Life Lessons Through Potty Training
I am in hell! Potty. Training. Hell!
My baby boy, Stinker, turned three in April. Yes, I know that is late to start training. Technically, we started way before that, but the main problem was consistency. Our work and school schedules were not favorable for potty training. And yes, we are punk ass parents because we didn’t buckle down and do those “preferred” methods that everyone talks about. (You can Google them because I can’t endorse them since I didn’t do them. Sigh.)
But I will tell you what we did try: using a miniature toilet, turning on the faucet, singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, wearing Paw Patrol underwear, reading an Elmo potty book, singing “Old McDonald Had A Farm”, wearing Mickey Mouse underwear, using a potty watch, and reading a Daniel Tiger potty book that makes flushing noises. Stinker loves everything, but he is still not peeing in the potty consistently!
Now, I’ve been thinking it might be time for some less conventional methods. I’ve come up with ideas like “Naked and Afraid”, but currently, it feels more like “Game of Thrones”. I’m kidding (not really), but then, it occurred to me. While we have been going through this process, there have been plenty of life lessons along the way. Here are a few:
- Be proud of your accomplishments, big or small. At our house, when Stinker does pee in the potty, it’s like graduation. The whole family shows up, squeezes into the bathroom, holds our breath while we watch him do it, celebrates with song, clapping, and even do a dance. Celebrate!
- Entertainment could be a distraction from your purpose. While books, songs and tablets might be fun, they also take the focus off of the action he should be taking. If three-year-olds need to concentrate every once in a while, so do you.
- This is just a phase. As parents, we can lose patience so quickly. We want our children to “get it” and be successful so that we can move on to the next thing. But what if we actually stopped and moved at the child’s pace. Maybe we won’t feel so frustrated with the process. After all, this part of childhood is only temporary, and whatever stage in life you’re in, that’s temporary too.
- Process does not equal punishment. Last week, Stinker started saying, “but I can’t,” when asked to sit on the potty. He would cry and refuse to go. He is clearly frustrated with this process because he feels like it is punishment. To be fair, we are “forcing” him to sit on the potty every half hour. If only my sweet boy could see that this was for his own good!
I just have one job… to keep the little humans alive. Every day. There was no mention of whether or not they needed to be in pull ups or underwear. Just ALIVE. And some days that is how it is adulting – surviving. To be honest, I’m just winging it. Adulting. Parenting. Everything. But my prayer is that I have more wins than losses, more sunshine than rain, and more joy than pain. Oh, and more pee in the pot than on the floor.