Occasionally I see the need to raise an issue and then silently walk away to let the better qualified experts take over. I’m willing to bet even though this may be among the shortest blogs I have written it will be one of the most read and most commented upon. Here’s why: Potty training SUCKS! I remember the horrendous stress we experienced when Malachi was in that stage more than a decade ago (actually Tara felt the stress… I don’t think I ever gave it a second thought – unless I was inconvenienced in a mall or restaurant with a scheduled pee break.) The best advice we got at that time was from our friend Sandi Hamm. She made the profound assertion that no matter how tough it felt in that season of our lives “when Malachi was 18 years old he would be potty trained.” (She knew from experience.) Now that actually was profound and here’s why, potty trainers tend to think that all life, outside adult contact and fun in general will need to be put on hold as long as you are potty training and that it will last forever! This isn’t true; at least it doesn’t need to be.
There are many interesting theories of how to properly and efficiently potty train a child. Of course, most parents kids past this stage of life are MORE than happy to tell you ALL their strategies and how you are doing it wrong. For example we had one mom tell us that her kids were potty trained at 10 months old. When I, dumbfounded and in wonder, told my mom that she laughed and responded, “No. SHE was potty trained when her kids were 10 months old.” In other words Ms Super Mom of the Millennium could tell when her baby was going to tinkle and would book it over to the potty before that sigh of relief left their face.
Another friend employed the “kids who are naked won’t pee” strategy, which made it awkward to try and visit at her house – you know with the naked boys running around and whizzing in the hallway.
And then, there was my strategy. We had already bought Malachi a “throne” potty that had a sensor that would play a little “do-do-doooo!” if something solid passed in front of it but he was still struggling to poop on the potty (oh I hope his friends read this post). This was when I got the stellar idea to tell him that we need to poop on the toilet because there are alligators that live in the sewer and they eat poop. That might have worked but I followed up with this little gem, “And if you don’t poop on the potty they come up the toilet and nibble your butt.” Rookie mistake. And that my friends is why dads should never, ever potty train.
This is where my expertise really winds to a close; I told my kid that an alligator would nibble his little backside if he didn’t start to poop on the potty. Thus this is where the sharing must begin. I am looking for the following people to comment:
- Parents who have successfully potty trained their kids. Please share all your theories about your perfect children who not only pooped but wiped by the time they were 18 months old. Us parents in the middle of potty training will either roll our eyes and move on or possibly find a trick or too to adapt for our own kids.
- Parents who are currently potty training, anticipating potty training or just past potty training. What are the latest trends and ancient potty training techniques making a come back?
- Dads who thoroughly messed up the potty training regiment of their home. This will simply make me feel better.
So light up the comments boxes, Facebook shares and reTweets and let the collective wisdom of the global parenting community flow!
(FYI for all you bloggers out there… using the word “flow” to conclude a blog on potty training is either witty, gross or downright in bad taste. You be the judge!)