Thursday, May 10, 2012

All Aboard the Potty Train

When I'm out with TheZoo, people ask me questions. Lots of them. One of the most asked is how do we handle potty training. I have seven kiddos, five of them dry undie experts, I should be able to give out some sort of secret formula, right?

Well. There are lots of theories out there, some of them popular, some not so popular. There are videos and books, calls to child named heroes, giving treats each time a piddle is done in the potty, rewards for finishing the day with dry pants, teach the children to obey so they will go when you tell them, wait until the child says they are ready, etc.
All of these are tried, most of these are successful in some way.  I haven't met many kindergartners that aren't using the toilet on their own.

Naked baby playing in the bathroom toilet
I have never enjoyed the potty training experience. It's hard work for us parents.
Now that I am training our sixth child, I am absolutely certain that the first five were extremely easy to train.
Here's the run down, the first and second (girl and boy) were fully potty trained at 3 1/2 years old. They didn't have accidents during the day and only very rarely at night. The third and fourth (girl and boy again) were potty trained at 2. The girl was 2 1/2, the boy was weeks away from his third birthday. No daytime accidents, and no night time accidents. The fifth (boy) was trained by 3 1/2.

Number six is 3 1/2. He isn't really interested. I am. Very much. In fact, it would be just dandy if the little one, who will be two in a few weeks would also be interested.

The problem this time around is ME. I don't have the 3-5 days train this child! We are out of the house to take children to classes at the parent partnership program for school four days out of the week. Due to my husband's work schedule, I usually have to take the whole Zoo to dr appts, dentist appts, grocery shopping, errand running.
It is FAR more convenient to put a diaper on a child than it is to drag everyone to the bathroom at every stop that we make.

We have attempted potty training three times this year, once during Christmas break, once during spring break, and again this week. I have cleaned up more urine from the floor this week than I remember having to do with all the other five combined! The child would sit on the potty for ages, then pull up his underpants and wet them. It made him angry, too. He didn't like being wet, he wanted to use the potty, especially when his brother told him all about the toy I had put up for him as a reward. (Thanks brother, that was helpful. *sigh*)

Finally, toward the middle of day two, he said in complete exasperation, "I just want a diaper, Mom. Please?"

I gave him the diaper.
And I reminded myself of what I say to all those moms that ask for my magic formula.
"Be persistent, and be kind. Remember that patience isn't in the waiting, it's in the attitude we have while waiting, and sometimes when we are potty training, we have to wait for our children to be ready."
I'll let you know if we have to put off kindergarten...


No comments: