I have 4 little boys; 3 of which are potty trained. But I have one more kiddo to help venture through this right of passage into big boy-dom. After teaching 3 little dudes to "push it down" and how to aim (that's still a work in progress), I dare to say I am anything but a novice in this area.
My walls have been assaulted by the feared, yet unfortunately common, rogue weenie-whacker, the likes of which lurk around every corner in my house. The all-too-familiar squish of my sock in a yellow puddle hiding around the base of my toilet has left me more than a little suspicious when entering my bathroom. And I have learned that I must always investigate the toilet seat before placing my "delicates" upon its surface.
My boys, you see, are at a disadvantage when introduced to this scary proposition of "potty-training". It is no mystery; I pee sitting down, and my anatomy is vastly different from that of my boys. Yet, I am the one who was tasked to lead my boys on this journey which I fear I am "unequipped", you might say, to proceed as the authority on this subject. Nonetheless, I'm the man. I admit, I have referred to this "expedition" if you will, as if it were a scary bedtime story, the horrors of which no mom should be subjected. Discoveries of poo-patties in uder-roos and the dreaded detection of little brown smears and deposits left innocently along my toilet seat have left me traumatized and more than a little apprehensive.
I have dreaded potty-training with each of my dudes. It has been a struggle, a battle of wills you might say to which the defeated go the spoils. Forcing, ordering, demanding, bartering, begging-all of which have deemed my efforts unrewarding. There is nothing I have not tried- plastic training pants, pull-ups, the "weekend plan", even naked days. None seemed to breed success. Many others have offered their own personal insight and expertise in this area, but I have determined that the secret lies in the child.
To the chagrin of grandmas, aunts and friends, I left the decision "to train or not to train" up to my child. I had fought the battle twice before and learned a few things down that messy path. Whether you start "training" at two or three or even four, it is the parent that is being "trained". Racing the said child down the hall, hurdling whoever or whatever is in the way, in hopes to reach the target in time or setting a timer and making the child attend "toilet time" on a schedule is all part of the curriculum of "potty training". And those trials and tribulations have left many a mother scarred for life.
So with our third son I decided to go against peer pressure and common ritual. No forcing or demanding. No begging or pleading. No poo-poo patties or peeling off of saturated training pants. I let my child decide when, how and where. It was his battle to be fought; his decision to be made; his joy to share...................and the victory belongs to the child.