I hate potty training. Jenny does, too, for the record. We’re no good at it. We rarely stay at home long enough to actually get our children into a rhythm of going every so often, we constantly forget to ask, and, well, it’s just pretty convenient to not have to worry about one of the four bladders in our posse at any given time of day. That said, we have (finally) started attempting some degree of potty training with Quin… It’s not going so well.
To be fair, we’ve really only been at it for like 2 days. We took a page out of our “parental almanac” devised with Ethan and decided there are 2 things that work best for potty training: first, you wait until they are ready, and boys aren’t ready until they are at least 3 (hey, it’s true for one, it must be true for all of them, right?). Second, all children are motivated by cool shoes (please refer to the previous parenthetical sentence).
So part one of potty training is pretty easy - just don’t do it until the age of three. Well, Quin’s three now, so we are obligated to make sure that he doesn’t have to go on his first date some day with a diaper bag. We also went out and purchased some pretty snazzy light-up shoes, the envy of all three year old boys.
As of tonight we thought we were doing OK. Unfortunately, we were going to be away most of the day at a Bucks game. No matter, a morning’s worth of training is better than nothing, right? So he had underpants on all morning, no accidents whatsoever. We’re geniuses!!! Along came his nap, however, and since he has NEVER woken up without such a full diaper that I’m afraid he would literally flood his room if he didn’t wear one, we convinced him to put on some “nap underpants” just in case he had an accident. No problem, he acquiesced. While he was napping, Ethan, Jenny, and I left Quin in the care of our babysitter and went to see the Bucks downtown.
Five hours later (Milwaukee construction season has begun, so traffic is glorious, even on the weekend), we returned home, surprised to find Quin in his underwear, wearing his light-up shoes. The babysitter said that when he woke up, he made her help him go to the bathroom and put on underwear. He then proudly put on his light-up shoes. She told us that he had been to the potty three times already with no accidents. We are geniuses!!!
Fast forward another 2 hours, Quin is sitting at the table, watching the iPad, when I go over to him to ask if he has to go to the potty. He says no. He then sheepishly looks at me and says, “I went potty…” Sure enough, his pants were about as wet as if we had thrown him into the swimming pool fully clothed. Not only that, but a sizable pool of urine had collected beneath his chair. Nobody knows how long he sat there like that - but apparently our progress wasn’t quite as great as we had hoped…
One thing that has me a little worried about our potty training technique is the use of being a “big boy” as the reason he should be going to the potty. I think all parents do it, but each time I do it I feel a little bad. Am I completely ruining his self confidence? My guess is - no. Quin has taken to walking around the house, finding something that looks heavy, then lifting it up and proclaiming, “I’m skrong!.” (He similarly mispronounces “skinky,” as in, “Ethan take a shower - Ethan’s skinky.”) One of his favorite things to do is to torment Ethan by saying, “Daddy’s skrong, mommy’s skrong, Quinny’s skrong, Ethan’s like a baby.” In Quin’s world, “like a baby” is the biggest insult you can impart on somebody, or at least the one that you can get away with since we have demanded he stop calling people “poopy butt” or “stupid.” Quin thinks he is so “skrong,” in fact, that he is now proclaiming that he is a “superhero.” Apparently his self confidence is intact…
I’m sure Quin will one day be potty trained, and I’m sure once it happens it will seem easy in comparison to the challenges that are ahead with him, but for now, Quinton is winning the battles of the potty training war. Time to ferret out some more ammunition.