Potty training. Those two words can bring out more stories, more tales of terror, than just about anything else for every single mom. There are so many theories about the right way to do it. People have written entire books about it. So many concerns about not traumatizing your child during the course of events. (Excuse me, but my thoughts are that it is more traumatizing to sit in your own urine and feces.)
Some kids agree with my thought that sitting in your own mess is not pleasant. These are the ones who are potty trained before age two. You clap and sing and do a little dance and it is as simple as that. Everyone is happy.
Then you have the child who is terrified of the toilet. For some, the opening itself is frightening. So you buy a little potty seat that is their size. It is a disgusting thing to keep clean. Sometimes it is easier to put an adaptive seat on top of the original. Then there is the concern for what happens to that marvelous specimen that the child has produced. Where did it go? The actual flushing of a toilet can be traumatic for little ones, especially when you are in a public bathroom. Those are the places that use the super powered flushing system. Even as an adult you become certain that everything in the stall is going to be sucked down the toilet. So you grab your child, and your coat and purse and try to put on a brave face. And then you bolt for the door as quickly as possible!
But anyway, in the home it should not be so terrifying to the child. It is honestly a matter of control for them. An adult can equate it to voting for a school levy. It is one of the few taxes that you are allowed to say yes or not to. And most adults exercise that control. Well, going to the bathroom is one of the few things that a child has control over. They don't get to select dinner, bed times, etc. They don't get to decide whether or not to pick up their toys, brush their teeth or go to school. But they do control the bathroom experience.
A few of mine, usually the girls, were quite easy to convince to use the potty. All I had to do was offer them their choice of princess underwear! The boys were much more difficult and cunning. They had an agenda. Underwear was not a sufficient bribe for them. And so, I succumbed. I offered fire trucks, dump trucks, trips to McDonald's and a new car when they turned 16. You just needed to find the right temptation. Of course boys can be more dangerous than the girls. They have a lot more trouble controlling the direction of their urine, with the exception of the Jonado. I have been peed on by her as well as my grandson when foolishly squatting in front of them when they were on the toilet.
And then the real nightmare begins. You, as an adult must begin to memorize the locations of every single bathroom available to the public. Invariably, you will be out shopping, or running another errand when they start doing the potty dance. There is no waiting! Run! Run to the nearest bathroom! You will find yourself leaving an entire grocery order on the conveyor belt without explanation.
You can also be fooled by the child who simply is curious or has a life goal of experiencing every single bathroom that exists in a 100 mile radius.
And finally, the experience is an adventure in and of itself. Many children, (or is it just mine) desperately want to share the experience with you. I have gotten quite descriptive "shout outs" from the bathroom. "Mom! I did it! It's a long snakey one! And it has eyes!"
By age two, most parents are anxious to get out of diapers. Believe me I understand. We spent a grand total of 13 years in diapers. But a word to the wise, be careful what you wish for. You just may find yourself racing frantically through the mall for that bathroom before the final buzzer sounds!!! Have a beautiful and grace-filled week. Don't forget to smile at those frustrating events in your life. You will miss them some day!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!