Wednesday, July 20, 2011

This I Believe (about potty-training)

Back in the spring, I made an attempt at potty-training G.  After about 3 days, I decided that it was simply not worth the screaming and crying and battling.  I have heard entirely too many stories of parents continuing to encourage potty training even when their kid showed no interest, which eventually led to manual removal of poop from said child and a diet of Miralax.

My belief has always been that eventually, EVENTUALLY, a child will decide on his or her own that they no longer wish to sit in their own feces and urine.

Now that G is edging really, really close to age 4, though, I do have my doubts.

Of course, I have to remind myself that while N seemed to pee-pee potty-train easily, she was over 3.5 years before she could go without wearing pull-ups, and she pooped in her pants until she was 4.5 years old  And that's a girl, who are allegedly supposed to do all this potty-training business long before boys.

I know fear was a big part of N's problem.  To this day, she cannot stand the sound of toilets flushing (hence her refusal to flush her own waste yet leave notes to others asking them to please flush their junk).  That whoosh of water and noise weirds her out even now.

I do ask G occasionally if he would like to wear underpants or if he'd like to sit on the potty, but he never thinks those are good ideas.  The other day I asked him if he was scared to go on the potty.  He said that he thinks monsters are going to come up out of the bowl and go into his penis.  (And I can only assume he thinks monsters would do the same if he tried to poop.)

When friends ask me about potty-training in the hopes of getting advice, I tell them they are asking the wrong person.  They are asking the lazy, don't-want-to-do-charts-or-prizes-or-run-to-the-bathroom-16-times-a-day mom.  They are asking the mom who is gonna leave this one up to the kid because really this is something the kid controls.  Like so much else in parenting that we "think" we have control over, but really totally don't.

Just like with horses and their watering holes, you can sit a kid's ass on the pot, but you can't make 'em go.

And I prefer not to spend half my life fighting anymore with the 3-year-old then I already do, especially in a public restroom.

(Although damn, what I could do with that money spent on Pull-Ups....)

1 comment:

Kelsey said...

Thank you for writing this Carrie. I feel like Michael should be potty training but it just isn't happening. We'll keep working on it, but I feel like he's giving me signals that he isn't really ready, like repeatedly using his underpants like a diaper.