Something really simple inspired me to write this post. It’s 10 o’clock at night and my little fella stirred in his sleep. He wouldn’t settle and so the Mr went to see what the problem was. No biggy, he’d just mislaid teddy in his bed. Then over the baby monitor (everyone still has one for their three year old, right?) I heard a little voice say “I need the toilet”. (No, it wasn’t the Mr!). I heard little legs pitter patter towards the bathroom and I envisaged him standing there, looking all cute and sleepy going for a middle of the night wee wee. And it dawned on me there and then. We did it. We toilet trained him. We bloody well did it!
This time last year I was dreading it. Absolutely frickin dreading it. I felt the pressure, as I’m sure every parent does. We had a nearly two and a half year old and it seemed anybody and everybody was talking about potties, pull ups and pants. It drove me mad. I’d bought a potty and EJ thought it was great… as a hat…! It didn’t look like it was going to go well.
I decided towards the end of August to book a few days off work. We felt the time was right to try and crack this thing. We prepared ourselves for the impending doom of cabin fever due to not leaving the house for a couple of days – which is a long time with a toddler, let me tell you. We prepared for the onset of wees and poos in random places and we stocked up with big boy pants, reward stickers and chocolate buttons. We were ready.
It went quite well. Day one was a success. Day two was shit. Cue the onset of disappointment. “But he did SO well yesterday, what’s happened?!”. Day three was better and day four better still. By the weekend WE LEFT THE HOUSE! Admittedly with ten pairs of pants and twelve pairs of jogging bottoms (because they will be your best friend during this hideous potty time). But we left the house. We’d done good.
And it went well. For three weeks it went well. Then all of a sudden, little EJ decided he wanted to wee his pants. First once, then twice and then pretty much every time nature called. I was gutted. What the chuff had happened?! Strangely, little mister continued to use his potty friend for number two’s, which in a way, even though this was good, was really quite frustrating, because he knew what he should be doing, he just couldn’t be bothered.
I tortured myself for a couple of days. I Googled the shit (no pun intended) out of potty training regression and other such terms and just ended up feeling even more defeated. And then I did the one thing all the experts would shoot me down for. I gave up. I admitted defeat and reached for the pull ups and I just let him get on with it.
It was the best thing I could have done.
It was the best thing I could have done because he wasn’t ready. Yes, he may have seemed it at the time but he didn’t yet have the maturity to keep it up. As soon as the novelty had worn off it was more fun to play the reaction game with Mummy and Daddy.
So we left it like that. Number two’s continued to be successful and then low and behold, during the week between Christmas and New Year, the little man woke up one morning and said “I don’t want to wear these pants anymore, I want big boy pants!”. My jaw hit the floor. Panic kicked in. I wasn’t prepared. I hadn’t got any reward charts, or stickers or chocolate buttons (okay the last one isn’t strictly true, we’ve always got chocolate buttons!) But you get my drift right?!
But I didn’t need to worry because he did it all on his own. Something clicked in that little head of his. It was his time and his decision and he hasn’t looked back. We’re not brave enough to go pull up free at night yet, but it won’t be long. He rarely wakes up wet so it is imminent and I’m not worried at all. Not anymore. There’s no point.
But going back to the start of the post. We bloody did it. We cracked one of the world’s most stressful problems. We toilet trained a child. I’ve kept him alive for over three years and trained him to use a toilet. How cool is that?!
So you see, the moral for this story, for any Mummy’s or Daddy’s out there going through TTT (toilet training trauma)… Don’t panic. Don’t stress. If you ever think ‘maybe they’re not ready’ – listen to your gut. You’re probably right. I promise you they will do it when they’re ready. Mine was three and I’ve known some even older. Let them pick their time, because they will and it is SO much easier.
Now go and eat the chocolate buttons, you’ve earned them 😉
Tell me your potty training tales in the comments, I’d love to hear them.