We’re all on holiday this week. We’ve decided much to the scepticism of our child minder to potty train our little boy. We could have gone away or taken a break.
The plan is a simple one. Toddler spends the day without pants or nappies. As soon as he pees or poos you go wee wee or poo and plonk him on the potty which you have reinforced with telling him it’s for wee wee and poo. Eventually he associates the feeling of a wee or poo with the word and action and toddles off to the potty announcing his intention before he does anything.
This we have read could take about three days. You give it a few more days in clothes without nappies to make sure no accidents and then move on to night time because he’s back in nappies for sleep and naps until you’re ready.
Simple. We are energised by successful tales of potty training eighteen-montholds and stories of how being ‘ready later’ is a fallacy created by nappy manufacturers which I’m quite prepared to believe.
Day one has nothing to do with baby and is all about parental acclimatisation. Our first major lesson is that it is extremely important not to scream “NO!!!!!!”, the moment you see baby pee all over your furniture. Remember you are aiming (if you’ll pardon the pun) for a gentle “wee wee” or “poo”, not to make your baby burst into tears. You do not want baby to feel naughty or bad or ashamed or in any way frightened of the potty.
Apparently, however, our gut reaction is not as tolerant as we would like it to be nor mindful of the process we are following.
Furthermore; no matter how prepared you are it is quite unnerving to realise you’re staring at a nice new shiny poo on your living room floor. And it does take a moment to realise that’s what you are staring at. It’s the first time I’ve ever found a poo on my living room floor and no matter how much I felt I was prepared for the very likely possibility there would be poo on the floor, I still found myself momentarily perplexed as to how this poo has got there followed by a split second of thanks that a) the poo was firm not sploshy and b) it was on the floor boards not the rug.
I was also extremely annoyed that for the third time in a row baby had picked their moment just as I was looking away. You have to blink, even turn your head at some point but I thought a poo might have taken a while, been preceded by a poo face if nothing else. Nope that poo just fell soft and soundless to earth.
Third lesson; if this is going to work tomorrow it’s going to have to be eyes on for the entire time he’s up. I have visions of myself creeping ninja behind his every step, potty ready to fall in place with the whisper and swiftness of a katana dividing rice paper.
And if we are locked to baby’s every move then we need more bottles of water around the house because it’s cold and we need the heating on and now we’re both dried out.
Still, at least we have a few new clean patches on the floors.