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I had an adventure in child rearing this week. My son and I are at the time period where being in the “terrible twos” collides with my desperate desire for him to take a bounding leap in his personal hygiene, specifically toilet training. Since getting back from christmas travels at the beginning of the month Shade has been in “potty training boot camp,” first thing in the morning, before and after every nap and meal and cup of milk last thing before bed. Ritualistic and consistent and…and nothing…nada…zip. He never fought or argued about a single sitting or how long I asked him to sit there. He would come find me and ask to sit on his little training potty and baby talk and play the whole while…nothing, not even an serendipitous accidental. 

I was very frustrated. Not with his progress, the kid is only 2, I have no need for him to be immediately trained and he’ll do it when he’s ready, I was frustrated that no matter how often I sat him down and how long he stayed sitting and how I talked him through what he was suppose to do that there was no headway. How can a child understand how to operate a cell phone, understand the difference between streaming online video and online video chat, know how to button his own clothing and have peeing in a bucket elude him? Really? That’s the one that throws you off? He’s in the bathroom with his dad all the time, he knows what goes on in there.

Back to the adventure:

Thursday night, Zak comes home from work, I’m tired after a long day of being a mom. The before and after diner potty sessions yield nothing and now it’s just before bed and Shades on that little plastic potty again and again, nothing. I’m picking up Shades room and Zak is putting our little dude in a diaper for the night and noticing he’s a little red ask me for the diaper rash cream. Well, we didn’t have any at the moment because our little man had gotten a hold of and emptied the last tube the day before and I had forgotten to pick up more.

“Let him run around naked for a bit.” I say, “It’ll help, just keep him in his room so you can make sure he doesn’t pee on anything.” I exit the baby room and take 3 steps to our bathroom put whatever it was away and turn around just in time to see my little angel has escaped his fathers grasp and is peeing on the carpet in the hallway.

“Honey, no!” I gasp and he stops and tries to dash around me laughing and shrieking. “Zak! Come help me put him back on the toilet!” This is it I think, I know it, If I can just get him on the potty in time he’ll do it. 

After a brief chase around the upstairs we corner, catch and relocate him back on his potty chair. I go back to the hallway and clean up the mess, which is thankfully small and I go back into the room to see Zak is keeping the little trouble maker on the potty by drawing things for him on a little tykes etch’a’sketch. 

“He wants shoes and I can’t draw.” zak tells me, handing over the board featuring a smiley face. I relent and draw little stick legs and shoes and nearly hand it back when desperate inspiration hits. Wait for it…I drew a little stick figure penis and drew it peeing into a potty. Yep, I really did. It’ll come back to haunt me later, I’ll be pulled out of church by a teachers aid because my son drew a little nudist in sunday school with his crayons during a bible lesson. It’s a risk I considered worth taking at the time. I  hand the board to my son, still sitting on the potty and say “look, he’s peeing in his potty!” He looks at it long and hard and then turns to me and asks “Is there poop?” He’s getting it! I think to myself, so I draw little turds falling into the potty too…for real, yes I did…and exclaim “Look! yes, he’s peeing and pooping in the potty!”

My dear, angelic, feisty, clever son looks at it again and then without blinking states, “he needs a diaper.”

I was to crushed to be disappointed, the little child logic was too strong for my adult mind to register as faulty and I collapsed to the floor shrieking and breathless with laughter. We pulled him off the toilet and put a diaper on him. The kicker is after all that we did indeed find that he had peed in the toilet. We showed him and congratulated him and he just stared at it with a confused little face. Will it stick? I wondered. The next few days proved it didn’t. Now before he sits on it he checks to see if anything is in there because in his mind it magically appears from nowhere. We are taking a break, for both our sakes from the boot camp approach, maybe we’ll pick it up again in a few weeks but, for now, I’m just letting it rest.

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5 Comments

  1. lol that was a wonderful reminder of where I will be in just a few years. Good luck!

  2. What a great way to start off my Monday morning! I have laughed and laughed with you! I remember those days with my daughter and with my two grandsons. Too funny!

  3. Hahaha!!!

  4. *sigh* Potty training. I'm avoiding it..I really shouldn't be haha. I have sat Zoe on the potty a few times and she has successfully went pee (probably accidentally) in the potty a couple times.. but no real attempts to potty train yet. She tells me almost every time she *already went* in her diaper… so I guess she's sort of on her way… ugh! I hate to think about it haha. I know I've got to try one of these days.. I'll just wait until she's officially 2. 🙂

  5. BJ – as a mother of two sons (grown, with grown sons of their own!), I can certainly appreciate what you're going through! You do have a way with words. Love it. Hang in there – it will come! 🙂


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