Could it be? Has our little son decided, all by himself, to use the potty? All signs say yes!
Earlier in the year, as we approached Joseph’s second birthday, we began interviewing several Montessori schools for the toddler program. Invariably we were told that our son would have to be potty-trained to enter the program. Just how many little boys do you know who are fully trained by their second birthday?! Enough, I guess. The classes are often waiting-list only.
I began investigating just how the mystery of transitioning from diaper to potty unravels. Any mother will tell you, it is a tricky path, fraught with potential danger and setback. Freud wrote textbooks replete with cases of patients who “failed” somehow on the journey to this monumental milestone. I would not take things lightly. I promised myself and my son I would be patient, consistent, loving, reassuring, unrushed, intuitive, supportive and encouraging. But, perhaps, just maybe, we could pull it off before age two?
Between his nightly bedtime struggle, moving to a new house, starting a new school and the birth of his younger brother, the road to themed underpants has been uncertain to say the least. However, we cheerfully purchased a potty with requisite anatomically correct doll, miniature doll potty and respective storybook. He loved the novelty of it, and took great interest in his father’s and my bathroom habits. But still, nothing.
His diaper size crept up, as did the contents therein, ahem.
He began saying “Ew, stinky poo-poo!” at the onset of Number Two–and knowing the moment is about to arrive is half the battle!–but still, nothing happened when he sat on his potty.
During our trip to the library last week, on a whim I rented “I Can Go Potty.” Joseph studied it with intensity. He loved the song about being a “big kid,” and would softly repeat the lyrics under his breath: “a big kid eats by himself, a big kid is polite, a big kid uses a potty” as though in a trance. He watched it over and over, and then stood up, took off his clothes and sat down on his potty. Folding laundry, I smiled and thought nothing of it. Months of looking into the depths of a bone-dry potty had left me cynical and jaded. I walked out of the room to put away the clean clothes, only to hear, “Done! Doooooooooone!”
When I returned, sure enough, there it was. Number Two. Right there in the potty. To be honest, I had to steel myself against showing how, well, gross it looked. Instead, I let out a cheer, we hugged, we clapped and when I called him my “big kid” and his eyes lit up with pride. Together, we dumped his prize into the toilet and waved bye-bye. My big kid flushed the toilet, and we promptly called Daddy, then Gramma, to share the news.
Since then, he’s done it a few more times during stints running naked about the house. While he’s thrilled with his Thomas the Train underwear, they have yet to deter him from accidents when we’re out and about. Consistent success has come from waist-down nudity at home. I’m hoping that since we’ve made it this far, it can only get better. Now, what to do about night-time? Should he wear a pull-up, undies, or stay in a diaper until he’s got this toilet thing all figured out?