Potty Win!

10.11.11 | 1 Comment

Ah potty training. There’s nothing like potty training to stir up debate among parents. There are no obviously right answers to questions like when? and how? A million opinions, but the reality coming down to many versions of “it depends” and especially “it depends on the child.” Just like most other things in kid-raising, it seems.

So anyway, I was curious and Sean seemed to have mastery of all the items on the various “check-lists” of “is your kid ready for potty training?” web pages and books. So mid-September we tried out a three-day potty training regimen that mostly consisted of Sean going without a diaper and us watching for signals. (Our entire downstairs is tiled and this helps a lot!)

Well, after three days of racing Sean to the potty mid-stream, we came to the conclusion: nope, not ready yet. No big deal, we just started the diapers up again. But we all learned a lot. For example, I learned that Sean doesn’t actually pee very often, and in fact, does not pee at all during his (sometimes 2+ hour) nap. This was surprising to me, as his diaper is so often wet. I also learned that without a diaper he will not pee on me during nursing; even if he has to go, he’ll wait until he standing up afterwards. This surprised me because I know that he pees during nursing when he has a diaper on.

Meanwhile, Sean learned the potty concepts. He definitely *understood* that he was *supposed to* put pee and poop in the potty. If we asked where pee or poop go, he’d point at the potty. If we asked what went into the potty, he’d reply correctly. Whenever he peed on the floor, he’d get all agitated and say “uh-oh! uh-oh!” while pointing to the floor. He really liked using wipes. And he understood very well that after there was pee in the potty he was supposed to take the bowl out and empty it into the toilet. He did all these supporting activities very well by the end of our three days. But he hadn’t yet mastered the realization that he was *about to* pee or poop and that he should go sit on the potty before the pee or poop came out. The body knowledge just wasn’t there yet.

Fast forward to today, about a month later. (Ben is out of town at a conference, so he’s absent from this story.) It was after dinner, and we were about to go upstairs to start bedtime. Sean had moved one of the dining room chairs over to the wall and climbed up on it so he could turn the light switches on and off, with great glee. (He had just figured this trick out this evening.) I was putting food away. Suddenly Sean says, “poop, Mama!” “Poop?” I ask, as I come over to him. “Yeah.” A quick feel tells me he hasn’t pooped yet. “Do you want to sit on the potty?” “Yeah. Diaper off!” So we race over to the potty in the bathroom, and I (as quickly as I can) take off his pants and his diaper cover and his diaper. (That’s a strike against cloth diapers, by the way. As much as I like them, they take longer than disposables to take off — especially when it counts!) And he sits on the potty. We’ve done a lot of potty *sitting* in the past month at Sean’s request — usually when Sean wants to read one of his two potty books. I ask if he wants to read. Shake of the head. I ask if he wants to sing. Shake of the head. And with a look of concentration, out comes a poop! “Big poop,” says Sean. “Stand up?” He stands and looks at his poop and then immediately wants to pour it into the toilet and flush it. He does. I wipe. We wash hands. We celebrate. Yay Sean!

No, of course, I don’t have any photos. (Would you really want one?) But here’s a happy Sean photo, in case you needed one today.

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