POTTY TRAINING. DAY ONE. AFTERNOON.

Previous: Potty Training. Day One. Morning.

Oliver's finest potty training attire: top, socks, no pants, and one boot, on the wrong foot.

Oliver’s finest potty training attire: top, socks, no pants, and one boot — on the wrong foot, of course.

When Oliver woke from his nap it was 10 degrees celsius and sunny — a very rare occurrence in January. Based on the morning’s successes, I decided it was time to put some pants on him and go for a short walk. As soon as Oliver had peed on the potty, I grabbed his toilet seat insert and a change of pants and socks, and off we went for our favourite afternoon ritual, “nana an ca-hee” (that’s banana and coffee — the banana for Oliver and the coffee for me, just so we’re clear ;)).

Oliver was in really good spirits as we walked, babbling non-stop and pointing out all of the various things he was seeing along the way. I told him that I was very proud of how well he was using the potty, and that it was so exciting to be going for “banana and coffee” with no diapers on. When we got to the coffee shop, Oliver proudly ordered for us :).

As our coffee trip had only taken 20 minutes, and since Oliver had not had anything to drink after his nap, I decided to extend our outing and seize opportunity to practice using toilets outside of the house. We ducked into the nearby Whole Foods store and Oliver peed in their toilet with no fuss! We walked a little longer and then headed back to our building, where we ran into J, who was just arriving home from work.

J took over supervision duties while I cooked dinner. Oliver continued to use the potty, both by J’s prompting and on his own initiative. As it got closer to dinner, Oliver became increasingly fussy, much like he had in the afternoon. I knew that he had to poop. J tried to get him to go before dinner, with no success. We brought the potty out to the dining room and sat down to eat, telling Oliver that if he had to poop, he should tell Mommy and Daddy.

Mid-way through dinner, Oliver said “potty,” so I quickly picked him up and put him on the potty. Nothing. He finished supper, and J took him back into his bedroom to play for a while longer, in the hopes of getting a poop out of him before bedtime. Oliver became increasingly agitated throughout this time, pacing around, going to his potty and sitting briefly, and then standing up and fussing. We tried as hard as we could to get him to poop. I even sat with him in the bathroom with the door closed, reading stories and singing songs for more than 20 minutes. In retrospect, what really needed to happen, as did earlier in the day, was for Oliver to start pooping and then one of us to react quickly, bringing him to the potty while it was in progress. Hovering and making him sit on the potty dozens of times was counter-productive.

Alas, we diapered Oliver and dressed him for bed. After nursing and brushing his teeth, he fell asleep fairly quickly.

So far, I have learned that Oliver’s most obvious pee and poop signals are in his facial expressions or his demeanour (fussing, looking agitated). I’ve learned that at this point, he needs to pee small amounts very frequently. He is young, so we will work on extending this over time. For now, we are going to put him on the potty upon waking, before and after meals, before sleep, before leaving home, and upon arrival at a destination. We will also prompt him every 30 to 45 minutes when we are engaged in play or activities. I know that we will be responsible for much of the process in the early months, especially since he does not yet know how to manipulate his own clothing.

I am thrilled with how our first day of potty training unfolded. Oliver could not have done any better, and he progressed more quickly than I anticipated.

Next: Potty Training. Day Two.

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