how to potty train your toddler

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I've been reluctant to say anything about this because it seems too good to be true. And, by writing about it, I might actually make it TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. I might be cosmically punished for bragging. But, I'm happy, and I want to share, so here goes:

The title of my post is misleading. In reality, I cannot take any credit for what just happened. I had no plans to potty train Miles until the fall (when he is starting preschool).

Miles woke up two Fridays ago and said "I want to wear panties." And by "panties" he meant underwear, of course. But sister calls them panties.

So we rifled through his closet and I found a pair of hand-me-down underwear that have Disney Cars plastered all over the butt. I showed them to Miles, and he said "WOWWOW" with his little pink lips making a perfect "o"

I said, "you can wear these, but you have to keep Tow Mater dry. Mater doesn't like to get wet. Ok?"

He nodded in agreement, and so we put them on. And about an hour later he peed on Mater. So, I found another pair of underwear, this time with Elmo, and he said (with renewed conviction) he would keep Elmo dry...and he did. Miraculously. The rest of the day, he used the potty.

That was two weeks ago, and he has not worn a diaper since. He's had a few accidents, but nothing like I was expecting. When I had first imagined potty training Miles, I wondered if it'd be too weird if I covered all our furniture in plastic. (What would the neighbors say? Would they understand what it is to have a naked 2-yr-old boy on the loose?)

Let me tell you, after nearly 5 years of diapering (which is nothing compared to some of you parents, I know), the idea that I will never have to wrangle another squirmy child, pin him down with one arm while I attempt to wipe his bottom with the other? That I will no longer face the horror of him jumping up and running away mid diaper change, covered in poo?

It's one of those things you don't realize is a burden until it is lifted. And suddenly you feel so much lighter. You've been given a little injection of hope that there will be a day, someday, when you don't have to deal with other people's poop AT ALL.

Add to that: He has been waking up dry in the morning, so we converted his crib to a toddler bed. We wanted him to be able to get out of bed to use the potty as soon as he wakes up.

Instead, he's been waking in the middle of the night and getting lost inside his little bedroom. Kris found him laying on the floor and whimpering at 3 AM. I found him in the closet at nap time. He has wedged himself under his rocking chair.

So, we've taken this tremendous leap forward with using the potty and a giant leap backward in sleep.

All bittersweet reminders that my baby is no longer a baby. He's a kid. An adorable, sometimes devilish little kid who yells, "MOMMY YOU GO INTO A CACTUS!" when he's really angry. My southwestern boy.

2 comments:

Jennifer said...

Congratulations, wow! What a huge milestone. I know I can look forward to this. I'm not exactly counting the days since we just started the clock again with sweet baby F. but I can see the light. One day.....

laura said...

I am so jealous! So wish Charlie was excited about undies and the potty :)

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