Potty training has got to be one of the worst parts of raising young children. Don’t get me wrong, I hate changing diapers, especially poopy ones, but there is something infinitely more easy about changing a diaper than teaching a child to use the potty. I mean, sure it is no fun wiping my child’s butt while he lays there, hands clasped behind his head, smiling like he’s enjoying it. However, the mishaps during the exhausting potty training period are grosser than the smelliest, yet contained diaper.
My oldest son is the only one of my three boys potty trained so far and soon I will need to embark on that harrowing adventure again with my almost two and a half year old. I admit that my oldest son wasn’t fully potty trained until shortly before turning four despite having started the attempts at it before he was two. Even now he still has occasional accidents, as well as the occasional “screw you for sending me to my room” non-accidents.
Our potty training journey was ripe with “incidents.” For instance, there was the time my son, almost two at the time, was taking a bath, which promptly ended when we peed in said bath. I took him out of the water and wrapped him in a towel, but before I could get a diaper on him, he was off like a shot, shedding his towel in his haste. He ran into the kitchen where his father was, knelt down on all fours and crawled over to my husband barking like a dog. He then proceeded to stop in front of my husband, squat, and poop one solid turd in front of him, then he was on his way again. I have to admit, at that moment I was proud; he’d managed to hold his poop until the end of the bath. You have to celebrate even the smallest victories when potty training.
Even just a few days ago we had an “incident.” Even though my son poops on the potty now (most of the time, occasionally he prefers near a tree in the backyard), he has trouble with the whole bum wiping. Nothing delights me more than to be just sitting down to a quiet moment, finally getting a chance to eat lunch, when five treasured little words are hollered down the hall, “I need my bum wiped.” Oh yay! Upon entering the bathroom, a greeting like no other is given, as a tiny little bare bottom faces the door with hands spreading cheeks and aforementioned butt awaits wiping. As I relished in this wonderful event the other day, I couldn’t help but notice the poop to be a little, well… squishier than usual. I began to ask if my son was feeling okay, when, mid wipe, I received a sudden surprise of more poop deposited into the wipe. “You’re pooping again!” I yelled as I as tried to figure out how to get the tiny bottom back on the toilet without the poop getting all over the freshly cleaned bathroom. Eventually I resigned myself to my fate, realizing that I was better off just catching the poop in a wipe or two than risk getting it everywhere and creating a big mess that I would have to clean. This was not one of those moments to celebrate.
So I admit, when I questioned my two and a half year old yesterday, as I changed yet another fruit induced near blow out, if he wanted to start pooping on the potty and he defiantly shouted “no,” I breathed a little sigh of relief knowing that his answer had just bought me another month before I’ll need to start down the potty training road again. In the meantime, I will just encourage him to save most of his pooping for evenings and weekends, when his father is home.