach and why it worked or didn't work. I took it all in.

But there was one comment that kept sneaking in that I have to admit I laughed at. I might even go so far as to say I scoffed a little.

As a new parent you live in a sea of ideas, theories, and "best" practices. You are new and overwhelmed. Every milestone and forward moving step comes with a mental list of choices and factors. This would be why there is no actual parenting guide to speak of. Really there isn't. Some may claim to be THE guide, but those are just claims. At the end of the day you have your gut and every doctor, psychologist, ex-actor, and grandmother screaming at you. Those who don't want to give advice  say trust your gut. Instincts they call them. For me it just wasn't that simple.

So when a slew of comments in my question status said, "just wait and she will do it when she wants" I giggled. I couldn't help it. Those silly people didn't read any books. They just wanted to make this seem all easy and go with the flow (see what I did there?). They wanted everyone to think that the books are wrong and the actual teaching of peeing in a toilet is nonsense. I taught my dog to pee outside. I certainly wasn't going to just wait that one out. Why on God's green Earth would I sit around and hope that my child would one day wake up and make the switch?

Now I sit on the edge of being the wisest possible kind of parent. Do you know what kind of parent that is? The kind that listens to the people who have two, three, and four kids. The kind that ignores the books and the theories and the attempts at planning. The kind that has two kids, one on the way, and a lot less time to give two you know whats about reading a book on potty training.

*Disclaimer - I am about to read Siblings Without Rivalry. I said I was on the edge. This means I am sitting on the side of an Olympic size pool with eighteen plus years of parenting between me and the other side.

I wish I could say that with Evie I took the "wait until she's ready" advice like I'm leading you to believe. I didn't. I still didn't believe and still thought it was all a fluke for those people. What I did do was decide that I was okay with her going to Kindergarten in diapers. That's how much I hated potty training.

I did read books to her and talk to her about other people using the potty. Of course there's the big sister advantage and the fact that some of the preschool kids were doing it. I just never really got into her doing it.

And then one day she did. Just like that. End of story.

I was in the shower when it happened. Seth tells me that she just peed and pooped in the potty without telling anyone. Of course we made an insanely big deal about it, but I'm not even sure that mattered. She literally no longer wanted diapers, put on some undies, and talked incessantly about being a big girl. She had one accident. ONE. I cannot make this up because that would just be so hateful of me.

She hasn't looked back. She went from full diapers after nap and bedtime to dry ones (although we still put her in them while she sleeps).

It's sort of insane really. I still can't believe it and it's been weeks.

So let Evie be your proof if you need some. Forget "if you build it" and all that nonsense. My new motto is "if I avoid it maybe they will do it on their own".

When that starts working with picking up toys or general cleanliness I will be the first to tell you.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post!!! Can you keep reminding me of this!


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