Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Potty Training, Part 1: Just Do It!

Sun is almost two and a half and should be potty trained according to his great grandmothers. I agree, and it's not like we haven't tried. Each time we get into the sitting on the potty routine, Sun seems to develop constipation. Then again, I haven't been good about keeping to that routine, in part, because we have so many interruptions in our daily routine that I would hesitate to call it such. For instance, in a few days, we will go on a five-day road trip. Why try to potty train Sun when he's going to be stuck in a car seat for hours on end, in unfamiliar locations, and totally off of any "schedule." This is what I tell myself, but it's probably just an excuse.

Like this one: I want to get him a more comfortable potty chair. When I bought his current potty chair, I was in the old Baby Boomer mindset: We don't need a tricked-out chair with music, a rack for holding magazines, and a flushing sound. So, we bought the basic model plastic potty, the most tricked-out feature of which is a rubber splash guard. Then, I see in the learn-to-go-to-the-potty videos and books these smiling babies, straddling what looks like a pony or a duck, contentedly bouncing away while doing their business.

Sun doesn't look like that when he sits on his potty. He looks--, well, bored. Maybe confused. He will sit there while I read to him or talk or sing. (I no longer run the water faucet to "encourage" him.) He sits there and sits there, and does nothing. I want to say, "Just do it!" but I don't. I know one day it will all click for him so I'm not anxious about this. The doctors, nurses, and teachers I've talked to sort of expect that a boy will not be potty trained until he's closer to three.

But today, my mother brought the subject up again. Gingerly. She had read an article in the newspaper about some parents who were still changing diapers for a three-year-old. That is unnecessary and unnacceptable, say the great grandmothers. I agree. "Sun is ready," she said. "He could learn in a couple of days. The article said parents put it off, but you just have to do it."

Just do it. Long sigh. Just do it.


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