Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What I wish I had said the other day...

...to the otherwise very nice teacher at our daycare centre...

"Believe me, there is no one else - with the obvious exception of Mr Earth - who would like to see the Boy using the potty more than me. We have introduced the subject time and again, only to be met just shy of complete resistance. By complete resistance, I mean shouting 'NO I DON'T WANNA GO TO THE POTTY!' and other similar choice phrases. I fully support the daycare's attempt to get him interested in potty training. In fact, in the end, I believe it may be the only way to get him to use the potty - he has always been a child who wants to do what everyone else is doing. The reason(s) that I have not pushed the subject harder to date is because, in my qualified opinion, he has not shown any of the typical signs of potty readiness other than wanting to buy new underwear (and that, only because he likes presents, like his mum). He does not tell me when he has to 'go'. He is not at all uncomfortable wearing wet diapers, pull-ups, or even underwear. He doesn't show any resistance to wearing diapers or pull-ups. He has difficulty taking off his pants and underwear, and usually asks us for help in doing so on the few occasions that he actually tries. Need I go on? Also, we just had a new addition to our family a few months ago, and it's taking some time to adjust, however amiable and easy-going the Boy may happen to be. I RESENT the implication that I am not potty training our child because it "might be more work for me". It's more work for me to change two sets of diapers, instead of sending one child off to the potty. I may be exhausted from tending a newborn, but I CAN see the big picture. Plus, I don't have a lot of money and I am spending upwards of $60 a week to keep the shit from hitting the floor, to be crass. Because I respect you and your experience with children, I am going to try out your suggestion and spend a couple of days of having him just wear underwear, and see what happens. Frankly, I don't have much faith that it will make a difference. BUT, as I said before, I DO want him to be potty trained. I was just hoping that it would happen more agreeably, with support from the most important factor in the equation - the Boy.

Thank you for your input."

24 comments:

LoryKC said...

My boy had no interest in potty training, either. He finally did start going when I just put underwear on him for good. I told him we were done with the pull-ups.
It took a good 24 hours but he did pretty well after that!
(Aside from the occasional "accident" that both of my children still have! They are far too old for this but in the case of too much distraction, entertainment, etc. they will simply put off going until they can not make it in time.)
(They never have accidents at school or in public though--only here where our new house has as many toilets as people!) *sigh*

motherbumper said...

NME, when I took B in for her 2 year checkup the doc said to me "she is not ready - she is too immature and it will back fire. She will let you know when she's ready". I took it to heart and it helps me stay strong when the folks get on my back about it. Sure, I'd love it if she was potty-trained but to echo (the always wise) you - nothing is going to happen until the most important factor in the equation is on board.

Damn, I wish you had said what you wrote.

Alpha DogMa said...

The older your child is when she/he starts toilet training, the quicker it happens. The learning curve for a three year old is steep and steady, this is not true with a two year old. Don't sweat it.

Mouse said...

When Scooter started preschool, he was a lot like your son in terms of interest in the potty. Nonetheless, he started potty training, because in the 2 1/2 + room, all the kids just wore underpants.

For most of the first year, he had one accident a day. If he wasn't feeling well, it was as many as four or five. Not fun for anyone. Especially since we didn't have a washer/dryer at home for the first few months.

By about age 4(!), accidents were rare, though they still do happen. And he's much better about pee than poop. I sometimes wonder if this might have gone more smoothly if we had just told them he needed to be in pullups. It certainly would have been easier on them.

Naomi (Urban Mummy) said...

The question is, what did you ACTUALLY say?

Personally, I believe that children will use the potty when they are ready. If you think about it, we spend 2 or more years with them in disposable diapers that are designed to keep them "feeling dry."

All of the sudden, they are expected to understand what it is to feel wet, that it is their own pee that makes them feel wet, and to not want to feel that. That is a HUGE cognitive leap to expect so quickly!

That being said, my son trained essentially in a day at his own request (don't hit me). But we wore cloth diapers all along, and so he was used to the feeling, and understood the connection between urinating and feeling wet essentially from birth.

Good luck!

kittenpie said...

You're absolutely right - there is no sense in pushing before he's ready, it will only set up a weird, adversarial dynamic around the issue, and that won't help later. I suspect they'd like him trained because it's easier for them and that's their typical timeline. Remember, very few kids go to kindergarten in diapers. My MIL said none of her kids were trained before three because she always had another baby, and wasn't about to take it on just then, thanks. Stand your ground mama - you know your own kid.

Don Mills Diva said...

Yes what did you ACTUALLY say? Graham is almost 27 months and I know he is not ready and I have no interest in forcing it whatsoever...

ewe are here said...

