About 3 months ago, I made the ultimate decision to get the potty mechanism into action. “He’s ready,” I said. He could memorize the entire movie of Cars. I’m sure he could understand why we need to get rid of the diaper and start doing his business in a bowl.
The first few days was definitely tough. I read in an article once (can’t remember the source) that toddlers have a fear of letting go of their waste elsewhere. They feel as though they are letting go a part of their body that they aren’t quite ready to do yet. So patience is most important.
So we got rid of the diaper and kept a really careful watch, realizing that he could go on the couch, on the rug, carpet, and anywhere else. We knew we could be dealing with a great big mess at any time.
My husband tried to get my little Oliver to copy him as he stood up to pee. Unfortunately, he isn’t with daddy often enough to really get it. I had him sit and copy me every time I needed to go. He would sit on his potty while I sat on mine.
I think he finally had enough after 3 days of constant accidents. My friend and I were sitting down, having a chat in my living room when I heard his little voice say, “Mommy! I did a pee pee!” Oh great, I thought as I sighed and got ready to clean up another mess.
“Where did you pee pee honey?” I asked.
“There Mommy!” he said happily as he pointed to the bathroom.
I walked and felt like I won something! I was so happy I screamed! My friend saw my excitement and started jumping with me! I then picked up my little guy and said, “I think this deserves a really nice piece of chocolate!”
“Yes! Oh yes!” Oliver started jumping too as he walked to the kitchen for his chocolate.
I only needed one pee to help him understand, I thought happily and signed as I looked at the little potty full of it.
He loved telling me he did a pee because I showed excitement every time. Of course the pooh part of it took a while longer for him to get into. He screamed and cried every time I made the attempt to get him to sit and strain. Sometimes I would rush him into the toilet after catching him trying to let one out. When I get there, he would scream and yell and eventually not have to go anymore. That frightened me a little because I didn’t want him to hold back his pooh, which turned into days at a time, just because he was afraid to let it go in the toilet. So when I knew he was about to go, I put him in the diaper and let him do it there.
“You’re taking a step back,” my husband would say.
“I don’t want my child to get sick because he couldn’t let go,” I replied.
One day, I knew he really needed to go so I rushed him into the bathroom, where his little potty was, I sat him down and I immediately sat on our toilet and pretended I had to do it too. I looked the other way so he wouldn’t feel embarrassed and he did his business! He either had to go bad or he felt comfortable because I was doing it with him. Whatever it was, I’m so glad he did.
I sat with him a few times before he understood that it was all ok. We still have many accidents, especially with the part where aiming is involved, but at least he’s using the potty! In fact, he doesn’t even want a diaper during bedtime, regardless of how wet he gets at night.
It all feels like a major milestone and such a wonderful, yet frightening feeling. My son has moved into a very big stage of his life. It feels a bit like graduation or something so exciting and worth being proud for.