Thursday, March 08, 2007

Potty Training: From the top of the Hill

I've avoided writing about Eric's potty training on here because it's not a good idea to write things in public that your kids might get teased about later. But I learned a lot in the process so I thought I'd make some general comments about it. So, here goes:

  1. Potty training is very stressful. For the parents. Most preschool/toddler boys couldn't care less that they are standing in urine. Whereas, parents find the concept of a large puddle of pee being trailed and scattered through the house by a fast moving and oblivious bolt of lightning aka three-year-old-boy unspeakably daunting.
  2. Do NOT start this process until your kid is on board. Even if you have to wait until they are three or 4.
  3. NEVER pick a fight you can't win with a toddler or a preschooler. Potty training is NO exception. There is NOTHING you can do to make them use the toilet until they are comfortable with the idea.
  4. Even when they are on board, there will be a lot of accidents. Sometimes four or five in an hour. Learn to love your washing machine.
  5. One day, like magic they will stop having accidents. Then for about a week, out of nowhere they will start again. But the days and weeks between the spate of accidents will keep getting longer and longer.
  6. A pee soaked bag of clothes, thoughtfully knotted into a plastic grocery bag by a teacher will become utterly foul if you leave it sitting in the laundry for more than a day. (this is a very important rule)
  7. Once you commit to the underpants for good, you will be housebound for a few weeks.
  8. Use pull ups for naps and night time until they're dry on their own. Even if your kid is in grade school before you can get rid of them. This is biological and developmental. They will be dry through the night when their bodies are ready. No amount of fluid limitations will help until their bodies mature. Some kids can do this at three, some not until they are in early adolescence. Treat it like an allergy they will outgrow.
  9. Two words: Nature's Miracle. Just go to a pet store and ask for it. It works on human pee too. It will save your carpets.
  10. Lastly when you're up to your elbows in pee for the sixth time that day, and it's only 8:30 AM and you're wondering if your kid will ever get it, just remember. This too shall pass.



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