I love most things about being the parent of a toddler. Even the craziness, the mood swings, and the complete lack of privacy. But I do not like potty training. Those of you who have gone through this lengthy nightmare know how we go from celebrating to negotiating to all-out bribing until finally – finally! – we get to throw out that last package of pull-ups and pack the dresser drawer full of underoos.
As with everything else the first time around, I jumped into potty training my first son with books, expert advice, a “plan.” I got a little potty, put it in just the right place, got toddler seats for all our big toilets, and set out to get it done. I read how to let him take the lead, and when he dragged his lead on for 8 months, I followed the two-day potty training method which entailed becoming a slave to a naked toddler, a tiny plastic potty and an egg timer while not leaving my house for 48 hours.
I followed every rule in the “right” potty training methods. Not surprisingly, the two-day potty training worked like a charm…for about a week. And then we were back to the power struggle. It took almost 18 months to get my first son to consistently use the potty, and then what finally worked? My son changed his mind and decided he’d do it. And he would do it wearing purple Dora the Explorer undies.
Now that he’s a big four-year-old, the potty training nightmare is already a distant nightmare. Just in time to start again with my little one, who’s two. Only, this time, I’m not using up any books or egg timers or potties in the middle of the living room. Like so many things the second time around, I’m approaching this with a much more low-key attitude.
And it certainly doesn’t hurt that my little one walked up to the toilet two weeks ago and announced, “Okay. Me pee potty now.” Maybe that’s the blessing of a second child. They watch the older ones, they know what to do, and they go ahead and put themselves in charge. I’m not calling it a victory yet, but with two accident-free weeks and a two-year-old who’s just excited to pee like his brother, I’m going to sit back and let this one potty train himself.