Friday, February 15, 2013

An Unsung Victory Vs. Pull-Up Purgatory

parenting reflections

Something amazing happened in our home last week. It was at least a glimmer of hope for a Mom who considers herself quite hopeless on the subject of potty training.

I think I should just accept that my children like to make this big transition later than their peers. Most of our friends had their children potty trained by 2. My kids both drug it out, kicking and screaming with tears and tantrums, until over 3-years old. To be honest, it happened right before they each turned 4.

Now that I am getting closer to my due date with baby #3, I can't imagine doing two in diapers, again. My older children are 22 months apart and diapering two at the same time is exhausting. Not to mention that once they hit 3-years old I don't want to wipe that anymore. It is a big mess that only needs to be shared with a porcelain throne.

I have heard it all.

Everyone I knew, and even some people I barely know had potty training advice for me. I know they meant well, but I was a hopeless cause. Here are some of my favorites:

One that didn't sound half bad to me was intense potty training sans pants. I think this one might be best left to the Summer months of backyard sprinklers and hoses, but it seems like everyone I talked to was braving it indoors.

After hearing stories about the "no-pants" training sessions and the multiple carpet shampoos necessary in a day, I decided it just wasn't for me. I mean, I don't even like it when the cat gets sick. I do NOT want that kinda mess on the carpet.

No thank you, I would rather stay in pull-up purgatory!

Another favorite tip was to find the "perfect" bribe (er, reward). Yeah, no amount of bribing could make either of my kiddos give up their pants-in potty. The kids seemed really excited and willing until it was time to visit the bathroom. Then they became stubborn and backed out on our previous deals.

Yes, I set timers. I set timers upon timers and found myself losing days and then weeks. In the end the kids broke me. I dreamed of what I would say to their 1st grade teachers about their training pants. I sweated it every day until it was finally over.

Something clicked for both of them. I don't know what or why, but they just started doing it. I gave them praise, we celebrated, but it happened so quickly and quietly it almost didn't seem real. It was their choice. Albeit I pushed and prodded, but they humbled me. My husband was fed up and I was resigned, but in the end it all worked out. My daughter is not without occasional accidents, but I know the days for even those are numbered.

Potty Training Adventures

This is what gets me about parenting. It never works out like an episode of Leave it to the Beaver. As a parent, I don't have all the answers. My kids teach me to be patient everyday. And life shows me that things work out in their own time. This was our unsung victory. A quiet and beautiful change of life that took me out of the perpetual frustration of diapers with a big kid. If I could write a note to myself to open 3 years from now, when my unborn baby is nearing this stage,  it would read:

Be patient and stay calm. It will all work out.

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  1. I'm in the middle of 'potty training' my youngest who is 3. We've had days go by with everything done IN the potty while wearing a pull up the whole time. Then, the day he asks to wear underwear he'll go in them less than an hour after putting them on.

    So, I'm resolved to be in pull up purgatory for a while longer.

    1. Oh, I know how you feel Laura! It makes me smile that one day it just clicks. We still have accidents, but (knock on wood) haven't had one for about a week so I think we finally hit a daytime milestone. Best of luck with your own potty training journey.

  2. Potty training was a long process for us too because my two were close in age as well. I was happy to stay in Pull-ups purgatory for a while as well!

  3. lol my mother in law started hounding me about potty training as soon as my oldest turned two. it was a lot of pressure that we did not need. I realized that kids will train when they are ready and it's easier just to wait until they are. less stress and time wasted all around

  4. I hate potty training!!! Both my boys trained just before age 3. One son took a week! But when he was ready! I am hoping to start DD18mths this summer, but it all depends on her!

  5. My girls were super easy and then when I had a boy I was worried because of all the horror stories that I heard from my sister about her boys. Luck was on my side though and my son was using the potty at age 2 and just had his 3rd birthday and we are free from pull ups 100% (used them at night)!

  6. Yay. It's always nice when you can stop buying diapers!

  7. Potty trained by 2?? Michael is a few days shy of 19 months and I'm just starting to consider buying him a potty chair. Do you think I shot myself in the foot with that? I was thinking about doing the naked method because everyone raves about it... too many options! ahhhhhhh :/

    1. I think every child is so different. I wouldn't be shocked if my next child potty trains earlier than the others. They like to keep me on my toes. Trust your gut and may the force be with you!

  8. So so true. There's never one fized way of doing things and honestly I think God blesses us with kids to make us better people!! Learning so much from my two!

  9. thanks for sharing this - we are in the midst of the very same thing. I, like you, have had to resolve in my mind that my boy does things like this a little later than others but he is very advanced in other areas (like reading).

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  12. I completely agree. Sure it's OK to try some method to help with potty training, but when they get the best of you, drop them. As my mother says, I'm sure your baby won't be wearing diapers when they walk down the aisle to get married!

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