Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mad or Genius?

Today is Day #2 in our potty training adventures. Whether I'm completely mad or bordering on genius, the fact is I've decided to take on the challenge of potty training my 20-month-old son. And if you ask me how I feel now halfway into Day #2, I'll tell you that I'm exhausted and proud and decidedly meditating on only the very most present moments in time. Because it doesn't matter how we'll ever figure out naptime or bedtime. It only matters that right now, in our home, my son has begun taking on this new responsibility. And he's doing so well!
So many people have asked why we're doing it so early. He is a boy, after all. And still not even two years old. The truth is, most days, I forget that he's still only 20 months old because he talks to me like a much older child. He understands what I ask, what I say and he responds appropriately on every occasion. He is such a bright child, I often have to take some time to figure out the connection his brilliant mind has made {and mine, clearly, has not} in order to understand what he is trying to tell me.
On top of that, he has never allowed me to baby him. My firstborn child. He should have been my experiment. The child on which I broke all of the rules and had to spend the next few years trying to correct. But thankfully {in hindsight} he never let me make any of those mistakes. He refused to sleep in our bed the few times we tried. He doesn't want to be rocked to sleep. In fact, he demands to go "night night", which means we put him in his crib with no more than a kiss. He wants to do everything we do and knows the difference between fake and real. He loves when my husband pretends to shave his face, but now has decided that it is not sufficient unless the razor is on and buzzing away. {This, obviously, makes it quite tricky!} He doesn't like to be given food when he can get it himself. He's incredibly independent and highly self-motivated. He doesn't need our approval. He doesn't want a treat. He has such a beautiful confidence in himself and that is quite enough for him.
So naturally, going on the potty was something he wanted to do and did well from the start. We started sitting him on the potty before his bath a few months ago. He derived such pride and pleasure from this new adventure that we began trying it more often. And nearly every time, he'd find himself successful.
 I didn't want to push him, but I felt like he was ready. So I decided to give it a shot. If he refused, I wouldn't push him. I'd simply try again in a month or so. But to our delight, he has {so far} taken to this new responsibility so naturally! Since we only have a bathroom on our second floor, we placed his little frog potty in our kitchen. {It's located in the corner in which he usually hides to do his business...perfect!} Every time he has to pee, he either runs over to the potty or tells me. And each time he goes, he hops up and exclaims "Did it!" Sometimes he'll also congratulate himself by saying "Good boy!" We give him a High-5 and he's back to playing.
While we still have a long road {and many accidents} ahead of us, I am so proud of him for taking on this responsibility so well. The thing is, it's not an easy job. And it's definitely a full time job. Last night, I'll admit I had a moment where I regretted doing it so early--it's just easier to throw a diaper on and not worry about it. {I think it was the thought of having to use every public restroom we pass...} But once we're through it, I know I'll be so happy. So relieved. And I'll forget all about the challenge that it was...until it's little sister's turn, of course!

When did you potty train your children? How did you decide they were ready for the challenge? Any tips and/or tricks to make the experience easier?

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