I forget sometimes that my sarcasm and hyperbole can come across as just cynicism, anxiety, and paranoia to those who don’t know me, but let me set the record straight: I’m in no hurry to potty train. We also won’t be strapping our son to anything other than a carseat or a booster.
I’m very much of the mind that it will happen when it happens, when BG is good and ready. Right now, he’s very interested in the potty, so we sit on it when he’s interested in doing so. This is a good step simply because for some time he was very anti-potty, and was, in fact, fearful at one point, so we’re working on positive potty associations. When he’s ready to stop sitting on the potty, we get up and move on with our day. He’s got so many interests that while he enjoys being read to in the bathroom, he has his limit and eventually prefers to move on to something else. We typically only have potty time once or twice a day right now. Ultimately, he is eager to see what happens when poop or pee enters the potty because he wants to participate in the process of dumping it and/or flushing it. It would be neat for him to have a “success” so that he can associate the act with the potty, but I’m also well aware that this is something one can rarely actually schedule.
So many people feel the pressure of potty training. My wife was raised by a mom who constantly reminded her that she “shit in her pants” until she was three. Nice, I know. I think such drilling certainly makes my wife a little more aware of the fact that BG is closing in on three (sort of–I mean, we are six months away), and she’s just ready for him to be done. We have friends whose kids are potty trained in their twos, another who potty trained at the freakish age of eighteen months, but her parents did EC, which is just not something I can commit to. It’s good, though, for BG to see that these other kids use the potty, that there is something beyond diapers. He has the cognition to grasp this, and that’s where we are right now.
Believe me, though, I have plenty of fears about having a potty trained toddler/preschooler. My mom taught preschool for years, and I was her “assistant” as a kid. I can’t count the number of accidents I had to clean up (imagine, as ten-year-old girl!). I also worked with kids this age for a number of years, and newly potty trained kids were just scary to me. And now, my niece is freshly trained (at just over three), and it’s challenging remembering to take her to the bathroom, remembering to remind her that she needs to go. Once, some friends of ours came to visit when BG was brand new, and they brought their three-year-old who was having a potty regression after the birth of his brother. He had a horrific accident all over our floor. We were cleaning up for multiple days. I still think of that and feel horrible for his parents. With a child as stubborn as BG can be, I know potty training will bring with it a whole new set of challenges. I certainly don’t plan to delay it if he’s ready, but I don’t think there’s any harm in slowly introducing it, especially for a child who does not take kindly to change.
It is interesting being around other parents who have kids our son’s age because we do occasionally let ourselves feel influenced by their kids’ developments. This was certainly an error we made when it came to transitioning BG out of his crib (the day that will live in infamy in the RG household). This was such an important lesson in waiting for our son to do things in his own time.
Ultimately, we’re looking forward to summer when BG can spend plenty of time outside sans pants. We plan to keep a potty out there so that he can use it when he wants. It’s a nice natural way of helping kids gain awareness without pressure, and that’s our goal for now. And if it doesn’t happen then, we’ll be overjoyed to have the preschool’s support in the fall (look at me being all optimistic!).