Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Day 80: The Potty Train

My favorite part of parenting has to be potty training.

The Boy is nearly two and a half. People tell me that this is the critical age to potty train. They say that if I don't start now, then he'll start resisting. If I don't start now, he'll be in diapers until he's FOUR. Besides, a friend of his just potty trained in 4 days--how bad could it be?

So, in an effort to avoid 18 more months of Wrestlemania: Diaper Edition, today we made the trek to buy Big Boy Pants. A small but insistent part of my mind was wondering what delusional psychosis I was laboring under. It drug up memories of a not-so-distant past and potty training the Girl. It moaned of messes and stress and begging and pleading that had all come to NOTHING until I backed off and let her do it when she was ready. I tried to silence this part of my mind with the promise of a date with Mr. Pillow at naptime. We made our way to the underpants section, where I held up Thomas, Spiderman, and Lightning McQueen options for The Boy. I used my excited, but calm, authority voice. The voice I reserve for large, strange dogs. I asked Boy which underpants he wanted. He chose Spiderman. For good measure, I tossed Lightning McQueen in the cart as well, in case his whim should change.

Before we'd even gotten out of the kids section, he was trying to chuck the Spiderman unders out of the cart: "No want." I insisted that we were going to go home and wear Big Boy Pants. I told him treats would be involved. Suddenly, clutching his precious underpants as the key to his desires, he started asking for candy, yogurt covered pretzels, pop, toys, a new bike, and a shiny hairbrush with tourmaline in it. I caved like the frightened deer in the headlights of a mother that I am.

Upon arriving home, I discovered that Spiderman and his gang had disappeared on the drive home. "Uh-oh, no pants, sorry" he said. He looked triumphant until I proudly pulled out Lightning McQueen. Defeat. With some trepidation, we put on the glow-in-the-dark underoos. I placed the potty in front of Bugs Bunny with some yogurt pretzels and grapes and left him seated upon his throne.

And guess what? The Boy did it. All by himself. What joy! What rejoicing! What chocolate came his way! (That little voice was back--reminding me that The Girl had gotten a SINGLE M&M for her potty training successes. I silenced the voice with grapes.) I made a huge deal out of it, pranced around with him, and told him he was wonderful. The light in his eyes showed that this potty thing might be okay after all.

So, at the end of the day, I am proud to say that I changed one less diaper today. Yes, we may have had to do a whole extra load of laundry as we do damage control for less victorious attempts. We are going to have to figure out how to teach the kid to aim. We may have just begun a journey that very well could take the next 18 months of my life, and bring me to within an inch of my sanity. Tomorrow that small voice will be stronger, and I will curse the Potty Training Muses, but for tonight I'll dream of the Potty Train Express. And, in the meantime, if anyone out there would be willing to come and potty-train my child in 24 hours, I'll happily pay you your weight in grapes and yogurt covered pretzels.


InkMom said...

One Skittle for my kids. And it's funny how the littlest just does not seem to be motivated by one measly little piece of candy.

If you happen upon any magic training secrets for aiming, please share. I've just given up and abdicated all responsibility for cleaning the toilets. It's not the job of the man who has the same body parts to clean up the messes made by the little man . . . and he does it without complaint!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Um, I did start then, and mine was still in diapers until he was FOUR! It was a painful 2 years. But I really am hoping it goes better for you. I've decided I'm not even going to potty train Natalie until she's begging me for underwear.

Topher said...

Here is a tip that won't cost you a grape or pretzel: The Shandle: toilet seat handle.

It's a super cute handle that makes lifting the seat easier- AND it reminds your kids to wash hands and put the seat down.

check out the site


and you'll see what it's all about.

wrestlmania diaper edition- (I love it!)

Heather said...

Good luck. We do pretty well, but I'm waiting for him to change his mind like Tyler did!

The Smiths said...

You'll have to write down what works so that when I'm pulling out my hair potty training Critter you can give me some tips :)

Erin said...

ugh! potty training. good luck!