Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Talking Potty: I'm such a cliché Mommy-Blogger.

A week or so ago, I picked up the following letter from the Boy's cubby at daycare:

Dear Pre-School Parents:

Over the next few weeks, we would like to begin toilet training. However, we will need your help in order for your child to be successful!

Consistency (between home and daycare) and patience are the keys to your child's success. Of course, there will no doubt be accidents!

Please let us know if we have your support and advise us of any questions or concerns which you may have.

Thank you for your support.
Pre-school Staff


Admittedly at first, I was really excited. I was kind of hoping that the daycare would take over the dirty work for me. The Boy is a follower by nature, and would fare much better if he saw his friends doing it. Ah, the power of peer pressure. It's not all bad, after all.

Staying true to my Slacker Mom profile, I have also not called the daycare to let them know of my support or ask any questions. I really should get on that..

You see, the Boy shows ABSOLUTELY NO INTEREST in the potty. Wait, he maybe shows some interest in AVOIDING the potty. Does that count? I didn't think so. Frankly, I haven't been all that concerned up to this point. Although I would love to save money on diapers, they are rather convenient. I don't have to worry about accidents, or running to find a bathroom. And, everything I've read said that it's not a good time to start potty training if your child is about to have a new sibling. So, I thought that perhaps January would be a good time to start, if he hasn't shown an interest by then.


But I want to be supportive of their initiative. We bought pull-ups for daytime use. I know a lot of people think that they delay potty training, but since I've seen no indication that he's actually ready, I thought it was at least a baby step in the right direction. That way we could pull them up and down easily if we got to the point when he actually might approach the potty. We still use diapers at night, though, because the pull-ups aren't absorbent enough for 10+ hours of pee, and there is no way he's going to wake up to go. And NO WAY am I going to spend mucho $$ for fancy "overnight" pull-ups unless I get some encouraging signs from the Boy himself.

So how, exactly, does a parent encourage and support an initiative with an unresponsive child? We've been talking up the potty for ages. We let him know when we're going to the potty. We take him to the potty with us if he shows interest. We bought Big Boy underwear with cars (!!) on it that the Boy chose himself (and that will probably remain in his drawer until he gets too big for them at this point...)

This week, I started taking him to the potty in the morning, stripping his diaper, and sitting him on his new Diego (!!) potty seat cover that we bought together. I try to make it as fun as possible, and I don't do it for long. I obviously don't insist that he pee or anything. I was hoping it would just become a natural part of the routine. I don't do it before bedtime though, because I don't want to force the issue or make it at all unpleasant for him.

The first thing that the Boy said to me when I went into his room to wake him up this morning was:

"I don't want to go pee."

And now I feel like a Bad Mother.

This kid always knows how to throw me for a loop. I am fully armed with knowledge on how to encourage a child who is showing interest in the potty. I am not versed on how to encourage someone who is not. And yet, at daycare, they say he has no resistance to sitting on the potty (although he has never actually peed).

So are they pushing him to do something for which he is not ready? Or, does he just regress and lose independence whenever he's around me?? I was all about the former, but lately I'm starting to suspect it's the latter.

What I do know is my head hurts.

21 comments:

kittenpie said...

I would leave it. I would explain to them the very things you explained here, which make perfect sense.

Ours backed off potty training for a while, and we just left it, knowing she'd be switching care situations soon, and a few months later, she was right into it. No harm done.

There is no sense making it a battle, because he WILL win. Why give them the stick to beat you with?

Plus, my MIL waited until three years with all her kids because she had babies to look after when they were two. Well, they are all happy, well-adjusted, potty-using grownups now.

I think you know what you're doing, and you know your kid.

kittenpie said...

I would leave it. I would explain to them the very things you explained here, which make perfect sense.

Ours backed off potty training for a while, and we just left it, knowing she'd be switching care situations soon, and a few months later, she was right into it. No harm done.

There is no sense making it a battle, because he WILL win. Why give them the stick to beat you with?

Plus, my MIL waited until three years with all her kids because she had babies to look after when they were two. Well, they are all happy, well-adjusted, potty-using grownups now.

I think you know what you're doing, and you know your kid.

Alley Cat said...

I would leave it too. My friend's daughter is potty trained at daycare, but not at home, and that's the way it is going to be until my friend finds the time and energy to start pushing it at home.

Beck said...

Eh, I don't know. My grandma had each of her 8 children fully potty trained by 18 months, which makes me feel like I'm quite the malinger-er.
But The Baby still uses diapers. Because Mama is laaaazzzzy.

Kathryn said...

Have you tried bribery? It worked really well for us. We didn't use it for going pee as the boys loved to stand up and aim into the toilet, but they were scared to death to go poo on the potty. Every time they did they got a Hotwheel. It worked wonders.
Good luck!

Kyla said...

I think I'd call the school first and discuss things. See how the conversation goes and how the Boy is handling it at school and go from there.

painted maypole said...

all I can say is good luck, and it just now, after turning 5, that MQ has given up the nighttime pullups, so don't even begin to worry about the nighttime stuff yet.

kate said...

