When becoming a parent, I looked forward to most of the stages of parenting. Most of them I got to watch my sister, friends and family parent their children, while taking some side-notes. However, the one stage I dreaded was potty training. It’s something that is so – by the kid – type of training. Not all kids train the same. What worked for 1 kid probably won’t work for another so we knew we were going into this with a blind eye.
A bit of history about Simon. I made the decision to put him on the toilet at 4 months as I was full-time cloth diapering at the time. This saved me a TON of poopy diapers to scrub so the dedication and determination was so worth it. Unfortunately when he turned 1 he had a big battle of back-to-back ear infections where the antibiotics really messed with his digestive system so we transitioned to disposables and sadly stopped the potty-times. This was a big regret because he really took 10 steps back when it came to using the potty. Now it was a burden in his day to set time aside to sit on the potty when there is toys to be played with and imagination to be used.
I tried a few strategies while working full time and unfortunately they just didn’t stick. I didn’t have a daycare that was able to focus along side me full time to potty train my child (I also never expected them to). However the times we did try allowed us to learn what kind of child we were up against when it came to this type of transition. This was something I knew I had to be fully dedicated to and work with him in order to be successful. Once we got pregnant, I knew the time at home would allow me to work on this transition before the next one came along.
As you’ve read in my previous posts, I was pulled from work earlier than anticipated due to some medical reasons. This was bitter sweet as I knew being home full time would be a big transition for both me and Simon, but I knew this would allow me to work with him on some goals we were setting before the baby comes, one being potty training. Doc appointments were filling up my schedule every week which meant we were in and out of our house constantly. Once I was able to line up my appointments on one day a week, this allowed me 6 other days to focus on potty training. I just prayed 6 days would be enough!
First, I knew I had to train myself. That was such a cliche saying to me until I was actually down to the nit and grit of this process. For those who don’t know me as a person, I rely on a clean house daily and organization. Yes, I have kids so there’s room for play and mess, but ultimately I sweep my floor everyday and wash my floor every other day. I have a structured week of laundry and cleaning days. This had to be thrown out the door this week and that was not easy for me. I’m a very structured individual (it really helps with my anxiety), so this was something I was nervous to let go.
To some this might sounds a bit redic to some, but I truly relied on prayer. The night before and the morning of I prayed for God to be on my team. I prayed for him to work along side me AND Simon. The night before, I explained to Simon that in the morning we were no longer going to be wearing diapers, and that we would be putting gitch on him. His response “Gitch like daddy?” – yes. Gitch like daddy. “Does papa wear gitch too?” – yes, your grandpas wear gitch too. The morning came and out came the gitch. We started with a BIG mess in the living room – like a lake sized mess. He felt so ‘icky’ and ‘gross’. I explained that when we wear gitch, we have to go on the potty to avoid the big mess in the living room. I honestly didn’t know if he’s actually care about the mess he left in the living room, but to my surprise, he was more worried about how I’d feel about the mess and he also didn’t like how he felt being so wet. This was a good kick start for us and before we knew it he was telling me he had to go.
The timing wasn’t perfect at first. The first day it was more the urge came before he was able to tell me, but he was able to keep himself from making a large mess and slowly we were able to eliminate the piddles. We praised him with words – it’s his love language. He’s not a big gift-person, even though he likes “treats” (treats to Simon are gummy candies like fruit snacks. He’s not a big chocolate/candy kid). “We are so proud of you for telling us you have to go to the bathroom!” was words we used that filled his confidence.
I’m glad (so glad) this phase is over and we can move on. It’s a bit sad to know this was the last thing about him being a baby I had left, but sooner than we know it we will be doing this all over again with no.2.