Okay, so I need names and numbers of all those moms everywhere who said that potty training would be easy. Yeah, where ever you are. The internet, my friends circle, family, I don’t care how or where I encountered any tiny bit of information that potty training is easy or that your child was a “breeze” I need to have a talk with you one mom to another. All those moms who wrote or said I took off my kids diaper showed him the potty and said, “ You are a big boy/girl now and this is where you go now” and that was that. No more accidents, no more problems. We were done with diapers, and we never had to worry about accidents either. This isn’t just one isolated incident or one Internet mom Im referring to, this is article after article. This is mother after mother talking about how easy it was and how uncomplicated the experience was. While here I am thinking, this is hell. This is how I am being punished for my passed sins. I am thinking am I ever going to get him to pee in the potty? We are not even going to tackle the subject of poo here. He just might be wearing adult diapers to college for that. While, we are on that subject I kept reading everywhere, “don’t worry no one gets on that school bus in a diaper” or “no kid goes to college in their diaper”. Here I am worried about getting through the day without getting wet or without getting my furniture wet, you really think Im worried about what my life or even my child’s life is going to be like a year from now? Or even a week from now? As of this moment that I’m reading your article mompsychologist lady I just need to know how I can stop him from peeing all over the house. I don’t need to know what condition he will or will not be later in life, thank you very much.
Breathe in…and breathe out…I’m better now. Yeah, those days are kinda sorta behind us. We are all doing better now. Our furniture doesn’t have plastic all over it anymore and the area rugs are back in the rooms. We are over the hump. Things are looking up. So, how did we do it? With a lot of patience, I would say candy and stickers were involved but interestingly enough when we started out my kid wasn’t really into either one of those things. So we tried many unique ideas. Nothing was really working for us. I kept thinking of different things. I did all the research I could possibly have done. Whenever he had an accident I tried talking to him and explaining why it’s not okay like some suggested. In some instances I ignored it completely. Sometimes I said, “Oh it’s okay, it was an accident you will tell me next time”. However, there came a time when I was completely done. I knew that he will just not tell me and that he will just pee in his pants. I was ready with spray and a roll of paper towels to clean up the mess. It was a complete white flag. He would get wet and I would say, okay. And without even a second thought, get to cleaning him up. There wasn’t a single reaction, good or bad. Before that even though I was using all those words and phrases I was learning from books and articles there was a hint of frustration in my voice, and understandably so because I had been cleaning pee and poop out of things for weeks. And lets face it their father and I had been fighting and arguing more than usual too. Not just about the potty training but in general because we were frustrated and tired from all the excitement of having to manage an irritated non diapered toddler who didn’t know how to use the toilet yet.
Then came that day; it was such a good day. Physically nothing had changed. I had accepted my fate as someone who will never leave the house and would have to clean up poop and pee every day sixteen times a day from every corner of the house. That was it. I stopped getting angry from the inside. I was just ready all the time. I wasn’t mad at my boy anymore. He wasn’t learning, he wasn’t ready, it wasn’t his fault, and I wasn’t blaming him anymore either. Oh yeah, somewhere along the way I blamed my son. Funny story, we blame our children and we hate to admit it because that makes us feel terrible about ourselves. But it’s true. I thought it; he’s just not trying. He’s lazy. All of that stopped and everything just started to get better. The very next day, and there is absolutely no exaggeration here. The very next day my son came up to me and said, “Mom I need to use the toilet”. No, that wasn’t the last time he ever had an accident. No, that wasn’t the last time we ever used a diaper on him. That was, however the first time of many that he told me on his own without me having to ask him over and over again that he has to use the potty. Since then he has been pretty consistent about telling us when he has to go. Don’t get me wrong there are still bad days. We still have to deal with accidents. He still hates using the toilet outside the house and in other peoples’ houses. Nevertheless, things have been getting better since then and have been getting easier and easier. He himself asked for a sticker wall in the bathroom and puts a sticker every time he uses the toilet. He knows the drill now. One of his sticker walls is full. That is a huge deal for us.
Here’s what I learned from all this, my son needed his parents to be strong for him. This whole process was harder on him than it was on us.
I thought potty training was hell on me well it turns out his little world was turned upside down more than mine was. I had time to prepare myself for this, he had no time; one day we just told him no more diapers. All he knew was pooping and peeing in the diapers. All of a sudden it was wrong to do that. All of a sudden his parents were getting upset with him for doing something he thought was A okay to do. Not just that it wasn’t okay to go in the diaper anymore he didn’t even know how to use a potty and every time he couldn’t use the potty his parent who had never shown him how to use this new evil thing before would get super cranky and upset with him and each other, and sometimes even with his little brother (albeit it was all unintentional but it happened). His little brother was only a spectator, who is now by they way refusing to use the potty at all, yeah, I think we broke that one. But that’s a problem for another day.
I’ll be honest, my realization at that time was not for my son, I had really given up. He is a very stubborn child though; he was fighting back because he was feeling pushed and forced. The moment he felt the release. The moment he felt that the battle was over he stopped fighting. See, for me it was never a battle. I was just trying to train him; he was just trying to stop fighting with his parents. We had at some point stop communicating. I had to stop and step back to figure out what was going on. They are tiny but they are still people.
Here it is, here is my story. It’s not my full story by any means. I am still working on it. I hope someone can benefit from it. We still have moments of miscommunication. I make sure to keep stepping back. Like I said he’s a stubborn one. He doesn’t like people to boss him. I am not an expert. I’m not experienced or qualified in any way to give any kind of advice. What I am is a mother who tries really hard to understand her kids and even with that I end up missing it, like I did this time for a while. But I got it now. Almost, I think. Uhh- Well. On second thought let me get back to you on that in a couple of months.