Once again, we seem to be coining a new phrase here in the Welsch household thanks to Mr. Harrison. It would appear that we are not so much Potty Training (not really a proper noun, but perhaps it should be) as we are Potty Stalling.
Prior to a week ago, we had really done nothing with potty training. I’ve been meaning to read up on it for ages, but honestly, I’ve been in no rush to deal with it. Two in (mostly cloth) diapers isn’t the end of the world, plus I’ve had so many friends tell me that until the kid is ready, you may as well be beating your head against the wall to try and force it. I think I do enough of that with other areas of parental expectations/pressure/whatnot, so I said a big old “NO THANKS” to the added stress of potty training. I figured that once I was done teaching for the summer, we’d deal with it. Harrison, though, decided to get an early jump on things.
It started a week ago when my family was here to visit. It was after supper and I was nursing Raegan before bed while Ben was handling nighttime duties upstairs with Harrison. All of the sudden I heard a bunch of commotion and footsteps coming down the stairs. I didn’t know if Ben had fallen asleep or HD had escaped or what. Then, all of the sudden, I heard my parents, my brother and his girlfriend all cheering and clapping. HUH?!
I stood up, and with Raegan still in my arms, I headed for the hallway. I knew Ben had been trying each night to see if Harrison would go potty on the toilet upstairs, so I thought that maybe, just maybe, that was why everyone was celebrating.
What I witnessed when I stepped out in the hallway was the happiest, most naked almost three-year-old little boy. Harrison was so excited and so proud (and so without a stitch of clothing). He was literally dancing in circles and waving his arms in the air. It was fantastic. I got a big hug and the big news…he went to the bathroom in the big potty!!! (it’s another euphemism, people; I know you can figure it out!). Extra fantastic!
The next night there was no potty news and then he went to stay with Grandma for a few days where he also had no major potty developments. Fast forward to Thursday night when he and Grandma came back. After he’d been upstairs for quite some time doing the nightly routine with Daddy, there were once again footsteps on the stairs and a very proud boy coming to tell us that he had pooped and peed on the potty. AND he got two Potty Stars (a drawing on his hand done by Dad as a reward)!
Last night both kids got a bath after supper and before HD and Daddy came down to say goodnight to us girls, Harrison again used the big potty. Before nap today, same thing. All good. All great. All wonderful. I mean, essentially he is doing this all by himself AND he’s bypassing the little potty altogether which is fine by me; I’d rather not have another toilet to clean, no matter how tiny it may be! But here’s the thing. We (and by we I totally mean Ben) can only get him to go before sleep. Now I know that’s not entirely bad; it has to be helping him sleep better and it will ultimately be great for when we’re trying to get him to sleep all night without a diaper, but I also sense ulterior motives.
As much as we’ve made progress in the sleep realm with Harrison (more on that another time, knock on wood), I can see that he’s still trying to find ways to push the boundary and stall. Sometimes this means asking for another book (he’ll pick the longest one he can find – just ask him!); sometimes it means a meltdown. Now it seems to mean the potty. He knows that going to sit on the potty means he can be out of bed legitimately, and so he’s doing it.
In a way, I’m all for it. If it means he is ready to be done with diapers, well then, Merry Christmas to me! In another way, I wonder just how far (and how late) he might take the stalling technique. But seriously. He might very well potty train himself here, so I guess I’ll just have to accept that a little later bedtime could be my greatest ally here in the next few weeks (that and Harrison’s very patient and most wonderful Daddy).