Gaw! Most people agree that new baby + still adjusting to new baby = no more big changes, and potty training would be a big change.

You'd think teachers would know better.

Maddy said...

Marvelous - why is it always afterwards when we've had some time to digest.
Cheers

Christine said...

potty training sucks and yet there is so much pressure to GET IT DONE! I get you on this--totally!

painted maypole said...

arg. i know what is it like to wish you had the right think to say at the right time.

good luck.

Mad Hatter said...

I had a similar case of staircase pique with Miss M's teachers in the fall about her reliance on her Ellas. As you say, otherwise lovely teachers do have their moments of simply not getting the wide range of childhood behaviours.

My only advice is that if he does wear underpants and has accidents, no matter how hard it may be and no matter how busy or stressed you may be, don't let him feel bad about the accident.

Beck said...

She said that "it might be more work for you"? I'm feeling a rush of sudden rage for you - rage likely because I have a slow pokey toilet trainer myself and lots of "helpful" advice from people not in our shoes.
He'll get there. In ten years, you won't even remember how old he was when he trained.

nomotherearth said...

Well, I don't remember the actual words exactly, just the shame. It was something along the lines of a pitiful "We want him potty trained too, but he's not showing an interest". And then I skulked off.

After the shame came the rage (accurate word, Beck).

wheelsonthebus said...

I actually disagree with Alpha Dogma -- Zach started at 2 and we had no anxiety about it because he was still young enough not to be freaked out by pooping on the potty. However, we followed HIS lead and HE was ready (mostly because he had a new baby in the house and got lots of attention everytime he said he had to go potty). It did take a long time to pull up and down his pants by himself, so we just helped him with that. In my experience, at least, that isn't the big sign of readiness. The big sign of readiness is the child wanting to use the potty.

You would do yourself a disservice to push him just because the daycare wants you to. If you keep giving him opportunities, he'll take them when he is ready.

Probably wise, however, not to haul off you the daycare teacher :)

the dragonfly said...

I've never potty trained a child myself, but learning from the experience of others...kids don't potty train until they're ready. You can't force it!

(and then you have my strange aunt who told me "When he's 6 months, start sitting him on the potty so he can be potty trained!" *sigh*)

Mad Hatter said...

Oh and don't forget the story of Miss M. Months of actively trying to train her. Two months of laying off completely and then BAM she did it in a day. Yes, No-Mo, they do it when they are ready.

Lisa b said...

I didn't read the other comments but here is my suggestion. Do what I do, lie. Tell them what they want to hear. Do what you can but tell them you are doing it all the time. You do not need one extra shred of stress in your life.
In my opinion there should be serious consequences for anyone who upsets new moms in this way.
I'll second what mad hatter says. My daughter trained early and I totally credited the daycare but then her two friends took months longer.
Please please please don't feel you have to do any more than offer him the potty when you have a chance.

bren j. said...

I'm so glad we're not to the point of potty training yet and I dread it. DREAD. FEAR and DREAD. A friend of my told me she used a slightly modified version of the Azrin-Foxx method (maybe a book in a local library?), which claims you can potty train a child in ONE DAY. Their modified version was more like a week but it worked. That's my only hope.

Maybe you could go back and give your monologue?

Magpie said...

I think your diaper service is overcharging your if you're having to pay $60/week for two children, you really should look into a different company, most are about $20/week or less (home delivery and pickup).

Tracey said...

Ah yes. Sounds like my eldest son. NO INTEREST IN POTTY TRAINING. The hours wasted in that bathroom... Took over a year and a half. Shoot, over 2 years if I want to be totally honest.

KC said...

hey, have something for you at my place...

Kyla said...

I wish you'd have said it too! LOL.

The Boy isn't ready, obviously, but one day he will be and it wil be much easier to accomplish if he doesn't have negative (battle-type) potty associations. I believe, strongly, that this is one of those things kids should take the lead on, because it truly saves everyone's sanity.

And I CANNOT believe she implied you are too LAZY to potty train. Seriously? Diapers really aren't a breeze AND they cost a ton. It made all that defensive Mommy fire rise up in my chest when I read that!

Brenda said...

blog friend of bren j's here:

I would have had the same mental dialogue with worse language probably while just smiling and nodding. I used to work in a daycare setting and I hated the "lets put 'em in underwear and see what happens trick" b/c it is a huge headache for the day care worker. I'd rather change the diapers! i'm sorry she was so blath to you. we had a smiliar experience with a doctor recently about nursing and the whole time i thought "YOU DON"T KNOW ME LADY OR MY LITTLE GIRL". He will probably just decide one day to pee and poop on the potty and that will be that! Good luck. And I love your "shit hitting the floor" reference!