I took a couple of weeks off when the Little Chap was two and a bit, as I was optimistically hoping it might be a good time to try potty training him.
He had talked well since shortly after his second birthday and wasn’t having any atypical behavioural or developmental problems. He was taking himself off to fill his nappy ‘in private’ so we figured it would be worth a try. All the books said we should wait longer as he was a boy, others would be wondering why we hadn’t got it sorted sooner (answer: disposable nappies take the urgency out of it somewhat)!
Well, I guess it served me right for being so organised, but the Little Chap just didn’t seem to want to take any instruction that week.
Following Gina Ford’s approach of leaving him in his nappies but trying to get him to “go” in the potty after sleeps and before bathtime for the first week, then swapping nappies for pants in the second, didn’t seem all that realistic. Or maybe it was me? To be fair to the Little Chap, I don’t think he really knew what we were trying to do – only one of his little chums was potty training simultaneously and he hadn’t had enough exposure to any other children to copy cat. We hit jackpot after his first nap and rewarded him with a sweetie. Unfortunately, from then on, he wanted a sweetie for just sitting on the potty and when I explained he had to leave something in the potty, he then didn’t want to get off until he had delivered…
As you can imagine, this led to him never actually getting off the potty and into the bath/out to play etc… I think I must have also been rather more tired out than I had realised. I had taken holiday I had saved up because I hadn’t taken my quota and the effects were such that I realised I wasn’t keeping calm and carrying on with this ridiculous regime. I also didn’t want to set the Little Chap back in this regard because of my inability to put a lid on things. So we called the whole thing off. The potties went back in the cupboard for another day.
So far, two out of three of my sisters’ daughters have just announced they want out of nappies well before their third birthdays and been dry within three days… The Little Chap is now nearly two and three quarters and lately, he’s seen more of his friends go to the Big Toilet or the potty and has seemed genuinely interested in what’s going on. He’s forever chasing his parents into the toilet to see what’s happening as well (I’m so not loving that bit of parenting!). We figure that before summer disappears and the spectre of pre-school coming up in December, now is as good a time as any for us all to take the plunge. I mean, who is lucky enough to have their two year old son tell them they want to learn to use the potty today please Mummy…!? Not me so far!
We’re agreed (for once!) on a no-nonsense, short sharp shock approach as recommended by Jo Frost, my mother, my mother-in-law and various others who’ve braved this world before us. We’re going to pop him into the Big Boy Pants, tell him they’re a badge of honour and then just wait for him to decide he likes going to the potty more than he likes wetting himself. I’m aware that it won’t necessarily be that simple but you’ve got to start somewhere right? Lord knows, you’ve got to keep things simple!
Apologies here go to those of you who only subscribe on the basis of no more than one email post a week. I think the best way to cover the subject is with a ‘daily diary’ type approach, at least until the Little Chap has had his first dry day! I’m afraid you may also find some pee-pee and poo in your inbox for a few days, so please do feel free to hit “Delete” if that kind of thing doesn’t float your boat!
Please do bear with me though, as I am eternally optimistic that it won’t take forever to crack this one and I hope normal service will resume before too long!
So welcome to The Potty Diaries. Wish us all luck!
Mayfair Mum x
© Mayfair Mum, 2011