Kim from Baby Feet is a three time mom, wife and super-awesome-crazy-funny lady who makes you laugh and cry in the same post. You’ll totally want to be her friend and have slumber parties, eat popcorn and gossip with her. She’s from Baby Feet, where she blogs about healing from major clinical depression and anxiety, life with three rambunctious kids under eight and her husband of 10 years.
I am thrilled to be guest posting for Diana today! Can I tell you how much I adore her? Well, no, I can’t because I don’t have that much room. I’ve actually known Diana for 10 years, as she grew up with my husband. Fast forward and here I am, blogging because of her and staying up late on the phone talking about all things cloth diapers, babies, blogs and husbands. Who knew? Anyway . . . When she asked me if I wanted to guest post I immediately jumped at the opportunity, and knew what I’d be writing about — a little something that happened to me over the summer.
When people see that I have three kids they assume I’m a pro potty trainer and ask for advice. Oh, I’ll give advice all right. But it will most likely involve Valium or wine.
I have three kids, two girls and a boy. My ‘Practical Approach &Theory Behind Toilet Teaching,” after two children, was this: When they are ready they will pretty much train themselves.
I slaved over teaching Violet, my oldest, to use the toilet. I cried. I bribed. In the end I realized I’d started her way too young. Sarah, my middle, and John, my last, are 15 months apart. That means I had two in diapers –cloth diapers. So my ‘approach’ to potty training Sarah was, “Is your diaper dry? Do I have a clean diaper for you? Wait, it’s blue. Ah, who cares.” Then one day, she took off her diaper and refused to let me put a dry one on. Two days later she was trained. Really. (Feel free to throw things.)
Everybody told me that boys were much harder than girls to train, so I fully intended to wait John out. I’d keep him in diapers until, he like, Sarah, just refused his diaper and basically trained himself. I repeated this to everyone as he passed his third birthday and was solidly in diapers. Mid July I noticed that while he had absolutely no interest in using the toilet, he had definite ideas of how he wanted his diaper changed. “You change me right here, Mommy.” and “Use that cream on my bum, Mommy” and he’d point to the exact cream he wanted. When he started to argue with me about how I was wiping him? I knew it was time.
But John was not going to give in. We spent days in underwear, with no accidents, but no urinating on the toilet. He’d make it all day totally dry, get in a diaper for bed and let loose. Then one day I set him on the toilet and began to negotiate. In the end, it went down like this: if he urinated in the toilet I’d take him to Sweet Lucy’s for ice cream. I said absolutely, even though Sweet Lucy’s is the most expensive ice cream shop in town. He suggested it, he wanted it, I was going for it. And he’d suggested a lot of things by this point, so really? I wasn’t worried.
We spent the next week at Sweet Lucy’s. That’s five nights, people. At $25 a pop. $125 for potty training bribes. Judge me. But it worked. (Ha!) The rest of the summer passed in a blissful haze of underwear and swimsuits that did not require those nasty swim diapers.
About the last week in August something changed. John just . . . stopped. He urinated everywhere. The only place he didn’t have accidents was at the pool. I was so thankful for that, because who wants to be that family? The pool had to be closed three times the previous year because of fecal accidents and I was so disgusted at the lack of parenting that this took. I mean, come on. Pay attention, parent your child.
So Labor Day weekend & the pool was closing for the year. I grabbed the kids and headed to the pool. We went to the kiddie pool because the big pool was just insane. About an hour later, I hear “Mommy, come here.” My radar went off. There, sitting in the corner, was my kid and . . .yeah. Talk about parenting your child. We were that family. Cue the lifeguard, the closing of the pool, the chemical shocking of the pool. Cue the sloped shoulder walk of this mom as she tries to slink out of the pool without being seen.
But, since I have three kids who have successfully passed the diaper stage, people ask my advice on potty training. Do I tell them? Um, well . . .
The pool opens for the season in just over 4 months. Do you think anyone will remember?