Raising tiny humans is a scary endeavor.
From the realization that they are actually going to send you home from the hospital with a human being, to the first time they get sick, then the first time that you realize they are now mobile and you have to baby/toddler proof all.the.things and everything that happens in between. While most of these moments are also amazing, I think we can all agree they are scary as all get out as well.
However this summer I reached the most terrifying moment of toddler hood so far- potty training.
I was scared ya'll.
Until this moment, I had control. We could go where we wanted, when we wanted (you know, with minimal hissy fits and tantrums) without really having to worry. I knew once we started potty training we would have to be more careful with our outings. Making sure a potty was readily available, constantly asking if he had to go potty, being ready to clean the car seat or the sheets or the couch in the occurrence of an accident. To be honest? I wasn't sure I was ready for that change. However I did want Grayson to go to preschool, and in order to do that, he had to be potty trained.
Over the summer we would put him on the potty before bath time and he would pee and he was waking up with dry diapers, so I knew he was getting close to being ready to try. However we also had a nice 10 hour drive to the beach in the beginning of August, so I knew I didn't want to do anything until after we returned from our trip.
So I read books, blogs and articles. The three day method, the five day method- you name it I read about it. The facts that say boys can take 6-8 months to be fully trained, those that claim it can happen in three days. By the time we were ready to try I didn't know what the hell I was getting myself into.
Over Labor Day weekend we decided to start, because Grayson had to be ready in two weeks for preschool. I went out and bought a bunch of rewards, little toys and stickers, as well as a bunch of fun big boy underwear. We had lots of juice and water at the ready and I was determined.
So Saturday morning hits and I got him up out of bed with the alarming news, Mommy had ran out of diapers. I told him we would put on some big boy underwear and if he had to pee he would just tell Mommy or Daddy. Then I said if he managed to keep his underpants dry until we could get to the store he could pick out a present. He said okay and off we went with our "normal" routine. Only we ran to the bathroom every 20 minutes and as soon as he went pee on the potty he got to pick from the prize bin. He managed to stay dry all day, so after dinner we headed off to Target to pick out his reward. Once we were there I asked if he wanted more diapers or a toy- and he went toy. There was no looking back.
Over the next three days he had only one pee accident. He asked me to change his diaper and when I said he wasn't wearing a diaper he then said "Well then I peed on the carpet." Thanks, dude.
So he got the hang of peeing very quick, but for some reason was terrified to poop on the potty. For the next week he pooped in his underwear, in the tub, removed his pants and even went on the floor- but come hell or high water he would not go on the potty. Thinking the reward system would work I told him if he pooped on the potty he could go pick out a fish for a tank we would put in his room- he said he didn't want a fish.
I literally didn't know what to do. My in-laws said that when the hubs was little he had a similar issue, and they solved it by turning him around on the potty so he was facing backwards. The next time he said his belly hurt, I convinced him to try the potty. Turned him around and that was all it took. After he realized that he went he was so proud, and it only took him about 30 seconds to ask if we could go get his fishy. How could I argue, in the car we went.
Everyone, meet Dory the beta fish.
I truly believe that I had nothing to do with this success, it was all this boy. He has to make his mind up to do something and once he does he's golden. I'm just glad he made it pretty easy on us, because if it was a 6-8 month struggle like one book said I may have sent him off to college in some Pampers.
As terrifying as this parenting gig may be, this kid makes it a pretty awesome ride.