“I go pee and poop in the potty?” The words every mom wants to hear.
Unfortunately, I knew Graham wasn’t ready. It was only days before his 2nd birthday. Graham liked the idea of playing in the bathroom. He also relished the freedom of taking off his own diaper. And running around naked. And hiding naked. And peeing on our carpet. He also liked the control.
I was 8 months pregnant with Adelaide at the time, so my energy levels were nearing dangerously low levels. The thought of pottytraining a 23-month-old while preparing for a 2nd baby was horrifying. I also assumed Graham would regress when we brought Adelaide home from the hospital. That was what everyone said. Books, moms, everyone who had ever pottytrained a toddler right before giving birth. I wanted him to wait 6 or 8 months, but I couldn’t keep him in diapers. He figured out the boxtape. And he figured out how to undo overalls. I was out of options.
Little toilet. Little underwear. Little training pants. I put on my game face. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe he would be one of those kids who trained in three days. Yes! He would be that kid! Nope. He just learned how to remove the training pants. And run around naked. And hide naked. And pee on the carpet. He was still in control.
I tried food. I bought several types of candy…which I often ate out of pottytraining desperation. I made amazing sticker charts. I decorated the bathroom with helium balloons. I used timers. I bought books, toys, flashcards. I tried special outings. I tried everything. Nothing gave us consistent results. Graham went when he wanted to go. He was actually more consistent after Adelaide was born. He knew I would put baby sister in her cradle and rush to the bathroom. Potty time became quality time.
We went through phases. Graham would go one or two days with only a few accidents. Hopeful! Other times, he would use the potty exactly zero times in a day (or several days in a row). Discouraged! He would sit…or stand…just holding it in until he was done making me wait. Frustrated! Once, he was able to hold his pee for 96 minutes. I just sat across from him with the water running. I finally gave up and put him back in his underwear. He went into the living room, pulled off the underwear, and laughed as he peed into the floor register. Apathetic! <— Because I was so tired…and my butt hurt from sitting on the bathroom floor. I ate a lot of candy that day.
This week, Graham has decided to wear big boy underwear every day. He has also decided that he can, and will, go to the bathroom all by himself. We have gone more than 72 hours with a grand total of only 3 accidents. What if this is it? Do I have a pottytrained toddler? 12 months and 3 weeks later. I don’t know, but I am giddy at the thought of it.
Graham has taught me that you can lead a horse to a potty, but you can’t make him pee. And that Marvel big boy underwear are awesome.
What is your pottytraining story? Please share in the comments.