Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Potty Chronicles, Pt. 2

Potty training is a process. One that I am, apparently, not very good at guiding.

*banging head against wall*

After two wildly successful days of M Meets Toilet, he decided that he longer wanted to pursue a diaper-free life. It went something like this:

Me: M, do you want to go to the toilet?
M: Um, no thank you.

Me: Come on, M! Let's go pee in the toilet!
M: Um, no thanks.

Me: Time to go sit on the big boy toilet!
M: Um, not now. No thank you.

And yes, he was always that polite about his refusal to pee. That is just his style.

There were many, many conversations like this each day. M didn't seem to mind wearing soaking wet underwear. Gross.

My professional mama opinion was that we should pull back a bit. No pressure. There is no point if he is just going to dig in his heels and get upset when I direct him to point his parts towards a large, porcelain chair with a weird hole and water in it. Seriously, think about how difficult it is to teach someone the concept of using a toilet! Go ahead, try it. Nose blowing is another tricky one.

So we have pulled back. There has been the occasional moment of excitement when M has inquired about the bathroom, but it usually results in a spell of naked dancing rather than actual peeing.

I may have experience with potty training, but I learned again that each kid is different and what worked with C clearly isn't going to work for M. I wonder how many times I am going to learn this lesson before it sticks. For now, it is back to the drawing board with M.

Did your child resist potty training? What finally worked for you?

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Potty Chronicles, Pt. 1

Yesterday began the first round of potty training M, my second child. He will be three this summer and, more importantly, he is starting preschool in September. As a lot of you parents know, most preschools won't take non-potty trained kids - at least that is the case for us.

Potty training C was a nightmare. It took well over a year and involved lots and lots of negotiations, tantrums and crying (mostly on my part). I read books. I read blogs. I consulted my pediatrician. I asked other parents. I cried to my mother.

C got the hang of it eventually and headed off to his first year of preschool with no issues.

Now it is time for M to learn.

I made up my mind that yesterday was the day. There is no good day to start potty training. You just have to accept that you are in for a huge mess and a lot of stress and jump in with both feet and hope the fall isn't too far.

My tactics? No more diapers. We went straight into underwear.

I used training diapers with C and I think it just ended up prolonging the process. Ultimately, he could still go whenever and wherever he wanted to go.

So, how did M do on his first day of potty training?

After a lot of accidents, I finally got him in the same room as the toilet. After a few more accidents, I got him to sit on the toilet.

As I sat down to catch up on some emails before dinner, I heard that glorious sound that every potty-training parent longs to hear: the sound of pee hitting toilet water.

Praises were sung. Happy dances were done. The euphoria of a potty training success is right up at the top in terms of achievement in parenting.

But don't get too excited. Rome wasn't built in a day. In fact, I have a few days of starting Rome from scratch before I make a dent in the ultimate goal of one less child in diapers.

Now on Day Two, I am back to a lot of accidents, a bit of persuasion and seemingly endless amounts of patience. I have potty trained one and I know I can potty train another.

If I can get this done, I only have one more to go!

Tell me your potty training triumphs and nightmares!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Sisterhood

On this holiest of days, we thank our mothers, our grandmothers and, for the mamas, ourselves. But if you have a moment, think of all of the other mothers around the world. Regardless of language, culture, religion and a million other differences, there are some things that we all have in common. 

If there were to be a meeting of mothers from all corners of the earth (let's pretend there is some kind of universal translator involved), we would have something to talk about. 

We have all held a tiny bundle in our arms. We have all marveled at the miracle of life. We have all put someone else's life in higher priority than our own. We have all paced the floors during teething or fevers while we chanted lullabies thinking, What on Earth can I do to make you go to sleep?! We have all been disgusted by some bodily fluid that our child has produced, but dealt with it anyway. We all think that our child is the most precious, most adorable, etc., etc. in the world.

The milestones for our children have all been the same: rolling over, crawling, standing, walking, first words. We have all rejoiced in the small triumphs of our child reaching those milestones.

So, as you are spending time with your children today (or without if your family has given you the day off), take a second to appreciate how amazing it is to be a member of this sisterhood of mamas.

Happy Mother's Day!