Yes lovely readers. If you’re not yet a parent and not yet up on the lovely world of Toddler poo then avert your eyes. Go on, save yourselves!!! For the pic above is indeed of my fair offspring taking an alfresco crap in his Grandad’s garden. I wasn’t there for this ‘au naturale’ spot of alternative potty training. Luckily for you Blake (if you’re reading this in 20 years time seeing as I email you all of these posts) your Grandad Tez was armed with his trusty camera to capture you getting to grips with the remnants of your previous meal right here. Dirty little bugger that you are! We can’t really put this down to one little accident and forgive your fecal sins for this was merely one of approximately six separate open air craps you did that day. Every one you did with glee, excitement and happiness in your face. You also tried very hard to touch each one but thankfully your Nanny Viv averted some more toddler shitty fingers incidents and stopped you poking at your poo.
Ladies and Gentlemen, potty training is shit. Literally. And piss. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be writing about my kid’s bodily functions and I apologise if I’ve put you off your dinner, disgusted you, and/or made you gag.
It’s been almost a week since I posted my dilemmas about our relapse with Potty Training.
I was overwhelmed by the response I received. Mummies far and wide offered words of wisdom and advice when it comes to dealing with ones and twos and the stresses of this horrible (but necessary) stage of child development. However, as with all things parenting what works for one kid doesn’t work for another. So my conclusion was after reading all the lovely comments here, on Facebook and Twitter was that I’d written a stressed, but funny blog post, made people laugh and not really got anywhere at the end of it. There was really no right answer. I had to trust my maternal instincts, sit down and discuss it with Shaun and decide what we felt was right as Blake’s parents.
An old school friend Sara got in touch and her words rang true – will it really matter when Blake’s 21 at what age he was dry? No. It won’t. In my head I just thought getting him out of nappies would save us a few quid and also my inner hippy connected to her Earthly chakras and felt good about doing something for the environment. (I still feel guilty that I couldn’t cope with cloth nappies and feel horrified at all the nappies I’ve stuck in a landfill somewhere). Yeah, yeah, I’m a hippy. Deal with it.
So Sara’s words hit a chord with me and Shaun and we wondered and worried if we were pushing Blake into this too early. We worked it out that we’d been doing the training with Pull-Ups for three months. The first time Blake used the toilet he actually took it upon himself to get up there alone and proudly shout to us to “come see! I wee-weed”. I’d intended to use two weeks off work to potty train back in May/June but decided he wasn’t ready. Then sod’s law, the last day of our fortnight off he surprised us with his impromptu solo toilet trip. So, to chuck all that hard work away after one or two shitty incidents would be a real shame. Kate of the Five Fs blog advised that although I didn’t want to resort to bribery, it was VERY effective. I felt like a failure purchasing chocolate buttons to bribe Blake to use the loo but I have to admit it’s worked like a dream. He’s not asking for treats all the time either which I’m pleased about. Sometimes he’s just as happy with the lunatic song and dance Shaun and I make when he goes to the loo or uses the potty. I reckon we look like a hardcore football fan who’s just witnessed his team score the winning goal at Wembley crossed with a Babboon on ecstasy. The jumping up and down, whopping, cheering and arms flailing everywhere is a sight to behold. But this charade works and Blake loves the praise so we will continue to look like an ecstatic ape-like Bez from the Happy Mondays whilst this ploy is working.
This is exactly like our “well done you’ve just done a crap” dance and face
So, a week on from my stressed out post and things have significantly improved. On average he’s had one accident a day with his childminder last week and from Friday to today he’s had one accident with us (which was when he was asleep in the car in pants not a Pull-Up). We’ve started a little morning ritual of laying out various ‘big boy pants’ for him to choose from and he seems to love pondering over each pair before making a decision which ones he wants;
Choosing his pants for the day (and having a fiddle!)
He’s not really bothered with the star chart since last week so I gave up on that. He preferred peeling the stars off and sticking them on the poor dog. As I mentioned, I have resorted to bribery with the chocolate buttons but I don’t offer these every time. I use these as bargaining for the stressed out times of when we need to leave the house and I need him to at least try and go to the toilet. It’s only been one working day so far but so far so good and today we were out of the house earlier than usual. It really helps me feel like I’m set up for the day when we have a relaxed morning.
I do think he’s starting to get the hang of the difference of wet and dry. I have been wetting kitchen roll and putting it on his hands saying “wet” “Blake’s hands are now wet” for a few weeks and then drying his hands on a towel saying “Dry, Blake’s hands are now dry!” with more Bez-like lunatic enthusiasm. Over the last few days he has been desperate to dry his hands when we have washed them and repeats “Dry Mummy! Hands dry!” with excitement. The bedtime ritual has changed somewhat too. Yes, I do think he’s trying it on when he says “Mummy, need wee-wee” for an hour after he’s gone to bed and I know my Mum was getting frustrated at me tonight when I said he’d peed five times since bedtime saying “Just ignore him! He’s testing you and having you on!”. He may be (Yes, I know he is!) but I truly believe he has to feel like we trust and believe him at this early stage. I need him to tell me when he wants to go and so if that means five times at bedtime then so be it. He did actually do something five times so he’s either got a camel-like bladder or a stash of orange squash he’s pouring into his potty when my back is turned!
So, that’s us and where we’re up to with our potty training. I’m giving it until the end of next week to make a decision on whether we should stop this. I think if I have another few days like last week then I won’t hesitate to stop and try again in a few months. I don’t want to jinx it but I feel like he’s made great progress over the last few days and I’m going to cross everything – fingers, toes, legs, arms and eyes that it continues. That’s if I don’t dislocate my joints doing those idiotic celebratory potty dance moves of course!