Previous: Potty Training. Day Two.
Day Three. No diapers is beginning to feel like the norm around here, and Oliver is adapting beautifully to the new way of doing things. Today he was very cranky and clingy, which could have been due to teething (he’s drooling like crazy again), potty training, or some combination of both. Oliver has started asking for the potty (self-initiating) more frequently, even while we are out in public.
After breakfast, it was obvious that Oliver really needed to poop. I kept a close eye on him while I was cleaning up, then suddenly saw him stop and make a facial expression that looked like, “Help me!” I took his hand and led him to the potty while saying, “It looks like you need to make a poo-poo. Let’s go to the potty.” He pooped immediately and was very excited, chanting, “Flush it. Flush it.” He really does love watching us empty the potty into the big toilet, and helping us flush!
Today we had just one accident, after our morning outing to the aquarium. Oliver had peed right before we left the aquarium, but we got held up for an extra 20 minutes trying to retrieve his hat from the lost and found. As we arrived back at our building, he said, “pee-pee.” When we got upstairs to our apartment, I discovered that he had just wet his pants. On a positive note, at least he had recognized either the need to pee, or the fact that he was peeing. The accident would have been more disappointing if he’d simply peed and not noticed.
We realized this evening that Oliver has started using the potty as an excuse to get up from the table and as a stalling tactic at bedtime. He has previously never been allowed to leave the table during meals, so I guess this is a novelty for him. We have decided to be firm on mealtimes — he either comes right back to the table after using the potty, or his meal is over. No running around and playing, then coming to the table and asking for “more.” At bedtime, we will give him one last opportunity to use the potty before his night diaper goes on, otherwise he has to “wait until morning” (these are the words we use; the reality of course is that he will go in his overnight diaper).
Day Four. We are starting to fall into a rhythm. I am able to get myself ready and cook breakfast without worry of Oliver having an accident. Oliver is starting to say “no” to some of my potty prompts, and I have decided to trust him, as he says it with confidence and is not otherwise avoiding the use of the potty. I am trying to worry less about his poop schedule. I know that poops usually follow a meal, so I will keep a closer eye on him after meals, but will otherwise just relax.
After breakfast we walked over to the community centre for playtime. When we were half a block away, Oliver said, “Potty.” I told him, “Please hold your pee-pee. We are almost there,” and he did! He also came and asked me to take him to the potty during playtime.
After Oliver’s nap, we went to the Y. Upon arrival, I took him to pee, and he suddenly seemed scared or uncertain of the toilet. He kept saying, “no,” and just wouldn’t go. About 10 minutes later, he asked for the potty and peed, but he didn’t seem happy about it. Later, he asked for the potty again, and then got upset and refused to pee. Of course shortly thereafter, he ended up having an accident while playing, and got very upset about it.
I left the Y feeling a little bit insecure, but when Oliver was running around the living room after dinner, he suddenly said, “potty,” and headed over to his potty. I helped him with his pants and then he pooped! With no prompting!
On another note, I had a conversation with his daycare earlier in the day, and it didn’t go particularly well. They said that they will take him to the toilet at the top of every hour, but that if he is not self-initiating or asking the teachers to use the potty, and is having accidents as a result, they will deem him to be “not ready” to be potty trained at daycare. I simply do not think it is realistic for them to expect this of him so early in the process. Self-initiation takes most children several weeks to master — especially outside the home and with non-familial caregivers.
The other thing that really bothered me was the way they kept referring to him as being “not ready,” and telling me that the socialization and learning he experiences at daycare is more important at this stage than potty training. Maybe in general terms this is true, but once potty training is actually underway, consistency and success in potty training is far more important than any socialization he might miss for a week or two, while the potty training skills are being reinforced. Oliver is supposed to return to daycare tomorrow, but we’ve decided to keep him home for the time being. We would rather build on his successes than set him up for failure. Perhaps in a few days he will more reliably be able to hold his pee for an hour at a time, and their timing strategy will work for him.