The daycare/preschool we used for our two would make a point of having all the kids "go" as part of a routine at specific times, and they both sat on the potty along with the rest. But, they also wore diapers because while they were ready to sit on the potty at school with their classmates, they weren't ready to commit enough to give up the diapers. So I let them get that exposure at daycare and encouraged any interest at home, but without pressuring. Eventually (like, months later) they were ready.

Anyway, I guess this is kind of a long way of saying that I think it's perfectly possible to have him participate in the potty training at school, but not actually ditch the diapers until he's ready. Of course, the preschool teachers may feel differently, but I imagine they understand that kids sometimes need to go at their own pace...

ewe are here said...

Ahhh, we're facing the same thing. MF has completely gone off using the potty and doesn't want to.

I would leave it for now, he's told you he's not ready, and his life is about to change a lot anyway(new baby). Making such a huge new demand on him right now will probably backfire.

And, truth be told, I'd have been more than a little irked to have a preschool tell me that THEY were ready to start potty training MY child, and could I help THEM out. I don't think so. I'll let you know when my child is ready, thank you very much.

cinnamon gurl said...

I got no experience to offer, except that you're probably always safe going with your gut.

kgirl said...

We practice 'potty awareness.' The potty is there, I encourage her to sit on it, and give her 2 chocolate chips if she pees. I also try to have a diaper-free time every day, hoping that she'll become more aware of her body's needs, but last night she just peed all over her colouring book.
Meh.

New baby coming. Can't expect her to deal with too many transitions at once.

Mad Hatter said...

Ya, what k-girl said: we had diaper-free days in the summer which helped. I always encourage her to sit on the potty when I am running her bath water in the evening.

For Miss M, reading was the trick. She'd sit on the potty for an eternity if I would read to her while she was on it.

But that sibling issue is a huge one. Or any other major life stress. Miss M was all but potty trained and then day care came along. 6 weeks later we are just now starting to gain back a bit of our lost ground. If I were you, I wouldn't worry about it until long after the boy gets to adjust to the baby brother (or sister?).

b*babbler said...

I have no experience with this (yet) but I agree with everyone else about not pushing the issue, especially with the new sibling.

Also, I, too, would be annoyed with a form letter letting me know that the school is ready to start toilet training. A private discussion between parents and caregivers is one thing, to discuss readiness, a form letter is another thing entirely.

motherbumper said...

Ack - I would wait and save the headache for later. He probably will want to do it once he sees the others doing it but forcing it? Sounds like a recipe for Freud (says the woman who has zero experience).

bren j. said...

Gee I don't envy that at all....there's a girl in my LLL group that's starting potting training with her daughter who is FOUR MONTHS old. At first I was like, 'Oh hey! That's awesome!' But the more I thought about it....why rush it when your child isn't ready? They only get to be this young and 'innocent' once, right? Potty training at four months just seems like forcing a kid to grow up too fast.

On the other hand, I also used to work in an office at a Kindergarten and not all of those kids came potty trained either.

So four months is too young, five years is too old....there has to be a 'perfect' balance....here's wishing you the best of luck finding it!

(A Diego toilet seat!?!? Boy, we sure missed out, didn't we?)

Sandra said...

Boys are so different than girls with potty training.

I need to write about how my son was trained sometime - but basically it was one of his classmates that did it. He wanted to pee standing up just like him 'cause it looked so damn fun. Hopefully your son will have a kid like that in his class - peer pressure at its finest

Mimi said...

I'm not at this stage yet, but I jsut wanted to add my voice to the chorus of "wait, if that's what you feel with your gut." Good luck.

Naomi (Urban Mummy) said...

I'm with the others...leave it. Or, at least, don't force it. It will become a power struggle, and you could end up with more problems. He will train eventually, when he's ready.

mamaluv said...

I'm feeling your pain! My son did the same this time last year ... it too shall pass, as they say! Of all the challenges I've known thus far in motherhood, I must say potty training is the most frustrating. But maybe it's because, as some others have commented, I'm looking at my mother's/ grandmothers' experiences and trying to start training at 18 months, only to finally complete at 3 yrs old. Yeah, that was a pretty dumb idea.

Susanne said...

I'd say leave it too. He isn't 3 yet, isn't he? My son absolutely wanted to get diaper-free before he was ready and drove me totally crazy with that. A couple of months later it was a total non-issue.

He won't go in diapers forever and since he isn't five yet or something... And well, when he likes to sit on the potty in preschool, let him.

Relax, breathe.

Modified Mummy said...

I think it's a bit daft for someone other than the primary carers of a child to decide that now is the time to start potty training.

but maybe that's just me.

My son is only just potty trained a few months ago. He had just turned three years old. We tried every now and then and he wasn't interested, then one time he just took to it, and within two days he was dry day and night.

No point pushing for it, just causes stress all around.

Oh hi, I'm laura by the way.